Live + Jesus!
Birthdays are special to all of us! We celebrate and remember those we love with joy as we express our gratitude for their gift of life and for our sharing in their lives!
Saint Francis de Sales had a tender love for Our Lady accompanied by a true, filial confidence in her. When he preached about her on her feastdays, it was always with fervor, care and joyfulness. He often called upon her loving maternity “to put her hand into the precious side of her crucified Son and to take from His side His choicest graces, so she may give them to us abundantly”.
VISITATION OF MARY TO ELIZABETH
Today we joyfully celebrate the Birthday of Mary, for she is not only our Mother, but, also the patroness of Our Order of the Visitation of Holy Mary. As daughters of Our Lady we are called to imitate the charity and humility she shows us so clearly in the Gospel mystery of the Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth. We do this in keeping our eyes and hearts open to the many opportunities that come our way in the small actions of each day ……. a word of encouragement, a few minutes of kindness in listening, a helping hand, a gesture of forgiveness, a hidden act that fosters the common good. All these little virtues, being invitations to gentleness of heart, poverty of spirit, and simplicity of life. While reflecting on the Birth of Mary, Psalm 139 came to mind :
For it was you who created my being;
knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I thank you, for the wonder of my being;
BEAUTY OF CREATION
for the wonders of all your creation!
Already you knew my soul,
my body held no secret from you,
When I was being fashioned in secret,
and molded in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw all my actions,
they were all of them written in your book;
every one of my days was decreed
before one of them came into being.
To me, how mysterious your thoughts,
the sum of them not to be numbered !
if I count them, they are more than the sand;
to finish, I must be eternal like you !
A DOUBLE GIFT FROM GOD !
Each time I see a child the mystery of birth touches my heart and soul. The thought that God created our beings, knit us together in our mothers’ wombs, moves us to sing out in praise : “I thank you for the wonder of my being, for the wonders of all your creation” !
- FATHER VINCENT AND A NEW BORN KITTEN !
Last week we had the graced privilege of making our annual retreat at the Holy Cross Abbey in Berryville, Virginia. One morning at Mass I was moved by the words of Saint Paul read by one of the Trappist Monks : “The Will of God is …. your holiness”. These words stayed with me all day. Both Saint Paul and Saint Francis de Sales tell us that we are all called to holiness in the various vocations that make up the Mystical Body of Christ. We in our vocations to the monastic life in the service of God and His Church are called to give a unique witness to holiness. Michael Casey, a Trappist Monk in Australia, in his book “The Road to Eternal Life” expresses it this way: “We are called to be witnesses to the reality of the spiritual world, this is our task! In God’s providence it may be that others will catch fire from our flame”.
Let us together praise and thank God for the gift of life and for all His creation, as today we celebrate the Birth of the Mother of God. Let our lives be “birthday candles” from which others will “catch fire from our flames”.
“Be meek, humble, charitable and kind and magnify the Lord with Mary during this life”. Saint Francis de Sales
God be Praised !