Yesterday was a Holy day of Obligation in the Catholic church, Ash Wednesday!
Lent is a time for Homecoming!
While listening to the sermon ( Homily), our priest reminded us of the beginnings of the church.
The traditional Feast of Saint Peter , it grew from Rome.
December 25 was a Pagan Feast day to a Sun God, and the catholics used the day , date of the 25th for the Feast of the Son of God.
In Rome, the Pope stands over the Tomb of St Peter. The throne of St. Peter, “Cattedra Pitri ” . Our priest described it to our congregation as a big Bronze chair that is held up by 4 important saints called the Doctors of the church.
Once at home, I wanted to share the words of our priest and gain some more insight to the Big Bronze chair.
The 4 statues of the important saints who were great writers and teachers are made of Bronze. They are Saints Ambrose and Augustine for the church of Rome, and Saints Athanasius and John Chrysostum for the Orthodox Church.
Above the chair is a window which is made not from glass but thin translucent stone called alabaster. The Dove of the Holy Spirit is in the middle of the window with rays of light spreading out into the basilica through a sculpture of golden clouds and angels. Bernini designed this to look like a window into Heaven. There was a great celebration when the chair was put in place on January 16, 1666.
Inside the big bronze chair is a “single chair”. There is a celebration of the empty chair and a connection with PETER.
To grow in the gift of the Catholic faith , there are three marks of Lent: 1). Prayer, 2). Almsgiving, 3). Fasting. What a Joy it is to be renewed!!
God says, “Are you listening?” This is an opportunity to pray…… and to Listen…….
On Monday evening , there is Eucharistic Holy hours. On Tuesday, one of the Sister will hold “Readings”. On Wednesdays, you can pray “The Stations of the Cross”. Our priest shared with us that as a child, He knew that every Lenten season on Fridays as a family , they had fish sticks for dinner and that they went to the church to Pray the Stations of the Cross. He said, It takes 45 minutes. He said our church also participates in Operation Rice Bowl each year. There is a visiting priest from another church and he is going compare our church to his as to how much is donated for Operation Rice Bowl. Father says that our church has a much larger congregation.
He ended with this note. After Mid day Ash Wednesday mass, Father ran into a lady who said this is the day that she came back to the church. People leave the church for many reasons. She needed to come here and start again. And what a good day to renew, on ” Ash Wednesday”.
Lent is a time for Homecoming! To come back to the church.
One of my favorite songs to sing is “Hosea” You can find it here on You-tube. It is a beautiful song.
Quote : Something to ponder and think about.
What if . . . God blessed you today with only the things you thanked him for yesterday?
From a Southern Plate.com reader, Kathy Brooks