“Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand.”
Do you remember a moment when you realized you just couldn’t do it on your own?
I am learning how, in these moments, it is important to become vulnerable, fall on my knees & have my Prayer Team on speed-dial!
American culture has historically encouraged us to be independent.
This freedom of choice is a gift, and yet it can also lead to us feeling as though we are the masters of our own destiny. Even now, as independent as the modern life may be, we are still part of many social structures.
Each year, on the fourth Sunday of Advent, the Church has us focus on the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Church does this not merely because Mary has an obviously unforgettable role in the birth and life of Jesus. The CERC (Catholic Education Resource Center) reminds us
“the real reason that the Church proposes Mary to us as Christmas nears is because she is the model of how we should be living our advent. Mary is, in some sense, Advent personified. God the Father had prepared her from the first moment of her life to be a worthy mother of his Son. Like a faithful daughter of Israel, she had prayed throughout her youth for the coming of the Messiah. When she was a young girl, she discovered that she was part of God’s answer to that prayer, but in a way that would far have exceeded any Hebrew maiden’s prayers: not only would the Messiah be her son, but her son would also be God. Her “yes!” to the Archangel Gabriel launched the proximate preparation for the birth of Jesus the Messiah. Each year, on this fourth Sunday of Advent, we explicitly follow the footsteps Mary traced on that first Advent. In doing so, we’re doing more than traversing the physiological and historical events that preceded the birth of the Lord. We’re entering into Mary’s response of faith that are a guide for us along our own pilgrimage of faith.”
But I personally wonder…Did she know? Did she really know what ALL THAT meant? Did she know the love He would teach? Did she really know the miracles He would perform? Did she know the challenges He would face, the enemies He would make? The mocking, spitting, scourging, and crucifixion He would offer for our Salvation? Mary, did you know?
In my own Yes to bringing forth “life”…Did I know? Did I know what ALL THAT meant? Did I know the love they would teach? Did I really know the gifts they would bring? Did I know the challenges they would face, the enemies they would make? The mocking, spitting, scourging, and crucifixion from a sometimes cruel world, all for trust in a God who can Save? Woman, did you know?
Mary did you know that your baby boy is Lord of all creation?
Mary did you know that your baby boy will one day rule the nations?
Did you know that your baby boy is heaven’s perfect Lamb?
That sleeping child you’re holding is the great I am.
And so with the Lord, let us climb within Mary’s womb and listen to the beat of her contemplative heart that was treasuring within this greatest of all mysteries, so that our Christmas may be as fruitful as that first Christmas.
these hugs n’ holy blessings are my Advent gift to you!
Today is November 1st and not only is it the beginning of the NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) but it is also…
All Saints Day in our Catholic Faith!!
(All Saints’ Day is also commemorated by members of the Eastern Orthodox Church as well as some protestant churches, such as Anglican, Lutheran and Anglican churches.)
Saints [N]: The word “saint” is derived from a Greek verb (hagiazo [aJgiavzw]) whose basic meaning is “to set apart, ” “sanctify, ” or “make holy.”
All Saints’ Day is a solemn holy day of the Catholic Church celebrated annually on November 1. The day is dedicated to the saints of the Church, that is, all those who have attained heaven. Holy day customs vary around the world.
In the United States, the day before is Halloween and is usually celebrated by dressing in costumes while children go door-to-door, “trick-or-treating”; which is soliciting candy from their neighbors.
Our pastor, Fr. Larry Richards, reminded us in our Weekly Parish Bulletin, “There is only one tragedy – not to be a Saint! Each of us are called to be Saints. This should be our number one goal in life… Being a saint is NOT just for the “spiritual super heroes” it is for all of us!
To be Saints means that we become people of love! People who love God above all things created. This means that we have a daily committed prayer life. That means that we build our day around God, not try to fit God into our day. We also must be people who love others as Jesus commanded us – by giving up our lives for them each day, by putting them first.”
In the Roman Catholic Church, the next day, All Souls’ Day, specifically commemorates the departed faithful who have not yet been purified and reached heaven. Catholics celebrate All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day in the fundamental belief that there is a prayerful spiritual communion between those in the state of grace who have died and are either being purified in purgatory or are in heaven (the ‘church penitent’ and the ‘church triumphant’, respectively), and the ‘church militant’ who are the living. Other Christian traditions define, remember and respond to the saints in different ways.
Different faces, different lives
Different ways, different interests
Their differences fit just right to the same God who loved them all.
May you have a solemn All Saints Day! And a Prayerful All Souls Day too!
hugs n’ blessings to all those we continue to pray for, both living and deceased!