These pictures are of a little portable shrine that my Lay Dominican student in formation made for me. He did this on his own; it was not an assignment. It started out as a small tin box that once contained "ALTOIDS," the breath mint. Inside he glued a rosary ring on one side and some medals on the other. On the outside is taped a holy card on the front and back. On one side it reads, "Praise, Bless, Preach." The other side says it in Latin, "Laudare Benedicere Praedicare."
I use it to carry my rosary. When I'm waiting for this or that, I take it out, open it in front of me, and pray. It's a little prayer shrine.
Today at Mass, the celebrant told an interesting story. I can't verify it, though. The gospel was the one about Lazarus coming out of the tomb. The priest was talking about Martha's faith. Jesus asked her, "Dost thou believe?" Then the priest tied "faith" to people's beliefs about death. Martha believed all shall be "resurrected, on the last day." Well, it turns out, that many believe this, no matter what they say.
Father said that in 1982, Leonid Brezhnev died. He was the leader of atheistic, communist, Russia. At his funeral, full of military accolades, accouterments, etc., with his coffin surrounded by soldiers, Leonid's wife, Viktoria, trace the sign of the cross on his chest, just before the lid of the coffin was closed.
Remember, this an atheist, communist country. She did this in public. How's that for witnessing?
Here I am in Ireland with a bunch of religiously impaired people. And today is Sunday. From the plans they were devising I knew Mass wasn't on the schedule. I mentioned going to Mass but they said "We're going to the Shrine of Our Lady of Knock Wednesday. You will have all the church you want then.
So, We were planning on going shopping in Claddagh. We parked along the harbor and we're walking to the shopping district when I saw a Dominican friar at the entrance of a church greeting people!
Suddenly, words came out of my mouth.
"Hey! Look. I'm going to Mass, come back in an hour.