The Way of Beauty

May 25, 2016

Pearls of Great Price

By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J.

Why are pearls considered the world’s most mysterious of gems? Because of their origin and the manner in which they are formed.   Pearls come from shell fish, the most common of which is the oyster.  When a grain of sand enters and irritates the soft part of the oyster, a new substance is formed called nacre, a protective covering, the mother-of-pearl.  Within approximately six months, a pearl emerges from the shell as a radiant gem requiring no processing.   The Queen and Her Wardrobe...

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May 18, 2016

Temples of God

By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J.

The feast of the Most Holy Trinity falls on this Sunday, one week after Pentecost. Ordinary time resumes with the Eighth Sunday of the liturgical year. The feast has two aspects: the outer and the inner, the objective and the subjective or personal.    First, the outer or objective aspect. The Trinity is a mystery of faith, “one of the mysteries hidden in God, which can never be known unless they are revealed by God,” the Catechism teaches. It is true that traces of the Triune God have...

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May 11, 2016

Pope Francis and a dream for Pentecost

By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J.

This Sunday, the Church brings to completion the Paschal Season by bestowing the Holy Spirit on us in the Liturgy, rich and beautiful. The Birthday of the Church On that first Pentecost morning two thousand years ago, the frightened apostolic community had already been huddled together for ten days awaiting the Holy Spirit.  Jesus had promised to send them his Paraclete-Counselor and Advocate.  The Eleven were present, as were the women, Mary the mother of Jesus, and the women who had...

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May 04, 2016

A Tribute to Mothers

By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J.

Every major tradition, culture, and nation celebrates Mother’s Day.  Each of us knows instinctively that this day belongs to those special women we call our mothers, living or deceased.  The noun mother refers to a woman in relation to a child or children to whom she has given birth. Mother is a relational word, as is father. An expectant mother conceives, carries within her, and nourishes a developing human person.   Motherhood is God’s miraculous gift from which emerges human life...

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April 27, 2016

'Little Boy Lost'

By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J.

In September 1953, the movie “Little Boy Lost” starring Bing Crosby had its New York premiere to benefit the Overseas Press Club.  Bosley Crowther wrote about it in the New York Times: “. . . [H]ere Mr. Crosby is playing a straight dramatic role in a picture of deep emotional content and genuinely tragic overtones.  Except for two or three songs that are worked in consistently, there are few other points of contact with the bright and chipper Bingle of old.  And yet it must be said for...

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April 20, 2016

The Beauty of Catholic Poetry

By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J.

April has been set aside as National Poetry Month, and this Saturday marks the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s birth.   In an essay entitled “Poetry:  Who Needs It?” the author William Logan observes:  “… The way we live now is not poetic.  We live in prose.  . . . But to live continually in a natter of ill-written and ill-spoken prose is to become deaf to what language can do.  . . . Poetry has long been a major art with a minor audience.”   The dirty secret of poetry is...

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April 13, 2016

'Don’t Go. Stay with Us.'

By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J.

Most of us have seen war movies in which families are exchanging good-byes with loved ones.  The parting evokes few words; the unspoken feelings repeat: ‘Don’t go. Stay with us.’  The Risen Lord Humors Two Disciples A few days after the Resurrection event, two disciples, Cleopas and his friend, were walking along the road to Emmaus.  Jesus, now the Risen Lord, caught up with them and joined in the lively conversation. They of course didn’t recognize him. On the one hand, they vented...

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April 06, 2016

Doubt and Faith

By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J.

Last week, the New York Times published an article entitled, “God Is a Question, Not an Answer.”  Its author William Irwin asks if we should avoid claiming with certainty whether or not God exists.  And what of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ? The Gospel narratives record at least seven instances of disbelief in the Lord’s Resurrection.  The words were spoken not by outright disbelievers but by most of the Eleven.  On returning from the empty tomb, the women couldn’t wait to announce the...

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March 30, 2016

Peter and the Lord’s Resurrection

By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J.

Reading the Gospel narratives of the Resurrection can be confusing. They break off suddenly and contain contrasts and contradictions that crisscross each other.  Yet one thing is clear. The Evangelists depict the women disciples as unwavering in their belief that the Lord had truly risen.  Their devotion to him could not be questioned.  The angel at the empty tomb told Mary Magdalene and the other women to announce the good news to the disciples.  Because of their great love, they...

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March 23, 2016

Bitter Tears

By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J.

The sudden death of a spouse or a family member, or problems with children—these experiences can evoke bitter tears.  Betrayal of one’s trust by a dear friend can prompt a similar pent-up reaction.  Such a shameful act can wreak havoc on the offended person, but the betrayer must live with his or her offense. Which brings us to Peter. Overview of Peter’s Betrayal What drove Peter’s treachery on that fateful night, shortly after boasting to Jesus: “I will never deny you?”  It is true...

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