Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Fish on Friday

Fish on Friday by Fr. Leonard Feeney, published in 1934, was very popular in its day and is now available in its entirety online. It's so far from the author's later Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus controversy that he actually affirms, in the sketch titled "Good Christians", that non-Catholics can and do go to Heaven.

It's a really good book! Well, some parts seem too sentimental to me, and other parts are too wordy, but on the whole it's very absorbing. I was really moved by The Journey; especially in the last paragraph it expresses what I feel about so many children. And I loved This Little Thing from beginning to end; Sister Bridget's thoughts towards the end are so realistic and so hilarious. It also contains this line:

Sister Bridget always managed a tear or two at this occasion (for there is always a sense of sadness attending the completion of any task, however agreeable), supplemented by a kiss, a holy picture, and a plea for prayers in behalf of those dreadfully desperate and indefinite desires all nuns possess in the form of “very special intentions.”

That cracked me up because in my parish it's the senior pastor, a six-foot-plus ex-Marine, who's always making the congregation say a Hail Mary at the end of Mass "for some very special intentions". It's good to know the honorable provenance of that practice!

Then I thought this, from Cousin Willie about Lourdes, was an insightful point:

But the statistics show that it is during the last festival, namely the solemn procession of the Blessed Sacrament, that Our Lady’s intercession is likely to be most potent and a miracle most likely to occur. And little wonder that this is so. For the solemn blessing of the sick may be called, not irreverently, a “challenge” to God’s pity. His suffering children are made a spectacle to Him as He passes in Eucharistic guise. He is constrained to pause at each cot and bless each sufferer, and to acknowledge each human affliction by individual recognition. Thousands are watching, and the honor of His Virgin Mother is at stake. Our Lord will be heedless to cure at His own peril.

Anyway, if you find yourself at a loss during my blog fast, you could give Fish on Friday a try. :)

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