Throughout our lives we find ourselves in circumstances or situations that are strange, new, incomprehensible. They’re beyond our previous experience and more often than not they leave us feeling estranged from ourselves, an alien in our own life. You know what that’s like, right?
With those words Mary speaks a truth about our lives, a truth that at some point we all experience. There comes a day when the wine gives out. The glass is empty. The party is over. On that day life seems empty and dry. There is no vibrancy or vitality. Nothing is growing or fermenting within us. Our world is colorless and tasteless. The bouquet of life is absent and we are living less than fully alive.
Mary’s words hold before us some some serious questions and wonderings. Where has the wine of our life given out? What relationships have run dry? What parts of us remain empty?
“Blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.”
When I look at the various situations and circumstances of my life, the joys and sorrows, the successes and failures, the hopes and the disappointments, the struggles and the accomplishments, I so want to find hidden within them a fulfillment of something spoken to me by the Lord. I don’t think I’m alone in that. I don’t think I am all that different from you or anyone else. I think we all want that, even if we don’t know it. We want to believe.
We want to believe that our life and existence are more than our circumstances. We want to discover a value and meaning that is lasting and not situational. We want to know and experience God is with us. We long for something beyond the circumstances. It’s not about denying or ignoring our circumstances. It’s about believing through the circumstances rather than in the circumstances. It is a different way of believing than what we are used to.
Most of the time we take the facts of a situation, as we see them, and, using reason, come to a conclusion. That’s our usual way of believing. It’s characterized by rational thought, deductive analysis, and scientific thinking. We allow the circumstances of our lives to determine or at least strongly influence what we believe about God, the world, others, and our selves. Continue reading “You are More than the Circumstances of your Life”
“You see that Mary did not doubt but believed and therefore obtained the fruit of faith. ‘Blessed … are you who have believed.’ But you also are blessed who have heard and believed. For a soul that has believed has both conceived and bears the Word of God and declares his works. Let the soul of Mary be in each of you, so that it … Continue reading Christ is the Fruit of the Faithful
With the Easter season the Regina Caeli is now the Marian anthem following compline. It also replaces the Angelus throughout the Easter season. O Queen of heaven, be joyful: Alleluia For he who was born of your body: Alleluia Has arisen as he promised: Alleluia Pray for us to the Father: Alleluia V: Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary, Alleluia. R: For the Lord … Continue reading Regina Caeli – Good News to Mary
Today is the celebration of the Feast of the Annunciation. It has a fixed date of March 25 but is transferred to today because this year the 25th fell on a Sunday and the celebration of Sunday takes precedence over the Annunciation. The following is from Holy Women, Holy Men – Celebrating the Saints: Today’s feast commemorates how God made known to a young Jewish … Continue reading The Feast of the Annunciation 2012
With the First Sunday in Advent the Marian hymn following compline changed from the Salve Regina to the Alma Redemptoris Mater. This will be used until the Feast of the Presentation. There are two concluding collects: one for the Season of Advent one that is used from Christmas Eve until the Presentation. The Commonweal blog has a thoughtful reflection on use of the Alma Redemptoris Mater. Loving … Continue reading Alma Redemptoris Mater
Hail, holy Queen, Mother of mercy, hail, our life, our sweetness, and our hope. To you we cry, the banished children of Eve; to you we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn, then, most gracious advocate, your eyes of mercy toward us; lead us home at last and show us the blessed fruit of your womb, Jesus: O clement, O … Continue reading Salve Regina