FEAST OF OUR LADY OF LOURDES
Sirach, Chapter 16, Verse 1-2
1 Do not yearn for worthless children, or rejoice in wicked offspring. 2 Even if they be many, do not rejoice in them if they do not have fear of the LORD.
Life at times can be hard. God does not promise us perfect happiness in this life; nor perfect children; for we are made for heaven and eternal happiness with Him. We are to do our best, but when our best is not sufficient; surrender it to Him. We must be humble; trusting with great confidence in Him that we may do His will in good seasons and bad. Pray that we may not forget this truth and complain as the Israelites did in the desert to such an extent that Moses cried out to God, “Where can I get meat to give to all these people? For they are crying to me, ‘Give us meat for our food.’ I cannot carry this entire people by myself, for they are too heavy for me. If this is the way you will deal with me, then please do me the favor of killing me at once, so that I need no longer face my distress.” (Nm 11:13-15)
Moses was despondent here, yet he did not give up; he gave it up. When things get tough; trust in Him. Knowing that, “One does not live on bread alone, but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.” (Mt. 4:4)
In retrospect when we are despondent let us remember to go to the great Mother of God, Mary for truly on the day of Christ’s death in some respects she died too-yet she did not fear for “now she had another son” reflecting her spiritual adoption of all of mankind.
National Marriage Week-Woman in Marriage
Woman's nature is admirably adapted to her functions as wife and mother. The responsibilities of the family develop her powers and mature her spiritually, mentally, and physically.
Spiritually, a woman becomes mature through surrender, through finding the particular role in which she can accomplish her total dedication to God. The young woman who has found her vocation in life in marriage and is wholly given to her task of bringing her family to God is a mature person whatever her age. She will have that air of serenity and peace which are the sign of the basic fulfillment of her being. The woman who has never surrendered wholeheartedly to any purpose outside herself remains immature all her life, like a bud which never unfolds itself. In marriage, woman can develop a spirit of selflessness which makes her dedication deeper and richer with the years. Her service to her family both expresses her love of God and increases her power of loving. The woman who has no outlet for her love, no one for whom she can spend herself, is apt to become hard, bitter, selfish, because she has no one but herself to consider. The woman who is constantly concerned with the needs of her family can unfold the qualities of love, tenderness, and unselfish devotion which make her truly great and truly happy.
Mentally, a woman's mind matures under the stimulus of the varied practical activities she performs for those she loves. In the concrete, living experience of the family, she can develop sound judgment and a keen insight into human nature. Lombroso's observation can readily be verified. "The mother of a large family who has had no time to study, having been occupied with her children and her household, has more life, more breadth of ideas, than the old maid of the same age who has done nothing else than to potter about at universities and libraries." The responsibilities of her family life exercise all woman's mental powers. Her intuition and powers of observation are called into play constantly to discover the unexpressed desires of her family, particularly the needs of the helpless child. She has need of her intuition, too, as well as her tact, to help her solve the hundred problems of human relations and practical affairs that arise in the course of her day. Providing for the family helps to develop woman's natural ingenuity and inventiveness. It is to the ingenuity of women intent on meeting the needs of their families that we owe the discovery of many of the most important arts: horticulture, for example; the creative arts of weaving, pottery, basketry; the domestic arts of food preparation and preservation; the uses of medicinal herbs in healing.
Physically, too, marriage and childbearing represent a development and completion for the normal woman, giving her new beauty and vitality. The mother of a large family experiences a physical fulfillment with the birth of each child which gives her fresh vigor and health. Dr. Alexis Carrell observes that women attain their full development as a rule only after the birth of several children. He writes in Man The Unknown: "Women who have no children are not so well balanced and become more nervous than the others. The importance to woman of the generative function has not been sufficiently recognized. Such function is indispensable to her optimum development. It is therefore absurd to turn women against maternity."
Our Lady of Lourdes
Today marks the first apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary in 1858 to fourteen-year-old Marie Bernade (St. Bernadette) Soubirous. Between February 11 and July 16, 1858, the Blessed Virgin appeared eighteen times, and showed herself to St. Bernadette in the hollow of the rock at Lourdes. On March 25 she said to the little shepherdess who was only fourteen years of age: "I am the Immaculate Conception." Since then Lourdes has become a place of pilgrimage and many cures and conversions have taken place. The message of Lourdes is a call to personal conversion, prayer, and charity.
Things to Do
· Watch “The Song of Bernadette”, a masterpiece filmed in 1943.
· Bring flowers (roses would be appropriate) to your statue of Our Lady at your home altar, especially if you have a statue of Our Lady of Lourdes.
· Obtain some Lourdes holy water and give the parental blessing to your children.
· Give extra care to the sick in your community — cook dinner for a sick mother's family, bring your children to the local nursing home (the elderly love to see children), send flowers to a member of your parish community who is ill.
Pray that our lady may help with the flu season
· Today’s recipes:
US Disunion of State and Faithful Citizenship
The Catholic community brings important assets to the political dialogue about our nation's future. We bring a consistent moral framework-drawn from basic human reason that is illuminated by Scripture and the teaching of the Church-for assessing issues, political platforms, and campaigns. We also bring broad experience in serving those in need-educating the young, serving families in crisis, caring for the sick, sheltering the homeless, helping women who face difficult pregnancies, feeding the hungry, welcoming immigrants and refugees, reaching out in global solidarity, and pursuing peace. We celebrate, with all our neighbors, the historically robust commitment to religious freedom in this country that has allowed the Church the freedom to serve the common good