There is no saint without a past,
no sinner without a future - St Augustine
Happy All Saints' Day.
Don't get me wrong, La Madeleine not bad. I'm glad they exist, as we are so starved for good French food in most cities in America.
I had half a Quiche Lorraine and a glass of rosé while my kids were out trick or treating with their father and their friends.
Austin is so crazy – the staff was not wearing masks but most of the customers were wearing masks! 🤡 When will this lunacy end?
I am going to talk about food in this post, hence the cover pic, but first I need to talk about faith and heritage. And family.
But yes, we always get back to the food. Just like on holy days of obligation. You fast, and then you pray, and then you eat.
Stay with me. It's worth it.
Attacked for Celebrating All Saints' Day
Today is the day we honor all the saints who went before us and who gave their lives to defend Christianity.
Tonight we will go to mass at Saint Mary's Cathedral. It's a long day for the kids – school and basketball practice then we drive downtown for mass which lasts an hour and a half. But today is a holy day of obligation, which means, as Catholics, we are required to go to mass.
Anyway, a couple of days ago, I posted a link to my All Hallows' Eve playlist on Facebook. And I got a literal crap ton of negative comments. Here's the playlist for those of you who are interested.
Why do Protestants on social media lose their minds when a Catholic even mentions honoring the saints?
Well, I have a theory. Pretty sure we have all been lied to.
I'll be going into my theory about how all of this happened more on this blog and in future books I write.
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I had completely forgotten until yesterday afternoon that October 31st is Reformation Day. The day Martin Luther smashed our church and splintered it into thousands of pieces.
Does anyone really think it is a coincidence that Martin Luther chose All Hallows' Eve – one of the holiest Christian days of the year – to hammer his theses onto the church door?
Of course it wasn't a coincidence. Question is, who put him up to it? Again, I have my theories... which will be proven out over time.
Martin Luther, the man who:
- Got rid of our holy sacraments including marriage and birth, which led us to broken families and abortion
- Destroyed our reverence for and communion with the saints
- Made confession obsolete and unnecessary
- Turned and turned the holy eucharist into just a symbolic gesture.
And yeah, it's not lost on me that Paul Pelosi, who is supposed to be a Catholic, was just caught “hammering” over the weekend.
Our God certainly does have a way with callbacks. 😆
Some of my favorite Pelosi hammer memes from the past few days:
The Five Solas
So how did Martin Luther manage to destroy so much with a few swings of his "hammer"?
He did it with what we call the "five solas":
- Sola Gratia - Grace Alone
- Sola Fide - Faith Alone
- Solus Christus - Christ Alone
- Sola Scriptura - Scipture Alone
- Soli Deo Gloria - Glory of God Alone
In other words, we don't need the church. We can connect to God, we can do God's work, and we can achieve salvation by these five things alone.
What really struck me (sorry for all the hammer metaphors, I can't help it – like that classic song by 1960s social justice warrior Pete Seeger, If I Had a Hammer) yesterday about the five solas is that they are all based around the word "sola" which is Latin for ALONE.
How very sad is that? To spend your life alone. To pray alone. To sleep alone. To eat your meals alone. To die alone.
Did you know the word companion actually means "to break bread with"?
'Companion' comes from 'panis', the Latin word for bread. Originally, the word was used to describe someone with whom you shared a meal.
The Catholic Church is Our Family
And the Catholic church has always been about family and community. In fact, one of the best books I have ever read about Catholicism is Rome Sweet Home by Scott and Kimberly Hahn.
I highly recommend reading this book, because it really helps you understand how family and community is at the very root of why we are Catholics.
Every time I see a cupola like the one on the cover of that book, I think of a pregnant belly. An arch.
You see arches everywhere in Catholic architecture. Even in the word architecture!
The word arch is from the Latin, arcus which means "bow".
Think of Cupid's bow and arrow.
Or Noah's Arc.
Rome Sweet Home is all about Scott Hahn's realization that God's covenant with mankind is the family.
And isn't it interesting that God told us it was a rainBOW? An arch. The pregnant belly.
And what symbol did the gay pride movement steal from the Bible? You guessed it. The rainbow.
The devil has nothing. He can only steal and deceive. But he leads us nowhere.
Only the Lonely
The Protestant Reformation, with its five blows of the hammer, fractured the church and scattered it into tens of thousands of sects.
And more importantly, it fractured the family. And scattered our community.
And people today are divided and ALONE now than ever. Divide and conquer, as they say.
So yeah, there are so many confused people out there – not just the Protestants but the Christians who don't know what to believe.
Keep reading because I'm going to explain why I think Catholicism is the way back to healing our people and our land.
I didn’t know that when I gave my life to Jesus Christ, I would lose almost all my friends and family, my career, all my income, and my reputation.
It’s worth it. I have complete and total faith that He will rebuild my life and this broken world. In Jesus name! 🙏 Amen.
The word sacrifice, from the Latin, means to make sacred.
So when people attack me on social media for being a Catholic, calling me a pagan and saying I'm lost and "haven't done my research" – well, this is a sacrifice I am proud to make.
It is sacrifice that leads us to joy. Because it is only when we make something sacred that we can truly enjoy it.
My faith is sacred, and I am putting it forth. And just to reiterate, I never attacked anyone on my Facebook page.
I simply shared an All Hallows' Eve playlist.
I cry every single time I listen to this song (who doesn't?):
My Road Back to Catholicism
For those of you who have been trying to follow me on social media (which, I grant you, is a challenge, since I have been banned so much), I am back to Catholicism, which is the church where I was born and baptized.
I came back to the Roman Catholic church at Easter (which I have learned is very stereotypical) of 2018, after I came back to Christianity in 2017.
I left the church at age 7, because I learned about fossils at the communist indoctrination gulag – ahem, I mean public school.
I asked the nuns at CCD (after-school catechism), "Which came first, the dinosaurs or Adam and Eve?"
They told me "We won't be discussing that."
As you may know by now, I am driven by truth. So it really bothered me that no one would answer my question.
But I now realize that it was a blessing that I left the church for as long as I did. Like Moses, I spent 40 years wandering in the wilderness.
And what I realized is that we need the church.
God has been leading me back to the church for years now. He has been surrounding me with Catholic mothers who send me statues of Saint Michael and take me to Latin mass and confession.
Thank you, my friends! You know who you are.
The Last Catholic
Finally, after decades of wandering, I am surrendering.
And I can hear the collective sigh of relief from my ancestors on both sides of my family.
Because I just realized the other day, I am the very last Catholic in my entire family.
Well, maybe that's not true... maybe there are Catholics on my dad's side that I don't know about. But I am the last Catholic on my mother's side.
My grandfather Earl Cousino, a French Canadian-American Catholic who was born and raised in Oregon, Ohio (just south of Lake Erie) traced our family back to the Dordogne Region of France.
I'll talk about that in a minute when I get into the food... yes, we still have to talk about food! Companions, remember?
But I don't think he knew how very steeped our family history is in Catholics. I traced his wife, Ruth, my grandmother's side back, and it's like 90% French Catholic (even she did not know that).
I am on my fourth read of this book, Catholic Republic by Timothy Gordon.
Some of ya'll may be triggered by this... but trust me, read it. It will change your life.
I picked it up again to remind myself of all the reasons I am Catholic on this holy day, All Saints' Day.
Published in 2019, this is a mind-blowing and fascinating book by Timothy Gordon that will not only challenge you to the core, but will explain so much about exactly why our nation is at peril right now.
And how we can fix it.
The basic premise of the book: Catholicism was eroded by the Enlightenment and the Protestant Reformation.
Our American Republic is now being destroyed by leftists (Enlightenment secularists) and RINOs (Protestants, which he calls Republicans In Name Only) and the only way to fix it is to return to our roots.
In short, all roads lead to Rome. (See the Scott Hahn book I talked about above, Rome Sweet Home.)
Catholic Natural Law
Gordon explains that America's constitution is based on Catholic natural law.
We Americans are living like secular atheists, calling ourselves Protestant, but our Republic is founded on Catholicism. And that's why it's not working.
Here's an excerpt that pretty much sums up the book:
"America is wired Catholic, labeled Protestant, and currently functioning as secular.
In this book, I will show that this is true and explain how this confusion has caused most of our country’s major problems.
Moreover, I will show that, ideologically, every American — Protestant, Jew, Muslim, or atheist — is actually Catholic.
That’s because America is a REPUBLIC, (emphasis mine) and, to the extent that they are successful, all true republics rely on a citizenry that holds Catholic principles.
When — as America has done — a republic strays from its fundamental principles, fatal problems ensue. Today’s widespread immorality and ever-increasing tyranny are, in fact, symptoms of a much deeper problem: our nation has ceased to be a republic.
One solution — and only one — can restore our republic and recover America’s greatness: Catholicism."
No Wonder I Love Foie Gras So Much
Okay, let's talk about food now. And then I have to rush to pick up some groceries, shower and dress, and pick up the kids so we can head to mass.
We decided to start doing homemade dinners after Sunday mass with my new BFF – she's the one who got me going to traditional Latin mass at the Cathedral downtown. And I am so excited because now I get to practice cooking again. I can't tell you the last time I had a dinner party!
I started looking into my family history last spring and, as I said, I was stunned to find so many French Catholics on my mother's side. (My father's side is Polish Catholic – I haven't dug that much into them yet.)
As I said, my grandpa traced our family back to France, by way of Quebec, Canada. My mom said we came from the Dordogne region, and I think that is true for one line of our family, but our family comes from all over France. However, most came from the Southwest.
I found this cookbook, The Cooking of Southwest France, on my shelf a few weeks ago, and I have never cooked anything from it.
This is after years of cooking almost every recipe in one of my favorite cookbooks, The Balthazar Cookbook.
There are so many recipes I want to try in this book!
And yes! They will be going on this blog. I will simplify them slightly and make them a bit easier for American cooks.
Of course I will have to test them all first.
I'll be testing the first one tomorrow: Poulet au Verjus a la Dorgogne. (Verjus Chicken of the Dordogne Region.)
I even got the Verjus, a sour green grape juice, on Amazon:
I'm also going to be trying out different recipes for different apéritifs and digestifs.
And not just French... also some Italian. Campari!
And look! You can even make homemade Cognac with vodka or everclear!
LOL! I have a new hobby. Yes, I'll post the recipes on the blog.
I need Cognac for sauces, as well as Prunes in Armagnac – which is a staple of a number of desserts. Like this one:
Ah, there is no better life than the French. Simply the best.
Now you know why Edith Piaf sings that song, La Vie En Rose.
It means Life in the Pink, or seeing everything with rose colored glasses.
And is it any wonder that we pray with a rosary?