For those of us who live in the southern section of the United States, a “true” winter, with frozen trees and snow on the ground for extended periods (like in the photo above), is quite foreign. And even though my South Texas bones might shiver at the thought of living through months of this kind of frigid weather, I must admit, there is something beautiful and magical about this strange season.
At first glance, everything looks dead. But if you are mindful of what is going on, it is actually a time of sleep, and things are happening under that white blanket! For example, sugar maples only produce sap in cold weather. And boy, do I like maple syrup, so I have become most grateful for winter.
Though I will probably never live in an area that has a “true” winter, we do have loved ones up north, so I might get to visit someday during their “true” winter. After admiring the beauty of the photo above and pondering the importance of winter in the earth’s life cycle, I felt called to write the following poem. Enjoy!
Ice, snow, no electricity, no water, schools, churches and business shut down. The recent week-long Arctic blast was the start of a Lenten season that I have never experienced before. The freezing temperatures presented many challenges for us in Texas and other southern states that rarely experience such frigid weather. However, being shut in with no place to go and minimal distractions turned out to be a blessing! My prayer life was more focused, plus I had more time to write, which was something I was longing for.
“What are we supposed to do?” This question arose recently in a small group discussion with some of my family and friends. We had decided to get together (via an online meeting) to try and make sense of the unsettling things that have been happening in our country and beyond. As Christians, we pondered the classic question of what would Jesus do? We knew prayer was a definite answer. In addition to prayer, we also felt a need for action.
OK, for the small percentage of people who are actually born today (May 31st) this happy birthday wish might make sense, but the rest of you might be wondering about this joyful greeting. Today we celebrate the feast of Pentecost, also known as the birthday of the Church – not the church building – but the people who are the Church.
Christ promised his disciples that he would send the Holy Spirit to help them after he ascended into heaven, and on Pentecost, the birthday of the Church, they were granted the gifts of the Holy Spirit. These “birthday gifts” from the Holy Spirit were pretty amazing! Continue reading →
I learned the beautiful prayer “Hail, Holy Queen” as an adult, by hearing it prayed by others in prayer groups and on EWTN’s broadcast of the Rosary. I’ve always thought of it as referring to the state of our life here on earth before we see Jesus in heaven (“…show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb Jesus…”). I see it in another light now because of the current COVID-19 pandemic. Continue reading →
We are in a time when we cannot go to our normal place of worship and celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass with the rest of our church community. Yet the third commandment tells us that we are to keep holy the sabbath day! It has been suggested that we watch Mass online or on TV. This is a wonderful opportunity for the domestic Church (which is the family) to delve deeper into the beauty of the Mass.
Below are suggested tips for reverently viewing Mass from home. Be sure to read them all well in advance and have the children help get things ready. Most all the tips are very kid-friendly, and they will truly enjoy the Mass much more if they help prepare! Continue reading →