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Sunday, July 14, 2024

  Saints, Feast, Family - Traditions passed down with Cooking, Crafting, & Caring  - July 14 Saint of the day: Saint Kateri Tekakwitha...

Monday, July 24, 2023

 Monday Night at the Movies

Lee David Slotoff, Spitfire Grill, 1996.



1 Samuel, Chapter 23, Verse 15

While David was in the wilderness of Ziph at Horesh he was AFRAID that Saul had come out to seek his life.


David trusted his life to God and did what was righteous.

David a.k.a. Robin Hood[1]

·       The Philistines are robbing grain at Keilah, so David and his men go attack them.

·       Even though Saul is after them, David still knows he needs to protect the people for God.

·       After David defeats the Philistines, Saul learns of David's whereabouts (1-8).

·       David learns that Saul is coming for him and he starts freaking out.

·       God informs David that the people will turn him over to Saul this time, which is a hard lesson for David because even though he was acting on the people's behalf, they were willing to stab him in the back (9-13).

·       Even though Saul is unable to find David, Jonathan finds him no problem. BFFs can be like that. Jonathan encourages David to keep fighting the good fight because one day he will be king of Israel as God intends (14-18).

·       Saul learns that David is staying in the wilderness of Ziph with his merry men a la Robin Hood. Saul starts chasing through Ziph and a variety of other areas.

·       Unfortunately for Saul, David is quick as lightning and always avoids danger. At one point, Saul and his men are on one side of a mountain and David and his men are on the other side. Tough luck, Saul.

·       Saul gets word the Philistines are raiding the land. For once, Saul makes a good decision and goes to defend the Israelites against the Philistines (15-29).


We glorify God when we are righteous as he is righteous who makes the rain fall on both the good and the evil. 

Vigil of St. James the Greater[2] 

In the Tridentine Calendar, July 24th is the Vigil of St. James the Greater.  We call to mind St. James the Greater today as his feast day is tomorrow. 

Collect: Sanctify and protect Your people, O Lord. Let the assistance of Your apostle James strengthen them that they may serve You with confidence and please You by their conduct. Through our Lord . . . 

The following is an excerpt from the soon-to-be-released book on the 12 Apostles written by Frances Spilman of  This can serve as a meditation as we prepare for the Feast of St. James the Greater 

Catholics know that death is not the end but the beginning of a new life and so it proved with St. James.   His tomb in Spain is a place of religious pilgrimage for hundreds of thousands of people every year.  In the past, the Spanish people were inspired by St. James as they reconquered their country from the Muslims. 

In 711, General Tariq Ibn-Ziyad led a force of Islamic Moors of Arab and Berber descent to conquer most of Iberia.  Fortunately, the Islamic force was halted by Charles Martel and his army at the Battle of Tours in 732.  Yet most of Spain was still under foreign rule and, according to legend, Charlemagne (742-814) was recruited to rectify this situation. 

“Charlemagne saw a path of stars in the sky, beginning in the Frisian Sea and extending through Germany and Italy, Gaul and Aquitaine, passing directly over Gascony, Vasconia, Navarre and Spain to Galicia, where the body of Saint James lay buried and undiscovered.  Looking upon this stellar path several times every night, he began to mediate its meaning.  A knight of splendid appearance, more handsome than words can describe, appeared to Charlemagne one evening in a vision as he sat in deep meditation.

“What are you doing, my son?” the knight asked. 

To which the king responded, “Who are you, sir?” 

“I am Saint James the Apostle, disciple of Christ…and whose body lies forgotten in Galicia, a place still shamefully oppressed by the Saracens.  I am deeply disturbed by the fact that you, who have conquered so many cities and nations, have not liberated my lands from the Saracens…  The path of stars that you have contemplated in the sky is the sign indicating that you must take a great army from here to Galicia to do battle with those perfidious pagans, to free my path and my lands and to visit my basilica and my tomb.  After you, all peoples from sea to sea will walk there as pilgrims, begging forgiveness for their sins and proclaiming the greatness of the Lord…” 

(Kevin R. Poole, editor and translator of The Chronicle of Pseudo-Turpin, Book IV of the Liber Sancti Jacobi (New York: Italica Press, 2014) pgs. 5-6) 

The historical Charlemagne was forced to retreat from the Muslims in Spain and then tragically, the Basques attacked his baggage train and killed Roland, the warden of the Breton March.  The incident inspired the Song of Roland but brought the Spanish people no closer to freedom.  However, the Reconquista had already begun in 718 when Pelagius defeated an Islamic Umayyad patrol in the Battle of Covadonga in Galencia.  Although there were occasional forays into Galencia, the Muslims never controlled this part of Spain.   Galencia was incorporated into Asturias, a Christian kingdom in the northwest of Spain. 

In 812, Bishop Teodomiro, Bishop of Iria Flavia in Galencia, Spain, was visited by a group of men in his diocese.  They told him that the anchorite Palagio with other devote men had seen a bright star over the hill of Libredon.  Not only this, but they had seen lights moving among the forest while unseen voices sang religious chants.  Stirred by this miracle, the Bishop determined to investigate the area with his canons and some prominent citizens on July 25th.  After clearing away the underbrush, the men discovered a cave.  Inside of the cave were three stone coffins.  The largest of the coffins was in the middle with its occupant identified as Saint James – “Here lies Santiago, son of Zebedee and Salome, brother of St. John, whom Herod beheaded in Jerusalem.  He came by sea borne by his disciples to Iria Flavia of Galicia…” 

King Afonso II of Asturias, with the nobles of his court, journeyed to the shrine and ordered that a church be built to honor Saint James.   Pope Leo III informed the Archbishops and the Bishops of the discovery.  A small town grew up near the cave called Santiago de Compostela and the body of Saint James was moved there in 829.  A beautiful Church was constructed during the reign of Afonso III in 893. (Catherine Gasquoine Hartley The Story of Santiago de Compostela (London: J. M. Dent & Sons, Ltd., 1912) pgs. 22-27) 

The pilgrimage of St. James became very popular – third in popularity after Jerusalem and Rome.   Even a Moorish ambassador was astonished at the crowds: 

“When Ali-ben-Yussuf, the Almoravide, sent an embassy to Dona Urraca about 1121, the ambassadors were amazed at the throngs of pilgrims who choked the road.  They asked the subaltern detailed to escort and assist them, the Centurion Peter..: ‘Who is it the Christians so revered, for whom so great a multitude comes and goes, from this side and the other of the Pyrenees, so that the road is scarcely cleared for us?’  And Peter answered with a fine gesture: ‘He who deserves such reverence is St. James whose body there is buried…’” (Georgiana Goddard King, The Way of Saint James, Volume 1 (New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1920) pg. 107) 

In 1122, Pope Calixrus II granted a Holy Year to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela when July 25th (Saint James’ feast day) falls on a Sunday.  On that year, the Holy Door is open from January 1st to December 31st and pilgrims are granted special indulgencies.  The years 2004, 2010, 2021 and 2027 were or will be Holy Years and there are usually more pilgrims during these years.  The Codex Calixtinus, an illustrated manuscript of the 12th century, is a description of the pilgrimage to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela and includes music, stories of St. James, miracles and advice about the route.  Despite its name, it was not written by Pope Calixrus II but by unknown authors and organized by Aymeric Picaud, a French scholar. 

St. Francis of Assisi, like many others, went to Santiago de Compostela with a few of his companions:

“At the beginning and commencement of the Order, when as yet there were few brothers and the Houses had not been taken into possession, Saint Francis for his devotion went to Saint James’s of Galicia… Having won thither, while he was spending the night in prayer in the church of St. James, it was revealed by God unto Saint Francis, that it behooved him to take possession of many places throughout the world, because his Order must needs grow and increase into a vast multitude of brothers” (The Little Flowers of Saint Francis translated by T.W. Arnold (London: J. M. Dent and Co., 1907) pg. 11) 

Throughout the ages, pilgrims have had different reasons to visit the tomb of St. James.  Some came to worship, others to fulfil a vow, still others petitioned the saint to alleviate their or other’s distress.  Fray Miguel Capeller and Fray Leonardo de Gratia, for instance, were sent to ask St. James to stop the plague in Barcelona in 1465 (The Way of Saint James, pg. 123). 

Church authorities sometimes required penitents to make the pilgrimage to atone for their sins.  There were several official roads to Santiago – the one from France being one of the most popular.  Most pilgrims purchase a credencial - a small book which is marked by the local church or town hall with an official St. James stamp as the pilgrim progresses on his or her journey.  The pilgrim must travel at least 100 km by foot or 200 km by bicycle (about 62 and 127 miles respectively) to receive the Compostela.  The Compostela is a certificate of achievement given by the Pilgrim’s Office to those who arrive at Santiago de Compostela after traveling the required distance.  According to the Confraternity of Saint James, the pilgrimage is still popular with 272,135 receiving the Compostela in 2010 (a Holy Year) and 262,469 in 2015. 

St. James is often shown with a seashell and a pilgrim’s hat and staff to emphasize his protection over the pilgrims who visit Santiago.  However, St. James represents more than a protector of pilgrims.  As we saw above, St. James appeared to Charlemagne as a great knight.  St. James was an inspiration to the Spanish as they attempted to reconquer their land from the Moors.  The great warrior El Cid invokes St. James as his army of four thousand prepares to fight the Moorish force of fifty thousand: 

“Our bishop, good Don Jerome, an early mass shall say, And give us absolution before the dawn of day. Then we shall sally forth and assault them in the names Of the Lord and His Apostle our worthy good St. James” 

There are legends of St. James on his white horse leading the Spanish to victory against the Moors.  The Spanish achieved their final victory in 1492 when Ferdinand and Isabella defeated the last Moorish army and Spain was finally free.

Novena of St. Ann[3]

Daily Prayer to Saint Ann


O glorious St. Ann, you are filled with compassion for those who invoke you and with love for those who suffer! Heavily burdened with the weight of my troubles, I cast myself at your feet and humbly beg of you to take the present intention which I recommend to you in your special care.

Please recommend it to your daughter, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and place it before the throne of Jesus, so that He may bring it to a happy issue. Continue to intercede for me until my request is granted. But, above all, obtain for me the grace one day to see my God face to face, and with you and Mary and all the saints to praise and bless Him for all eternity. Amen.


Our Father, . . . Hail Mary . . .


O Jesus, Holy Mary, St. Ann, help me now and at the hour of my death. Good St. Ann, intercede for me.




Hail, St. Ann! I rejoice at your exalted glory. You gave birth to Mary, whose divine Son brought salvation to our lost world by conquering death and restoring life and hope to sinners. Pray to Him who, for love of us, clothed Himself with human flesh in the chaste womb of your daughter.


Glorious St. Ann, with your blessed daughter, deliver me from everything that is displeasing in the sight of God. Pray to your gentle and powerful Grandson that He may cleanse my soul in His precious blood, that He may send His Holy Spirit to enlighten and direct me in all that I do, always obedient to His holy inspirations.


Good mother keep a watchful eye on me. Help me bear all my crosses. Give me the fullness of your bounty and sustain me with courage.

Catechism of the Catholic Church





II. The Name, Titles, and Symbols of the Holy Spirit

The proper name of the Holy Spirit

691 "Holy Spirit" is the proper name of the one whom we adore and glorify with the Father and the Son. the Church has received this name from the Lord and professes it in the Baptism of her new children.

The term "Spirit" translates the Hebrew word ruah, which, in its primary sense, means breath, air, wind. Jesus indeed uses the sensory image of the wind to suggest to Nicodemus the transcendent newness of him who is personally God's breath, the divine Spirit. On the other hand, "Spirit" and "Holy" are divine attributes common to the three divine persons. By joining the two terms, Scripture, liturgy, and theological language designate the inexpressible person of the Holy Spirit, without any possible equivocation with other uses of the terms "spirit" and "holy."

Titles of the Holy Spirit

692 When he proclaims and promises the coming of the Holy Spirit, Jesus calls him the "Paraclete," literally, "he who is called to one's side," advocatus. "Paraclete" is commonly translated by "consoler," and Jesus is the first consoler. The Lord also called the Holy Spirit "the Spirit of truth."

693 Besides the proper name of "Holy Spirit," which is most frequently used in the Acts of the Apostles and in the Epistles, we also find in St. Paul the titles: the Spirit of the promise, The Spirit of adoption, The Spirit of Christ, The Spirit of the Lord, and the Spirit of God - and, in St. Peter, the Spirit of glory.

Symbols of the Holy Spirit

694 Water. the symbolism of water signifies the Holy Spirit's action in Baptism, since after the invocation of the Holy Spirit it becomes the efficacious sacramental sign of new birth: just as the gestation of our first birth took place in water, so the water of Baptism truly signifies that our birth into the divine life is given to us in the Holy Spirit. As "by one Spirit we were all baptized," so we are also "made to drink of one Spirit." Thus the Spirit is also personally the living water welling up from Christ crucified as its source and welling up in us to eternal life.

695 Anointing. the symbolism of anointing with oil also signifies the Holy Spirit, to the point of becoming a synonym for the Holy Spirit. In Christian initiation, anointing is the sacramental sign of Confirmation, called "chrismation" in the Churches of the East. Its full force can be grasped only in relation to the primary anointing accomplished by the Holy Spirit, that of Jesus. Christ (in Hebrew "messiah") means the one "anointed" by God's Spirit. There were several anointed ones of the Lord in the Old Covenant, pre-eminently King David. But Jesus is God's Anointed in a unique way: the humanity the Son assumed was entirely anointed by the Holy Spirit. the Holy Spirit established him as "Christ." The Virgin Mary conceived Christ by the Holy Spirit who, through the angel, proclaimed him the Christ at his birth, and prompted Simeon to come to the temple to see the Christ of the Lord. The Spirit filled Christ and the power of the Spirit went out from him in his acts of healing and of saving. Finally, it was the Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead. Now, fully established as "Christ" in his humanity victorious over death, Jesus pours out the Holy Spirit abundantly until "the saints" constitute - in their union with the humanity of the Son of God - that perfect man "to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ": "the whole Christ," in St. Augustine's expression.

696 Fire. While water signifies birth and the fruitfulness of life given in the Holy Spirit, fire symbolizes the transforming energy of the Holy Spirit's actions. the prayer of the prophet Elijah, who "arose like fire" and whose "word burned like a torch," brought down fire from heaven on the sacrifice on Mount Carmel. This event was a "figure" of the fire of the Holy Spirit, who transforms what he touches. John the Baptist, who goes "before [the Lord] in the spirit and power of Elijah," proclaims Christ as the one who "will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire." Jesus will say of the Spirit: "I came to cast fire upon the earth; and would that it were already kindled!" In the form of tongues "as of fire," the Holy Spirit rests on the disciples on the morning of Pentecost and fills them with himself The spiritual tradition has retained this symbolism of fire as one of the most expressive images of the Holy Spirit's actions. "Do not quench the Spirit."

697 Cloud and light. These two images occur together in the manifestations of the Holy Spirit. In the theophanies of the Old Testament, the cloud, now obscure, now luminous, reveals the living and saving God, while veiling the transcendence of his glory - with Moses on Mount Sinai, at the tent of meeting, and during the wandering in the desert, and with Solomon at the dedication of the Temple. In the Holy Spirit, Christ fulfills these figures. the Spirit comes upon the Virgin Mary and "overshadows" her, so that she might conceive and give birth to Jesus. On the mountain of Transfiguration, the Spirit in the "cloud came and overshadowed" Jesus, Moses and Elijah, Peter, James and John, and "a voice came out of the cloud, saying, 'This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!'" Finally, the cloud took Jesus out of the sight of the disciples on the day of his ascension and will reveal him as Son of man in glory on the day of his final coming.

698 The seal is a symbol close to that of anointing. "The Father has set his seal" on Christ and also seals us in him. Because this seal indicates the indelible effect of the anointing with the Holy Spirit in the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Orders, the image of the seal (sphragis) has been used in some theological traditions to express the indelible "character" imprinted by these three unrepeatable sacraments.

699 The hand. Jesus heals the sick and blesses little children by laying hands on them. In his name the apostles will do the same. Even more pointedly, it is by the Apostles' imposition of hands that the Holy Spirit is given. The Letter to the Hebrews lists the imposition of hands among the "fundamental elements" of its teaching. The Church has kept this sign of the all-powerful outpouring of the Holy Spirit in its sacramental epicleses.

700 The finger. "It is by the finger of God that [Jesus] cast out demons." If God's law was written on tablets of stone "by the finger of God," then the "letter from Christ" entrusted to the care of the apostles, is written "with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone, but on tablets of human hearts." The hymn Veni Creator Spiritus invokes the Holy Spirit as the "finger of the Father's right hand."

701 The dove. At the end of the flood, whose symbolism refers to Baptism, a dove released by Noah returns with a fresh olive-tree branch in its beak as a sign that the earth was again habitable. When Christ comes up from the water of his baptism, the Holy Spirit, in the form of a dove, comes down upon him and remains with him. The Spirit comes down and remains in the purified hearts of the baptized. In certain churches, the Eucharist is reserved in a metal receptacle in the form of a dove (columbarium) suspended above the altar. Christian iconography traditionally uses a dove to suggest the Spirit.

National Tequila Day[4] 

Another Hedonistic progressive holiday--Note: Humility and its source is where all goodness comes from; the Spirit of God, and not this spirit.

National Tequila Day is dedicated to recognizing Tequila, a distilled alcoholic beverage made from the blue agave plant and the main alcohol in a margarita.  Blue agave plants produce sugars such as fructose, which are ideal for preparing tequila.  The plant only grows in the rich and sandy soil of Jalisco, Mexico at altitudes of 1,500 meters.  

To make tequila, the heart or piña of the plant is removed when the plant is approximately 12 years old and weighs around 40-90kg.  The heart is then heated to extract sap which is fermented and distilled into tequila.  According to history, the Aztecs created fermented beverages from the agave plant prior to arrival of Spaniards in 1521.  The origins of National Tequila Day are not well understood; however, it appears that National Tequila Day began to emerge around the late 1990s. This holiday is celebrated every year on July 24.

National Tequila Day Facts & Quotes

·        During prohibition, tequila became more popular because smuggling liquor into the country was easiest from Mexico.

·        Hollywood celebrities have ventured into the tequila industry.  Here are some celebrities who have created their own tequila brands:
Justin Timberlake: 901 Silver Tequila
Carlos Santana: Casa Noble Tequila (Sold ownership in 2014)
Vince Neil: Tres Rios Tequila
Sammy Hagar: Cabo Wabo Tequila
George Clooney: Casamigos Tequila

·        According to Guinness World Records, the most expensive bottle of tequila was worth $225,000 in 2006.  The Platinum & White Gold Tequila bottle was sold by Tequila Ley .925 to a private collector.  The tequila was harvested from 100% blue agave plants that had been aged 6 years.

·        As per the Official Mexican Standard for Tequila (NOM-006-SCFI-2005), the alcohol content of tequila ranges from 35-55%.

·        As per the Consejo Regulador del Tequila (Tequila Regulatory Council), Mexico produced 118.9 million liters of 100% pure agave tequila, of which 77.9 million liters were exported.

·        I wanted to do my part to help preserve that golden age of travel… I step aboard the Patron Tequila Express railcar, and I go back in time to the days when a long journey was something fun and very special. - Billionaire John Paul DeJoria, Owner of the Patron Spirits Company

National Tequila Day Top Events and Things to Do

·        Try the World's Best Tequila.  Winner of the World's Best Tequila Award 2015, 1800 Anejo is produced by La Rojena.

·        Attend a tequila festival.  Here are some popular ones to consider:
1) Day of the Dead Tequila Festival
2) South Florida Tequila Festival
3) Northwest Tequila Fest
4) Texas Tequila and Margarita Festival

·        Tour tequila distilleries along the tequila trail in Jalisco, Mexico. The distilleries offer insight into the production process and offer ample opportunity to sample a variety of tequilas.

·        Try different categories of tequila.  These include:
1) Blanco (white) tequila which is unaged or has been aged for less than two months.
2) Joven (gold) tequila which is unaged silver tequila that is flavored with either caramel coloring or sugar-derived syrups, etc.
3) Resposado tequila which has been aged for a minimum of two months but less than 1 year in oak barrels.
4) Anejo tequila which has been aged for at least 1 year, but less than 3 years in oak barrels.
5) Extra Anejo tequila which has been aged for at least 3 years.

·        Try a tequila twist in your favorite recipes.  Many recipes can be infused with tequila, for example:
1) Citrus and tequila infused cupcakes.  Add some citrus zest and sprinkles of tequila to the cupcake frosting.
2) Tequila glazed chicken.  Just add a few spoons of tequila to your favorite chicken glaze recipe.
3) Barbecued tequila and lime pork spareribs.  Add lime and tequila to an overnight sparerib marinade.

Today is my millennial daughter Nicole Patience’s (Victorious Patience) birthday; hopefully she is eating cake and not slamming shots! I ask your prayers.

"Voya con Dios, mi amour"

Daily Devotions

·       It is traditional in Spain to make a yearly pilgrimage to St. James of Compostela on July 24. Read more about this custom. From Catholic Culture's Library: Pilgrimage To The Stars and Cycling through time on the Camino de Santiago.

·       Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Protection of Life from Conception until natural death.

·       Eat waffles and Pray for the assistance of the Angels

·       Let Freedom Ring Day 18 Freedom from Jealousy

·       Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus

·       Religion in the Home for Preschool: July

·       Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·       Monday: Litany of Humility

·       Drops of Christ’s Blood

·       Universal Man Plan

·       Rosary

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