Quieting

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Behold a Virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and His name shall be called Emmanuel. He shall eat butter and honey, that He may know to refuse the evil, and to choose the good.

Isaias 7, Wednesday in Ember Week of Advent

Hello again! I haven’t even turned on my computer for the past several days . . . and now Christmas is only five days away and I’m reeling from how busy things have been (and how busy they’re going to remain!). The days have been chock-full of good things: too many memories and vignettes to jot down here since I’m trying to keep this post short . . . (Hmm, is that possible for me?) . . . but most of the lovely details have included my family, The Dash, good friends, late nights, warm clothes, hot chocolate, chili, secondhand formal gowns (in preparation for a Christmas Ball next week!), choir music, prayers, driving, laughing, reading aloud together in quiet rooms, a Nutcracker play . . . conversations, conversations, conversations . . . did I mention conversations?

I need to take pictures of our home! The tree is up in the corner . . . the garlands are up with their lights (which are not plugged in yet) . . . there are red bows scattered around, our nutcracker collection stands watch over our kitchen cabinets, and our homemade creche and beloved Nativity set are up in the living room; so far the Shepherd and his lamb are in the creche: St. Joseph, Our Lady and the Donkey occupy our fireplace mantle, surrounding the Advent votive candle; the Wise Men are journeying under the little table where our Jesse Tree sits. Everything is lovely and waiting! It’s going to be breathtaking when all the Christmas lights finally come on at approximately 11pm on Christmas Eve (in other words, once we get home from High Mass and plug them in before hurrying off to don our Christmas sweaters 😉 ).

Today was my first day completely home for what seems like a while, so I did some cleaning and organizing and attempted head-clearing . . . and, to be honest, I wanted to do more. Physically, I felt increasingly drained, yet mentally, I felt an urgency to get things done: tutoring-job prep, Christmas gifts prep, more cleaning, cooking. And yet much of my time was, instead, spent resting with my siblings and praying in the quiet for a little while. I can only assume God wanted it that way for me!

In fact, Lena and I were driving home through a dreary drizzle yesterday afternoon, deep in conversation about prayer. Or really, about choosing prayer. I was relating to her how busyness, like this current phase of life entails, makes it so easy for me to neglect some usual prayers on a given day . . . and the next morning, after just one day of mild negligence, I wake up with a subtly stronger internal resistance to prayer, a laziness, a distaste. And so then comes the choice, the choice to pray again, to push through the cold, wet, clinging ivy I’ve let overgrow and struggle to come into the garden when once, it was easier. It’s an incredibly obvious pattern in my interior life (well, incredibly obvious now).

Today is O Clavis David and Ember Wednesday . . . however, all my plans for Ember Days have this uncanny propensity to dissolve. (Sigh.) Instead of immersing myself in the day, I had to make myself go up to my room and read through the Propers belatedly, only an hour ago. I stopped and looked at my prayer altar, hesitating, spiritually dragging my feet. Surely, I could wait a little while, go do something else and pray before bed? But I forced myself to go ahead.

It is so incredibly easy for me to wait to pray: not, necessarily, to choose not to pray, but only to wait a little while. But because I’ve been given the grace to realize this, I now want to challenge myself to not wait–to not waste those moments that come from the Holy Ghost, inviting me, beckoning me to quiet down and come closer to Christ in prayer, even if only for  a minute–especially during this holy season and certainly beyond it. After all, I know I only have the present moment, and it’s time for me to embrace it more eagerly and to be vigilant in guarding it for God’s will, and not mine.

Anyway, those are my rambling Ember Day reflections . . . this was supposed to be a short post 😉 But now it’s time to be off and spend time with my family. I am so grateful to God for all the countless beauties and joys He is pouring upon my life just now through the hands of Our Lady. I am richly blessed!

Latinsig2

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December 15th, 2027

11752639_469072239935977_554516858742376419_nThe chief thing is to get women to take part in socially productive labor, to liberate them from ‘domestic slavery,’ to free them from their stupefying [idiotic] and humiliating subjugation to the eternal drudgery of the kitchen and the nursery. This struggle will be a long one, and it demands a radical reconstruction, both of social technique and of morale. But it will end in the complete triumph of Communism.

– V L A D I M I R   L E N I N ,   1 9 2 0

Do you know what? Exactly ten years from today, it will be mid-morning on Wednesday, December 15th, 2027, in the third week of Advent.

What makes this entirely random fact so interesting? A question I came across yesterday.

Where do you see yourself in ten years? And do you like what you see?

Upon first glance, I didn’t give the question much pause for thought. But I did release an involuntary smile over the possibility of where I could be in ten years: a wife, mother, and keeper of the hearth! What more could I want on earth?

Yes, I like what I see.

And I moved on from the question. But this morning, it’s circled back around to me as an interesting muse for a post. (And I’m rather shocked that it’s already Friday and I haven’t written a thing here since Monday, so I feel the need to make up a little.)

Exactly ten years from today, I’ll be 31 years old. And that in itself sounds delightful. In my mind, the words “31 years old” brim with possibilities and future graces. And probably a little weight gain. But that’s okay. I’m not afraid of growing older.

Ten years! God-willing, I could be married and have several children by the time I’m 31! (My youngest sister and I have sometimes played a mental game, in which we tried to calculate the most children we could feasibly have in a given time frame. It’s a step up from making a list of names. But I won’t frighten readers.) I can only imagine the stories I might be able to tell in ten years’ time. What will I be like? What will I look like, sound like? I think it’s tempting to imagine the manifold ways I’ll have grown, matured and advanced in virtue . . . while slightly less tempting, though probably far more accurate, to acknowledge the ways I will have probably remained the same me, in spite of ten years.

Mary’s guardian angel: “What? Ten years, and she’s only done this?!”

* * *

Ten years from today, it will be mid-morning, and just ten days before Christmas. My children will probably be romping around in cardboard and duck tape (excuse me, armor), and I probably will not have showered yet because, while I naturally appreciate and seek after a wholesome kind of order and schedule in the home, I am not militaristically organized and today will, most likely, be one of those Flexible Days of Survival.

My beloved small castle, (not yet decorated for Christmas, but with an Advent wreath on the table surrounded by workbooks and Saint Lucy coloring sheets) will probably be somewhat tidy, somewhat cluttered (though I’ll already be mentally planning the time to go and clean up those Vital Areas before my husband gets home, since I would really love for him to not experience the feeling of coming home to an absolute zoo . . . no, wait, to tell the children to do the cleaning up! I forgot about them).

The front room will need to be vacuumed (I will be in the process of getting to that), but the throw-pillows are straight and the blankets folded up from the evening before, because I’m still a determined surface preserver.

Although outside will most likely be gray, brown and wet, inside I will have the stimulating sensation of shoveling in a blizzard. Propping the Current Baby of the family (the Current Baby shall not be left out of this post) on my hip, I’ll be alternately wiping sticky crumbs off the counter from breakfast, unloading the next plate from the dishwasher, and recalling what meat is left in the freezer for later on that night. Then comes a hot flow of spit-up down my shirt. I handle it with professional calm and proceed to unload the spoons.

On the kitchen fridge, there’ll be a family photo (rumpled because the toddler found it one day), a grocery list, eighty-five filthy finger smudges I need to wipe off, an invitation to a Christmas party I’m fervently hoping to get to with my husband so I can savor a little time with him, regale my close friends with my daily domestic antics and drink a little wine . . . there will be some alphabet magnets (most, however, will be on the floor), a dry-erase calendar in a constant state of change . . . and, high-up so as to preserve it from disaster, a lovely hand-drawn picture of the Holy Family that Sr. Alphonsus of the Merciful Gaze of Mary (my imaginary invention for Lena’s future professed name . . . perhaps my kids will call her “Aunt Alphy” 😀 ) mailed to the children from the convent.

(You notice that I carefully avoid the topic inside the fridge. I don’t have enough courage to peer that far yet.)

I’ll be hearing shrieks, giggles, and arguments over swords and forts coming from the den (the throw pillows and blankets will be back on the floor again) . . . or is it the stairs? They had better not be hanging off the rails. “Mamaaaa! Mamaaaa!” I’ll know the indignant screams aren’t coming from one seriously injured or seriously wronged, and I’ll begin sticking glasses into the dishwasher, left-handed.

I’ll have a tomboy girl who will be constantly causing me exasperated curiosity as to how to (one day) impart all my high, lovely thoughts about authentic femininity to her. This lass will currently have the shield and sword and will be whacking her brother across the rear.

The Current Baby will then begin wailing from a sudden onset of ravenous hunger, though surely it’s only been five minutes since I nursed last . . . ?

Most likely, I will have a well-meaning and responsible oldest child who will be at the table, working at spelling words and trying to teach the toddler not to color St. Lucy’s skin purple, but who rises at the sound of the Current Baby wailing, comes over to where I am (convinced that all the baby needs is Oldest Sib) and starts plucking at the wet, stinking onesie. “Can I hold him?” the oldest child asks plaintively.

“Actually, I need you to finish loading the dishwasher for me, dear.” (See how calm I’ll be?)

My oldest’s eyes fill with distaste. An exaggerated sigh. Haven’t I raised my children virtuously? I panic interiorly. Why aren’t they cheerfully obeying right away? I lift my eyebrow and give a proper attitude correction. The child humbly complies with a, “Yes, ma’am,” and my spirits lift.

But then the phone will begin ringing, and the oldest will scamper away. (My children will invariably know where the phone is, even if I do not.)

My oldest grins delightedly at the caller ID and pounces on the phone. “Hi Daddy!”

“I want to talk to him!!!!!!!!!” I call (with interior desperation) at the retreating figure, over the poor screaming Current Baby. However, in that moment I will need to snatch survival, and so I’ll retreat to the quiet master bedroom, shut the door, and nurse the baby to sleep, meditating on what colorful extracts from the day I’ll weave into a cheerful narrative for my husband that night.

I will be so lulled by the quiet and serene beauty of my Current Baby that with great suddenness my maternal instincts will start blaring. I will have learned by then that quietness is the sound of doom.

I’ll leave the baby asleep and emerge to find a messy mini-disaster that will involve discipline and half an hour of supervised cleaning up . . .

And on the day will go: December 15th, 2027, with me being 31 years old.

* * *

Why did I quote Lenin at the beginning of this post? Because his words are the antithesis of my dreams for the future. What he perceived as slavery, I know to be freedom and fulfillment. The very things he speaks of with detestation, I look at with both realism and reverence. This post was, in part, inspired by a video I watched this morning from Mary’s Secretary.

I’m a cheerful and optimistic person by nature, so perhaps it seems that I’m sometimes over-idealizing a futuristic day in which I will be a stay-at-home mother. My vocation, whatever its twists and turns, will be my crucible for holiness; I know it will be difficult; I anticipate crosses, because it comes straight from the loving hands of the King of the Cross. I’m flawed and I will fail often. Some nights, I expect I’ll cry myself to sleep. Some days, I’m sure I’ll look at Our Lord and tell Him I can’t do it anymore . . . and then move on and do it.

But that doesn’t exclude the real beauty, wonder and loveliness of the life I anticipate. It doesn’t mean the little, chaotic details aren’t charming and funny in their innocence and normalcy. It doesn’t mean I won’t find utter delight and deep peace in fulfilling my role as a woman, in living out my vocation as a creature of God, in loving and serving my future family.

If “drudgery” only means “very hard work” I admit the woman drudges in the home . . . but if it means that the hard work is more heavy because it is trifling, colorless and of small import to the soul, then as I say, I give it up. I do not know what the words mean.

-G. K.  Chesterton

So here’s to the next ten years!

Latinsig2

 

 

 

7 Rambling Monday Takes :: Vol. 8 (Advent edition)

MondayTakes

Explore previous rambling installments here 🙂

1.

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.

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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)

2.

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 the keyboard 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. 🙂

 

3.

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!

4.

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!

5.

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.

6.

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 . . .

7.

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! 🙂

Latinsig2

 

A few Saturday ramblings

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The snow is slowly starting to disperse under bright blue skies today, but here’s another gratuitous shot of the white loveliness from yesterday . . .

And now, a few ramblings for today!

One, my little Living Virtuously collection now has 20 documents available for download, with two quotes per document. It’s been such a lot of fun to add to this collection piece by piece, and especially to search out inspirational quotes on striving after virtue! This morning, I alphabetized the list since . . . well . . . it just wasn’t looking as beautifully organized as I wanted it to. Now it’s much better 🙂

CompanySecondly, on my sidebar there’s now a link to a second talk on traditional Catholic courtship, this time from Veritas Caritas, which I came across thanks to Finer Femininity. Fr. Ripperger’s talk was around 40 minutes . . . this one (given by an anonymous, traditional priest), on “Company Keeping,” was an hour and ten minutes! And how I loved it.

I feel so blessed by Our Lord to have been given the opportunity to practice traditional Catholic courtship, and not only this, but also to have been given someone who strongly believes in these principles of self-denial, prudence and virtuous conduct in courtship. The Dash and I have been courting for three months now, and they have been three most beautiful months!

I’m not an expert on courtship; I can’t argue eloquently, but can only speak from my own small stock of experience. That which our modern culture would call senseless sacrifice or prudishness for a courting couple to submit themselves to . . . chaperoning, moderated emotions, self-control and self-denial . . . I reflect on these past three months and embrace these things as having been so very worth it already, and so very right. If the couple is virtuous (or striving after virtue, anyway 😉 ), these acts of sacrifice and denial become an incredibly rich soil in which Christ-centered love and mutual respect can grow, slowly, healthily and without hindrance.

Perhaps what resonated with me most strongly from both these talks on Catholic courtship was the realization of the justice of courtship. Truly, I had never considered justice in the context of courtship. However, when you protect one another from occasions of sin and do what you can to safeguard one another’s honor and good name through chaperoning; when you honor one another’s bodies and your lack of rights to them through the denial of physical signs of affection; when you desire holiness for the other person and circumscribe your courtship with Godliness and prayer . . . you are simply fulfilling the dictates of justice. This was a huge source of clarity for me.

In the sense that it is very counter-cultural, courtship is hard. But it brings so much joy. If someone were to confront us and say, “Good grief, why don’t you guys just relax and have a little fun?” I think The Dash and I would look and one another start howling with laughter, because it seems as though all we’re doing is having fun, even with the Crosses, sickness, tiredness, and hard work every person must undergo in this life for their own sanctification. Because our consciences are being kept clean and pure in how we are treating one another, Christ is lavishly pouring His joy upon us and drawing us closer together with His Pierced Hands.

Some might point out that our society has changed so much as to render traditional courtship no longer feasible . . . but, no matter societal changes, fallen human nature remains the same. The dictates of justice remain the same. The sacredness of marriage and the finality of eternity remain the same. Man and woman remain the same. So . . . why can’t traditional courtship? The word, admittedly, has too many definitions, but these talks eloquently sum up the scope of and purpose behind Catholic courtship!

And thirdly, I recently came across a book provided by the ever-helpful Fish Eaters, called The Christian Home: A Guide to Happiness in the Home that caught my eye and intrigued me delightfully. I’ll be trying to read it as and when I can 🙂

And now I’m off (metaphorically) to Fribourg! Have a blessed Saturday!

Latinsig2

 

All White, All Fair

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This morning I woke up early, around 6:15 (a slightly humorous fact, since it was the first morning this entire week on which I hadn’t set my alarm . . .). I lay there in the stillness, gradually noticing how the dim predawn light, filtering through my curtained window, had an unusually blue sheen. Summoning some willpower, I trundled out of bed and peered through the blinds.

Our mountainside world was blanketed with white. And even as I type, hours later, the snow is still pouring down.

“I will put enmities between thee and the woman.” In these words the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary was announced to our first parents. It was to be the reversal of the friendship with the serpent contracted by Eve, when she listened to his voice and fell under his power. The second Eve was never to be under the power of the devil; the enmity between them was to admit of no possible exception. This involved the grace of being conceived immaculate. Mary’s Immaculate Conception was the foundation of all her graces. The absence of any stain or spot of sin distinguished her from all the rest of mankind. It distinguished her from the holiest of the saints, since they, one and all, were sinners. Her perfect sinlessness was the source of all her glory and all her majesty; it was  this which opened the door to the unlimited graces that she received from God; it was this that qualified her for her divine maternity, and raised her to her throne as Queen of heaven.

-from the Missal

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Snow is notably rare here in the South! And none of us can remember a snowfall before winter, definitely not one of five inches and counting.

So it’s impossible to describe the spiritual joy that suffused my soul as I stood at the window and watched the snow fall on the dawn of the Immaculate Conception. I felt like a child. I hugged myself with delight. I woke up my youngest sister sometime after 7:00 and we marveled at the window together with Lena, ecstatically wishing one another “Happy Feast! Happy Feast!”

I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, and my soul shall be joyful in my God: for He hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, and with the robe of justice He hath covered me, as a bride adorned with her jewels.

from the Introit of the Mass

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The first poem I ever got published was a short acrostic verse called “Winter.” I was only fourteen years old and had submitted it to an online homeschool literary quarterly. It went something like this (I’m typing from memory, ahem):

Weathered branches, laden with
Immaculate snow:
Nature’s burial cloth, tainted only by a bittersweet empathy of
Things passed away. An aura of finality
Endures, but the ancient trees
Remember what promise rests beneath their icy shrouds.

In an email conversation with the then-editor, I still remember his comment on how he’d enjoyed my usage of the word “Immaculate” to describe snow, and praised how I’d included it intentionally to honor the feast of the Immaculate Conception. Only (squirm) I hadn’t . . . which was kind of awkward. Apologetically, I explained this fact to him, and he was genuinely surprised.

However, seven years later, I know I will always connect the two in my mind.

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As I mentioned in an earlier post, I felt strongly drawn to preparing for this feast day more deeply than I had in previous years. Hence all the immensely beautiful, indulgenced prayers I stuffed into my novena, which I finished last night. And as I mentioned in that same post, I rather wanted to make a gift of this novena to Our Lady, an in-between offering since my renewal of Total Consecration won’t start until next September. I included several very special intentions, but the utmost of them was simply for her honor and pleasure.

And yet, of course, she turns it into a gift to me.

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St. Bonaventure tells us that all the Angels in Heaven cry out incessantly to her, “Sancta, sancta, sancta Maria, Dei Genitrix et Virgo” : “Holy, holy, holy Mary, Mother of God and Virgin,” and that they offer to her millions and millions of times a day the Angelical Salutation, Ave Maria, “Hail Mary”; prostrating themselves before her, and begging of her, in her graciousness, to honour them with some of her commands.

St. Louis de Montfort, True Devotion to Mary

The Second Triad – Powers, Virtues and Dominions: known as the “angels of creation” because they concern themselves with the ordering of the universe and a plurality of causes.

-Fisheaters.com

To me, it seems far from a sentimental thought to contemplate how the holy angels, who mysteriously order the universe, may have ordained this very snowfall: ordained it to clothe this spot of the world in white, to honor their beloved, Immaculate Queen of Heaven on one of her greatest feast days.

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Taken by my brother

Because of this downpour of snow and the unreliable condition of our nearby roads, it sadly doesn’t look like we’ll be able to make it to Mass, so we will be praying along with Fribourg’s High Mass here in less than an hour. I can’t wait to join my heart with the Gradual and Alleluia in praise of her who the snow honors today.

Happy Feast Day to you all!

Blessed art thou, O Virgin Mary, by the Lord the most high God, above all women upon the earth. Thou art the glory of Jerusalem, thou art the joy of Israel, thou art the honor of our people.

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Taken by my brother

Alleluia, alleluia. Thou art all fair, O Mary, and the original stain was never in thee. Alleluia.

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