I planned this post out last night. As I sit here now and begin to type, I’ve changed my mind. I am not ready to talk about my walk this Advent. I am not ready to share my not so perfect moments. They do exist as I am just a practicing Catholic after all. Instead I will share with you what makes my soul love. I don’t know how else to explain that. It’s not the usual and top of the list – my husband and children – but it’s up there. All this was inspired this morning just before adoration and after mass.
I went to the children’s Christmas mass this morning. The children lead themselves like in song, liturgy and at the altar. They carry the collection baskets and are apprehensive as to when they should begin, they even usher their peers to the altar to receive Communion. I love to attend these masses. I love to smile at them and wonder if they’ll remember these times. If they’ll connect with a verse from scripture of a hymn because they were chosen to speak or sing it when they were younger. One of the songs that the children sang was O Come, O Come Emmanuel. I am singing it tomorrow for the 4:30PM vigil mass and tried to upload a video of me singing it, but after 4 times, I gave up. I guess it’s because it was supposed to go here. My soul loves liturgical music. When you read the description of the picture I chose, you’ll see what I get to see every morning before work as I pray. Pennsylvania is beautiful.
I was so upset that I didn’t include this picture as part of my wonderful – and VERY low key – birthday last week. These women, S, my Goddaughter and Josiepants are so very important to me. They are family. S’ husband was piloting the friendly skies or he’d be in this section too! Truly.
Last Saturday I made a commitment to pray the rosary with another Lay Dominican friend in VA. Turns out that S, my Goddaughter and Josiepants came just at the time I was supposed to begin. As I grabbed my phone to tweet to her that I couldn’t do it, S offered to pray it with us. See? This is why I love her. We all ran up to my room like it was a sleepover and it was beauty parlor time, I passed out rosaries and we prayed. I was pretty speechless.
This was taken by me this morning in the chapel of my parish just before adoration. This evokes a favorite quote from Venerable Fulton J. Sheen:
“Holman Hunt was criticized for this painting. The critics said there was no latch on the outside of the door, which is right. It was conscience; the door is opened from the inside!” Your Life is Worth Living
Beautiful isn’t it? I could go on here about baptism, but what I focus on when I sit in the pew is that seashell. Can you see it? This stained glass is located just behind the baptismal font to the right of the altar. For me, it symbolizes my salvation as well as the saving grace of others. You know, I believe it’s because I was baptized as a baby, I’m here, right now with you. If there is baptism, there’s hope.
Well if it isn’t my new BFF, Our Lady of Guadalupe. She sits in the back of the parish, next to the confessionals. I think this is such a lovely spot to look up at and ask for intercession and grace for what you’re about to drag up. She will arrange it all for you like she did for Juan Diego:
Prayer to Our Lady of Guadalupe
Our Lady of Guadalupe, my mother,
into your hands joined in prayer,
take my prayers,
petitions and hopes,
and present them to Jesus for me.
Remembering the love
and care your hands rendered to Him,
He will not refuse what they hold now,
even though they are from me.
Isn’t this the loveliest family? When I cantor, I am just to their right. I often sing to them. I love to imagine Baby Jesus looking at St. Joseph’s carpenter ruler while still in Mary’s arms and holding up his hand to mark His holiness. Oh the hats He had to wear. And He smiles, He loves, and He’s so approachable. See Mary? That one time I cantored and didn’t veil, it was she I was looking at; so beautiful in her veil, and I felt so full of pride for choosing not to because I didn’t wan to illicit any attention. Not so tomorrow! Go veil, or go home!
Can you see why words are hard for this? Does your soul understand mine now? I will see you in 2014. Have a peaceful, joyous and faith-filled Christmas. I will be praying for you, as always.
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