THANK YOU to all who helped celebrate my 25th anniversary last weekend! Whether you helped prepare and serve the delicious sandwiches, salads and desserts; set up and cleaned up the KC Hall; contributed to the “spiritual boquet;” or just stopped by to offer your congratulations, it was all deeply appreciated. Thanks to St. Charles choir for singing the anniversary Mass at 10:30 and to Deacon Dan, his kitchen crew, and Bonnie Bodette for the beautiful cake.
If you missed it, the cake had a beautiful image of Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament on it. I told someone, those are the two most important things in my life: Mary and the Eucharist! So it was most fitting that the day was marked by Mass in the morning and the “virtual pilgrimage” to Lourdes in the evening. Thanks to Deacon Kinnick for organizing the Lourdes pilgrimage event. I really credit my own vocation to our Blessed Mother: may she continue to lead us all to her Son, Jesus!
This weekend marks the great event of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles – and the Virgin Mary who was present in their midst. In the Scriptures Mary is there at the beginning of our redemption as the Holy Spirit overshadows her and the Word takes flesh in her womb. And she is there at the beginning of the Church when once again the Holy Spirit fills her together with the Apostles. Just as Mary always leads us to Jesus, she also reveals to us what it means to live a Spirit-filled existence; a life marked by joyful docility, serenity, and service. Pope Leo XIII wrote of “the intimate and wonderful relations existing between her (Mary) and the Holy Spirit, so that she is justly called his spouse.”
Every evening the Church prays Mary’s Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55) as part of the Liturgy of the Hours. I’d encourage you to make Mary’s song, inspired by the Holy Spirit, part of your own daily prayer. One suggestion would be to recite it at the end of the Rosary, if that is part of your regular prayer. Of course, the Magnificat stands on its own, with plenty of powerful images to meditate upon. Mary’s song is a joyful bursting forth of unbridled praise of the “great things” God has done for her – and for all God’s people. Such spontaneous outbreaks of praise and worship are a manifestation of the Holy Spirit. Praying and pondering Mary’s Magnificat can help us to break forth in our own personal praise to God in the Spirit for all his many gifts and blessings.