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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Queen of the Sun

By
Sr. Rose Pacatte, F.S.P.
Source: AmericanCatholic.org

This beautiful documentary is a tale of tragedy and hope. “Colony collapse disorder” is happening all over the world, and especially in the United States or wherever “monoculture” exists. Monoculture is when only one crop is grown for miles and miles. In the U.S. colony collapse disorder is prevalent where only corn and soy beans are grown, for example. “Bees are the legs of plants,” one expert says. With monoculture, nature is thwarted.

Experts in the film love honey bees and consider them to be like the canaries in coal mines; when a canary died, it was a sign that gasses were building up for an explosion and miners had a chance to flee. Where honey bee colonies collapse, it is a sign that the food system is in crisis. Why? Because bees need to cross-pollinate, and with only one crop, this is not possible and other plants cannot grow. Pesticides kill insects in the food chain, starving the system. The genetic manipulation of seed that does not reproduce seeds, called “terminator” seeds, also contributes to colony collapse disorder.

There is an effort to breed queen bees that in the wild can live for four to five years. Bred queens barely last for a year, so even bee activity becomes artificial. They are artificially inseminated and fed antibiotics and high fructose corn syrup, again damaging the food chain. The process short circuits the cycle of life.

We still do not know the long-term effects of this manipulation of honey bees will have on nature and our food supply.

The film is not only science: it is poetry and reverence for God’s creation. One bee keeper says that “Pollen is marginalized light.”

There is now a need for honey bee sanctuaries and there was a “Pollinator Week” in New York City to legalize bee keeping that some are already doing on roof tops.

“Queen of the Sun: what are the bees telling us?” is an inspiring film about and by poet-scientists that can motivate us to respect nature and remind us that God’s way in nature is the best way.


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Anthony Grassi: Anthony’s father died when his son was only 10 years old, but the young lad inherited his father’s devotion to Our Lady of Loreto. As a schoolboy he frequented the local church of the Oratorian Fathers, joining the religious order when he was 17.
<p>Already a fine student, he soon gained a reputation in his religious community as a "walking dictionary" who quickly grasped Scripture and theology. For some time he was tormented by scruples, but they reportedly left him at the very hour he celebrated his first Mass. From that day, serenity penetrated his very being.
</p><p>In 1621, at age 29, Anthony was struck by lightning while praying in the church of the Holy House at Loreto. He was carried paralyzed from the church, expecting to die. When he recovered in a few days he realized that he had been cured of acute indigestion. His scorched clothes were donated to the Loreto church as an offering of thanks for his new gift of life.
</p><p>More important, Anthony now felt that his life belonged entirely to God. Each year thereafter he made a pilgrimage to Loreto to express his thanks.
</p><p>He also began hearing confessions, and came to be regarded as an outstanding confessor. Simple and direct, he listened carefully to penitents, said a few words and gave a penance and absolution, frequently drawing on his gift of reading consciences.
</p><p>In 1635 he was elected superior of the Fermo Oratory. He was so well regarded that he was reelected every three years until his death. He was a quiet person and a gentle superior who did not know how to be severe. At the same time he kept the Oratorian constitutions literally, encouraging the community to do likewise.
</p><p>He refused social or civic commitments and instead would go out day or night to visit the sick or dying or anyone else needing his services. As he grew older, he had a God-given awareness of the future, a gift which he frequently used to warn or to console.
</p><p>But age brought its challenges as well. He suffered the humility of having to give up his physical faculties one by one. First was his preaching, necessitated after he lost his teeth. Then he could no longer hear confessions. Finally, after a fall, he was confined to his room. The archbishop himself came each day to give him holy Communion. One of Anthony’s final acts was to reconcile two fiercely quarreling brothers.</p> American Catholic Blog God of love, as I come to the end of this Advent season, my heart is ready to celebrate the birth of Jesus. I join with Mary in saying, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Nothing is impossible with you, O God.

 
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