St. Augustine’s Prayer of Love to Christ

il-ritorno

JMJ1

This morning, while reading True Devotion to Mary over breakfast, I came across St. Louis de Montfort’s translation of a prayer to Christ by St. Augustine.

Thou art Christ, my holy Father, my tender God, my great King, my good Shepherd, my one Master, my best Helper, my most Beautiful and my Beloved, my living Bread, my Priest for ever, my Leader to my country, my true Light, my holy Sweetness, my straight Way, my excellent Wisdom, my pure Simplicity, my pacific Harmony, my whole Guard, my good Portion, my everlasting Salvation.

Christ Jesus, sweet Lord, why have I ever loved, why in my whole life have I ever desired, any thing except Thee, Jesus my God? Where was I, when I was not in Thy mind with Thee? Now from this time forth, do ye, all my desires, grow hot, and flow out upon the Lord Jesus; run,–ye have been tardy so far; hasten whither ye are going; seek whom ye are seeking. O Jesus, may he who loves Thee not be anathema; may he who loves Thee not be filled with bitterness!

O sweet Jesus, may every good feeling that is fitted for Thy praise love Thee, delight in Thee, admire Thee, God of my heart, and my Portion! Christ Jesus, may my heart faint away in spirit, and mayest Thou be my life within me! May the live coal of Thy love grow hot within my spirit, and break forth into a perfect fire; may it burn incessantly on the altar of my heart; may it glow in my innermost being; may it blaze in hidden recesses of my soul; and in the day of my consummation may I be found consummated with Thee! Amen.

St. Louis writes, “Charity . . . is the accomplishment of the whole law.” Charity: love of God for His own sake, and love of others for His sake. Thinking on this forces me to acknowledge the (fairly unbelievable) ease in which I sail through most days, without really trying to grow in the virtue charity. It’s overwhelming to consider how many technically “good things” I do . . . yet with, most likely, imperfect or self-serving motives I’m barely conscious of. How many things, really, do I do with consistency, solely because I love God?

O My God! I love Thee above all things with my whole heart and soul, because Thou art all good and worthy of all love. I love my neighbor as myself for love of Thee. I forgive all who have injured me, and I ask pardon of all whom I have injured.

Charity simplifies and clarifies everything. On the surface, life can seem so complicated–but the recurring answer is that charity is life’s only true aim. Without it, everything is wasted. With it, every action is suffused with meaning. How to climb out of the disorienting swamp of self-love and imperfect motives? That seems to be the great question. The natural answer is to love something or someone more than oneself, and not for the sake of oneself. The Divine answer is the virtue of charity: or, in other words, the Cross.

So here’s to that! May we all strive to live in the virtue of charity better today than we did yesterday! πŸ™‚

Sig

Advertisements

Reparation

immaculate-heart-of-mary

A most blessed feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary to you all!

Let us come with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and may find grace in seasonable aid.

-INTROIT

Today, some are beginning a 40-day period of reparation (the movement #SackclothandAshes) in response to the most recent outbreak of terrible scandal in our holy Mother Church. This period extends through all of September, the month of Our Lady of Sorrows. I definitely want to spend these next forty days offering various acts of fasting, as well prayers of reparation. I’m going to try and pray this particular chaplet daily:

Reparation

Our priests need our prayers more than we can begin to conceive. The Devil desires their ruin with unimaginable power and malice, because they sustain the Church and stand in the person of Christ. Our faithful priests suffer deeply from scandals and need our ongoing prayers for strength and protection; the gravely fallen ones need our fervent prayers for immediate justice and profound conversion. Those who have unimaginably suffered need our strongest and most compassionate prayers for consolation and healing.

Let’s confide all these things to the most Immaculate Heart of Mary–she is the Mother of the Church, the Mother of the Clergy, the Mother of all who suffer.

I am the mother of fair love, and of fear, and of knowledge, and of holy hope. In me is all grace of the way and of the truth, in me is all hope of life and of virtue. Come over to me, all ye that desire me, and be filled with my fruits . . . They that work by me shall not sin.

-ECCLUS. 24

our-lady-of-the-rosary

Sig

July is (random observations) . . .

July4

. . . hot!!!

As in “put my hair into a bun every day” hot.

I snapped the above picture after a (hot) day of cleaning, laundry, and canning pears on Monday (although I was one of the much lesser contributors to the whole canning enterprise. I was cleaning the bathroom, dusting, vacuuming, doing dishes after the canning, etc…) Lena is in the background, her hair also in a bun. We Donellan women are putting our hair up, people. In the words of The Dash, “Look out.” πŸ˜‰

July3

A delightfully clean bathroom. Unfortunately, I am too proud to show the “before” picture. I did send the “before” photo to The Dash, so you can rest assured that however proud I am, I’m not that proud.

July5

At one point during the canning process, they called me downstairs to factor an accurate(ish) ratio of pectin to pears, based off an online ratio table, which was oriented around 7 cups of pears per batch. We eventually discovered we were dealing with 12 cups per batch. So how much pectin would that be?? (13.5 tablespoons, more or less.)

July1

We have been canning fruit practically ever since we moved to our current home (seven years ago, this September). The builders/previous owners of this home planted blueberry bushes, horse apple trees, pear trees, and a fig tree. We were thrown into “Canning 101” when we wound up with more fruit than we could consume in cobblers. (Although we can consume a lot of cobblers, I assure you.)

Monday, Mom, Lena and youngest sister made jar after jar of Holiday Spice Pear Preserves (or pancake syrup, depending on how much pectin was used per batch; either way, a success!) . . . which are, frankly, sumptuous. Cloves and cinnamon and nutmeg heaven.

July6

Here is banana pudding, replete with milk and preservatives and rich deliciousness: once-a-year dessert finery. We always make it for one of the summer American holidays (4th of July, or Memorial Day, or Mother’s Day . . .). I’ve had the honor of making it the past couple of years. So far, it has survived me mixing the wrong ingredients together and mildly scorching the pudding. That’s what strainers are for.

However, right now *sigh* I’m done with sugar . . . I know it’s been affecting, at least somewhat, my hormonal health (or, really, lack thereof) and how I’ve been able to deal with stress. Taking it away won’t fix everything, but it will certainly improve the landscape a little!

July2

Here I am, cooking (enchiladas) with my favorite guy, Tuesday night ❀ For the curious-eyed, The Dash is wearing an apron I received for my eighteenth birthday, bearing a picture of Johnny Gage and the phrase, “Genius at Work” (a reference to theΒ Emergency!Β episode “Dealer’s Wild.”) When I wear the apron, it’s a joke. When he wears the apron, it’s the truth πŸ™‚

July9
Us in the backseat with my sister . . . slightly cramped . . . but we still leaned in for this picture πŸ˜‰

We’re only a few days away from our 10-month courting anniversary! Each new month is a blessing. Tuesday night, my family and I showed The Dash a treasured secret of our secluded mountain road: a fantastic yearly fireworks show on top of a nearby hill. We pull off onto the side of the road, arrange ourselves on the grass with the help of some lawn chairs, and soak in the display like villagers watching castle parties from afar. At first, we thought They (The Party People) would be setting off the fireworks last Saturday night, but after pulling off the side of the road and listening to the frogs croak for an hour with nary an explosion, The Dash was (understandably) rather skeptical of their existence (the fireworks, that is–not the frogs). Fortunately we were able to regain his faith πŸ˜‰

july7-e1530809377946.jpg

 

There is a beautiful (if intense) 54-day novena in honor of Our Lady of Pompeii that fell into my lap only a few days ago, thanks to a friend emailing me this homily.Β It is challenging, consoling and uplifting–and, as with all things under God’s Providence, perfectly timely. The whole text is here.

Yesterday I took some time to read a little of the story of the origins of devotion to Our Lady of Pompeii, along with the story of Blessed Bartolo Longo,Β as well as prepare a long list of intentions for this novena. Something that’s dawned on me is that, the greater your intentions, the greater your suffering or anxiety or desires . . . the greater your prayers should often be. Prayer is our most powerful recourse, and it should grow in proportion to our needs.

July11

And finally, a walk this morning! Much-needed and very brisk. I somehow managed to walk to the cadence of two poems the entire time, mumbling them under my breath . . . hopefully I didn’t look too insane . . .

July8

The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began
Now, far ahead the Road has gone
And I must follow, if I can
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet
And whither then? I cannot say.

July10

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth . . .

A blessed feast of St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria to you all, and happy Thursday! πŸ™‚

Sig

Baptismal joy (now I have two Godsons!)

mg_8662.jpg

JMJ1

_MG_8713
Pictures are by my brother πŸ™‚

Time for some news! πŸ™‚ This Sunday I had the privilege of becoming Godmother to another precious little boy (who also happens to be my second cousin)! What a joy it is to be a Godmother! My awesome cousin (baby’s uncle) was the Godfather. It was so wonderful to be able to visit with family over the weekend, celebrating Father’s Day, my grandmother’s birthday, and the newest member of the Body of Christ, all at once!

I’m still contemplating how being a Godparent is a tremendous responsibility. It’s something I never thought would happen to me while still being a single woman, and yet here I am with two adorable Godsons! It can be easy to focus on the happiness of the Baptism and the fun of being known as a Godmother . . . and forget that being a Godparent means so much more. Twice now, I’ve solemnly promised, before God, to help the parents of two sweet boys raise them in the Faith. Depending on what happens in life (although, God-willing, it would never come to this!), there’s the possibility I would wind up becoming become the primary leader for either Godson in living a life of grace, in obeying God’s commandments, and in knowing the teachings of the Church.

_MG_8685
Me with Baby, the Godfather, and some extended family πŸ™‚

And even if it (hopefully!) never comes to that, I’ll still always feel the responsibility of praying for them every day and of being a loving, encouraging, Godly presence in their lives as they grow into young men. I want to be able to radiate a motherly love of God to them in whatever way I can. Only Our Lord knows how this will look over the coming years, but I pray I’ll be ready for whatever is asked of me.

I’ve been an Associate Member of the Confraternity of Christian Mothers ever since I was nineteen or so, and I look forward to being enrolled as a full member (who participates in the graces of the Confraternity) as soon as I’m married! Becoming a Godmother has brought me into a special state of spiritual motherhood, however, and I’m grateful for the prayers of the Confraternity, especially in light of the two Godsons in my life. I pray this prayer every night for them!

O Mary, Immaculate Virgin and Sorrowful Mother, commend our beloved children to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Who refuses nothing to His Mother.
Holy Guardian Angels, pray for them.
St. Joseph, powerful patron, pray for them.
St. John, beloved disciple of the heart of Jesus, pray for them.
St. Augustine, pray for them.
St. Anthony, pray for them.
St. Aloysius, pray for them.
St. Anne, mother of Mary, pray for them.
St. Elizabeth, pray for us.
St. Monica, pray for them.

Sig

7 Rambling Monday Takes, Vol. 12 :: Weddings, Rain, and Oven Cleaning

MondayTakes

Explore previous rambling installments here πŸ™‚

1.

“Was this lovely song I hear ever heard before?”

Well, it’s yet another Monday, and after a morning spent scooting around the house, catching up, scheduling, planning, and laundering, I am digesting lunch (which is a wonderful sensation) and contentedly listening to John Davidson and Leslie Ann Warren jubilantly sing “Are We Dancing?” while crafting a quick Rambling Takes post. (The Happiest Millionaire has at least a dozen of my heartstrings, by the way.)

This song, you see, is part of a 90-minute dance playlist concocted and self-arranged for a particular celebration still in the works (I have nineteen days [only nineteen?!?] left of planning . . . ) . . . oh, but now the song has just passed over to “My Girl” by The Temptations . . .

I’ve got sunshine on a cloudy day . . .”

Yes, indeed, cloudy . . . I texted The Dash this morning, telling him (optimistically) to enjoy the sunshine (yesterday had been cloudy/drizzly/downright pouring all day), and yet inevitably it has already been pouring here again. So much for the optimism! Hopefully this deluge will bring some May flowers πŸ™‚

“It’s very clear our love is here to stay . . .”

And now comes a crooner . . . *sigh*, it’s going to be a good afternoon πŸ˜‰

2.

CoupleI feel as though I perpetually exist in a romantic frame of mind, but when I’ve made a list of 90 musical minutes of old-fashioned, classic romance, am planning a celebration for married love, and when I’ve just attended a wedding over the weekend . . . why not delve into those happy thoughts a little more deeply than usual? πŸ˜‰

“Unforgettable, that’s what you are . . .”

(This playlist isn’t helping much, I suppose.)

This wedding I attended with my family and The Dash was the first wedding I’d been to in years. It was the first fully Catholic wedding I’d been to since I was around sixteen, and that wedding, I sang for (I actually sang for a string of about six weddings in a row when I was fifteen years old; a unique phase of life!). So, really, it had been quite a while since we’d all gotten dressed up in expectation of a wedding. I pulled out a long floral dress I hardly ever wear–it comes to the floor, but miraculously I managed not to trip over it or downright rip it. And to be able to go to a wedding with The Dash! Bliss! πŸ™‚

“I can’t help myself; I love you and nobody else . . .”

But . . . an Extraordinary Form wedding is indescribably gorgeous, moving and so very different from anything I’d attended previously. Granted, I’ve read the old Rite of Marriage only a thousand times since owning my Missal. I’ve only gushed about it with Lena three thousand times.

But to be able to witness it with Lena, The Dash, and my family, filled me with so much joy. It was at our diocesan Cathedral; every one of the altar boys was a good friend; the priests were all dear to us; the bride and groom were just beaming, radiant, full of love and right intention. The liturgy had the solemnity borne of ancientness. It was amazing in so many respects.

“Fly me to the moon, let me play among the stars . . .”

That, by the way, was their first dance song at the reception . . . ahh, fellow Sinatra lovers! I could have hugged them both! They were so precious together. Truly, I’ve never seen a more joyous and delighted bride (and she was beautifully modest, too).

3.

In an Extraordinary Form wedding, the entire marriage rite takes place before the Mass even begins, which means that the very first act the married couple makes as husband and wife is one of worshiping together at Mass. That is so beautiful! πŸ™‚

While I’m on this thought, let’s have a read-through of the traditional vows as found in the ’62 Missal, shall we?

Priest: N., wilt thou take N., here present, for thy lawful wife (husband), according to the Rite of our holy Mother the Church?
R. I will.

(Groom, then bride): I, N., take thee, N., for my wedded wife (husband), to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness, and in health, till death do us part; and thereto I plight thee my troth.

The last phrase is just deliciously old (in my opinion). In my limited experience, sometimes it’s omitted (maybe depending on the tastes of the bride and groom), and so I figured I would research the exact meaning of the phrase before I go trumpeting it to everyone as something I would appreciate saying in my own wedding.

Dictionary.com’s definition of “troth” is as follows:

Noun
1. faithfulness, fidelity, or loyalty:

by my troth.
2. truth or verity: in troth.

Aha, well, it all sounds worthy so far . . . delving a little deeper, I visit Yahoo!Answers. Not that it’s exactly a paragon of authority, but as this search is propelled by mere curiosity, I am going easy on myself with regards to sources.
“Troth” means a promise of truthfulness, and is derived from the same word as β€œtruth”. “Plight thee my troth” – The groom pledges his truthfulness, faithfulness and loyalty to his promise. “Give thee my troth” – The bride likewise gives her word.
And to round off this clarifying experience, an extract from Answers.com:

“Troth” means a promise of truthfulness, and is derived from the same word as “truth.” Plight means pledge.

So, judging by dictionary definitions, to plight one’s troth simply means to pledge one’s truth: one’s fidelity. While all of this is already more than implied, of course, in the vows themselves, I think it’s still something beautiful to say!

4.

https://5.api.artsmia.org/full/47.jpg

Today, I’ve just started reading Venerable Fulton J. Sheen’s Three to Get Married. I feel badly because, up until this point, and merely by accident, I’ve never read any of his works or seen any of his old shows (to the shock of The Dash, who is now completely convinced of how sheltered I am)–I don’t think I’ve even heard his voice! And, judging by the first chapter, what a poverty that is.

Even his dedication for the book is so profound:

It takes three to make Love in Heaven – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

It takes three for Heaven to make love to earth – God, Man, and Mary, through whom God became Man.

It takes three to make love in the Holy Family – Mary, and Joseph, and the consummation of their love, Jesus.

It takes three to make love in hearts – The Lover, the Beloved, and Love.

To that Woman who taught the sublime mystery of Love, Mary Immaculate, this book is dedicated.

That nations, hearts, and homes may learn that love does not so much mean to give oneself to another to that Passionless Passion, Which is God.

5.

I took a break while writing this post to go take another walk with my mom at our nearby lake. Yes, it rained today. Yes, all things were squelchy, muddy, dirty–but they were also glistening, rich, perfumed and intense. As we walked and chatted, the cloudiness dissipated under warm sun and the air grew slightly humid. My hair didn’t appreciate it much, but nevertheless, it was a peaceful, invigorating half-hour spent with my mother πŸ™‚ I am so determined to make regular outdoor walks a part of the normalcy of my future family life!

6.

Ah, yes, the aforementioned oven cleaning. I’m a complete novice when it comes to oven cleaning, and if I hope to be the queen of a particular castle sometime in the not-too-distant future, it stands to reason that I had better know how to clean one. And so, today, I’ve sprayed it, left it to sit for two or three hours, and am going to begin scrubbing away within the next half-hour. Hopefully there won’t be any disasters. We have egg rolls scheduled for tonight, and I refuse to be the one to ruin everyone’s dinner πŸ˜‰

7.

A letter from a pen pal came in today! I am delighted πŸ™‚ And it’s made me reflect on how blessed I am with the all correspondences God has placed in my life. Here’s to rebuilding a culture of actually writing to one another, of taking time to craft paragraphs, to ramble, to express hopes and dreams, to make jokes, to be genuine. To use words, and to mean them. That’s how some of my dearest friendships today started out. It’s how The Dash and I started out. It doesn’t necessarily have to be pen and paper (although it’s wonderful and so authentic if it can be done!), but the time is what is essential. Before you know it, thousands and thousands of words have crossed the space between you and another soul, building understanding and friendship as you pursue truth together; the truth that comes only from Our Lord.

Have a blessed Monday, everyone, and . . . a very happy feast of dear St. George, Martyr! I know Lena is excited today πŸ™‚

Sig