Monday, May 31, 2010

Overheard in the Sacristy

I think, at a child's birth, if a mother could ask a fairy godmother to endow it with the most useful gift, that gift would be curiosity. Eleanor Roosevelt

On Marketwatch I saw a few lines about the ‘Vatican’s soccer playoffs’, the Clericus Cup, the ‘Vatican’s football championship, played in the shadow of St Peter’s’. This immediately brought a smile to my lips. I remembered that beautiful little film ‘The Cup’ about Buddhist soccer monks. I wondered what a game of soccer played by ordained priests looks like. Do the wingers feint left then go right or do they consider that sinful? When the centre forward is flattened in the penalty zone does he immediately jump up and assure the referee that he is alright, actually he tripped over his own foot?
My curiosity led me to Google the Clericus Cup and my eye caught a blog called Overheard in the Sacristy.  The header photo immediately puts you in the frame of mind you feel when you enter a cathedral. The blog author is Father Loren Gonzales, ‘a priest of the Diocese of Phoenix AZ currently shepherding a parish in Peoria’. Here I found posts, among others, on the Clericus Cup (of course), the scientifically proven anti-depressant qualities of Frankincense, and the official church burial of the recently discovered remains of 16th century astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus, nearly 500 years after he was laid to rest in an unmarked grave, his sensational findings condemned by the Roman Catholic Church of the time. I thank my mother and fairy godmother for the curiosity and we will surely be keeping our ears open in future for what is Overheard in the Sacristy.

Today father Gonzales quite rightly dedicates a post to Memorial Day, We remember. He offers a prayer for the fallen, which I take the liberty to reproduce here.

Dear God our Father,

Your word tells us, “Unless the LORD build the house, they labor in vain who build. Unless the LORD guard the city, in vain does the guard keep watch” (Psalm 127:1).

Thank You for those who have guarded not only our cities, but our country, allies, and many other communities from unjust and unprincipled aggressors. On this Memorial Day, with a solemn and sacred spirit, we pause to remember and honor the brave men and women in our Armed Forces who gave up their lives for their fellow Americans at home and abroad. Many were young and many were married, with their loved ones praying for them back home; but they were each fighting to protect the freedom we enjoy when they were called to make the ultimate sacrifice.

Dear God, please bless our heroes and heroines with Your mercy, grace, and peace. Bless also their families and friends. May Your perpetual light shine upon them; and may their souls and the souls of all our faithful departed rest in peace. In Jesus’ name.


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Discover The Tale of Genji, the 11th Century classic of Japan (click image)

Discover The Tale of Genji, the 11th Century classic of Japan (click image)
Kiyomizudera Temple has a large veranda looking out over Kyoto and beyond