St. Brigid of Ireland

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St. Brigid in stained glass from the St. Joseph Catholic Church in Macon, Georgia. Image in the public domain. (c)2019

May Brigid bless the house wherein you dwell
Bless every fireside every wall and door
Bless every heart that beats beneath its roof
Bless every hand that toils to bring it joy
Bless every foot that walks its portals through
May Brigid bless the house that shelters you.

St. Brigid’s Cross. My collection. (c)2017-2019



Feast of the Immaculate Conception

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It’s funny how year after year we do things, like observe or celebrate days, and they pass without extra thought.

Today is December 8th and the Immaculate Conception of Mary.It is a holy day of obligation, but I think that even if it weren’t, as our church is named for this feast, we would still enjoy our patron’s day.

At church today, we had the Mass, filled with music followed by hospitality in the gathering space. Sweet breads with apples, cranberries, nuts. Clementines. All varieties of bagels. Coffee, tea, water and juice. Our hospitality ministry really outdoes itself each and every time.

We celebrate Mary’s conception, but we also talk about and remember her Son’s conception, the annunciation, the visitation, the assumption, all the things Mary represents. Our musical director has a beautiful voice, and sings Ave Maria, a rendition that makes me want to simply close my eyes and open my ears and let the prayer rest on my heart.

It wasn’t until later, until after I left, as I thought about all the ways I’m attached to Mary, as a mother, as a daughter, putting the world ahead of her own needs as all mothers do. We give to our kids all the time; so much so that we often don’t even notice we’re doing it.

I glanced at the calendar and realized quite suddenly that my mother died twelve years ago today. I hadn’t noticed because for her yartzeit, her memorial candle, we follow the Jewish calendar, and so her anniversary is the first night of Chanukah, which changes each year. This year it is on Christmas Eve, so that is the date on my mind, but physically, it was today.

She died before I wandered into the church, so I never made the association before today. My mother shares her day with Mary, Mother of All.

It was comforting.

St. Joseph

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Today is the feast day of St. Joseph, husband of Mary and father of Jesus. He was thrown a curve when he found out Mary was pregnant, and after the visit from an angel, he accepted his role in this Holy Family. All across the world fathers do what they do, working and caring for their families, their children, their parents, and more often than not without getting or expecting a thank you.

This would be a good day to do that; to show your appreciation for all they are to you, and all they do for you.

My husband is a son and a father. He talks to his mother all throughout the week. Every day after work, he spends time with his kids, walking, reading, snow-playing and play-shoveling. While he’s working, though, he’s also doing laundry, washing dishes, going up and down the stairs all day long getting things done.

It is a thankless job.

He’s always available to drive them or take a special trip to the ice cream shop. Sledding at the park. Putting out the compost. Taking out the trash and recycling. Going to the comic store and picking up the comics. Getting the groceries and cooking dinner. Getting the kids out the door in the morning and on the bus.

All the time busy, taking care of his family, unspoken gratitude hovering nearby.