For centuries, Christians have celebrated Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem by waving branches of either palm or another local tree.
In the U.S. alone, nearly 18,000 Catholic parishes distribute fresh palm branches to the faithful and that doesn’t include all of the Protestant churches that observe the tradition.
The final destination of the palms is to be burned for the ashes used during the following year’s Ash Wednesday services. But where do they come from in the first place?
The work needed to provide palms for Palm Sunday is so immense that it actually constitutes a full-time year-round job for some harvesters. Continue reading
In a comment on the story about church vandalism, Mindful Webworker mentioned reading up on St. Bernadette at Wikipedia. It reminded me of the lady I know who was miraculously and instantaneously cured in the water. I thought I’d share with y’all today.
My friend had a malignant tumor on her face. It had been removed twice, but had come back a third time. The first two surgeries had been done so skillfully that I had never noticed the scarring until she showed me the edges and then, yeah, it was a little shiny on that patch.
The third was going to disfigure her, but she was a WWII nurse, eminently practical, and not in the least vain, so she just said, “Okay, but I promised my friend I’d go with her to Lourdes, so it’ll have to wait until after the trip.” Continue reading
I just read an article listing five common mental errors that sway us from making good decisions. Below, I’ve summarized them and added some spiritual ponderings.
Survivorship Bias – We tend to overvalue the strategies, tactics, and advice of successful people, while ignoring the fact that the same strategies, tactics, and advice haven’t brought success for most.
You are a unique creation of God. He knows what’s best for you.
Loss Aversion – We are wired to feel overly protective of the things we own.
All things come from and truly belong only to God. It’s easier to let material things come and go when you seek His will above all.
Availability Heuristic – We tend to overestimate the prevalence and impact of ideas and events that come readily to mind. Continue reading
Everything was beautiful. The details came out just the way the bride and groom had dreamed they would. Ana Paula Meriguete and Victor Ribeiro got married in the Catholic Church and received the congratulations of their guests at a brief reception afterwards.
But the real celebration was yet to come, and it was not a traditional one: Instead of a typical wedding banquet, the young couple decided to offer a meal for poor children and their families in the coastal city of Guarapari, in the Brazilian state of Espírito Santo. There were 160 guests at the party. Continue reading
Sir Alec Guinness is one of the most recognizable actors of the 20th century. While he appeared in lots of films over the years and won many awards, he is best known as having played Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars.
What many people don’t know about him, though, is that at the age of 42 he converted to Catholicism – in part because of a miracle. Continue reading
Please find time somewhere in your day/week/month to watch this wonderful teaching.
The way she talks about first world problems is very funny! [13:30 ff] And too often true. Mama Buzz and I have been having fun the past few months mocking ourselves and our first world problems. It helps us keep our perspectives in godly order to laugh about how stupid most of our daily problems really are in the grand scheme of things.
Also a funny bit beginning at 23:30. She is SO good at inspiring, uplifting AND making me laugh.
I am now on my third reading of a fascinating book, “The Genesis of Science”, by James Hannam.
Hannam shows how the emergence of what we call “science” did not spring from the foreheads of a few Renaissance geniuses who managed to somehow overcome to oppressive Catholicism of the Middle Ages.
Rather, those geniuses built on the steady progression of developments by brilliant thinkers during the Middle Ages who had been educated at Catholic monasteries and universities. Continue reading
Creating a New Version of Leviticus to Support Gay Sex
What do you do when the biblical text is against your position, explicitly so? What do you do when not one single verse supports your viewpoint? It’s simple. You create new verses out of thin air. You rewrite the Bible to your liking. That’s exactly what biblical scholar Idan Dershowitz has done.
Dr. Dershowitz claims that, “Before Leviticus was composed, outright prohibitions against homosexual sex — whether between men or women — were practically unheard-of in the ancient world.” And he believes that Leviticus was “created gradually over a long period and includes the words of more than one writer.” Continue reading