>Novena, day five

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The Twenty-four ‘Glory Be’s’ Novena to St. Therese

“Holy Trinity, God the Father, God the Son, and God, the Holy Spirit, I thank You for all the blessings and favours You have showered upon the soul of Your servant Therese of the Child Jesus, during the 24 years she spent here on earth, and in consideration of the merits of this, Your most beloved Saint, I beseech You to grant me this favour, if it is in accordance with Your most Holy Will and is not an obstacle to my salvation.”

After this prayer, follow with the 24 Glory Be’s, between each of which should be included this short prayer”

“Saint Therese of the Child Jesus, pray for us.”

>Another Day Older, Again!

>Well, today is my birthday, again!
I am 47 years old today. Whew.
Since this seems to come around every year, I can’t really justify any big ol’ post about it.
It’s another day. Another day older and another year to claim.

Last year’s bday.

And as I mentioned last year, here, I have always had this weird “go underground” sense about my birthday. “Don’t make a big deal of it, don’t tell anyone, you don’t deserve the notice or the fuss” But I did finally realize that my children deserve the example of rejoicing in a birthday (not that they have much problem with that…but you know that particular oddness sneaks up on you…maybe at, say, age 32, fair warning!).

And I want them to be grateful for every year and day they are given: good, bad, frustrating, harried, stressful, electric, dull, full and overflowing. Every one, it’s a gift. And every bit of my old body; it’s a gift, even when I notice all the many ways that age is taking it’s inexorable claim on me. I could go on, you know I do {But it’s my bday so I’ll give YOU a gift a spare you. You’re welcome…}.

But here is what I choose today to think about: instead of the ‘whats,” (as in what’s wrong, what’s old) I prefer, if only today, to think of the “who’s”….by which I mean the people who mean something or so much to me.

The connections.
That is where you find the riches of getting older, another day, another year.
With that in mind, there are connections that spring to mind today…
And while I would go on about my husband, children, family, friends….this is not an award show or a roast and I’m not Sally Field.

Today the connections that spring to my mind are of a ridiculously cute small boy, who is precociously potty trained (not that I’m envious, not me, no sir…) and has a smile that lights up a room (I think it’s actually a combo of his smile and his beautiful mama). It’s his bday today too, go give him a big bday shout!

Another connection, dear to my heart: Today is the feast of St. Anthony of Padua.

Painting by El Greco

St. Anthony is a saint that I have long loved. Not only because we share a special day, but because I have found him to be a comfort and a trusted saint to turn to for prayers. He was known for his kindness, his courtesy, and his deep humanity. His appeal endures even now in this modern age; and it’s no wonder, really. Because in this modern age, what we lack the most in our postmodern harsh world is just that: kindness, courtesy, humanity.

Which brings me back to the whole point of this post. To mark another day, another year older. And with that, to remember the best part: I am happier now than ever and I seem to be happier each year I get older.
How cool is that?
This inexorable claim of time gives me my mother’s hands, and now feet and hair. This added day, added year, also gives me more connections, more relationships, deeper ones. Love is the wealth in life.
And so, on my birthday, I have the best gift.
I know.
I love so many.
I am rich.