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July 2019

What Did Don Quixote and St. Ignatius of Loyola Have In Common?

An historic windmill in La Mancha, Spain.

The fictional character of Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote and Ignatius were both fond of reading tales of chivalry and romance, I suppose the modern equivalent of trashy adventure books. Don Quixote is said to have his brain addled by reading so many of them, inspiring him to undertake his fanciful adventures.

Ignatius' thirst for romance novels was thwarted when there were none available for him to read during his recovery from a battle wound. The only reading material on hand was The Golden Legend (a life of the saints) and a Life of Christ. Reading these materials led him not to adventures of knights errantry, but of Christian discipleship.

The materials we read the the media we immerse ourselves in have a major contribution to our mindset and our spiritual outlook on the world. Let's be careful, especially with the media our children swim in.



Summer Heat and Electric Power

0037-0505-3017-2458Well, so far one brief power outage this morning already at around 11:30 AM. Power is back on and we already have the air conditioning cranked for an afternoon wedding Saturday and our 5 PM Vigil Mass. Our church is very well insulated, but the large square surface of windows conduct heat from outside (don't touch them in sunshine!) so the air conditioning works a bit harder to compensate. On the other hand, we enjoy the warming effects of sunshine during the winter, so heating bills are lower.

Please be careful during the heat. Stay home if you have a medical condition making you susceptible to heat exhaustion. Should the power go out again and our air conditioning goes down, we'll do the best we can, but we may have to cancel mass. Holding it outdoors isn't even a reasonable alternative!

Hopefully, see you later today!

P.S. There isn't even a lot of beach traffic on Ward Avenue!


God's Laws Are Immutable Not Ours

Wheat Field by Vincent VanGogh

Jesus is the Lord of the Sabbath. The Scribes and Pharisees concerned over the disciples' breaking  human laws had it backward. Only God's laws are immutable.

The Church has interpreted these laws with the guidance of the Holy Spirit for centuries and strives to limit its dogmatic principles to precisely the immutable commands of Christ for his church.

It is equally incorrect to imply everything the church teaches is unchangeable as it is to say all that the church teaches is subject to change. 

Exodus and Revelation


A study for Moses and the Burning Bush by Henry Osawa Tanner, an important African American ex patriot who took up residence in Paris during the early 1900's to join the flourishing artistic community there.

God's revelation to Moses came about through Moses' noticing something strange and taking the time to investigate it, not shrugging it off or deciding he was too busy. He then had the humility to take off his shoes and follow instructions from the unseen God.

God's revelation to us also comes through seeing with the eyes of faith the inconsistencies in the world, taking the time to ponder and investigate them and having the humility to accept the inspiration of the Holy Spirit to do something unexpected.



I've haven't been lucky to enough to catch more than a fleeting glimpse of hummingbirds over the years, but finally after planting gardens to attract them and other pollinators, I watched one hover around the blooms this morning for several minutes. With all the dragonflies around this year, I almost mistook it for a large dragonfly. It was iridescent green and blue. Humm2

St. Junipero Serra


The location of the grave of Junipero Serra is discovered, now enclosed within a mission shrine in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. It is seen being honored several days after Serra was canonized by the Catholic Church by Pope Francis in 2015.

One of Junipero's slogans, "Always forward, never back," emphasizes his missionary zeal to spread the gospel.