Marian Apparition in Akita

31 01 2008

If you have never heard of this before here is a video in English about Sr Sasagawa and what she saw.  The video quality is not that great though but an interesting video none the less.


Japanese Christian art – Yoshihei Miya

30 01 2008

Flight into Egypt

Look Good on the Inside too

29 01 2008

A wonderful but often ignored sacrament in the Catholic church is  the sacrament of penance, or as many commonly call it “confession.”

I didn’t go to church or confession for several years yet sinned all the while.  I knew what I was doing was wrong but I was afraid to admit I had done things wrong.  Afraid of the changes I would have to make in my live to stop sinning and so on.  Eventually I went to confession though and it was amazing.  I was cleansed and free and the priest wasn’t shocked with my run of the mill sins.  He didn’t scold me for not going to church.  Instead he said ” I absolve you from your sins…” and with that my life has been so much better.  I had to make changes but I had the strength and grace to change.  After such a dry spell in my church going and spiritual life it was like water on a dry field to me.  Since that one important confession, a couple of years ago, I have had other confessions  but the one that really set me on the right path was most remarkable.

When I see the world around me and think how much confession has done for me I am so grateful for that sacrament and sad that other people don’t know about it or don’t use it yet they search for a cleansing in their soul.  Hear about how many people go for counselling these days, how many people are on drugs for some kind of mental illness, how many people are depressed.  I wonder how many of them wouldn’t need those things if they went to confession, and church every Sunday?

There is no religious practice in Japan that comes close to confession that I am aware of.  There are religious practices that seek to purify people though but standing under a freezing cold waterfall for example doesn’t really resemble confession to me.  Flipping through the tv channels I have come across a program that is nature scenes with music and on the screen it says “Healing Time” now if only healing was as easy as watching a tv show!  Hear about how many suicides there are in Japan in one year, over 30 000.  I wonder how many of these people killed themselves in part due to guilt, guilt that could have been absolved in confession.

I look around me and see men wearing Armani suits and women carrying designer handbags such as Vuitton and I think yes they look nice on the outside but how does their soul look?  If they heard about confession how many would be grateful have it?  If you are Catholic use that sacrament and look good on the inside too!

Japanese Christian Art – Luke Hasegawa

24 01 2008

A Japanese looking Mary

Japanese Christian Art – Sadao Watanabe

22 01 2008

Sadao Watanabe

About the artist and his style

Into Great Silence

21 01 2008

I watched this movie recently on DVD and I’m not sure I was ready for it.  I had read it was slow, and of course very quiet but when I sat there and tried to watch it for two and a half hours I just couldn’t do it.  I would get up and do something else for a moment and toward the end I was fast-forwarding it.  I did learn one thing though and that was I’m the kind of person that would rather pray then watch someone pray, go for a walk, shovel snow, chop wood, or get their hair cut than watch someone else do that.  I read that the man who made the film had to wait sixteen years to gain permission and I have my own guess as to why.  The monks probably thought he was odd, wondering why would anyone want to watch their humble, simple lives.  There is nothing wrong with their lives but on camera to a third party viewer can it really be that interesting?

If anyone is interested in the movie I would encourage them to at least try watching it, and if you fast-forward don’t worry you weren’t the only one.

More Church Interiors

16 01 2008

I think I was a little hard on Japanese churches yesterday, why, well I came across this page

The page is in Japanese or gibberish if you don’t have J fonts installed but the photos speak for themselves. The seventh photo from the top with the all tatami floor I would love to go to someday. I’m not sure where it is exactly but somewhere in Kyoto I think. Further down observant readers will notice a photo from Kobe Central Church with the flying not crucified Jesus on the wall. Just below that is another church with a tatami floor I would love to go to but again I don’t know where it is as of now.