March 31, 2013

The Resurrection of Our Lord

Christ is risen! Indeed He has risen!
 And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalen and Mary the mother of James and Salome bought sweet spices, that coming, they might anoint Jesus. And very early in the morning, the first day of the week, they come to the sepulchre, the sun being now risen. And they said one to another: Who shall roll us back the stone from the door of the sepulchre? And looking, they saw the stone rolled back. For it was very great. And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed with a white robe: and they were astonished. 
Who saith to them: Be not affrighted. you seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen: He is not here. Behold the place where they laid Him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that He goeth before you into Galilee. There you shall see him, as he told you. 

"As He told you"... this is why Our Blessed Mother was not at the sepulchre... I wonder what the meeting was of Jesus and His Mother upon his Resurrection. There is no doubt he appeared to her first.

We had a most beautiful Easter Vigil Mass albeit interesting.  We had a bat out of hell join us.  A very swoopy, large bat.... who wasn't Catholic, I could tell that.  From altar to choir loft there was one somewhat lengthy time of bat ducking, giggles and panics.  Of course our priest didn't flinch a bit and kept right on blessing the Holy Water (obviously bats out of hell don't like Holy Water) .  I will admit to being on the side of the giggles especially after this absurd thought ran through my head of hitting the bat with a bat and having it plummet through the air. Methinks I will never learn to compose myself.  By the chanting of Sicut Cervus just before the renewal of our Baptismal Vows it met it's fateful end somewhere down below the choir loft.

March 30, 2013

Holy Week

Hosanna to the Son of David, Blessed is He that comes in the Name of the Lord. Hosanna in the Highest!
Hosanna is an exclamation of joy, like a Sacred Hurrah.  In St. Luke's Gospel he uses the following phrase, "Peace in Heaven and glory on High."  This day Jesus was celebrated for who He was but how easily the hearts of man are corrupted.

Mary Magdalen generously anointed the feet of Jesus while Judas increased his avarice. Where are our hearts?

This avarice opened the door wide for the evil one to entice Judas to further use his greed to betray Jesus. However, according to the revelations in the City of God, at this time the evil one was not sure if Jesus was truly the Messiah and he began to desire to find out, for if this was the Messiah His Death would destroy so much of the work of the demons.  They had already set within the hearts of Judas, the High Priest and the Pharisees much hatred towards Jesus and even when the demons tried to thwart this Death, they could no longer change the hearts of these hard-hearted men.  Remember, God only allows the evil one some power, he isn't all-powerful, Grace is much stronger than the evil one.  

Judas betrayed Our Lord to the Pharisees at the price of 30 pieces of silver, the price of a mere slave.  

The Apostles celebrated the Last Passover meal with Our Lord. 

And celebrated the first Mass when He changed the Bread and Wine into His Body and Blood and instituted the Sacred Priesthood.  According to private revelation, Jesus chose to suffer so much that He even gave His Body and Blood to His betrayer.  Thereafter, Judas was to go and do quickly what he had to do.
Jesus washed the feet of His Apostles to teach us the lesson of Divine Charity and Divine Humility.  I'd imagine we learn a bit about Divine Patience and Infinite Humor, as Christ dealt with Peter!    My question is whether Jesus washed the feet of Judas before he left.

Following the First Mass Jesus went to the Garden of Olives where He often prayed.  Here He sweat blood and suffered greatly for our sins.  My Father, if it be possible, let this chalice pass from me. Nevertheless not as I will, but as Thou wilt.  Per the agreement with the Pharisees, Judas came to this place and betrayed Our Lord with a kiss.  Betrayed with what is suppose to be a sign of love.
Peter betrayed Christ 3 times and then got "the look". How heart breaking that must have been when Peter realized how weak he was and that he had betrayed Jesus out of fear.  But... he did not despair of the mercy of God. He wept bitterly, but did not despair.
Judas knew he had done great wrong and went back to the Pharisees left the money there.  But his heart was filled with little else but self.
And he despaired of the mercy of God and hung himself upon a tree.  His bowels burst out, all these signs that he was filled with evil, but as Christ said, it would have been better if he had never been born. According to the City of God a special place awaited him in hell.  A place in the very depths and heart of hell.  The thought of souls going to hell is most heart-breaking. And we know it is easy to get there and unless we take the narrow path, we will not find our way to the Beautiful Gates of Heaven, which we can only obtain through the Cross.

According to private revelation, Jesus was scourged with some 5115 whippings.  Throughout the days of his sufferings he was stripped of his garments several times but never was His Purity violated.  According to the City of God, those who tried to remove His loin cloth were paralyzed in the arms.  I will admit I laughed... served them right!  A reminder that in this decadent day of impurity just how important purity is!  Christ allowed Himself to be violated in every possible horrific manner, in ways we cannot even comprehend but never to tempt others to sin by way of impurity.  In this book is given a very detailed description of Our Lord's physical appearance. The picture above is a nice picture in comparison to the reality.

Then, Jesus, in his whipped and beaten state, was made to carry the cross He was to die on.  

According to private revelation the men who were in charge of the crucifixion deliberately made the holes for His hands and feet further apart to further pull Him limb by limb and stretch His Body.  There He was nailed to the Cross that contained all our sins to die between two thieves.

Jesus died in 3 Sacred Hours on the Cross and was then laid in His Mother's arms.

And here were are on Holy Saturday with our dead Savior.

I would be remiss if I did not mention the sufferings of Our Blessed Mother.  I have been blessed to read from the City of God this  Lent.  It was the most beautiful readings that I can remember.  And what I liked best was that it showed the unity of Our Blessed Mother and her Son.  She has been pushed aside by so many as "just a mother". But she was not just a mother, she was chosen to be the Mother of God.  If one knows the heart and love of a mother for her child(ren), one knows she must have suffered beyond any mother's comprehension.  We all know about saints who were so close to God that they floated or suffered exceedingly, or had private revelations, or the very wounds of Christ! So who are we to deny that Our Blessed Mother would not have within her soul and body all these unions with Christ!  She was pure, perfect, immaculate and so her sufferings were never marred by human selfishness, pride or any other vice.  She was full of Grace, hence full of virtue. Her union with Christ was so deep, rich and close that she suffered more deeply than we can ever imagine.  At the same time, God kept her hidden.  She suffered His Wounds in her body and soul, yet never known to the ordinary people around her.  If only we could suffer so!

So as I reflect back on Lent, we began with a death and we ended with The Death. I didn't accomplish much on my "to-do" list as God called us to a different kind of suffering during Lent.  But God has rewarded us in His Time and in His Mysterious Ways as this has been the most beautiful Holy Week I have ever experienced. And for that I am very grateful.

Now we wait and wait and wait.  The Easter Vigil TLM begins at 10:30 pm.   I better go pack the cookies for the ride home :)

Easter Prep

 In the process of winterizing our Easter gear we needed to do a little prep work and find white blouses (and sweaters) to go with their Easter dresses.

 I originally found a dress for Eleanor on Ebay but it arrived about a foot short and will be used next year for Poppy. (!?!)  Then we were blessed with finding one right here at the re-sale shop in town.  Little pleasures :)
 Poppy and Marigold are sporting Costco fashion.
I picked up this neat "cake pops" kit for the girls because I thought they'd be fun.  Well... it wasn't, ours were not like the pictures and instead of an Easter dessert we will be adding Easter Donut Holes on sticks to our brunch.

Happy Birthday Aragorn and Pippin

Happy Birthday Aragorn and Pippin!  Pippin turned 7... Aragorn turned ... older.  Pippin chose corn dogs to eat.  For his dinner out we took him to a local restaurant.  There he had... no kidding... a 1/2 pound hamburger with a large bun, a huge pile of french fries and 1/2 a bottle of ketchup.  No kidding.  The ketchup came in one of those old fashioned type bottles (not the new fangled squeeze bottles). He asked, "Is this like Ma and Pa Kettle's house?"

Feast of St. Joseph and Confirmation Day

 On the Feast of St. Joseph we were especially blessed to celebrate the first Traditional Rite of Confirmation in over 1/2 a century in our parish.  It was one of the most beautiful days!  The day started with the Traditional Latin Mass at 4:30pm with our lovely children's choir singing, most who would later be Confirmed.    They sang so beautifully, if I must say so myself!

 At 7pm we had the Traditional Rite of Confirmation with our Bishop.  This date was special also because it was also the day that our new Pope Francis was installed! What a day to share!
 We had 78 confirmandi that came from all over.  Probably about 20 from our parish.  3 of my children were Confirmed.  Eleanor chose St. Cecilia and one of her aunts as her sponsor.  Merry chose St. Philip and one of his uncles as his sponsor.  Pippin chose St. Juan Diego and a "giant" for his sponsor. And you say "Huh?"  Well, after discussing the importance of chosing a sponsor and a patron.  Pippin said, "I'd like to choose a giant for my sponsor."  I laughed and said, "Then any of Daddy's brother's would do!" (haha)  Later he said he would like to chose CN as his sponsor.  Well, he got his giant as there are few who are more of a giant in the Faith than this man!

And so you ask, "Where are the pictures of your children?"  Well... umm... you see... we haven't taken any yet because I was busy fluttering around trying to make ends meet and I haven't taken any yet. I know, very pathetic. But we'll get them gussied up again in their Confirmation duds.

 I was very blessed to be asked to be a sponsor for a sweet young lady who chose St. Elizabeth of Hungary as her patron. Such a beautiful saint to emulate!

 The Bishop was most regal in his beautiful vestments, there was a plethora of  altar boys and priests.  It was so beautiful! Our adult choir sang for the Confirmation. I must share the words to one of the hymns:

O Ignis Spirtus
O fire of the Paraclete, Life of the life of all creatures, You are holy in quickening  all kind. You are holy in anointing the dangerously stricken;

You are holy in wiping the reeking wounds.  O breath of holiness, O fire of love, O sweet flavor in the breast and flooding of the hearts in the good aroma of the virtues. O most pure fountain in which it is contemplated that God gathers those who are estranged and looks for those who are lost.

O breastplate of life and hope of the union of all the members and O sword-belt of virtue, save the blessed. Guard those who are imprisoned by the enemy, and free those who are bound, whom the Divine Power
wishes to save. O mightiest path, which has penetrated all things in the highest places and in the earthly ones and in every abyss, You compose all and unite all. From You the clouds flow, the ether flies, the stones have
moisture, the waters lead out brooks and the earth exudes freshness. You also always lead forth the learned having been made joyous through the inspiration of wisdom.  Whence praise be to You, who are the sound
of praise and the joy of life, the hope and the most powerful honor giving the rewards of light.

Afterwards we had a dinner with at least 280 people.  Not sure how many people were sitting on laps!  It was a very blessed day!

Please offer a prayer for all the Confirmandi, we need our soldiers!

Meanwhile at Grandma's....

An Interesting Life

 I can get my jacket on all by myself!
 This way I keep my tail warm.

 Hey, where's my boots?
 Zipped up and ready to go outside.

Such tiring work.

 Marigold is also the first Baby Super Hero. You can tell by the underwear on the outside of the pajamas.  No, she doesn't use a nuk... only when she is a Super Hero.

 Baby Fashion plate.
 We came home from Mass on Palm Sunday to find our plastic flamingos had laid plastic eggs.  I bet the babies will be cute.

 Must be nice to just sleep in any ol' place.  Or ... just sleep.  I wouldn't know about that.


Some of the latest additions over at the barn includes a family of sheep, most who came expecting some lambies!  This little guy is my favorite so far.  He's just so cute.

 A little shearing is in order one of these days... not by me.

 A cow that just wanted to be in a picture.
 Methinks some of the cows need a shearing as well.