At the beginning of Advent, we had a wonderful opportunity to attend Fr. Leo's ministry. He has his own show at the Food Network called Grace Before Meals. I found myself nodding in appreciation since everybody is a foodie in our home and mealtimes are always full of sharing not just the food, but stories. And since our conversion, it has also become a time of family prayer and reflection.
Fr. Leo feeds theology in bite sized portions with a generous dose of humor. Both my children enjoyed his talks very much. If you ever get a chance to listen to him, do so. And if you watch TV, check out his show.
Of course, there was a lecture on the Eucharist! After all, we are what we eat, and more important than all the earthly delicacies is the consecrated Host. He spoke of how God created all good things to eat, fed the Israelites manna in the desert, fed the five thousand (not counting women and children), and finally gave Himself up so that we may live in Him. He remains with us, even until the end of time.
Even so, no one is immune from temptation. We are a fallen people. So here are some practical tips from Fr. Leo.
A: avoid the near occasion of sin
B: bypass it
C: control it
D: destroy it
He invited a volunteer to act like the devil, to take potshots and punches, and Fr. Leo, using karate moves, showed us how to fight temptations and sins. At the end of the demo, he told the young man, "You just hit a priest!"
He invited another young man to demonstrate the Christian life through the humble PBJ:
P is for patience, to suffer by waiting, esp. for young people (and writers too)
B is for balance, to be firmly rooted in Christ
J is for Christian joy, to share it.
It being the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, I'd like to share Fr. Leo's first day of his Mariology class in Rome. A tiny Italian priest came up to the podium and said, "Maria. Virgine. Madre. ... Impossible!" They were to ponder this the rest of the class. It is a great Mystery. But we must never forget that with God all things are possible. "Omnipotentem," said the little priest. Mary "full of grace" brings Jesus to us, and at Calvary, Jesus gives us His mother. She is our mother too. She's not just important, but necessary. And so we pray the rosary. Think of it as Mary sharing her photo album of Jesus with us.
This has been a long post. I'm sorry I'm not funny like Fr. Leo, so thank you for reading.
God bless you.