May 10, 2008 – We Know It’s May

I have shared before my fear that when I sit down to make a blog entry, that nothing will come out of my mind, and that I will simply end up staring at a blank page.  I didn’t have to worry about that this time.  As usually seems to be the case, especially during the month of May, there are many activities and celebrations going on that will keep everyone busy.

First of all, congratulations to our Kindergarten class who had their graduation ceremony at the 5:00PM Mass today.  I have always thought that this was one of the neat things we do as a parish, to recognize these young people who will be taking the big step into first grade and joining the “big kids” next year.  I am thrilled to see that the size of our kindergarten class continues to grow – I have heard that next year’s class may range somewhere between 14-16 students!  Thank you to their teacher Trisha Jany, our principal Janelle Robinson, and to all who continue to make our school a welcoming place for everyone!

Thanks to our early Easter, we also celebrate Pentecost on this second weekend of May.  It seems to most Catholics I talk to that the Holy Spirit still remains very much of a mystery, and that they are not really sure what role the Holy Spirit plays in their lives.  I am certainly not a scripture scholar (far, far from it), but now having prepared 5 Confirmation classes, this is what I have tried to pass on:  1) God is not more important than the Holy Spirit, because the Holy Spirit IS God.  You know the song, “God in three persons, Blessed Trinity…”.  The Holy Spirit is God’s Advocate here on earth, so when we pray to God, we are certainly praying to the Holy Spirit as well, and 2) Confirmation is not the moment that we receive the Holy Spirit – we have always had the Holy Spirit with us.  At Confirmation, the candidates re-affirm their baptism, and are reminded that the Holy Spirit has and will always be there for them.  If then, they practice their faith and do good works, then the gifts of the Holy Spirit are theirs for a lifetime.  So on this Pentecost Sunday, let us pray to allow the Holy Spirit to be a bigger part of our life, and to act on our behalf.

And, there’s something else going on this weekend, hmmmm, don’t quite remember what …. oh, of course, MOTHER”S DAY!  Happy Mother’s Day to all of our Moms.  I’m sure most of us claim our Mom as being the best, and I am certainly no exception.  My mom has always been more than just the one who washes the clothes and makes the beds and cooks the food – she is also a true inspiration.  When my folks moved to the farm in 1956, she became more than the housekeeper – she was the gardener, farmhand, truck driver, and anything else that needed to be done.  Even now, at 78 years old, she is still up at the crack of dawn (or sooner) tending to the housework and her flowers and whatever else she can do.  And the inspirational part – she does all of this while being legally blind.  Thank you for all you do, Mom.

I was curious just how Mother’s Day began, and to the best I can find out, this is the story:  Appalled at the brutality of the then ongoing Franco-Prussian War, Julia Ward Howe of Boston, who was the lyricist of “Battle Hymn of the Republic”, made an “appeal to womanhood” in 1870 to protest war.  She wrote a proclamation that same year, had it translated into many languages, and distributed it internationally.  This powerful plea is considered to be the original Mother’s Day proclamation.  The tradition of American Presidents giving a Mother’s Day Proclamation began with Woodrow Wilson on May 9, 1914, and continues to this day with each president annually proclaiming the Second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.

Finally, I came across a prayer for mothers that I think really fits the day:

God our Creator, we pray: for new mothers, coming to terms with new responsibility;  for expectant mothers as they wonder and wait;  for mothers who are tired, stresesed or depressed;  for mothers who struggle to balance the tasks of work and family;  for mothers who struggle to keep their children fed due to poverty;  for mothers whose children have physical, mental, or emotional disabilities;  for mothers who raise children on their own;  for mothers who have lost a child;  for mothers who care for the children of others;  for mothers whose children have left home;  and for those whose desire to be a mother has not been fulfilled.  Bless all of our mothers, that their love may be deep and tender, and that they may lead their children to know and do what is good, living not for themselves alone, but for God and others.  AMEN.

Peace.

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