Our family tradition for Thanksgiving grace is sung to the tune of “Edelweiss” from the Sound of Music. The Von Trapp family at the festival performed the forbidden national anthem as they prepared to escape the country.
Bless our friends,
Bless our food,
Come, O Lord, and sit with us.
Make our talk glow with peace
Come with your love to surround us.
Friendship and peace may it bloom and grow,
Bloom and grow forever.
Bless our friends, bless our food.
Bless our dear land forever.
When we celebrate with the family of one of our married children, they sing the doxology, a familiar hymn to both Protestants and Catholics. It’s the last verse of the hymn, “Awake My Soul,” by Thomas Ken in 1674, taken from Psalm 57.
Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
Wherever we are, after dinner we take turns around the table expressing one or two things we are thankful for. This starts out being sentimental and ends up being hilarious. We leave the table laughing.
(© 2013 Nancy H C Ward)
Black velvet “Reserved” signs drape over their back of the first two pews, with their gold fringe hanging down. Not that unusual for weekday mass. We often celebrate silver or golden wedding anniversaries among our aging parishioners. But usually there aren’t young children.
A dozen or so people I normally don’t see at daily mass arrange themselves in these two pews and spilled over to the third row. After the Liturgy of the Word, Fr. Joseph calls a young couple to the altar for their wedding vows. A 5- or 6-year old daughter clings to her mother as she stands at facing her husband. Two witnesses complete the wedding party with friends and relatives caring for the toddler daughter in the front pews.
Fr. Joseph gives them the full treatment — the entire wedding ceremony, complete with vows, blessing of rings, a quick husband-and-wife kiss, and an introduction to the congregation. We applaud. The bride smiles so big her shoulders rise to her ears.
Read more about the Wednesday Morning Wedding on CatholicMom.com
Ezekiel 34:11-12, 15-17; Ps 23:1-6 1; Corinthians 15:20-26, 28; Matthew 25: 31-46
From the time of the German philosopher Immanuel Kant, 4/1724 – 2/1804, and the French Revolution, 1789 – 1799, the world has slowly moved away from its ideas and dependence on God with his plan for us. Humans are in control with all our sciences and knowledge. For many there are no more absolutes. The new philosophy is relativism where each person is his or her own god. Whatever they want that makes them happy. It doesn’t make any difference what happens to other people. They want money and power no matter what it takes to get it. These attitudes make any religion passé. This simply is what much of the world wants.
Before the plane took off Monday morning from DFW Airport, my nose was buried in an advanced copy of The Grace of Yes: Eight Virtues for Generous Living. As we landed in Tampa, my new knowledge of Lisa Hendey, myself and true generosity was incredible. And one-third of the book to go!
By Tuesday afternoon my mind was full of spiritual truths. My heart and soul were so reinforced with encouragement that my copious notes now fill this review and overflow into several blog ideas.
Having known and grown to love Lisa long-distance for four years through CatholicMom.com and Catholic Writers Guild (CWG), I finally met her at the CWGLive conference in Chicago and took a photo with her. Her keynote speech on “Perseverance,” with many concepts from The Grace of Yes, and a one-on-one meeting in the hall when she advised me on a publishing question, created an instant connection in our spirits.
Read the gleanings from the eight virtues on CatholicMom.com
An interview with Connie Rossini, author of Trusting God with St. Thérèse.
Connie gives practical advice for overcoming fears and frustrations that hamper our relationship with God. I asked her about her father-daughter relationship as compared to that of Louis Martin and his daughter St. Thérèse of Lisieux.
Nancy: Thérèse was blessed with parents who were “more worthy of heaven than of earth.” Thérèse had a special relationship with her father, who called her, “my Queen.” She formed her image of God from her father who never denied her love, affection and care. How did your father-daughter relationship compare to this?
Read more on Catholic Spirituality Blogs Network
“I come, O Lord, unto Thy sanctuary to see the life and food of my soul. As I hope in Thee, O Lord, inspire me with that confidence which brings me to Thy holy mountain. Permit me, Divine Jesus, to come closer to Thee, that my whole soul may do homage to the greatness of Thy majesty; that my heart, with its tenderest affections, may acknowledge Thine infinite love; that my memory may dwell on the admirable mysteries here renewed every day, and that the sacrifice of my whole being may accompany Thine.” (St. Agnes of Assisi)
Memorial of St. Agnes of Assisi, Virgin, sister of St. Clare, 1197-1253. She was born in Assisi and joined her older sister Clare two weeks after Clare formed the Second Franciscan Order for women, following the poverty of St. Francis. Agnes was later sent by Francis to a Benedictine Convent near Florence to bring them into the Poor Clare order. She also guided other new groups in Northern Italy and was recalled to Assisi shortly before Clare died. Agnes followed Clare in death a few weeks later in 1253 and is buried near her sister along with four other early members of the order