Against all odds

Despite voter intimidation, gerrymandering, voter suppression, lies, threats of violence to voters and officials Joe Biden is President-elect of the United States. Today was the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The second Marian Feast in less than a week’s time. You might call December the Month of Mary. How is the opening sentence related to the second sentence? Joe Biden carries a rosary with him everyday and there are reports that in addition to his daily attendance at Eucharist he also prays the rosary. We have that in common in addition to our Catholic faith.

Did Mary have something to do with the outcome of the presidential election? There are some who would scoff at that. Others might say yes. In the past four years I’ve prayed the rosary almost everyday. I usually pray it as I walk but sometimes when I’m riding in the car. Some days when it is too cold to hold the beads in my hands I keep track of the prayers with my gloved hands. I pray the Franciscan Crown Rosary which is seven decades and it’s easiest for me to remember the seven joys of Our Lady.

Today as I sat in an Advent prayer service at Mount Irenaeus I reflected on both the feast day and Mary. The mother of the Messiah was not famous nor powerful. She was lowly and betrothed to Joseph The lowliness of his handmaid is duly noted in the Magnificat.

He hath put down the mighty from their seat: and hath exalted the humble and meek.He hath filled the hungry with good things: and the rich he hath sent empty away.

The mighty are pulled from their seats of power. The humble and meek are exalted and are fed while the rich go away empty. The handmaid of the Lord became the Queen of Heaven. Ave Maria gratia plena Dominus tecum.

A great start for the day

Today I began my day at St. Philomena’s Roman Catholic Church. As a young boy I attended daily Mass, often serving as an altar boy. Yesterday I met Fr. Robert Marino, Pastor of St. Philomena’s and he told me that Mass on Wednesday would be at 9:00 am followed by Adoration of the Eucharist. As I entered the chapel at St. Philomena’s this morning I was moved by the ambience. Here a simple chapel adorned by a few statues, one of them of St. Anthony and the Child Jesus. A painting of Our Lady of Guadalupe and behind the altar, the San Damiano Cross. There was decidedly Franciscan tone. The chapel was warm and inviting and there were four ladies who welcomed me as I entered. Mass began promptly at 9:00 am and I was treated to an intimate experience of the Eucharist. Fr. Marino introduced me to the others in attendance and that made me feel welcome too. Following the Mass, Fr. Marino prepared the monstrance for adoration, placed it on the altar and we sang Pange Lingua. As we sat in the quiet and presence of the Eucharist I reflected on my good fortune to be part of this community. Peace.