We returned this week from our wonderful, grace-filled events in San Antonio. These were our first in-person, Women of Grace events in two years.
"Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins." -1 Peter 4:8
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"When the most holy Virgin was born, the whole world was made radiant; blessed is the branch and blessed the stem which bore such holy fruit." -Liturgy of the HoursToday we celebrate a very special feast day, the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. On the day of her birth, the world was made more radiant because she would bear Christ, Our Savior, to the world.
“The world offers you comfort but you were not made for comfort. You were made for greatness.” – Pope Benedict XVIHave you ever noticed how easy it is to slip into comfort seeking? Or taking the path of least resistance?
“Modern times are dominated by Satan and will be more so in the future. The conflict with hell cannot be engaged by men, even the most clever. The Immaculata alone has from God the promise of victory over Satan. However, assumed into Heaven, the Mother of God now requires our cooperation. She seeks souls who will consecrate themselves entirely to her, who will become in her hands effective instruments for the defeat of Satan and the spreading of God's kingdom upon earth.” - St. Maximilian KolbeLast Saturday we celebrated the feast of one of my favorite saints, St. Maximilian Kolbe. My husband and I love him so much that we named our beloved dog Kolbe after him.
“Turn me over, I’m done on this side.” – St. LawrenceHave you ever noticed how good it feels to laugh? "It's not surprising that the adage, "laughter is the best medicine" is such a popular cliche." It’s true. It’s also not surprising that many of the saints were known for their keen sense of humor.
“The way to destroy bad habits is by watchfulness and by doing often those things that are opposites to one’s besetting sins.” -St. John VianneyHow do we grow in virtue?
St. John Vianney, whose feast we celebrate today, offers us the sage advice of "doing often those things that are opposites to one's besetting sins."
“Now as they went on their way, he entered a village; and a woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving; and she went to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things; 42 one thing is needful.[a] Mary has chosen the good portion, which shall not be taken away from her.” - Luke 10:38-42Are you a Martha, a Mary, or a Lazarus?
Today is the Memorial of Sts. Martha, Mary, and Lazarus. In the scripture passage above, we see that Mary “sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching.” While Martha, “was distracted with much serving.” She even complained that Mary wasn’t doing her part and the Lord, rebuked her saying that Mary had chosen the better part and He would not take it away from her.
“On that day, as evening drew on, he said to them, 'Let us cross to the other side.' Leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat just as he was. And other boats were with him. A violent squall came up and waves were breaking over the boat, so that it was already filling up. Jesus was in the stern, asleep on a cushion. They woke him and said to him, 'Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?' He woke up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, 'Quiet! Be still!' The wind ceased and there was great calm. Then he asked them, 'Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?'" -Mark 4:35-40Do recent events in the world or in the Church have you terrified?
We see in the above scripture passage that even the apostles, those who were closest and spent the most time with Jesus, experienced fear, doubt, and terror. When it seemed that Jesus was asleep in the boat as it was being battered by the storm, He assured them that He was with them, and instantly calmed the storm.
“I am no longer my own. I have given myself entirely to Jesus Christ.” Saint Kateri TekakwithaToday is a special day here at Women of Grace. We celebrate the feast day of one of our patron saints, St. Kateri Tekakwitha, aka “Lily of the Mohawks,” who is the first Native American saint. She is the patroness of our Young Women of Grace study program.
“Say to the Israelites, ‘You must observe my Sabbaths. This will be a sign between me and you for the generations to come, so you may know that I am the Lord, who makes you holy." -Exodus 31:13
Do you have a daily ritual?
The Lord gives us many examples of rituals in sacred scripture: God instituted the sacrificial covenant ritual with Abram (Gen. 15:8-21); He gave us the ritual of observing the Sabbath (Ex. 8:20); He asked the people of Israel participate in the Passover each year (Ex. 12:27: 1-14); Jesus taught the apostles to pray the Our Father (Mt 6: 9-13); and He instituted the Holy Eucharist (Lk 22: 14 - 20)
We are bombarded by distractions and growing "to-do" lists. God knew that we needed routine in our lives to keep us focused on Him. Rituals help to reserve our mental and spiritual energy for what is most important.
Recently, I took a two-week vacation. My husband and I went on a road trip from Florida to New York and back again. I must admit that being on vacation, I really slacked on my daily routine and I felt a noticeable increase in frustration, agitation, impatience, and lack of peace.
Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed my vacation but now that I'm back home, I'm working really hard to dust myself off and pick back up on my spiritual routine. Here is a list of a few things that I do my best to practice daily. The nice thing about having rituals/routines is that when you get off track, you can always return to them.
- Rise early
- Praise and thank God upon waking up and say morning prayers: St. Michael, Guardian Angel, Renew Consecration to Jesus through Mary, Cardinal Mercier's Prayer To The Holy Spirit, and Memorare to St. Joseph
- Praise music while getting ready
- Coffee and prayer time with husband
- Morning prayer
- Daily mass (Several times per week, preferably daily)
- When time permits, a short time of adoration after mass and prayer of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy
- Daily Angelus at noon
- Litany of Humility prior to beginning work
- Quiet time of meditation with sacred scripture
- Gratitude journal
- Plan for tomorrow asking for God's wisdom
Do you have a set of rituals that keep you focused on the Lord? We'd love for you to share them with us in the comments.
Please join us for our Women of Grace Rosary Crusade, when we will take part in one of the most beautiful and powerful spiritual practices that our Catholic Church has given us.
Click the image below to join and if you've already registered, you should receive a reminder link directly from Zoom. Please be sure to share the information below with your friends and family!
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