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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Advent and St. Nicholas

I used to ask the community to put out their shoes and I would go around and fill them with some goodies and useful things. I am sorry I did not do that this year but will suggest that we do put some little surprise in our stockings this year. We skipped that last year, but I think it is fun to have something to open together on Christmas morning. We are just planning brunch again this Christmas at 2:00 in the afternoon as one of our religious works in her parish and also sings in the choir and so cannot arrive before 2:00. Well, this is still Advent and I am trying to be with Our Lady and the Infant in her womb. Wednesday is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary and one dear to all Sacred Heart children. In our schools we used to have a very solemn novena of preparation for her feast and, if you kept the practice (often it was something like silence) you were able to walk in the procession with a lily in your hand (we wore our good white uniforms and white gloves and it was an artificial lily in December) and present the lily to Our Lady saying, "O Mary, I give you the lily of my heart; be thou its guardian forever." I still remember the atmosphere of white veils, lighted candles, singing, and the relief to know that we all were allowed to present our lilies. If there were some who feared and actually knew they had failed to keep the practice, I do not remember anyone not being forgiven for the Feast itself. This memory goes way back but it is a good one and I offer Our Lady anew each year "the lily of my heart" and ask her to be its guardian forever!
We will have Mass in community today which is always a grace. I will be part of the Mass of celebration at St. Thomas University on the Feast itself as two professors are retiring and there will be a luncheon to honor their years of service.

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