Thursday, August 8, 2013

3 Reasons I Love Catholicism Vol. 5


Here I am at this wickedly late hour,  joining Micaela at California to Korea and sharing three of my favorite things about my beloved Catholic faith that are resonating within my soul this month...

1.  Confession and Forgiveness:  They go together, don't they?  That day when my daughter and I did battle over teenage fashion like mothers and daughters sometimes do, we were both left feeling emotionally raw from anger and sorrow and poor judgment.  Twelve-year-olds aren't the only ones who suffer from growing pains and the struggle to mature.

So the next night when Dad took the boys to the baseball game, mother and daughter headed downtown to Gesu's dark basement church for confession, and we stood in line, waiting to beg forgiveness from our Lord.  Ancient Fr. Herian came creaking around the corner in his cassock that hung limply from his bony frame and we each took our turn in the box.  I love that Fr. Herian.  He spoke of how confession is for encouragement and told me to spend the month of August praying for courage.  Then he pointed out the crucifix hanging on the wall above my head.  He asked me to look long and hard at Jesus suffering and dying there and to repeat after him three times, and together we prayed, "Jesus, crucified for me, have mercy on me, a sinner.  Jesus, crucified for me, have mercy on me, a sinner.  Jesus, crucified for me, have mercy on me, a sinner."  I left the confessional with a smile on my face to find my daughter who was silently kneeling as she offered her penance.  We embraced and sighed with contentment and peace.


Then we headed over to Cempazuchi, my favorite Mexican restaurant on Brady Street, part of "The Fashionable East Side", and we sat outside and ate and talked and laughed and prayed with the Angelus Bells ringing at St. Hedwig's across the street and watched the people walk past and we had a lovely time. The best mother/daughter time ever.  And all is forgiven.  And the mercy of our loving God warmed our souls and we relaxed in His love which embraces us both.

 2.  Processions:  There are times when this is not exactly on my favorites list.  There are times when processions cause me too much stress and worry and I fail to trust in the Lord thinking that I have to control everything.  That's because I'm the procession planner for Roses for Our Lady and the devil hates it when Catholics gather by the hundreds and bring the Eucharist out into the street and pray the rosary on a loudspeaker to draw attention to our beautiful faith.  So that evil one makes sure he gives me all he's got to try to keep me from getting my job done.  But he always fails because Our Lady's love is so much stronger than his ugly hatred.  She crushes his head every time.  So there are always difficulties and challenges when planning our Eucharistic Rosary Processions, but when the pieces finally fall together, it is a beautiful sight to behold, and I will do it again and again for the joy that it brings to my Mother who continually suffers from the sins of this world.

Roses for Our Lady's May Crowning Eucharistic Rosary Procession
Bishop Hying, Fr. Tim Kitzke, Fr. Enrique Hernandez, Fr. Paul Schneider, OFM Conv. (just before his ordination)

Fr. Matthew Widder with Our Lord

If you are in the Milwaukee area, you will want to join Roses for Our Lady and Bishop Donald Hying at our September 8th procession in honor of the Blessed Mother's Birthday and on October 6th in honor of Our Lady of the Rosary.   They will both be equally beautiful celebrations!  Details can be found here.

3.  Homilies:  A good homily is food for the soul. It has the power to nurture and inspire me to joyfully live my faith and will often remain in my thoughts throughout the upcoming week.  Of course, I've never heard anyone say that they love a dull, uninspiring homily, so I know I'm not alone in my love for a good homily.

The thing about a homily that makes it so special is that it's the breaking open of the Gospel reading, not simply a sermon about any topic that happens to be on the pastor's heart at the present moment.  Through the homily, we learn and understand a bit more about the Gospel and how we are called to live it in our daily lives. We are given a glimpse into the very heart of Jesus through the words of the priest.

I'm blessed to be a member at a fantastic parish, Old St. Mary, where inspirational homilies are the norm, but I'm insatiable and still like to search for additional inspiration throughout the week, so I love it when a parish or Archdiocese puts an audio of the recent weekend's homily online so I can listen at my leisure.  Here's a homily from an expert homilist, Bishop Donald Hying, reflecting on the Gospel from Sunday, July 28th, 2013 at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in Milwaukee.  Listen and be inspired to deeper prayer!  http://www.archmil.org/clientcss/audio/hying-homily-20130728.mp3

What are three of your reasons for loving Catholicism?  List them in the comments or join Micaela and write your own blog post about them!

3 comments:

  1. That is a really touching story about you and your daughter. I am so excited for my oldest to receive reconciliation this year.

    I've never been a part of a procession. Yours looks gorgeous! I hope I can be one day.

    Finally, I'm a homily snob. I guess it's a result of knowing my faith pretty well, but when a priest strays from Church teachings, I get annnnnooooooyed. I know I need to be more merciful and less scrupulous. Pray for me, okay?

    Love the whole post. Thanks for linking!

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    1. Micaela, Thanks for your kind words. From one homily snob to another, I will certainly pray for you!

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  2. Wow, Anne, I'm so glad to have found you through Micaela's linkup! I share the same fervor that sometimes has people rolling their eyes but your scripture passage in Jeremiah says it all. I'm REALLY interested in the Handmaids of the Precious Blood - I pray for all priests and other consecrates every day but could use some encouragement. Thanks for being faithful in your sharing.

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