Sunday, March 25, 2012

Feast of the Annunciation

click to enlarge (poster made by me via Picnik)

The angel of the Lord declared unto Mary.
And she conceived of the Holy Ghost.
(Hail Mary)
  Behold the handmaid of the Lord.
Be it done unto me according to Thy word.
(Hail Mary)
  And the Word was made flesh.
And dwelt among us.
[here genuflect]
 (Hail Mary)
 Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.
That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. 
(Let us pray)
 Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts, that we to whom the Incarnation of Christ, Thy Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His resurrection. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

And in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God into a city of Galilee, called Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.

And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. Who having heard, was troubled at his saying and thought with herself what manner of salutation this should be.

And the angel said to her: Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found grace with God. Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb and shalt bring forth a son: and thou shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great and shall be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of David his father: and he shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever. And of his kingdom there shall be no end.

And Mary said to the angel: How shall this be done, because I know not man?

And the angel answering, said to her: The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the most High shall overshadow thee. And therefore also the Holy which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And behold thy cousin Elizabeth, she also hath conceived a son in her old age; and this is the sixth month with her that is called barren: Because no word shall be impossible with God.

And Mary said: Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her. 
(Luke 1:26 - 38)

 I strongly encourage you to read this article on today's feast.  I thought it was quite good.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Favorite Poetry: The Earth's Shame

 I thought this poem of Chesterton's was appropriate for Lent, since it's about the Crucifixion.  If you don't understand it all, don't fret - I first discovered this lovely piece of poetry when Fr. Beck explained it to us at the Catholic summer camp for girls that I've gone to for the last three years, and I would never have gotten it without his help.  It's even more beautiful when you completely understand, but alas! I'm not as good at explanations as Fr. Beck is, so I'm afraid you're on your own.  Take time and think about each section.  It makes a beautiful meditation.

The Earth's Shame
by G. K. Chesterton
Name not his deed: in shuddering and in haste
We dragged him darkly o'er the windy fell:
That night there was a gibbet in the waste,
And a new sin in hell.
Be his deed hid from commonwealths and kings,
By all men born be one true tale forgot;
 But three things, braver than all earthly things,
Faced him and feared him not.
 Above his head and sunken secret face
Nested the sparrow's young and dropped not dead.
From the red blood and slime of that lost place
 Grew daisies white, not red.
And from high heaven looking upon him,
Slowly upon the face of God did come
A smile the cherubim and seraphim
Hid all their faces from.

Sunday, March 18, 2012


We all live in separate worlds, you know, all in one.
- Magdalen Aithne Arkwright
Just a short little "random information" post because I feel like blogging and I told Meggy that I'd answer the questions she asked of her followers on her blog.  Plus I'm "celebrating" Laetare Sunday by doing a non-Lenten post. 

What are you reading?  Well, nothing at the moment.  I seem to have misplaced North and South, which is worrying me.  I'm supposed to be re-reading that so I can give you a more balanced review (i.e. more than just gushing).  I read The Black Moth by Georgette Heyer on Project Gutenberg a while ago, and I'd like to give you all a mini-review/rambling about that someday.  (NOT PROMISING.)

What are you watching on TV? Don't have TV, darling.  (Now that I live in the South I can call everybody 'darling' and 'dear' without looking stupid. :D)

What is your favorite music or movie lately?  In music, I was on an Anuna kick a while ago, and now it's been a lot of Ingrid Michaelson.  (Old Ingrid Michaelson, that is.)  As for movies, I haven't seen any recently....sorry.  I'm boring.

What are you excited about, anxious about, upset about?  I'm excited that my room is almost done being set up - and that spring seems to be here already.  I'm anxious about starting school up again tomorrow, and I'm upset that I probably won't be able to see my dear friend Megan again for a while, since apparently we won't be going to the same church at all.  I'd also like to see the other families we used to be close to... ergh, NOT GOING TO WHINE.  I promised myself that I would never whine on my blog.  I see people do that a lot, and it's so off-putting.  Nobody wants to visit a blog that depresses them with someone else's depression.  I want you to leave my blog with a smile on your face - unless I posted something serious, of course, like a Lenten meditation.

Do you have a job?  NO, BUT I WISH I DID.  I WANNA WORK IN THE LIBRARY.   (Not whining, just stating facts.  Really.)

Are you working hard on something?  Well....I've slipped up a bit, but I'm really trying to work on humility and intimacy with God.  I was doing really well all right when I was sitting in the guesthouse in New Jersey with nothing to do, but I've sort of gotten off-track.  This week I intend to work much harder.  Also, starting tomorrow I'll be (hopefully) working hard on schoolwork, particularly geometry (oh kill me now) and my book analysis on The Robe which was *cough* from tenth grade - as is the geometry, actually.  Yes, my middle name is Fail.  No, not really.

What are your greatest hopes for spring?  That we get a garden of some sort planted and that I get some exercise, preferably on a bike, though I don't know if my weakling legs can stand it after their winter's break.

Well, that was a very long "little" post.  Hopefully you didn't mind.  Happy Laetare Sunday!

This will be me tomorrow, studyin' in style.  (Er...not really.  But we can pretend.)

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Lenten Reflections, Pt. 2

I just finished reading the meditation for today (er....actually it was yesterday's, but that's beside the point), and I found it so striking that I had to come post it immediately. 

Again, those who struggle with scruples mightn't want to read this.

Meditation 110: Humiliations
Meditation, pp. 323-326

 Many souls would like to be humble, but few desire humiliation; many ask God to make them humble and fervently pray for this, but very few want to be humiliated.  Yet it is impossible to gain humility without humiliations; for just as studying is the way to acquire knowledge, so it is by the way of humiliation that we attain to humility.

Lily-of-the-Valley, the flower symbolizing humility.
Even if in certain situations we succeed in acting humbly,this may well be the result of a superficial and apparent humility rather than of a humility that is real and profound.  Humility is truth; therefore, let us tell ourselves that since we possess nothing ourselves but sin, it is but just that we receive only humiliation and scorn.  If we were really convinced of this truth, we would find it very just that all should humiliate us, treat us without consideration, and despise us.  In fact, what honor and consideration does one deserve who has offended his Creator, when a single sin - even a venial one - is more deplorable and worthy of more contempt than the most miserable earthly condition, the poorest and lowest estate? [...] "I never heard anything bad said of me," said St. Theresa of Jesus, "which I did not clearly realize fell short of the truth.  If I had not sometimes - often, indeed - offended God in the way they referred to, I had done so in many others, and I felt they had treated me far too indulgently in saying nothing about these". 

Also I'd like to share with you a short St. Therese quote, from the day before, speaking of humility and hope though we fail so much.

According to some sources, apple blossoms are a symbol of hope.

Meditation 109: Humility in Our Falls
Colloquy, p. 321

"O Jesus, it is true that I am not always faithful, but I never become discouraged, I cast myself into Your arms,and like a little dewdrop, I sink deeper and deeper int Your chalice, O divine Flower of the field, and there I find all I have lost and much more besides.
Yes, O my God, I am happy to feel little and weak in Your presence, and my heart remains in peace...I am glad to feel so imperfect and to need Your mercy so much!  When we calmly accept the humiliation of being imperfect, Your grace, O Lord, returns at once."
- St. Therese of the Child Jesus

All pictures via Pinterest.

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