>Annunciation

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Painting by Antonella da Messina

This is an important solemnity, of course. It is when Christ actually was made man, in Mary’s womb, but present, truly, here on earth. This feast always falls in Lent, another way to remind us of the reason for the season, so to speak. We have that circularity to meditate upon as we close in to Easter and the Vio Dolorosa of Holy Week.
Painting by Orazio Gentileschi

For me, this year, once again, this feast is especially meaningful.

Last year, we were awaiting our court date of our little Gabriel. His referral and arrival was another personal annunciation for us. And to have his name, we knew, to be Gabriel, was especially meaningful.

This year, we are in the waiting again.
We don’t have the name connection this time.
But we do have another.
We await a young girl, possibly not too different in age from Mary at that time.

Painting by John Collier

And this time, it’s all about that oh so important word, the word that this entire feast hangs on: “fiat.”
Fiat.
I will.
“Thy will be done.”

And once again, we try to ponder Mary’s answer..made when she was scared, didn’t know how things would play out, work out, seeming impossible, probably so hard, but already beautiful and amazing.

Painting by Henry Tanner

And all I can say is that if we look, our, my, little lives all too often reflect what’s bigger, what’s more important.
And so I look to Mary and her answer…for the strength to wait, even when I am scared, don’t know how things will play out, work out, seeming impossible, probably so hard, but already beautiful and amazing.

I wait for court.
I wait for visa.
I wait to bring her home, my daughter.

And I will celebrate the feast of the Annunciation.

“Fiat.”

Painting by Caravaggio

Hail Mary, full of grace
The Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women
and blessed
is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, mother of God
Pray for us sinners
Now and at the hour of our death. Amen

>Novena to St. Jude, day four

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Painting by El Greco

Day 4
Novena To
St. Jude

Most holy Apostle, St. Jude, faithful servant and friend of Jesus, the Church honors and invokes you universally, as the patron of difficult cases, of things almost despaired of, Pray for me, I am so helpless and alone.
Intercede with God for me that He bring visible and speedy help where help is almost despaired of. Come to my assistance in this great need that I may receive the consolation and help of heaven in all my necessities, tribulations, and sufferings, particularly –
That our daughter passes court and visa and comes home in April.
– and that I may praise God with you and all the saints forever. I promise, O Blessed St. Jude, to be ever mindful of this great favor granted me by God and to always honor you as my special and powerful patron, and to gratefully encourage devotion to you.
Amen

PRAYER

May the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus be adored, and loved in all the tabernacles until the end of time. Amen.

May the most Sacred Heart of Jesus be praised and glorified now and forever. Amen

St. Jude pray for us and hear our prayers. Amen.

Blessed be the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Blessed be the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Blessed be St. Jude Thaddeus, in all the world and for all Eternity.

(say this prayer, followed by the Our Father and the Hail Mary)