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Archive for the ‘Amy Welborn’ Category

Bread of Life

Two quick meditations on today’s Gospel from prayer books I’ve written:

Click on images for readable versions….

Amy Welborn Bread of Life

From Prayerful Pauses – which has now gone out of print, so isn’t available through the publisher’s website, and only through…other sources.

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From A Catholic Woman’s Book of Days.

Both are simple and short, intended to be a help in focusing, to be a gentle nudge.  They are similar to my Living Faith devotional entries. 

I don’t know if you can pick up on it or not, but the second is intended to be a play on our sometimes-reluctance to go to Mass, experienced on a sleepy morning, especially with sleepy kids objecting.

Temptation to stay away creeps up, but then we remember – and Eucharist is an act of remembering, in that particular way in which the remembering joins us to the reality, very present, very Really Present.

So we meet the temptation in ourselves and others, we remember Who meets us and what He has done for us, and of course, yes, we want to go.

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From Friendship with Jesus – 

Friendship with Jesus
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Every month of the year has a particular devotion attached to it. In August, it’s the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

From the Loyola Kids Book of Catholic Signs and Symbols. 

This is the structure of the book….each entry has an illustration and a simple illustration on the left, and a “closer look” on the right. One page of the table of contents is below.

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Fabulous conversation between Jane Clare Jones, and Helen Joyce, the author of Trans reviewed here.

Jones is the author of a darkly humorous, but essentially accurate mock dialogue I’ve linked to before called The Annals of the TERF Wars.

It seems that I link to “must-reads” regularly, so perhaps the impact has been dissipated, but yeah, this is a must-read – if you want a relatively succinct look at the current conversation on this issue. Of course, you’d want to read the book – or one of several others out there – but if you don’t have time, this is a decent introduction – with the added value of Joyce explaining how she got interested in the issue, which includes the trajectory many of us have traveled – from puzzlement to sputtering rage at the stupidity of it all.

Helen: When I started writing the book, I could imagine that the words ‘man’ and ‘woman’ meant something that’s not quite the same as ‘adult human female’ and ‘adult human male.’ But you can’t do that with ‘male’ and ‘female.’ They have really very specific meanings which are by no means just human meanings. When you say that a male person can be female, you can get to literally anything from that, because that’s like ‘zero equals one.’ During the research I was reading philosophy papers, and I remember [in] one paper I got to page 20 or something, and then there was a sentence: “I take it as axiomatic that trans women are women.” I actually shouted out loud, “For fuck’s sake!” How can you do that? That’s just like saying, ‘I take it as axiomatic that zero equals one.’ You’d have to do a lot of work, at the very least, to say that trans women are women. When I started writing the book, I thought that I was going to have to put in an entire appendix on arguments [that] ‘trans women are women’ and why they don’t work. And in the end, I just thought: “You know what, these are so shit.” These people are not debating, they’re not talking about their ideas; they’re just putting it out there. And people aren’t saying anything, because they’re afraid they’ll say something wrong. So unsurprisingly, this is the most pathetically weak, appalling, stupid body of work I’ve ever seen. You know that I’m not an academic philosopher, I’m not a philosopher at all, and I can look at this, and say, “Oh, that’s where you went wrong. That’s where you said zero equals one.”

So the intellectual reason was just how appalling this stuff was. It actually intellectually offended me. And then the personal reason was seeing these girls. That night after the Detransition Advocacy Network, I sat there and I couldn’t sleep and I just thought, “Yeah, I’ve got to write the book.” Suddenly there were no more questions. It was very straightforward: “They are sterilizing gay kids. And if I write this book, they might sterilize fewer gay kids.” So that’s simple.

Jane: My perception is that the trans rights project isn’t being driven primarily by pharmaceutical interests, but rather by the desire for validation. But by this point these interests have very strongly attached themselves to it, because of the money in it.

Helen: Of course; that’s the way they work. The two biggest lobby groups in America are hospitals and pharma companies, so of course they’re lobbying on this now. But that’s opportunistic. They come in afterwards. The first impulse is definitely middle-aged men whose desire for validation as women is greater than anything else; that’s the ‘zero equals one.’ They’re the people who insist that you say that they’re women. And once you say that lie, everything else follows.

Jane: Yeah, everything else is collateral damage. I mean, I think women’s spaces are a prime target, because they serve this validation function … but the kids are collateral damage, because they serve as evidence for the notion that gender identity is an essence.

……

Jane: Maybe this is a good place to end, because I think this is one of the great accomplishments of your book. As you say, one of the ways that this entire thing has been enabled is because what they’re trying to do is so bonkers that it’s taken us a very long time to convince people that they are actually trying to do what we say they are. It’s very easy to just go, ‘Oh, those are crazy women, they’re screaming about nothing. They’re hysterical. They just hate trans people.’ And one of the great achievements of your book is that you’ve managed to document this movement and its objectives, and you’ve done it with such lucidity and grace that it’s very compelling, and convincing, and it doesn’t sound like it’s you being the bonkers one.

Helen: Yeah, and on the other side as well, it’s very hard for a woman to decide, *deep sigh,* ‘I’m now going to dedicate two years of my life to something that’s mad.’ I know you can sympathize because you’ve done it too, but can [the] general [public] sympathize with somebody who has a million better things to be doing with their time and actually has to spend time writing down why we shouldn’t be putting rapists in women’s prisons?

Jane: That’s what makes me so angry, that we have to spend all this energy explaining …

Helen: I. Have. Better. Things. To. Do. With. My. Life.

The maddest bit of the whole book – there were many mad bits, but the maddest bit was saying, ‘Darwin actually worked out why there are two sexes.’ Sexual selection caused there to be two reproductive strategies, two reproductive pathways, bodies shaped by and directed towards two types of reproductive strategies. That’s it. There’s no other definition. It’s the same definition right across the animal and plant kingdom. That’s that. And I think that saved me a lot of time and stupid effort, although, God knows, I had to put a lot of time and stupid effort into this book. I mean, in a way, it’s been intellectually very interesting. But it’s also been ridiculous. And quite a lot of people in journalism have said to me, ‘Look, this is all so stupid, why are you wasting your time on it? Is this what you want to be known for?’ But the thing is, it’s all very well to think that this is so mad that someone will stop it. Well, someone has to be the someone.

There are also interesting observations about how American culture and feminism have contributed to this movement.

Of course, I don’t agree with every iota of every point, and you know that I’d say there are dots that are not being connected in ways that would clarify a lot – but that’s the case with any discussion of any issue, isn’t it?

More of my posts on this here.

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Happy feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola.  In 2006, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI spoke about him to…Jesuits!

St Ignatius of Loyola was first and foremost a man of God who in his life put God, his greatest glory and his greatest service, first. He was a profoundly prayerful man for whom the daily celebration of the Eucharist was the heart and crowning point of his day.

Thus, he left his followers a precious spiritual legacy that must not be lost or forgotten. Precisely because he was a man of God, St Ignatius was a faithful servant of the Church, in which he saw and venerated the Bride of the Lord and the Mother of Christians. And the special vow of obedience to the Pope, which he himself describes as “our first and principal foundation” (MI, Series III, I., p. 162), was born from his desire to serve the Church in the most beneficial way possible.

This ecclesial characteristic, so specific to the Society of Jesus, lives on in you and in your apostolic activities, dear Jesuits, so that you may faithfully meet the urgent needs of the Church today.

Among these, it is important in my opinion to point out your cultural commitment in the areas of theology and philosophy in which the Society of Jesus has traditionally been present, as well as the dialogue with modern culture, which, if it boasts on the one hand of the marvellous progress in the scientific field, remains heavily marked by positivist and materialist scientism.

Naturally, the effort to promote a culture inspired by Gospel values in cordial collaboration with the other ecclesial realities demands an intense spiritual and cultural training. For this very reason, St Ignatius wanted young Jesuits to be formed for many years in spiritual life and in study. It is good that this tradition be maintained and reinforced, also given the growing complexity and vastness of modern culture.

St. Ignatius was in my Loyola Kids Book of Saints, and you can read the entire chapter here:

Because he had spent all those months in his sickbed, Ignatius got bored. He asked for something to read. He was hoping for adventure books, tales that were popular back then: knights fighting for the hands of beautiful ladies, traveling to distant lands, and battling strange creatures.

But for some reason, two completely different books were brought to Ignatius. One was a book about the life of Christ, and the other was a collection of saints’ stories.

Ignatius read these books. He thought about them. He was struck by the great sacrifices that the saints had made for God. He was overwhelmed by their love of Jesus.

And Ignatius thought, “Why am I using my life just for myself? These people did so much good during their time on earth. Why can’t I?”

Ignatius decided that he would use the talents God had given him—his strength, his leadership ability, his bravery, and his intelligence—to serve God and God’s people.

While Ignatius continued to heal, he started praying very seriously. God’s peace filled his heart and assured him that he was on the right path.

When Ignatius was all healed and ready to walk and travel again, he left his home to prepare for his new life. It wasn’t easy. He was 30, which was considered old in those days, and he was getting a late start in his studies for the priesthood. In those days, the Mass was said only in Latin, and Latin was the language all educated people used to communicate with each other. Ignatius didn’t know a bit of Latin. So for his first Latin lessons, big, rough Ignatius had to sit in a classroom with a bunch of 10-year-old boys who were learning Latin for the first time too!

That takes a different kind of strength, doesn’t it?

The Loyola Kids Book of Saints

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Take Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding, and my entire will, all that I have and possess. Thou hast given all to me. To Thee, O lord, I return it. All is Thine, dispose of it wholly according to Thy will. Give me Thy love and thy grace, for this is sufficient for me.

In The Words We Pray, I wrote about the Suscipe Prayer. That chapter is excerpted here:

The more you roll this prayer around in your soul, and the more you think about it, the more radical it is revealed to be.

One of the primary themes of the Spiritual Exercises is that of attachments and affections. Ignatius offers the account of “three classes of men” who have been given a sum of money, and who all want to rid themselves of it because they know their attachment to this worldly good impedes their salvation.

The first class would really like to rid themselves of the attachment, but the hour of death comes, and they haven’t even tried. The second class would also like to give up the attachment, but do so, conveniently, without actually giving anything up.

Is this sounding familiar at all?

The third class wants to get rid of the attachment to the money, which they, like the others, know is a burden standing in the way. But they make no stipulations as to how this attachment is relinquished; they are indifferent about the method. Whatever God wants, they want. In a word, they are the free ones.

The prayer “Take Lord, receive” is possible only because the retreatant has opened himself to the reality of who God is, what God’s purpose is for humanity, and what God has done for him in a particularly intense way.

A Response to God’s Love

The retreatant has seen that there is really no other response to life that does God justice. What love the Father has for us in letting us be called children of God, John says (1 John 3:1). What gift does our love prompt us to give?

In ages past, and probably in the minds of some of us still, that gift of self to God, putting oneself totally at God’s disposal, is possible only for people called to a vowed religious life. Well, God didn’t institute religious life in the second chapter of Genesis. He instituted marriage and family. I’m not a nun, but the Scriptures tell us repeatedly that all creation is groaning and being reborn and moving toward completion in God. Every speck of creation, everything that happens, every kid kicking a soccer ball down a road in Guatemala, each office worker in New Delhi, every ancient great-grandmother in a rest home in Boynton Beach, every baby swimming in utero at this moment around the world—all are beloved by God and are being constantly invited by him to love. And all can respond.

The Words We Pray

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7 Quick Takes

—1 —

Well, hey everyone. A few updates.

Forgot to mention that I was in Living Faith on Wednesday. Go here for that. Next time will be in the second week in August.

Don’t forget – if you are planning school or formation-type things, consider my books!

Today: Blessed Solanus Casey

We took a short trip out east to visit and help with kiddos. But we’re back for a couple of weeks.

One kid is spending next week at the beach. The other will be here, finishing up his recuperation from the battle with poison sumac (visit to the derm this morning did wonders already), and enjoying the last days of summer with his friends who will be heading back to school – one set this coming week, another the week after that, and the last, the week after that. (Different sets, different schools, different schedules.)

And then it’s – get college guy settled, but it’s not too, too far away, and all that will be asked of me is to help with one load, and then I’ll be off.

As I mentioned, the last couple of weeks of August, Kid #5 and I will be doing some jaunts during the week (weekends are out because of the church job). I had been thinking Smoky Mountains National Park, but I’m drifting a little and thinking some combo of Cumberland Gap/Falls – Oak Ridge (Teachable! Moment!) – with some attempt to find not-inundated parts of SMNP. Not sure. But also the Mississippi Blues Trail. Definitely that.

No air travel, not so much because it’s a hassle, but because flying most places would then require renting a car, which is CRAZY right now. Forget it.

With all the seriousness in the world, I’m going to spend the rest of these takes chatting about movies we’ve watched over the past week or so.

— 2 —

Almost Famous: Watched w/20-year old, previously seen by me in the theaters when it was originally released. Love this movie, a coming-of age tale told with such affection and wisdom. The focus is most often, naturally, on the teen at the center – marvelously played by Patrick Fugit  – but of course, a parent is going to be watching Frances McDormand, and thinking…yes…no…well, that looks familiar. Do what you can to protect, listen, and then let go. What else can you do? And oh yes – DON’T DO DRUGS!

— 3 —

Kind Hearts and Coronets. Second or third viewing for me, but even so, I always forget how little Alec Guinness is actually in this film, and how it leaves me wishing for just more of him and less of Dennis Price having lengthy conversations with Joan Greenwood (as delightful as she is) and Valerie Hobson. Which makes my least favorite of the Ealing comedies. Still, so worth it for that final twist, though, which is a version of my favorite final twist – the criminal being upended by his own actions/pride or even just an accident. My memoirs!

— 4 —

Apocalypse Now – Kid #5 and I had watched  it last year, but College Guy had never seen it, so here we go. My previous post on it, and my Film Guy Son’s take.

The movie is both a hard watch and an easy one. It’s hard because of the inhumanity on display and the questions that it raises. It’s easy to watch because of the magnificent cinematography on display and the great performances by everyone involved……In the end, though, this work of madness by a madman who lost himself in the jungle is one of the most significant and greatest films made. A great companion piece, by the way, is Hearts of Darkness, the movie that Coppola’s wife made about the making of the movie.

We’ll probably try to watch the documentary over the next day or so, before College Guy heads to the beach.

— 5 –

The Taking of Pelham 123. NO. Not the remake, but the original, starring the incomparable Robert Shaw as well as a host of other familiar faces. A very entertaining film, with an ending that’s one more variation on my favorite trope mentioned above. Tight, smart and a fabulous look at early 70’s New York City. The language, though, surprised me. Standards were definitely loosening by this time, but even so, it struck me as stretching it for the period.

We watched the trailer for the 2009 remake (Denzel Washington and John Travolta) and what a difference (apparently). From some degree of character work to exploding, tumbling cars. Progress?

— 6 —

One, Two Three – Billy Wilder’s brash comedy, starring James Cagney as a Coca-Cola executive in West Berlin, having to clean up a mess when his Atlanta bosses’ daughter marries a Commie she met sneaking out to the East every night. I’d seen it years ago when networks still showed movies like this on television (so you know…a long time ago), but it never streams and is hard to find. Film Guy Son has a copy though, so on a recent visit, it was my request. Enjoyable, startling in its sharpness at times, and yes, frantic to the point of exhaustion, practically. Also stolen, essentially, by ……as Cagney’s German assistant, constantly fighting his deeply-engrained former Nazi ways.

The Thing – also watched during the visit. It had been on my list for a while, and yes, he owns it (as he owns many films), so it was a good non-heavy choice. Very well done, deserving of its reputation. Expert combination of gross horror and more subtle suspense. I will say I was most impressed by the performance of the dog – marvelously well-trained (watch the sequence with the animal walking down the hall, for example.)

— 7 —

Blast From the Past – this was last night. Again, I saw it in the theaters, I think, and always had a soft spot for it. But, as I’ve said many times before, comedy is the genre that seems to date the fastest, so I wasn’t sure if it would hold up. It does! At least for me. And the others enjoyed it, too. Yes, the premise is absurd, but it’s so well cast and moves so quickly that you really don’t have time to ask too many questions or wonder why the characters don’t ask some simple questions themselves. Brendan Fraser is wonderful and perfect in this role, and there are just so many entertaining scenes – as well as some gentle questioning of contemporary “standards” of behavior.

For more Quick Takes, Visit This Ain’t the Lyceum

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Today is the optional memorial of Blessed Solanus Casey, beatified in 2017. 

Solanus Casey Beatification

When we lived in Fort Wayne in northern Indiana, we would often find our way to the Solanus Casey Center in Detroit – either because we were going to Detroit for some reason or we were on our way to Canada.  Solanus Casey has been important to our family, and I find him such an interesting person – and an important doorway for understanding holiness.

For that is what Solanus Casey was – a porter, or doorkeeper, the same role held by St. Andre Bessette up in Montreal.  They were the first people those in need would encounter as they approached the shrine or chapel.

And it was not as if Solanus Casey set out with the goal of being porter, either. His path to the Franciscans and then to the priesthood was long and painful and in some ways disappointing. He struggled academically and he struggled to fit in and be accepted, as one of Irish descent in a German-dominated church culture. He was finally ordained, but as a simplex priest – he could say Mass, but he could not preach or hear confessions – the idea being that his academic weaknesses indicated he did not have the theological understanding deemed necessary for those roles.

But God used him anyway. He couldn’t preach from a pulpit, but his faithful presence at the door preached of the presence of God.  He couldn’t hear confessions, but as porter, he heard plenty poured from suffering hearts, and through his prayers during his life and after his death, was a conduit for the healing grace of God.

This is why the stories of the saints are such a helpful and even necessary antidote to the way we tend to think and talk about vocation these days, yes, even in the context of church. We give lip service to being called and serving, but how much of our language still reflects an assumption that it’s all, in the end, about our desires and our plans? And that the world’s definition of “success” is really our definition too? We are convinced that our time on earth is best spent discovering our gifts and talents, nurturing our gifts and talents, using our gifts and talents in awesome ways that we plan for and that will be incredible and amazing and world-changing. And we’ll be happy and fulfilled and make a  nice living at it, too. 

I don’t know about you, but I need people like Solanus Casey to surround me and remind me what discipleship is really about.

He’s in the Loyola Kids Book of Heroes. Here’s the first page. 

For the most up-to-date news on the cause, check out the Fr. Solanus Casey Guild Facebook page. 

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There and back again

A quick trip to the Lowcountry and back again to visit and to help with grandsons/nephews.

I thought, when I took it, that this photo could be a Hopperesque painting. So I made it one.

Prisma app. Free. Probably could have tweaked, because, no, it’s not really Hopperesque, but close enough, and I’m tired. And someone has a 7:20 am emergency dermatologist appointment tomorrow back here at home due to a tumble into what he says was, yeah, probably poison sumac during a hike on Saturday. It should heal on its own, they all say, but we do have a dermatologist of our very own, so why not use her? To be sure…..

Update: 8am – In and out of the derm’s office. Steroid shot given, scrip for more and for some Super Topical. All’s well.

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July 27 – Titus Brandsma

Today we remember the Dutch Carmelite, outspoken critic of the Nazis, who died in Dachau on July 26, 1942. 

From a Carmelite website:

Born in the Frisian city of Bolsward, Holland, in 1881, Bl. Titus Brandsma joined the Carmelites while still young and was ordained priest in 1905. He undertook further studies in Rome and was awarded a doctorate in philosophy at the Gregorian Pontifical University.

Returning to Holland, he taught in a number of schools before taking up a post as Professor of Philosophy and the History of Mysticism at the Catholic University of Nijmegen where he was titus_brandsmalater appointed Rector Magnificus. A noted writer and journalist, in 1935, he was appointed adviser to the bishops, for Catholic journalists. He was noted for being ready to receive anyone in difficulty and to help in whatever way he could. In the period leading up to and during the Nazi occupation in Holland, he argued passionately against the National Socialist ideology, basing his stand on the Gospels, and he defended the right to freedom in education and for the Catholic Press. As a result, he was imprisoned. So began his Calvary, involving great personal suffering and degradation whilst, at the same time, he himself brought solace and comfort to the other internees and begged God’s blessing on his jailers. In the midst of such inhuman suffering, he possessed the precious ability to bring an awareness of goodness, love and peace. He passed from one prison or camp to another until he arrived in Dachau where he was killed on 26th July 1942. He was beatified as a martyr by Pope John Paul II on 3rd November 1985.

You can read his last few letters here.

Brandsma came to the United States in 1935, where he lectured at Catholic University.  These writings on Carmelite spirituality were based on those talks.

I included Blessed Titus in The Loyola Kids Book of Saints under “Saints are People Who Tell the Truth.”

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A couple of pages are online available for viewing, here. Well, and here:

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  • Are you getting ready for school? Catechists, homeschoolers and Catholic school teachers are.  If you are of a mind to, please take a look at all the resources I have available for catechesis and formation.

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  • If you really want to get strange looks, you could toss this out, something I’d forgotten about – that I have the pdf of De-Coding Da Vinci available for free here. Use as you like. All kidding aside, at the time, I thought that taking apart the hugely popular novel was a useful and engaging way to teach people about the origins of the Scriptural canon and some early Church history. Plus, it took me two weeks to write it, so not a bad use of time. Here you go.
  • Are you teaching First Communion children this year? Take a look at Friendship with Jesus and Be Saints. 
  • Are you teaching religion to elementary age students? Friendship with Jesus, Be Saints, Bambinelli Sunday, Adventures in Assisi, The Loyola Kids’ Book of Saints, The Loyola Kids’ Book of Heroes. 
  • Can you help catechists, Catholic schools and parish programs?  Consider gifting your parish, school or favorite catechist with copies of these books.  Click on the covers for more information.
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Again – even if catechesis isn’t something you are personally involved in, any catechist, parish school, library or program would welcome a donation as a beginning-of-the-year (no matter when it begins…) gift.

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July 25 – St. James the Greater

The Greater one…

Patron of Spain and pilgrims.

Let Benedict XVI give you the basics:

….. This James belongs, together with Peter and John, to the group of the three privileged disciples whom Jesus admitted to important moments in his life.

Since it is very hot today, I want to be brief and to mention here only two of these occasions. James was able to take part, together with Peter and John, in Jesus’ Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane and in the event of Jesus’ Transfiguration. Thus, it is a question of situations very different from each other: in one case, James, together with the other two Apostles, experiences the Lord’s glory and sees him talking to Moses and Elijah, he sees the divine splendour shining out in Jesus.

On the other occasion, he finds himself face to face with suffering and humiliation, he sees with his own eyes how the Son of God humbles himself, making himself obedient unto death. The latter experience was certainly an opportunity for him to grow in faith, to adjust the unilateral, triumphalist interpretation of the former experience: he had to discern that the Messiah, whom the Jewish people were awaiting as a victor, was in fact not only surrounded by honour and glory, but also by suffering and weakness. Christ’s glory was fulfilled precisely on the Cross, in his sharing in our sufferings.

This growth in faith was brought to completion by the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, so that James, when the moment of supreme witness came, would not draw back. Early in the first century, in the 40s, King Herod Agrippa, the grandson of Herod the Great, as Luke tells us, “laid violent hands upon some who belonged to the Church. He had James, the brother of John, killed by the sword” (Acts 12: 1-2).

The brevity of the news, devoid of any narrative detail, reveals on the one hand how normal it was for Christians to witness to the Lord with their own lives, and on the other, that James had a position of relevance in the Church of Jerusalem, partly because of the role he played during Jesus’ earthly existence.

A later tradition, dating back at least to Isidore of Seville, speaks of a visit he made to Spain to evangelize that important region of the Roman Empire. According to another tradition, it was his body instead that had been taken to Spain, to the city of Santiago de Compostela.

As we all know, that place became the object of great veneration and is still the destination of numerous pilgrimages, not only from Europe but from the whole world. This explains the iconographical representation of St James with the pilgrim’s staff and the scroll of the Gospel in hand, typical features of the travelling Apostle dedicated to the proclamation of the “Good News” and characteristics of the pilgrimage of Christian life.

Consequently, we can learn much from St James: promptness in accepting the Lord’s call even when he asks us to leave the “boat” of our human securities, enthusiasm in following him on the paths that he indicates to us over and above any deceptive presumption of our own, readiness to witness to him with courage, if necessary to the point of making the supreme sacrifice of life.

Thus James the Greater stands before us as an eloquent example of generous adherence to Christ. He, who initially had requested, through his mother, to be seated with his brother next to the Master in his Kingdom, was precisely the first to drink the chalice of the passion and to share martyrdom with the Apostles.

And, in the end, summarizing everything, we can say that the journey, not only exterior but above all interior, from the mount of the Transfiguration to the mount of the Agony, symbolizes the entire pilgrimage of Christian life, among the persecutions of the world and the consolations of God, as the Second Vatican Council says. In following Jesus, like St James, we know that even in difficulties we are on the right path.

Hmmm…that might be a good start for a discussion, yes? It’s got some good content, then veers over into some personal reflection. What a good idea!

As you know, back when he was giving these addresses, various publishers collected them into book form and sold them. You can still find those, but of course, since all these talks are online, you don’t have to pay a dime for them. You also don’t have to pay for a study guide on these talks on the Apostles – the one I wrote for OSV is available here in a pdf form.

The unapologetic reflex of Catholic parishes to charge fees for religious education is unfortunate and a hindrance to evangelization. One answer is to encourage a culture of parish stewardship that says, “We don’t want to charge anyone a fee for catechesis or formation. Let’s all give enough so that we don’t have to.”  Another is to find quality free source materials…and here you go.

Below are the pages from the unit which include St. James the Greater. You can find the rest at the link, and feel free to use as you wish. 

More resources I’ve written that you might find useful for adult education in your parish – or simply for individual use.

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