Sunday, March 23, 2008

Blurry Reflections of the Easter Vigil

   So I came through my first eye surgery well.  Now to wait for one eye to heal and to get the other eye operated upon.  Right now I can see clearly out of one eye, but not the other.  My left eye is amazingly clear, you don't know what you are missing until you get it back. My right eye, which is also my dominant eye, is even more fuzzy, or at least more noticeable.  This means reading and typing are kind of strange for now.
   However, I feel compelled to reflect a bit on last night's Easter Vigil, which started at 8:30 PM and ended at 11:55PM.  That was then, this is now.  We enter the Church for the vigil in much the same way the Mary's and the Apsotles entered the tomb.  It was dark and Jesus was not there.  We expect to find Him there in the taberacle when we enter, much as the those coming to the tomb expected to find His body.  Like those coming to the tomb, we find the Body of Christ to not be present.  Unexpected and unnerving in a sense.  Everyday you can enter the Church, but on Good Friday and Holy Saturday, the Church is empty.  Jesus is not there.
In this sense, the Church represents the tomb, we expect the Body to be there when we enter and yet it is not.  What has happened?  Where has it gone?  Like those who came to the tomb, we don't quite get it, we're not used to it, something is out of place.  It is dark, it is empty, and we await the sunrise to learn of the ressurection.  Just like those who went to the tomb.
As Father David mentioned, that was then and this is now.  And like God, it doesn't matter because He is outside time.  So the feelings then and the feeling now are very much the same.  Somehow I know there is a point to it being so.  A continual link to the beginnings of the Church experienced by all then and now.  An experience that will be had by all at the end of the world, something we can all look forward on that joyous day.  This is now, that is then.  When will then be now?  Soon.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Happy Belated St. Patrick's Day and St. Joseph's Day!

That's right folks, not only was yesterday St. Joseph's Day but it was also St. Patrick's Day!  Due to March 17th, the traditional date of St.  Patrick's Day falling during Holy Week, St. Patrick's Day was moved to the 15th.  So all you fools drinking your green beer on the 17th are two days late to the feast.

Corn beef and cabbage, meatballs and pasta. Beer and red wine and zepole's for dessert with green cherries should have been on the menu.

So for the rest of you...sorry you missed all the fun!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

So, I have eye surgery next Tuesday.  It turns out I have, somehow, developed cataracts in both eyes.  Simply stated, I have a cloudy zone on the lens in both eyes that is right behind my pupil.  This cloudiness has resulted in fuzzy vision, difficulty reading and the appearance of haziness/fog in brght light.  Usually, folks don't develop these until their 50s and 60s, but they can happen younger than that.  That's my case.  So I go Tuesday, they'll drug me up, go into my left eyeball and remove my lens and replace it with an artificial one.  It will put me out commission for for a day or so.  Most unfortunately is no hockey for 10 days.  Fortunately, my next league game is scheduled for day 13.   I may get the right eye done on day 14.  my next game being on day 28.  So it may work out.  Plus it gives me a chance to wait on and install my new face cage and shield before then.  I am abandoning my cage for a cage/visor combo which will shield the eyes from anything that could get in them and irritate them while they heal.  I can skate though, just no hockey practice or games.   

I start eye drops Saturday and will find out tomorrow what time I am getting "cut on".   I'm a bit nervous but excited that this eye trouble that's been bothering me for awhile will finally be cleared up (pun intended)!

Another great thing, I'll be out and about in time for Holy Thursday!  

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Tonight I watched the sequel to Going My Way a film entitled The Bells of St. Mary's.
Another wonderful film and a piece of cinema history.  Bing Crosby revives his role as Father Chuck O'Malley and was nominated for Best Actor, an award he won for playing the same character the year before.  This marked the first, and I believe the only time, the same actor has been nominated for a Best Actor award for playing the same character.   I found this little preview on youtube.  Also, why didn't the nuns at my school growing up look like Ingrid Bergman?  Even in a habit she's beautiful.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

I found this review of Going My Way, it was published in the New York Times way back when the film was released in 1944.

Going My Way,' Comedy-Drama With Bing Crosby and Barry Fitzgerald, at Paramount -- New Film at Palace

Published: May 3, 1944

Having hit about as high in his profession as any average man would hope to hit—and that to say the top notes in the musical comedy league—Bing Crosby has switched his batting technique (or had it switched for him) in his latest film, "Going My Way." And—would you believe it?—old Bing is giving the best show of his career. That's saying a lot for a performer who has been one of the steadiest joys of the screen. But, in this Leo McCarey film, now at the Paramount, he has definitely found his sturdiest role to date.

For in this, Mr. Crosby's first picture with a comparatively serious dramatic theme—and also the first in which his singing is not heavily depended upon—he has been beautifully presented by Mr. McCarey, who produced and directed the film. And he has been stunningly supported by Barry Fitzgerald, who plays one of the warmest characters the screen has ever known. As a matter of fact, it is a cruel slight to suggest that this is Mr. Crosby's show. It is his and Mr. Fitzgerald's together. And they make it one of the rare delights of the year.

For "Going My Way" is the story—rich, warm and human to the core—of a progressive young Catholic priest who matches his wits and his ideas with those of the elderly pastor of a poor parish—a parish which the young priest is tacitly sent to conduct. It is the story of new versus old customs, of traditional age versus youth. And it is a story of human relations in a simple, sentimental, honest vein.

But it is far from a serious story—in the telling, anyhow. It is as humored and full of modern crackle as a Bing Crosby film has got to be. From the moment that Mr. Crosby shows up at St. Dominic's Church in a faded athletic costume to face the breathless skepticism of Mr. Fitzgerald until the final (and somewhat obvious) fadeout, when Mr. Crosby goes away in the night — the parish's treasury replenished and Mr. Fitzgerald comfortably wrapped in his old mother's arms—it is a delightful and witty case of sparring, with perfect dignity, between the two men.

There is the beautiful moment when Mr. Fitzgerald, while displaying his parish garden to the young priest, exclaims that it is a wonderful place to meditate and then adds, slyly, "You do—meditate?" There is the charming scene in which Mr. Crosby escorts the weary old gentleman to his bed, and then is surprised to discover that the reverent ancient likes "a drop of the craiture" now and then. And there is that simply exquisite sequence in which Mr. Fitzgerald goes off in a huff because Mr. Crosby is testing the neighborhood roughnecks in a vocal rendering of "Three Blind Mice."

Yes, there are musical passages in the picture. They come when Mr. Crosby occasionally sings a modern song bearing the title of the picture, another new air and a couple of old timers. They also come—and more magnificently—when Risé Stevens, who is trickily worked in, sings an aria from "Carmen," "Ave Maria" and the title song, too. And Mr. Crosby and the Robert Mitchell Boy Choir (dressed up like neighborhood kids) do very amusingly by a number called "Swinging on a Star."

The only criticism of the production—and of the excellent script which Frank Butler and Frank Cavett wrote—is that it runs to an excess. It is more than two hours long. And in that time there are certain stretches when the momentum somewhat lags. But otherwise no exceptions are taken. In addition to Mr. Crosby and Mr. Fitzgerald, Frank McHugh, Miss Stevens, Jean Heather and Stanley Clements—especially the latter as a genial tough — give thoroughly good performances. They enrich this already top-notch film with a vigorous glow of good spirit. "Going My Way" is a tonic delight.

GOING MY WAY, screen play by Frank Butler and Frank Cavett; from a story by Leo McCarey; produced and directed by Mr. McCarey for Paramount; songs by Johnny Burke and James Van Heusen. At the Paramount. 
Father Chuck O'Malley . . . . . Bing Crosby 
Jenny Linden . . . . . Rise Stevens 
Father Fitzgibbon . . . . . Barry Fitzgerald 
Ted Haines Jr . . . . . James Brown 
Carol James . . . . . Jean Heather 
Mrs. Carmody . . . . . Eily Malyon 
Father O'Dowd . . . . . Frank McHugh 
Tony Scaponi . . . . . Stanley Clements 
Haines Sr. . . . . . Gene Lockhart 
Mr. Belknap . . . . . Porter Hall 
Tomaso Bozanni . . . . . Fortunio Bonanova 
The Robert Mitchell Boy Choir

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Going My Way?

   Tonight I watched a wonderful film.  Winner of 7 Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor (Bing Crosby) in 1944, Going My Way.   They just don't make films like this anymore.  Having never seen it all the way through, I loved it and the twist at the end of film was amazing.  Foreshadowed throughout, but a wonderful surprise.  In a very real sense, it was just what I needed tonight.   
   It's been a very long week for me, lot's of unknowns that were out there just hanging over me.  Literally fuzzy and cloudy and not clearly seen.  Questions, what if's, where to go from this point type stuff.   Today some answers, a direction and a path laid out.  I'll know a little more to be determined Monday.   Now before you start asking, why am I being cryptic...well I don't know a whole heck of a lot at the moment either, just that it looks likely that I have become a rare medical anomally for my age and will probably have to undergo some routine surgery to correct a problem.   I'll keep you updated as I can.  In the meantime....who's "Going My Way?"