SJA Table Talk is a website with fun content to help you prepare for Mass as a family and to encourage faith-based conversations at the dinner table. The goal is to get our families into a rhythm of 2 quality meals per week and 10 minutes of preparation for Mass.
See this week's discussion guide below. Then come back each week. We will be your 'Sous Chef' - finding the best morsels from the internet and Catholic teachings for your family's consumption.
Outline for this weeks Table Talk:
#1 CONVERSATION STARTERS
- Movie Night at St. Joan | Featuring 'Miracles From Heaven' w/Jennifer Garner. Showing Oct 7th, 7 pm Parish Center
- Feast Day | St. Michael, St. Gabriel and St. Raphael
- Feast Day | St. Vincent DePaul - including a suggest movie to reflect upon Father Gabriel's homily about the chasm between the rich and poor
- Saints | St. Therese of Liseux
- 40 Days for Life | 40 Days for Life beings September 28th. Join the UNITED 40 Days for Life campaign, the largest nationwide pro-life mobilization in American history, bringing together record numbers of people across all 50 states to pray, fast, and publicly stand for life from Sept 28 - Nov 6
- Pro Life Content | During the 40 Days for Life, check out the various pro life resources and pop culture content
#2 RECIPES - Commit to 2 quality-time family meals
This week many countries celebrate "Michaelmas" and is also one of the harvest feast days. Enjoy traditional fare to celebrate Michaelmas, such as goose and apple pie, waffles, and gnocchi. You can also enjoy a simple meal of homemade soup and warm bread in honor of St. Vincent de Paul.
#3 PREPARING FOR SUNDAY
- Podcast - Listen to 'Reclaiming Sundays' from Father Riccardo and Ave Maria 'Christ is the Answer'
- Living the Gospel (Sept 25th) Gospel: Jesus tells the parable of the reversal of fortunes between the rich man and the poor man, Lazarus.
- Preparing for Sunday (Oct 2nd) Gospel: Jesus teaches the apostles the importance of faith and service to God.
#1 CONVERSATION STARTERS
MOVIE NIGHT AT ST. JOAN OF ARC | Miracles From Heaven, with Jennifer Garner
The pro-life group will be showing the movie 'Miracles From Heaven', with Jennifer Garner.
October 7th. 7 pm
Parish Center at St. Joan of Arc, Room #22
When Christy discovers her 10-year-old daughter Anna has a rare, incurable disease, she becomes a ferocious advocate for her daughter's healing as she searches for a solution. After Anna has a freak accident, an extraordinary miracle unfolds in the wake of her dramatic rescue that leaves medical specialists mystified, her family restored and their community inspired. Based on a true story.
After seeing the movie trailer below - watch Bishop Barron's movie commentary that discusses the movie and the problem of theodicy (i.e., answer to the question of why God permits evil). Watch Bishop Barron's Video Post>
FEAST DAY OF ST. MICHAEL, GABRIEL AND RAPHAEL
In the course of the Church's Liturgical Year, there are two commemorations of angels, i.e., September 29, the feast day of Michael, Raphael, Gabriel and all Archangels, and October 2, the feast day of the Guardian Angels.
The Archangel Michael, whose name means, in Hebrew, who is like unto God? is known as "the prince of the heavenly host." He is first mentioned in the Old Testament Book of Daniel as one of the heavenly hosts and guardians of Israel. He is sometimes regarded as the angel who appeared as a pillar of fire that led the Israelites out of Egypt during their exodus from slavery. He is best know from his appearance in the New Testament Book of Revelation. There, he is the captain of the angelic army that defeats the devil, portrayed as a dragon epitomizing the dark forces of chaos. These are those demonic realities that threaten the order of God's universe.
Father Gabriel's Post on St. Michael
Click Here to read Father Gabriel's post on St. Michael the archangel - which includes references and additional readings on Mont Saint Michel in Normandy, artwork, folk music and poetry.
St. Gabriel's name means "God is my strength". Biblically he appears three times as a messenger. He had been sent to Daniel to explain a vision concerning the Messiah. He appeared to Zachary when he was offering incense in the Temple, to foretell the birth of his son, St. John the Baptist. St. Gabriel is most known as the angel chosen by God to be the messenger of the Annunciation, to announce to mankind the mystery of the Incarnation. READ MORE
Our knowledge of the Archangel Raphael comes to us from the book of Tobit. His mission as wonderful healer and fellow traveller with the youthful Tobias has caused him to be invoked for journeys and at critical moments in life. Tradition also holds that Raphael is the angel that stirred the waters at the healing sheep pool in Bethesda. His name means "God has healed". READ MORE
SAINT | St. Vincent DePaul
St. Vincent DePaul was a French Roman Catholic priest who dedicated himself to serving the poor and was canonized in 1737. He was renowned for his compassion, humility, and generosity and is known as the "Great Apostle of Charity". In order to help poor girls, invalids, and the insane, sick and unemployed, he and St. Louise de Marillac founded the Congregation of the Daughters of Charity, now better known as the Sisters of St. Vincent. St. Vincent worked tirelessly to help those in need: the impoverished, the sick, the enslaved, the abandoned, the ignored. He died in 1660 at St. Lazarus's house, Paris. His motto: "God sees you." READ FULL BIO>
Reflect on the Gospel this week (Luke 16:19-31 - see reflection below) in terms of bridging the chasm between the rich and the poor. One movie that can help with your reflection is The Human Experience - a documentary film that tells the story of Jeffrey Azize and his travels as he searches for answers to the question "What does it mean to be human?". The film is divided into the three experiences with the poor in New York, Peru, and Ghana. Watch for free on Vimeo>
SAINT | St. Terese of Lisieux
Outside the little French town of Lisieux there stands and enormous and elaborately decorated basilica dedicated to a very simple woman who is also one of the most extraordinary saints of the church. Therese, also kow as the "Little Flower", was a young Carmelite nun who devoted her life to loving As a permanent novice, she would never be able to perform great deeds. She did however scatter flowers, each flower a little sacrifice and a little action for God and love. Therese emerged as one of the great "doctors of grace" in the Catholic tradition, once comparing herself to a little child who, knowing her deep incapacity to please the Lord with extraordinary works, stands before him and simply lifts up her arms, hoping to be raised up.
Things to do
* Read about her conversion at Christmas (see full post)
* Wear a small flower / rose to school on Oct 1
* Visit the National Shrine of St. Therese right here in Darien, IL.
* Watch the Virtual Tour of the Basicila of Lisieux (see full post)
40 DAYS FOR LIFE
Join the UNITED 40 Days for Life campaign, the largest nationwide pro-life mobilization in American history, bringing together record numbers of people across all 50 states to pray, fast, and publicly stand for life from September 28 - November 6th.
The Campaign comes to Downers Grove on October 13th. See Details >
By the grace of God, 40 Days for Life has achieved a stunning track record of life-saving results since launching in 2007 and rapidly becoming a worldwide movement.
The Pontifical Academy for Life has glowingly praised the pro-life work of 40 Days For Life in what the group says was an "unsolicited" letter, telling the pro-life group that its “prayer, fasting, witness and outreach have saved more than 12,000 lives and have brought reconciliation and healing to so many suffering mothers, fathers and families.” Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, the president of the Pontifical Academy for Life, now joins the long list of 40 Days for Life endorsers,... Read Letter>
PRO LIFE - Quotes
“… abortion has become the fundamental human rights issue for all men and women of good will.” ~ Saint Pope John Paul II
"Abortion is the greatest destroyer of peace" ~ Mother Teresa
"They pulled Michael Vicks jersey from the NFL shops because he supported dog fighting. But dogs are not made in His image. Yet abortion gets covered over in so much rhetoric and we do nothing.” ~ Father John Riccardo
"I’ve noticed that everyone who is for abortion has already been born.” ~ Ronald Reagan
“A person is a person no matter how small” ~ Dr. Seuss
“If a mother can kill her own child - what is left for me to kill you and you to kill me - there is nothing between.” ~ Mother Teresa
“It seems to me clear as daylight that abortion would be a crime.” ~ Gandhi
"The ruling (Roe vs Wade) surprised me. Frankly I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of. So that Roe was going to be then set up for Medicaid funding for abortion.” ~ Supreme Court Justice Ruth Ginsgerb - With regards to the lack of Medicaid funding for abortions for poor women, because of a 1980 Supreme Court decision called Harris v. McRae (note that this last quote is very disturbing... see more about Justice Ginsberg below)
POP CULTURE - Movies
See 7 powerful pro life movies available on Netflix. One of our favorites is Bella (see below)
Bella - Bella is a true love story about how one day in New York City changed three people forever. A young single mother has decided to abort her baby. However, a strange man named Jose convinces her to keep the child. This touching film has been acclaimed by many Pro-lifers. Its strong message and poignant tale proved that there are people fighting for the unborn. This movie looks at adoption in a whole new light. Winner of the 2006 Toronto Film Festival’s People Choice Award.
POP CULTURE - Music Videos
Whether or not you like country music, you will enjoy this heart-warming music video by Kenny Chesney (see below). Click here also for a list of some pro life songs in pop culture>
POLITICS - Planned Parenthood Exposed
Pop Culture includes news... and Planned Parenthood has clearly been in the news. Watch the 3 minute video to get the facts and proper perspective with regards to Planned Parenthoods claim that abortions only account for 3% of their services. The one statistic missing from the video is that abortion accounts for 86% of Planned Parenthoods revenue. Read this article for more details - which includes video testimony of Cecile Richards Congressional hearing (Planned Parenthood's President)
SOCIAL MEDIA - They Supported Abortion Until They Watched This (inexplicit) Video
Live Action approached people on the street and asked them if they were pro-choice. To those that said yes, even up to the point of birth, they showed Dr. Levantino’s video of the procedure. After watching the video, the people who claimed to be pro-choice changed their minds on the spot. They admitted they were unaware of how developed babies are at this point in pregnancy and described the video as “inhumane.”
See the animated (not explicit) videos of the abortion procedures for 1st term, 2nd term and 3rd term:
ABORTION - Basic Statistics
- Overall, more than 1 out of 3 of all U.S. women will have an abortion by the time they are 45 years old (per planned parenthood)
- Estimated 954,000 abortions in the US (2014)
- 12,000+ late-term abortions (2014) (*)
- 30,500+ at 18 weeks or later (2014)
- 100,000+ performed in the 2nd or 3rd trimesters
(*) However, statistics on the number of late-term abortions are notoriously unreliable. Several former clinic workers, such as Carol Everett, have said that late-term abortions were performed in their facilities and went unreported. http://liveactionnews.org/third-trimester-abortion-in-america/
- Doctors have learned how to save a premature baby that weighs 500 grams or more
- 12% of abortions in the U.S. occurred in teenagers.
- In the United States, about half of all pregnancies are unintended. • Of all unintended pregnancies, 4 in 10 are aborted. (CDC for 2012)
- 32% of Abortion Facilities in the US support late-term abortions (20 weeks or later)
- 40% of minors having an abortion report that neither of their parents knew about the abortion (AGI). Supreme Court ruled that minors must have the alternative of seeking a court order authorizing the procedure (AGI)
ABORTION - Politics, the Election and the Supreme Court Justice Ruth Ginsberb
The Constitution defines three branches of government to help ensure we have checks and balances. Which is to say that the president is balanced by the other two branches. The good news then who are concerned about Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump is that the President's power is somewhat limited and they have a 2 year term limit.
However, justices of the Supreme Court have no term limit. And if the Supreme Court becomes politicized (which many people on both sides of the aisle believe is the case), then the balance of power is compromised.
To put a finer point on it - the balance of the Supreme Court will be determined by the next President. Hillary Clinton will almost certainly appoint Justices with pro choice viewpoints aligned with Justice Ruth Ginsberg. Consider then the following:
GONZALES, ATTORNEY GENERAL v. CARHART ET AL.
Listen to Father Riccardo's podcast where he reads the Supreme Court ruling (27 minute mark) that describes the various abortion procedures. What is most chilling is Justice Ruth Ginsberg's dissenting opinion that discloses her support of partial birth abortion (see below). God help us if the Supreme Court has a majority of Justices in support of partial birth abortion.
Summary of Dissent Opinion - "Today's decision is alarming. It refuses to take Casey and Stenberg seriously. It tolerates, indeed applauds, federal intervention to ban nationwide a procedure [partial term abortion] found necessary and proper in certain cases by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). It blurs the line, firmly drawn in Casey, between previability and postviability abortions. And, for the first time since Roe, the Court blesses a prohibition with no exception safeguarding a woman's health."
Fetal Protection Act - one other law to consider is the Federal Protection Act - which stipulates that If you kill an unborn baby with a violent act - such as by striking a women’s belly with a bat - then you will be convicted of manslaughter (per the Fetal Protection Act, which applies in Illinois. Yet abortion is perfectly legal. In both cases, what is different? Certainly not whether the fetus is a living humane being. The only difference is intent. Disturbing yet a legal reality in our country.
- See http://www.ncsl.org/research/health/fetal-homicide-state-laws.aspx and http://www.nrlc.org/federal/unbornvictims/statehomicidelaws092302/
#2 RECIPES | Commit to 2 Quality-time Meals
SOUP In Honor of St. Vincent DePaul
In this video, you’ll see how to make tomato orange soup. Meet Gretchen Allison, owner of Ducksoup Inn, a restaurant on the San Juan Islands in Washington State. Growing up, tomato soup was her favorite comfort food. Today, she’s taken her favorite childhood recipe a bit upscale, with roasted poblano chiles, fresh veggies, and the brightness of orange zest, carefully balancing the flavors. See how she does it! Watch the video. Click for dozens of other Soup Recipes >
Long ago, Lammas (festival of wheat harvest) on 1 August marked the start of the summer's harvesting with a Loaf Mass. Michaelmas - the feast of St. Michael on 29 September - marked its ending, with a big thanksgiving celebration. September and Michaelmas are a time to thank God for our food. The old tradition is to eat a roasted goose - the Michaelmas goose which is often stuffed with apples.
France celebrates Michaelmas with waffles or Gaufres.
The first time I tried Gaufres de Liege I was in Amsterdam, where the waffles must have migrated and settled. It was ineffably, incomparably delicious, and while the Van Goghs and Vermeers had taken my breath away, these waffles were works of art in their own right. Upon second bite, I swore that I would reproduce them once I returned home. This recipe is adapted from an eGullet buddy, Doc Doughtery. His generosity in sharing his insight, combined with his original development of the recipe, has made it possible for me to relive my epiphanic moment in Amsterdam.
In Italy, gnocchi is the traditional fare.
This recipe is basic but incredible and based on fresh ingredients - it's been featured on numerous cooking shows. And because you can stock the pantry with these simple ingredients, this sauced gnocchi meal makes for a perfect dinner no matter what night of the week. We’re going classic with a sweet, rich sauce of tomato’d Pomodoro.
Another Michaelmas tradition is apple pie.
A few small details help make this the best apple pie you've ever baked. Adding the water to the pie dough by hand prevents overmixing, to keep the dough flaky and tender. A mix of sweet and tart apples make for a perfectly balanced filling. A pastry cloth and a rolling pin stocking, or sleeve, are simple tools that make it easier to roll out the dough. Watch our video for more tips on rolling the dough.
3 PREPARING FOR SUNDAY
LISTEN NOW> | If you have lost your vigor for Sunday Mass or if you are trying to inspire your family or friend to go to Mass, this talk on Ave Maria Radio is a must listen.
Early Christians used to define Sunday as “the day we can not not live without”. Because it orientates everything we do. It defines everything we do. This talk is an honest reflection on how one may view Sunday and how we would like to view Sunday. And then it defines a healthy approach to Sunday.
Father Riccardo's pod cast poses several questions:
- What is my approach to Sunday?
- Is Sunday the last day of my weekend, or the first day of my week?
- Is there any difference between my Saturday and my Sunday?
- Could I live without the Eucharist?
- Is there any real rest in my life? LISTEN NOW>
LIVING THE GOSPEL - (Sept 25th)
God will judge the complacency of the people and their leaders.
Happy are those who find solace in God, the help of the poor.
1 Timothy 6:11-16
Paul exhorts Timothy to stay faithful to God in all things.
Jesus tells the parable of the reversal of fortunes between the rich man and the poor man, Lazarus.
Background on the Gospel Reading
A major theme in the Gospel of Luke is the importance of the care of the poor in the life of discipleship. In the parable found in today's Gospel, Jesus contrasts the life of a rich man and the poor man, Lazarus, who lives in the shadow of the rich man and his wealth. Both die. Lazarus finds himself in heaven; the rich man in the netherworld. The rich man asks for assistance from Lazarus in his torment. But Abraham reminds the rich man of the good things he had in his life and describes the current situation as a reversal of fortunes. The rich man then asks that Lazarus be sent to warn his family, but this is denied with the reminder that Moses and the prophets have warned of judgment for those who neglect the care of the poor.
In the context of Luke's Gospel, this parable, delivered in the presence of a crowd of listeners, is part of Jesus' response to some Pharisees. These Pharisees are described in Luke's Gospel as “loving money.” (Note: The Pharisees were followers of a sect of Judaism active before, during, and after Jesus' lifetime. They taught an oral interpretation of the Law of Moses as the basis for popular Jewish piety. They put less emphasis on Temple worship and more on applying the law to everyday life. Though they are often portrayed negatively in the Gospels, they shared many of Jesus' and the early Church's concerns about the law.) Jesus observed that the actions of some Pharisees betrayed misplaced priorities: they spoke one way, but acted in another. The story of the rich man and Lazarus demonstrates the importance of the care of the poor and is a reminder to those who would follow Jesus of the unimportance of wealth in the eyes of God.
PAINTING - “Father Abraham, have pity on me. Send Lazarus to dip the tip of his
finger in water and cool my tongue.” (Gospel) James Tissot, The Rich Man Pleads
with Abraham, ca 1890
PREPARING FOR SUNDAY - Oct 2nd
Habakkuk 1:2-3; 2:2-4
The patience of the just man shall be rewarded when he sees the vision fulfilled.
Sing joyfully to God, our salvation.
2 Timothy 1:6-8,13-14
Paul urges Timothy to remain strong in the Spirit of faith Timothy received.
Jesus teaches the apostles the importance of faith and service to God.
Background on the Gospel Reading
In today's Gospel we hear Jesus teach about faith and service to God. The context is a continuing dialogue between Jesus and his followers about what it means to be a disciple of Jesus. Jesus has just finished an instruction on sin and forgiveness. There are two related teachings that Jesus offers to his disciples when they cry out for an increase in faith. The first is the familiar reminder that faith, even just a little, will enable the followers of Jesus to do wondrous things. But this uplifting and inspiring teaching is quickly followed by the second teaching, a caution about knowing one's place in God's plans. The disciples of Jesus are to understand themselves as servants to God and his plans. Even when God works wonders through us, with our mustard seed-sized faith, we must not seek praise. Our participation in God's plans is God's grace to us—nothing more, nothing less. When we are graced enough to cooperate with God, the work we do is nothing more than our obligation to God as faithful stewards. And yet, our faith enables us to believe that what we have offered in service to God, as his servants, can be made to produce a hundredfold.
PAINTING - “‘Put on your apron and wait on me while I eat and drink. You may eat and drink when I am finished.” (Gospel) Pieter Breugel Elder, Peasant Wedding, circa 1567, detail
*** END OF THIS WEEK'S TABLE TALK ***