Laudetur Iesus Christus!
Nunc et in Aeternum! Amen.
Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, Apostles (Friday penances are relaxed today)
You know, I had a whole post written on Tuesday/Wednesday but then stuff started happening and I kinda did not really like what I had written but, of course, I love my topic.
Oh and I pray Latin Lauds every morning as provided by Vatican Radio. Since today was a solemnity, we use Sunday I of the Psalter. It is my absolute favorite of all the Sunday Lauds, especially when it is sung. It makes my heart smile every time I hear it and my Latin is getting better since I am starting to pick up how the words are formed in the context of the sentences. Need to hit the Ecclesiastical Latin books again.
All I can say is that, as one of my dearest priest-friends always says to me, “[Ms. Allie], if you give the Evil One one inch, even the smallest part of an inch, and he will take a mile. You must remain vigilant.”
I’ve been struggling with various things: loneliness (not that much but it’s there and it knows how to take advantage of it … all too well), anger (the Evil One is really afoot in so many ways of late … its presence is quite pronounced), and sadness (though not despair but again it likes to take advantage of my weakenesses which, again, it knows all too well).
Some think I am crazy when I can sense its presence but after my whole experience in the chapel in college, I have had that sense. I told that story before in a previous post but whenever I do, I grab my Michael medal and if I am in my room, I kiss my icon. I don’t need to do that for him to be with me but it’s a comfort for me. A tangible comfort.
I had to do that last night at about midnight and it scared me. It was bad enough that this heat is killing me and my ability to sleep at night then I need to put up with Old Goat Legs too? All right. But as soon as I kissed the icon, I felt safe, I laid out, and fell asleep quickly.
So yeah, that is a brief not-too-many-detail explanation of what has taken me so long about posting again.
I don’t know about other dioceses and archdioceses but in the AoD, this weekend is the weekend when new assignments begin. One of our priests is moving onto a new assignment and a couple other priest-friends of mine are moving on as well. Please say a prayer for them, the parishes they are leaving, and the parishes at which they are beginning their new assignments.
Okay moving on …
I love Mary. I make no secret of it. My desktop wallpaper slideshow has a slew of different Marian images. I celebrate every Marian feast day like a solemnity. I make Rosaries to relax. I have Mary all over my room in icons and some statues (not gaudy but she’s there). I love reading books on Mariology. Mary. Mary. Mary.
Why do I love Mary so very ardently?
Because she’s my (and your) Mother! DUH!
I am not so sure about the guys who do this (awkward chuckle) but I know my sister, me, and other girls used to wear (still wear) some of our mother’s jewelry/clothing (My mother and I are the same size save for my petite-ness so we share a lot). I used to play in my mother’s jewelry box and put on her rings and necklaces (my sister has already staked out one as part of her inheritance) and I would put on her clothes though they were too big for my tiny childish frame (yes, I was smaller than I am now … I did grow bee-tee-dubs).
Why do I, my sister, and other girls do that?
Not just to be little fashionistas because when we’re little girls, we all think our mother’s are fashionistas, but because those things remind us of our mothers.
Why do I wear my great-grandmother’s graduation ring from 1927 everyday?
Because it reminds me of my great-grandmother.
What are Rosaries and Scapulars but our dear Heavenly Mother’s jewelry and clothing?
When we pull our Rosary out of our pocket or purse (because I know you all carry one on you at all times), we are pulling out a piece of our Mother’s jewelry. A reminder of our Mother and her love for us. When we pray it, we are reminded of how she lived her life totally attuned to the will of God. Oh, and if it’s long enough, you can make it into a bracelet and in some cultures (not American) it’s acceptable to wear it around one’s neck like a necklace though one should be careful because it can be seen as a gang symbol sadly.
When we put on our scapular (if you kiss it before donning it, you get an indulgence btw), we are putting on a piece of our Mother’s clothing like we would put on our mother’s dresses even if they were a bit long. When we don the scapular, we put on our Mother’s protection and we are reminded that she is always with us.
Sure to some they may seem like “blasted Catholic talismans” that we use as part of our “worship of Mary.”
But that’s the thing about Marian devotion.
If it’s authentic Marian devotion, it will always end with union with Christ.
Marian devotion does not have Our Lady as the end. She is the means (the happy means) who leads us to her Divine Son. That is the whole mission of Our Lady: to lead us, her children, to Christ her Son.
When we don a scapular, when we pray or even just hold our Rosary, when we pray before an image of Our Lady, when we utter a pious ejaculation to Our Lady, it ultimately leads us to Christ, Who is our sole Source of Salvation.
Then we get the people who say, “Why do you need Mary, or any of the other saints for that matter, when you could just pray directly to Christ?”
Well, when you have a need or an intention, you typically ask someone to pray for it for you. It’s the whole concept of intercessory prayer. I mean, look at this excerpt from the the First Reading today:
… Peter thus was being kept in prison,
but prayer by the Church was fervently being made
to God on his behalf.
(Acts of the Apostles 12:5)
So when a Protestant (sorry, Catt … no offense) or some other person who questions the necessity or origins of intercessory prayer like this, you can say that it’s totally in Scripture and this is just one of the situations in Scripture where this is seen.
With that in mind, why would we not ask Our Lady or the saints to help us? Why would we not ask her or our heavenly patrons?
I mean, Mary of all the saints! She is the Queen of All Saints after all. She is the Queen of Heaven and Earth. She is the Mother of God (Θεοτόκος = Theotokos = “Mother of God”).
And remember, Our Lord cannot say “no” to anything that His Mother asks Him. Look at the wedding at Cana. She asks Him to help them because they were out of wine and He says to her in response:
“O woman, what have you to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”
(Saint John 2:4)
Of course, we should not use this to ask for evil, overly selfish, or detrimental things. Not that she would ask Him for those things because that would go against her mission of bringing each and every one of her children to her Son.
Anything we ask her, she will take, place in her Immaculate Heart, and present them to her Son. And He will not say “no” but that does not mean that things will go as we want them. They will go as will be best for us from the perspective of eternity, our salvation, and the will of God which knows what is best for us.
So whenever we are in need, we should “Ite ad Mariam” or “Go to Mary” and trust that she will help us and keep us under her maternal protection. Ite ad Mariam and she will lead you to her Son in Whom we find the fullness of Truth, Joy, and Peace.
All right, I am going to try to be at least somewhat productive today though it’s hawter than heck today. I am literally walking around with a bathing suit top and a pair of shorts. My sister comments on how she can see my scapular and how it looks “special” … well, I am wearing a piece of my Mother’s clothes, of course it’s “special.”
Have a great solemnity! Remember, you can eat meat today since it is a solemnity and we are not to be pentitential when we should be celebrating!