Sunday, December 04, 2016

December 4 and Advent

Today is the feast of St. Barbara, which reminds me it's my mother's birthday.  She's been dead since 1982.  If Gregorian Masses are efficacious, and I see no reason why they shouldn't be, I'm sure she is in heaven.  I still pray for her of course, but her birthday always brings back memories - not always good.  Evidently it does for my sister as well, since she called me last night in a nostalgic mood.  I didn't answer - but I'll call her back at some point.

I try to escape memories - but it doesn't always work.  I pretend I'm fine - but I'm not.  That may explain my 'critical spirit'.  I hate it when that happens.  I always say the wrong thing and things get worse.  I wish I could disappear sometimes - but that doesn't work.

St. Barbara, Virgin Martyr:

Since early times St. Barbara is invoked as the patroness against lightning and explosions, and is called upon by those who desire the Sacraments of the dying in their last illness, and many are the instances of the efficacy of her intercession.

St. Barbara, at my last end
Obtain for me the Sacrament;
Assist me in that direst need
When I and my God and Judge must meet:
That robed in sanctifying grace
My soul may stand before His face.

I ask that grace for myself and my family.  Barbara definitely arranged that for my mom, my dad, and my brother.  I hope and pray she does the same for the rest of my family.

It's pretty much all I ask for as well.

St. Barbara brought communion to St. Stanislaus when he was very ill and unable to receive ... I've always liked that story.
"Kneel down, kneel down!" Stanislaus said, in a clear but low voice. "Two angels of God are bringing the Blessed Sacrament, and with them comes Saint Barbara!" 
Then, worn out though he was by his long sickness, Stanislaus raised himself, knelt on the bed, and struck his breast as he three times repeated: 
"Lord, I am not worthy!" 
Then he raised his face, and opening his lips received his sacramental Lord. Bilinski looked on with awe and almost terror, unable to say a word. Stanislaus, when he had received the Blessed Sacrament, lay down again in bed and began his thanksgiving. - Source

Isn't that charming?  Stanislaus was only sixteen at the time.  Our Lady later appeared to him and directed him to the Jesuits, and he died shortly after, he was only eighteen.

St. Stanislaus Kostka, S.J.

Stanislaus and Barbara were sanctified by their sufferings,
through which they bore witness to Christ.
I'm grateful for the difficulties I've had in life,
I regret that I squandered them and sought 
my consolation in selfish satisfactions
and seeking the approval of men.

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