Palm Sunday, Philly, Food, Features

April 20, 2011 § 3 Comments

 For Palm Sunday (a poem I have deeply loved ever since I had to read it for my Seton home-schooling program):

The Donkey

When fishes flew and forests walked
And figs grew upon thorn,
Some moment when the moon was blood
Then surely I was born;

With monstrous head and sickening cry
And ears like errant wings,
The devil’s walking parody
Of all four-footed things.

The tattered outlaw of the earth,
Of ancient crooked will;
Starve, scourge, deride me: I am dumb,
I keep my secret still.

Fools! For I also had my hour;
One far fierce hour and sweet:
There was a shout about my ears,
And palms before my feet.

G.K. Chesterton

Recap of Philly weekend!  I must say that my favorite part of visiting a big city is always the food.  I love to eat and I usually don’t hesitate to try new dishes.  This weekend in Philly absolutely lived up to my high food expectations.  On Saturday night, we opted for a frugal Vietnamese meal at Pho Ha.  Jaci wanted to introduce us to pho

It is a dish of broth with rice noodles, meat (usually beef)  and different herbs.  It was very good!  Danny spiced his pho up by adding some sriracha and I added some Thai basil and bean sprouts.  The broth was delicious and cured my sore throat as if by magic.  (Funny side story: the Vietnamese restaurant was in a little shopping plaza, right next to a pharmacy.  When we got out of Jaci’s car, I looked up at what I assumed was the restaurant window and saw a sign saying “Doctor on Premises”!  For a few seconds, I panicked.  Then I saw the pharmacy sign and realized I was looking at the wrong window.  Thank goodness.)

On Sunday morning, Danny and I went to Mass at the Cathedral of Sts. Peter and Paul, right in the heart of Philadelphia.  It’s a breathtaking basilica.  I could’ve kicked myself though, because I left my cell phone at Jaci’s apartment. (I try not to bring it to church with me ever because I have this irrational fear that even if I silence it or even turn the power off, somehow, some way it’s still going to ring right in the middle of the Consecration!)  I then realized I had no way of taking pictures.  So I have no pictures of the Cathedral, but if you ever get the chance to go there, do it.  Cardinal Rigali said the Palm Sunday Mass.  We started outside for the opening Rite and then processed inside, singing All Glory, Laud, and Honor (one of my favorites).  When it came time for the Gospel narrative of the Passion, three priests stood and chanted the entire thing!  I have never been to a Mass where the Passion narrative was chanted.  I’ll be honest and admit at the beginning I was a little daunted, thinking “whoa they aren’t going to chant this whole thing, are they?”  And they did.  And it was really beautiful.  (Full disclosure:  I love chant, so most of my original dismay stemmed from the knowledge that I was wearing three and a half inch heels!  I will always be found wearing dressy clothes to Mass and for me, that means high heels.)  The recessional hymn was O Sacred Head, Surrounded.  As the Cardinal walked by, he was smiling and blessing all the pews.  I couldn’t help it, I just started grinning uncontrollably.  I don’t really know how to explain what I was feeling.  I always wish I could tell priests after Mass how happy and grateful I am for them.  They bring Christ to me.  But it was more than that.  I read all the time about persecution of the Church and religion in general, and I know how tirelessly our good priests work for Jesus.  I just wanted to show him how much I appreciated his blessing.  I don’t even know if that makes sense.  Anyway, then we went to brunch!

Brunch was at a little place called Sabrina’s Cafe.  The food was fantastic!  I got a special of pancakes with apple-ginger crumbles on top and a dried fig and apricot syrup.  They fairly melted in my mouth.  Danny and Jaci got French toast and Dave had Eggs Benedict.  I had multiple bites of Danny’s (pictured) bananas and cream cheese French toast.  (Stole a banana too, when he wasn’t looking!)  Okay now I have to stop talking about the food because I’m starving.

Here is a linkfest extravaganza for your browsing delight:

Two things from Father Z’s blog:  He posted a note to priests by Fulton Sheen.   “Blessed is he who in spite of inner questionings and frustrations, still sees no hope for the future except in getting closer to Christ.”    He also led me to this historical website, the Civil War Daily Gazette, which I think is one of the coolest things I’ve seen in awhile!  The Civil War is at its 150th year anniversary and the website brings you news of what happened in the Civil war every day on that day.  Check it out!  I’m a big fan of history and have been to Gettysburg several times.

Here is a link to a post by The Anchoress, another one of my favorite Catholic blogs.  In it, she speaks eloquently of the Blessed Mother in her role as the Church’s day-to-day Mother. “She is here, now, the approachable Mother to whom countless parents and children turn when –- exasperated or undone by human relations –- they need a wise mother in whom to confide. But her answer is always the same, “Do whatever HE tells you . . .” ” This is only a small sample, please do go read the rest.  It’s really amazing.

3 links from Zenit, because I can’t ever get enough of Papa Benedict’s wisdom!  Here, speaking about how “Annoyance With Religion Doesn’t Justify Abuse“.  He says: “The fact that in some realms there is a tendency to consider religion as a socially insignificant factor, even annoying, does not justify trying to marginalize it, at times through denigration, ridicule, discrimination and even indifference in face of incidents of clear profanation, which violate the fundamental right of religious liberty inherent to the dignity of the human person,” he said.  In recent weeks in Spain, chapels on university campuses have been the site of profanation or anti-religious demonstrations…”

Here our Holy Father talks about St. Therese of the Child JesusStory of a Soul,” in fact, is a marvelous history of Love, recounted with such authenticity, simplicity and freshness, before which the reader cannot but be fascinated! But, what was this Love that filled Thérèse’s whole life, from her childhood to her death? Dear friends, this Love has a Face, it has a Name, it is Jesus!”

Pope Benedict speaks of another great saint, and a Doctor of the Church: St. Alphonsus Liguori: “…St. Alphonsus proposes a balanced and convincing synthesis between the demands of God’s law, sculpted in our hearts, revealed fully by Christ and interpreted authoritatively by the Church, and the dynamics of man’s conscience and his liberty, which precisely by adherence to truth and goodness allow for the maturation and fulfillment of the person.”

Have I mentioned it’s playoff hockey time and I’m crazy super excited??  Some bullet points about hockey:

  • Pittsburgh is currently up 2-1 in their series and Chris Kunitz has been suspended for 1 game due to elbowing Simon Gagne in the head.  Game 4 is tonight.
  • Game 4 of the WBS Pens series, which is at 2-1 Norfolk, is also tonight.  We need some offense in Norfolk tonight!
  • I’m interested to see how the Kings/Sharks series plays out, if only because I’ve always had a soft spot for scrappy young goaltenders and LA’s Jonathan Quick certainly fits the bill.
  • I intensely dislike Flyers fans.  Seriously, get out of my Facebook feed.  You’re never around in the regular season and then the playoffs start and suddenly everyone’s a Flyers devotee.  Urghh.
  • And I miss Sidney Crosby.  That’s about all on the hockey front.

I’m desperately searching for new books to read.  Fiction, that is.  I have plenty of non-fiction books lined up.  I’ve been really into fantasy lately, like  with dragons and wars and magic, etc.  That’s why I’m reading The Kingkiller Chronicles.  Extremely well-written and totally cool fantasy world.   I just like to read.  Too much.  Any recommendations for new fiction are welcome!

I have a post with pictures still in the works.  Soon, my friends!


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