December 03, 2006

A Day Lived Catholic

Gentle Reader: If you read my friend Adoro te Devote's blog then you know that we spent the day together on Saturday.

What a wonderful day! It was truly the most Catholic day of my life. What a great way to kick off the Advent season.

We started off with Holy Mass at Epiphany Saturday morning. Then, we stayed for an Advent reflection by Father Hennen. We went to breakfast. This was not a Father Z inspired meal. Unless, IHOP is swank these days!. Then, we stopped by Adoro's home where I got to meet her two beautiful dogs. We went to the Minneapolis Institute of Art (MIA) to see the Wadsworth show that I blogged about earlier . I stopped at the gift shop and bought a book about Caravaggio (I know you can't believe that one!) We stopped by the liquor store because what's a Catholic without wine? Adoro needed some cooking wine. We went back to Epiphany for an hour of Adoration. Then, we saw The Nativity Story

Adoro and I both cringed at the MIA docent's complete misinterpretation of Catholic art and the life of Caravaggio. When I went to the MIA before, I did not overhear a docent tour. "The Pope could not live without Caravaggio and thereby pardoned him" What?!. "Francis was kind of otherwordly" Yo, he was a Saint o.k.? Then, there was the room of prints called "Saint and Sinners: Women in Renaissaince Art". Let me tell you that advocates of Feminist Spirituality must have written the plaques. However, I did find St. Catherine of Alexandria in some Baroque altarpieces. I'm always happy to see her. Adoro and I crossed ourselves once and awhile and prayed that the graces of the blessed items that are in a museum would come to us. We also had a good time reclaiming the Catholicism in the art. We identified the 12 Apostles in one painting. And determined Judas' position (we identified him by his yellow robes) was rather interesting. The plaque did not mention what we saw through our Catholic eyes. We also thought a painting of a Mass in a grotto was really a reminder of the establishment of the Church from Matthew 16:18. Catholic eyes see differently once again. Just imagine if Adoro and I were giving the docent tour! Well, the museum would probably lose all of its grant money, but the thought entertained us for awhile.

I highly recommend The Nativity Story. Some reviews have said there is no chemistry between St. Joseph and the Blessed Virgin. I've also read the Magi are depicted as the Three Stoges. To both: Did we see the same movie? I thought there was enormous chemistry between St. Joseph and the Blessed Virgin. It's chaste chemistry but its there. (Oh, I thought the actor playing St. Joseph was very handsome). I did not think the Magi were depicted as clowns. Herod is played by one of my favorite actors: Cieran Hinds. The movie did a good job of portraying Herod's fear of the Messiah and his paranoia. I did not think the labor pains of the Virgin were bad at all. I know there's been controversy on some blogs that she even has any. I found the depiction tasteful and acceptable. Adoro and I both thought the Angel of the Lord...I don't know. I thought he looked like he walked off the set of Brother Sun, Sister Moon. I was sad that they eliminated the dream the Magi had telling them not to return to Herod. I thought the Virgin was depicted well. She's supposed to be interiorally reflective. The scene where the Blessed Mother washes St. Joseph's feet was very moving and reminded me of Holy Thursday. The Visitation was very well done. Especially, the scene in the field where its obvious the unborn souls of Jesus and John the Baptist are communicating to one another. How Pro-life is that? There's those Catholic eyes again. Ok. I could go on and on...and have! Just see this movie!

Father Hennen's reflection was very good. This was the first of three Advent reflections. If you live in town stop by, Epiphany in Coon Rapids, MN around 8:30 on Saturday. Better yet, attend Mass at 8:00 a.m. and stick around. I took many things out of Father's reflection but I'll share two with you.

1) Give the Lord a gift this Advent. Pretend you are a Magi. What would you give? What will Mary, Joseph and Jesus see when you open your treasure? Wrap it, if you can, and put it under your tree. I'm giving the Lord my most cherished possession. My time. I wrapped a clock and I'll put it under my tree. I intend to spend more time in prayer this Advent and I will make it to a Saturday Mass during Advent. A sacrifice for me since I like to sleep in on Saturday.

2) Pray for the dead. I did my annual Advent trip to Fort Snelling National Cemetary to lay a wreath on the grave of my Mother and Brother. I prayed for their souls. I cried. I went a step further and prayed for the souls of the people who lie on either side of them.

I wish every day was like the fully Christ-centered day that I had. Why isn't it? That's something to work on.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cathy - another beautiful post - so beautiful I have tears in my eyes!

I LOVE the idea of giving a gift to the Lord and even wrapping it up. In fact I am going to plug your post on my blog!

December 03, 2006 7:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a wonderful day you two had! I would have loved to be able to see that Caravaggio exhibition with y'all, too!

It's good to know that The Nativity is a good film to see. Did you happen to see Elena Maria Vidal's comments about the film on her blog? ( She hasn't seen it yet, but she makes some interesting points that many folks might not realze. But I am glad on the whole it is a good film,and I'll be watching for it, if not at theatres (doubt it will make it to India) at least on DVD. It's good to see this kind of thing coming from Hollywood at this holy season for a change!

Holy Advent to you!

December 04, 2006 8:00 AM  
Blogger Adoro said...

I just linked to your post, and of course, there you go again, blogging circles around me. :-0) I just love how you summarized our day.

It was DEFINITELY a great way to start the Advent season.

Anyone else wanna come with us next time? Maybe we can watch for a religious art exhibit, study up and fluster the docent with actual theological knowledge. Any takers?


December 04, 2006 7:02 PM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

Geogette: Thanks for the tip. I just checked out Ms. Vidal's blog.

Adoro: Good idea!

December 04, 2006 7:53 PM  

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