Monday, April 29, 2019
Memorial of Saint Catherine of Siena, Doctor of the Church
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Today, in Mercy, we move out of the intense blessings of Easter’s Octave into a time called “Eastertide”. For the next six weeks, we will continue to pray with Acts and John’s Gospel.
Eastertide is a time of great joy in the Church. This joy takes voice in special prayers used only, or with greater frequency, during this time, for example:
and a proliferation of Alleluias
We, as Church, are celebrating our rebirth in Christ. It is a miracle even to have been given the gift of life. But, as Jesus tells Nicodemus in today’s Gospel, it is a gift beyond description to be reborn in the Spirit of God:
What is born of flesh is flesh
and what is born of spirit is spirit.
Do not be amazed that I told you,
“You must be born from above”.
Let’s pray in thanksgiving today for the gift of life for ourselves and all those we love. Let us pray for the continual rebirth of our spirits in the abundant Easter grace of the Risen Christ. (Below the music is a Birthday Prayer that you might save for your own birthday celebration.)
Music: Gradual and Alleluia – Catholic Songs, Gregorian Chant
“Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you… (Jeremiah 5:1)
On this, the day of your birth, God says to you:
Of all the myriad gifts of my creation, this is the day I made you. Rest in that thought. I made you – For this time in history, to be in the world with these people, to live in this place, to know these times, these cultures, this evolution of my creation.
On the day I made you, I made thousands of other creatures. Human beings, each reflecting some facet of my infinite image. Beautiful birds, riotous monkeys, infinitesimal ants. My lava broke through earth’s crusts to form new islands. I folded unseen mountains into yet undiscovered gorges, bent rivers into surprise journeys, washed entire beaches onto new shores. I was busy the day I made you. War raged and I welcomed its many victims into heaven. More creatures died on your birthday than were born. More came home to me than went out to begin their journey.
But you were one who went out. When I opened my hand and breathed your journey into you, I smiled. I saw the wonders that could bless the world because of you. I saw a rainbow of love, generosity, mutuality, happiness, encouragement, and faith gathered like an unhatched egg in your heart. I saw the storms and winds that would release that prism in your soul. I saw it spread across a wide sky because of all the years and experiences that I would give you.
I saw the hint of sunrise in you. Its name was mercy. It was a gift fired by the energy of My own heart. I looked beyond you to the cold and shadowed world that you would comfort with its light and warmth.
I was happy on the day I made you. I was filled with hope for the blessing you would be. I am still filled with joy, hope and love for you on this your long-after birthday. You have tried to live my sacred dream for you.
As the sun rises glorious in the eastern sky, I promise you a future full of love. Notice that the western sky reflects the brilliance of the sunrise, just as all the years now past assure you of my presence at the core of your life. You have been and are infinitely loved. Be love in return. Your days are replete with mercy. Be mercy in return. Be born again this day!
©Renee Yann, RSM