Sunday, September 28, 2008
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
As the 400th jubilee year of the appearance of Our Lady at Siluva closes, world news and US news begins to approach the apocolyptic. In the midst of this, I am afflicted by a peculiar good cheer. Is this the power of prayer or the onset of insanity? Don't hesitate to comment.
Today the New York Times ran an Op-Ed piece by Barbara Ehrenreich titled The Power of Negative Thinking. In this thoughtful piece Ms. Ehrenreich identifies a near delusional optimism as contributing to the current economic situation, citing pundits and gurus who have led citizens and corporations down the primrose path with a simplistic interpretation of the Law of Attraction that implies that focusing on a goal and refusing to think about impediments guarantees a successful outcome. I think that she has made a valid and original point.
Despite my appreciation of the piece, I couldn't help myself from smiling on the trip to work as I contemplated all of the good that could come out of the economic crisis:
- Maybe the destruction of Our Lady of Vilnius will now be costly rather than profitable.
- If gasoline prices are unaffordable, I'll be able to ride my bicycle down the Henry Hudson Parkway to work.
- If I lose my job, maybe I'll be able to farm potatoes, beets and cabbage on the lawn of the coop where I live. They'll have to relax their aesthetic standards to permit subsistence.
- My local weekly is flooded with articles on the "deer problem". Look on the bright side! Venison! Venison zeppelinai!
- Maybe we will all become lean, strong and attractive by necessity rather than by narcissism and surgery.
- Housing may now become affordable for the middle class, working class and even homeless. I am going to read up on squatter's rights.
- Maybe kindness will prevail now that more of us feel vulnerable. Maybe people will lose the delusion of their own omnipotence and turn to the infinite mercy of God.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
In the 1500's, caught up in the momentum of the Protestant Reformation, the owner of the church property in Siluva became a Lutheran. At this time many Catholic churches were closed and confiscated. A parish priest at Siluva buried an iron chest with documents and sacred items.In the year 1608 the Virgin Mary revealed herself to young shepherds; a girl with flowing hair holding a baby in her arms and weeping. The children ran to the Calvin catechist to tell him what they had seen. The catechist and the rector followed the children to the site where she revealed herself to them as well. They asked her why she was weeping. She replied, "I am weeping because people used to worship my son in this place, but now they just plow and sow." The news of this event spread. The faithful were convinced of the authenticity of the apparition. Catholics realized that they needed to have possession of the documents that would help them reclaim their church. An old blind man mentioned that he knew something about them, recounting the story of the church in Siluva. He led Father Kazakevicius, a priest charged with investigating the apparation, to the rock where Our Lady had appeared. The old man's blindness was cured and the iron chest buried by the priest of Siluva was exhumed.
The restoration of sight to this blind man was the first of many miracles and healings associated with this holy place.
Please join us on Sunday in another holy place as we pray for Our Lady to help us in our darkest hours as she helped the faithful at Siluva. We will be gathering at 10:30 AM across the street from St. Patrick's Cathedral to pray, to honor the apparition at Siluva and to share the story of Siluva with anyone who will listen. At 1:00 PM we will gather in front of Our Lady of Vilnius church and pray that it will once more be a home for Our Lady and a place where the faithful gather for Eucharistic celebration. Please join us in spirit and prayer if you cannot attend.