Monday Miscellany: September Feast Days

Happy Monday, everyone! I hope you are all safe, healthy, and finding joy in the little things today. September has been… an interesting month. It’s been really lovely to get back into the routine of the school year, and I can’t believe that 2020 is almost over. (Just a few more months to go!) The many weeks since March have passed in a flash, and yet while we were living them they seemed to drag on forever. The month of September is dedicated to the Seven Sorrows of Mary on the liturgical calendar, and there are a few important feast days coming up, so I’m going to share some resources to help you celebrate those as well as a few other things I’ve been enjoying.

The Exaltation of the Holy Cross

Today, September 14, is the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. This feast day commemorates the finding of the True Cross by St. Helena, who was the mother of the Emperor Constantine. You can find the story of how St. Helena discovered the True Cross, as well as a breakdown of the historical evidence, here. Kendra at Catholic All Year has written a great blog post with ideas for celebrating the feast day.

New Season of the Abiding Together Podcast!

Season 8 of the Abiding Together Podcast goes live today! It’s probably my favorite podcast of all time and I recommend it to everyone. Yes, I really do mean EVERYONE. I’m not a huge podcast person, and this is the only one I listen to on a regular basis. They do amazing book study series too, which are all archived on this page, in case you want to go back and read along–I particularly recommend their studies of Gaudete et Exsultate, Searching for and Maintaining Peace, and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, but you really can’t go wrong.

Praying the Seven Sorrows Devotion

Tomorrow, September 15, is the Feast of the Seven Sorrows of Mary. They are: the prophecy of Simeon, the flight into Egypt, the loss of Jesus in Jerusalem, Mary’s meeting with her Son on His way to Calvary, the Crucifixion, the taking down of Christ’s body from the Cross, and the burial of Jesus. This devotion to the Seven Sorrows was entrusted by Our Lady to St. Bridget of Sweden. There are specific graces promised to those who pray through the Seven Sorrows every day, but a good, doable place to start would be praying the devotion on the Feast of the Seven Sorrows, on Fridays, or every day during the month of September.

Period Drama Fans, Rejoice!

I recently discovered the blog Willow and Thatch, devoted to all things period drama, and I’ve been thoroughly enjoying it. There are a lot of great in-depth posts covering historical accuracy, the faithfulness of various film adaptations to the literary versions, and–my favorite–the authenticity of the costumes. I particularly liked this post about the costumes in the new Emma movie as well as this one covering every version of Pride & Prejudice (including some that I’ve never even heard of!).

Panis Angelicus: Why a Beautiful Liturgy is Important

I’ve heard this point made time and time again in homilies: “You shouldn’t be coming to Mass just because of the choir or the church architecture, because those things aren’t really important.” This statement isn’t necessarily untrue. The most important part of a Catholic Mass–the transformation of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ–occurs no matter where Mass takes place or what kind of music is playing in the background. A deficiency of beautiful churches and skilled choirs should not keep the faithful from participating in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. With that being said, the intent of this post is to make an argument for why Mass should be beautiful.

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Monday Miscellany: At Summer’s End

Welcome to this week’s edition of Monday Miscellany! It’s been a busy few months for me and, as a result, this blog has been sadly neglected. I feel like I’m just getting into a good summer routine and now SUMMER IS ALMOST OVER! Hopefully I’ll be able to get back to posting semi-regularly soon. In the meantime, I’ve been collecting some interesting tidbits to share with you.

St. Ignatius of Loyola

Last Friday, July 31st was the feast day of this powerhouse saint and founder of the Society of Jesus, a.k.a. the Jesuits, who is most well known for his Spiritual Exercises and Examen (a wonderful bedtime prayer habit!). I discovered two exquisite prayers penned by St. Ignatius and immediately fell in love with them. Perhaps they will be as helpful and inspiring to you as they’ve been to me.

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Responding to the Coronavirus with Grace

The panic around COVID-19 has increased dramatically over the last few weeks as it suddenly got a lot closer to home. I think most people never expected the coronavirus to be more than a news story, never expected it to have much of an effect on their personal lives. It’s safe to say that at this point, nearly everyone in the world has been affected, either directly or indirectly, by the pandemic.

Last Friday, March 13, we were notified that our diocese had canceled all public Masses until further notice. I was absolutely stunned. I was prepared for the closing of schools but not for this. The following Sunday, we watched a live-streamed Mass. While I’m very grateful for the modern technology that allowed us to watch the Mass that day, I missed being present in church, missed worshiping in community, and most of all, I desperately missed receiving the Eucharist.

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3 Things on the Feast of St. Francis de Sales

Let us do three things, my dearest daughter, and we will have peace: let us have the very pure intention of will to do all things for the honor and glory of God; let us do the little that we can toward that end, according to the advice of our spiritual director; and let us leave it to God to take care of all the rest.

St. Francis de Sales

Intention. God can perform amazing works through us when we offer him our sincere desire and intention to do His will. Just this simple act of wanting to please God can help us to discern what steps we should take to achieve that goal, and furthermore, we can trust that He will give us the graces we need to accomplish it. In this instance, it really is the thought that counts. Our Heavenly Father knows that we will need His help in order to carry out His will, but He desires that, like obedient children, we be willing to say “yes” to His plan.

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