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Sunday, July 25, 2021

The Olympic Flame and Apostolic Succession


The Olympic Flame and Apostolic Succession

When trying to explain apostolic succession, I’ve often linked the concept to inheritance, i.e., property, the family farm or business that has been handed down generation to generation.  However, presently while watching the 2020/21 Olympic Ceremony, I think contrasting the Olympic Flame might be a better analogy.

The origin of the flame is a legend.  The flame is said to have been stolen from the gods by Prometheus and given to the people.  In ancient Greece, every four years at the start of the games, a fire was lit to honor Zeus and his wife, Hera.  The current Olympic flame is ignited in front of Hera’s temple every four years. [1]

This tradition was reintroduced for the 1928 Summer Olympics and in 1936 for the Winter Olympics. Nowadays, the Olympic Torch is ignited several months before the start of the next games.  Eleven women representing vestal virgins (virgins guarding the flame in the temple of the goddess Vesta), light the torch.  The Olympic Anthem is sung and then the anthem of the country hosting the Olympic games.  The fire is kept aflame and travels by various methods to the forthcoming games, via plane, boat, runners, etc.

Impressive as this Olympic tradition may be, it pales when contrasted to the Roman Catholic tradition of Apostolic Succession. Catholics believe that Jesus handed down His authority to His Apostles, and the apostles handed down this authority to the first bishops, and the first bishops to the following bishops, and so on.[2]

Jesus declares to His apostles, “he who receives you, receives Me, and he who rejects you, rejects Me and the One who sent Me.” Jesus freely gives His authority to the apostles in order for them to effectively convert the world.[3]

The apostles passed on this authority.  One of the first deeds the apostles performed after Pentecost was to appoint another apostle and confer/ordain him.  Matthias was chosen.[4]

Visibly we see the apostolic succession when the Bishop lays his hands on the individual to be ordained.  Catholics are familiar with the “laying of hands.”  We see this gesture at healing masses, ordinations, and special blessings. It is through the bishops’ authority that the grace of the sacrament is passed down to our ministers.[5]

From Jesus to the present time, apostolic succession has been passed on.  That’s longer that the Olympic flame and more infinitely more precious.


Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Sailing Along for Fifty Years

 My husband and I celebrated our fiftieth wedding anniversary, earlier this month. As an anniversary present, one of our daughters gave us tickets for a sunset cruise on The Liberte, a schooner that cruises Vineyard Sound.

It sounds wonderful and it was.  Surprisingly, the hit of the cruise was the passengers.  We had two bachelorette parties, among the other sundry passengers.  These young ladies were bringing their brides-to-be friends on the cruise.  Consequently, the mood was gay and celebratory.

Once out of Falmouth Harbor, all six sails were hoisted.  The Liberte is a 72-foot schooner, which the captain tried to explain to us landlubbers, but it was hard to hear him over the wind, sails flapping, and the mirth of young ladies giggling and shrieking with laughter.

But I did learn the answers to some questions I've always been perplexed by.  Cape Cod is shaped like a bended arm, with Falmouth and Mashpee being the shoulder and Wellfleet and Provincetown being the fist.  Yet, Falmouth and Mashpee are called the Upper cape and Provincetown and Wellfleet-the Lower Cape. That's right--the exact opposite of what you would think when looking at a map, which shows Provincetown higher than Falmouth--the Lower Cape is higher than Upper Cape.

Why?  Any thinking person would ask.

The answer has to do with the wind.  Sailors sail upwind to get to Falmouth and downwind to get to Provincetown.  By the way, that's also why going to Maine is called "Down East."  It all has to do with sailing with the wind.

I learned all this while watching the sunset, as we sailed at a good tack, between Martha's Vineyard and Woods Hole and Falmouth. Then suddenly, an ominous cloud arose over Martha's Vineyard and all too soon hasten towards us.  Would this turn into a "dark and stormy night"?  

The captain directed our attention to the formation and explained that he expected this--the weatherman predicted a foggy night.  The Liberte is equipped with radar and a GPS.

It didn't take long for us to be in the thick of it.  Soon we were surrounded by grey sea and sky.  We couldn't see neither the stern nor the bow of the schooner.  The drunks never noticed.

Now, my family has owned sailboats for over twenty years.  We loved the fact that sailboats are so quiet, serene, and peaceful.  And now, when the drunks had calm moments, it was nice and peaceful with the breezes cooling us off from the humidity.  But, in the thick soup of fog, it was eerie...quiet... ominous...and creepy...until the drunks' shrieks of laughter broke the sinister mood.

We all looked around at each other and joined in the gleeful merriment, with relief.  This was fun--an adventure--a story in the making.

Soon we heard the buoy bell and saw the light from Nobska Lighthouse.  And within ten minutes we dropped the sails and turned on the motor to sail between the red and green lights marking the entrance to Falmouth Harbor.

Our captain was an experienced sailor.  We were impressed with how skillfully the schooner was quickly docked alongside the pier.

The goodbyes were cheery and the young ladies invited us all to follow them to Liam Mcguires to continue the gaiety.  But hubby and I are simple, old folk, and after a few "Cape Codders" and a swaying, rolling, and pitching cruise, we were looking forward to "lights out."

                                  Old sailors never die, they simply return to port.

Monday, July 19, 2021

Our Lady of Czestochowa and/or Twa Mak


It looks like the Haitians copied Our Lady of Czestochowa.  Rather she was baptized as Haiti's National Protector, Twa Mak.  How did that happen?  According to US Catholic, there was a slave revolt in 1791 resulting in the slaves taking over the plantations.  The Europeans couldn't accept this so Napoleon sent troops over to the island to take over.  With the French were 5000 Polish legionnaires and their devotion to Our Lady of Czestochowa. Some of the Poles stayed and Our Lady of Czestochowa made a new home. The Haitians took to her because she looks like she has suffered like themselves.  Her scars make her beautiful.  

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Boston Archdiocese issues statement on 'Traditionis Custodes'

Boston Archdiocese issues statement on 'Traditionis Custodes': Below is a July 17 message to from Bishop Peter J. Uglietto, Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia of the Archdiocese of Boston, regarding the Holy Father's motu propio, Traditionis Custodes. Essentially, the local bishop will determine if any changes will be made.

Personally, whatever tradition you prefer, is the Mass you attend and you think that is better than the other Mass.  So, the pope is correct.  Division has arisen.

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Cariniana Week

This is a video of the celebration known as Cariniana Week.  It is a week of preaching and catechesis focused on forgiveness and God's mercy.  Carino is the murderer of the first Dominican martyr, Peter of Verona.  Eventually, Pietro da Balsamo, known as Carino repented and spent his life in reparation and prayer.  Hagiographies say that he wanted to be buried with the criminals, and so he was.  But Carino was so loved by the people that the protest eventually resulting having his reminds translated to the priory church.  

Carino was so popular that he wasn't forgotten.  During troubled times, Carino's remains were removed again to the cathedral of Forli.  But in 1934, the Archbishop of Milan retrieved the relics and brought them back to the parish of San Martino in Balsamo.  Eventually,  around 1964, the relics were composed as you see in the video, and placed under the altar of a new San Martino Church.  

Now, on April 28, the day of the transfer of the first relics, begins a week of celebrating Carino and God's mercy, forgiveness, and love.  

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Please Pray

 For the rest of this year dedicated to St. Joseph, please pray for the canonization of Blessed Pere Marie Jean-Joseph Lataste, O.P..  

Lord Jesus, who died on the cross for the salvation of all, by the intercession of St. Joseph, grant unto us the canonization of Pere Lataste.

Monday, July 12, 2021

Peter, Peter, Peter

 Plagiarism doesn’t count, when the plagiarist and the person copied, are both dead, I guess.  I’ve been reading The Adventures of Peter Cottontail by Thornton W. Burgess, to my grandchildren.  I happened to mention this to a friend who asked me, “Didn’t Beatrix Potter write Peter Rabbit?” 

Yes, she did.

Who copied whom?

I googled Thornton Burgess.  He lived from 1874 to 1964.

Beatrix Potter lived from 1866 to 1943.

So they lived around the same time.  Beatrix was English.  Thornton was American; in fact, from Massachusetts.  

Beatrix wrote The Tale of Peter Rabbit in 1902.

Thornton wrote the Adventures of Peter Cottontail in 1914.

Beatrix wrote about nature and Peter’s rabbit friends, Mopsy, Flopsy, and Cotton-tail.

Thornton wrote about nature too, and his Peter’s friends were Reddy Fox, Shadow the Weasel, Johnny Chuck, Billy Possum, and they all lived in the Green Forest, the Green Meadows, and the Smiling Pool narrated by Old Mother West Wind.

By the time Thornton’s little boy was old enough to read to, Thornton read him Beatrix Potter’s The Tale of Peter Rabbit.  A few years later when Thornton tried to make up a bed time story for his son, he changed the name of the rabbit to Cottontail.  The four year old wouldn’t let his father change the name.  In fact, the argument over the name is the first chapter in The Adventures of Peter Cottontail.  Peter Rabbit thought his name too common, so he changed it to Peter Cottontail.  But then it proved to be confusing. 

Thornton wasn’t the only plagiarist capitalizing on the Peter Rabbit theme.  The illustrator, Harrison Cady, wrote a comic strip from 1920-1948, called Peter Rabbit. 

In 1950, Gene Autry recorded the song, “Here Comes Peter Cottontail.”

The 1971 Easter television special “Here Comes Peter Cottontail” was based on a 1957 novel by Priscilla and Otto Friedrich entitled “The Easter Bunny that Overslept.”

But back to Thornton Burgess because he’s from our neck of the woods.  He wrote his nature stories for over 50 years.  Some call him the Bedtime Story-man.  He was born in Sandwich, MA and stayed in MA all his life.  Today, the Thornton W. Burgess Society continues to carry out the philosophies of Thornton Burgess’ stories.  The society operates the Green Briar Nature Center and Thornton W. Burgess Museum in Sandwich, MA and publishes periodic newsletters to inspire reverence for wildlife and concern for the natural environment.

By the time Thornton retired, he had written more than 170 books and 15,000 stories for daily columns in newspapers.

Thornton Waldo Burgess was the son of Caroline F. Haywood and Thornton W. Burgess Sr. a direct descendent of Thomas Burgess, one of the first settlers of Sandwich in 1637.

Burgess was raised by his mother in Sandwich after his father died in the year of his birth. As a youth he worked year round in order to earn money. Some of his jobs included tending cows, picking arbutus or berries, shipping water lilies from local ponds, selling candy and trapping muskrats. William C. Chipman, one of his employers, lived on Discovery Hill Road a wildlife habitat of woodland and wetland. This habitat became the setting of so many of his stories in which he refers to Smiling Pool and the Old Briar Patch.

Graduating from Sandwich High School in 1891, Burgess attended a Business College in Boston from 1892-93. At the age of 17 Burgess briefly lived in Boston and then moved to Springfield, Massachusetts. He bought a place in Hampden, Massachusetts in 1925 and made it his permanent home in 1957. Returning frequently to Sandwich, Burgess claimed that to be his birth place and spiritual home. Many of his childhood experiences and the people he knew influenced his interest and concern for wildlife.

For the next fifty years, Burgess steadily wrote books that were published around the world in many languages, including Swedish, French, German, Spanish, Italian, and Gaelic. Collaborating with him was his illustrator and friend, Harrison Cady of New York and Rockport, Massachusetts. Cady gave us the familiar form of Peter Rabbit and other animal characters that we recognize today in his comic strip.

Burgess was also actively involved with conservation efforts. Some of his projects over his lifetime included:

·         "The Green Meadow Club" for land conservation programs,

·         Help pass laws protecting migrant wildlife,

·         The Bedtime Stories Club" for wildlife protection programs,

·         "Happy Jack Squirrel Saving Club" for War Savings Stamps & Bonds,

·         "The Radio Nature League" broadcast from WBZA Springfield, MA.

For his efforts, an Honorary Literary Degree was bestowed upon Burgess in 1938 from Northeastern University. The Boston Museum of Science awarded him a special gold medal for "leading children down the path to the wide wonderful world of the outdoors." He was also awarded the distinguished Service Medal of the Permanent Wildlife Protection Fund.

In 1960, Burgess published his last book, "Now I Remember," an autobiography depicting memories of his early life in Sandwich, as well as his career highlights. That same year, Burgess at the age of 83, had published his 15,000th story. From 1912 to 1960, without interruption, Burgess wrote a syndicated daily newspaper column titled "Bedtime Stories."

The society operates the Green Briar Nature Center which is 15 minutes from the Bourne Bridge in Sandwich, MA. On 6 Discovery Road, East Sandwich.

The Olympic Flame and Apostolic Succession

  The Olympic Flame and Apostolic Succession When trying to explain apostolic succession, I’ve often linked the concept to inheritance, i.e....