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July 2020

Saint Martha Dragon Tamer

In early church legend, St. Martha traveled to France on a missionary journey and there was confronted with a chimerical, dragon-like creature who was terrorizing the populace of a local village. She fearlessly sought out the creature and was able to subdue the creature using a cross and holy water.


Well Water in Use For Church Irrigation

Several years ago, we dug a well for sprinkling the church property. For the first time since then, the Water Company has issued a ban on outside use of utility water. It is due to both a problem with one of the purification facilities and high demand during the summer heat. 

Before we installed the well and connected it to the sprinkler system, summer water restrictions, including bans, had been routine for lawn and garden watering. I almost wondered it if was worth the trouble and expense to have. It looks like they may be back.

Let's hope the supply can meet the demand after not too long.


Rod of Wrath


Assyrian King and War Chariot

In God's eyes, there wasn't a winner in the wars between Israel and Assyria, but rather two losers. The Israelites had abandoned the letter and the spirit of God's law by worshiping idols and oppressing their own poor. The Assyrians wanted to wage a war of total destruction, confident in their own powers and ingenuity, unstoppable on the battle field. 


Pergola Confessions

We had to take down the tent due to the wind storm last week, but no tent doesn't mean no confessions. We'll try them under the pergola on the bench by the carriage house, though there will probably not be much shade early in the morning. They are scheduled right after the morning mass, usually around 9:30 AM on Fridays. I'll probably use a folding chair from the sacristy six feet away. Masks are required.


Traffic Alert Day

Wow, traffic has been backed up on Ward Avenue since before 9:00 AM!



This the worst I've seen in many years from my perch at Holy Cross Church. Several years ago, we had cancelled summertime noon masses since the traffic was already building by then, making it impossible for Baptism families to arrive on time for baptisms after mass. Now, traffic has begun to interfere with our main Sunday worship schedule. We'll be adding a 5 PM mass in a few weeks which might help people get to mass without undue traffic. 

It's shouldn't come as a surprise that unbridled development in Sea Bright after Sandy without any concomitant improvement in roads or significant increase in parking capacity has led to this problem. Perhaps communities that adjoin Sea Bright can cooperate with them in alleviating the traffic flow problem. The dimensions of the problem have clearly overflowed into other communities.



Windbags in the Bible


When they sow the wind,
they shall reap the whirlwind;
The stalk of grain that forms no ear
can yield no flour;
Even if it could,
strangers would swallow it.

    Hosea 8:7

This week our first readings are from the book of Hosea, the prophet and are filled with wonderful imagery to help Hosea drive his point home that Israel needs to return to the Lord. I chuckled when yesterday's verses reminded me of the old expression "windbag" to describe the loquacious, airy rhetoric in which the people were placing so much stock. 

There are a lot of windbags blowing around in today's climate. Let us pray for the discernment to detect who is full of hot air and whose words bear weight and authority. The Sacred Scripture is a great place to start.