Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Things are getting real.

This weekend my wife had her baby shower to begin to welcome in the newest addition to our family, and our first born, who is expected in late October. Our little girls nursery is beginning to fill up with all of the essentials, clothes (and lots of it,) stroller, car seat, bed, diaper pail, diapers etc. I've been knowing and that it was getting closer and closer but it doesn't really hit home until, well, all the stuff hits home.

While all the stuff finds its place in the nursery, I can't help but wonder if I will be a good dad. Will I be able to provide for her in both temporal and spiritual areas. And I know that she won't make her entrance into this world and be fully aware of everything that I do, but at the same time I know that even the small things, like the routine of going to Mass every Sunday will be noticed in her routine, even as a baby.

I also wonder that if we get too busy in life if I will slack on passing on the faith to her, not sharing with her my favorite prayers, my devotion to Mary, the influence JP II had on my life and on the life of my entire generation. I wonder if I'll be able to show her that if you rely on God and trust in his word that she will be taken care of in all of her needs.

And I think the scariest one is that I wonder if I will be able to instill in her a respect for life. For all life, from conception to natural death. I'm confident in my ability to give this to her, but I worry about the state of society fifteen years from now, society may make it virtually impossible for this value of life to stick with her.

This and so much more weighs heavy on me. My wife and I are the one shot she has, if we fail her, changes are she won't get it on herself.

So as I begin the next leg of this journey on earth I know I have some reading and studying to do. I need some accountability to keep me on track and keep me going. I need to remember to always be a great role model, because she will always be watching. And mostly, I need to pray for stregnth, courage, sanity, peace, and sanity again (she will be a little girl!)

If you'd like to share resources, feel free! I'm sure I'll need them sooner or later!

St. Joseph pray for me, that I may follow in the example of fatherhood that you gave to Jesus.

In Christ,

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The month ahead.

August will come and go in haste like much the rest of the year, I'm sure. Here's a few things to note along the way.

Today is the feast day of St. Alphonsus Liguori, an eighteenth century Catholic Bishop and Doctor of the Church. He was a musician, painter, poet and author receiving classical training in all of these topics. He had a strong devotion to the Virgin Mary and wrote several pastorals on her life. He also founded the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer or the Redemptorist order.

St. Alphonsus, Pray for us!

On August 4th we celebrate the feast of St. John Vianney. He is also known as the "Cure d'ars" and is the Patron Saint of priests. He is widely known for his part in the spiritual transformation of his community and surroundings in France. He was an ardent supporter of the Sacrament of Confession and was devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Philomena.

St. John Vianney, Pray for us!

One of my favorite saints also has his special day this month. On the 14th we celebrate the feast of St. Maximilian Kolbe. Fr.Kolbe was a Franciscan Friar in Poland. During WWII he provided shelter to people under fear of Nazi persecution, including 2,000 Jewish people in his friary. For this he was arrested by the Nazi forces and imprisoned at the Auschwitz. During his stay there three other prisoners escaped, because of this the Gestapo forces decided someone would die. They lined up some men and began to make a selection. They chose Franciszek Gajowniczek to die. Franciszek cried out for his wife and children pleading for his life. Fr. Kolbe asked the Gestapo to let him replace the man chosen to die and they allowed it. He was sent to a cell and given death by starvation. While in the Starvation cell he celebrated Mass daily and sang hymns and prayed songs and gave hope to other prisoners. He stayed alive for two weeks and was the last remaining prisoner alive. The Nazis wanted the chamber emptied so they injected him with a lethal dose of acid. He was cremated on the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary on August 15th. 

Fr. Kolbe is a great example of charity, love, and compassion. He is also a great example of a modern saint, giving strength and hope to ordinary Christians to do great things in the name and power of Christ Jesus. 

 St. Maximilian Kolbe, Pray for us!

Mother Mary also has a busy month in August. We celebrate the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary on August 15, where we celebrate the belief that "having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory." On Wednesday the 22nd of August we also celebrate the Queen ship of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This is a time to celebrate the closeness Mary enjoyed next to Christ the King.

Mary, Queen of Heaven, Pray for us!

Below are some other feasts we will celebrate in the liturgies throughout the month.

Aug 1st- St. Alphonsus Liguori
Aug 4th- St. John Vianney
Aug 6th- The Transfiguration of the Lord
Aug 8th- St. Dominic
Aug 10th- St. Lawrence
Aug 11th- St. Clare
Aug 14th- St. Maximilian Kolbe
Aug 15th- The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Aug 20th- St. Bernard
Aug 21st- St. Pius X
Aug 22nd- Queen ship of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Aug 24th- St. Bartholomew
Aug 27th- St. Monica
Aug 28th- St. Augustine
Aug 29th- The Passion of St. John the Baptist

This month, in South Louisiana, we are also in the middle of the Hurricane Season. As temperatures rise both on land and in the gulf we will see more tropical storms and possibly hurricanes form. And while preparation is key, let us also call our brothers and sisters, both along the gulf coast and abroad to prayer. So throughout the month of August, when you have a second please pray that Lord will spare the Louisiana Coast (and the whole gulf coast) from the threat of storms, and that he protect human life and property throughout this hurricane season. A quick prayer will work, but if you prefer a pre-written one, here's the one we use down here!

Our Father in Heaven through the intercession of Our Lady of Prompt Succor, spare us during this Hurricane season from all harm.  Protect us and our homes from all disasters of nature.  Our Lady of Prompt Succor, hasten to help us.          We ask this through Christ our Lord.  Amen.  
In Christ,

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