Catholic Woman’s Almanac {CWA} Vol. 24 Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception

immaculate-conception-ukToday is the feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Many early Fathers, including Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, and John of Damascus commented on Mary as the “new Eve” who was free from sin. The feast came to Rome in the ninth century. Church dogma, formally proclaimed in 1854, teaches that “from the first moment of her conception the Blessed Virgin Mary was, by the singular grace and privilege of Almighty God, and in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of mankind, kept free from all stain of original sin. – Taken from what else?

Link up over at Plain Grace (formerly Suscipio) and meet other wonderful, faith-filled women sharing their week.


::Sacramentals ~ holy water, blessed oil, rosaries, statues. I was carrying them around with me like a gunslinger – on each hip!
::My friend S, the Knit Whisperer, she has been holding vigil over me for 24 hours now in silent prayer from afar.
::Ice on evergreens
::The rosary lady. She gave me such a sweet gift for helping her make rosaries for her apostolate. Don’t cheat and scroll!!
::God not letting me cry

::Please pray for my a friend of S. This woman slipped and fell on her front steps last night and broke her arm. Please pray for healing!
::Special intentions. I am praying a whopper of a novena. The 54 day grande dame novena, in fact called the Rosary Novena to Our Lady. I am doing this with my friend Tiffany. We are at the Thanksgiving part of the novena. I will share with you soon how I am praying this in the hopes that it helps you.
::H. He has cancer. I have asked for prayers before, but I am asking again. We sang in a Christmas concert this weekend and he wasn’t there, made me miss his funny presence.
::My Lay Dominican brothers and sisters.
::Peace. I need peace.
::My husband. Why? Because I love him. Because he needs me, more…because I need him. He just got back from an appt with the doctor – I don’t want to give too much detail, but praying for his health and healing.

Thinking and Reflecting
What happens when you go to confession and you don’e receive a penance? Does Jesus (in persona christi via my priest) think I suffer enough that I don’t need penance? Did my priest forget? While, according to Fr. Z’s blog:

We are obliged to do penance for sins that we have committed. This is a matter of justice.

That said, the imposition of a penance is not required for validity of the absolution.

So while the confession passes the validity test. I can’t help but notice that yesterday and today have and are hard days for me. I am offering up all of my personal suffering to God. I am calling, by name every saint I can think of to “make haste to help me”.

I wonder, if this “coincidence” of not receiving penance was because the past 24 hours were coming. I slept with my hands clutched tightly around my rosary for two hours, the rest of the night was riddled with nightmares and physical raw-ness. The only way I can explain it. Regardless, I have asked for reminders to offer this all up throughout my day. What else am I to do with it?

Hearing this hymn (you can hear it on Divine Office Morning Prayer, right now!)

Mary the Dawn, Christ the Perfect Day;
Mary the Gate, Christ the Heav’nly Way!
Mary the Root, Christ the Mystic Vine;
Mary the Grape, Christ the Sacred Wine!
Mary the Wheat-sheaf, Christ the Living Bread;
Mary the Rose-Tree, Christ the Rose Blood-red!
Mary the Font, Christ the Cleansing Flood;
Mary the Chalice, Christ the Saving Blood!
Mary the Temple, Christ the Temple’s Lord;
Mary the Shrine, Christ the God adored!
Mary the Beacon, Christ the Haven’s Rest;
Mary the Mirror, Christ the Vision Blest!
Mary the Mother, Christ the Mother’s Son.
Both ever blest while endless ages run.

Mary the Dawn; Medieval English text; Gregorian Tone 4, setting by Paul Crosssung;
Mary the Dawn by Kathleen Lundquist is available from

Tonight it will be spaghetti with meat sauce. Not fancy, but very comforting on a cold, icy, wintry day as this one.

Homing & Making
Christmas lights make me happy. I noticed that the garland I strung around the banister was out, so I tried, in vain to replace the bulbs that looked out. After about 45 minutes, I used some Puerto Rican ingenuity and just strung regular lights around the newly replaced bulbs that were still out and I had no patience to figure out. There you have it, homing and making – Cristina style.

Around the Web

In preparation for my presentation at RCIA tonight on Mary, I am going to show that scene from Passion of the Christ where Christ is carrying the cross and Mary, watches. I won’t even link to it, because it’s too sad. Pray for me.


From the rosary lady. Can you believe it? I didn’t have one and always wanted one. It was on my list – ask and ye shall receive. Isn’t it beautiful?

Vintage Mother of Pear Miraculous Medal
Vintage Mother of Pear Miraculous Medal
The Holy Family: In the chapel of my church. Never noticed it before.
photo 2 (1)
Can’t remember where I found this but I love it.

And because I need it

St. Therese, pray for us!
St. Maximillian Kolbe, pray for us!
St. Dymphna, pray for us!
St. Dominic, pray for us!
St. Monica, pray for us!
St. Albert the Great, pray for us!
St. Augustine, pray for us!
St. Michael the Archangel, pray for us!
St. Joseph, pray for us!
St. Paul, pray for us!
Mary, Undoer of Knots, pray for us!
Mary, Mother of God, pray for us!
Elizabeth Leseur, Servant of God, please pray for me!
All you Saints, Blesseds and Servants of God, pray for us!


11 thoughts on “Catholic Woman’s Almanac {CWA} Vol. 24 Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception

  1. I agree…you are suffering enough and that acceptance is more pleasing to God as a penance than one a priest may give you that isn’t really that sacrificial for us.

    United with you for all your intentions.


  2. I love this compilation 🙂 I will be praying for you tonight while showing the Passion. That is the most heart wrenching seen ever, I think. It’s so beautiful and immense and real and tortured all at the same time. I know it will impact many lives 🙂

    I love reading your CWA from the link-up at Plain Grace.


  3. I love this compilation 🙂 I will be praying for you tonight while showing the Passion. That is the most heart wrenching seen ever, I think. It’s so beautiful and immense and real and tortured all at the same time. I know it will impact many lives 🙂

    I love reading your CWA from the link-up at Plain Grace.


  4. Beautiful gift!
    Do you know anything more about the Cause for Elizabeth Leseur? I’m finding it hard to track down any information about how it is progressing and hadn’t known that she was now a Blessed! She’s agreat inspiration for Catholic women.


  5. Dear C – Thank you for the prayers for my friend. She received good news today….she doesn’t need surgery!! Love, S

    P.S. I didn’t know about H…. I will keep him in my prayers. He’s an amazing, giving and generous person.


  6. Thank you BOTH — S and C! Your prayers are loving and inspirational, not to under-emphasize EFFECTIVE!!! I will pray also for peace for your hearts. C, I met you last week at the concert — what a beautiful family you have!. OACW (figure that out!) Love, S (friend of S)


    1. OACW…hmm Ohio Athletic Conference Wrestling, or Old and Abandoned Chemical Weapons? I don’t know. S will you, I’m not all there all the time. I am so glad you found me here. If you ever need a prayer – this is your one stop shop. 🙂 Thank you for your sweet words!


  7. Prayers for you. Yes, the saints are some of the best night time companions. When I’m really in need of calm, I repeat our Lord’s name like Our Blessed Mother did in The Passion; it was almost a whisper.


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