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Offline cassini

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A Catholic story from 1949
« on: September 27, 2016, 03:04:12 PM »
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  • Here in Ireland it is walnut harvest time. Today with my 2-year-old granddaughter Sophia, we went gathering walnuts. It reminded me of the times, over 60 years ago, me and my pal Theo went down to St Helen's, a Christian Brothers seminary with almost 500 acres, to gather walnuts. There were over 100 brothers here and we had to avoid them as we sneaked through the woods to the walnut trees we knew. Sometimes the brothers would go for a walk, 2 by 2 and would stretch way along the footpath. What a sight.
    There is an outer green skin on the walnut and if handled moist before they ripened you would get a brown dye on your fingers that could not be washed off. You had to wait until it wore away. Now there were smokers at that time who got brown fingers from cigarettes and we 10-year olds were terrified at the thought of dad or mam thinking we were smoking.
    Anyway, inside the green skin was the traditional walnut. That in turn had to be smashed before one got to the edible bit. But that had a skin on it that had to be removed, a time consuming exercise. So, to get the tiny edible bit took a lot of time and effort. This exercise used to take place on a little bridge over a pond in the estate.

    Now Theo and I were altar boys. We volunteered for everything, not for holy reasons, but mainly to get out of the house especially in the evening. I recall being the altar boy at men's and women's week-long retreats. We would sit on the step of the altar (no chairs in those days) and listen to every word. But when in women's retreats we had to leave the altar for the lesson and come back for the Mass. We often wondered what the priest was saying that we were not allowed to hear. By the age of 12 the pair of us were amateur theologians. The priests knew that there among the altar boys were the future priests. And many did become priests, and the rest of us benefited from being so close to the altar during Mass.

    Anyway, back to the walnut story. there we were, on the bridge, working away to get to the prize, a beautiful white soft juicy treat. Then, just as we were about to eat our labour we would drop every second one into the water, 'for another soul in Purgatory.'

    As my granddaughter put her nuts into a bag I recalled those little 'sacrifices' two little boys did for the poor souls in purgatory. That was today, and the nuts in the pond was sixty years ago. I wondered if any little boys of 10-years-old today had the faith we had to offer made-up sacrifices for souls.        


    Offline Raphael

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    A Catholic story from 1949
    « Reply #1 on: September 27, 2016, 04:15:56 PM »
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  • Thanks for sharing.

    I had to smile at the part of not wanting to serve Mass to become holy. I can say also that my boys don't serve to become holy (in their minds), but the graces do flow because as I read your story out loud to my children, they recalled being 10 and "making up sacrifices for the Poor Souls."  I had to smile at that one too.

    So thanks again. There is hope for the future in the little traditional pockets of Catholic families out there!


    Offline nctradcath

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    A Catholic story from 1949
    « Reply #2 on: September 28, 2016, 10:41:48 AM »
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  • Wonderful story. :) Deo Gratias!

    Offline catquilt

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    A Catholic story from 1949
    « Reply #3 on: September 28, 2016, 10:58:12 AM »
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  • What a wonderful story (and Ireland is so beautiful). My family and I were there about a month ago...

    Offline Student of Qi

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    A Catholic story from 1949
    « Reply #4 on: September 28, 2016, 11:59:24 AM »
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  • Cassini,
       The answer to your question in the last paragraph is yes! Back in May, Mothers Day  to be exact, we had High Mass. At that time there were no followers for the acolyte's candles. Due to this fact the wax ran down the candles and hardend on the hands of Ac2. It hurt bad, I know, I've been there. After Mass, he pulled it off and gave it to his Mom as a gift for Mothers Day.  Seeing that made me smile and wish I had hot wax on my hands and was so considerat. It makes an interesting present...
    Many people say "For the Honor and Glory of God!" but, what they should say is "For the Love, Glory and Honor of God". - Fr. Paul of Moll


     

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