Month: December 2011

The Worlds Greatest Myth

If you gave a group a flash-card test for identifying famous people, they would immediately recognize George Washington because he had portraits painted of him during his life time, Marilyn Monroe because she was the most photographed woman of this era, and Jesus because everyone knows what Jesus looked like.

Many years ago during the Hippy Era, while visiting me, my pompous retired colonel brother-in-law took my young daughter for her first swimming lesson. They were in the shallow end of the pool at the country club when they were suddenly bumped underwater by a young man who came to the surface with his beard and long hair. The Colonel, who only saw the inside of a church at weddings and funerals, barked at him, “If you don’t mind, Jesus, I’m trying to teach this kid how to swim!”

The truth about Jesus is that no one, not even the Pope, knows what he looked like. The New Testament only confirms that he wore a robe and sandals, and that he looked Jewish. (The woman at the well knew immediately that he was a Jew). The first painting of Jesus was done 300 years after his earthly life, and since then we have been brained-washed into picturing Jesus as an extremely handsome tall, thin Mediterranean young man with cream complexion, a “holier than thou” expression and silky shoulder-length brown hair. Early European painters portrayed him in infancy as a chubby round-faced perfect baby, who would never have messed up a diaper.

Several years ago, The National Catholic Reporter conducted a contest for artists to compete in painting “Jesus 2000”.  1,004 artists from nineteen countries submitted 1,678 paintings, and a panel of judges selected the best three, leaving the final choice to Sister Wendy Beckett, the famed “art nun” on BBC television. She chose the painting of a black woman with a big wide nose, protruding lips and a brooding expression in her eyes. If you want to put your life in danger, show this as a picture of Christ to a “Born Again” red-neck in our Bible Belt.

Judaism forbids graphic representation of God. There are no displays of anthropomorphic vision in their places of worship. When Marc Chagall was a young artist, a holy trinitypious uncle refused to shake his hand because he had painted God-like images. However, we Christians delight in letting our imagination go free in picturing God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit and each of the original apostles.

Regarding our religious paintings, my friend Walter Trohan, the noted journalist who was approaching his one hundredth birthday, told me, “We can never have an accurate picture of Jesus because you can’t paint spirit any more than you can paint wind. Instead, I think of Jesus as being the eyes through with I see him in others. In that way, I see clearly Jesus in a beggar, in a retarded child, a pompous rich fool, a wife mourning the death of her husband, a laughing teenager—and even in you.”

I gave this some thought. Then I said, “Walter, I’ll buy that.”

 

Other recommended Catholic blogs

–         The Black Biretta

–         The Hermeneutic of Continuity

–         What Does the Prayer Really Say?

Recommended readings

–    “Underpopulation—the Real Problem” in November The Catholic World Report

–     “Restoring the fullness of fatherhood” in November Homiletic &

   Pastoral Review

–   “Jesus & The Neo-Deists” in November-December Touchstone.

–   “Restoring the Words” in the November issue of First Things.

–         “Poorly Worded” in the December issue of USCatholic. Org.

  

Roster of Joyful Catholic Priests

The media loves to publicize bad priests, and we should give recognition to our Joyful Catholic Priests. Send me your recommendation for ones you think merit membership in this splendid group. (aljagoe@comcast.net)

 

Fr. Robert Aufieri (New York, NY)
Fr. John M. Bauer (Minneapolis, MN)
Fr. Edward Gorman, O.P. (Providence, RI)
Fr. Andrew Gries (Washington, DC)
Msgr. Edward Filardi (Bethesda, MD)
Fr. Raymond Kemp (Washington, DC)
Bishop Joseph N. Latino (Jackson, MS) NEW!
Archbishop Jerome Listecki (Milwaukee, MN)
Bishop Dennis Madden (Baltimore, MD)
Fr. Joseph Marini (San Mateo, CA)
Msgr. Joseph Mayo (Salt Lake City, UT)
Fr. John Mericantante (Pahokee, FL)
Msgr. Thomas Modugno (New York,NY)
Fr. Kevin Nelson, Lantana, FL
Fr. John O’Donoghue (San Antonio,TX)
Fr. Antony Pulikal (Lntana, FL)
Fr. James R. Purfield (Denver,CO)
Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi (Mobile, AL)
Msg. Paul L. Rohling (Birmingham, AL
Fr. David Ross (Lima. OH)
Fr. Matthew Ruhl, S.J. (KansasCity, KS)
Fr. Michael Scanlon (Steubenville, OH)
Fr. Walter J. Szezesny (Buffalo, NY) NEW!
Fr. Richard Trout (Sanford, FL)
Fr. Hayden Vaverek (New York, NY)
Fr. Malcolm Sylvester Willoughby, O.P. (Washington, DC)
Canon Stuart Wilson (London, UK)

Advertisements

News Flashes

–         In renovating Italy’s Reggio Emilia Cathedral, they discovered the bones   of Saints Daria and Chrysanthus, who were killed in the 3rd century for proselytizing. (Comment: Things ain’t changed)

–         More than 200 Catholic theologians have signed a statement calling on the United Statesto abolish capital punishment and asking the church to work unswervingly towards that goal.

–         In the Diocese of Plymouth, UK, father-of-four Christopher Jarvis had the job of monitoring church groups to ensure pedophiles didn’t gain access to the children in the church’s congregation. Then the police discovered over 4,000 child porn images on his home computer. He was immediately suspended, and the Bishop is working closely with the police investigation.

 

Today’s Martyrs

     (Every five minutes, a Christian is killed because of his or her faith)

Military forces in Myannar (Burma) broke into a Mass, shot at worshippers, beat one and detained five for forced labor. Then they burned the parish and a BaptistChurch.

                                 

Welcome!

I am pleased that the Seibo No Kishi Catholic Monthly in the Pilgrim Nagasaki Oura Church is now one of our readers. The role of this splendid publication is to spread the gospel of God throughout Japan.

My Favorite Priest, Layperson, Breathing Saint or Organization

Although he lived 407 years ago, Blessed Thomas Bosgrave deserves our admiration. On an early spring day in April, 1594, Queen Elizabeth’s officers of the Protestant regime arrested Father John Cornelius. As they were leading him away, the bystander Thomas Bosgrave stepped forward and put his own hat on the priest’s head, saying, “The honor I owe to your function will not allow me to see you go bareheaded.”

          This simple act cost him his life, being charged with the felony of having aided and assisted a Catholic priest. With Father Cornelius and two other Catholics, he was executed.

          Blessed Thomas, belatedly we salute you as being a gutsy and Joyful Catholic!

Now, tell me about your favorite Catholic priest, layperson or organization that is

making a difference aljagoe@comcast.net

 

Interesting Sayings

–         I don’t know why the Holy Father sent me here, But I do promise that no bishop will love the people and priests of this local church more than I will.”

   Archbishop Charles Chaput, when recently assigned toPhiladelphia 

–         In my many years I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm and three or more is a congress.

                John Adams  

–         Persons are not known by intellect alone, not by principles alone, but only by love. It is when we love the other, the enemy, that we obtain from God the key to an understanding of who he is and who we are. It is only this realization that can open to us the real nature of our duty, and of right action.

                      Dorothy Day

–         Some people like the Jews, and some do not. But no thoughtful man can deny the fact that they are, beyond any question, the more formidable and the most remarkable race which has appeared in the world.

            Winston Churchill    

–    Some cause happiness wherever they go; other, whenever they go.

Oscar Wilde

Communiqués

–         Only those with courage and conviction will remain Catholic.   Attractions are many and so many will love to yield to temporary pleasures and lead the life. When materialism takes hold, who will care for “Values”?

K C Thomas 

 –  Can you tell me where I can find Fr. David Ross? I would like very much  to get in touch with him! I knew him from St.   Joseph’s Catholic Church in   Fremont, Ohio. He did more for me than he will ever know when I was a  teenager. I am now 44 years old. I would like the chance to tell him!

                                                Laura R. Walby

     (reply: Laura, this special priest is now at St. Rose Catholic Church in  Lima, Ohio. His e-mail is dmross@wcoil.com and phone is  419-222-5512. I know he will be delighted to hear from you.)

–         When I read about your having quizzed why someone had left the  Church, I thought I would do the same with a couple, close friends, who  were no longer practicing Catholics. To my surprise, they were  pleased that I felt concern and invited me for coffee. After a lively and informative conversation, they asked if they could join me at Mass on  Sunday. I hope many of your readers will also get this message – “Let  your friends who have left the church know that you care.”

                                                James Killian 

Chuckle Time

      Father Marini waited in line to have his car filled with gas just before a long holiday weekend. At the gas station, there were many cars ahead of him. Finally, when motioning him toward a vacant pump, the attendant said, “I’m sorry, Father, about  the delay. It seems that too many of my customer waits until the last minute to get ready for a long trip.”

      Father Marini chuckled and said, “It’s the same in my business.”