For the past two weeks I’ve been maintaining, editing, and adding to my blog behind the scenes; so I’ve had ample opportunity to think about my next post.
Opening the “churches” folder on the external drive this afternoon, I wondered which of the many files-in-waiting I should peek into. Then Martha came to mind.
Thanks to our beloved friend, we shared an incredible adventure in Mundelein before driving to Marytown for noon Mass at the National Shrine of St. Maximilian Kolbe. The church, managed by Conventual Franciscans, hosts a multitude of statues everywhere and a seemingly endless array of holy relics.
I thought my heart would burst!
Viewing the photos again after two years of dormancy, my thoughts ricocheted from one post to another to another. I added St. Anthony Mary Claret’s relic photo to Kylie’s story and then—
Oh, my gosh! Providential!
Earlier in the day, I’d happened across the “twelve candles” draft from last December. Not sure when I’ll get to that, I thought, dismissing any effort to get it published. And here, out of the blue, in the photo files from our day with Martha was a photo of a prayer posted at the shrine. Oh, perfect sentiment! Who says the Hallmark Channel owns Christmas in July?
December 27, 2013, Steven and I started an annual tradition.
For our anniversary we gift ourselves with a day trip to the St. Joseph Chapel in Alamo: Steven makes a special contribution to the Capuchin Poor Clares, and he lights twelve candles.
We remember “everyone and everything everywhere”— most, specifically by name— and we give thanks and praise for “all God’s blessings in the new year to come.”
December 2015, we visited St. Joseph’s twice, the second time on Christmas Eve. And, because it was our first time attending Mass at the chapel, we chose to light our candles in the spirit of the Holy Family.
So, twelve candles, twelve months of blessings. When we say “you’re in our thoughts and prayers daily,” we really mean it.
God bless you sweetly!
I don’t know how to pray. I don’t know what to say. I haven’t much time….
The light which I am giving is a little of what I have— a little of my time, a little of myself— which I am leaving before the Lord and the Virgin Mary.
This light symbolizes my prayer, which I continue even as I go my way.
Lord, may this candle I am lighting be the light with which you enlighten [us in our] difficulties and decisions. May it be the fire with which you burn away the selfishness and impurity in [us]. May it be the flame with which you warm [our hearts].
I cannot remain for long in your church. By leaving this candle burning, I want to give you something of myself.
Help me to continue to pray in the midst of my daily activities.
Amen (National Shrine of St. Maximilian Kolbe, n. d.).
We often think we receive graces and are divinely illuminated by means of brilliant candles. But from whence comes their light? From prayers, perhaps, of some humble, hidden soul whose inward shining is not apparent to human eyes (St. Thérèse of Lisieux).
December 21, 2016
God is our light. The farther the soul strays away from God, the deeper it goes into darkness (St. Alphonsus Liguori).
December 22, 2016
A single sentence, a single word, a single awareness may turn life around; and, while you may not yet be found, you are no longer lost. It is impossible to express. Your dream of the world is unmasked, creating an opening. The night, however dark, is not endless because, in that smallest opening, you glimpsed light moving in the dark. It was the first real thing you have known (Paula D’Arcy, Stars at Night: When Darkness Unfolds as Light).
December 25, 2016
In the Word made flesh, God has sent his last Word, his most profound Word, his most beautiful Word, into the world. And that Word means I love you, world and humanity. Light the candles! They have more right to be here than darkness! (Karl Rahner, SJ).
January 3, 2017
Oh, how great is your name, O Lord! It is the strength of my soul. When my strength fails and darkness invades my soul, your name is the sun whose rays give lights and also warmth (St. Faustina Kawalska).
February 2, 2017
How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a weary world (William Shakespeare).
February 5, 2017
“Your light must shine before others that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father” (Matthew 5:16).
St. Joseph & St. Rita Monastery – 725 E. Bowie Avenue – Alamo, TX 78516-5500
Links of interest… Alamo, TX: Capuchin Poor Clares / quiet place for prayer / St. Joseph & St. Rita Monastery (more)… All things new: Yes, it’s cold & dark but there is light… Christmas music: eleven hymns & songs (video) & seven originals… Five ways to put all those Christmas cards to good use… How beeswax candles opened my eyes to the beauty of Mass… Light a candle… Like a moth drawn to the flames of church candles… Living an unending Christmas… Mary Page: Marian prayers / one’s special intentions / prayer circle – corner… Our Lady of the Rosary Library: prayers to the Blessed Virgin for every day of the week… Prayer: & devotions to the Blessed Mother / & seasons / daily sacred space / for all occasions (AMM) / four daily habits / free booklets & CDs (more) / healing / library / little book of caregiver prayers / more / morning & new beginnings / novenas made easy / ten ways to grow in prayer (more) / treasure of 3,569 / why we must pray… Pope Francis: Light of faith… Praying to the saints: gracious advocates / heavenly intercessors / intercessory prayer / litanies / novenas (221) / why pray novenas / why pray to the saints… Reasons to request prayer on social media / why writing is good for you… Secret Santa for the soul… Spiritual reflections… Ten reasons to be filled with hope… Time to put out electric votive candles… What do you think of me, Lord…
WP posts… Advent prayers… Blue heaven… Budding relationships… Capuchin Christmas… Christmas blessings… Christmas scenes… Christmas year ’round… Church time blues… Clarisas cookies… Finding St. Rita… God’s master plan… Marytown shrine… Merry Christmas… Oh, happy day!… On being Christian… Pink divinity… Promise of hope… Santo Niño… Slice of heaven… St. Anthony Claret… St. Felix… Sweet Jesus… Venerable Margaret