Culture: July 2009 Archives

JS Bach.jpg
Today is the anniversary of death of Johann Sebastian Bach
(31 March 1685 - 28 July 1750)

May he share the victory of Christ!

Seeing Jesus next to you

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Nose Picking.jpgWe're in the middle of the annual Vacation Bible School. About 150 kids ranging in ages 4-11 are attending the week. Each day a member of the clergy (or the seminarian) gives an explanation of the day's Scripture passage who then ends the 5 minute lesson with a prayer. Well...

Father Ignacio (our fearless new curate) told the assembled and burgeoning bible thumpers that they had to be attentive to Jesus, and that Jesus was especially present in the person next to him or her. Kids being kids, a teacher turned to the person next to her and saw a little man picking his nose. While it's a nice idea to think Jesus is present in all people I thinking there are limits when someone, even a kid, is picking his nose. Don't you think? OK, I am not a parent but ya know....

OK, I laughed (to myself so as not to disturb the priests with whom I live) that Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia said in May to a youth conference that he thinks women are the stronger sex and psychologically more sturdy than men. My mother and sister would agree; and if my grandmothers and Aunt Jeanne were alive, they'd agree with His All Holiness. I am happy that he said this because he confirmed something I always knew or was drilled into my noggin --and heard proclaimed by women's organizations since I've been in seminary formation. While this is neither new news nor as the critical as the oxygen being sucked out of the news industry in the past 8 days (with Michael Jackson's death) but now it's "infallible" and we all know the truth. Really, I am not poking fun at the Russian Patriarch...I think it's humorous that such a point was newsworthy of Interfax, a news agency. In part, Patriarch Kirill said:

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"Men happen to be frailer. The upheavals of 1990s caused many of them to break down, but women had more vigor to endure the stress."

Answering questions, it was said that sport achievements required courage: "women win our country most of Russia's gold medals in sport."

The Patriarch's words received a riveting ovation. "An individual comprises both spirit and body, and human strength depends not only on its physical component. In this regard, women are the stronger sex," Patriarch Kirill said.

That he travels around Russia Patriarch Kirill noticed that "Almost every village has some kind of an amateur talent group. Who sings in a choir? Women do, and sometimes they are accompanied by a drunken accordionist." The same is true for many village schools, libraries, post offices, local administration where women have to play the lead, concluded Kirill.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]



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This page is a archive of entries in the Culture category from July 2009.

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