Pull up a chair in my domestic church and let's chat!

I have worn many labels (Not in any particular order): Catholic, Wife, Mom,Gramma, Doctor, Major, Soccer Mom, Military Wife, Professor, Fellow.

All of these filter my views of the world. I hope that like St. Monica, I can through prayer, words and example, lead my children and others to Faith.
"The important thing is that we do not let a single day go by in vain without putting it to good use for eternity"--Blessed Franz J├Ągerst├Ątter

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The Visitation

Today is the Feast of the Visitation. Mary had just received the news that she had been chosen to bear the Incarnation of God, the Word Made Flesh. She must have been bewildered yet her faith was so strong she gave her Fiat: May it be done according to your word!

Yet she spent little time dwelling on what she had just gotten herself into. Her cousin Elizabeth was pregnant. With no hesitation she set aside her own circumstances and made haste to be by Elizabeth's side. Elizabeth was her kinswoman. Becoming the Mother of God was not going to keep her away.

In today's culture, it is hard enough to keep the nuclear family of Mom, Dad and children together much less extend it across generations. Yet our Domestic Church is meant to reach across the nuclear family lines to all whom God has placed in our family trees.

Recently, thanks to two college graduations (one undergraduate and one Masters degree) I was blessed to have a great many members of my family tree visiting at once. The ages spanned from 1 to 84. It was a raucous chaotic time. The house had not been so noisy in years and it was delightful. We laughed together. We played together. We ate together. We prayed together. Nothing made me happier than when we all went to Mass together.

While we adults love each other and enjoy spending time together, the spark of my three grandchildren made the visit magical. The aunt and uncles, grandparents and great-grandparents were showered with that innocent, unconditional love of childhood. The children were enveloped in an equally beautiful love from all the adults. We were all better for having shared this special occasion with so many family members across four generations.

In our mobile society it is easy to grow distant from the relatives who are not in town. Perhaps this is a good feast day to reach out to an aunt, uncle, cousin, sibling, parent or grandparent who is out of sight. Mary did not let distance weaken her bond with Elizabeth. We should not let our family bonds wane even as distance grows.

Monday, May 30, 2016

What I really want to say

The Wedding Party--Henri Rousseau

Wedding season is upon us. I am so excited when I am invited to a Catholic wedding, especially when it is for two faithful Catholics. I also find Protestant weddings celebrated prayerfully a true joy. Secular weddings, on the other hand, leave me conflicted. I really do wish the bride and groom a lifetime of happiness, but they are starting out at a great disadvantage if they do not recognize that marriage is about so much more than "luv"! Here is what I really want to tell these couples:

Dear Bride and Groom,
I am sure you are thrilled with the grand affair you are planning to celebrate the legalization of your union. You have been living together for years so right now it is all about the party.
I really do hope you have years of health and happiness in front of you. I also pray that you someday recognize the true meaning of matrimony and see that it is so much more than a civil recognition of your mutual affection followed by an elaborate gala. 
However, at present you are asking guests to spend great quantities of money to celebrate the execution of a legal contract. Children are not welcome because they do not fit the ambience you are hoping to create. There will be no recognition of the transcendent nature of marriage nor will there be any acknowledgement that marriage is a vocation, a calling from God. It is your event and I respect your choice to keep it totally secular. 
I ask that you respect my choice to limit my participation. I really do wish you well but I am very uncomfortable pretending that this secular ritual is the same as the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony. Such a pretense is the reason marriage has been demeaned and degraded in our culture. I cannot in good conscience fully participate.
          I will keep you in my prayers.
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