As we all know, a Solemnity is the highest-ranking of any feast in the Catholic Church. That being said, we are excused from abstaining and fasting on any Solemnity during Lent, even if it falls on a Friday. Last Wednesday was the Solemnity of St. Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary: my feast day. While I gave up pizza this Lent (which, yes, has proven to be very difficult because it’s definitely a college staple), I definitely treated myself to a slice or two, or maybe even three, on Wednesday at an office meeting. I posted here last year on my feast day <3/19/13> but only posted to Facebook this year because I wanted to wait for the other Lenten Solemnity.
The Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord is today. The angel Gabriel said to Mary, “Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found grace with God. Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and shalt bring forth a son; and thou shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of David his father; and he shall reign in the house of Jacob forever. And of his kingdom there shall be no end” (Lk 1:30-33). Any normal person would totally freak out. But not Mary. What did Mary do instead? She replied, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it done to me according to thy word” (Lk 1:38). Today’s Solemnity always reminds me of Mary’s unwavering faith in God and humility even though she had no idea what was going to happen. I do my best from day to day to listen to and to follow God, but some days are harder than others, especially with all of the challenges that my faith faces with college life and societal temptations. Mary is truly the perfect role model for us all!
I was recently going through all the documents on my computer from my time in the Seminary, and I found petitions that I wrote for daily Mass for the Solemnity of the Annunciation on March 26, 2012. I rewrote them for today to reflect my current location, even though they won’t be said at a Mass:
- For the Holy Catholic Church, for Francis our pope, John our bishop, and for all bishops, priests, and deacons, that they may have a tender love for Mary, the mother of Jesus, and find in her life the model for true discipleship.
- For our president, for the leaders of the nations, and for all in authority, that they will govern wisely and justly in all matters.
- For all peoples, that during this Lenten season we may rejoice in the will of God, as did Mary so long ago.
- For our Newman community, that we remain faithful and true to God even in the midst of these difficult and often tempting college transitional years.
- For the poor, the persecuted, the sick, and the unemployed; for those suffering from depression or addiction; for all those in any kind of danger; and for those who have died.
- For our own needs and intentions that we now recall in our hearts…
Oh, one more thing– I also ask that you pray for the Rigali family: Sr. Charlotte Rigali, sister to Cardinal Justin Rigali, past Archbishop of St Louis, died in L.A. yesterday at the age of 91. She was a member of the Congregation of St. Joseph for over 70 years. She was a family friend and often came to Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. Prayers for the repose of her soul and for her family are greatly appreciated. Requiem Aeternam dona eis, Domine et lux perpetua luceat eis: Requiescant in pace. Amen.
P.S. Every time I write, I remember how good it is to do so. I will have to make sure my next post isn’t five months away like my previous post!