My Week

Moments of Gratitude; Pondering 
I am thankful for the cycle of liturgical living that guides our daily affairs. The world, its demands, and the lifestyle that it entices us to adopt can be so distracting, but if we have a road map and the resolve to follow it, our journey can be happier and more fruitful. 
At Advent, we wait for the Child to be born by preparing our hearts and our lives. Come Christmas, we welcome Him with much joy and thanksgiving. 
The Ordinary Time is more quiet, and in a way, I welcome this quiet. We then take a while to ponder in our hearts -- the way our Blessed Mother did -- the significance of the birth of the God-Child. He matures as a man, and at age 30 sets out to preach about God's love and salvation. We follow Him and set our eyes to that Place that is not of this world. Along the way, we also find inspiration in the lives of saints whose lives invite us to be saints, too.
Then it is time to prepare to commemorate the Passion and Death of our Savior. Just like at Advent, we also prepare our hearts in a special way at Lent. I feel enjoined to ponder particularly on my own mortality against the backdrop of eternity. 
Then there is rejoicing once more because Jesus had risen, as He has said. He has conquered death. I enjoy the long Easter Season, and how the festive rejoicing of Easter Sunday tapers down to the serene and deeply felt inner joy that settles in rather well during the weeks that follow. 
After which, the Ordinary Time commences again... 

Praying for
The Papal intentions for November:
  • "Suffering Priests. That priests who experience difficulties may find comfort in their suffering, support in their doubts, and confirmation in their fidelity.
  • Latin American Churches. That as fruit of the continental mission, Latin American Churches may send missionaries to other Churches."

Creating/ Liturgical Living
I've always felt drawn to the practice of praying novenas to the saints, not only because of the intercession and support that are generously given to me, but also for the opportunity to know a particular saint better. And as one finds out more about a saint's life and how he overcame difficulties to be right with his God, that saint doesn't seem so distant anymore. 
I am pooling the novena booklets that I have acquired over the years (there aren't that many). Last weekend, I also visited a Catholic bookstore and bought a few more booklets. I plan to store them all in one box so that I don't have to look all over the place when I want to pray a novena. 
The box will have 12 dividers, one each for the months of the year. A novena booklet gets to be placed behind tab of the month when the feast day of the saint is commemorated. The box will be accessible to my family; my wish is for all of us to develop friendships with the saints, especially our patron saints.
Just a simple project, but hey, even living the faith can benefit from some organization :-)

~ Christian Prayer: The Liturgy of the Hours 
I think I have it, and should the pages (or ribbon placements :-)) get unwieldy or things are chaotic around the house (as they sometimes are) or we are on the road (especially on weekends), there's the online version! I just tell myself that if I happen to pray the wrong antiphon or psalm, no prayer is ever wasted, right?
~ I Believe in One God: The Creed Explained, by Benedict XVI
I chanced on this book while selecting novena booklets over the weekend. Perhaps the most succinct way to describe the book is to borrow Archbishop Vincent Nichols' (who wrote the Foreword) words: "his (Benedict XVI's) exploration of the Nicene Creed". 
I was attracted to the book because for a heavy topic, it seemed to be a manageable read. Youngest Daughter is also currently using Credo: I Believe for her religion textbook, and I can learn along with her using I Believe in God as an additional teacher-mom reading. 
I have the Philippine-Macau edition, but the book can also be checked out here and here.   
~ Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping House, by Cheryl Mendelson
I bought this book a few years ago (I have the 1999 edition), and it has been my housekeeping go-to since. I didn't start reading from page one onward; instead, I would go to the section that meets my current need for information and advice, and focus my reading there. 
Right now, I am re-reading the section on food. I tend to get swallowed up by cookbooks and culinary websites, failing to absorb a significant portion of what I spent hours reading. I am hoping that Home Comforts' section on food will help me put some structure and direction in my cookbook fascination :-) 
Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust, by Immaculee Ilibagiza
I finished reading this book over a month ago, and it is still throbbing in my head. The author is a survivor of the 1994 Rwandan genocide who lost her parents and two of her three brothers in that tragedy. 
I only have admiration for the strength of  Ms. Ilibagiza's spirit made stronger by faith and hope in God amidst a seemingly God-less world. And I am in awe of how one can dig down one's being -- all but crushed by senseless hatred and gross injustice -- and draw out forgiveness. 

The Divine Mercy Chaplet

Looking Ahead
I am looking forward to Advent, the opportunity to give one's soul a good cleaning and disinfecting (although it could be done at anytime), work up a more cheerful attitude, write letters (versus sending emails) to friends, and plan for a quiet and meaningful Christmas with family and close friends.  


If you can't bake 'em, sew 'em.

Finally, I just have to say that I have to discipline myself to write a weekly almanac. 
The practice keeps the week in perspective, I know what to bring to my prayer, 
and it keeps me in touch with you, lovely ladies, 
who send me loads of encouragement across cyberspace. 
Thank you!

This post was originally linked with the Catholic Woman's Almanac, a Monday online linking activity started by Jenny who now blogs at The Littlest Way.

1 comment:

  1. You know, this Liturgical year I felt a little differently. I feel like I need Advent and Christmas to direct my focus a little bit. Ordinary time for me this year - while quiet Liturgically, for me, personally, it was LOUD!

    Great reflection here...
    Have a BLESSED week!


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