Sunday, May 31, 2009

La Pentecote Dimanche

Pentecost Sunday

Mes amis,

The grace of Our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all!

Wishing you a blessed Pentecost from Agadir, Morocco. Yesterday I visited the Catholic church here, Eglise Sainte Anne, and the souk. See the photos of the Church here and souk and other stops here.

In our common prayer of the sacred Liturgy of the holy Mass, with an assurance of remembrance in our Masses this morning, Latin with chant at 0730 and English at 0830.

Au revoir,
Fr C

(Photo by author: Our simple altar prepared for the Holy Sacrifice of the Solemnity of Pentecost.)

"They took their meals in common"

Our 4th Medical Battalion group met for dinner Sunday night at Le Maxwell restaurant in Agadir. Just as the Lord solemnized His relationship with us by instituting the sacrificial banquet of the holy Sacrifice of the Mass in which he gives us His Body and Blood, so also in our families and other important relationships a meal brings us together to talk and be with one another. This time spent around a table is made a blessing in the Lord as it seals and strengthens the love of persons in relation and the spirit of cooperation and fraternity of military units.

Agadir scenes

The tagine is the Moroccan method of cooking a meal of lamb, chicken or steak together with vegetables over a fire. This photo depicts a vendor at the souk.

Nut vendor at the souk

Freshly slaughtered meat.

Local flora.

Red dragonfly.

Afriquia gas station.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Eglise Catholique Sainte Anne

Saint Anne with young Saint Mary

The church fronts the street with this humble marquee at 115 rue de Marrakech. Two Masses are celebrated on Sunday and one weekdays.

Our Lady and Christ with a tribute of "le fleur" rose.

The church was not busy at the time of our visit. The altar more so. The altar is in and of itself a symbol of the Lord Himself offered in sacrifice once and for all on the Cross and in an unbloody manner in each holy Mass. When relegated to status as a mere table used to support numerous devotional items the symbol of the altar itself loses significance for the meditation of the faithful. The French priest appeared too busy to stop for a chat at the moment of our visit.

Omar, "La Vache qui rit" and the Souk

Concierge Omar welcomes guests at the front desk

"La Vache qui rit", the French laughing cow.

The boulevardier of Agadir hotels, the Atlantic Palace.

The souk, a large open-air market, is surrounded by a high casbah-style wall.

Among the plethora of items on offer at the souk are a wide variety of fruits and vegetables.


Bonjour, mon amis. Bienvenue a blog "La Vie Sacerdotale" du Maroc.

Good day, my friend. Welcome to the blog "A Priest Life" reporting from Morocco.

Thank you for your visit. I invite you to enjoy a few fresh photos today of local life.

The casbah is a castle or fortress constructed in the traditional material of mud bricks.

Yes. It is here also.

Yogurt is a "yawmy" treat all over the world.

They are ahead of us with "green" transportation. This vehicle is powered by grass.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Comment allez vous?

How are you? Thank you for your visit to A Priest Life.

I posted fresh photos today of our surgical/medical team here at African Lion exercise 2009. You can see them by clicking this link. Your chaplain blogger was deployed with the Navy team of doctors, nurses and corpsmen from 4th Marine Logistics Group.

See photos of our first foray of liberty to explore the local people, food and culture by clicking here.

Please send your comments and visit again later for more photos of the Morocco deployment.


Bon soir,

Father Kevin M. Cusick
Agadir, Morocco

(Photo: Marines at rest stop along highway between Agadir and Tan Tan, Morocco.)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

"No greater joy than this: follow theTruth"

"Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in health",

O Lord, "your Word is Truth" - grant us life in you, that your Word might be prayer on our lips, rejoicing in praise! Let us share in this greatest of joys!

A military colleague of mine here in Morocco might be described as a somewhat embittered ex-Catholic. And we are sharing a room! He asked to be admitted to the seminary when younger, was rejected and may be harboring some resentment for that and other reasons. I know that he struggles with some demons as do we all. He likes to challenge me as he tries to work out where he stands on the question of the Church and the Faith. He says he is now happy to practice as a Christian outside the visible reality of the Church. I encourage him as I can while also showing him the sincerity of engaging him in debate and conversation when he is willing to do so with respect. Yesterday he challenged me: "Tell me, when was the last time you read the Bible cover to cover?" I upbraided him somewhat for his harsh tone while answering that such a project is important in my life but not first on my "to-do" list as it might be for him. Holy Mass and the praying of the Breviarium come first. This is Word-based prayer though not in a chronological sense.

Today I kept this conversation in mind while pacing outside, sending my voice and thoughts up in communion with the universal Church, praying the hour "ad Primam". And I recalled that nowhere does Christ command "Read the Bible cover to cover" - although I am sure he much blesses those who do. But Christ did command us: "Pray always." And this we do WHILE reading our Bibles. In the prayer of holy Mass and the Liturgy of the Hours we both read the Bible AND pray. In this way the Word, which is Christ Himself, remains in us a living word in the Spirit of truth and thus the Word which gives life. Only the living Word in prayer and praise as love of God in action, the first works of those who have the Holy Spirit, can give the gift of joy which is the evidence of the life of the Spirit. I am greatly blessed to be charged with this responsibility of prayer each day in communion with the universal Church through the oration of the Breviary.

In the Breviary today we read from the 3rd letter of Saint John:

"1* The elder to the beloved Gaius, whom I love in the truth.

2 Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in health; I know that it is well with your soul. 3 For I greatly rejoiced when some of the brethren arrived and testified to the truth of your life, as indeed you do follow the truth. 4 No greater joy can I have than this, to hear that my children follow the truth.

5 Beloved, it is a loyal thing you do when you render any service to the brethren, especially to strangers, 6 who have testified to your love before the church. You will do well to send them on their journey as befits God's service. 7 For they have set out for his sake and have accepted nothing from the heathen. 8 So we ought to support such men, that we may be fellow workers in the truth.

9 I have written something to the church; but Diotrephes, who likes to put himself first, does not acknowledge my authority. 10 So if I come, I will bring up what he is doing, prating against me with evil words. And not content with that, he refuses himself to welcome the brethren, and also stops those who want to welcome them and puts them out of the church. 11 Beloved, do not imitate evil but imitate good. He who does good is of God; he who does evil has not seen God. 12* Demetrius has testimony from every one, and from the truth itself; I testify to him too, and you know my testimony is true. 13* I had much to write to you, but I would rather not write with pen and ink 14 I hope to see you soon, and we will talk together face to face. 15 Peace be to you. The friends greet you. Greet the friends, every one of them.

We "follow the truth" in the testimony we give by our life of daily prayer in the Church and with the Church, the Word of Christ "come in the flesh" alive on our lips and burning in our hearts in the sacred liturgies of holy Mass and the hours of prayer. "No greater joy" can we have than this, to be those "children" of the Father who "follow the truth" in Christ by the Holy Spirit praying with our minds and hearts and voices.

I posted more photos from the desert today. You can see them here.

Merci beaucoups pour la visite!

(Photo: Blog author praying the Breviarium Romanum at Marine Corps position near southern Morocco Atlantic coast.)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

La Liberté

Berber spice, herb and tea merchant proudly displays his wares.

Palms cast a pattern on the manicured lawn outside of the Palais Royale, the king's local compound.

Shoppers bustle in the Marjane store, a combination Walmart, World Market and Ikea.

Lunch in town includes excellent French lemon tart pastry.

Navy liberty is a hallowed and ancient tradition. Sailors explore the local food and culture and befriend the local people, gaining an appreciation for the culture and traditions of the host country.

Merci beaucoups a NLM

A Priest Life was featured today at The New Liturgical Movement.

Many thanks to Shawn Tribe and his collaborators at NLM for this kindness and an assurance of remembrance in prayer at the Lord's altar for the flourishing of their most wonderful apostolate for the greater glory of Almighty God and the upbuilding of His holy Church on earth.

Tres magnifique!



"Grace be with you, and mercy and peace from God our Father and from Christ Jesus, the Father's Son, in truth and charity."*

Overcast today as some retrograde activities begin, including washdown and prepping equipment for return transport.

New today on the blog: photos of ocean and shoreline walk.

Off now for le déjeuner and Matins.

Thanks for visiting.

*The readings in the Breviarium for Matins today come from the beginning of the second letter of Saint John, verses 1-13, including his beautiful greeting to us: "Sit vobiscum gratia, misericordia, pax a Deo Patre et a Christo Iesu Filio Patris in veritate et caritate."

John's lesson continues in verses 6-9, to instruct us in the truth about love and thus also the reality that there are those in the world who deny the truth and oppose Christ. He warns us against their seductions: "Et haec est caritas, ut ambulemus secundum mandata eius. Hoc est enum mandatum, ut quemadmodum audistis ab initio, in eo ambuletis. Quoniam multi seductores exierunt in mundum, qui non confitentur Iesum Christum venisse in carnem: hic est seductor et antichristus."

My unworthy translation: And this is love, that we walk according to his command. This is his command, that we have heard from the beginning, and in which you walk. There are many seducers in the world, who do not confess Jesus Christ as come in the flesh: this is the seducer and the antichrist.

How to confess Christ "as come in the flesh"? Do this by walking in His commandments. And what are His commandments? "Love one another". But to love one another does not mean as I decide the truth about love for me. No, I am under obedience to Love Himself, and can only love and be loved as He teaches and as He gives the grace of loving. Only the Lord Jesus Christ can teach me the truth about love as I take each step of the day, "walking" according to His example and command, and powered by His grace. Thus we confess Christ come in the flesh, when He "becomes incarnate" once again, takes flesh once again, in each of us as we live in His love in cooperation with His grace.

He loves by pouring Himself out completely in His death upon the Cross in order to give us life. How will we put the flesh to death today so as to live in the Spirit? Grant us, Lord, to know Your holy will! Grant that we may truly love one another as Christ loves us, come in the flesh in order to pour out His Spirit upon the whole world!

Dearly beloved, let us pray for one another in love as He commands, Christ who has come among us "in the flesh".

(Photo: Marines and Sailors from Utah, Idaho, California and elsewhere, at rest stop along highway between Agadir and Tan Tan.)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Agadir again

Just returned to Agadir @ 1600 Morocco time by bus today from field location near Tan Tan. Trip time about 6 hours.

-- visit here for images from 16 May 2008.

-- photos from the Solemnity of the Ascension here.

Merci beaucoups.

Bon soir,

Monday, May 25, 2009

US Navy Medical Team at African Lion

LCDR Horneman maintains the blood supply.

Medical service corps officer LCDR Lettiere, Surgeon CDR Dabrowksi and nurse LCDR McGinnis pack equipment for retrograde.

Anesthetist CAPT Flood studies.

Hospital corpsmen HM2 Moore, HM3 Volpe, Marine Lance Corporal Hernandez and HM3 Martinez packing medical gear.

African Lion 2009 is winding down.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

La Promenade sul Mer

Snake tracks.

Moroccan soldier living quarters.

View of the rock ledges over the Atlantic.

High tide surf floods pools formed by coral reefs.

Rocks give way in nature's cycle back to sand.

A visit from the Colonel

The Marine colonel prefers the extraordinary form and was somewhat dissapointed to learn that I am unschooled yet in the usus antiquorum. He is visiting our position and was happy to learn that our Sunday Mass schedule tomorrow begins with Latin ad orientem, OF, at 0700 followed by English at 0800.

Blowing sand today whipped up by gusting winds. Skies remain sunny and temps very pleasant.

Yesterday another exploration of the coast and hunting for fossils. Think I have found samples of the African porphyry that adorns so many of the splendid churches of Rome as well as nautilus fossils in red sandstone. Running for exercise.

Celebrated Ascension with the universal Church Thursday, so tomorrow marks 7th Sunday of Easter for us.

In prayer,

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Word in the desert: "I ascend to my Father...

... and to your Father; to my God and your God."

Happy Anniversary MnD: celebrated holy Mass for your intentions today.

Weather sunny with cooling sea breeze. Colder at night without cloud cover.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

La Mer Atlantique

A group took a guided walk to the desert shoreline and along the outcroppings of coral reefs and eroded rock formations.

Thank you for visiting.


Kamsahamnida, Dziekuje, Terima kasih, Doh je, Grazie, Tesekur, Gracias, Dank u, Shukran

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