Monday, June 4, 2007

Thanks Mom! For the gift of Life

Today, June 4, is my birthday. I wouldn't advertise if the cat hadn't gotten out of the bag with the choir (thanks, Nancy!). There is a tradition within the Assumption Grotto choir to sing a beautifully harmonized, "Happy Birthday" to those who are "lucky" enough to have their birthday known. There was one exception the last time Fr. Perrone's birthday came around and the choir fell into total "disharmony" in a way that probably had our beloved pastor's musical ears damaged for life. Actually, we were just trying desensitize him to our more subtle - and not so subtle - mistakes during Mass. I got my birthday song two minutes before Mass as the choir worked their way from the school over to the Church.

Some people I know get depressed on their birthday. I don't go there. Rather, I am grateful for every year the Lord gives me to work the kinks out of the life he has given me, to his glory.

Most of all, I thank my mother for choosing life - my life!

EDIT: I managed to take a little of that unpaid overtime back from work and made it into the adoration chapel at Grotto this afternoon. Rather than think about age, I pondered life itself and the many graces I have had just to be born, and to be born with a family that embraced Christ. Afterwards, I followed through with something I said I was going to do on my birthday: I bought mom a dozen roses for giving me the gift of life. I had heard that a bishop did this every year, but I can't remember who. Was it Archbishop Chaput? Does anyone remember hearing about this? Well, I propose we could start a new pro-life tradition and for those who can, buy your mother a dozen roses on YOUR birthday.

I would like to share, this day, a reading from a wonderful book I picked up at the Assumption Grotto Gift Shop. I took the last one and Cathy was going to order more, so if you want it and don't see it, ask her about it. For those who cannot get to the Assumption Grotto Gift Shop, you can get it from a number of sources, including Amazon.

This book carries a reading for each day from the writings of Pope Benedict XVI and is put out by Magnificat. Here is today's reading (and I'll have to correct typo's later as I must get off to work).

June 4: Liturgy as our Bond with Heaven

The beginning of the Gospel stands for the whole; uttering it, one is as it were sending out the breath of the Holy Spirit to engage the four winds, pervading them and turning them to good. The world is thus declared to be the realm of God's creative word; matter subordinated to the power of his Spirit. For matter too is his creation and hence the sphere of his gracious power.

Ultimately we receive the very bread of the earth from his hands. How beautifully the new eucharistic bread imparts its blessings to the daily bread, and each loaf of the latter silently points to him who wished to be the bread of us all.

So the liturgy opens out into everyday life, into our earthly life and cares; it goes beyond the church precincts because it actually embraces heaven and earth, present and future. Howe we need this sign!

Liturgy is not the private hobby of a particular group; it is about the bond which holds heaven and earth together, it is about the human race and the entire created world. In the Corpus Christi procession, faith's link with the earth, with the whole of reality, is represented "in bodily form," by the act of walking, of treading the ground, our ground.


I'll use this opporuntity to remind you about Assumption Grotto's Corpus Christi procession, which will take place outdoors following the noon Orchestra mass, weather permitting. Next to August 15th, this is one of the finest days for a one-tank drive to Assumption Grotto. It should all end by 3:00 leaving plenty of time for a commute home the same day.