Saturday, February 6, 2010

Symbolism of the coming weeks

In a couple of days i will be flying for what feels as a final time to Buenos Aires, Argentina. It's with mixed emotions. Because on one hand i feel i still haven't left the time that i lived there behind. The time leading upt ot go there and during that time were the most intense times of my life. The place of also my greatest love in life. It makes it difficult to be in those surroundings because inevitably it's a thinking back of those times. In that sense it must be a last time.

But it is also symbolically the place to find the ultimate love of ones life in the person of Christ. Did i leave a woman behind it was the Queen of Heaven, Our Lady who took me on this path by inspiring me to buy a Rosary. The Most Holy Rosary, i must make another post about it later :)

I chose the dates for this vacation because it includes the start of Lent. This trip will also be a tribute to Our Lady of Lujan. And i intend to go to Lujan (just outside the city) as well. So it starts in one of the biggest and busiest cities of the world. And then as the 40 days progress there will be more and more detachment. March 10th will be my last working day at the place where i work now. Remarkably that officially it ends on Maundy Thursday, the start of Our Lords Passion. The weeks after the 10th i'll have paid leave. On one hand necessary to find continuation in work for after Easter. Although at this moment everything after Easter doesn't seem to exist. On the other hand it's also a time to be able to prepare for my Baptism, Confirmation and First Communion. And then Holy Week spending daily in church, with the last few days in a monastery away from the world.

And then comes this Holy Saturday. Santa Gemma died on a Holy Saturday (although it was April 11th instead of the 3rd). Holy Mass in the morning and then in the evening before the altar with on one hand, it feels, Our Lady (holding the Rosary) and on the other hand Santa Gemma (wearing her relic). For months now i have been trying to imagine what it all entails, what it means, how it will be. and yes i do have a script of things i would like to do that day and prayers i would like to say at specific moments. Up to the moment directly before my Baptism and just after Holy Communion. Latin prayers inspired by True Devotion to Mary of St Grignion de Montfort. But also a realization that i must let go at that moment and just be there. Aware of my nothingness and with true contrition. With true longing. And maybe all that i plan will be different at that moment. Fiat voluntas tua.

Our Lady in the bristling of a city and Our Lady at the moment of meeting Jesus as close as you can on this world. Maybe those of you devoted to the Blessed Virgin can grasp what She means. To all others i can only say. Don't be afraid. Devotion to Mary is the perfection in the adoration of Christ. Showing affection to His Mother Whom He loves so much can only be pleasing to Him. And She will always point at Him as the Centre of all things. There is nothing i do without Her. And it has filled me with a richness already beyond my dreams.

I do want to memorize the Angelic Salutation (Ave Maria) in Spanish. I say one for the people of Argentina:

Ave María, llena de gracia,
el Señor está contigo,
bendita tú entre las mujeres
y bendito el fruto de tu vientre,

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

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Posting in a bit

Having been posting for a bit. There is much to write about again. In a week from now i'm having my vacation and then also much time to make some new posts. Bear with me!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

But we live in this world.... Part 2

Last wednesday i posted about the first reading of Mass of that day. Posted it because it struck me in a way. Especially the latter part as described in that post about distancing oneself from the world. This we find in the saints and in religious life in general. And not just Christian religion. A thought occurred to write this reading to a friend who is converting with his family from Protestantism to Catholicism. He is very much into finding the foundations in the Bible for Catholic standpoints so he can give a decent answer when confronted with questions and critizism. I dismissed the idea to write.

Now yesterday in Mass for some reason the ribbon for the first reading was not placed on the right day. The lector started reading and it took me a moment to realize, because it was in Dutch, that he was reading the exact same reading from wednesday. He told me afterwards he had been reading it realizing it was not the reading for that day but read it anyway because he thought that this was probably as the celebrating priest had wanted it. This was not the case. But when it was read and i realized this it was like huh?? What are the odds you are so busy with a text and then it pops up again due to an apparent misunderstanding about the reading?

Coincidence? An act of God? Anyway it gives me the distinct impression to look at it more closely and i will send it to this friend.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Felice Anno Nuovo!

Happy New Year! Feliz Año Nuevo! or in Santa Gemma's language: Felice Anno Nuovo!

Scribe, Domina, vulnera tua in corde meo, ut in eis legam dolorem et amorem: dolorem, ad sustinendum per te omnem dolorem: amorem, ad contemnendum per te omnem amorem.

Imprint, O Lady, thy wound upon my heart, that I may read therein sorrow and love: sorrow, to endure every sorrow for thee; love, to despise every love for thee.

(From the Litany of Our Lady of Sorrows)

Today is the Solemnity of the Mother of God. It occurred to me yesterday evening, hours before the start of the new year, that it would be nice to make a personal dedication for this year. My first thought was to dedicate it to Our Lady. This year for me will center around Easter when i will be baptized, confirmed and the day of my First Communion. At the time of the Passion of Jesus and His resurrection. And when you consider this Passion one also must not forget the sorrows of Our Lady (makes me think St Paul of the Cross). Therefore to dedicate this year to Our Lady of Sorrows seems fitting. Furthermore it connects to St Gabriel (Possenti) of Our Lady of Sorrows, and then of course also to St Gemma.

September 15th is the Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows and is a day after The Triumph of the Cross. And so my goal is now to be that week in Lucca, Italy. With a special personal gift to Our Lady of Sorrows at the tomb of Santa Gemma. Of which i will not speak until after the event. (sorry folks!) I pray that it will be financially possible and also that i will be able to have that week off from whatever work i will be doing at that time. Since that stops in Holy Week. Easter marks a double letting go of the past in that sense.

But to stay with this special day: Hail to The Mother of God! May She intercede on our behalf. Amen.