Happy New Year to you & your loved ones
May your celebration of this New Year, and the Holy Feast Day of Mary, Mother of God, be a time of grace and joy!
For the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, I once again share my rendition of “Ave Maria” that I sang for the 2015 Entertaining Truth Christmas Radio Show on Sirius XM 129, the Catholic Channel. The Ave Maria is my prayer that each of you discover her motherly love and that we become more like her Child, Jesus our Lord!
Let us Pray:
God, thank you for a new year. May everyone in our family be willing to begin anew with a clean slate. We know that you are always ready to forgive us. Help us to be willing to forgive ourselves and to forgive one another.
As we begin a new year, remind us of our truest values and our deepest desires. Help us to live in the goodness that comes from doing what you want us to do. Help us to put aside anxiety about the future and the past, so that we might live in peace with you now, one day at a time.
Spaces are running out! Click the link to register for an incredible trip to Spain:
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.
Feast Day for Parents
May 1st is the Solemn Feast Day of St. Joseph the Worker. It’s a big feast day in Rome, similar to America’s Labor Day. The whole city shuts down and they feast all day long!
May is also a month dedicated to the Blessed Mother. Your church might have a May Crowning and maybe you’ll hear even more sermons about Mary, especially on the upcoming Mother’s Day weekend celebrated in America.
And while May is truly a month to celebrate the parents of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, I propose we use it as a time to celebrate our own parents as well.
Even though there is no official “Parent’s Day,” this month’s Feast Days give us time to reflect on what it means to be a good Mom and Dad, to improve parenting skills in general, and to make sure that we let our own parents know how much we appreciate them with a delicious meal. And I have two books to help with that!
For those new to our movement, my first book, Grace Before Meals: Recipes and Inspiration for Family Meals and Family Life, has a chapter with bite-sized theological essays about Moms and Dads. It also includes recipes you can make to say a special “thank you” to your own parents. There are even questions to facilitate a conversation about the important role of parenting. Not to mention my famous winning recipe from the Food Network Show, Throw Down! with Bobby Flay.
My second book, Spicing Up Married Life, compliments the important role of parents in the family. I believe the family’s love for each other begins with the strength of the parent’s love for each other. With that, I encourage “month-aversaries,” a monthly dinner date instead of the traditional once a year celebration. Perhaps children can make a special meal for their parents based on the recipes of this book and encourage their parents to take some time to read the essays and ask each other the questions in the book. I’ve had many couples write to me and tell me how this book has really helped strengthen their relationship as spouses and also as parents. Please feel free and share your own comments about this book here.
May also happens to be a popular month couples to also get married. These books are no doubt a great gift for the newlyweds!
Use this month well! The Feast Days of this month coupled with the resources from our movement, bring powerful reminders to honor moms and dads, like Mary and Joseph. They deserve the recognition from children and society. Parents who work hard to provide the “daily bread” for their family deserve a special meal to celebrate their necessary role in building up God’s family! Let’s start a movement to celebrate “Parent’s Day!”
Let us pray:
In honor of the Feast of St. Joseph and in the month dedicated to Mary, we pray for our parents. May God raise up and inspire moms and dads to seek only the best of things for their children, feeding them only the best food for body, mind and soul. Bless and protect the sacrament of marriage Lord, and help loving moms and dads to be the effective sign of charity, commitment and holiness in the world. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Your responses help encourage our work and our movement. Please let us know your questions, thoughts and comments below.
Trabuco Canyon, CA
- 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