Explore previous rambling installments here 🙂
Happy Monday, and a blessed Feast of St. Damasus, Pope and Confessor! This pope, by the way, was one incredible pope. Indulge me for a moment as I pull out my Missal:
St. Damasus became Pope in 366, after the persecutions were over. He condemned Arianism, commanded St. Jerome to translate the Holy Scriptures into Latin, and composed inscriptions for the sepulchers of the Roman martyrs. He died in 384.
I think it’s safe to say this holy pope-saint deserves a parish church under his protection! Or a society! Or something! 🙂
And not only is it wonderful enough to be celebrating Pope St. Damasus . . . but it’s also, technically in certain places and congregations, the feast of the Humility of the Blessed Virgin Mary. How perfect for Advent! The prayers of this particular Mass are worth soaking in today.
O God, Who regardest the humble and removest thine eyes from the proud, grant that we thy servants may imitate with pure heart the humility of the blessed Virgin Mary, who pleased thee by her virginity and who by her humility became the Mother of Thy Son our Lord Jesus Christ.
Through the prayers of the blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, may this offering, we beseech Thee, O Lord, obtain for us the grace of true humility and take from our hearts the concupiscence of the flesh and of the eyes and all worldly ambition, so that we may live soberly and justly and piously and thus attain our eternal reward.
May the partaking of this Sacrament remove from us the stain of sin, O Lord, and through the prayers of the glorious and blessed Virgin Mary bring us by the road of humility unto the kingdom of heaven.
The whole life of the Blessed Virgin was a continual practice of humility. She had renounced all the vanities and honors of the world from the moment when, as a child, she offered herself to God in the Temple. She felt confused when she heard the Angel’s salutation. She ever sought to appear as a servant although she had been exalted to be the Queen of the universe. She was in very deed the humble handmaid of the Lord, as she terms herself in the Magnificat. (from the Missal)
I’m not sure what, precisely, happened to my keyboard. Well, I know what happened to it, but I’m not sure how it happened. The little right-hand footer on the back of my keyboard, which, along with its twin, served to prop it up at a helpful angle, mysteriously broke off a few days ago. I had to detach the other footer to even out the keyboard . . . only, it’s still a little “cattywampus,” as we term it. (On WordPress, the only spelling suggestion for “cattywampus” is “campus,” by the way.) Tilted towards the left upper corner, with the right lower corner suspended slightly in midair, it now bobs when I type. I think it gives it character and am not interested in replacing it. (Although I think the extra clattering noise is driving some of my siblings crazy.)
In fact, inspired by this, I’m going to give it a name. Have you ever read Tolkien’s The Children of Hurin? It’s a tragic tale, but I’m reminded of a certain passage from Chapter 1:
This friend (of Turin’s) was named Sador, a house-man in the service of Hurin; he was lame, and of small account. He had been a woodman, and by ill-luck or the mishandling of his axe he had hewn his right foot, and the footless leg had shrunken; and Turin called him Labadal, which is “Hopafoot,” though the name did not displease Sador, for it was given in pity and not in scorn.
As my keyboard also suffered its right foot to be hewn off, its name is now “Labadal,” which I give it in humor . . . but not in scorn. 🙂
Many prayer intentions were on my heart during this morning’s Mass at Sarasota, but most especially for The Dash, who has a big test today (“A Long-Expected Test,” to keep up the Middle-earth theme, which I can’t seem to stop lately . . .) and is embarking on the last, pressure-cooker week of the semester . . . and also for a good family friend who needs prayers for a special intention today. O Mary, Most Humble, pray for us!
Advent . . . how quickly it’s going; Teresia at Gloria In Excelsis Deo reflected on it beautifully yesterday in her post, by the way!
Yesterday morning was truly blessed, with a full choir practice (our final practice before High Mass on Guadete Sunday!), Confession, and Low Mass. After Mass, I was also blessed to be able to pray along with The Dash in front of Our Lady’s statue as he re-consecrated our courtship to her, since we’d just passed three months; it was both beautiful and special 🙂
And yesterday afternoon, I had some quiet prayer time in solitude (which is, due in part to my temperament, always hard for me to initiate, but as soon as I choose to obey the inspiration from the Holy Ghost, I’m always so glad I did), and felt a definite shift, perceived an opening door, for how to step a little more deeply into Advent now that the first week of Advent has passed.
Looking back on Advent so far, I see that the first week was largely marked by my anticipation for the feast Immaculate Conception and its accompanying novena, along with the Feast of St. Nicholas and the assortment of little devotions I’d been hoping to do for Advent. Many aspects, including our family Advent Wreath and Jesse Tree devotions (which we eventually caught up on) were quite beautiful, and we’ve kept Advent in Ephesus on throughout much of the day, trying to cultivate a spirit of holy quiet. But I also realize how I had numerous, small crosses that I could have borne with better cheer and self-control (though I’m endeavoring to improve in that area . . . it’s just taking time 🙂 ).
But now, with two of my novenas completed, there’s a little fresh air and room to dig for this second week of Advent! As I prayed yesterday, I felt inspired to meditate regularly on the Joyful Mysteries every day for the remainder of Advent, and especially to spend more quiet time in Our Lady’s presence, honoring her and striving to imitate her. So again, it seems so perfect that today is the feast of the Humility of the Blessed Virgin!
It may not surprise one to hear that, after talking about it for far too long, I’ve finally started re-reading The Fellowship of the Ring. I remarked to Lena yesterday, on the way home from Mass, how I’ve discovered the essential-ness of reading the Prologue before embarking on the first chapter. I’m not sure why this is . . . but reading these captivating historical details never fails to get me perfectly in the mood for the onset of the tale. If I don’t read the Prologue, sometimes I have trouble getting into the initial, very familiar chapters. I suppose there’s a reason why Tolkien wrote the Prologue. Ahem.
After numerous dietary cheats over the Thanksgiving holiday and past feast days, it’s felt so good to return to a more clean way of eating, and I’m definitely perking up and feeling better again, which is a blessing! Tonight we’re having chili, and I volunteered to put that on shortly, so I’ll be back to the kitchen before long . . .
The dogs were howling to kingdom come a little while ago, which probably means that the mail lady was delivering yet another bout of Christmas packages to our parcel bin. I think one of them requires my going to fetch it and stowing it away in a secret place . . . I truly can’t wait for Christmas; to celebrate with joy the birth of Our Lord and imitate in a very small way, towards my family and loved ones, His infinite generosity towards me!
Have a truly blessed week! 🙂