Samstag, 15. April 2017

O Felix Culpa, Eastern with Felix...

.......Something is different this week. The people arrive on Thursday evening and the priest washes the feet of twelve seminarians.
The Gethsemane chapel is particularly full of pilgrims into the night.
The next day is Good Friday, but Felix is not aware of this special day. He only notices that on this Friday more people are praying at the Stations of the Cross. At 3 p.m., they stream into the Church. It is not a typical Mass, rather a ceremony in which the crucifix is uncovered and venerated.
Then the priest starts his homily.
“We find ourselves in Holy Week and remember the Passion of Christ, especially today on Good Friday, the day of Our Lord, Jesus Christ’s death.”
Now Felix understands why everything is so different. The day is similar to Christmas Eve, only we are happy about His birth and not sad about His death.
Additionally, on the following Saturday morning, no Mass takes place.
“Is it now the end of the shrine? I hope my mission is not coming to an end.
Should I finally think about how I will be able to survive and support myself?”
Felix climbs the tree and after a while falls asleep. It’s common knowledge that cats naturally know how to stay in a tree once sleeping. As he opens his eyes again it is evening and he sees a few seminarians stacking up wood for a fire.
“Everyone is getting as cold as I am,” Felix thinks. It is already dusk and innumerable pilgrims begin to arrive. Happily, Felix is in the tree so he is safe and has the best view.
Then they come. Seminarians dressed like altar boys accompanied by a large group of priests. They go to the fire which burns brightly and so the ceremony begins. The fire is blessed and then surprisingly Felix hears his name.
“Has someone discovered me? Do they want me to come down? I clearly heard my name and am not mistaken?”
“That means, O Happy Fault,” whispers a father into the ear of his small son.
“And so we are very lucky that Jesus Christ took all of our sins upon Himself
and thus was able to open the door into paradise which was closed by the sin of Adam and Eve.”
A priest has a huge candle which he can hardly carry. This candle is lit from the fire. All the people process in the pitch dark Church and sing piously,
After a few minutes, the song is recited, louder, in a higher pitch. Then again for a third time with more enthusiasm and joy.
“That means the light of Christ,” repeats the father to his son. All at once it becomes even more interesting when people begin to light their small candles from the large candle. This event causes the Church to beam with heavenly light. A great joy comes to everyone including Felix. That Jesus is risen from death is celebrated on Easter morning. With his own blood, Jesus, the Son of God, has washed us clean from all our sins.
Now Felix understands why he has loved Latin so much from the first time he heard it.....

From: Felix the Shrine Cat- 
by Edith Breburda, 

Freitag, 14. April 2017

Felix the Shrine Cat and Holy Week

Felix’ favorite place is the tomb of Antonia. When he doesn’t have anything to do, he sits in front of it and contemplates.
Some pilgrims arrive and begin to pray outside at the border of the shrine property. A man positions himself at the front of the crowd. Using a loudspeaker he reads out of a book.
He begins with the First Station of the Cross, reading of the Passion of Christ. This is new to Felix. There was no need for him to go closer because of his hearing, one of his special senses, captures every word.
As the pilgrim's process forward towards the Church, Felix hears more about the Passion of Christ, which deeply saddens his heart. 
Felix would have loved to have been there, even more so than at the birth of Christ. He would have loved to have shown compassion and to have consoled Jesus, the Redeemer of the world.
As Jesus carries His Cross, He meets his mother. It is difficult to imagine how she suffered with Him. Felix is impressed that she never left her Son’s side.
The reading explains that Veronica draped Jesus’ face with her wet veil. She was a courageous woman who cared. Thanks to her, an imprint of his His face exists.
Then comes Jesus’ death on the Cross. There were nails in His hands and feet and a crown of thorns on His head, and He was scourged and beaten.
At this time everyone goes down on their knees in worship and prayer.

Felix is deeply moved to the point where he needs to be alone. He is unable to get to the crucifix in the main Church. He wishes to find a quiet spot where pious pilgrims would not chase a small cat away.
The Gethsemane chapel comes into his view. Yes, that’s where he wanted to be in his sadness.
Felix sneaks inside and sees Jesus kneeling in great agony over a small rock with His hands clasped together. Above Jesus, an angel holds a chalice. Beneath it, a banner is inscribed with the words: “Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me.”
Felix carefully crawls closer to the kneeling statue of Jesus. From this angle, he was sure that nobody would be able to see him. He gradually nestles himself next to Jesus.
He begins to cry bitterly. If anyone would see him, they would be astonished. One often hears about crocodile tears, but never about cat tears.
The little cat’s body shakes uncontrollably and the chalice comes into his view again.
“This is the chalice I always see in the Holy Mass.
“There was no way Jesus could have avoided drinking from the chalice, even though He petitioned His Father to spare His life.”
Felix stays in the chapel for a long time.
The magnitude of his wish to remain is hard to imagine. He would have loved to personally participate in the Passion of Christ. In his anger, he would have bitten the hands of the evil soldiers who scourged and crucified Jesus.

Felix doesn’t grasp how it was possible that Jesus was crucified because Jesus only did so many good deeds for mankind.
“Mean individuals have always existed on the earth and are also found in the animal kingdom.” He thinks about what he has experienced with the rooster and heard about the weasels

taken from the new Children Book
from Edith Breburda