Fall into Grace
|Fall is a great time to use some extra spice, thanks to the good folks at Tabasco for a great gift of spicy sauces.|
|Entire families come out for Fr. Leo’s events. A great way to bring the family together!|
|We’re excited to launch The Table Foundation and do more good for those most in need.|
Let us pray:
FOOD FOR THOUGHT:
|An Ironic Super September|
For some reason, when the month of September rolls around, I feel like it goes so quickly that I already feel the pressure of Christmas shopping! There’s an ironic truth about how being busy makes the time go faster while the devil can tempt us when we’re idle and bored. So, thank God for a busy September!
Let me recap my month. (By the way, this list is not to “show off” but a personal exercise for me to keep my own sanity!). In this month alone, I had speaking, cooking, or media events in New York City, New Jersey, the western part of Maryland, Washington DC, Ohio, Denver, Little Rock, Arkansas, Iowa, and Wisconsin. In that time, I recorded 4 episodes of my radio show, “Entertaining Truth“ and 3 new traveling episodes of “Savoring our Faith (LINK)” We continue to make great progress with my newest project, “The Table Foundation” – which, if you’ve ever started a non-profit, it’s an exercise of “hurry-up-and-wait.”
In the meantime, our team is organizing trips to bring you and the good news around the world through our faith, food, and culture trips to New York, Italy, Napa Valley. Soon we will extend invitations to the Holy Land and Spain in 2015. In light of the Papal visit to the Philippines, I’m participating in discussions to travel there in January 2015. On top of all that, I’m coordinating a “meet and greet” for people interested in learning more about the Consecrated Life through my community Voluntas Dei, a Secular Institute of Pontifical Rite set for October 8.
Despite my sheer busyness, I can honestly say that it all pales in comparison to the busyness that a family goes through, especially if it’s a young growing family. So, while I’m busy, my project manager and his wife are extra busy! Can you please join me in welcoming a new member of the Grace Before Meals family: Joshua Giorgio Hansbrough, the son of my project manager, Joe and Erica Hansbrough, and the little brother to Grace.
As many of you know from working with him to schedule or coordinate events, Joe Hansbrough is just as busy behind the computer or phones while I’m busy on the road. Joe reports that Joshua Giorgio is a real “eater” and has great metabolism! Can’t wait for the opportunity to cook for him as I did for his big sister – another really good eater!
Joshua Giorgio was born on September 11, 2014. On that eerie day for airlines, I was on a plane headed to Denver to film a catechetical segment for the Augustine Institute. If you’re familiar with the Grace Before Meals story, you’ll see the irony. The idea of Grace Before Meals was intimately connected to the tragic date of September 11. With Joshua Giorgio, September 11 now has extra special meaning. God works in ironic, beautiful and wonderfully mysterious ways. A date that reminds people of death and destruction. But for people of faith, this date becomes a date to remember hope, courage, fortitude; a day of new life, and increases love for people that extends beyond the limits of life on earth.
Maybe because of my transition into a community of Consecrated Life I’ve been more aware of the ironic and providential ways that God has been encouraging and affirming our Grace Before Meals apostolate. Little signs, like encouraging emails, cards from children, affirming encounters, and now the celebration of the new life of Joshua Giorgio on September 11th speaks to my heart about how God does not give up on humanity. It’s my prayer that in the increasing challenges of our economy, politics, social struggles and world wars, I pray that humanity doesn’t give up on God!
Let us pray:
Despite our busyness God, may we always hear your voice speak to us a word of encouragement, reminding us to pray, to find quiet, and to never forget your presence in the dignity of humanity and the gift of life! We pray for all who continue to struggle in the aftermath of world tragedies and those who silently struggle in their hearts and homes. I pray that all will be faithful to see the providence of God, sometimes working through the irony of life. May we never give up on you God, as we know You are always faithful to us. Amen.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT:
8/23/14 – 8/26/14
God Is (Isaiah 12:2)
God is. Simply put, to say the least. But what a big statement! What, or more accurately, who is God to you? There is no answer that can encompass the entirety of God, for He is entirety and then so much more. But the Prophet Isaiah has a pretty good answer for us to consider:
“BEHOLD, GOD IS MY SALVATION, I WILL TRUST AND NOT BE AFRAID; FOR THE LORD GOD IS MY STRENGTH AND SONG, AND HE HAS BECOME MY SALVATION.”
I will be at 3 Steubenville Youth Conferences this year, and as you may have guessed, the theme is “God Is”. This weekend, I will once again be going to Steubenville On The Bayou, at the Houma Civic Center in Houma, LA, then I will be at Steubenville Atlantic (in Canada) (7/4- 7/6/14) and Steubenville Main Campus 5 (7/18-7/20/14). And what wonderful opportunities to come together with so many young people ready to be set on fire with love for God in their faith.
I will be giving more than giving a talk, but will also be leading the entertainment like last year, and am looking forward to the fun waiting to be had. More than just talks and musical performances, there is a true unity felt among the crowds of young people and adults, all brought together in the love of God.
The theme of “God Is” should provoke you to think about what that means to you. Is it a statement, or is it the start of a sentence? Even the most devout would benefit from seeking to find out more about who God is in their lives. I highly encourage you, your children or any young person you think would benefit from the experience to try and make it out to one of these conferences. There is a full listing HERE.
Also, you can check out my Epic Food Fight video, preparing Blessed ‘Milk & Honey’ Salad by clicking the picture above. Check it out and let us know what you think! Finally, I want to encourage anyone interested in joining me for pilgrimages to Napa Valley (11/9-11/14/14) and the Holy Land (2/1-2/12/15) to register soon. The deadline for Napa Valley is July 7, so call Corporate Travel Service at 313-565-8888 x 122 to register today.
I’ll hope you are excited for the journey ahead to seek who, what, or that God is. God is.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT:
- What does the Steubenville Conferences’ theme “God Is” mean to you?
- Have you been to a Steubenville Conference before? How was your experience?
- Have you ever engaged in a conversation about who God is with a non-believer? What happened?
Please post your comments below as these help our movement learn and grow.
Let us pray:
God, may we come to seek you are in all things, for you are all that we desire and you provide all that we need. May we trust that you are here with us always, and that you know what is best. May we surrender our hearts, our fears and our ambitions to you, so that you may do with us what is most pleasing to you. We love you always, and ask your blessing on all people, whether young or old, rich or poor, big or small. May many come to love you more through these conferences and in the work we do for your glory. Through Christ, our Lord. Amen.
This Week’s Recipe:
BEER-B-Q ITALIAN SAUSAGE AND ONIONS
6/27/14 – 6/29/14
Giving the GIFT of Holy Communion with Gluten Consciences
Since the introduction of the newest liturgical vessel, The GIFT: Gluten Intolerant Faithful Thanksgiving, we have had an overwhelming positive response. There were also a few questions, which I hope to answer in this “From the Feed Bag.”
Can people diagnosed with Celiac Disease receive the special low-gluten host approved by the Catholic Church?
There is a difference between people who have a gluten intolerance or a wheat allergy, and celiac disease. The special hosts approved by the Catholic Church have the lowest possible amount of wheat in order to be valid for sacramental consecration. As the video shows, even people with celiac disease may be able to receive the host without any noticeable physical reactions. With the GIFT and approved special low gluten hosts, the Church has addressed the special considerations of those with celiac disease in the most pastorally and seriously approved way possible.
If the priest uses both hands for the “fraction rite” is there still a chance of “cross contamination” even if he uses his other hand to distribute the special approved hosts from the GIFT vessel?
The Church has the responsibility to be attentive to people with gluten conditions (allergies, intolerances, or diseases) while avoiding the temptation to be scrupulous and obtuse in regards to handling the sacred hosts. While the fraction rite (i.e., when the priest breaks the host) means that the priest uses both hands, the moisture from his hands alone provides enough “cleansing” to safely distribute the special low gluten host in a pastorally attentive way. Using the other hand (after wiping on the corporal) also helps to avoid fears of cross contamination.
Why can’t people with gluten conditions just use the chalice and receive the Precious Blood?
Drinking the Precious Blood from the chalice provides the communicant the full sign of Communion. However, many churches do not offer Communion under both Forms. Some also prefer not to receive the Sacred Blood for personal hygienic concerns, which is why some churches do not offer the Precious Blood during flu season. Some also have personal or other medical reasons for not receiving the consecrated wine, the Blood of Christ. This GIFT simply provides an easy way to give Communion without drawing more attention to the person with the special gluten concerns.
Is this a real concern for the church? Are we somehow making these “diets” a bigger deal?
Gluten conditions are medical conditions, which the Church takes very seriously. Creating the GIFT is a pastoral response to a biological problem that is unfortunately growing in numbers. It’s not the Church’s position to disregard or dismiss, but to be attentive to people who have special conditions. The GIFT provides a pastoral and sacred way to easily distribute Communion without calling too much attention to those persons, and without creating hassle for the priest or liturgists during this most sacred time at Mass.
Why is the GIFT more expensive than those pyxes that many people have?
When creating the GIFT, I made a prayerful and conscious decision to work with Alviti Creations, a reputable Catholic Family owned vessel-making company with experience for the past 40 years. They told me they do not make sacred vessels with cheap materials. It’s our shared philosophy that the GIFT ought to be a worthy vessel, keeping with the liturgical laws and sacred traditions of the Roman Catholic Faith. The Church believes that the consecrated hosts, even if they are low gluten, are the Body of Christ deserving more than cheap materials or an inferior plastic lined pyx. This is a sacred vessel because it holds the Most Sacred Gift. Working with Alviti Creations has been a blessed decision, and I’m proud to be their partner in this special project.
Where can I get the GIFT?
You can order your GIFT by contacting Alviti Creations, or by contacting your local liturgical distributor. It’s important to speak with your pastor and the pastoral / liturgical team about this good news for special Communion needs. This also provides a real opportunity for the entire parish to have a catechetical “refresher” on the spiritual and practical aspects of receiving Holy Communion, i.e., going to confession, showing the proper piety and posture for Communion, and also pastorally letting people know that special gluten concerns ought not prevent you from receiving Holy Communion.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT:
Please post your comments HERE, as these help our movement learn and grow.
Let us pray:
Father, thank You for the Gift of the Eucharist, and for sending Your spirit upon the Church with the idea for this new vessel. We pray for all who receive Communion, may they do so with hearts that are humble, joyful and most importantly hungry for Your saving Grace. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
WATCH: Fr. Leo on ‘The World Over with Raymond Arroyo’ on EWTN
Fr. Leo was a special guest on ‘The World Over with Raymond Arroyo’ on June 5, 2014. Fr. Leo speaks on Grace Before Meals and The GIFT Vessel in greater details.
Fr. Leo returns to FOX45 to share his new invention for those with a gluten intolerance who want to receive communion during Mass: The GIFT (Gluten Intolerant Faithful Thanksgiving). Watch him explain it further and share the news!
Fr. Leo talks with Michael Lavigne and Dom Bettinelli about the necessity of grace before meals, of feasting and fasting, and of understanding how God wants to satisfy our hungers even as He hungers for us.
SUBSCRIBE, LIKE, COMMENT & SHARE!
Any submissions may be used in future Grace Before Meals publications.
- All Souls Day
- Blast from the Past
- CRS Rice Bowl
- Culinary Confessions
- Dinner Discussion
- Entertaining Truth
- Epic Food Fight
- Faithful Foodie
- Feast Days
- Food for the Body
- Food for the Soul
- Food for Thought
- From the Feedbag
- Grace Before Meals
- In Memory
- Menu Inspiration
- Merry Christmas
- New Year
- Past Emails
- Recipe- Dessert
- Recipe- Pork
- Recipe-Side Dishes
- Restauraunt Reviews
- Savoring Our Faith
- Simply Blogging
- Special Religious Theme
- Spicing Up Married Life
- Taste Tester
- The Table Foundation
- What's On the Table