Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Original picture source

Prayer on Thanksgiving Day

Heavenly Father,
this is the day set aside to give you thanks
for your surpassing goodness to human beings.
You have created us in your own image
and set us over your wonderful creation.
You chose a people to be your own
and to carry your wonderful creation.
You chose a people to be your own
and to carry your message of salvation to all people.
You carried out your redemption in Jesus your Son,
and his saving fruits are passed on to every generation
to all who believe that by his death and resurrection
Jesus has given them a new freedom in his Spirit.
Let me give you proper thanks for your blessings -
those I am aware of
as well as those that I habitually take for granted.
And let me learn to use them according to your will.

New Saint Joseph People's Prayer Book

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Holiday Madness

It isn't even Thanksgiving yet and already they are playing Christmas music on the radio. The Christmas trees have arrived in Hawaii. The city is putting up the decorations in time for the City Lights parade. The stores are heavily advertising Black Friday which will begin late Thanksgiving. I even overheard someone wishing another person "Merry Christmas" !

This is crazy!

An employee of one of the stores participating in Black Friday has started a petition not to open the stores on Thanksgiving because it cuts into their holiday time with their families.  Good for him!

Thanksgiving Day is a day to remember to give thanks to God for all our blessings. No matter how many problems and crosses each one of us has, we have so many things for which to be grateful.  How meaningful will our thanks be if we rush through Thanksgiving anxious to get on that ever growing line, waiting for the stores to open their door?  Do you really think we will find peace and tranquility while we wait?

Our families will benefit more with being together; leisurely enjoying each others company. Instead of leaving the festivities early to go the store that night,  perhaps we should go to bed early so we can attend early morning Mass. There are so many meaningful ways to prepare for Christmas and the first should be preparing ourselves this Advent.

I wish there would be a rush to get inside the church's doors for Mass on the Friday after Thanksgiving. It is still a holiday for most people but the traffic is heavy at the early hour when I go to Mass. Sad to say, that most of them are heading to a Black Friday sale while our Lord waits patiently for them to visit Him.

He's waiting for us to visit Him.

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Presentation of Mary

Picture source
The following is taken from Mary, Hope of the World by Rev. James Alberione, S.T.D., St. Paul Editions

"Divine Providence, which guides everything with firmness and sweetness, was watching over the child Mary, and preparing her for the high position of Mother of God. Toward this end, by means of her parents, God led the heavenly child to the Temple of Jerusalem.

The Presentation in the Temple.

...Mary was scarcely three years old when accompanied by her parents, she first set foot in the Temple. Here the noble child was admitted to the elect group of virgins consecrated to God...

The purpose of Mary's presentation in the Temple was twofold: that she might consecrate herself to the Lord and receive a suitable spiritual formation..."

The following are quotes by the saints used by Father Alberione in his book:

"...Her mind was always absorbed in the Supreme Good. Her humility, her obedience and her modesty, which is a girl's most valuable asset, matched her silence. To use every minute of the day for the honor of God, she combined mental activity with manual labor. Her soul was never tempted to sloth, and necessity alone made her take repose. Even then, she kept watch in the presence of the supreme Goodness, dreaming of the glories of the lord and the wisdom of the divine word, which she had read during the day." - St. Ambrose

"Hardly had the Blessed Virgin entered the Temple when she imposed upon herself an admirable rule of life: from early morning until nine o'clock, she devoted herself to prayer; from nine until three in the afternoon she attended to external activities; then she returned to prayer until the Angel appeared to bring her daily bit of nourishment. She was as always the first at nocturnal vigils, she studied the Law of the Lord with more diligence than the others, she surpassed the most humble in humility;p Mary chanted David's songs with greater grace, she practised the works of charity with more fervor, she was the purest among the chaste, and she possessed all virtues in a grater degree. She was firm and constant, and every day she grew in grace and sweetness. Her words were all filled with grace, and when near her, people felt the presence of God. She was always at prayer and unceasingly meditated upon the Law of the Lord. She never ceased to bless God, and when she was greeted, instead of replying with the ordinary words of courtesy, she would reply, 'Thanks be to God.'" - St. Jerome

"This blessed child was most delicate; she loved the sacred truths and had herself fully instructed in them. She served the priests joyfully. Hers was the habit of speaking little and of obeying promptly. She was modest, serene, and full of sweetness. She greeted everyone with kindness, and her graciousness and beauty made her greatly admired." - St. Anselm

Bl. Seelos Case for Canonization Closed

Thanks to Mary Jane for this recent update: