Category: Church

Remember, Remember the 22 of January

Yesterday was a “Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of the Unborn Children.”

The General Instruction of the Roman Missal states, “In all the dioceses of the United States of America, January 22 shall be observed as a particular day of penance for violations to the dignity of the human person committed through acts of abortion and of prayer for the full restoration of the legal guarantee of the right to life.” (No. 373)

On Monday, I was thinking about what I could do to observe this day.
I’ve always been strongly pro-life. I support Pro Life Wisconsin and have been to vigils and prayer services.
I own a Rosary for the Unborn.
But I don’t think I’ve ever fasted on the day.

The day, of course, is the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision.

Is fasting enough? Is prayer enough?
I think the best answer to that is yes, with faith.
We can move mountains with God.
We can change the world. We can stop abortion.
With fasting, yes. Prayer, yes. Faith, yes.

By teaching our kids, our friends, our family the truth. Have faith that these things work. They do.
God is on our side in this.

FASTING
Why am I always hungrier, earlier when I fast?
It wasn’t even lunch time yet, and I was feeling hunger pains.
I ate only a small serving of veggies for breakfast (not that unusual for me, though I normally add that to eggs with some sausage or bacon).
I skipped lunch, though I did have orange lime slices in my water all day. Not that that adds much at all.
Everyone’s food smelled so good. And it normally doesn’t (I have high food standards).
Someone’s egg rolls, oh wow. A sub sandwich, please.
But no. I stuck with it.
But it’s not just enough to be hungry. I offered up my pain, my discomfort.
I’m alive. I can sacrifice and pray for change.
Those killed since the Roe decision in 1973 aren’t alive.
It’s not just the children that are hurt (killed), either. It’s the mothers and the fathers that lose a child.
Imagine.
I can’t imagine ever being that lost, hurt that much, so worried about my future that I could do it.
I can’t imagine the fear these women feel. I wouldn’t wish that fear, that feeling, that emotion on anyone.
It’s important to know there’s forgiveness. God forgives. Christ died for our sins.
Turn to him. He loves you.
I don’t even know what I would say to someone. Sidewalk counselors are so brave, so caring, so wonderful in giving their time, their love, their talent.
If you have that ability, don’t be afraid. Go.
I should go. I want this to be my goal this year.
I ate dinner, of course.
I hope they have delicious food in Heaven for ¬†all the children lost. It’s so much fun to eat. I think about this a lot when I cook. Thank God for our sense of taste and smell.
I said a Rosary THIS morning ūüė¶
I “couldn’t” (read: didn’t make it a priority) yesterday to do so.
But I was in Mass this morning and saying the Rosary with all my old lady friends. Wonderful to join with them for that devotion.
God bless.
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A Mass without a Priest

I almost started this post with a cliche.

How horrible.
 
Maybe it’s even more cliche to say I was going to use a cliche. Perhaps.
 
Last week Wednesday, went I went to daily Mass again, the priest didn’t show up.
Ironic? I don’t know if that’s the right word.
I wanted so badly to go back to Mass. I wanted all those things I wrote about in my list of reasons to go to daily Mass.
At first, I was angry.
How can he not show up? It’s his job. He lives right next door. All the school kids are waiting on him.
 
Then I realized that it too could be a lesson for me.
A lesson in patience and appreciation. A time for reflection and quiet.
I was still with Christ. He was there, just inside the tabernacle. Just  behind the altar.
It’s good to have that time to just be with Christ. Just to sit and not think (this is hard!).
I try to go to adoration once a month (I’m running out of time in January for this).
But during adoration, there are prayers and requests and tears sometimes.
There’s the Divine Mercy Chaplet and petitions.
 
Those are all good things.
 
But sometimes, it’s important to just be with the Lord.
Really just sit and be.
 
Not to relax. Oh, no. You’re in the presence of the King!
But now that you’re safe. You’re in his arms.
To realize that he’s with us no matter what.
 
He’s not the one that turns away.
We are.
 
He’s not the one who lies, cheats and disobeys.
We are.
 
Living in Christ means a freedom to love without being hurt, trust without falling and living without fear.
Christ is that freedom.
 
It took me a Mass without a priest to realize this, and I’ll thank him for it someday.
 
God Bless.

Reasons to go to Daily Mass

In an honest effort to change the bad habit I’ve started this year (I wrote about it yesterday), I set my alarm for a bit early this morning and made it to daily Mass.

And I have a story, that I’ll share another time. But I wanted to put together this list. These are not in order… except the order that I thought of them.

Ten reasons to go to daily Mass

  1. Knowing the Mass inside and out. It’s soooo easy to follow along during a Sunday Mass. There are so many people around, that if you say the wrong words during Mass no one notices. On a weekday, there are old women and some men. They notice.
  2. Reflection on the origins of the Mass. I think about this a lot, especially after reading Scott Hahn’s The Lamb’s Supper. In a daily Mass, there’s a lot less singing (usually), there’s a lot less extra glamorous stuff. It’s just the cut and dry Mass, the focus always on the Lord. It’s beautiful. It might take a while to get used to, but it’s worth it.
  3. Quiet time starting your day. Or ending it. It’s hard to get away. Mass makes it easy.
  4. It’s short. Usually about 30 minutes. A little longer if it’s a school Mass. Worth it to see kids learning the right way to participate in the Mass.
  5. Making friends and connections. We pray for each other at Mass. And when we see each other, we remember.
  6. Create personal devotions. I love the Rosary. I love it so much, I have one hanging in nearly every room of my apartment (along with other sacramental items), I have one in my jacket pocket. In the summer, I keep one in my bag and in my car. Every morning before daily Mass, a Rosary is prayed aloud at church. It helps me keep that tradition. Other devotions can be “caught” from others, too. I see people praying the Holy Father’s intentions and other global prayers. Beautiful.
  7. Get to know your priest. Daily homilies are much more personal, and usually more spontaneous than Sunday homilies. It’s because they are short and there aren’t a lot of people in the “audience.” My priest often shares personal experiences during the week that he doesn’t touch on Sundays.
  8. Get to know the Bible. You’ll hear the entire thing if you went every day. If you can’t go every day, you’ll at least get more familiar with the geography/places of the Bible and the writing itself. It’s complicated and good to hear it aloud frequently along with reading it privately.
  9. Be with the Lord. Even if you can’t receive communion, you can still be with him. Christ is present in four ways in the Mass: in the Eucharist, in the priest, in the Word of God and in the assembled people of God.
  10. Reminder to share the Gospel. I always feel great after leaving Mass. It’s kind of like feeling good after working out (or anything you love). A beautiful thing happens in the Mass, and we get to be a part of it. When we go daily, it serves as a reminder to us that we are a part of that beauty even outside the church doors.

There are probably more reasons. I know there are. But that’s a start.

God bless.

Revisited Mass

I’ve posted before about how I miss daily Mass. I miss it again.

I get in a rthym, a schedule, a routine, that somehow doesn’t include daily Mass.

I have the time. Thanks to my (amazing) job, I can work (pretty much) when I want. I can go in late… not that I even need to because Mass is at 8 a.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I can still make it to the office by 9 if I go.

But it also means that I have to be up, dressed, presentable for that. And I have to eat well before that for the obligatory fast.

And that’s just been too much work for me lately.

I used to be a morning person. This was me. Well, not really. But close. I was happy in the morning.

But now that I gave up coffee (just until the end of the month!) and I still can’t receive the Eucharist.

Things feel a little off for me, I guess. I’m going to work on it, though.

Year of faith

My goals for the YoF are going great through. I’ve been to Mass in three different parishes so far, and I’ve gone to Adoration three times.

I’m currently reading Pope Benedict XVI’s Infancy Narratives.
I finished Scott Hahn’s “A Father who Keeps His Promises.” I’ll write about it soon. It was great. Beautiful. Just like Infancy Narratives are turning out to be. So much, so great.

Writing

I will be back, not as frequently as when I first started this, but more often than the past four weeks. I am still trying to find that balance of things I want to do and need to do.

Sometimes, I just need to not be connected. And sometimes, I know that my pains and trials in faith will help others.

God bless all.

Hope the new year is well.

An Advent goal

Advent is about preparing.

Preparing a way for the Lord. In our homes, our hearts, our lives. (I tried really hard for a word that started with an “h” there.)

So my goal this coming Advent (coming so fast!) is to spend some time in prayer for one particular person every day.

Maybe I’ll say a (decade of a) Rosary for them. Maybe I’ll offer them up during the Divine Mercy Chaplet. Maybe I’ll pray while I’m driving.

There are those points in my day that remind me of someone. For instance, anything to do with the GOP, and I think of my friend that works at the headquarters in DC. Anything to do with layout in the newspaper, I think of my best friend and old managing editor.

When I think about working out, I think about Steve Kamb at Nerd Fitness. I think about Juli at PaleOMG and Michelle¬†Tam at NomNomPaleo when I’m hungry. I think about people for weird reasons, too.

I think (I hope!) we all do it. We relate people to things in our lives.

So each day this Advent, will be someone else. Someone special (they’re all special). And I don’t even have to know them! Though I’d like to know Steve and Juli and Michelle because they are all really awesome from what I know at least.¬†(That’s what the Internet tells me.)

It’s going to be different every day. It’s going to be fun and refreshing.

And if I forget a day, it’s OK! The point is not to get stressed about it. It’s for prayerful reflection on my friends and people that I know.

I’m sure I’ll prayer for all my family, my friends, my coworkers. But I think those prayers for people we don’t know are important too. They work, too.

Probably a day for the Holy Souls in Purgatory.

Adoration

I went to the Communion Service and Benediction this morning.

It was beautiful. And right after the Benediction, when we were praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet, and I was kneeling there in the REAL PRESENCE OF CHRIST, I got a large… um, sniff… of the incense.

Oh, Lord. I thank God that I am a Catholic and we use all of our senses in our Worship. Not just sight, not just sound. Smell, feel, taste.

We are humans, and I think I learned this from Scott Hahn (probably), we can worship with all of our senses! Thank God for that! Praise the Lord.

It was one of those moments where I was so glad, so grateful that I had come to the church this morning. So grateful that I am Catholic, that I belong (kind of… I’m not a member yet) to a Parish that practices Adoration weekly.

I can bring my pain, my sorrows, my worries, my troubles, my failings to the feet of Jesus. And he’s there to say, “Child, just take my hand.”

At least, that’s what I imagine Christ saying to me. Take my hand. The way a child takes her mother’s hand when crossing the street. I take Jesus’ hand in life.

Well, I try to.

God Bless. Happy Advent.