Weekend Ponderings: Going Up! (Happy Feast of the Assumption!)

ourladyoftherosaryAlthough I haven’t posted to this blog in a while, in honor of the Feast of the Assumption I’ve posted a brief reflection over at “Behold Your Mother” about what the Assumption of Mary says about the destiny of all believers.

Death hurts. It strikes us as vaguely unjust, no matter when it comes. There’s a reason for this: We were made for eternal life, and so death’s victory — even an empiric, temporary one — is in a very real way “unnatural.”

Today we celebrate the fact that death has indeed lost its sting. Through the death and resurrection of Christ, the power of death has no lasting effect on the life of the believer. All of us, like Mary, will one day be reunited — body and soul — in heaven in that eternal communion of love, absorbed in the beatific vision.

Oh what a happy day that will be!

Sitting with Jesus … A Way to Peace

My friend Sarah posted “Our Lady of Medjugorje”  (mostly about Eucharistic Adoration) at “Today’s Catholic Woman”/CE.

“What do you do for a whole hour?” she wondered as she went to her first EA appointment, in the wee hours of the morning. Armed with books and rosary, she went to sit in front of the Blessed Sacrament … and found  the peace of Christ waiting for her.

As mothers we often forget to find the peace we need in order to pass it on to our children (who need to get it from us). Sarah’s is a timely reminder of that important fact. “Peace I give to you … not as the world gives, give I to you,” Jesus told His followers. “I will never leave you or forsake you.”

You don’t have to be Catholic to long for a tangible reminder of His presence in your life. If you’re in need of a little peace today, why not go and sit in Jesus’ presence for a while? Take the kids with …. Jesus loves the children!

Weekend Ponderings…

simeon-and-annaIn the coming year, I’d like to spend more time reflecting on the Scriptures through the lens of extraordinary motherhood.

Throughout the Gospels, we encounter figures who are largely hidden, taking center stage for the briefest moments before returning to the shadows. Their reward, you see, was not an earthly one … any more than ours is. And yet, there is much we can learn from them if we only have “ears to hear.”

And so, on this the last weekend of the year, I introduce you to one of the EMs of the Gospel: Anna the Prophetess. From this weekend’s readings, taken from the second chapter of the Gospel of Luke:

There was also a prophetess, Anna,
the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher.
She was advanced in years,
having lived seven years with her husband after her marriage,
and then as a widow until she was eighty-four.
She never left the temple,
but worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer.
And coming forward at that very time,
she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child
to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem.

According to tradition (as recorded in the “Protoevangelium of James” par 7), Joachim and Anne (called “Anna” in this account) took their precious daughter Mary to the Temple at the tender age of three. There she remained, learning to serve God with purity of heart until she was twelve, when her protector Joseph was selected.

In today’s Gospel, we read of Anna — a widow who remained in the Temple after being widowed as a young bride.  When she saw Mary enter with her Son and husband, Anna was irresistibly drawn to the Holy Family. Was it simply the guidance of the Holy Spirit … Or was it something else?

Could it be that, as a young widow, Anna had tended to young Mary in the Temple, as her own spiritual daughter? Did she teach her to pray, and guide the delicate Rose of Sharon to attain full bloom? Was she for Mary … an extraordinary mother? And was it this attachment … that caused Anna to see with the eyes of faith the special calling God had given not only this beautiful young woman, but her Son as well?

Mother’s Helper: Guest Post by Allie O. Williams


“Look what we found!” exclaimed our son, Rob. As the oldest & tallest he was the default spokesman, thrusting a muddy mitt in my face, his fist clutching a clay encrusted hunk of plastic. “It’s Mary and I found it,” cried our littlest neighbor Maggie firmly asserting her role. “But it was in our yard,” hollered our daughter, Elizabeth.

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