Saturday, November 29, 2008

Novena - Feast of the Immaculate Conception

Immaculate Conception

Starts today November 29th.

EWTN's Novena


O God, who by the Immaculate Conception
of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
did prepare a worthy dwelling place for Your Son,
we beseech You that, as by the foreseen death of this, Your Son, You did preserve Her from all stain,
so too You would permit us, purified through Her intercession, to come unto You.
Through the same Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, world without end.


Day One

O most Holy Virgin, who was pleasing to the Lord and became His mother, immaculate in body and spirit, in faith and in love, look kindly on me as I implore your powerful intercession. O most Holy Mother, who by your blessed Immaculate Conception, from the first moment of your conception did crush the head of the enemy, receive our prayers as we implore you to present at the throne of God the favor we now request...
(State your intention here...)
O Mary of the Immaculate Conception, Mother of Christ, you had influence with your Divine Son while upon this earth; you have the same influence now in heaven. Pray for us and obtain for us from him the granting of my petition if it be the Divine Will.

Preparation for Advent

In preparation for Advent, I bought a beautiful candle holder wreath today. It smells so Christmasy here today! The Advent Candles will be brought to Church tomorrow for Father to bless after Mass. This year we will use the The Magnificat Advent Companion as we have in past years and also Advent Reflections by Padre Pio.

I also need to put up our wooden Advent Calendar and fill the drawers with a treat and a daily good deed to perform.

Hopefully, we will be able to repeat Archbishop Fulton Sheen's Family Retreat.

Our nativity set sits in our cabinet year round. This will also come out and will be placed in a prominent area along with the Advent Wreath and Calendar. The baby Jesus will stay put until Christmas Eve after we return home from the Christmas Eve Family Mass.

I am still deciding whether or not to get a Christmas tree this year. I love the real pine Christmas trees but in Hawaii we need to get them almost immediately after Thanksgiving. I am considering a live Norfolk Pine tree which can be put outside after Christmas is over. The drawback is that it doesn't have the pine smell that I love.

Advent 2008Another thing we need to do as a family is discuss how we can die to self this Advent season. What can we give up or do to grow more spiritually, this will make for a good family discussion tonight.

Advent HoneyMy husband wanted our little cat included in the Advent photo. So here she is sniffing the pine needles.

Marian Conference

My son Joey and I attend a Marian Conference a couple of weeks ago in the elegant Queen Kapiolani Hotel in Waikiki. It featured speakers who came as far as Medjugorje to share their conversion stories with us. It also featured the testimonies of three priests, two from Hawaii and one from the Mainland.

The conference started off with a living Rosary. The Luminous Mysteries were lead by 5 individuals. As each Hail Mary was recited, someone came up to the statue of Our Lady of Fatima and presented our Blessed Mother with a fresh red rose. Thus, it was a living Rosary.

Through my friend Ed, I met Patrick and Nancy Latta of Medjugorje. Patrick shared with us his conversion story. He was very brave to do so because his life before his conversion was nothing to be proud of. Yet in one moment of reading our Lady's messages, it changed his life. I can sense Patrick's pain or shame as he told his story being a successful businessman but he was married three times, he was not a good father to his three children; of he did not have God in his life. Nancy, was also a successful lawyer living together with Patrick, when a little book send to her by her brother changed their lives forever. During the end of their talk, the recited a beautiful consecration prayer they recite nightly. Nancy was kind enough to write it down for me. Maybe I will share it with you in another post.

Patrick and Nancy Latta
I went up and introduced myself to both of these lovely people. I wanted to pass along a message from Ed. The mention on Ed's name brought me a very warm embrace from both of them as well as lovely stories about Ed's dear son Fr. Edward.

SpeakersAll the speakers spoke of their love of the blessed Mother and how she had touched their lives personally. Another memorable talk was by Fr. Michael Lightner His conversion story was almost on par with that of Fr. Donald Calloway. If you click on Fr. Lightner's name you can watch a video of one of his talks. He went from a life of sex, drugs and rock and roll to being a Catholic priest.

GroupWe in Hawaii were also blessed to hear two of our own priests who shared their testimonies. Fr. Michael Sawyer, spiritual director of the Basic Christian Community
and Fr. Vince Inghilterra, one of our military chaplains. Fr. Inghilterra just happened to be in the right place at the right time when he found himself in Medjugorje. He talk was the one that touched me deeply. It was because of this priest's humilty. Please keep him in your prayers.

The important aspects of our message of our lady as related to us by the speakers were as follows:

1. Pray the Rosary daily as it is a weapon against evil.

2. Receive the Holy Eucharist regularly, or daily if possible. It is the greates gift we have.

3. Read the Holy Scriptures daily. Put the Holy Bible in a place of honor in our homes.

4. Fast regularly, not only from food but from things that could lead us to sin. We should fast with our eyes, ears, mouth...

5. Go to confession at least once a month.

During the conference it came out that the coordinator had nothing but obstacles in bringing the Marian Conference to Hawaii. But with sheer perseverance and trust in God and His blessed Mother, the conference was a big success.

I only wish more people had taken the time to come out and hear for themselves what our Lady had to say.

Daily Resolution

Immaculate Heart of Mary

I will make a special visit to Mary, my blessed Mother, and pray the Memorare for someone who is in need of prayers.

Regnum Christi Daily Meditation

Visiting Blessed Mother Marianne Cope's Grave

One of the first stops on our pilgrimage was at Blessed Mother Marianne Cope's grave site. Mother Marianne Cope nor the sisters ever contracted Hansen's Disease even though they were in constant contact with the patients. She died in her sleep after suffering a heart attack. She her wish was to be buried on Kalaupapa.

Friday, November 28, 2008

New Blog! - A Month for the Souls in Purgatory


Thanks to Deb, I found that Owen started a new blog.

A Month for the Souls in Purgatory

Beginning November 25th my family and I are praying through the Month for the Souls In Purgatory from November 25th to December 25th 2008. This is my third year practising this devotion while three of my family members joined me during 2007 and again this year.

I will be adding this blog to the sidebar.

In the Footsteps of Blessed Damien

My family and I made a pilgrimage to Kalaupapa and Kalawao on Molokai today. Words could never do justice to the beauty of the Friendly Isle.

St. Philomena and Cemetery Sign
We felt privileged to visit the sacred grounds and walk the paths that Father Damien walked.

In this place, I felt God's presence so strongly.

It was oh so bittersweet watching the beautiful and majestic sea cliffs, the breathtaking scenery, the rough yet awesome ocean, and remembering the nightmare that the victims of Hansen's Disease met upon their arrival.

Today it was hard to imagine that they were met with the words "In this place, there is no law." Thanks to Father Damien, he not only brought order out of chaos, but he helped heal the people spiritually as well as physically.

Father Damien is a hero and well-beloved all around the world, but especially in this isolated part of the world.

He truly was an amazing man of God. He is responsible for building churches on the Big Island and of course, St. Philomena the little church on Kalawao.

St. Philomena Gate
St. Philomena Front
St. Philomena
Father Damien's grave is next to his beloved church. But today, it holds only his right hand. The rest of his remains was returned to Belgium in 1936. In 1995, the right hand was brought back to Hawaii.

Blessed Damien's Grave
Father Damien's Grave
Fr. Damien and Dan
Someone very special yet a somewhat of an unsung hero is Brother Joseph Dutton. He was a Civil War soldier from Stowe, Vermont. He heard about Father Damien and went to Kalawao to help Father Damien and as a way to redeem himself. He spend 40 years at the settlement and eventually died on Oahu. He never contracted Hansen's Disease though. His body was brought back to Kalawao because he wanted to be buried next to his hero, Father Damien.

Brother Joseph Dutton's Grave
Brother DuttonI first learned of Father Damien when I was a child. I had watched the movie on Father Damien starring Ken Howard and from that day on, he became one of my heroes. Never did in my wildest dreams did I imagine that I would be fortunate enough to visit this place and with own family, the land Father Damien served with love.

Today has indeed brought me much joy.

Fine Arts Friday - Georgia O'Keefe

Georgia O'Keefe
Georgia O'Keefe

Pink Tulip
Pink Tulip

Red Poppy
Red Poppy

Shell Number 1
Shell Number One

White Pansey
White Pansey

Summer Days
Summer Days

Hibiscus With Plumeria
Hibiscus With Plumeria

For this week's artist, let's spotlight a famous American woman, Georgia O'Keefe.
Georgia Totto O'Keeffe (November 15, 1887 – March 6, 1986) was an American artist. She is associated with the American Southwest, where she found artistic inspiration, and particularly New Mexico, where she settled late in life. O'Keeffe has been a major figure in American art since the 1920s. She is chiefly known for paintings in which she synthesized abstraction and representation in paintings of flowers, rocks, shells, animal bones and landscapes. Her paintings present crisply contoured forms that are replete with subtle tonal transitions of varying colors. She often transformed her subject matter into powerful abstract images.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

First Thanksgiving

This week an article made its way through the Catholic Blogosphere, asking the question Is Thanksgiving Catholic?.

I for one, would like to think so...

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!!

God bless you all abundantly.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Book Worm Award and Meme

Bookworm Award
Mahalo nui loa to Alexandra for bestowing this honor on me! She must know I have a weakness for books ;-)

Here are the rules:

Pass this on to 5 blogging friends. Open the closest book to you, not your favorite or most intellectual book, but the book closest to you at the moment, to page 56. Write the 5th sentence, as well as two to five sentences following that.

"Miserable sinners". - The Exhortations

"Read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest [the Scriptures]." - The Second Sunday in Advent. The Collect.

Ha! How do you like those quotes? The closest book to me was The Littlest Gargoyle but that only had 48 pages. The next closest was Familiar Quotations by John Bartlett.

Okay, the recipients of this award are the following blogger friends:

1. Fr. Daren

2. Christine M

3. Barb

4. Heather

5. Cy

I had many more to name but I'm only limited to 5!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Hello Silence My Old Friend

Blessed Sacrament
After listening to the cacophony prior to Mass beginning, it occurred to me to write a post about not being able to listen to God in His own House. Would it be rude to point out to people that God is present in the Church? My son complained that he can't hear God speaking to him. No wonder.

The worse transgression happened during our Holy Hour of Adoration the other evening. My family and I were alone in the Adoration Chapel. A lady soon joined us. Then her cell phone started ringing. I must admit it took a lot of effort to recollect myself and to remind myself Who was in front of me. The worse part is that she took two calls in that one hour.

Well, I don't have to write a post after all because someone has done a terrific job of putting to words what I have been feeling.

Adoro de Devoto - The Scandal of Silence
Prayer is not even honored in our own churches. We are bullied into singing, we are bullied into applauding, and we are bullied away from the reverence due Christ in order to misplace that reverence on the altar of self-esteem of whoever-might-be-in-the-spotlight.

Silence is sacred and reveals the sacred to those who are willing to listen. Can't we please have a single place in this world where we can come to kneel in silent awe before Our Lord and not be disrupted by the spirit of the age?

A big mahalo to Fr. Daren for pointing the way to that post.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Awaiting Damien's Canonization

Fr. Damien OLOP ecg
Father Damien Painting -
Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace, Honolulu, Hawaii
Taken by Joey

Article in the Honolulu Advertiser
...The bishop will return from Rome with a very special piece of luggage, one that warrants its own seat.

"When we get back, I will have the relic with me of Father Damien," said Silva.

The relic, or piece of Damien's remains, is expected to be the heel...

Blessed Damien Statue

• February: The date of the canonization is expected to be announced. Once that occurs, a Mass of Thanksgiving will be held at Kalaupapa.

• October or November: The expected date of the canonization. A simulcast of the event will air on Eternal Word Television Network, with follow-up airings later and possibly church viewing parties, depending on the time of the simulcast.

• The day after canonization: An audience with Pope Benedict XVI has been requested.

• Upon return to Hawai'i: Bishop Larry Silva will take a relic of Damien throughout the churches on all islands.

A special ceremony at Kalaupapa will also be planned.
The anticipation is really getting exciting!! My family and I were contemplating a trip to Rome. We may now wait until this date for canonization is announced.

A big mahalo to Easter for thinking of me when she shared this article. I missed it by not reading the Island Life section ;-)