April Mappings

In adoration
In a short while, it will be dark.

... and in full trust in his forgiveness, guidance, and providence, I join David -- he who sinned grievously, repented sincerely and completely, and from whose lineage the Savior was born, I revisit the most beautiful of psalms:

 The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want;
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters; He restores my soul.
He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil; for Thou art with me;
Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
thou anointest my head with oil, my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life;
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

~ Psalm 23
(RSV, Catholic Edition, Ignatius Press)

In contrition
The Communion rail at the Shrine of Our Lady Of Caysasay, 
in Taal town, Batangas province, the Philippines.

April is devoted to the Holy Spirit, who came to the Apostles on the first Pentecost. I examine myself on how I have been using the gifts of the Holy Spirit. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church 1831, "[The gifts of the Holy Spirit] are permanent dispositions which make man docile in following the promptings of the Holy Spirit.I will consider more deeply, fortitude (CCC 1808) because I need it, and temperance (CCC 1809) because well, I need it, too.

In thanksgiving
Holy Communion - the Quartermaster's Office in the Stern
by McBey, James [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

I will focus on the gift of the Holy Eucharist, which Jesus instituted during the Last Supper and before His supreme sacrifice. There is real danger in attending Sunday Mass and receiving Holy Communion becoming a casual routine, when it should be a routine that we look forward to with fervor and devotion. This is really sad because in some places, the practice of religion is heavily restricted because of government, culture, or even geography. 

In supplication
By Harold Saldy (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)],
via Wikimedia Commons

I will remember the Holy Father's intention for April. He asks us to prayer for young people: "That young people may respond generously to their vocations and seriously consider offering themselves to God in the priesthood or consecrated life." You can find the Apostleship of Prayer reflection on that intention here

In solidarity with moms everywhere, I also remember our common intentions: the health and safety of our families, the moral formation of our children, and a future where they can live peacefully, responsibly exercise their freedoms, and instinctively care for the welfare of their neighbor.  

Around the house

The dry season is upon us. Definitely, unflinchingly, relentlessly. I have one eye in the direction of the beach and the other towards our roof, gutters, and rainwater spouts, all of which need should be queued for cleaning before handymen become scarce. The airconditioning units also need to be cleaned so they can function more efficiently. And the very few plants that we have -- all potted -- need to be watered more often. I see signs of undernutrition, tsk, tsk...

The handymen are not the only ones expected to do dry season tasks around here. Pillows and blankets will be washed and dried in the sun, travel bags will be dug out and aired out before we can even think of escaping to the beach, and goodness me, the hubby will have to make sure that the car is road-worthy. No wonder people opt for staycations!

Around the kitchen
Antique cookware at the Philippine Museum of Social History

'You know those ladies who can organize their houses in their sleep then wake up to blog about it? I am not one of them. I can only read their posts with green eyes, and sigh, sigh, sigh.

But yes, I am bravely imposing kitchen and pantry organization on myself this month. I am planning to break up the mammoth project into tasks, and then d-e-l-e-g-a-t-e. You see, I have four children and one husband, and it's payback time. I will never be a Julia Child, but if I have an organized kitchen -- maybe, just maybe -- I can feel like I am an accomplished cook (Julia was a chef), and start acting like one. 

Did I say that I am going to throw in establishing a meal planning system while I'm at it? Yikes!

Primary educator, always
All homeschooling moms will agree that this is a classic. Full info here

Somebody's going to be knee-deep into poetry this month whether she likes it or not. Yup. That's all I'm going to say. 

And nobody's going to say that she has to catch up with her Kumon worksheets because I have fallen for that before, so silly me if I fall for it again. Here comes tough mama.

Tackling the book hoard

I assigned myself the following Lenten reading:
~  The Defects of the Saints by Jesus Urteaga
~ Trustful Surrender to Divine Providence: the Secret of Peace and Happiness by Fr. Jean Baptiste Saint-Jure, S.J. and Saint Claude de la Colombiere, S.J.
~ Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church (selected sections). You can also view the material here

Liturgical living and devotions
The Altar of Repose at the Manila Cathedral, 2014
By Judgefloro (Own work)
 [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

We have not been doing very badly in the family Rosary and Stations of the Cross front. This week, I am planning to haul off everyone for our Lenten confession. Holy Week proper, I am looking forward not only to the usual services, but also to the Visita Iglesia (you can read about it here and here). Taking place after the Holy Thursday Evening Mass of the Lord's Supper and the transfer of the Holy Eucharist to the Altar of Repose, the faithful visit the Altars of Repose of seven churches. People usually go in groups -- families, parish groups, classmates, friends. It is a good opportunity for unhurried reflection and prayer. Living in the urban tropics, we make sure that we pack water bottles and fans for everyone. Comfortable shoes definitely help even if you are taking the car.

This is it, I guess. Have a happy and productive April and a meaningful Holy Week. May our Blessed Mother intercede for us so that our efforts this month will bear fruit. God bless everyone!  

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