Ash Wednesday...Its Lent!

Dear Friends...I'm busy today (the chiropractor, ashes, the Rosary, shopping...) and I know I need to do a post. There are a few I'm working on simultaneously and a few more that are bouncing around in my head. Lent is such a great time! So much to think about. For today, I'll just share a thought that came to me, that can become a continual Lenten meditation...

I asked Jesus today, "How are you on this Ash Wednesday?" Then I wondered to myself, "No really, I wonder how He feels looking down upon the world right now." And I thought of all the reasons for Him to be sad...or mad. I said to Him,"I wish You could look down on my little corner of the world and smile."

So maybe that's something we could all resolve to do this one thing each day that will make God smile. I think that would be a Lent...and a life...well lived.

A holy and blessed Lent to all! :):):)

More Info on Tridentine Mass at USC

With a little research, I discovered that the Tridentine Mass at the University of Southern California this past Sunday was NOT the first. There was another held May 3, 2014. There is an old Facebook page and also a YouTube video of the entire Mass. The video states that the Mass was "student initiated" and assisted by various Latin Mass organizations in California. The music was performed by USC music students and was absolutely first rate!

There is an interesting page on the Our Savior Parish/Caruso Catholic Center's website, which explains the Catholic history at USC. A history which seems to have come full-circle. It states that USC possesses "one of the most influential Catholic constituencies in the country." USC is taking the lead in bringing back Catholic tradition in a bold and surprising way. Catholic universities: are you listening?

Month of the Passion of Our Lord

February is the month of the Passion of Our Lord (see prayer on Home Page). Here are some feasts and notes you may wish to keep in mind this month. Wishing all a Lent which brings you closer to Jesus!

2/2-Presentation of Our Lord/Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary/Candlemas

2/3-Saint Blaise/Blessing of Throats

2/7-Quinquagesima Sunday

2/9-Shrove Tuesday

2/10-Ash Wednesday-Fast & Abstinence (Fridays in Lent-abstinence, trad-all other days except Sunday are days of partial abstinence-meat at one meal)

2/11-Our Lady of Lourdes

2/14-Saint Valentine, Priest & Martyr

2/17-Ember Wednesday in Lent

2/19-Ember Friday in Lent

2/20-Ember Saturday in Lent/Blesseds Francisco & Jacinta Marto (Nomen Christi Apostolate is dedicated to Our Lady of Fatima)

2/22-The Chair of Saint Peter at Antioch

2/29-Leap Day! (What will you do with this extra day?)

(this blog provides both old & new feasts)

Sexagesima Sunday....A Tridentine Mass at the U of Southern California???

I heard it through the grapevine....

No, you're not still dreaming and no one slipped LSD into your coffee. It's true. The University of Southern California's Caruso Catholic Center is celebrating a Solemn High Tridentine Mass today at 1:00 PM.

Don't ask me how or why this was arranged-I have very little info...but its pretty amazing-its not even a Catholic college! The Devil will be fuming from the Hollywood sign on the hill in the distance...a new, fresh generation of young people introduced to "that most beautiful of all things outside Heaven!" * Let us pray that the Caruso Center at Our Savior Parish will begin to raise up an army to face the moral degradation all around them, to pave the way for the resurrection of Christendom...and let's take back the exquisite land of California, which once was authentically Catholic.

The University of Southern California is just south of downtown Los Angeles and has one of the largest Catholic student populations...probably in the world-about 10,000 (roughly 25% of its population). Our Savior Parish ministers primarily to the students, but is open to the surrounding community as well.

There is no mention of the Tridentine Mass on the Caruso Center's website, but there is a Facebook page promoting it. If you would like to contact the Center to voice your support, their email is: . The Caruso Center also accepts donations.

So let's rejoice in this wonderful event in the midst of the time of Septuagesima and keep these dear young students in our prayers!

_* Quote by Fr. Frederick Faber (1814-1863)

Update on the Winter Wonderland....

A few days later and things are pretty much back to normal. Nothing but sunny days are forecasted for the next week....good. Not that I mind snow, I just mind too much of it.

We were fortunate to have not lost power during the storm, though we've gotten pretty used to it in recent years...even being without power for several days. Even as preppers, its not easy and it helps to have someone else to stay with. The power outages tend to be patchy when they happen, so if you have friends and family nearby, you may be in luck. Also, keep in mind that someone may have to stay with you at a moment's notice. That's probably my worst nightmare...depends who it is and how bad my house is that day.

One of our neighbors let us borrow his snowblower, which was a huge help. The stove decided to start working again and the plumber came yesterday to fix the water heater. So....I don't smell anymore, I'm glad I'm nice to my neighbors and I've learned the importance of keeping up with home maintenance and....checking the snowblower before the storm!

Septuagesima, "Catholic Answers".....

Someone over at "Catholic Answers" started a thread the other day on Septuagesima, which he called "Pre-Lent." Of course, I had to chime in with my 2 cents. And when the Ember and Rogation Days were mentioned...I got really excited. You can view the thread here. So far it has had 23 replies and 437 views.

"Your Cross"

"The Everlasting God, has in His wisdom, foreseen from eternity the cross that He now presents to you, as a gift from His inmost Heart. This cross He now sends you, He has considered with His all-knowing eyes, understood with His divine mind, tested with His wise justice, warmed with loving arms, and weighed with His own hands to see that it be not one inch too large, and not one ounce too heavy for you. He has blessed it with His Holy Name, anointed it with His consolation, taken one last glance at you and your courage, and then sent it to you from Heaven, a special greeting from God to you, an alms of the all-merciful Love of God." ~Saint Francis de Sales

It is the new feast of Saint Francis de Sales (1567-1622). What a beautiful meditation on peace within suffering he wrote. Saint Francis, Bishop of Geneva, himself suffered much at the end of his fruitful life, and with final perseverance won his heavenly reward-eventually achieving the title of Saint and Doctor of Holy Mother Church.

"When It Rains, It Pours...."

...OR...When It Snows...It Snows A Lot!

In the past 24 hours, Long Island (where I live) has been blanketed in several feet of snow, high winds have come roaring through, temperatures have plummeted, thousands have lost power, driving has been banned, trains have come to a standstill, a full moon has caused worse than usual flooding and sadly, a number of deaths have been reported. O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to Thee!

As for my personal situation, I can't even open my back door right now because it is blocked with so much snow. Not the safest situation, but my husband did shovel the front entrance. On the bright side, it is a beautiful, sparkling winter wonderland. It just makes you want to cozy up, start a fire and make some hot chocolate! Sometimes I envy those who live in areas of perennial paradise, where there is no winter...but, there is something wonderful about the changing seasons, each one possessing unique beauty. If I moved elsewhere, I think I would miss that. When the spring comes and everything returns to life, there is a greater appreciation for it. I think the cold winters and hot summers are part of what makes New Yorkers the tough people that we are. It is a place of extremes and we just take that in stride.

Okay, my friends, I haven't finished (I promise I'm not making this up!)...wouldn't you know, our snow-blower broke....and completely unrelated to the storm, our hot water heater and our oven/stove broke. All on the same day as this whopper of a storm hit. So, completely snowed in, no hot water and we had to move the dinner cooking on the stove to a crock pot. Thankfully, we have not lost power.

Sometimes I think God is trying to prepare me for something! Sometimes I think I hear Him saying, "So, Chiara, you want to prepare for the Apocalypse? You want to be a leader, helping My Church through the coming days? Okay have a go at THIS!" At times, I can't help but laugh at what life throws me. And we should always be lighthearted and never get too down (have you read my last post?). The path we tread leads straight to Heaven and life is just too short to let anything disturb us. Just love and trust-that's it. Be a source of joy to those around you, even in the worst circumstances. And always count your blessings...for instance, I may not have hot water, but at least I have water. I can't take a shower, but I stockpile baby wipes for sponge-bathing and hand-washing (they also have many other uses, even if they dry out). I may not have a big oven or a stove, but I have a toaster oven, a crockpot, a microwave, 2 grills and a fireplace (REDUNDANCY!). I have heat. I have tons of food. The day that concerns me is the day when survival becomes truly compromised, truly in the balance. And I believe that day is coming...for all of us.

This is just one more experience to learn from, in terms of short-term emergency preparedness. As a prepper, I find there is no replacement for actual, real-life experiences. The trick is...make the effort to learn from them. Identify your preparedness weaknesses and make a plan to systematically fix them. Reflect on how you and your family handled it. What was good? What could have been done differently? Taking notes and discussing it with your family is a good idea. These situations are invaluable opportunities which should not be squandered. In a few years, you'll hardly remember the details, so make an immediate effort to examine the experience. Perhaps it was sent to you for a reason.

BTW, today is the beginning of Septuagesima (wow, that came fast!) and the feast of Saint Francis de Sales, patron of writers. Saint Francis de Sales, pray for us!

The Sorrowful Mysteries in a New Light....

I would like to share my time with Jesus and Mary last night....

I curled up on the couch and told the Blessed Mother I was about to pray the rosary for pro-life intentions. A minute later, I was hanging my head, half asleep. I said to her, "I'm too tired!" I received the inspiration to simply meditate on the Sorrowful Mysteries as I rested. So I started thinking about the Agony in the Garden. Immediately I felt, "I'm not in the mood for this-I want to think about happy things." Then I got the ispiration to find something positive in each Sorrowful Mystery. I was confused at first, but I tried. What could be good about Our Lord's Agony? I thought of the times in my life when I have suffered with anxiety, sadness and other unpleasant emotions. As I imagined Our Lord kneeling in His bloody sweat, I realized that indeed, He walks before me always. He does not expect anything from us that He was not willing to suffer Himself. And I felt great comfort.

As I contemplated the cruel scourging of Our Lord, I thought of my own physical suffering with chronic pain. All my pain has been nothing compared to His in those awful moments. And the Crowning with Thorns...what could that mean? I thought...humiliation, mocking, persecution. Yes, I've suffered that my pro-life work and also for simply being a faithful Catholic. But to place a crown of thorns upon the sacred head of the King of Kings....and for Him to bear it humbly....for me, for my this as well, He walks before me.

What of the Carrying of the Cross? This is the one thing we truly cannot bear-the weight of sin. We are forced in the Sacrament of Penance to give it over to Him, to place the weight of our guilt into His hands. So I thought of my sins, the very worst ones....and great comfort came over me, knowing that this too, He has taken upon Himself, leaving me free once again to run and leap through the fields of life. And the Crucifixion. Death itself. Even this, we are not to fear because He takes this upon Himself as well.

So where does this all leave us? There is nothing in life or death to fear if we walk with Christ because...He walks before us always! Our Blessed Lord's Passion encompasses and embraces every suffering we will ever have. Our pain is small within the vast expanse of His Heart. My half-asleep meditation on the Sorrowful Mysteries was one of the best ever....a source of great peace and even joy. When we take the time to put God first and exercise the spiritual life, we are never disappointed. He always gives in abundance and so much more than we even imagined. This must be a foretaste of Heaven:

"...eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man, what things God hath prepared for them that love Him." ~1 Corinthians 2:9

Anniversary of Roe vs. Wade Decision

Mary, Mother of God, Patroness of the United States of America, pray for the unborn

Saint Joseph, Foster-Father of Christ, pray for the unborn

Saint Vincent of Saragossa, Martyr, pray for the unborn

Saint Anastasius, Martyr, pray for the unborn

May we keep the unborn children in our prayers today, along with all elderly and handicapped who may be in danger of euthanasia, or like dear Terri Shiavo, outright murder. Lord have mercy. Also, those men and women who have experienced abortion, that they may be reconciled and healed. May we pray for all attending the March for Life in Washington DC, that they may stay safe and give a courageous witness of truth to our nation and the world.

Here are a few verses from the Douay-Rheims Bible, which speak to the pro-life cause:

"Before I formed thee in the bowels of thy mother, I knew thee: and before thou camest forth out of the womb, I sanctified thee." ~Jeremias 1:5

"And it came to pass, that when Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the infant leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: And she cried out with a loud voice, and said: Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy." ~Luke 1:41

" murderer hath eternal life abiding in himself." ~1 John 3:15

Every individual is called at this time to stand up for life, to do something for the cause, even if it is simply to pray. Perhaps when God's wrath comes upon the world, places where the fight for the innocent has been staunchly waged, will be given some measure of mercy. "What goes around comes around."