Thursday, November 29, 2012
Tomas Rodriguez da Cunha, military officer,discalced Carmelite lay brother, in 1615, taking the name Redemptus of the Cross, with Blessed Denis of the Nativity, he travelled as a missionary to the king of Achin. He and his party were ambushed and martyred by Muslims in 1638. He was first tortured; when he refused to denounce his faith, he was shot full of arrows, and then his throat was slit.
O God, Who in Thy wondrous providence, led the blesseds Denis and Redemptus through the perils of the sea to the palm of martyrdom, grant, through their intercession, that in the midst of earthly vicissitudes and worldly desires we may remain steadfast even unto death in the confession of Thy name. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
I just watched an interview of Immaculee, a Rowandan survivor of the 1994 genocide, where she tells her story of not only surviving a terrible massacre but how she turned to her Catholic faith and overcame the anger and hatred she felt for the ones responsible for the death of her people.
She spoke of praying the sorrowful mysteries and the chaplet of mercy from the time she awoke to the time she fell asleep each day -- for 91 days! She spoke of how our blessed mother healed her heart from the bitterness and anger and instead filled her with God's love and His joy.
She said we are to approach God as if we were beggars imploring Him for our needs. If we do not have the sincerity within to pray, then we are to ask Him for this as well. Please God -- help me to pray with sincerity and with great devotion.
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
The commemoration of the Presentation of Mary in the Temple is on 21st November. It has been kept at least from the 7thC. in the Orthodox tradition. Emperor Justinian built a splendid church dedicated to Mary in the Temple area in Jerusalem. It was dedicated on November 21, 543 but was destroyed by the Persians within a century. Many of the early church Fathers such as St. Germanus, Patriarch of Constantinople and St. John Damascene, his contemporary, preached magnificent homilies on this feast referring to Mary as that special plant or flower which was being nurtured for better things. "She was planted in the House of God, nourished by the Holy Spirit and kept her body and soul spotless to receive God in her bosom. He Who is all-holy rests among the holy."
In the Byzantine Church this feast is considered one of the twelve great feasts of the liturgical year, called the Dodecaorton. By the 9thC. it is celebrated in the monasteries of southern Italy which had been influenced by the traditions of the Byzantine churches, and by the 14thC. it had spread to England. However it was not until 1472 that Pope Sixtus IV extended its celebration to the Western church.
Monday, November 19, 2012
Saturday, November 17, 2012
Isn't this a sweet picture of my Daddy? He was trying to wear his mother's shoes.
This is the day my Dad died two years ago -- it truly broke my heart when I received the phone call that he was gone. It felt like something was severed inside and I was consumed with overwhelming grief. All I could do is wail and pound the bed with my fists. The sorrow was drowning me and I couldn't even breath after a short while. I cried and cried laying on my bedroom floor until my dear husband came up and wrapped his arms around me and calmed me down.
Most people don't want to experience this kind of sorrow because it hurts so much; and they really don't want to remember it over and over again. Well, I consider it a gift -- this grief, this pain, this sorrow. I am glad I can cry and my heart feels like it's going to burst from the agony and pain. I want to remember it. I want to remember how much I loved him and how much he will be missed.