16 Dec

Virgin with Porridge

I could not help but chuckle when I came across Gerard David's 1520 painting, bizarrely titled, "Virgin with Porridge." I wonder if Mary and Joseph taught our Lord the fable of the three bears.  I am sure they told him about the story of Esau in the Book of Genesis (cf. Gen 25: 27-34). Esau sold his birthright to his brother Jacob for a plate of porridge (or lentils, as some translators have it). 

Whether or not Jesus actually ate porridge is beside the point. The lesson from the painting is about Mary.  Just as Mary nourished her Son, so too are individuals to be fed and comforted by the Blessed Mother.  The Church likewise needs the presence of the Blessed Mother, lest we become too bureaucratic or preoccupied with our own self-preservation.  We cannot feed ourselves.  Only Mary can help us grow the right way. 

Jesus sits on Mary's knee while holding a wooden spoon (carved, perhaps, by Joseph?).  Both Mary and Jesus have spoons.  Mary is the instrument of the grace that comes from our Lord.

There are some other noteworthy aspects of the painting.  The bread near the bowl and the pitcher on the cupboard are Eucharistic.  There is an apple next to the bread, a reference to the sin of Adam and the undoing of that sin.  We also have a glimpse into the world outside through the window in the background.  There is a melding of both the spiritual and world realms, the internal and external.  We are to be both Martha and Mary—active and contemplative.  

There is nothing overtly religious about the piece. This could be any mother and child.  And therein lays the final message.  Holiness is to be found in each one of us in the mundane on goings of life. 

 

16 Dec

The Three Comings of Christ

Dear Parishioners,

Advent, as I'm sure you are well aware, means 'coming.'  There are three 'comings' of Christ that we recognize during this Liturgical season.  Cistercian monk and (recently deceased) spiritual writer Thomas Keating writes, "The first is his historical coming in human weakness and the manifestation of his divinity to the world; the second is his spiritual coming in our inmost being through the liturgical celebration of the Christmas-Epiphany Mystery; the third is his final coming at the end of time in his glorified humanity."

In other words, there is a past, present, and future coming.  The past is the memorial-aspect of Christ's coming 2,000 years ago.  The future is the apocalyptic-aspect when he will come again at the end of time to bring the earth to final glory.  The present is the grace-aspect of our Lord into our hearts right now.

A good image for Advent, particularly the "present" coming, is light.  By the way, the major liturgical seasons of the year each have an attribution.  Advent/Christmas/Epiphany is light; Lent/Easter/Ascension is life; Pentecost/Ordinary Time is love.

Light is pretty obvious for this present season.  We have Christmas lights and, of course, the candles on the Advent wreath.  The rose-colored candle we light this Sunday, being Gaudete Sunday when we rejoice looking ahead to Christmas. 

14 Dec

Marriage Enrichment

  • 15 December 2018 |
  • Published in Learning

 

Dynamic Catholic Passion and Purpose for Marriage

Join us for a spectacular Dynamic Catholic event on the Passion and Purpose for Marriage. This event has been enriching marriages across the country. Hear live music from George Lower, an award-winning singer-songwriter. Hear Dr. Allen Hunt, a nationally known speaker and bestselling Catholic author on Marriage. As quoted by Dr. Allen Hunt, "Marriage is a partnership and a friendship more than anything else. As spouses building a life together you will mutually influence one another in all kinds of ways." Please join us for this enriching and inspiring event on April 6th - 10am-2pm in the Church.
 
We will be selling tickets at the back of Church  the last weekend of January 26/27 (great idea as Valentine presents) , the last weekend in February 23/24 and the last two weekends in March 23/24 and March 30/31. Cash, Check and Credit Card are accepted.  Tickets can also be purchased online at https://dynamiccatholic.com/passion-and-purpose-for-marriage-chicago-il-apr-6-2019 
 
If you are interested in helping out with the event before, during , or after, please email Anastasia at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 773-979-2830. Your time will be greatly appreciated. 
 
 
09 Dec

I Do!

Dear Parishioners,

When a man is ordained a priest, he kneels before the bishop and promises obedience.  The bishop encloses his hands around the candidate's folded hands and asks him, "Do you promise respect and obedience to me and my successors?"  The candidate responds, "I do."  The bishop then says, "May God who has begun the good work in you bring it to fulfillment." 

The bishop's line is taken from Paul's letter to the Philippians, the segment of which we have in our second reading this weekend.  "I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work in you will continue to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus" (Phil 1:6).

It's a great line.  We could meditate and reflect on just this one line for an hour.  God began some project in each one of us, and the project is fundamentally good.  Each one of us is here for a purpose.  Remember that when you're feeling down, depressed, alone, and without meaning.  As bad as things might seem or be, it does not erase the fact that God began a good work in you. 

09 Dec

Blessed Santia Szymkowiak

Many know of St. Theresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein), but there are many other female saints who were martyrs during WWII.

Blessed Santia Szymkowiak was a member of the Congregation of the Daughters of Our Lady of Sorrows, also known as the Seraphic Sisters.  The Nazis overran her convent in Poznan in Poland in 1939 and Santia was conscripted as translator for the Germans.  She had a chance to escape, but chose instead to stay with her community, where she made her solemn vows on July 6, 1942. She would die the following month, having contracted tuberculosis in the prison camp.  She wrote in her diary, "Jesus wants me to be a holy religious and He will not be happy with me until I use all my strength for Him and become a saint...I have to become a saint at all costs. This is my constant preoccupation." Santia was beatified in 2002.

05 Dec

Men's Golf Outing Thank You

  • 15 December 2018 |
  • Published in Events

Season’s Greetings from Saint Juliana Men’s Club.

Back in August we held our annual Golf Outing at White Pines to raise funds for our school and our children.  We had 144 golfers participate; we all had fun and because of your generosity our fundraising efforts were successful.  In recognition of your kind support, we listed your business as a sponsor in our church bulletin; on our St Juliana Parish/School Web Site, and your tee sign was proudly displayed on the course at the outing. All of us at Saint Juliana; faculty, parents and children, and certainly members of the Men’s Club, thank you for your generous support.  We wish you and yours a Merry Christmas, and a Happy & Healthy year ahead.

Best wishes,

Saint Juliana Men’s Club