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
- Rosary and St. Pope John Paul II - The Rosary was St. Pope John Paul II's favorite prayer. Read about him (his feast day was last week) and his thoughts on the Rosary.
- Saint-O-Lanterns - The tradition of carving Jack-o-Lanterns came from the Irish, and they were originally carved turnips. Read about the legend that surrounds the Jack-o-Lantern.
- MUSIC | Rend Collective released their new Campfire II CD - listen to the reflection video and two music videos
- 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
In anticipation of Halloween, All Saints and All Souls, enjoy traditional recipes linked to these feast days.
In honor of the Rosary during the month of October, transport your family back in time with a middle eastern meal (see recipes below) and the 'many smells of a middle eastern home', while listening > to Father John Riccardo's Podcast of the First Joyful Mystery (The Annunciation)
#3 PREPARING FOR SUNDAY
- Podcast - Listen to 'Reclaiming Sundays' from Father Riccardo and Ave Maria 'Christ is the Answer'
- Living the Gospel (Oct 23) Gospel: Jesus tells the parable of the proud Pharisee who prayed from his self-importance and the tax collector who prayed humbly.
- Preparing for Sunday (Oct 30) Gospel: Jesus stays at the house of Zacchaeus, the tax collector.
#1 CONVERSATION STARTERS
SAINT POPE JOHN PAUL II
MOVIE | 9 Days that Changes the World
Pope John Paul II's historic nine-day pilgrimage to Poland in June of 1979 created a revolution of conscience that transformed Poland and fundamentally reshaped the spiritual and political landscape of the 20th Century.
Watch Trailer below | Stream Entire Movie for Free
Try carving some Saintly images in honor of All Saints Day.
The tradition of carving Jack-o-Lanterns came from the Irish, and they were originally carved turnips. Here is the legend that surrounds the Jack-o-Lantern is as follows:
There once was an old drunken trickster named Jack, a man known so much
for his miserly ways that he was known as "Stingy Jack," He loved making mischief on everyone -- even his own family, even the Devil himself! One day, he tricked Satan into climbing up an apple tree -- but then carved Crosses on the trunk so the Devil couldn't get back down. He bargained with the Evil One, saying he would remove the Crosses only if the Devil would promise not to take his soul to Hell; to this, the Devil agreed.
After Jack died, after many years filled with vice, he went up to the Pearly Gates - - but was told by St. Peter that he was too miserable a creature to see the Face of Almighty God. But when he went to the Gates of Hell, he was reminded that he couldn't enter there, either! So, he was doomed to spend his eternity roaming the earth. The only good thing that happened to him was that the Devil threw him an ember from the burning pits to light his way, an ember he carried inside a hollowed-out, carved turnip. Be sure to leave some seeds from your pumpkin carvings to be roasted! See Video Recipe for Roasted Pumkin Seeds>
MUSIC - Rend Collective Campfire II
Irish worship band Rend Collective releases Campfire II: Simplicity. The album features brand new tracks, a cover of Hillsong UNITED's hit "Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)", along with favorites from The Art Of Celebration and chart-topping As Family We Go.
"The vision behind this project is so near to our hearts," the band shared. "We long to see outsiders invited in, hope restored to the hopeless, rest for the cynics and revival for God's people. We can't wait to share these songs with you. We're praying they encourage, equip and speak life to all who hear them."
Watch the full video of the heart behind this album below - and then music videos of for Every Giant Will Fall and Live Alive.
THE MYSTERIES OF THE ROSARY (The Month of October)
Saint John Paul II often said that the Holy Rosary was his favorite prayer. “The Rosary, though clearly Marian in character, is at heart a Christocentric prayer”
Saint John Paul II published the Apostolic Letter, Rosarium Virginis Mariae, that added five new mysteries about Jesus' public life known as the Luminous Mysteries to the original 15 totaling 20 mysteries.
The best way to appreciate the Rosary is to learn about the Mysteries:
Fr. Riccardo prepared an audio CD of meditations and recordings on The Holy Rosary (see the 'listen' links below). Also listen to this podcast as he shares his reflections on The Holy Rosary in an apologetic reflection.
More to watch and read about the Rosary:
* 'The Secret of the Rosary' Read
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 - Humor
The Doritos 'ultrasound' Superbowl Commercial
Watch the cute and funny Superbowl commercial where a pregnant mother, undergoing an ultra-sound, is annoyed by her husband who is absent-mindedly munching Doritos while their baby’s image is displayed on the screen.
And then watch Bishop Barron's commentary below about the humorous commercial and why pro choice groups, such as the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL), complained (and one is compelled here to stifle laughter) that the commercial dangerously “humanized” the fetus.
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 Vick's jersey from the NFL shops because he had dogs fight.. brutal, yes... 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, the Supreme Court and Justice Ruth Ginsberb
This election is about the Supreme Court.
The Constitution defines three branches of government to help ensure we have checks and balances. 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-abortion 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 (24 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 birth abortion] .... "
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
RECIPES | The Rosary (Month of October)
In honor of Mary and the Rosary, transport your family back in time with a middle eastern meal and the 'many smells of a middle eastern home', while listening > to Father John Riccardo's Podcast of the First Joyful Mystery (The Annunciation).
The Roast Leg of Lamb with Rosemary is a very easy recipe. Try Icelandic Lamb at Whole Foods for $9.99 per lb - because the sun never sets, Icelandic Lamb mature in a year - giving us more tender and mild meat (check out the story >).
Also consider other middle eastern recipes. Or try some simple sides, such as Hummus, Olives, Goat Cheese, Pistachios, Pomegranate and even Essene Bread (recipe), which is a sprouted bread recipe that had been created back in the biblical days
RECIPES | All Saints and All Souls Days
Italian recipe with a wry name (inevitably leading everyone at brunch to wonder why it’s not “eggs in hell” (uova al infierno?!) because of the fiery red sauce), and easy to cook for a crowd. In the straight-up version you essentially poach the eggs in the tomato sauce; my adapted version calls for a thicker ragu and fistfuls
of chopped parsley instead of a garnish of basil.
RECIPE | Soul Cakes -- the original Halloween Treat
See Recipe > | During the Middle Ages in England, on the night before All Saints Day, or Hallowmas, peasants and children called "soulers" would go about town singing and praying for the souls of the dead. They would stop at homes and beg for a "soul cake" and promise in return to pray for the household's deceased family members to be released from purgatory. If homeowners did not give out cakes it was believed their home would be cursed. And this my friends is thought to be the origination of trick or treating.
RECIPE | Roasted Pumkin Seeds - video recipe
See Recipe > | There’s a trick to toasting the seeds to golden brown deliciousness, and this video shows you how it’s done. It’s simple, easy, and takes only three ingredients. Yes, when life hands you pumpkins, go on and roast the seeds. That’s what Rosemary does, and you can, too. You can even tweak the recipe to suit your taste. Watch the video, then get the recipe for Roasted Pumpkin Seeds. It's one of the easiest and most popular snack recipes on Allrecipes. See more Halloween videos >
RECIPES | All Hallows Eve Catholic Traditions
Callcannon > A delectable Irish potato dish made with fluffy mashed potatoes, scallions and cabbage with a pool of melted butter in the centre. Eaten traditionally on the ancient Celtic festival Samhain was celebrated on November 1.
Irish Potato Pancakes > This dish, also referred to as Boxty Pancakes, can be served on Fat Tuesday and Halloween/All Saints Day.
Pan de Muertos (Mexican Bread of the Dead) > This is a version of the bread that is made for the November 2 celebration known as the Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) in Mexico. You can also mold the bread into different shapes like angels and animals.
Halloween Punch > A simple non-alcohol punch to serve at All Hallow's Eve parties.
3 PREPARING FOR SUNDAY
RECLAIMING SUNDAYS - The Magnificence of the Mass
The Mass is known as the “source and summit” of Catholic life because of the gift we receive of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. In this (video) chapter of The Magnificence of the Mass, Father Riccardo explains God’s love and desire for us and how He is revealed in the Mass. If you have lost your vigor for Sunday Mass or if you are trying to inspire your family or friend to go to Mass, then watch Father Riccardo's short video and invite someone to Mass.
LIVING THE GOSPEL - Oct 23rd
God hears the prayer of the poor.
Psalm 34:2-3,17-18,19, 23
The Lord hears and answers the cry of the poor.
2 Timothy 4:6-8,16-18
Paul perseveres in faith, confident that God will rescue him.
Jesus tells the parable of the proud Pharisee who prayed from his self-importance and the tax collector who prayed humbly.
Background on the Gospel Reading
The second parable that Jesus tells in Luke 18 addresses attitude in prayer. In contrasting the prayer of the Pharisee with the prayer of the tax collector, Jesus teaches his disciples to pray in humility before God. Jesus again surprises his listeners by showing the tax collector as the example of faith, rather than the Pharisee. Remember that Pharisees were members of a sect of Judaism active in Jesus' time. They taught an oral interpretation of the Law of Moses as the basis for Jewish piety. If anyone would be a model for prayer, a Pharisee was a likely candidate. In contrast, Jesus offers the tax collector as a model for prayer. Tax collectors were collaborators with the Roman authorities in a system that allowed the tax collectors to line their own pockets by charging in excess of the defined taxes. Yet, in this parable, Jesus offers the humility of the tax collector as a model for the prayer of a disciple. The parable reminds us that when we pray, we must remember our need for God in our lives. If we are too full of ourselves, there is too little room for God's grace to work in us.
PAINTING - O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity—greedy, dishonest, adulterous—or even like this tax collector. (Gospel) The Pharisee and the Publican, James Tissot, (1836–1902)
PREPARING FOR SUNDAY (Oct 30th)
God is merciful because all things were created by God.
Sing praise to God, who is faithful.
2 Thessalonians 1:11—2:2
Paul tells the Thessalonians to remain faithful to Christ until Christ comes again.
Jesus stays at the house of Zacchaeus, the tax collector.
Background on the Gospel Reading
In Jesus' day, tax collectors were not popular people. They were collaborators with the Romans and were despised by many Jewish people. The tax system allowed them to charge more than what was required so that they could make a profit for themselves. Thus, they were considered sinners by their countrymen. Observers in the crowd that day grumble because Jesus dines with a sinner. Throughout Scripture, Jesus' choice of dinner companions set him apart from other observant Jews of his time. In first century Jewish culture, to dine together was to show a bond of fellowship and peace among those at the table. Observant Jews did not generally dine with foreigners and sinners. Yet, Jesus chooses to honor the tax collector, Zacchaeus, by staying at his house.
Even before Jesus comes to his home, Zacchaeus shows himself to be someone in search of salvation. Zacchaeus, described as short in stature, climbs a tree in order to see Jesus. We know from Luke's description that Zacchaeus was no ordinary tax collector; he was, in fact, the chief tax collector and a person of some wealth. In his search for salvation, he humbled himself by making a spectacle of himself by climbing a tree.
Jesus recognizes the faith of this tax collector exhibited in his search for salvation and calls him down from the tree. In the hospitality he extends to Jesus and in his conversion of heart, Zacchaeus is raised up by Jesus as a model of salvation.
PAINTING - “Zacchaeus, come down quickly, for today I must stay at your house.” (Gospel) Zakæus, Niels Larsen Stevns, Detail, 1913
*** END OF THIS WEEK'S TABLE TALK ***