Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Taking God for Granted

It's so easy to take things for granted.  I remember how excited I was when I got my Kitchenaid blender. I bought all of the attachments, vowing to grind my own meat and roll my own pasta. I loved that it was deep red, which was a bold color choice for me. My entire kitchen routine was about to change.

Two years later and I store plastic grocery bags in the bowl.

It's not just things that get taken for granted.  Growing up, I took it for granted that my parents would always be there for me. That they would always love me. The latter happens to be true, and as for the former, so far so good.

I was sitting in Adoration the other evening, right in front of the Blessed Sacrament, and I caught my mind wandering. It's not as if this hasn't happened in the middle of a conversation before, but it suddenly struck me that I was taking it for granted that I was seated in a chapel ten feet from the God of the Universe!  

He was right there, in the monstrance. Body, blood, soul and divinity.

That shook me a little.

Isn't it great that He loves me anyway?

Monday, September 15, 2014

Our Lady of Sorrows and Why She Fills My Birthday with Joy

My grandmother used to tell me that I was lucky. "You were born on a beautiful day in September on a day of Our Lady."  It wasn't until last year that I became curious which "day of Our Lady" that was.

September 15 is the memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows.

My first thought was, "That's not a very happy thought."  But then I realized how powerful that tribute is. It was through her sorrows that Mary shared in the redemptive mission of Jesus, just as it's through the sorrows of our own personal crosses that we grow closer to Him and give Him glory.

There is a chaplet for Our Lady of Sorrows, and it wasn't until I read Our Lady of Kibeho that I learned the source.  Though devotion to the her sorrows dates back to the beginning of the Church, the chaplet came about in the 13th century and, more recently, was given to world again through a young visionary in Africa. Here is a beautiful video on Our Lady of Kibeho:

The seven sorrows of Mary are

The pronouncement of St. Simeon that a sword would pierce her heart.
The flight into Egypt.
Losing Jesus in the temple.
Meeting Jesus on the way to the Cross.
The Crucifixion and Death of Jesus.
The piercing of the side of Jesus and His descent from the Cross.
The burial of Jesus.

The simplest way to say the chaplet is to pray 7 Hail Marys while meditating on each of the sorrows, but here is a more detailed information on the devotion, chaplet and novena to Our Lady of Sorrows, as well as the promises attached.

I am very lucky indeed to have been born on a day dedicated to meditating on the sorrows of Mary and thereby on Jesus' passion.

Our Lady of Sorrows, pray for us!