Sunday, March 21, 2010

Teaching the hard truths

Father John Zuhlsdorf (the irrepressible “Fr. Z”) over at What Does the Prayer Really Say has a quite stunning mini-sermon entitled, “Here it is in a nutshell, folks”. It starts off with the bald assertion, “You are going to die.” And it doesn’t get any lighter from there. Unless you count the concession that your passing on could be a few years from now. (Leading one combox frequenter to remark, “I see Fr. Happy Fun Priest is in full form today.”)

The timing is interesting because Msgr. Charles Pope on the Archdiocese of Washington blog had a piece up the other day on the common Catholic complaint about the poor quality of homilies. The entry included a speech by another priest, Fr. Bill Casey, about superficial preaching, that had me practically shouting “Hallelujah!” by the end of it. Msgr. Pope isn’t afraid to tackle the harder points of the faith; I’ve referenced his reflection on genocide in the Old Testament in my other blog. His piece from November, “Five Hard Truths That Will Set You Free”, is worth reading as well.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Nazarenos: Not what you think!

From Catholic Eye Candy:

A common feature in Spain is the almost general usage of the nazareno or penitential robe for some of the participants in the processions. This garment consists in a tunic, a hood with conical tip (capirote) used to conceal the face of the wearer, and sometimes a cloak. The exact colors and forms of these robes depend on the particular procession. The robes were widely used in the medieval period for penitents, who could demonstrate their penance while still masking their identity.These nazarenos carry processional candles or rough-hewn wooden crosses, may walk the city streets barefoot, and, in some places may carry shackles and chains on their feet as penance.

They come in different colors, presumably according to the liturgical season. Regardless, don't look for such a procession in your hometown soon; it'll be a looooong time before the other guys in hoods are dead in the American psyche.

Makes me wonder, though ... did the other guys steal the idea from us?