Friday night we had a second thanksgiving dinner, we had an extra raw Turkey in the refrigerator and leftovers to work with, I decided to make a Sweet and Sour Turkey (I'll try to post the recipe ASAP) this time to get the kids in the house eating, I didn't feel like preparing Mannicotti again so a good Coca Tea Rice made it! ( I still owe that recipe to my blog). The Coconut Pudding was cooling in the refrigerator and this time the dinner was almost complete; I wanted to prepare some soup and a Fricase came to my mind but I didn't think that Turkey and Pork can fit together at the same table. After dinner and next day, I didn't get mad about the dishes because Mrs. Laura helped me with that task, the Lord doesn't like me mad and this time He sent some help!
After dinner, I got in a conversation with Mrs. Laura and her husband about religion, they are Christians and I am (like most of Bolivians) Catholic. Somehow the Lord didn’t put enough words in my mouth to describe the whys and hows of my believe in Saints and the Virgin Mary, I do Believe in God and Jesus but I also love to pray to saints and the Virgin Mary has always intercede for me to the Lord. When I pray my rosary, tears always fall from my eyes and my devotion increases. I really like to pray for people and I always get motivated to find a prayer or a Saint for every occasion. I felt a bit frustrated and the next day I shared this episode to Bill, a great person that the Lord put on my way that shares my religion and better yet.... he lived in Bolivia, Bill took time to write me an email about us… Catholics.
Email from Bill
“It disturbs me when people who know absolutely nothing about Catholicism feel they are qualified to criticize it. They are so uninformed and sometimes ignorant. We, too, pray directly to God but we also pray to the Saints and ask their intercession. Who amongst us has never approached a friend or family member and asked them to pray for us? What is so different about approaching a dear friend in heaven and requesting that they, too, pray for us? We, on earth, do not know how to pray as we should. There are so many distractions. The Saints, on the other hand, are in the presence of Our Lord and they DO know how to pray and are in a much better position to intercede for us to the Lord. And who better to intercede for us than the one person who is closest to the Lord than his own mother? Do we worship the Saints? Absolutely not. We venerate or honor the Saints for their great accomplishments in life. We worship only God. Why is it okay to venerate or honor a scientist, artist, musician or athlete? Are not the Saints even more worthy of our admiration and honor for their even greater accomplishments? When we honor a Saint we honor their Creator.
And why do we hold relics in such special esteem? Relics make us feel closer to the Saints when we pray to them. Who amongst us does not have some special reminder of a friend or relative who has passed away? Perhaps it is a mother who has a lock of hair from a baby she lost as an infant. Perhaps it is a person with a piece of jewelry or clothing that belonged to a loved one. Perhaps we even have a friend who has an urn on their mantle that contains the cremation remains of a relative. Are we worshiping these items? No. They are simply reminders of a dear one who is no longer with us. Relics are much the same. Do we treat them with reverence? Yes, of course we do. We, also, treat ANY human remain with reverence. They were once temples of the Holy Spirit. I know of over 2000 families on the east coast who would give anything to have even this small reminder of a loved one who perished in the destruction of the Twin Towers. They have nothing but their memories as the bodies of their loved ones were never found. Have you ever seen on TV the great reverence and respect that soldiers pay to the remains of their fallen comrades? Of course we show reverence to relics. I was always taught that God ALONE will be our judge in the end. It is not up to us to decide who goes to heaven and who does not. I believe Jesus Himself told us to "Judge not lest you be judged." I feel sorry for these folks who have taken it upon themselves to decide who gets heavenly reward and who does not. I am sure that God must have a very special judgment for such as these.
On Monday I will be sending you several relic cards of various saints. Each card contains a small piece of cloth that has been touched to a first or second class relic of a Saint. That makes the cloth a third class relic. Many of the cards are made from cloth that has been touched to authenticated relics I hold in my home chapel. Some are made from cloths sent to me by Sister Anne Sophie Meaney of Corpus Christi. She lovingly touches every square inch of the cloths to relics her order of nuns keep in their chapel. I then make the cards with the cloths and send them to her to use when ministering to the sick and dying. Her clients love them and I am sure they have brought much comfort. If you would like more cards of other Saints or more of the same Saints, you need only to let me know. Anyway, I hope this makes you feel a bit better .Feel free to share it if you wish.
All this email represents what I couldn’t explain that night to Mrs. Laura and it makes me very proud to be Catholic and have people of my religion around to help me when I need them. C.B.R.A.