Credo in Unum Deum

31 07 2007

I came across this video on you tube and it’s probably my favorite chant.  Not that I listen to that many but of the ones I have heard I really like it. Here in Japan I can hear from time to time a Buddhist monk or monks chanting on a tv show (in particular if it is a funeral scene) or very rarely if they happen to be doing so while Im sightseeing at a temple.  The Buddhist chanting is ok but it doesn’t grab me the way Gregorian chant does and in particular Credo in Unum Deum.  Listening to it is my spa treatment for the soul since I dont go to real spas.

For the history of the chant and the words see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Credo

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Fr Donald Calloway

30 07 2007

I saw him on EWTN and he has one incredible story.  Go to their audio library and search for his name and listen to the Journey Home, or go to this site http://ccgd-media.org/video.aspx and there is a video of his story plus some stuff on Medjugorje and a homly he gave there.

It is incredible to listen to this man, now a priest wearing a collar, tell the story of his absolutely wild teenage years.  I think he has most people beat in terms of wildness too.  He did every kind of drugfrequently, drank alcohol every day,  slept with tons of girls,  dropped out of highschool, he got a Grateful Dead tattoo, he got thrown in jail, thrown in rehab, thrown out of Japan.  He knew nothing about God Jesus or Mary nor did he care to learn.  So how did someone who was the polar opposite of priest material and more likely to end up dead in the gutter end up in a collar?  Listen to his story!

  





The Japanese Obsession with Food

24 07 2007

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There are a ton of cooking and/or eating shows on tv here.  That is not ultimately what this post is about though so bear with me for a minute.  Flip through the twelve basic channels everyone gets and at any given time on any given day one will see a show involving food.  Oversized food like restaurants serving  giant ice cream, or curry, expensive food like a $50 burger that contains kobe beef and foi gras, $100 ramen, cheap food, specialty food, new restaurants, food quiz shows, and on and on it goes.  Many towns and prefectures have a local food speciality  so any domestic travel show includes an eating segment.  Not to mention going to an onsen is a common domestic travel destination as well as tv show subject and what does one do at an onsen?  Soak in the mineral baths for one but also EAT.  This is all on regular channels too not the food network.

On these shows the tv celebrities tend to react  with dramatic oohs and aaahs upon seeing the food, then upon tasting there are the cries of joy and excitement over how delicious something was.  If something is expensive, fancy, rare, or known to be delicious the dramatic reaction increases.  Of course this is all on tv so at home people arent that exaggerated but food is still a common topic.

I see these shows and I think wow that is quite a fuss they are making over  that food I wonder what they would think of a little round white wafer.  That little round white wafer so small and simple not really any smell or flavor to it at all but the best thing I have ever eaten.  It is priceless.  It is Jesus, it is God and on those shows they can never come close to eating anything that compares.

I sometimes imagine what one of those food shows would look like it they focused on the Eucharist the same way they do a steak.  For a steak they may show the farmer who raised the cow, what he feeds the cows, how he brushes them and cares for them, then how the chef lovingly prepares the steak cutting it just so and seasoning it just right, finally presenting it on a beautiful dish.   If they did that with the Eucharist showing the Passion, showing Christ’s ultimate sacrifice and all that ends up as a small white round wafer that is the body blood soul and divinity of God!  I think a lot more Catholics would appreciate what they are eating and maybe more Japanese would nsider Catholicism.  I mean if they can be enthusiastic over a fine slice of tuna surely they can even better appreciate a slice of God.





The Bells of Nagasaki

23 07 2007

I came across the book The Bells of Nagasaki by Takashi Nagai in a book store here several years ago and have read the book two or three times since. I was utterly amazed that such a book exists and such a man as Mr. Nagai, a Catholic convert doctor, had lived in and survived the atomic bombing of Nagasaki.

Here is the description from the back cover :
“Among the wounded on the day they dropped the bomb on Nagasaki was a young doctor who though sick himself, cared for the sick and dying. Written when he too lay dying of leukemia The Bells of Nagasaki is the extraordinary account of his experience. It is a deeply moving and human story.”


The book is available on Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/Bells-Nagasaki-Japans-Modern-Writers/dp/4770018452

An article on the author at wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nagai_Takashi





Jesus in New York

18 07 2007

This is a great video I found on you tube.





Chaplet of Divine Mercy

13 07 2007

I just started saying it several days ago after listening to ex London gangster John Pridmore on EWTN. His ex gang boss ended up even saying it on his death bed. It takes me about five to ten minutes to say. It is nice and short and easy to fit into a busy day when you don’t have time to do a whole rosary. That has actually been my problem with the rosary since it takes around twenty minutes to say plus more concentration and meditation on the various mysteries, so sometimes it can be more of a chore to do. Chaplet of divine mercy on the other hand you can just think about divine mercy for five to ten minutes, so for my life right now the chaplet will be my devotion of choice. Sorry rosary 🙂

One site about how to say it and the promises to St Faustina is here
http://www.ewtn.com/Devotionals/mercy/dmmap.htm





Tradition

11 07 2007

The recent documents issued by the Vatican: one the motu proprio allowing a wider use of the Latin mass to priests who wish to do so, and two the “Responses to some Questions Regarding Certain Aspects of the Doctrine on the Church” which reaffirms the truth, oneness, fullness of Catholic Church both have to do with tradition. A lot of a lot of news headlines put a negative slant on the documents, as if tradition and reiterating the same thing for 2000 years is bad, with examples from Google news such as “Vatican hits ‘wounded’ Christian churches.” – ABC News.au Pope: Other Christians not true churchesBoston Globe and Latin mass a looming headache for Catholic parishesReuters India,

People come to Japan looking for the so called “real Japan” expecting tradition and history. They really want to see and experience traditional things no matter how fleeting a glance they get or unaware how recent the so called tradition is. This is not my problem since tourists from anywhere to anywhere tend to have the same idea since it is part of what draws people to a place. My problem is if the Catholic church mentions tradition it is seen by some as a bad thing. I wonder how many of these people who see Catholic tradition as something bad also see Japanese religious traditions as something bad too? From my experience this is not the case. I have encountered other foreigners here who have an anti-Catholic anti-Christian bias, however, this dislike of religion does not extend to religions found here namely Buddhism and Shinto. They would likely never say (at least I never heard them say) a statue is too old fashioned and needs a more modern style, or likewise for a Buddhist temple or Shinto shrine building. I have also never heard anyone question the morals or philosophies of the two religions, or at least not say anything bad about them the same way they do about Christianity. In fact there are seemingly a large number of foreigners who marry Japanese and want a traditional Shinto ceremony.

I could go on but I won’t for now my point is there is a double standard and I don’t like it.