Feast of the Holy Family

It’s still Christmas!

It’s the Feast of the Holy Family!

Michelangelo, Holy Family

Pope John Paul II – Prayer from Angelus Message for the Feast of the Holy Family 2004

“May the Holy Family, who had to overcome many painful trials, watch over all the families in the world, especially those who are experiencing difficult situations. May the Holy Family also help men and women of culture and political leaders so that they may defend the institution of the family, based on marriage, and so that they may sustain the family as it confronts the grave challenges of the modern age!




The Holy Innocents

I hate this memorial.  I know it, as a Catholic, I pray it and ponder it.

It’s a hard kind of Hallelujah, knowing that once again, and then, our hard cold world is willing to steal innocent lives….all too often with some twisted evil agenda or just plain broken minds and souls.  Then. Now.  It’s too close to us, once again, this year.

But as I pray through this hard solemn day in the feasting of the octave of Christmas, I take blind faith and cold comfort in the knowledge that these kids – all the kids from way back to these first innocent babes to the shocking ones this month – ARE INNOCENTS.  And in our faith, we are taught that they are martyrs and immediately received into the joyful comfort and bliss and understanding of their role in the unfolding of creation and our world.

So, today I weep, again, for these babies.  I don’t begin to understand. I weep for the the hard extraction of holiness from our hell on earth.  And I cry out to find the goodness in such unspeakable hard.  But I trust, I trust in the promise of my  faith, and the grace that fills the void.  And, just as with the first innocents…..we remember these.

Feast of St Stephen

It’s still Christmas!

It’s the feast of St Stephan!

by Pope John Paul II: Angelus Message: Vatican, December 31, 2003

Giorgio Vasari, Stoning of St Stephen

1. Today, in the joyful atmosphere of Christmas, we are celebrating the Feast of St Stephen, one of the first deacons of the Church. He is also known as the “Protomartyr” because he was the first disciple of Christ to pour out his blood for him. Stephen was stoned to death because of false accusations similar to those levelled at Jesus himself and, like the Master, he died forgiving those who killed him.

2. The Church calls the day of martyrdom a dies natalis (birthday). Indeed, by virtue of Christ’s death and Resurrection, the death of the martyr isa birth in Heaven. This is why it is so meaningful to celebrate the First Martyr the day after Christmas: Jesus who was born in Bethlehem gave his life for us so that we too, reborn “from on high” through faith and Baptism, might be willing to give up our own lives for love of our brothers and sisters.

Today I would especially like to remember the Christian communities that are suffering persecution and all the faithful who suffer for the faith. May the Lord give them the strength to persevere and the ability to love even those who cause their suffering.

3. May Mary, Mother and disciple of her Son Jesus, accompany all Christians on their journey, from the baptismal font to the hour of their death. May she, Queen of the Martyrs, help us too to be “martyrs”, that is, witnesses on every occasion to the love of Christ whom we contemplate in these days as a Child in the crib.

Joyous solemnity

It’s a high feast day, a solemnity. It’s the Feast of the Immaculate Conception!

It’s a very big feast and a happy great day. I’m happy for it! I love Mary and I love this feast. So, don’t forget your Blessed Mother today, she’s a gift to us all. I’m so grateful.


God gave her his help from the dawning of her days; the Most High has made his dwelling place a holy temple

Feast of St. Francis Xavier

It’s the feast of St. Francis Xavier!


O God, who through the preaching of Saint Francis Xavier
won many peoples to yourself,
grant that the hearts of the faithful
may burn with the same zeal for the faith
and that Holy Church may everywhere rejoice
in an abundance of offspring.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever.

Feast of St Andrew

El Greco, 1606, “St Andrew”

It’s the Feast of St Andrew!

Now, you know I have a soft spot for brothers, well, St Andrew is, of course, the brother of another big hitter saint: St Peter.  He was the first apostle called by Christ, and he and his brother dropped everything, their nets, and followed Christ.  Impulsive intuitive certain faith; recognizing the nudge of the Holy Spirit…..they were a courageous pair.

Fitting that today his feast day lands on Friday, as he was a fisherman and Friday’s are typically no meat days.  So we can have some lovely fish tonight in celebration of this saint who lead the way.  I love the saints, and I love stories of brothers.

We humbly entreat thy majesty, O Lord,
that the blessed apostle Andrew may be as constant an advocate for us in Thy court as he was eminent in preaching and ruling over Thy Church. Amen.

– Collect for the Feast of Saint Andrew


St Max, he rocks!


Today is the feast of St. Maximilian Kolbe!
He is my son Jon’s patron and one very awesome saint. He is a ‘modern’ saint, of the twentieth century, completely devoted to Mary and a Franciscan. He was media savvy and current before anyone even knew what that meant (which also is fitting for him to be one of Jon’s patrons).  But what St. Maximilan is known for is his sacrifice, his martrydom of charity. St. Maximilian was sent to Auschwitz Concentration camp, for being a Catholic and a priest. After ministering to his fellow prisoners during his time there, sick and hungry as the rest, Maximilian made the ultimate sacrifice: he stepped forward and volunteered to go to his death in order to spare a father of a family from this fate. St. Maximilian went to his death in a father’s place; dying after two weeks of forced starvation and ultimately, an injection of carbolic acid (and forgiving the one who gave him that shot as he was injected). As such, not only is he a hero, among many other things, he is the patron of families.

We are big on family here around the coffeeblog. And we have been praying a novena to St. Maximilian on behalf of one special young college guy I know….  And the prayers of a righteous man, a saint and patron of families, who knows from sacrificial living, are worth much. So, thank you St. Maximilian, for your patronage of my son.

Happy feast day Booboo!

St. Maximilian Kolbe, thank you for your prayers!

Feast for Dominican Moms, with the FIRST one.

Today is the feast day of Blessed Jane of Aza – St Dominic’s mom!

Thanks so much to Jenna for calling it to my attention! I had forgotten that this feast was here. I had forgotten that last year my Chris (then Chris, still) had called me to wish me a happy feast day.  I had forgotten until Peter Joseph called me again this morning. {I just LOVE it that he calls me on feast days!}  We had a good chat, and we decided that she is a great patron for me and other Dominican moms, and a great grandmother of sorts for him.  Hey, it’s always nice to have another patron saint on your side!

So, for all  you Dominican moms, new or old, here she is! Blessed Jane was the FIRST Dominican Mom.  For a good write up about her, go to the best site: the Dominican Province of St Joseph site and check her out.  She was holy and prayerful, known for her compassion, and for having all three of her sons enter religious life as priests.  I’ll tell you my favorite bit about her: when she was expecting, she dreamt that she was having a puppy and it arrived with a torch in it’s mouth (hence the nickname “Gods dogs…or Godzdogz”).

 Now, I’m not all holy like she was but I dreamt I was having puppies too! Both times with my big boys…though they didn’t arrive carrying torches, probably more like snacks and skateboards.  Even so, I think it’s a connection that makes me smile.  We Dominican’s we are all about finding the laughter and joy…so, it’s apropos of today. I know I’ve got a big smile on my face this morning.

Happy Feast Day Dominican Moms!

St.  Jane of Aza, pray for us.

A Man for All Seasons….

It’s the feast of St Thomas More!

He is an awesome saint, and a fascinating person…plus he’s a patron of my dear Tom.  So, I have to mark the day, though simply.  So, go see the movie if you haven’t and read up on him.  He was a wealthy and sucessful businessman and lawyer, had a large family (biological and adopted children, gotta love it) and rather a menagerie as well.  He was the confident of his close friend the king, until the king decided the Church’s rules were restrictive to his fickle love life.  Then it all went bad, to the point of martyrdom.  St. Thomas More represents, to us, to me…..trust, courage, conviction, perseverance, loyalty, generosity, and acceptance (of children, life situations, the truth, and the present moment) of what life brings you.  Quite a bit to emulate and to virtues to pray for as well.

Painting, St. Thomas More, by Lydia Mahan, 2011

St. Thomas More, pray for us. My Thomas, Happy Feast Day!

From a letter to his daughter, Meg, while imprisoned by  his friend, the king:

And, therefore, my own good daughter, do not let your mind be troubled over anything that shall happen to me in this world.  Nothing can come but what God wills.  And I am very sure that whatever that be, however bad it may seem it shall indeed be the best.”

The Triplet: Feast of the Holy Trinity

Triples.  Triplets.  It’s all about the abundance, of course.  That’s one of the best things about faith, our faith, the Catholic church.  Abundanza!

It’s the Feast of the Holy Trinity!

Which means it’s another day of mystery, with a capital M.  This mystery is one of the biggies, of course.  Uber Catholic to boot {we Catholics love a good mystery!}.  One that really, we are not truly meant to fully figure out – because as soon as you think you have; you’ve probably fallen into presumption (with a capital P) and are not on target to boot.

So, here’s what we do know, ok, let’s be more precise, what I think about this day: it’s a feast of love, really.  How’s that? Well, God the Father so loved everything, but even more so,us, that he gave us his Son, and the love between those two was so immeasurably great that it begat it’s own third “person”: the Holy Spirit.  Thus those three began the “begatting” that we read in the Old Testament (pages and pages of it, right?) and that, when we are doing it right, here on earth, begets us each other.

El Greco, “The Holy Trinity”

The Trinity was and is (and ever will be) the prime, premier, example of how to love – well and truly.  And that right there, is enough mystery for my little brain for, um, the rest of  my life.  Which is really, of course, part of it’s charm.  Mind blowing charm and goodness.  Something to celebrate. And that’s why it’s a feast day: was then, is now, and will be forever.  Amen.

Happy Feast of the Holy Trinity!

Going Visiting: Feast day!

It’s the Feast of the Visitation!

I love this feast (Ok, I love most any feast!)…because I really think of it as a girl feast, in a way.  It’s about how we girls support each other.  We women, we support each other.  Sometimes it takes getting past those crazy younger years maybe, when there is that weird competition thing going on (do you all still have/do that?).  But, we women are there for each other.  And it’s one of the great riches in life.  So on this feast day I think about that.  Mary went to her older cousin, Elizabeth, and stayed with her to help her as she approached the end of her amazing surprise pregnancy (carrying John the Baptist).  It’s what we do when we can and it’s such a vital part of being a woman that we see it even in the mother of God.  Cool, huh?

I think on this day of all my great good girlfriends and sister and how they have helped me up when I’ve tripped or messed up, listened to me ramble, cooked and cleaned for me and watched me sob to the point of puffy eyes and running snot.  They’ve listened through gulping tears and through seemingly endless venting and pondering and navel gazing rambling.  And that was all just yesterday!!  Kidding…  Still… They’ve consoled and cheered me on in more ways than I can count, saved my marriage and assisted my kids.  This is a feast, in my mind at least, for all of us gals. So, let’s celebrate, lift a glass of something cold and yummy and toast the women and girlfriends, sisters and  moms.  We’re some of each other’s best gifts.  Thank you for that, ladies!

Mariotto Albertinelli
1503 – Oil on wood, 232 x 146 cm
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence {I saw this with my own eyes! Gorgeous, one of my favs!}

Happy Feast Day!

Going UP, please….

Today is the Feast of the Ascension of Christ.

“Ascension of Christ” by Salvadore Dali

Really.  Doesn’t the entire concept just blow the mind?
Well, it does mine, anyhow.  Now, I have written before about this, and how it kind of always boggles my mind.  Because I am a visual kind of gal, I always get stuck in the imagining of this event, in the unimaginable visuals.  My mind wants to do a whole movie panorama on it, more old Cecil B DeMille flicks, less Spielberg…but I digress.  My point is that I can get all hung up in trying to SEE this, visualize and understand it….which of course totally misses the point.  As usual.
But there are two cool parts to this that I could spend the rest of my life meditating upon, and in fact it would surely do me much good. I won’t, but I should.
The first part is the whole concept that Jesus went to prepare a place for us.   He went to get things ready for us, at HOME.  Home.  Not our current abodes, apartments, houses, condos…but our true home.  And that is with Him, eternally, in heaven (I hope and pray). I mean,  how cool is that?? I don’t know about  you, but I’m  not the greatest hostess on the planet.  I failed Martha Stewart 101.  I have to write post-its to remember to put nice folded towels in the guest bath.  But here, the God of the Universe, of everything, is heading off to prepare a place for us! Now I don’t know what that entails in heaven and all, but even still, he’s already on the details and is prepping with each of us in mind.  Really, how cool is that?
I know I know, this is really talking about bigger picture stuff, but even so, God is in the details too and  you know it.  Ever looked at the marbling in granite?? Or the  marbling in marble? Huh? Stared into a tiger lily? Don’t tell me that God doesn’t pay attention to the tiny details…so I can marvel that Christ left the apostles, ascended even (another spectacular detail),  to go and prepare a place for us, the best place: Home.  Ahhhhh……joy.
The second part of this very cool event, this mind tripping visual, is that this ascension also signified a new and different status for the apostles…which of course trickles right down to us, to me.  He said to them that he would go, but he would send the Holy Spirit and then they were going to be sent too.  Out.  To witness.  To tell the world about this wild amazing truth, this mind blowing love.  That it was real.  He let those apostles SEE him ascend, not just fade away like the Cheshire Cat with his grin the last to go…
Nope, Christ ascended as they watched (and surely, gaped and pointed, nudged and grabbed each other and held out their hands and maybe both laughed a bit and cried a bit too).    But certainly they had to be electrified; how could you not? Surely, this very change from followers of the earthly bodily Jesus to witnesses was facilitated by this ascension.  I mean, literally, they witnessed it.  They witnessed it all: yeah, the ascension, but also Christ himself on earth, his miracles, his passion, his resurrection, his heart, his voice, his smell, his smile.
They knew him, like the world could not.
And thus they were the first, sent out with a bang – a spectacular electric jolt – to bring that excitement to everyone.  Big job, but then again, big cool.  Much to think about with this day….

Ascension of Christ, by Garofalo, 1520

O King of Glory,
Lord of Hosts,
Who didst this day ascend in triumph
above all the heavens!
Leave us not orphans,
but send upon us the Spirit of Truth,
promised by the Father.
The Liturgical Year: Book 9
*disclaimer: some of this post from several years back.  Very swamped w/ family life, but liturgical life is still so cool that I want to mark it, always!

Saying Yes, Annunciation

Painting by Henry Tanner

It’s the Solemnity of the Annunciation. This is the day the church celebrates the feast of the Annunciation: the Archangel Gabriel coming to Mary and the most important “yes” ever in history. Fiat. “Yes, I will.” Her consent to become the Mother of God. Read more if you like here.

As an adoptive mom, and a mom of biological kids, I trembled (with that adrenaline rush of shocked thrill and joy, but also with the ‘bigness’ of it all) each time we were presented with a child, or even when the child was “announced.” I cannot imagine how she must have trembled. And yet, she said “let it be done.” It is an awesome and fearsome responsibility, to care for a child and give them what they need – this gift from God.

Now you all know that this feast just resonates with me.  For me.
Really, I could and probably should, meditate on this feast, these images for a long time, oh…for the rest of my days.

Because this feast is all about the letting go.  It’s about the letting go, in blind faith…the kind of faith I can only dream of, reach toward, and pray for a glimmer.  It’s about a kind of trust I can only gape at and wonder.

That kind of faith, that kind of willingness to “let go” and accept challenging, don’t know the road ahead but I’ll keep on and do my best without whining endlessly and relentlessly nagging questioning sort of faith just astounds me.  Humbles me.  Blows my mind.  Still.  Ever.

But she did.
Mary was a girl, a mere girl.  Not old, with decades of life to measure the probability of it turning out ok in the end, or to compare to another girl she heard of in the same spot.  She had no measuring stick but faith.  And she was able to hold her breath, think about it for a moment (Because she was not programmed like a robot, she could have said ‘no,’….Indeed, we are taught that all of creation held it’s breath.)…and say, “fiat.”
Fiat.  Yes.  “I say yes.
I’ll do it.  “Thy will be done, not mine.”

On this special day I pray for the willingness and ability to be able to say the same.

Considering Joseph

Ah… Joseph.  He’s the man.  Really.  He is the model of quiet strength.  A doer.

Now, I have always been drawn closer to Mary, of course. You all know that, and I think St. Joseph would be ok with that, being a gallant spouse.  But even so, I am gathering more and more connections to Joseph as I walk through this life.   As you all know by now, my son is now a Dominican with the eastern province of St. Joseph.  His religious name is now Brother Peter Joseph.  Bricks on the head.  I am being reeled into considering Joseph.  So, in honor of this feast day I am buying myself a hard  hat with the name Joseph across the top.

But, Joseph.  What’s up with him anyhow? Many outside of the Catholic church rarely ever even think of him. Heck, many inside the Catholic church rarely ever think of  him…except for that passing “foster father of Jesus” bit.

Permit me this: it just irks me every time I hear that particular phrasing.  Maybe it’s my own chip on my own shoulder.  But, “foster” father.  Hmmm.  Sure, Joseph nurtured Jesus…if that’s what is meant by ‘foster.’  Perhaps this is a holdover term from a different era, with different connotations.  But in our modern day, it seems foster father get’s short shrift (and no disrespect to modern foster fathers, as it’s a heroic job).  Somehow, that term feels rather “less than.”  Don’t flame me now….

But, as an adoptive mom let me tell you that I don’t consider Joseph anything but Jesus’ dad – his earthly, human father.  His place was, um, irreplaceable.  Joseph was the dad in place, on earth, loving and caring and protecting and raising and teaching his son just like any dad of any era.  He was the father.  Not a stand-in or temp; he was Jesus’ father, hand picked by God to raise and love and care for his Son.  For Joseph and Mary’s son.  He was/is head of the Holy Family.  So, I guess I want to make sure that Joseph get’s his cred…he’s all humble and everything so he wouldn’t push for it.  But he did the work, his heart broke and worried and swelled with love over his family and that boy…just like any dad.  In fact he did more, because he had to take the hit and the heat (from Mary even, I’m sure) upon fleeing to Egypt for safety, for bunking down in a stable,  for obediently doing whatever it took to safely care for his wife and child.   So, I’m just saying, let’s not diminish his role, ok?  Thank you.

There is SO much to ponder when considering Joseph.  He loved even when he didn’t understand it all, he was faithful to the core and to the end.  He was humble; didn’t go around bragging on his amazing kid and trying to get the local papers or Nazarene media to scout his boy.  He was a dutiful husband and dad.  He is a model for us all in quiet steady faith and deep giving love.  I tend to, as I said, look to Mary as a role model for how to do better and stop screwing up.  But, I’ll tell ya, I look to Joseph in my heart and prayers, more and more, especially when I am fretful or worried.  I look to Joseph when I yearn for a deep steady loving hand.  I see him in my own husband and my sons.  And, I’m grateful.

 I’m grateful for dear Joseph.

Today is his feast day.  Happy feast day Buddybug, Peter Joseph!

St. Joseph, pray for us!


It’s Saint Patricks Day!  

And this is the gist of it, especially as we meet the midpoint of lent

(from the prayer “St Patrick’s breastplate”):

Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me.
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

More links for St Paddy's here, click pic

Happy St Patrick’s Day! 

Madre Moretta

Or, as you may or may not know her as: St. Josephine Bakhita!

It’s her memorial today!

St Bakhita lived a life full of hardship and unspeakable horror…and yet, she had a hope that did not die.  Despite the years of torment and slavery that she endured, she still had the strength and hope and fortune to finally reach and hold the shore of safety.  And once there, she  had the courage to resist those who would rest it from  her.  Thus she ended her years as a slave, no longer in Africa, but in Italy, in the home of the Cannossian Daughters of Charity.  Here she became a sister and member of the community, and lived until her death in 1947.  She was so loved and gentle and joyful that she became known as “Madre Moretta,” the “Black Mother” (an unusual sight, I would presume, in Italy in the first half of the 20th century).

Her fortitude and her joy in her faith, her faith in love, is striking:

I am definitely loved and whatever happens to me—I am awaited by this love.  And so my life is good.”

In our  modern world and times, especially in the country of her youth, Darfur, there still remains atrocities, degradation, violence….especially for young girls.  This saint is a patron for them.  She ‘gets it,’ as no one else might.  Her ability to forgive and still love, astonishes me.  She is an example of dignity, that we can all witness, and wonder, and learn.

Each saint in the canon is unique, helping us see that we all can bring goodness and healing in this world, in our own small but big ripply way.  That’s why I love learning about them and thinking about the saints….it’s cool and fascinating, sometimes shocking, sometimes radical, sometimes gentle….but, every time, it enriches the band width of what’s on my radar and in my life.

At her canonization Pope John Paul II said this about  St. Josephine Bakhita:

We find a shining advocate of genuine emancipation. The history of her life inspires not passive acceptance but the firm resolve to work effectively to free girls and women from oppression and violence, and to return them to their dignity in the full exercise of their rights.”

They  need this saint.  We need this saint, to remind us of inherent human dignity and hope and the possibility of joy.

St. Josephine Bakhita, pray for us.


It’s the Feast of the Presentation today! Also known as Candlemass.

Oh my.  This day, this feast has such resonance for me, this year.  I’m not sure I can even write it; not fully or well enough.  It’s almost, almost, a little kick in my chest at the same time as a soft smile.

Rembrandt: "Simeon with the Christ Child"

But……this feast is when we remember, liturgically in our Catholic church, but also in our prayers and hearts, how Mary took her son, her baby, to the temple.  She was dutifully fulfilling her obligation, as all good Jewish moms did, to present her baby boy to the temple elders. Little did she know what prophecy she was gonna run smack into.  Little did she know she’d run into Simeon, Anna, and their words.  And I’m guessing she was just gobsmacked by it all.  I would’a been.  I would have been really rattled.  But, then again, I’m just me.  I’m figuring she was held up by a waterfall of grace and maybe a few guardian angels to keep her on her feet and find her breath.

There is so much to this event, this feast.  Go, read.

But this is where it gets a little personal.  Because, this year, I’ve spent, well, the past  year, mulling over this entire concept: presenting.  Presenting my son to the Lord.  Because that’s what I did.  I know, I know, ya’ll will shout at me and say, um, “HE chose this, not you.”  “I KNOW Mary, and you Ma’am, are NO Mary.” “I know Jesus, and I know your son Chris, and he is not Jesus.”  I know.  Shhh.  Stop shouting and pointing.  I’m NOT saying that.

What I’m saying is that I, a regular old mom, literally took my son, my firstborn, and presented him back to the the Lord.  I hugged him tight.  I shook hands with the other priests and novices and hugged them as I choked back tears and yet they welled behind  my sunglasses.  I watched his father hoist his few chosen possessions out of our car and into waiting helping  hands.  I stood aside as I watched him, getting edgy, wait to hug his dad, me.  I watched him  hug his dad goodbye.

The tears overflowed, I bowed my head.  I hugged him tight, kissed him, crossed his forehead, again.  Pressed my cheek to his and then gave him a weak smile as his dad and I grabbed hands and turned to go; letting him go.  I felt that pierce of my heart.  Even as I felt that swell of love too, knowing that he was going to God and to answer his call.

I let him go.  That’s what presenting is, isn’t it? In many ways, I think so.  You present and let go. You don’t present something and wrap it up tight and keep it hidden away. You present it and let go.  Open your hands.  Let go.  We miss him so.  Some days more than others.  But it’s also a great joy to see him happy and taking on a whole new mantle, add a layer to who he is and who he is becoming.  But, my hands are open now; having presented him, I love him, but let go.

So.  It’s a gift this feast.  For me, I can unwrap this gift in a new and fuller and more meaningful poignant way than ever before.  Even more so than last year, when I knew, I knew, this presentation was approaching.  Now I have done it.  I am not Mary.  My son is just my boy, my dear son, now a man.  But.  Just as any family can model in a tiny fractionated shadowy way the truths in our faith and life, so to can my messy family in our teeny way.  So, today, I get a gift of remembering that other mothers, so many, have given their child back to God.  The Blessed Mother did it, not only because it was prophesied …. but perhaps so we could have the courage to do so as well.

Today I am grateful for this feast.  It means so much.  To us all, yes.  But, oh, so much, to me.

No Dumb Ox There

Today is the feast of St Thomas Aquinas!

We have a special devotion to St. Thomas in our family, for a number of different reasons.  Not the least of which is this one’s special devotion to him too:

Anyhow, there is SO much to say about Aquinas. I’m sure many of you are familiar with him, him being one of the greatest Doctors of the Church and most profound theologians we have.  His writings span denominations and bridge gaps because he writes about the truth of faith, which is love.  He lived it, he embodied it.  He was taunted for his size and his quiet gentle ways: hence, the epithet, “dumb ox.”  But, oh, so not.  He was brilliant.  He was large, yes, but I like to think that perhaps he was bodily large simply to house the largesse of his faith hope and love.  His size was such, perhaps, so that our own dumb minds could maybe make the connection; that he was more than most of us, we just had to look closer, with better eyes. Perhaps not. Our bodies are our bodies, whatever they are.  But, his mind, heart, faith…well, it was bigger than any of us can fathom.  Or, than I can truly fathom.

Aquinas is the patron of students, which also means I hit him up for prayers quite often.  But, one of the things that I love about him is his humility. Despite being one of the greatest minds in the Church, ever, he held that prayer had taught him more than study.  Now, that is where I need to dwell.  Prayer.  So much of the time I turn to me,  my mind, to figure things out. I need to ever keep steady in prayer to find the same , no, better, calming reassurance.  So, today, again, I ask St Thomas Aquinas, to pray for THIS dumb ox to grow in humility and faith.  No dumb ox there.  But oh yes, here.

Happy Feast Day!

St Thomas Aquinas, pray for us!

And, now that you’ve read my quick gloss simple mom thoughts on why I love this saint, if you want to have more erudite thoughts and a much broader intellectual taste of what he’s about, watch this (from the excellent Fr Barron, and his Word on Fire series):

Gentle One

It’s the Feast of St. Francis de Sales!

Tapestry by John Nava

I love this saint, his book Introduction to the Devout Life is a classic and worth reading, oh at least once a year.  It is literally filled with such depth and goodness, yet so accessible to us, me, today that as I read it I have to stop and smack myself in the forehead, again and again.  “Doh! Of course!”  Then I have to put it down for a bit to let it all soak in.  And every time I read it I am reminded of how hard I make the easiest thing in the world: to love.

So, with that, for today, his feast day, I give you this quote (From the Breviary):

“Ah, I would rather account to God for too great gentleness than for too great severity.  Is not God all love? God the Father is the Father of mercy; God the Son is a Lamb; God the Holy Ghost is a Dove – that is, gentleness itself.  Are you wiser than God?”

Doh! Of Course! (sigh)

St Francis de Sales, pray for us!

Girl talk and holiness: An advocate

It’s the feast of St. Teresa of Avila!
I love her. I claim her as one of my patron saints due to our shared tendency toward massive headaches and migraines. Only one who has them all the time can really understand how they scramble you…and she did. So, she’s my gal!

Painting by Francois Gerard, c. 17C

But more importantly, St. Teresa of Avila is just one amazing woman and saint. She is one of the three women Doctors of the Church (a distinction noting that her spiritual writings are both sound and very important, influential, indeed foundational). For a woman of medieval times, that is no small accomplishment, not to mention: staying power! Her books such as Interior Castle and The Way of Perfection are just amazing reads. Not fast page turners, but mind blowers. You have to stop every few pages and just sort of…digest it all. And then soak it in, let it sink in….it’s great great stuff and will change your prayer life. She founded the Discalced Carmelites (Meaning “shoeless,” again, what’s not to like?) and had an ongoing friendship and correspondence with the mystic and poetically powerful St. John of the Cross {And if you want a really phenomenal book, tough, dense, but OH so worth it: read the compilation/commentary on these two together: Fire Within, by Dubay}.

But on another level, not the “resume” angle…St. Teresa of Avila appeals to me because she was first of all a real living, breathing woman. I know, they all are, doh. But what I mean is that she was a woman of opinions and ideas and kind of stubborn and pushy, even when that wasn’t always overtly sanctioned in the culture of her time. She was extremely social and loved to sit and chat and flirt even…she was quite beautiful and knew how to use it too. She had to struggle against the urge to chat and flirt and gossip, and spend too much time doing it, because she could lose afternoons to it.

Sound familiar to any of you, especially you gals? Um, yeah. That stuff IS fun. Total temptation.  Sounds pretty modern to me.

St. Teresa’s monastic cell at the Convento de la Encarnación, Ávila
Kinda beautiful in it’s own stark simplicity, don’t ya think?

And yet, even so, St. Teresa could hear in her inmost self the whisper of God who loved her as she was, loved her more than anyone else could. And she responded, bravely, to that irresistible call. And it brought her the ecstasy of union with God in prayer. And that amazes me and intrigues me as I know firsthand how hard it is to push all those opinions and flippy chitchatty conversations out of my head to pay attention to God himself. She knew that frivolous conversation impeded her progress toward holiness…..and she dreaded nothing so much as delusion and the siren call of distraction from that path.  Frivolous conversation? Distraction? I’m the poster girl for it. But St. Teresa gives me hope and I have hope that she prays for me…for my attention to what is important, for responding to that call, that whisper, for my headaches, for being brave enough to listen through the din of my modern mundane life.

Sculpture by Bernini, “St. Teresa in Ecstasy”
So, happy feast day!St. Teresa of Avila, pray for us!

**Much of this was posted several years ago…I’ve been in the trenches, busy, but today I’m lifting my head up long enough to repost.  Because this gal is one of my chosen patron saints.  Thanks for understanding.

Little Big Love, Redux

It’s the feast of the Little Flower: St. Therese of Lisieux!

Which means it’s also my Marta’s feast day: Marta Therese (get the connection?).

St Therese is one of the fav’s at our house, you all know that.  I’ve written about her many times, and posted multiple novenas to her here on blog.  But whether you want to talk about her being a Doctor of the Church; known for her solid writing/teaching and doctrinal insight, or whether you want to talk about her humble “Little Way”……St Therese is about Love.

And wadda ya know…so is our Faith. So is God.  So, should be, myself.

And I kinda always thought we added “Therese” to our Marta’s name because we prayed novena’s to this saint on Marta’s behalf.  We hit St. Therese up for many prayers to bring our girl home and get her healthy.  St. Therese had TB too.  St. Therese wasn’t highly regarded among the other nuns in her convent.  She was thought to be slow or dim, she was often overlooked, she was young, she was small.

She was one of God’s “little ones.”
And so is our Marta, to be sure…one of God’s “little ones.”
If I know anything, I know that.

But really….
I am learning, every single blooming day, that I think we were compelled to add “Therese” to Marta’s name also because this saint teaches us how to love.
In the little things.
Which of course, means that they are the very biggest things.
Because this saint struggled all her life to die to her self and her pride and her desires so she could love Jesus better.

And she ultimately was given the grace of real understanding of the biggest simplest secret: that Love was waiting for her.  She didn’t have to scale great heights, or go on far missions, or accomplish amazing feats to prove her love.  All she had to do was lift up her arms(heart) and open herself to Love.  And, um, do it.  Love.  Love in the little things.  Every day.  The next thing, right in front of her.  Do the chore before her without complaint.  Smile at the irritating Sister and bite her tongue.  Not correct the error of someone being catty, but let it roll off her back.
It wasn’t easy for her, she didn’t possess any “saintly” or superhuman patience:

“I understood how easy it is to become all wrapped up in self, forgetting entirely the sublime goal of one’s calling.

Rather she figured out that:

“…perfection consists in doing God’s will, in being what he wills us to be.”


We can do no good when we seek our self.”

And yeah, it sounds so simple.  Like stupid simple, right?

Well, yup, it does.  So why do I fail and kick and fuss and gripe against it every blooming day?
Because it’s the hardest most profound thing we can do, any day, any moment.
And yet, also the most sublime and simplest.

To bring this ramble back around…and so it is with  my Marta Therese.
She too, teaches me how to love. Really.
Really love.
Because it can be so hard with her.  Because she is small and suffers the after-effects of the TB that ravaged her. Because it’s still sometimes strange and it’s still often hard and it’s sometimes ridiculously complicated. Because I am slow and am ridiculously complicated and strange. Because she has delays and it makes things very slow and often limited and sometimes strange.

But oh, I know, she is aptly named.
She is one of the small ones.
And she loves, to the best of her ability.
And I am called to love her.
And sometimes that is simply an act of will.
And sometimes it is with a tired fuss.
And sometimes it is with a stabbing intake of breath, glimpsing her for a moment as God does.
He sent me one of his special ones, to give me remedial lessons.
Because I too am slow.
And need so  much to learn to truly really love.
The little way.  
It’s so big.  

So today we celebrate, I am thinking upon, St. Therese of Lisieux, and her intentions:

 “I ask Jesus to draw me into the flames of his love, to unite me so closely to him that he live and act in me.
And I am asking her for her prayers, for our Marti Therese, my family,  and for me.

So that I can lift up my arms and  heart, and love better, more truly, all those littles ones given to me…..eight of them.

See, remedial lessons, lifelong….me.
And so I can say, “Thank you, here I am Love, lift me up.”

**Disclaimer: I posted this last  year.  It remains true and I feel the same, today. Hence, it’s busy, I am reposting.**

>How to love much

>One of the great examples we have of how to love much is St. Mary Magdalene.
Yup, that’s right, this woman, reviled as an adulteress and worse, shunned even in Jesus’ time, loved with all she  had.
Wish I could say the same.

She was a beauty, and she knew it and used it…but when she met Jesus, she recognized the Christ.  She came to him, weeping, and washed his feet with her long gorgeous hair.  And what did Jesus say to her? He said, “Her sins are forgiven because she has loved  much.” Whoa.  Loved much.  Meaning, loved Him much.  Because only in loving him can we even begin to love anyone else.  If we don’t love him first, we will only love ourselves and then we can’t love anyone at all.  But she saw him and her heart new, knew she was called right back to him, him who made her.  And she came to him and wept, abject at the hurt she knew she had caused him by her separation.  And he forgave her, he took her love right back.

How much hope does that give rotten ol’ selfish me?
Well…a lot.

St Mary Magdalene went on to be one of the ones left at his crucifixion, one of the ones who stayed with his mom Mary.  She was faithful, her love didn’t fail.  She was the one to see him first at the tomb; imagine her amazed joy after such grief and hurt.  But this is the key, once she knew him – her love didn’t fail.

Wow.  Her love didn’t fail.
She didn’t go back to loving her beautiful self.
She ignored the certain gossip and whispering about her and her reputation and focused on the truth of real love that she had found.
She didn’t say, “Now what about me?”
She did the next thing: loved him.
And then she did the next thing: loved him.
And then the next:…..love him.
See the pattern?
Me too.
And still I stumble and go back to loving me first, not him and thus not others.  Not enough.
So today, I rejoice for the example of St Mary Magdalene, one of the most hopeful of our saints.  And I ask for  her prayers, to help me love him (and thus others) better, truer, and more.

St. Mary Magdalene, pray for us!

Triple Love


Detail of "Holy Trinity" by El Greco, of course

It’s the Feast of the Holy Trinity!

Which means it’s another day of mystery, with a capital M.  This mystery is one of the biggies, of course.  Uber Catholic to boot {we Catholics love a good mystery!}.  One that really, we are not truly meant to fully figure out – because as soon as you think you have; you’ve probably fallen into presumption (with a capital P) and are not on target to boot.

So, here’s what we do know, ok, let’s be more precise, what I think about this day: it’s a feast of love, really.  How’s that? Well, God the Father so loved everything, but even more so,us, that he gave us his Son, and the love between those two was so immeasurably great that it begat it’s own third “person”: the Holy Spirit.  Thus those three began the “begatting” that we read in the Old Testament (pages and pages of it, right?) and that, when we are doing it right, here on earth, begets us each other.

The Trinity was and is (and ever will be) the prime, premier, example of how to love – well and truly.  And that right there, is enough mystery for my little brain for, um, the rest of  my life.  Which is really, of course, part of it’s charm.  Mind blowing charm and goodness.  Something to celebrate. And that’s why it’s a feast day: was then, is now, and will be forever.  Amen.

Happy Feast of the Holy Trinity!







Girl Feast: the Visitation

Today is the Feast of the Visitation!

I saw this in the Uffizi, one of my fav's

That means that today we celebrate and remember when Mary went to her cousin Elizabeth, who was pregnant with the soon to be born John the Baptist. I love this image, I love this whole concept.  It’s one of my favorite mysteries of the rosary….and I’ve wondered why it speaks to me so.  But I think, really, it’s that whole connection thing, once again.

The connections that we make, especially we women, are so important.  They mean everything, in a way.  It took me a long time to get there, way past the awkward high school years and the striving driven, boyfriend focused, college years.  But as I’ve grown older and into the woman I am now in middle age and hopefully was meant to be (mostly), I have grown also into some of the richest relationships: friendships with women.  My girl friends are such a support; even the virtual ones through email, phones, and blogging…the support gained and given through these friendships with other women give me such strength.  They have pulled me out of deepest indigo blues, they have encouraged me forward in burnout and despair, they have brainstormed with me in mom dilemmas, they have brightened days with a good laugh.  They have called me out from my selfishness, they have told me when the swimsuit is just too tired and for pity’s sake go buy a new one.  They have listened to me vent and cry and rage and brag; saved my marriage a few times and my child’s backside as well.  They are generous, genious, kind, caring, prayerful gals…..and I hope and pray I have returned the favor more than once and can continue to.  In person, blog, email or phone, it all counts.

I think that is why I love this feast so.  Mary did it first.  She found out she was with child, and in her first trimester she journeyed to her cousin.  Now, we all know what that first trimester is like: such exhaustion, illness, hunger, sleepy fatigue. And Mary set out on a long journey to be with her dear friend, her cousin.  She didn’t get to hop in her comfy BMW, she had to walk or use the donkey.  I would’a griped about traveling in my comfy Honda (oh, right I think I did, way back when I was in first trimester’s.  oops).  But she went.  She went to help, not to get her own comfort, but to help.  Because Elizabeth was older and was in the end (third trimester?) of her pregnancy.  We all know what that’s like too: exhausted, feeling big as a whale, swollen, uncomfortable, maybe a tad irritable, just…done.  So, Mary went to help.  And they embraced when they met, like friends/family who miss each other do.  And Elizabeth blurted out “Who am I that the mother of my Lord comes to me?”  She didn’t say, “Mary! Wow, what a surprise, what are you doing here?” and start fretting about if she had enough kefir or whatever to add to lunch or if the house was clean.  No, she instantly felt the baby flip around and she had those words out, I suspect, before she even really understood them, fully.  That’s how it works, I think. It’s all grace.  This feast is all about the grace and we see it in that painting, up there, one of my favorites.

Our friendships, the support we women give each other is unlike anything else.  And it is all grace. It really is, when it’s good.  We can  undermine each other like nobody’s business if we choose.  But when we choose to give, it’s like nothing else….except, like Mary..and Elizabeth.  And that, just that, is why I love this feast day.  It’s a feast about connections and grace and giving.  It’s a girl feast.  Because we rock and we do this better than anyone; when we open ourselves to this grace. Mary and Elizabeth did, so long ago.  They show us the way, even now.

>Setting Fire


Today is the feast day of another of my favorite saints, more so now than ever: St. Catherine of Siena.
Siena also happens to be one of my top two favorite towns in Italy, I loved it there!
So much to say about this saint, but this quote from this amazing holy faithful pushy humble strong woman, Doctor of the Church, really sums it up:

“If you are who God made you to be, you will set the whole world on fire!”
-St. Catherine

>Dear St. Joseph


Sculpture by Dony McManus

It’s the feast of St. Joseph!
I’m so excited.
I love a feast, everything about it..food, fest, fete, remembering, commemorating, celebrating…it’s all the good stuff wrapped up into that one word, isn’t it? FEAST.  Yay.  We Catholics, we love a feast!
It’s also of course, the end of the novena, which is always good.
I’m reposting some of this from last year because I am just not good enough to redo my words and thoughts, no room in my brain to rephrase my ideas just for novelty’s sake.
But I will point out one shift, for me, with regard to this particular saint: I’m working hard this  year on getting closer to dear St. Joseph.
I feel the need to cling to him, in particular, in prayer and my heart and I’ve entrusted our family to his prayers and intercession this year.  This year, in particular, and perhaps all years ahead, we need, I need, to lean on and go to St. Joseph. Not trying to be cryptic, but just so you know I have a particular need to grow closer to St Joseph, and fast, and this year is the year our relationship takes a turn for the closer.  It must. I need him. 

Anyhow, more on all that later.  A year before I also did a post on this great saint, on his feast day.  And since I can’t redo my words or thoughts, and still don’t really want to, please go here to get a bit on dear St. Joseph.  As my mind continues to decline and muddle, best to return to my older posts that might be a bit more um, clear…..always!  

Anyhow, the year before I wrote all about my adoption links and issues with St. Joseph.  Not HIM actually, but rather others perception of him.  I mean, give the guy some cred! He’s the dad!  Ok…I begin to digress. Go read my post if you have a spark of curiosity about him and all this from an adoptive perspective.  

This year, again, I just want and need to think about dear St. Joseph.  As a faithful humble man, who served his God, his family, his child and community.  He didn’t get a lot of attention for it, except for some seriously negative opinions and sniping in the beginning of it all regarding his bride…..  So he didn’t get the kudos, he didn’t get the understanding.  He was and is still misunderstood.  But, and here is the key for me: he didn’t stand up and correct everyone and make sure they understood just what he was doing.  He didn’t.  
He just went ahead and did the next thing, lived and loved deeply as the dad.  
Every day.  
In his little town, doing his regular job, no status, no notice, no blog.  
Just, day to day, keeping on.  

So, I wonder.  He was  human.  Did he ever want to stand up on one of those tables he made (sturdy, no doubt) and holler at his little townspeople or neighbors, “Hey, I know you have all sorts of ideas about what is going on, but you’re wrong.  I love her.  I love him.  He’s special.  Yeah, God told me it’s ok, it’s right even.  So. Stop judging.  It’s SO much more than you know.”  Ya think???? Ok, probably not.  But, I wonder sometimes.  He’s a saint, but he was human.  He’s a saint not because God made him extra perfect and different than us.  He’s a saint because he was faithful, even when he didn’t understand.  

Michael O’Brien, St. Joseph
And that, that is like a whack in the head to me.
He was faithful, even when he didn’t – couldn’t – understand.  Because it all didn’t make sense.  But he still accepted.  And gave in to this plan.  And did what he was called to do.  And he didn’t whine and whinge on about it all.  He just did it.  Every day.  Every night.  As long as he was called to do it.  And that, I struggle with that.  Every day lately.  Because I always fall into the narcissistic trap of “it’s all about me.”  I don’t think St. Joseph did that.  Which blows my mind.  

So yeah,  he’s one of my heroes.  He’s still misunderstood.  But, he has much to teach me. Especially now.  

St. Joseph, pray for us!
Happy Feast Day!

>Lourdes and Moms


from Basilica of Pius X, at Lourdes,
h/t: Contemplative Haven Blog

It’s the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes.
Moms, she’s our patron, as always.
Read/pray the litany prayer below and remember how she, as a mom, cares and prays for us all:

Holy Mary, pray for us. 
Holy Mother of God, pray for us. 
Mother of Christ, pray for us. 
Mother of our Saviour, pray for us. 
Our Lady of Lourdes, help of Christians, pray for us. 
Our Lady of Lourdes, source of love, pray for us. 
Our Lady of Lourdes, mother of the poor, pray for us. 
Our Lady of Lourdes, mother of the handicapped, pray for us. 
Our Lady of Lourdes, mother of orphans, pray for us. 
Our Lady of Lourdes, mother of all children, pray for us. 
Our Lady of Lourdes, mother of all nations, pray for us. 
Our Lady of Lourdes, mother of the Church, pray for us. 
Our Lady of Lourdes, friend of the lonely, pray for us. 
Our Lady of Lourdes, comforter of those who mourn, pray for us. 
Our Lady of Lourdes, shelter of the homeless, pray for us. 
Our Lady of Lourdes, guide of travelers, pray for us. 
Our Lady of Lourdes, strength of the weak, pray for us. 
Our Lady of Lourdes, refuge of sinners, pray for us. 
Our Lady of Lourdes, comforter of the suffering, pray for us. 
Our Lady of Lourdes, help of the dying, pray for us. 
Queen of Heaven, pray for us. 
Queen of peace, pray for us

Happy Feast Day, moms!

>Just like a Sister


It’s the feast of St. Scholastica!
And I had planned on doing a little post on  her, because we are quite fond of her ’round here.  But Anchoress  beat me to it and I can’t top her.  So, I’m gonna send you over.  Go, read, it’s worth it.  Scholastica’s got that brother-sister dynamic DOWN.  Which makes me grin; another saint that is all too human, but even so, holy!

Here’s a snip…..Go

“Perhaps I just love thinking that she had “irritated” Benedict, as only a sister can irritate a brother.

“When the man of God saw that he could not get back to the monastery because of the lightning and thunder and the great flood of rain, he was irritated and began to complain: “May God have mercy on you, my sister. Why have you done this?” And she replied to him: “See, I asked you, and you would not listen to me. So I asked my Lord, and he has listened to me. Now then, go, if you can. Leave me, and go back to the monastery.” But unable to go outside, he stayed against his will in a place where he had been unwilling to stay on his own”

Go, read the post for yourself.  You’ll get a smile, especially if you’ve ever been a sister with a brother!

>Dia de Fiesta: Guadalupe!!!


It’s the 
Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe!

Being from the southwest, growing up in Arizona specifically, I have a special fondness for Our Lady of Guadalupe. And you know, I just like most everything about this feast day and Our Lady of Guadalupe.  I love the Mexican culture, the food to celebrate, the miracles, the roses, the prayers, the colors, the music, the textiles.  What’s not to love?

The short version of Our Lady of Guadalupe is, of course, that she appeared to St. Juan Diego on his way to Mass.  She asked for a church to be built on the spot.  She asked him to ask the Bishop.  He agreed, the Bishop didn’t want to believe him.  So he kind of griped to Mary, saying that he couldn’t get the Bishop to listen and he wanted a sign..  She told Juan to gather flowers from Tepeyac Hill, (ones that weren’t indigenous and it was winter) and so he gathered the roses (that had miraculously bloomed in the winter snow) up in his cloak.  When he got to the Bishop, he spilled the roses out in the office and on his tilma (A type of cloak) was the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe!  Full wikipedia version here.

This is one of those times where once again, we see the universality of the Church.  Mary is not only our mother if you are of white european ancestry, but of course, she is mother to us all – the world over.  And in Mexico, today, you can see the festival celebrating her, complete with all the local cultural trimmings.

Coffeedoc and I went to Mexico City on his fortieth birthday, to go see the tilma for ourselves.  And you know, there was a time when part of me just kind of took the ‘folklore’ appreciation route with Our Lady of Guadalupe.  My folklore background would kick in and I’d get caught up in all the sensual aspects: the colors, textures, foods, fiestas…the layers and layers that are part of any long historical memorial.

But, going to Mexico City, to the Basilica’s – the old and the new – well, it’s one of those things.  You go.  You see the pilgrims who have traveled there ON THEIR KNEES.  

You see the thousands and thousands of milagros pinned up (Small metal tokens of thanksgiving left behind for answered prayers).  And you see the tilma.  

You stand in front of the tilma, and scour it with your own eyes.  You pray. And it’s like C.S. Lewis says, to paraphrase: you either believe, or you think they are all lying (Or it’s a big scam), or that they are crazy.  

Well, I don’t think they are all lying and I don’t think that it’s a scam.  I think Our Lady of Guadalupe has made a huge difference in so many lives.  And I don’t think they are all crazy either.  Especially not after being there.  But I didn’t really ever ascribe to that one either.  I believe.  I believe Our Lady of Guadalupe is another manifestation of Our Blessed Mother.  And that like any mom, she will go to where her children are and where they need her.  And so she did.  

“A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet,
and on her head a crown of twelve stars”
Revelation 12:1 (Entrance Antiphon for Our Lady of Guadalupe)


Ave María (Hail Mary)

Dios te salve, María. Llena eres de gracia: El Señor es contigo.

Bendita tú eres entre todas las mujeres. Y bendito es el fruto de tu vientre: Jesús.

Santa María, Madre de Dios, ruega por nosotros pecadores,
ahora y en la hora de nuestra muerte. Amén.

*portions of this from  last year, it’s Advent, and finals….Our Lady of Guadalupe won’t mind, I hope you won’t either. And yes, I’m just that lazy efficient these days*

>Musical Feast Day: St. Cecilia!


St. Cecilia, by Raphael

It’s the feast of St. Cecilia!
We love her, and my eldest daughter has a particular affinity for her as well (maybe a number of my kids have her as a patron – music is so integral to their lives, not just the ipod hookup of standard teenhood, but the passionate playing of music…it’s part of who they are).   I also like to think of her as my Hannah’s patron due to her ‘shine’ (meaning both Cecilia and my girl).  St. Cecilia is the patron of our near and dear Dominican Sisters here too. They are filled with music and radiance and are just joyfully compelling, just like their patron must have been.

 Poussin, St. Cecilia

 From St. Augustine, apropos of this musical feast day:

Sing to him a new song, sing to him with joyful melody. Every one of us tries to discover how to sing to God. You must sing to him, but you must sing well. He does not want your voice to come harshly to his ears, so sing well, brothers!

Now, who is more worthy of such a cry of jubilation than God himself, whom all words fail to describe? If words will not serve, and yet you must not remain silent, what else can you do but cry out for joy? Your heart must rejoice beyond words, soaring into an immensity of gladness, unrestrained by syllabic bonds. Sing to him with jubilation.

Carlo Saraceni, St. Cecilia and the Angel

 And I think that means that even us musically challenged folks can sing out on this day celebrating the life of St. Cecilia, flat notes and all! That’s my story and I’m sticking to it at any rate!
So, sing out!

St. Cecilia, pray for us!