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Showing posts from December, 2008

O Antiphons

I would like to help you and your family truly celebrate Advent by telling you about the phase of Advent we begin tomorrow, the Octave before Christmas. Up until December 17, we have been counting up: 1st week of Advent, 2nd week, of Advent, 3rd week of Advent. Now we will count down-- 8 days before Christmas, then 7 days before Christmas, etc. The Church marks this countdown with the "O Antiphons".

For each day of this octave during Vespers, the evening prayer of the Church, the "O Antiphon" for the day highlights a different title for the Messiah.

December 17: O Sapientia: “O Wisdom, O holy Word of God, you govern all creation with your strong yet tender care. Come and show your people the way to salvation.” Isaiah had prophesied, “The spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him: a spirit of wisdom and of understanding, a spirit of counsel and of strength, a spirit of knowledge and fear of the Lord, and his delight shall be the fear of the Lord.” (11:2-3), and “Wond…

A Blessed Feast of Our Lady Of Guadalupe to You

"Hear me and understand well, my son the least, that nothing should frighten or grieve you. Let not your heart be disturbed. Do not fear that sickness, nor any other sickness or anguish. Am I not here, who is your Mother? Are you not under my protection? Am I not your health? Are you not happily within my fold? What else do you wish? Do not grieve nor be disturbed by anything."
— Our Lady to Juan Diego

Today we celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. This apparition in Mexico brought about the conversion of millions of people in Mexico. Our Lady of Guadalupe is the Patroness of the Americas. She is the Patroness of the Unborn.

Personally, I am very devoted to Our Lady of Guadalupe. I take great comfort in the motherly reassurance she gave St. Juan Diego. As a mother, I know the protective mother's embrace I offer my own children. Knowing that the Mother of God seeks to do the same for me is a source of great consolation.

Take a look at the Catholic Culture web site li…

Power of Intercessory Prayer

I would be remiss if I did not thank everyone for their prayers during my recent wrist fracture surgery. I went for my post-op follow up on Tuesday. The surgeon was truly amazed. Considering the shattered state of my wrist when she saw me in the emergency room she said that “never in a million years” did she expect it to look as good as it does now. I have no doubt that my exemplary recovery is in large part attributable to your intercessory prayers.

My second son had his own positive experience with intercessory prayer as well. He was preparing for one of his final exams. The professor allowed them to bring in a one page “cheat sheet”. The challenge was to figure out what to include on the sheet. There was only room to put a small fraction of the course material in the allotted space. As he prepared he remembered St. Joseph of Cupertino and asked for the saint’s prayers as he prepared his test aid. You may remember that St. Joseph of Cupertino’s student prayer includes a petition th…

Catholics Come Home at Christmas

Yesterday, I taught my seventh grade CCD class. Class time overlapped our parish's last Mass for the Feast of The Immaculate Conception so I was missing several students who were attending Mass. There were also a couple of students who were out sick. Of the remaining eight students who were in attendance, not a single one had attended Mass earlier in the day. Most of them had also not been to Mass on Sunday. Interestingly, they all expect to go to Mass on Christmas.

So this brings me to the topic of "C & E Catholics". The Church is going to be packed on Christmas just as it is on Easter. Those of us who attend weekly may feel just a tad bit annoyed as we deal with the parking lot mayhem, the crowded pews, and the numerous folks who look lost and confused. We may feel like saying, "And just exactly where have you been the other 50 Sundays of the year?" Don't. Scoot to the center of the pew to make room for them, smile at them, and help them find their pla…

Blessed Feast Day to You!

Today is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is a holy day of obligation, or as I like to say, a "Holy Day of Opportunity".

It was wonderful to see such a full church at 6:30 this morning. There were quite a few high school students stopping in for Mass before school. Father made a point of emphasizing that as Americans, this is our feast day. The United States is entrusted to Our Lady under her title of The Immaculate Conception. I wish he had included a reminder that today celebrates the conception of Mary without the stain of Original Sin. Too many Catholics think this feast is about the conception of Jesus. The Gospel reading is the account of the Annunciation so this error is easy to perpetuate. Oh well. Perhaps I am underestimating the faithful who will get up so early on a cold December morning to attend Mass.

May Blessed Mother intercede for you on this special day and draw you closer to her son, Our Lord, Jesus Christ.

Something Fun

This is kind of fun. Take a look at where the actors of A Christmas Story are now.

In the late 1990's I was the doctor for student health services at a university in Ohio. A young man came in with a BB embedded smack dab in the middle of his forehead bone. Of course, as a mom as well as a doctor I felt compelled to tell him "You know, you could have shot your eye out." As my nurse, also a mom, prepped the young man for the removal of the BB she too issued this standard motherly response. However, both of us accepted without question our patient's story that he was watching his buddy shoot the BB gun and the BB ricocheted off a building and struck him in the forehead. It was only after I mentioned the incident to my husband that I began to have my doubts. Once my husband got his laughter under control, he asked,"Do you really think after bouncing off of a wall, a BB would still have enough force to embed in his forehead? Those guys were shooting beer cans off of e…

Strong Words From Bishop Loverde

I found that my own bishop, Bishop Loverde, had some strong words about the Freedom of Choice Act:

Bishop Paul S. Loverde of Arlington, Va., spoke this week at a diocesan event for young adults, outlining his hypothetical reaction to the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA), a bill that would establish abortion as a universal right if passed. Despite the fact that the Arlington Diocese does not have any Catholic hospitals, Bishop Loverde said he knows exactly what he would say if FOCA were enforced against hospitals in his care.

"I would say, 'Yeah, I'm not going to close the hospital, you're going to arrest me, go right ahead," he said. "'You'll have to drag me out, go right ahead. I'm not closing this hospital, we will not perform abortions, and you can go take a flying leap.'"

Of course, it could be said that Bishop Loverde felt free to be so cavalier since he has no Catholic healthcare institutions in his diocese. His words would be much more c…

Happy Feast of St. Nicholas

As we honor Advent as a time of preparation for the coming of Christ we should take time to celebrate the many feasts of December. After all, our veneration of the saints is not an end in and of itself, but rather an aid that leads us to Christ. Today we celebrate the Feast of St. Nicholas. Far from being a red suited purveyor of materialism, St. Nicholas is revered as a warrior against heresy and an exemplar of charity.

St. Nicholas, pray for us.

The Fog has Lifted

My thanks to all who offered prayers. I am sure that is what pulled me through the last couple of days. Prayer and the constant care and attention of my dear husband and an absolutely yummy casserole from Michelle. I awoke this morning to find myself clear headed (no more heavy duty pain meds) and pain free. The surgery went as well as we could have hoped. All the pieces of my wrist were put back in place with the help of a metal plate and screws. There was no need for bone grafts or external braces. Now it is a matter of casting and healing.

Of course, there should always be something positive from every trial. Challenging times are opportunities for virtue. I am not very good at asking for and accepting help so I am discovering the virtue of humility that allows me to admit I can't do it all.

This Advent, I will not write Christmas cards, bake cookies and cinnamon rolls for the neighbors, or wrap pretty packages. If any of those things get done, it will be by someone else's…

Orthopedic Update

I guess my fall turned my distal radius into something akin to a jigsaw puzzle. Therefore, my surgeon will be using metal plates,pins, screws, and whatever else is necessary to reconstruct my wrist. Surgery will be tomorrow so your prayers would be greatly appreciated. Thank you and God bless you.

St. Thomas Aquinas: Pro-Life Champion

I don't often think of St. Thomas Aquinas as one of the pro-life patrons, but after reading the following that will change.

MADRID (CNA) — The Spanish daily “La Razon” has published an article on the pro-life conversion of a former “champion of abortion.” Stojan Adasevic, who performed 48,000 abortions, sometimes up to 35 per day, is now the most important pro-life leader in Serbia, after 26 years as the most renowned abortion doctor in the country.

“The medical textbooks of the Communist regime said abortion was simply the removal of a blob of tissue,” the newspaper reported. “Ultrasounds allowing the fetus to be seen did not arrive until the 80s, but they did not change his opinion. Nevertheless, he began to have nightmares.”

In describing his conversion, Adasevic “dreamed about a beautiful field full of children and young people who were playing and laughing, from 4 to 24 years of age, but who ran away from him in fear. A man dressed in a bl…