Sunday, August 17, 2014

Sunday Snippets - A Catholic Carnival (17 August 2014)

Friday was the Feast of the Assumption
    Welcome once more to “Sunday Snippets – A Catholic Carnival”.  Indeed, one might even call it a Catholic Blogfest (then again, one might not) in which various of us share our posts for the week, both with each other and with you. The main gathering is at This That and the Other Thing [here], in the capable hands of our fearless leader RAnn.

A Lesson Learned

     Here at Principium et Finis I’ve been learning that Summer isn’t the best blogging season, at least not this Summer.  A number of factors have conspired to keep me away from my computer (I hope you notice that I managed to avoid the overworked phrase “A Perfect Storm”).  One result has been that I have been including things in the “Sunday Snippets” posts that I had been trying to publish earlier in the week, but ran out of time.  That hasn’t really been a bad thing, since I like to make this post worth reading in its own right, and not just a laundry list of earlier pieces.  And by declaring someone the “Saint of the Week”, I can talk about him or her a few days after the official feast day without raising too many eyebrows, can’t I?

St. Maximilian Kolbe, Saint of the Week

     This week, unfortunately, I barely even started writing the Saint post before Sunday afternoon.  And that’s too bad, because this past Thursday was the feast of St. Maximilian Kolbe, one of the Great Saints of the past century, a Saint to whom I have a personal devotion, and one of the Patrons of this blog.  The good news is that there were many wonderful tributes on the internet to St. Maximilian (including some by other contributors to “Sunday Snippets” -  here’s the main site again!).  I’ll limit myself to a few brief comments.
St. Maximilian Kolbe
     Maximilian Kolbe was truly a great Saint.  A Conventual Franciscan, he was both a very learned and a very holy man, but at the same time had a wonderful way of connecting with ordinary people.  He made teaching the faith a major part of his religious mission, for which reason he founded the Militia Immaculatae,whose members are known as Knights of the Immaculata, Soldiers for Christ the King under the command of His Blessed Mother.  He also made a point of establishing publications to teach and evangelize, both in Europe and in Japan, where he served as a missionary in the city of Nagasaki in the years before World War II.  Back in his native Poland during the war, he was arrested and sent to the death camp at Auschwitz by the Nazis, where he died a martyr’s death, offering to die in the place of another prisoner.

     St. Maximilian is a Patron of this blog for several reasons.  His self-sacrificing death and refusal to accommodate himself to Nazism make him an inspiring model in a world that continues to be threatened by inhuman ideologies.  His sense that he and his companions were missionaries not only to non-Christians but also to a Christendom badly in need of re-Evangelization was a precursor to the New Evangelization proclaimed by St. Maximilian’s fellow Pole St. John Paul II (and a theme of the current Pope, as I will discuss in the coming week). Also, his commitment to taking full advantage of modern means of communication make him a natural Saint for Catholic bloggery (if he were with us today, he’d be all over the internet). Finally, as a Knight of the Immaculata myself, I see my blog as a small contribution on my part to St. Maximilian’s mission of evangelization.

The Week That Was

     In keeping with my observations at the top of the page, it was a slow week at Principium et Finis, but there were a few items of note:

 Monday – The Haydn revival continues, with another dramatic excerpt from Pap . . . er . . .the composer’s Mass in Time of War: “Joseph Haydn – Missa in Tempore Belli, ‘Agnus Dei’” [here]

Tuesday – This is the sort of piece that my Lovely Bride calls a “screed”, but I’m just telling it the way it is.  There are people out there (those Islamic State fellows in Iraq, for instance) who play hardball, as we say here in the U.S.A.  Do you think we can buy them off with Happy Talk and a Friendship Bracelet? “If They Do Not Rise To Meet That Challenge, They Will Lose Their Civilization” [here

Thursday – The Morning Prayer piece in my series on the Liturgy of the Hours: “Lauds: Our Daily Orientation (LOH 6 Throwback Thursday Edition)” [here]

RAnn’s Question of the Week: What did you do on your summer vacation?

I worked full time at Wal-Mart (not a bad second job, really), made numerous medical appointments to treat deer tick bites to both me and one of my sons (after a couple of months, my son was finally diagnosed with Lyme Disease), and did lots of family stuff, such as going to the beach (where I took cool photos of my feet in the surf), watching a lot of Marx Brothers movies and old episodes of Get Smart, and preparing my eldest son to go off to college (a Catholic college that is actually, well, Catholic). Oh, and a little blogging on the side . . .