Tag Archives: Mary

things I will miss (2 of …)

22 Mar

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When I leave St. Andrew, I will miss the view from the presider’s chair.

As I sit down after praying the opening prayer at Mass, I look across the sanctuary toward the ambo. Lectors, like Ray, bow at the foot of the sanctuary steps toward the table of the Eucharist, and walk toward the table of the Word to proclaim the daily scriptures to us.

Their shirts do not always match the color of the bound lectionary, the book of readings, as they do in the picture above, but they are always standing beside the tabernacle and under the stained glass window of the Immaculate Conception.

Sometimes at the Saturday evening Mass the setting sun shines so brightly through that window that I cannot even see the lector or the lecturn, so blinding is the light coming our way through the “woman clothed with the sun.”

But always I enjoy the colors and the image of Mary with folded arms over her heart, an embrace that held Jesus as a newborn child at the manger and as the crucified savior at the foot of his cross: an embrace of motherhood, faithfulness and devotion.

It is heartening and encouraging to see her embrace of the Word, as we are trying to do the same.

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Yes, Ray, I will miss you, too

things I will miss (1 of …)

28 Aug

Knowing that in ten months I will be leaving my beloved St. Andrew parish, this place and these people, I am more and more noticing things that I will miss. Last night as I was closing the blinds of my bedroom windows, preparing to prepare myself for bed, I looked out my back window. “There is something I will miss.”

I took three photos on my iPad, and deleted two: one with a stray cat roaming into the bottom right corner heading toward a drink of water from the fountain, and one that cut off the top of the statue and the top of the cross on top of the grotto. This one was the best of the three:

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I tried to enjoy the scene fully, hoping to engrave it in my memory.

Then I prayed a Hail Mary …

… and closed the blinds.

 

hope gone / unexpected dawn

6 Apr

At our “Community Fare” luncheon today, I will interview in talk show fashion four women who have met and become friends through grief: each has buried her husband.

On this Fifth Sunday of Lent we will use the Raising of Lazarus, with hearty reference to his sisters Martha and Mary, as our conversation prompt. I have prepared eight questions, which I will ask one by one of our panel of believers to help them tell their faith story.

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1. How long have you been without your husband – and – how long was his dying process?

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2. When her brother Lazarus was dying, Martha called for Jesus, and when Lazarus had died, Martha ran to Jesus, all the time knowing that Jesus could change the situation. How did your “running to Jesus” make your situation change?

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3. One could guess that, once Lazarus was brought back to this life, Lazarus and his sisters lived life differently after that moment – and that each of them, Lazarus, Martha and Mary, would approach their own death differently. Since your experience of accompanying your husband in his passing, how do you live life differently now and how might you approach your own dying differently when it comes?

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4. Jesus instructed those near Lazarus to untie him and let him go free. How did you untie your husband and let him go free? How has your family and your parish helped to untie you and let you go free?

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5. Lazarus was brought back to this life. Would you want to bring your husband back?

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6. When Lazarus was resuscitated, Martha and Mary were reanimated. What are you doing now, since your husband’s death, that you never did when he was alive or that you would never have thought that you would have done or could have done?

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7. In our closing hymn at Mass today, “Jerusalem Our Destiny,” we sang in the fifth verse, “To the tombs I went to mourn the hope I thought was gone / Here among you I awoke to unexpected dawn.” Can you relate to that in any way?

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8. Martha put her faith into words. How do you finish the sentence that she began “I have come to believe that …?”