Bread for the Journey

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.

Bibiliography:  http://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Peter%27s_Basilica

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

February 13, 2012 – 11:50 am

Ash Wednesday

Today is Ash Wednesday, the first day of the season of Lent’s forty days.

Both of us had the day off and we attended the 1210 noon Ashes service together.

The entrance song we sang was  “Again We Keep the Solumn Fast”

The first line of the song is ” A gift of faith from ages past.  This Lent which binds us lovingly to faith and hope and charity.”

The text is attributed to St Gregory the Great, ca 540-604 and adapted by Johann Sebastian Bach 1865-1755?

Another beautiful   song by St Gregory the Great:

The Glory of These Forty Days
The glory of these forty days
We celebrate with songs of praise;
For Christ, by Whom all things were made,
Himself has fasted and has prayed.

Alone and fasting Moses saw
The loving God Who gave the law;
And to Elijah, fasting, came
The steeds and chariots of flame.

So Daniel trained his mystic sight,
Delivered from the lions’ might;
And John, the Bridegroom’s friend, became
The herald of Messiah’s Name.

Then grant us, Lord, like them to be
Full oft in fast and prayer with Thee;
Our spirits strengthen with Thy grace,
And give us joy to see Thy face.

O Father, Son, and Spirit blessed,
To thee be every prayer addressed,
Who art in threefold Name adored,
From age to age, the only Lord.

Short, sweet, and to the point. Thank you, St. Gregory

The First Reading:

A Reading from the Book of the Prophet Joel 2012-18.

The first line is “Return to me with your whole heart, with Fasting, and weeping, and mourning;…..

When we receive the ashes from the priest, he makes the sign of the cross with the ashes and says these words,” Turn away from sin and be faithful to the gospel”.

our priest, father Bob, encourages us today to “Ask the spirit, what do the words mean?”  It is by the Grace of God.

During these 40 days of Lent we must focus on three things:

The first is prayer.  Prayer is to be more intensive during Lent.

Second is Alms giving.  For our purpose, we have “Operation Rice Bowl, and a opportunity to donate small items for various charities.

By the cross of St. Lucy Philipini, there will be a basket of simple items to give which are  printed on post cards , which we can choose, and  return in the following weeks of Lent a place these items before St. Lucy Philipini’s cross.

The third is Fasting and Abstinence.  During the forty days of Lent, we are to Fast on Fridays, as well as on today, Ash Wednesday.   Our priest said, that” Fasting spiritually prepares you throughout the season to hunger, give up something spiritual, because We Love Jesus  .  Be quiet and let the Holy Spirit touch your Soul.”

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