Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Blessed Mother

Our Lady of Grace
Yesterday was September 8th the day Catholics celebrate the birth of Mary. Now we don't know if it's her 'real' birthday but we celebrate the fact that such a faith-filled follower of Christ was born.

Recently a distant relative who is an evangelical christian decided to play the "let's go pepper the family nun with irritating questions about a cherished belief" game.

I say this because I often get stuck at family and other gatherings having to listen to people challenge the beliefs of the Catholic Church. Usually I don't mind and take it as part of the territory.
This recent one kind of got to me because it was at the lunch after the funeral of my oldest brother John.  I was a bit numb and having to listen to a someone telling me that we shouldn't pay so much attention to Mary
and why do we anyhow was to say the least trying.

Well I know some people are so incredibly self centered and lacking in social development they just can't help themselves. Sigh!

Anyhow I offered up a prayer asking for the Blessed Mother's intercession once again and listened.
After a while I gave my simple little summation about her

She believed and trusted in God
She gave her life over to God
She gave up her son to God
She believed in Jesus call as the Son of God
Jesus on the Cross gave her to us as our Mother

He paused about one second, then clearly not having listened, shook his head and started telling me how all these people here we're clueless about the evil in their lives and surely damned, etc. etc. etc.
My response was this was I was putting my money on Jesus the Son of the Living God having overcome all evil. These so-called evil people had been generous enough to come to the Funeral Mass and burial of my brother so I figured they had some link to the goodness of God. At that I excused myself as I could feel my impatience winning out over my numbness. Thanks Blessed Mother for your help once again.
I'm sure glad you're around.

The center and sun of the spiritual life

Today's Saint is St. Pius X. Pope from1903 - 1914 he is known for his advocacy of frequent reception of communion for adults and sacramental preparation for children. The founder of my community Fr. Thomas A. Judge was greatly influenced by the writing of Pius X and taught his followers of the important of frequent reception of Holy Communion and of instructing children regarding the faith.

Being able to go to Mass and receive Communion was a big deal in my family and I can well remember when I was old enough to do so. My Mother told us stories of her Father who was brought up at a time when receiving the Sacrament was reserved to once a year. As an adult he would go to Saturday confession during the Easter Season, then for the rest of the day his kids were forbidden to talk to him or make much noise so they would not cause him to sin before he went to Mass and Communion on Sunday. He regarded his children's practice of confession and communion every two weeks as nearly scandalous.
She always felt that he would have been a happier man if his beliefs had not been so rigid and guilt ridden.

I can't even imagine receiving Communion only once a year. For me trying to live as a follower of Jesus is possible because of the gift of the Eucharist. The real presence of the Christ is at the center of my life.

Here's a link to what some others say about what the Holy Eucharist means to them:

The Blessed Sacrament is the center and sun of the spiritual life. It is the food of our starved and
parched souls. Fr. Thomas A. Judge, CM