Cookies fit for a Pope
This week, I wanted to share a recipe and an article sent to me by some GBM fans (or as I refer to them, ‘fams’ since it just seems fitting that you are part of the family). I always appreciate hearing from each of you, as the movement is truly for all to partake in. So if you have a delicious family recipe you want published, advice for family life, a great experience at a restaurant or an adventure you want to share, send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The recipe I’d like to share is from Gloria Piantek, who had these cookies madde and presented to now Saint Pope John Paul II. Click on the following link for the recipe or watch the video she made by clicking the image below.
I also wanted to share an excerpt from an article written back in 2002 by Sean Wright called “Intimate Dining with Family – And Jesus”. It was published by the Archdiocesan paper The Tidings in Los Angeles. He shares about his ‘Roman feasts’ with his son DeForeest and just how beneficial that time was for them, both in learning and in appreciating time with one another.
Intimate Dining with Your Family – and with Jesus
By Sean M. Wright
…My former wife, Kelly, had come up with having Roman feasts when DeForeest was yet a toddler. He was so taken with ancient Rome after watching episodes of I, Claudius, that Kelly made this kind of meal as a fun and educational follow-up. It worked. DeForeest was reading the histories of Tacitus and Suetonius by the age of eight. Our son now knows more about the first five Roman emperors than most Americans know about the first five US presidents.
DeForeest placed four pillows on either side of the bed, with the board in between, to suggest a triclinium, the couch on which Romans reclined for their meals. Leaning on our left arms facing each other, we said grace, talked about his schoolwork, my writing, the latest news, and – well – the stuff that gives a shared meal a happy intimacy.
Reclining at table is civilized, inducing diners to savor, not gobble, their food. Reclining at table is a touchstone with our forebears, it being the usual way in which Romans, Jews, Greeks, North Africans and just about everybody of consequence ate meals 2000 years ago. Reclining at table is relaxing. Servants stood to eat at a high-standing table in the pantry so as to be ready at their masters’ beck and call. Reclining at table is therefore a distinguishing mark of freedom. For this reason alone people all along the Mediterranean borrowed the custom from the otherwise detested Roman conquerors.
DaVinci’s famed fresco to the contrary, Jesus and his apostles celebrated their last Passover Seder while reclining, so close that St John describes himself as leaning against Jesus. There, Jesus explained Scripture to His apostles, sang and prayed with them. It was in this manner that Jesus first gave Himself to His friends [the editor added the word “before” here] imparting Himself in bread and wine become His true body and blood.
For their followers in the Faith, the apostles continued the intimacy they had known at table with Jesus through their proclamation of whatever Scriptures they had at hand. They eventually offered a prayer of thanksgiving in remembrance of what had occurred at that last supper with Jesus. In the breaking of the bread and in the sharing of the cup, the same Lamb of God came into their midst – body, blood, soul and divinity…
We thank Gloria and Sean for sharing with us food and faith, and we hope to hear from more of you as we try and bring more families back to the dinner table. God bless!
FOOD FOR THOUGHT:
- Do you have any recipes that you make for large gatherings or occasions?
- What is dinner time like for you and your family?
- Have you ever seen the Pope in person? When and where?
Please post your comments HERE, as these help our movement learn and grow.
Thanks to all for the many messages of encouragement regarding the BIG NEWS about my discernment transition as a priest into the Community of Consecrated Life, Voluntas Dei, a Secular Institute of Pontifical Rite. In response to some of the Facebook and Twitter comments, I just wanted to use these early days of the beginning of the year to respond to some of your questions.
Question # 1: Am I still going to be a priest?
Of course I will be a priest, but serving in a different capacity as a priest with consecrated vows! Please know my discernment has led me to an even deeper love for the priesthood, the Catholic Church, and the opportunities of the New Evangelization, as demonstrated by Popes of the recent past and, of course, our current Pope Francis. In fact, Pope Francis has demonstrated great encouragement for such new movements of evangelization.
Question # 2: What’s the difference between a Diocesan Priest, a Religious Community Priest, and a priest of a secular institute?
This is a much bigger question to try and answer in an E-mail Blast. But here are some links to learn about the Diocesan priesthood, also known as “secular priests,” who primarily serve the local bishop, doing parish work or whatever needs ascribed to him by the bishop. A Diocesan priest generally lives at a parish house and cares for the local community to which he is assigned. A Diocesan priest makes promises, not vows, of obedience and celibate chastity – but does not promise to live in “poverty.”
On the other end of the spectrum, a religious priest who belongs to a religious community (such as Dominicans, Franciscans, Jesuits, or many other groups) follows a particular charism of the founder (such as teaching, working with the poor, youth ministry, a life dedicated to contemplative prayer, or some specific apostolic work). A religious priest lives in a community, generally wears a religious habit, and makes solemn vows of chastity, obedience and poverty.
As a priest living in a consecrated life, and in my particular case of a secular institute of pontifical rite, means that I will vow chaste celibacy, obedience to the superior of the community, and obedience to the local bishop, but also obedience to the Pope – and above all, to be obedient to the will of God through a deep process of discernment. I will also vow “poverty,” which means that I’m responsible for my own finances (not relying on a paycheck from the Diocese) and that I must make an active donation to the poor and to support the Voluntas Dei community.
As a secular institute, our job is to permeate the secular world with a message of God’s love and to be “leaven” in society. I am not required to wear a religious habit, but generally follow the local custom – and in my case – continue to wear the black clerical shirt during ministry. I will participate in a community, meeting once per month locally and two to three times each year on a national community level. And, of course, I’ll be connected to a local church community, as assigned by the Archbishop of Baltimore, to be a sacramental and pastoral minister for churches in the Baltimore area that need priestly assistance. Finally, in my case of Voluntas Dei, we accept members who are priests, celibate laymen, and even consecrated married couples. So this will truly be a unique group that reaches out to a universal level of participation and membership.
Question # 3: What are some of the new things that Grace Before Meals will be doing this year?
This is a great question, to which I’ll only reveal a little information at a time. The first NEW thing is the NEW BOOK that’s coming out February 11, 2014, by Servant Books. It’s called, Epic Food Fight: A Bite Sized History of Salvation. In this new book I present a “Theology of Food,” highlighting how food is used in Scripture, Tradition, Magisterial Documents, and of course, how we can practically understand God and the Eucharist better if we have a more developed theology of food. The publishers and the people who have reviewed this book are very excited for another outreach approach to further the theological content of our Grace Before Meals apostolate.
Another NEW opportunity will be a not-for-profit organization called “The Table Foundation: Seeking to Elevate Culture and Family Life One Meal at a Time.” With this organization, we hope to work with different groups to provide unique food opportunities with spiritual inspiration – whether it be working with a local soup kitchen, providing classes for culinary students, giving workshops for at risk families, or even serving alongside different support groups in response to emergencies. We are even considering an ongoing food service, like a restaurant group or food trucks! So these are definitely exciting opportunities for investors and other groups to get involved and to spread the Grace Before Meals message!
As you can see, the application process is a great opportunity to see how God may be using our movement in the New Year. We know there are never any guarantees, but with hard work and relying on God’s Grace, we believe our efforts will bear much fruit and feed a hungry world.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
- What new plans do you have for yourself or for your family this year?
- If you could get involved more with our Grace Before Meals movement, what would you suggest you could offer?
- Is there anything you would like for our Grace Before Meals movement to consider offering in the upcoming year? In other words, what do you think we should be doing to expand our mission?
Your comments and questions will help keep our focus and energies on bringing more people to the Table! Post your comments HERE.
Let us pray:
Father, You call us to a new life in Christ. May we never be afraid of Your call, but be strengthened by Grace, meeting each new day with joyful hope and expectation, trying to follow Your will, and being consoled and protected by Your love. Help us grow our Grace Before Meals movement, inviting all to Your banquet of love. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
|Click for the Recipe!|
Hallowed Eve and Holy Days
|Good versus Evil at the Taste of Chicago 2012|
Occasionally our team likes to send updates and reminders about upcoming events, opportunities, and news about the movement. And there are so much exciting things happening!
In this E-mail Blast, we also want to wish that families have safe and enjoyable kid’s fun with dressing up for Halloween this year. This day can be one that celebrates sweet candy fun. Dressing up in different costumes can be a positive thing. It doesn’t have to be scary or evil looking either. Haunted houses can be fun to scare the “hell” out of your kids. But parents can be there to help them understand evil is real, not to be “played” with, and that in moments of fear, we must seek heavenly consolation to “scare” the heaven back into them.
|Holy Water and Faith in the Sacramentals is sure protection against evil.|
Be sure you have a healthy and balanced conversation about the traditions, pastimes, and prayers that also accompany this religious holiday. At the end of the Blast, you can even say the prayer before you go trick-or-treating.
We continue to spread the Grace Before Meals message through our website, social media, and of course the conferences to which we are invited. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to know where we’ll be next. And encourage your family, friends, and fellow parishioners to sign up for the free weekly E-Mail Blasts. (I mean, if you are reading this, you obviously enjoy them, so why not let your friends enjoy them too!)
|Twitter friends in Sioux City, Iowa, helped me find a great fried chicken place, and they were fun company for dinner as well!|
Be sure to check our website for the next time Fr. Leo may be in your area – giving a talk, leading prayers, or even cooking for a group. Consider talking with your pastor about bringing Fr. Leo to do a mission or a mini-mission for your parish! To learn more, click here.
|Speaking to Catholic University of America students.|
In November, Fr. Leo will record the audio version of our newest book, coming in 2014: Epic Food Fight: A Bite Sized History of Salvation, published by Servant Press. Stay tuned to our Blast to find out how you can get an early pre-release copy!
|One of the many book signing opportunities we offer at every Grace Before Meals event.|
Finally, remember, in this upcoming month, there are some important Holy Days and celebrations. All Saints on November 1. the Feast of All Souls on November 2, and of course how can you forget St. Leo the Great on November 10?
And it’s not too soon to plan for your Thanksgiving dinner. There are even great modified Thanksgiving recipes in a particular book I’ve become quite fond of, Grace Before Meals! In fact, you can order yours today!
Let us pray: Dear Father, You give us civil celebrations, like Halloween, to have some fun, dress up, and be like a kid in a candy shop. May we approach the upcoming festivities with the proper attitude – recognizing the balance of the important religious significance, while maintaining a respect for the fun we all used to have as kids on this day of dressing up. As children travel from house to house, may they always be protected from evil. May our fun be truly innocent, sincere, and heartfelt, so that we can have more treats from the Loving Father, rather than experience the trickery of the Evil One. Finally, as we remember the souls of the faithful departed, may they experience God’s Mercy, Rest, and Eternal Peace. Amen.
|Feast of All Souls prayers at the cemetery.|
Food for Thought:
- What is your favorite Halloween costume?
- How do you tell your children about the spiritual significance of these upcoming celebrations?
- Are there any particular names you’d like for us to remember in prayer in these Holy Days of remembering our faithful departed?
Your comments and questions assist us in our mission. Please post your comments below.
This Week’s Recipe is Perfect for Halloween!
On occasion, our Grace Before Meals movement will send out some “Blasts from the Past,” not only because the messages are still relevant today, but it also helps us remember how far we’ve come! Post something by clicking here.
The Blood & The Rose Finally Complete!
It’s the end of July, which means it is nearing the end of summer and the end of these Blasts From The Past. But I wanted to commemorate and congratulate my good friend and producer of Grace Before Meals, Tim Watkins, who has just completed work on his film about Juan Diego and Our Lady of Guadalupe, “The Blood & The Rose”! It has been 6 years in development, but it has all come together beautifully. The film is narrated by Eduardo Verastegui, who starred in “Bella” and more recently, “For Greater Glory” and was produced by Steve McEveety, who produced “The Passion Of The Christ”. You can check out an older trailer below by clicking the picture. And keep up with the film by checking it out on Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr!
Watch the trailer for “The Blood & The Rose”, finally complete!
Interested in Screening the Film?
Now that the movie is finished, the next step is to set up screenings in cities across the US. The hope is to have large events to screen the film, have speakers present on Mary and our role as “Messenger Eagles” to share our faith, and the chance to celebrate the Holy Mass. If this is something you would be interested in getting involved with, please email email@example.com to find out how to bring this important film to your city.
Since it has been 6 years, I thought it would be good to look back at when the film was first being developed back in 2007. The following eBlast was originally sent out on the Feast Day for Our Lady of Guadalupe, December 12, so you will notice references to Advent and Christmas. Additionally, some of the original links do not exist anymore, but it does not change the importance of this miracle for the Catholic faith and the effect it has had on millions. And when you consider that Our Lady of Guadalupe is the Patroness of both the Americas and the Philippines, I am certainly glad to share her message for all to hear. God bless!
Our Lady of Guadalupe – December 12
Originally posted December 12, 2007
First, a bit of history: It was December 9, 1531, when a humble Mexican Indian convert Juan Diego first saw a mysterious vision of a woman. He was on his way to daily mass, passing a hill known as Tepeyac, in Mexico. The vision occurred again the next day. Each of the two days he was asked by the woman to relay a message, a request to build a church on that spot. Both times he was turned down by Bishop Zummeraga. As Juan Diego begged for the woman to make her request to a man of more importance, she insisted that Juan Diego go once more – this time, though, she gave him proof. She instructed him to pick the flowers on the hill and bring them to the Bishop. Juan Diego once again stood before the Bishop, and as he unfurled his cactus cloth tilma to expose the flowers an image was revealed. This was the sign to convince the Bishop and Juan Diego of the authenticity of this heavenly message…and the messenger. This image is determined to be the Virgin Mary, the mother of God. Prayerful devotion to the message of peace and holiness from this woman is known as “Our Lady of Guadalupe.” The shrine, now located on that very hill of the first apparition, is one of the most celebrated pilgrimages in North America, and devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe has brought about countless conversions to the Faith, miraculous healings, and a sense of a heavenly presence from a spiritual mother in Heaven.
Fast-forward to the Spring of 2006: the producer of Grace Before Meals, Tim Watkins – a faithful man and good friend, was invited to produce a documentary on this incredible story. Even though I studied Mariology, the study of Mary’s life and veneration to Her, I did not know much of the information Tim uncovered in his research. There is so much to this amazing phenomena, it will take a serious act of God’s Grace to produce this film. And their production team is working hard, even now, to be instruments of God’s Grace!
At one point in the production, Tim and the film crew were invited to the Shrine in Mexico to capture the various parts of the history and the life of faith on film, including an up close view of this sacred image. A small group was invited to go into the vault, where the image is mechanically drawn away from the Shrine’s apse, in order to view the image up close and in private. I was fortunate enough to be part of that small group! The sense of faith evoked from this image was difficult to describe. I can just say it was a beautiful moment.
Unfortunately, many could dismiss this icon as a piece of “mediocre” art, especially if they do not study its importance. Thank God enough attention was paid to this “stamped” image on poorly constructed fiber. The fact that the image and the cloth have endured almost 500 years has mystified the scientific community. This image is in much better shape than the Declaration of Independence! Consider the scientific studies that discovered images of historical people in the cornea of the image’s eye. Check out the NASA research of the constellation contained in the vesture of the image that documents the position of the stars on the exact day of the apparition. And read up on the accuracy of Mexico’s historical topography embedded in the designs of the image’s clothing, and you’ll realize there’s more to this image than meets the eye.
The image shows a woman with a belt situated under her bosom. This demonstrates the woman is pregnant – she is full of Life! Therefore, theologically, this image represents the sacred dignity of life, which we will celebrate in a special way on December 25. A four-leaf flower petal – the only four-leaf flower in the whole image – is situated perfectly on her belly, the spot of the unborn child. Cultural historians explain this flower image as a symbol of divinity and kingship. The stars that decorate this four-leaf flower make up the constellation “Leo”, as the lion is king of the jungle. Could it be the Divine Artist was describing for the natives how the child in her womb is the “King,” the Lion of Judah, Jesus Christ – Divinity Incarnate!
This miraculous image could not have come at a better time for the native people of that land. Historically, this image represents the turning of the tide from the brutal bloodshed of human sacrifices done to appease the false gods worshiped at the nearby temples. Now, this new King, quietly resting in the womb of the woman, will want bloody sacrifices no more. In fact, he will demand the exact opposite: Let Life Live! The virginal image of this tilma and the virginal image of this Holy Season of Advent remind us Mary chose life. No wonder this image has become the symbol for the Pro-Life movement.
Every December 12, the Catholic world, especially the Spanish-speaking community, celebrates this great feast in honor of this mysterious but hopeful image. Could it be just a silly pious tradition surrounding an historical image? Or could the celebration of this feast, less than 2 weeks from Christmas, be a heavenly reminder that Life is the greatest gift we can receive? This image and this universal celebration of the message of Our Lady of Guadalupe cannot come at a better time for our own people, right here and now! In our society, where people forget life is a gift and that a wrong choice can lead to an abortion and terminate the life of an unborn baby, this image reminds us we can fall into the temptation of being false gods too. When we consider the number of abortions in our modern culture, we can see how we are not unlike the bloody culture of the past, willing to perform “human sacrifices” for the sake of convenience and to protect our own comforts. One modern thinker has even gone so far as to say children are dangerous to the Earth’s resources. [Editors note: Dead link] Thank God for the enduring message from the silent witness of Juan Diego’s tilma!
In preparation for the Holy Season of Christmas, when the image of the Woman with Child brings joy, peace, and hope, can we remember to do all we can to help pregnant women in need? Should we not remind every man, starting from a young age, his responsibility to care for the mother of his child and to be a part of the birthing and raising of the child (as St. Joseph did)? By our prayerful witness, can we help raise appropriate awareness in our politicians – as public servants – of the issues that are primarily moral, especially in regards to the first principals of the dignity of human life from conception to natural death!
The image of Our Lady of Guadalupe is another perfect image and symbol of Advent, for she waits for her child to be born. And those who look at this image with devotion can also anticipate with joy the coming of her Son – who gives Life to the world!
A Mexican Sweet Treat: Bunuelos
I was looking for a recipe that would be proper to the Mexican culture, especially in light of Our Lady of Guadalupe. I asked Christopher Ortega, a seminarian for the diocese of Savannah, who has a Mexican heritage, what type of treat he would like to eat to celebrate Our Lady of Guadalupe. He mentioned his mother’s Bunuelos – a crispy tortilla with either a sugar cane glaze or powdered sugar. Thanks again to Chris and his mother for sharing their recipe! For the recipe, [click here].
A Prayer for Life!
This Blast is not intended to make people feel guilty, but to help people understand some choices can kill an innocent child. Mary in the Nativity scene and Mary in the Guadalupe image would never call that Life in her womb a simple cluster of cells. She would call that living entity her child! In today’s culture, where life is treated without dignity – as witnessed by the hostility a child faces in the womb, the rejection the poor experience, the neglect of the sick and elderly, and the early termination of life because it can pose challenges and inconveniences – we need to listen to the silent witness of Juan Diego’s tilma. Perhaps it may be a good meditation to put up this image in your home, near your Nativity Scene – so we not only celebrate the Life when born, but also when the Life is conceived!
Let us pray:
God our power and mercy, You blessed the Americas at Tepeyac with the presence of the Virgin Mary of Guadalupe. May her prayers help all men and women to accept each other as brothers and sisters. Through your justice present in our hearts may Your peace reign in the world. We ask this through Christ our Lord! Amen.
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An Advent Prayer and Christmas Blessing
by Fr. Leo Patalinghug, 2011
(From my family to yours.)
The Lord’s coming among us
Increases joy in the hearts of God’s family.
A chance to increase our trust –
An opportunity to share the life of the Trinity.
The Birth of this Holy Child
A gift beyond all telling –
In a stable, He lays meek and mild,
In our hearts, He seeks love and indwelling.
The songs of the angels sing,
“Hosanna and Gloria in the darkest of nights!”
For the light of God this Child shall bring,
Comfort, strength and divine insight.
He shall show the ways of God,
With loving encouragement along the way –
In faith and hope we step towards love
And seek the glory of endless days.
May hearts burn for love of Him,
As we celebrate this season of giving.
May His peace, your soul shall sense within,
Be the grace that fills your days with blessed and joyful living.
(Nativity Scene, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, New York, New York.)
Blessed Advent, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Trust in my prayers and best wishes for all of you! Please stay in touch and remember to share your blessings with those who hunger for food, family, friendship and above all, a living faith in God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
(Our Lady of the Nations.)
With Mary’s Prayers and Christ’s Blessings,
Fr. Leo E. Patalinghug
Tell us what you gave to Jesus for his birthday, and tell us what gift you asked for from the Father in Heaven this Christmas Season. And, how have the prayers of St. Nicholas blessed your family this Advent and Christmas Season? Posting your comments, questions and prayers is a great gift to our Grace Before Meals movement!
Have a Blessed Mary’s Christmas!
- 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