Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Hands and Sweat and Saints

"Let us love God; but at the price of our hands and sweat of our face." St. Vincent de Paul

Born a French peasant in the 1600s, St. Vincent de Paul founded an order of priests known as the Vincentians. Later he and Louise de Marillac founded the Daughters of Charity.

When he was first exhumed, only his nose and eyes had decomposed. When he was exhumed a second time for his canonization in the 1700s, it was discovered that an underground flood had caused his body to decompose. His bones are encased in wax and on display in Paris for veneration. Fittingly, the only organ to stay incorrupt is his heart. His feast day is September 27th.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

In the Garden with Sister

"The best place to seek God is in a garden. 
You can dig for Him there."
 ~ George Bernard Shaw

This week we went on our first field trip. My students had been studying leaf identification with Sister in science class, so we went to some botanical gardens nearby to identify some of the trees. After lunch, we sang some "nature" songs (ie- Kookaburra, There Was a Man in Jericho Named Zaccheus, etc...)

 Father pointed out the sycamore tree in the gardens, which he said was the kind of tree that Zaccheus climbed so he could see Our Lord pass by.

We also found some hungry fish, which Father appeased by throwing in a grasshopper to the horror of the girls!

We concluded our trip, tired and sweaty, with a refreshing ice cream break-- a surprise from Father!

The girls got many compliments on their behavior-- with an older woman telling the girls that she remembered when she went to Catholic school and wore a little uniform. There's something amazing about being in public with these kinds of people and watching the public's reaction to black robes, habits, and modest uniforms! What a treat it was to spend the day examining God's creation with brides of Christ, an alter Christus, and my girls!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Nativity of Our Blessed Mother

"The birth of Jesus excepted, no other was so important in God's eyes or so fruitful for the good of humanity, as was the birth of Mary. Yet it has remained in complete obscurity...Our Lady's origin is wrapped in silence, as was her whole life. Thus, her birth speaks to us of humility....Mary's life is lost in the life of Jesus, truly she lived "hidden with Christ in God." (Divine Intimacy; Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary)

Happy Birthday to our Most Blessed Mother!

Morning Chats with God

There once was an elderly man, who whenever he said his morning prayers, always made sure there was an extra, empty chair.  And that empty chair, was always only a few feet from him.  At the end of his prayers, he would look across at that lone, little chair...and just stare at it.  He never said anything during those quiet moments of reflection.  He just kept staring at that little old chair.  One morning, his granddaughter approached him. 

"Grandpa, why do you always pray with an empty chair?"
"Why not?  Where else would my Lord sit when I talk to Him?"

Its, of course, just a story, but one that actually started a morning tradition for me.  If I knew Our Lord was sitting in that chair across from me.  Or kneeling by my side during those nightly Rosaries, I'm sure my attitude, my whole attention, would be different.  So why not put that physical reminder there.....not allowing me to forget the One who is always present with me.  The One I owe my entire existence to.  It may sound a little strange, but as I say my prayers now, I try to remind myself through that tiny physical reminder, that the Sweet Father in Heaven, His Blessed Mother, all the Saints I so often invoke; they all surround me as I pray.  And the comfort I receive as I end my morning reflection has enabled me to take on a new perspective throughout the day.  I've had my "Morning Chat" with God.  And I've consecrated every action of the day into His hands. 

Christ with me, Christ before me,
Christ behind me, Christ within me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ at my right, Christ at my left,
Christ in the house
Chris in the chariot seat,
Christ in the deck
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks to me
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me
I bind myself today
The strong virtue of an invocation of the Trinity,
I believe the Trinity in the Unity
The Creator of the Universe.
(excerpt from St. Patrick's Breastplate)