Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Novermber Daybook: A Snapshot into My Life

Outside My Window...
Fall foliage is fully present in my neighborhood. Fall is my favorite season and I am always amazed at the beauty of the colors. This photo was taken at the end of my street. Just gorgeous!


I am thankful...
For the road trip we took with our Pastor and a few families from our parish this past weekend to the Catholic Underground in NYC.  The Catholic Underground is an apostolate of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal. The Underground is a Eucharistic Holy Hour accompanied by the melodic chanting of the friars. During the Holy Hour, the lights of the church are shut off and the Monstrance is illuminated by spotlight and candles. It was such a powerful night of prayer and worship of our Lord Jesus. Truly a glimpse of heaven. The congregation was comprised primarily of young adults - what a witness and a joy to see a church packed to capacity on a Saturday night in the middle of NYC! Here's a picture of the sanctuary of the church immediately prior to the Holy Hour.



I am thinking...
Of ideas to celebrate Advent with my family. The past few years I have missed the boat during Advent and have gotten swept up in the Christmas shopping/cooking/party frenzy. I have woken up on Christmas morning feeling unprepared, spiritually, for this great celebration, and burnt out from all the busyness of the month of December. Each year, I have resolved to do better the following year, but so far that has not happened. This year, I am once again determined to fully enter into the Advent season and am on the lookout for ways that my family can grow together during this holy season of waiting and preparation.


I am reading...
Everyday Meditations by Blessed John Henry Newman. Honestly, I am blown away by this book and the deep, thoughtful and heartfelt meditations it contains. My Spiritual Director recently introduced me to Cardinal Newman via his episcopal motto: Cor ad Cor Loquitur, which means "heart speaks to heart" and I have been hooked on his writings ever since. The book contains 50 short (3-4 pages each) meditations from the Cardinal's personal writings. These are not sermons, or intellectual discourses, but rather, deep heart-to-heart conversations with the Lord. They are so intense that I often find that I can't read more than a few paragraphs at a time. The book is a real treasure -I highly recommend it!

I am praying...
For the grace and the strength to stick to living out St. Josemarie Escriva's Heroic Minute every day. We recently completed the 14 Day "Heroic Minute" Challenge - click here if you are interested in taking the challenge - but as St. Escriva points out: "To begin is easy, to persevere is sanctity." The challenge made me realize that any growth in virtue in my life needs to be fueled by a ton of prayer and is really impossible without God's grace and mercy.

I am looking forward to...
A date night with my hubby this Friday! It is getting so much harder to have a private conversation now that the kids are getting older - it will be such a blessing to get out together and have fun and talk freely.  Of course, I am certain that the majority of our conversation will be centered on the kids!

A few plans for the rest of the month....
  • Thanksgiving Dinner with my family - our last one in my childhood home before my parents move in the new year. We are looking forward to having them live a few miles away from us, but saying goodbye to my childhood home is a bittersweet experience. 
  • Writing an exegesis paper on an Old Testament scripture for a course I am taking. This is not an easy task and I am honestly overwhelmed by the prospect of it. If you could spare a few prayers for me it would be much appreciated. 
  • Running an Advent Lighthouse Catholic Media giveway. I am planning to giveaway 5 CD's of talks for Advent and Christmas. Opportunities to enter to win will begin on Sunday November 16 and the drawing will be held on Saturday November 22. Stop back and visit! 

A favorite quote for today...
At the Catholic Underground, the Franciscan Friar who was leading worship spoke of this scripture verse in a way I had never considered before. He said that the "perfect love" isn't our love for God, but rather, God's love for us, which is always perfect and unconditional. His reflections have given me a whole new perspective on this passage and I have been meditating upon it ever since. What an awesome gift is the Lord's perfect love.




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