8/23/14 – 8/26/14
Safe Travels & Feast Day Foods
|As Fr. Leo continues his retreats and travels, our team at GBM wanted to share a prayer for travelers as the summer vacations roll on and the school year approaches. With special intentions, we pray for those who are away from loved ones that they may return safely.
Dear God, we ask you for your blessings and protection on all those who are traveling, whether for business, for vacation, or for other personal reasons. We trust in your will, and hope that our loved ones may return to us safely and in good spirits. For those who have lost loved ones, we pray for their consolation and that they may find their hope and joy in you. Finally, may they be fed in body, mind and spirit on their journeys, so that they may be nourished and able to do good in this world. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Interestingly enough, there is a book on EWTN’s website called “Feast Day Cookbook” by Katherine Burton and Helmut Ripperger, published in 1951. Today is the Feast of the Transfiguration, and the recipes they share for today’s feast include Pilaff and a Spiced Grape Jelly. Be sure to check out the link for more recipes and neat information on Feast Days and meals, as feasting is an important part of the Catholic faith, the Grace Before Meals movement and cookbook.
[Excerpt from Feast Day Cookbook]
August 6: Feast of the Transfiguration
The origin of this Christian festival has been attributed to Saint Gregory the Illuminator who flourished in Lower Armenia during the fourth century. He is said to have substituted it for a pagan feast of Aphrodite called “Vartavarh” (the flaming of the rose) and the old name was retained, in that region at least, to designate the Transfiguration, because “Christ opened his glory like a rose on Mount Thabor.”
In Armenian villages the day is still celebrated with unusual ceremonies in the course of which peasants lead to the church a sheep with decorated horns, on each tip of which is placed a lighted candle. Flowers, fruit, and sheaves are also brought and laid before the altar.
Following this ceremony a fair usually takes place; there are races and games, and a crown of roses is the customary prize. During the feasting that follows is likely to appear.
Soak the cracked wheat (cracked barley may be substituted) overnight. Drain the wheat, mix with the meat, and salt to taste. Place in a large kettle, add about half the stock (water and bouillon cubes may be used, allowing one cube for each cup of water), and heat slowly. Cook for about an hour, stirring almost constantly and adding stock as necessary. Serve in hot, deep plates, pour melted butter over each serving, and dust with pepper and cinnamon to taste.
The Feast of the Transfiguration was slower to be observed in the Western Church and is not mentioned until the ninth century. It was made universal by Rome on the day when Hunyady gained his victory over the Turks on August 6, 1456. It is now the titular feast of the Church of St. John Lateran, and on this day the Pope presses a bunch of ripe grapes into the chalice at Mass or uses new wine.
Also in Rome raisins are blessed on the Feast of the Transfiguration, and the Greek and Russian Churches too conduct a special ceremony for blessing grapes and other fruits. Since the grape is given so much prominence on this feast, we may give the following recipe:
Spiced Grape Jelly
Wash, remove from stems, and drain the grapes. Put half of them in a preserving kettle, add the vinegar, cinnamon, and cloves and then the rest of the grapes. Cook gently for about fifteen minutes or until soft. Strain through a jelly bag without pressing so that the juice remains clear. Take 1 cup of sugar for each cup of juice, boil to the proper consistency for jelly, pour into hot glasses and cover with 1/2 inch of paraffin.
A Sneak Peek at the 2015 Italy Pilgrimage
Quotes from each of the saints to be featured on the trip:
“In order to be Christian, our lives must be a continual renunciation and sacrifice. However, we know that the difficulties of this world are nothing compared to the eternal happiness that awaits us, where there will be no limit to our joy, no end to our happiness, and we shall enjoy unimaginable peace. And so, young people, learn from our Lord Jesus Christ the meaning of sacrifice.”
Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati
“[In a moment of delirium, as he was dying] Pray! Pray, but with faith – with living faith! Courage! Onward, ever onward!”
St. John Bosco
“Pray, hope, and don’t worry. Worry is useless. God is merciful and will hear your prayer.”
Now that I’m back from Italy following a great Couples Retreat that I co-led with Teresa Tomeo and her husband Dcn. Dom Pastore, plus a reunion with my priest friends from seminary, it is nice to look back at my travels. Many people think I am very lucky to travel as much as I do, but I sometimes, I am reluctant to agree. Let’s just say that driving non-stop, flight delays, and little sleep don’t always make me a happy traveler.
Yet as easy as it is for me to get frustrated when I’m stuck in a terminal for hours on end or when I travel between 5 events in 4 states in 7 days, I must say that I am thankful for the great opportunity to be spreading the Good News and sharing our family movement with people around the country and world. Knowing it is a unique part of my priesthood, even the most grueling of travel schedules offers the hope of knowing that I have the chance to meet many wonderful people and to feed them with food for the body & the soul. Plus, I hope that my toughest times in airports can serve as penance and reduce my time in Purgatory (I kid).
Knowing that travel is necessary for me and many others to carry out God’s will, I want to invite you and your friends to join me for some of my adventures. I know it is not always easy or even affordable, but I would very much encourage you to look into these trips and other ones that are coming soon, as they not only serve as great adventures that will provide memories for a lifetime, but faith-filled journeys that I think will impact you even after this lifetime.
Napa Valley Pilgrimage 2014
I highly recommend this trip to Napa Valley, CA this November 9-14, 2014, as it is right here in the USA, practically your backyard. As you can see in the trailer above, there are so many beautiful vineyards, wineries, locales and even castles to see, but what is more striking is the history and the amazing ties between the Catholic faith and wine. You can download the PDF form and fill it out by going to http://gracebeforemeals.com/assets/uploads/old_blog/Napa_Valley_Fruit_of_the_Vine.pdf. Cheers!
|Click the picture to download the registration form, and I’ll hope to see you in the Holy Land in 2015!|
I will be returning to the Holy Land in conjunction with Select International and Chefs for Peace again this February 1-12, 2015, following a tremendous trip this past January.
|Take a look at some of the wonderful tastes and travels in store for you in the Holy Land.|
As mentioned, there are many pains when it comes to traveling, but it is when you take a look around and see the glory of God’s creation that you can at least appreciate how amazing He really is, and just how much He loves us to provide us with such beauty. I pray that you can join me and others on these wonderful faith-filled and inspiring journeys, for that is what they are meant to do: inspire your faith. What better way than to enjoy God’s splendor with others in faith, food, and across the world.
Let us Pray for those going on vacation:
Father in Heaven, guide all travelers in their destinations. Give them patience, joy, perseverance and love as they travel in these coming summer months. Provide them safety and peace, now and until they reach their final destination in heaven, through your mercy and goodness, in the name of Jesus The Lord.
Ellicott City, MD
Spring Lake, NJ
Ordinary Acts with Great Love
Finally! And just in time, I was able to finish a little video I made in memory of my trip to Kolkata (formerly, Calcutta), where the Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, the saintly foundress of the Missionaries of Charity, began her work serving the poorest of the poor.
I say just in time because May is dedicated to the Blessed Mother, and the gift of motherhood for all God’s children. That means we honor both our biological mothers and our spiritual mothers. (Hopefully, they are one in the same!)
This little video uses a modern Christian singer and songwriter, Toby Mac. He sings of Christianity as a form of extraordinary love. It reminded me of a quote from Mother Teresa – one of my favorite quotes. She says, “Do small acts with great love!”
I hope this little video I made on my iPad (i.e., not perfect quality), shows that God can do great things even with simple ingredients, like wheat, water, oil, and wine. These are the things that make up our Sacramental life in Church! You can learn more about this “theology of food” from my newest book, ‘Epic Food Fight: A Bitesized History of Salvation.” To learn more about the book, check out a Seminarian’s review.
Hopefully seeing this video will inspire you to do your daily chores, tasks and responsibilities with Christ’s extraordinary love!
Let us Pray:
Father in Heaven, You have called us to greatness. But that doesn’t mean simply being in positions of power or riches. You call us to do great things with our lives by simply being as faithful as possible in the smaller things in life. Help us to have the courage to see everything in our day as opportunities to know, love and serve You. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
- What’s the most extraordinary act of love you committed or received?
- What’s the most “meaningless” thing you do all day, and how can you make it more meaningful with Christ?
- Will you help us spread this video message by sending it to family, friends, and your parishioners?
Your responses and posts to these questions, along with any other comments, are very helpful in keeping our movement strong. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and questions.
- All Souls Day
- Blast from the Past
- CRS Rice Bowl
- Culinary Confessions
- Dinner Discussion
- Entertaining Truth
- Epic Food Fight
- Faithful Foodie
- Feast Days
- Food for the Body
- Food for the Soul
- Food for Thought
- From the Feedbag
- Grace Before Meals
- In Memory
- Menu Inspiration
- Merry Christmas
- New Year
- Past Emails
- Recipe- Dessert
- Recipe- Pork
- Recipe-Side Dishes
- Restauraunt Reviews
- Savoring Our Faith
- Simply Blogging
- Special Religious Theme
- Spicing Up Married Life
- Taste Tester
- The Table Foundation
- What's On the Table