Competitive Family Members
I’m writing this E-mail Blast immediately after the Super Bowl and the Raven’s victory.
While John’s team won, the Harbaugh Family is the true winner. The intense pressures of raising a family are magnified by competition. To have two sons compete for the title of Super Bowl World Championship and stay brotherly is a miraculous accomplishment of great parenting and a strong family.
In the culinary world, I remember a similar competition between the two Voltaggio Brothers for the title of Top Chef. I was fortunately invited to the screening party for the final episode. And while Bryan Voltaggio didn’t win, I sensed in him a feeling of victory as his brother Michael claimed the prize.
The Voltaggio mother was credited by both sons as the reason for their skill and drive. They saw in her a good example and both wanted to do her proud – no doubt this is the same motivation for the two Harbaugh brothers. Their accomplishments are a testament to the drive, discipline, determination, and the equal love Mr. and Mrs. Harbaugh have for both of their sons.
While raising a family is difficult, relationships can get more complicated if and when a child feels like they are not loved “as much” as a sibling. Sibling rivalry is bound to happen at some level of family life. Consider Jacob and Esau’s sense of competition, or the rivalry amongst the disciples, as seen in Mathew 18:1 when they asked who would be the “greatest” in Heaven. But a rivalry doesn’t have to ruin a family.
There may be days when one sibling acts more lovable than the other, but parents have a great responsibility to raise each child with the same amount of love – even if it requires that one child occasionally gets a little more attention (or discipline) than the other.
Competition in the case of the Harbaugh’s or Voltaggio’s is taken to a whole new level. But the classiness of the people who raised them can become a great example for all parents and all children – especially if the siblings can get through the competition without destroying their family love for one another.
Even though I joke around that my parents love me best (I’m the priest for goodness sake haha), I know my parents love all their children equally. Similar to how God treats His children, parents have to see each child as an individual, recognizing different temperaments while making sure there are concrete signs of equal love to each child in the family.
Here are some tips to help parents that may have to deal with competitive kids:
Raising a family is hard. It gets even more complicated when the children become competitive. Disordered competitiveness breeds jealousy, unhealthy rivalry, and can tear the family apart. Parents will sometimes need some life coaching to help them get through unique difficult situations, but it is important to remember that children are not only competing with one another, but they’re also competing for the greatest victory of all: your love for them.
For all of you who have received Spicing Up Married Life and want to share it with others, please leave a review on Amazon for others to share in. Your review may help provide insight to those seeking ways to strengthen their relationships in or out of the kitchen. We would love to know what you think of it as well, so please post today!
FYI: On my weekly radio show, ”Entertaining Truth” each Thursday at 1:00pm EST on the Catholic Channel, Sirius XM 129, me and my co-host Tom Leopold will develop this discussion even more. We will also try to give people a perspective on how to approach their post Super Bowl Blues or Rejoicing!
Finally, Valentine’s Day is only one week away. Order your copy of Spicing Up Married Life as a perfect gift for you and your spouse. Enter the promo code VDAY13 for your purchase and receive a special 10% discount. Order by February 11, 2013 and receive it in time for Valentine’s Day.
AND TO ENTER A CONTEST FOR A SPECIAL VALENTINE’S DAY GIFT SET:
When you make a purchase with that code and respond to the questions below, your order automatically enters you into a drawing for a special gift from me, including a signed copy of Spicing Up Married Life, a bottle of wine, paired with one of my recipes from the book, ingredients provided. So leave your comments HERE!
Let us pray:
Father, may competition bring out the best in us. May we learn how to deal well in our relationships so that, imitating Your equal love for all, we may help Your children to be raised with a great sense of love, kindness for each other, and true family support. May families be victorious in that they remain close to each other in good times and in bad, and even in the wins and losses. God bless the Harbaugh family! Through Christ our Lord. Amen!
SUBSCRIBE, LIKE, COMMENT & SHARE!
Any submissions may be used in future Grace Before Meals publications.
The Website is Almost Here!
It’s the moment everyone’s been waiting for! The NEW website launches tomorrow, November 1! Aside from just “looking prettier,” this website is reorganized and will feature the latest news, more ways to share in upcoming events, more of Fr. Leo’s exclusive recipes, the newest videos, and even ways to stay in touch with Fr. Leo and the GBM family.
With an updated interface, it’s much easier to find what you’re looking for: from web episodes to recipes, it’s all here!
With the new interface, people who sign up and register will be signed up for the weekly eBlast and get access to all of Fr. Leo’s recipes all at once. And we want to encourage each of you to share in the movement by sending in stories and photos from GBM events and with your family so that others may be encouraged by the good that be done through one another.
You may start seeing Fr. Leo on TV and in articles more often soon in light of the release of Spicing Up Married Life, as we seek to partner with groups to share the book with couples. He will be featured on The 700 Club on November 30, sharing a number of recipes straight out of the book. If you have a local bookstore that you want to offer Fr. Leo’s new book, or if you’re interested in hosting Fr. Leo at your event or show, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This fall, Fr. Leo has been hosting a radio show with Tom Leopold on the Catholic Channel called “Entertaining Truth with Tom Leopold and Fr. Leo Patalinghug” (appropriately enough). Tom Leopold is a Jewish convert to Catholicism and a comedy writer who has worked on shows such as Seinfeld, Cheers!, and even Will and Grace, but you can read about his conversion here. The next show is airing at 11am on Saturday, November 3, so tune in!
Aside from being on the 700 Club and hosting a radio show, Fr. Leo was also recently in Rome filming new episodes of Savoring Our Faith! It will be a lot of fun and worth catching on EWTN.
With so much going on and a new chapter for Grace Before Meals getting ready to begin, we ask you to keep us in your prayers, and we also extend special prayers to all of the families devastated and affected by the recent Superstorm Sandy. May God bless each of them, especially in light of All Saints Day and All Souls Day.
With the Christmas Holiday season coming up, we hope you consider sharing Fr. Leo’s newest book Spicing Up Married Life with friends and family of all ages. Head over to the new GBM Shopping Cart and place your order, and if you want Fr. Leo to SIGN & DEDICATE your books or apparel, then email us at email@example.com and we will be happy to get them to you as soon as possible.
**For those who wish to have dedications, please allow an additional week for delivery to account for Fr. Leo’s availability. He’s all over the place!
|Let us pray:
How shining and splendid are your gifts, O Lord
which you give us for our eternal well-being
Your glory shines radiantly in your saints, O God
In the honour and noble victory of the martyrs.
The white-robed company follow you,
bright with their abundant faith;
They scorned the wicked words of those with this world’s power.
For you they sustained fierce beatings, chains, and torments,
they were drained by cruel punishments.
They bore their holy witness to you
who were grounded deep within their hearts;
they were sustained by patience and constancy.
Endowed with your everlasting grace,
may we rejoice forever
with the martyrs in our bright fatherland.
O Christ, in your goodness,
grant to us the gracious heavenly realms of eternal life.
- Unknown author, 10th century
FRIDAY & SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 2ND & 3RD
26950 Patrick Ave. Hayward, CA 94544
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 10TH
Our Lady of Good Counsel, 8601 Wolftrap Road, Vienna, VA 22182
CONTACT: Anna Mary 703-896-7425 firstname.lastname@example.org
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 11TH
St. Ignatius of Loyola Catholic Community, 4103 Prices Distillery Rd. Ijamsville, MD 21754
CONTACT: Carol Smith 301-695-8845 email@example.com
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 17TH
Atlantic General Hospital Community Health Fair
Millsboro Middle School, Indian River School District 302 East State St., Millsboro, DE 19966
CONTACT: Dawn 410-641-9268 firstname.lastname@example.org
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 18TH
Outside Da Box
St. John Neumann 2900 E Main St. St Charles, IL 60174
CONTACT: Eric 630-242-4898 email@example.com
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 19TH
Catholic Charities “Come and See” Fundraiser
CONTACT: Mark 717-657-4804 firstname.lastname@example.org
Never Lose Hope
This is a very busy week, preparing for the launch of the new book Spicing Up Married Life, as well as preparing for a celebration for my parents’ 50th Wedding Anniversary. And, in my family, if it’s worth doing, then we will do it BIG!
Mom and Dad-young love at heart!
But there’s always time to answer some of the questions that come our way. The questions this week are important ones because they speak to the heart of Faith and food matters. Can we replace things in our faith, as we can substitute ingredients in a recipe? Although there are ways to do this with food, it doesn’t translate well in our faith.
For example, vibrant songs and really good preaching cannot replace the Sacrament of Eucharist but must be seen as an extension to it. This lesson is important for all faithful foodies to learn, and these questions help spell out an approach to making sure the recipes for our faith and family meals are closely understood and celebrated!
One of my mega-bite burgers-a perfect food example that has easily substituted ingredients, but at the end of the day, it’s still a burger.
Dear Father Leo:
My adult daughter recently told me that she had tried to attend different Catholic churches but that the sermons never were inspiring or uplifting. She found the Mass boring. She therefore tried a very large Christian church in her neighborhood. She found it to be exactly what she was searching for. The sermons were very inspirational and brought the message of Christ into the reality of her daily life. She then was connected to a group that met each week for Bible study. She has never shown so much enthusiasm in discussing the Bible. And she tells me that she never misses the Sunday service!
Young men on a discernment vocation camp, praying before the Eucharist-an irreplaceable part of the Catholic Faith.
Although I tried to teach her about our faith as a child, sent her to Catholic High School, and took her to Sunday Mass each week, she also told me that she never really believed in the Eucharist. It breaks my heart to think of this. Please give me any and all advice you can.
A Heart Broken Mom
Dear Heart Broken Mom:
First, never lose hope. This situation is unfortunately very typical, simply because some people feel they aren’t being “fed” at Mass. The Mass, for those who understand it, offers the Word of God and the Eucharist. While that should be enough, it is understandable (on a human level) that people crave a vibrant community, faith education-especially about the Scriptures- and want to feel inspired and experience joy. Let’s admit it: some churches need to work on these things, and I’m very sad that your local parishes didn’t provide this for your daughter. So don’t feel like it’s your fault, as your daughter’s decision is just a natural reaction to something missing in her life. Families need to bring these needs to the parish priests, church staff, and lay ministers. At the same time, families need to proactively seek out organizations and events outside of Mass that will give children a fuller picture of Faith-outside of the one-hour Mass obligation.
Huge Crowds of the young faithful who participated in one of the Steubenville summer retreats this past summer. Parents are encouraged to get their kids involved in these or similar programs to enhance their experience of church outside of Sunday Mass. Check out my homily at one of these masses.
While it is important for you to be grateful for the fact that your daughter continues to go to a Christian Church, you also need to learn more apologetics and lovingly (and patiently) share this information with your daughter. The Eucharist is a profound Faith reality that your daughter will eventually have to confront-after all, unless we eat his flesh and drink his blood, we will have no life in us.
I recommend that you do a little more learning and teaching about these essential aspects of Faith, called apologetics, a lot less worrying, and engage in more loving conversations with your daughter about Faith. And the best way to have this discussion is a delicious dinner. While you cannot (yet) agree on the Everlasting Food of Heaven, you can at least try to reach your daughter’s heart and mind by going through her stomach.
At a high school youth rally in Corpus Christi, Texas.
Dear Fr. Leo:
I was looking at your Easter pasta and asparagus recipes, and I am wondering what ingredient I can substitute for the wine in any recipe. There are Catholics who can no longer consume alcohol, and I am dating one of them! And by the way, I love your cooking show!
A presentation at Black Ankle Winery in Maryland-top-notch wine!
I’m glad you like the show. Coming soon:-all-new episodes, including some filming that I’ll be doing in Rome! Now on Wednesdays at 6:00PM EDT on EWTN.
Filming for the show.
As for using a white wine substitute, I recommend a combination of a ¼ cup of chicken broth, 2 Tbsp of white wine vinegar, 2 Tbsp lemon juice, 2 Tbsp of water, and ¼ cup of ginger ale or non-alcoholic beer. While it will never have the deep flavor that comes from wine, it will have some mellowness and tartness to give a richer flavor to sauces and reductions. Bon appétit!
Wine-tasting on one of our faithful foodie excursions!
|Let us pray: Father in Heaven, I pray for all those who send emails and questions to me, those who are part of our movement, and in a special way, those who are separated from the Faith. May our work in the new evangelization be a source of community, inspiration, and vibrancy for all those who hunger for God. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.|
Your questions, comments and responses are very encouraging. They tell us that our message is making an impact. Please leave your comments below.
Event: Spicing Up Married Life Pre-Release Event at St. John’s Regional School in Frederick, MD
Tonight, Fr. Leo gave families from St. John’s Regional school a special treat by cooking one of his new dishes from his latest book, Spicing Up Married Life, called Bacon and Butternut Squash Creamy Brandy Penne Pasta, and giving out the first copies of the book to the general public in anticipation for Saturday’s release date.
Event: Fr. Leo to Appear on FOX 45 on Friday, September 21!
Fr. Leo will also be seen on Baltimore FOX 45 Morning News this Friday, appearing at 9:45am to talk about the book and his mission to save marriages and families with faith-filled lessons and delectable meals for two. He will also be appearing on a radio show on Q1370 with Maynard Edwards and Shari Elliker later that afternoon.
Event: 40 Days for Life Kickoff Rally
Date: Saturday, September 22, 2012.
Fr. Leo will be among the speakers kicking off the 40 Days for Life rally event this Saturday as hundreds of people will gather to support those who need it most: the unborn. Fr. Leo will be speaking at 11am and will have his new book available to commemorate the release, while encouraging couples to place their love for one another in God. So come kickoff 40 Days for Life this Saturday.
Location: Calvary Chapel, 8064 New Cut Road, Severn (Baltimore/Annapolis)
Event: The 50th Anniversary of Carlos and Fe Patalinghug (Fr. Leo’s Parents)
Date: Saturday, September 22, 2012
Of course, Fr. Leo and his family have a most special celebration to commemorate Saturday as his parents will celebrate 50 years of marriage. It is through their example in faith and love that inspires Fr. Leo everyday to share the “recipe” for a strong marriage: faithfulness, sacrifice, selflessness and of course, good food. We congratulate them on their milestone and pray for many more years together.
Fr. Leo is going back to Great Falls, MT to speak at the Montana Catholic Conference September 28-29.
Click here to find out more: http://gracebeforemeals.com/montana-catholic-conference
All the while, Holy Family Catholic Church in Davidsonville, MD is offering their second church wide “date night” and will have Spicing Up Married Life books available for any couple who would like to take advantage of free babysitting and a romantic evening with your spouse, whether dating, engaged or married. Check out the Catholic Review Article at http://www.catholicreview.org/article/home/parish-national-efforts-fortify-marriages-through-date-nights
SUBSCRIBE, LIKE, COMMENT & SHARE!
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!
A Special September to Remember
This week, I wanted to call to mind today’s Feast of The Beheading of John the Baptist by remembering the anguish I felt when leaving my family to go to the seminary out in Rome over 18 years ago. As you will read, it was one of the worst days of my life, but it has led me to so much more than I could ever have imagined as a priest, with the opportunity to meet and help families, couples and individuals from around the world. I thank God for his mercy on me and the lessons I’ve been able to learn and share.
Which brings us to exciting news about Spicing Up Married Life, my newest book for couples, whether dating, newly-wed or celebrating their golden anniversary. For those of you who have not heard (I know, I know. I’ve been talking about this for a few years now), we have submitted the final layout to the printer and we are gearing up for a September 22 release, my parents’ 50th Wedding Anniversary!
(Spicing Up Married Life: Releasing on www.Gracebeforemeals.com on September 22, 2012.)
To promote its release, some may have heard me mention on a radio interview that we would like to offer a 10% discount to all those who register on our site for the newsletter and blasts.We are very excited to share this message and delicious recipes for all couples, whether young or old, especially in today’s world in which the sacrament of marriage is under attack. So stay tuned to upcoming blasts that will offer more news on the book’s release and a new look for September! May God bless our endeavors.
Losing your head or your soul?
Originally Published August 29, 2007
It was a terrible day, perhaps one of the most difficult days I had as a young man. The date was August 29, 1994. I felt as if my comfort zone was stretched to the limit. Thoughts of loneliness and sadness filled my head with swimming confusion. I had to put a smile on my face, but inside I was hurting pretty bad. What was this terrible day? It was the day I left my home for the seminary in Rome and would not be allowed to return for 2 years.
A little dramatic? You betcha. It was hardly a prison sentence, but Filipinos tend to be a bit dramatic – especially when it comes to saying goodbye. But that’s how I felt on the day I left my family, friends and all that was so comfortable to me. Although I could never deny the interior excitement I felt about living and studying in the Eternal City, the painful “weaning” process of leaving my loving and supportive family was no piece of cake. It kinda felt like my family – a unified body – was somehow being separated.
I remember that day and that particular feeling of separation because it was the Feast we celebrate every August 29, The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist!
Despite the daunting and unusual reason for celebrating, I was actually consoled by it. It providentially reminded me of the cost of being a follower of the Lord. Find me a saint who was not willing to make sacrifices and be a martyr for God, and I’ll show you a false prophet. John was true to his words to the point of being willing to die for his faith. Others would follow, in particular a group of Carmelite Nuns who also lost their heads – but not their souls!
As a young 24-year-old seminarian wanting to become a priest, I needed a heroic Feast day like John’s Beheading to remind me that I should be willing to make some sacrifices and endure some homesickness for the sake of the Kingdom.
I am sure by now you can tell that I’m slightly dramatic when it comes to some of my spiritual thoughts. I think most people are. If we want to grow in our faith, we need to see how God teaches us through small things, such as times when families have to say goodbye for a while, and experience the sadness of separation. I think of parents saying goodbye to children leaving for school, military families who experience deployment, and even here at the seminary – young men who decided to break up with girlfriends or leave the comforts of a high-paying jobs because they were called to discern the Lord’s will! It’s strangely beautiful to see this type of sacrifice. At the very least, it’s inspiring. That is why we celebrate August 29, no matter how difficult it may be.
Today’s Feast day reminds me that we’re called to be heroes! That happens in small ways, not just in big ways. When a parent does not give in to worry, but instead trusts that God will watch over her child leaving home for the first time; when children going off to college don’t sell their souls to a false sense of liberal education, which I sometimes call “libelous” education; when a teenager avoids the wrong pressures of peers, even if he gets cut off from the rest of the group; when a priest takes it on the chin for preaching a difficult truth from the pulpit! They’re all heroes – albeit less dramatically than St. John the Baptist – but we all have to start somewhere – like leaving home for the first time.
After dealing with the sadness of homesickness, I began to realize that God sometimes calls us through difficult experiences to get us to trust him more. I still admit that leaving my home for Rome was one of the worst days of my life. But ironically, a close second worst day came when I left the seminary to go back home. The seminary became my home, and my classmates became brothers. Again, it was very difficult to say goodbye to them. Although inside I was excited to return to the US to preach the Good News, I couldn’t help but call to mind my “first worst day,” and the Feast celebrated on August 29!
My “last supper” before I left my family was breakfast. My last supper in Rome was a pizza, in particular a zucchini pizza. I thought of an interesting recipe to combine the two. A zucchini pizza omelet! This gives me a tasty combination of the 2 worst days of my life! Not such a bad life, huh? For the recipe [click here].
In the midst of struggles and challenges of this day, let’s remember the cost of discipleship. We all may not be heroes in dramatic ways, but following the way of Christ and trusting him in small ways is a good place to start. In moments of challenge, we turn to God and ask for His blessing to help us remember that life isn’t just “physical” existence, it’s also spiritual existence.
Let us pray:
God our Father, You called John the Baptist to be the herald of Your Son’s birth and death. As He gave His life in witness to truth and justice, so may we strive to profess our faith in Your Gospel. Grant this through Christ our Lord! Amen.
CONNECT WITH US @
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.
Old Dog, New Tricks
Now I am not truly an “old dog”, though I feel like it sometimes when traveling non-stop or when doing a flying jump kick over some volunteers to break some boards (see picture below). But as the fall approaches, our Grace Before Meals team is preparing to launch some new “tricks” as discussed in last week’s blast, including the long-awaited release of my new book Spicing Up Married Life, coming out September 18.
And if I have to take the designation of being an “old dog performing new tricks,” as humbling as it may seem, I am glad to, as I know I am in good company- specifically, St. Dominic (whose feast day is August 8) and my former spiritual director, Fr. Frank McGauley.
I look back fondly on the many lessons I learned from this amazing priest, who passed away on July 15, 2008. He was 86 years old at the time, and yet, as you will read below, he was always learning something new about his faith and love for God, as well as God’s love for us. And much like St. Dominic, his faithfulness was inspiring and helped me to grow deeper in my own. So please enjoy this stroll down memory lane to remember this great priest and friend from whom I learned so much. And with St. Dominic’s intercession, we ask for God’s blessing on all priests and religious, families and communities, and all those, including Grace Before Meals, who seek to glorify God with their lives and devotion. May we please him by our faithfulness and true love.
St. Dominic – Old Dog, New Tricks
Originally Published August 8, 2007
My spiritual director is an 85-year-old Jesuit Priest who served in the missionaries of India for more than 30 years. He learned their languages and culture in order to serve the poor and local tribes as their pastor, spiritual leader, and friend. He’s worked with Blessed Mother Theresa of Calcutta and a host of other holy men and women who brought the Good News of Jesus to that part of the world!
His credentials were enough reason for me to “select” him as my spiritual director. But there are so many other reasons, such as his sincere joy, his holy fear of the Lord, his sensitivity and awareness to the battles against evil, and also his down to earth spirituality. Above all, he is humble!
I could jokingly say, he’s everything I’m NOT – but then, I wouldn’t be joking!
Every meeting, without fail, I receive so much spiritual food from his wisdom and counsel. But one thing I constantly marvel at is how this “old man” approaches suffering, trials and challenges – especially the challenge of growing older. He sees challenges as lessons in life, and he tells us that nothing goes to waste! He lives with knowledge and hope that even our problems can be useful in God’s hands.
In my last Spiritual Direction Meeting (I usually go once a month), I heard he had a nasty fall down a flight of stairs. He let go of the safety rail with his one hand because he was afraid of tipping over the plate of food he had in his other hand. Of course my ears perked up, simply because he mentioned food! (I secretly wondered if the meal was worth the fall!) But thank God his athletic skills from his younger days kicked in, so that he fell in such a way to avoid even worse physical damage. Though it could have been worse, it was bad enough to bloody him up and require medical attention. He thanks his angels for helping him out, especially at his tender age!
Yet in all of this, this man of God was able to learn a life lesson, which he conveyed to me. He mentioned that the plate of food could be a symbol of the many responsibilities, privileges, and issues that we carry. These things are precious to us and we are afraid to tip them over. BUT for him, the handrail was a symbol of GOD. No matter how tempted we may be to try and take control (i.e. use both hands) and manage our own affairs, we cannot let go of God. Look at what might happen if we do!
Here is a man who could call himself “a ragged old dog.” Yet he is so willing to learn new tricks! I used this phrase “old dog” because of the Feast we celebrate every August 8th – the Feast of St. Dominic, founder of the Dominicans. His name and the name of the congregations he founded literally means “Dogs of the Lord” – domini (Lord) canes (Dogs). An image of St. Dominic normally shows him in the beautiful white Dominican Robes pointing up, holding a book, and next to him a dog holding a torch in its mouth.
Even though my spiritual director is a Jesuit, I see in him a true “Dominican” – as he is ever faithful to the Lord, like the old dog “Fido” (which is a form of the word “Fides” – “Faith”). Sorry cat lovers, but that’s why they call Fido “man’s best friend,” because the dogs are ever faithful!
This old faithful – my spiritual director – reminds me that life should be a spiritual journey and that we can find spiritual lessons in every encounter – even if its challenging and full of suffering. After all, Jesus didn’t die on the cross to be jewelry, but to be a visible lesson and reminder of love, forgiveness, and the reality of human suffering, especially in our elderly population – who is so often forgotten. My spiritual director, and all of the elderly patients I minister to remind me of the importance to grow old gracefully and to realize that getting older presents its own challenges. We who are younger can learn tremendous lessons from them, even if the only lesson we repeat is patience, patience, patience!
I’ll close with this story I keep close to my heart whenever I consider working with the elderly. A young priest noticed the old Monsignor sleeping in his pew during prayer. One day the younger priest expressed his displeasure to the old man and questioned how he could sleep during his prayer. The old Monsignor explained that he tries to stay attentive to the Lord in prayer, but sometimes his age gets the best of him. “In those moments,” the old man explained, “I sometimes hear God say, ‘You’re not as young as you were, but your faithfulness is like a dog who sometimes serves his master best by simply resting at his master’s feet!”
With the prayers of St. Dominic, I want to ask God to bless my spiritual director with a long and faithful life – I obviously need that “old dog” around to teach me new lessons!
Orzo Ginger Chicken
The FDA has some ideas for healthy eating for our elderly community. Sometimes we have to wonder, how did people in generations past live such long lives without the FDA? I think they used common sense by eating appropriately, healthy, and festively – and they started young. So start now! But if you do have someone a bit older in your family life, you may want to make them a healthful and soul satisfying meal. Here’s an idea for a very simple and tasty dish that’s not only easy to prepare, it’s also really easy to eat! For the recipe [click here].
My spiritual director has taught me great ways of praying! He reminds me to make sure that “nothing goes to waste.” Therefore, if ever I have certain challenges, I try to reflect on them and ask, “What did I learn from this?” This examination of conscience not only reminds us that our challenges are not useless, but could also be helpful! My spiritual director’s fall taught him and me to always manage the “food on my plate” by not overdoing it, and to always, no matter what, hold on to the railing!
Let Us Pray: Lord, when life gets a bit more complicated, help me to take a moment to gain true balance, so that I can better walk with You and with Your people. Help me to be strong, but at the same time humble enough to keep me dependent on Your loving guidance. Help me to walk, hand in hand, with You! Amen.
CONNECT WITH US @
SUBSCRIBE, LIKE, COMMENT & SHARE!
Posted in Blast from the Past, Chicken, Food for the Body, Food for the Soul, Food for Thought, In Memory, Menu Inspiration, Past Emails, Prayers, Recipe, Recipe-Meats, Recipe-Pasta, Recipes, Spicing Up Married Life | 1 Comment »
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! We will also take this opportunity to review some of our upcoming events and opportunities to join the movement!
New look for “Grace Before Meals” Website!
God has blessed us with much growth and direction in recent years, so be with us as we seek to grow our movement further and reach more families with great recipes, events and inspirations. Come July, you will notice a new look for gracebeforemeals.com which we think you will like. So stay tuned and get ready for this exciting new direction.
Tell us what you think about “Savoring Our Faith”!
The first season of our TV Show is almost over and we want to know what you thought about it. Your reviews and feedback will not only be appreciated, but taken very seriously as we consider ways to improve the show for next season.
So tell us your ideas for making our show even more entertaining and engaging. Do you think we should have more guests? Is there a recipe you would love for Fr. Leo to make? Let us know by leaving a comment and be sure to reach out to EWTN at email@example.com and let them know that you want to bring Fr. Leo back in “Savoring Our Faith”.
New Foundation and New Book On The Way!
We are working hard to build a new foundation (literally) which will help us to make a bigger difference in this world by giving back to the community and showing them the importance of the family meal. It will be Grace Before Meals…but on a grander scale! So please keep us in your prayers as we seek to do more good in this world for those who hunger for it most.
And of course, our new book, Spicing Up Married Life is shaping up nicely and has some delicious recipes and fantastic lessons for any couple to learn, as we aim for a September release (we mean it this time!). Take a look at one of the recipe previews here:
Fr. Leo will be the featured speaker at a number of upcoming events, including:
Blast From The Past: Swan Song
Originally sent May 6, 2009
Check out these beautiful pastries, and especially the little swan-shaped pastry made by Luke Suarez, a seminarian from the Diocese of Bridgeport.
These were part of the dessert selections offered after the seminary’s closing banquet, which we celebrated last Friday. This final celebration, known as “Deacon Night,” is an opportunity for the Deacons to offer their “swan song.”
(On the last day of class, instead of wearing the normal uniform of the black shirt and Roman collar, these guys wore the Pre-Theology uniform of a white shirt and black tie.)
And what a swan song it was!
The appetizers made by the current third-year class, the dinner, the desserts, as well as the toasts and speeches were all just beautiful. I only wish all of the GBM subscribers could experience the joy and enthusiasm of these men called to serve as priests. But at the same time, there is also a sober reality of sadness to say goodbye. The reality is we unfortunately won’t see many of those men again. Even though there is always hope that that our ministries will cross paths, our busy lives will make it very difficult to spend time together. How they say goodbye is obviously an important part of this closing banquet.
Perhaps one of the things I’ve learned after 10 years of priesthood (which I know isn’t that long compared to many of my dedicated brother priests) is that our whole lives should be a preparation for that “swan song” we will all have to sing one day. In other words, how do we say good-bye? Whether it be to an institution like the seminary or the last memorable words of someone dying, like Jesus’ last seven words, depends on how we lived our lives! Swan songs are more important than we think! In fact, our lives could be so much better if we prayerfully considered our temporary existence. We would be encouraged to make each day count – to make sure we live our lives enjoying God’s blessings, while seeing the trials not as devastations but as lessons and challenges (in some cases, serious challenges and very difficult lessons).
(Some of the members of the first-year Pre-Theology Class – wearing the proper uniform.)
I realize talking about saying good-bye may sound out of place, especially since we’re in the middle of the spring season when we’re supposed to say hello to new life. But for the men here at Mount St. Mary’s, while they say hello to summer, they must say good-bye to their friends – men with whom they have studied, grown, and prayed with for four, sometimes six years (depending on their course of study). How do we say good-bye to these people?
Because it’s hard to say good-bye so definitively, we say things like, “Let’s keep in touch”, or “We should plan on getting together,” or simply “See you later.” That should be true for all swan songs! There is an innate desire for good friendships and relationships to never end. And, so in faith, we can legitimately ask, “Why should these good relationships end?”
(These are some of the seminarians who will leave Mount St. Mary’s and attend the North American College in Rome – my alma mater.)
Throughout this Deacon Night Banquet, a “last supper” of sorts for these departing seminarians, we heard many toasts and best wishes. And because these men are seminarians (and they believe it), they also concluded with promises to pray for each other. Assurance of prayer is the most honest way of saying “we’ll keep in touch!” Praying for each other must be part of the swan song, because only in prayer can we have any hope that we will ever really see each other again . . . in heaven.
Grace Before Meals tries to encourage people to say a few little prayers together as a family before you eat. That prayer brings us into a holy communion with God and each other. And since God is eternal, so our relationships are called to be! Granted, while these men will hardly spend as much quality time together as they did in their years of formation here at the seminary, these men are called to spend quality time united together in prayer, no matter where they are called to serve.
In prayer they can sense a unique “closeness” to their friends, family, and even deceased loved ones. That’s what prayer does! In other words, while everyone will sing a swan song, God has the last word. And God’s last word is always an invitation to eternal life! God’s word is never a definitive good-bye. It is always, “Until we meet again in heaven,” God willing.
Please pray for these men. Pray that their friendships formed here will continue to be a source of strength and encouragement for them in this difficult, but beautiful vocation. Pray that they will never cease to pray. Pray that their swan song will always end with, “In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen!”
Swan-Shaped Pastry Puff!
I was so impressed with the seminarians who hosted the appetizers and post-banquet desserts.
(Luke from Bridgeport and Jason from Arlington.)
I was especially impressed with their ideas to make simple desserts into tasty treats with a beautiful presentation. So instead of a new recipe this week, I’d like to share their idea on how to make cream puffs into a beautiful swan design.
It’s easy to say we will try and connect with good friends and family. I’ll admit, I’m not the best at calling my own family, and with my busy schedule it makes it difficult to drive the distance to visit them as often as I would like. It takes great discipline and dedication to make sure we do stay in touch, as a way to encourage us along our pilgrimage way. Even though I may not call home as much, I do pray for my family often. As such, we do stay together, as the rhyme about praying together has proven. As these men leave the seminary, please join me in praying that these friends, now brothers in Christ, will continue to encourage each other. Although this past weekend they sang their swan song for the seminary, we really know that in prayer, faith, hope, and love, we’ll stay close to each other.
Let us pray: Jesus Our Savior, help us to rely on Your goodness and strength to help our relationships grow stronger in the bond of love. Keep our family and friends ever close to Your care. Bless these men, leaving the seminary, who will become priests in Your church, so that they will lead Your people as loving spiritual fathers. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
SUBSCRIBE, LIKE, COMMENT & SHARE!
- All Souls Day
- Blast from the Past
- Culinary Confessions
- Dinner Discussion
- 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
- What's On the Table