Happy New Year & Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God

31 12 2009

A very happy New Year to all!

On this feast of Mary I remember that this year I finally took an interest in and learned about Our Lady of Guadalupe.  I had previously ignored, for no good reason, that particular apparition but all that changed this year as I learned and was amazed by it.  What I really like is how they keep finding out new things as modern technology can be used to analyze the tilma.  Oh and how can I forget the next thing.  I learned that praying to the saints works.  They arent remote bystanders in heaven who might send flowers!  Sometimes they might pull you down unexpected paths.   Previously I had ignored St Teresa of Avila but this year I became a fan of hers along with St Ignatius of Loyola.

Non religious things I tried for the first time this year and found out I like include how to ride a motorbike, well my brother`s dirtbike, how to snorkel, and how to golf which it turns out Im pretty good at.    These are just a few of the things I learned and discovered in the past year so Im excited to see what 2010 holds in store.  I hope for everyone it is a wonderful and blessed year!

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Cardinal Shirayanagi passes away at age 81

31 12 2009

TOKYO, Dec. 30 (AP) – (Kyodo)—Cardinal Seiichi Shirayanagi, who was named cardinal in October 1994 by Pope John Paul II, died of heart failure Wednesday morning at a monastery in Tokyo’s Nerima Ward where he was recuperating, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Japan said. He was 81.

Shirayanagi, a Tokyo native, was ordained a priest in 1954 and appointed archbishop of Tokyo in 1970. He was the fourth Japanese who was made cardinal. With his death, there is no longer a Japanese cardinal.

source

May he rest in peace.

An interesting point from another article

With the death of Cardinal Shirayanagi, there are not 184 living members of the College of Cardinals, of whom 112 are under the age of 80 and thus eligible to vote in a papal conclave.

source





Merry Christmas!

24 12 2009

The Nativity by Caravaggio with St Francis present.

A very blessed and merry Christmas to everyone!   When I think back to last Christmas and all that has happened in the past year I am amazed  and wonder what the next year will hold.

More immediately I wonder what books my spiritual director is going to lend me because at our last meeting he said to come back in two weeks and he will lend me some books, so sometime next week I will go and see what he has picked out.  I love to read so it will be a kind of late Christmas present.  As for confirmation he meant more  in terms of lasting peace and joy and not necessarily signs and wonders, so I’m trying to get over the current feelings of fear and doubt to see where there might be peace and joy.  I really love St Ignatius` spiritual exercises for making things clear and pointing me in the right direction.  For those who are unfamiliar with them this article is very helpful and gives you a taste of what the exercises are like.   Even doing a bit of them is a great way to prepare one`s heart for Christ in this season and is a great gift to yourself and even more so to Christ.





Christmas Novena to the Infant Jesus

16 12 2009

This is from December 16 to the 24.  If you dont think of an intention I suggest that one day Christmas day be a national holiday in Japan.

O Christ, our Lord and King, come for the sake of your Church, your people that by her strength and unity of love she may proclaim to all the world the glory an djoy of your kingdom.  In bond of union draw mankind to yoru reign of gentleness, of mercy and of truth. Help each of us to build up your kingdom, to prepare our hearts in love as your Christmas light shines clear.  Sweet Infant Jesus bless us.  Amen.





Churches in Western Japan Targeted by Vandals

12 12 2009

Police in western Japan are investigating a series of vandalism acts against Protestant churches, with more than 50 places of worship damaged over the last year, the Asahi newspaper reported.

Windows were smashed and fire extinguishers thrown inside churches in the prefectures of Osaka, Hyogo, Kyoto and Shiga, the Asahi said, citing local police. Some of the fire extinguishers were stolen from nearby apartment buildings, the report said.

article here

Japanese article (with photo) here

I hope the person or persons responsible for this are caught and brought to justice ASAP.





Archdiocese of Osaka launches a Day for Life in defence of unborn children and against suicide.

12 12 2009

Kamagasaki (AsiaNews) – Life “is a treasure of holiness, which must be protected at all costs. Learning to recognize and respect the dignity of every human being, even those not yet born, is the key to improving society and the world in which we live”.  These are the words with which the auxiliary bishop of Osaka, Msgr. Goro Matsuura, opened the Day for Life organized by the archdiocese Centre for Social Action Sinapis.

article here

Wow way to go Osaka!  Just because I havent been aware of any such events in the past doesn’t mean that there havent been any but I hope they keep it up.

The Director of Sinapis, Fr. Kazunori Hayashi, explains: “The Day was also organized with excursions outside the centre, a first for our community. This is very important, because the need to face the world reverberates deeply in our heart, a kind of earthquake, which we need if we want to continue on our journey”.

Uummm …what?!

During his speech, Msgr. Matsuura explained the meaning of human dignity to the participants and emphasized the freedom of choice and the necessary respect for the will of others: “Respecting a child, treating it properly, means respecting its will. The people that we face have the right to have their own opinions and express them: and we are called to respect them, always. “

Instead of freedom of choice maybe they meant free will?  Respect for the will of others?  So if someone wants to commit suicide I should respect their will?  I’m having a really hard time following his logic today.  I think it was the whole earthquake heart reverberation part that threw me off.

To explain dignity within human relationships, the prelate added: “Falling from a tree and hurting oneself is a different thing from being hit with a branch by a person. Even if the wound is the same in the second case we are dealing with an attack on human dignity: this should not be tolerated if we are to improve humanity. “

But don’t we have to respect the will of the person who is using the tree branch to hit someone?  And what about the will of the tree, the branch, and even gravity?!  This guy needs better examples since I fail to see the connection between suicide, abortion, and whatever he`s talking about.

Yasuki Tanaka, a 26 year old Catholic from Semboku church said: “It was the first time someone explained the word dignity to me. I myself have repeatedly acknowledged having a tendency to self-humiliation, but this meeting has helped me to understand the truth of things”.

At least someone understood!  Or did he?  I’m tempted to hit him with a tree branch during an earthquake to find out.  Just kidding!





Feast of St Francis Xavier

3 12 2009

francis_xavier_3

Japanese portrait of Francis Xavier
with Monoyama Inscription Kobe Museum, Kobe Japan

Since today December 3 is the feast day of St Francis Xavier a blog like mine can not let the day go unnoticed!  And since it is a FEAST day have something nice to eat or drink to celebrate.  To learn more about St Francis start here.