Tag: Fr. Joseph F. Previtali

We do indeed need to show joy as Catholics

We do indeed need to show joy as Catholics.   My motto — “Be happily and uncomplicatedly Catholic.”

Michael J. Sheehan Archbishop of Santa Fe


The Thoughts of a Caterpillar,

…while during the lava period inside its cocoon, are in three stages. The first is pre-cocoon:  “During my crawling days, I worked like a Trojan 24 hours a day, moving and eating to be in good shape for my transition day. Then, with guidance from Something Outside, from my own insides I spun enough fabric to attach to a branch and completely encircle myself into an airtight cocoon.”

          Next comes mid-term: “After this task was finished, I completely relaxed and let happen whatever was to be. I sensed a phenomena taking place within me. So be it.”

            Third is the Wow! stage. “Look at me now that I have broken out of the cocoon! Instead of a row of tractor-like legs, I have four graceful spindly ones. My body is trim with long antennas at my forehead. And attached to my back are now unfolding two large wings with a beautiful pattern of many colors. Soon, I will flap them and be airborne.

          “When I was crawling, I used to look up and see butterflies flying and I said, ‘They’ll never get me up in one of those things’ and now I am one!”

          In many ways, we Joyful Catholic can relate. Regarding the pre-cocoon time, Saint Albert the Great wrote over eight hundred years ago: So long as man lingers, trifling with the objects of the imagination and senses, he has not yet passed beyond the limits and instinct of his animal nature, which he possesses in common with the animals. They know and feel through images and their senses, nor can it be otherwise, for they have no higher powers. Not so it is with man, who by his intelligence, affections and will, is created in the image and likeness of God. Hence it is by these powers that he ought, without intermediary, purely and directly to commune with God, be united to him and cling to him 

          The mid-term period is like the passive moments following receiving Communion, and after prayer and mediation when we relax and let the Holy Trinity take over. With faith, we don’t question our inner transition taking place, and we agree with Saint Cyril of Alexandria who said in 430, “Those who have maintained an honorable and elect life, full of all excellence, and have been accounted worth of attaining to a glorious and marvelous resurrection, will be necessarily raised for above the life which men led in this world.” 

          Our Wow! stage is when we Joyful Catholics are alert and let the miracles, large and small, take place. Under the guidance and direction of the Holy Spirit, we accomplish and achieve what we could not have done on our own.  We flourish in a new life, filled with spiritual frisson. Now, let’s soar!

(How does this grab you? aljagoe@comcast.net) 


Recommended Readings

– “Mary’s Theocentrism” by Fr. Joseph F. Previtali, in the October issue of Homiletic & Pastoral Review.

–  “A Showdown For the Ages” in the November issue of New Oxford Review, this is a warning from Tom Brejcha,  “The longer Notre Dame presses (the prosecution of the 88 protesters of President Obama having been honored), the more estranged the university will become from the prolife movement.”

–   the article by Kevin O’Rourke, O.P., “From Intuition to   Moral Principle,” in the November 15 America.

–         “Are There No Principles Left?” in the November Catholic League Catalyst, by its president William A. Donohue.


The first to send the right answers to aljagoe@comcast.net will receive a gift copy of Light Reading for Good and Wayward Catholics.

1.     What was the maiden name of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton?

2.     Which of these four was not a missionary companion of Paul?

Silas, Barnabas, John, Mark, Matthew?

3.  Next to Warsaw, what city has the largest Polish population?