These sweet little blue-birds remind us of Our Lady because it looks like they are wearing Our Lady's Mantle. After all, Raphael painted Our Lady with a goldfinch (it is said that the goldfinch represents Christ’s crucifixion). They seem to be adjusting to the new feeder which sits so close to the window - and to spectators. We are so amazed that they come to the diner regularly. They must have told the other birds about the "haute-cuisine".
Birds have been figured in the lives of many saints. St. Francis of Assisi is famous for his rapport with the birds. He preached to them and they listened! A valuable lesson for all of us to learn. St. Joseph Cupertino also had an affinity for birds. One day he freed a gold-finch caught in a fowler's net and said to it: "Go now and enjoy what God has given thee; I ask nothing more of you than that you return when I call you to praise with me your God and mine." So the bird flew away and when St. Joseph told it to come back to praise God with him, he promptly obeyed and joined St. Joseph in worshiping God. St. Therese of Lisieux of the Child Jesus, speaking of the little bird, said: "Your little bird is happy to be weak and little. What would become of it if it were big? Never would it have the boldness to appear in Your presence, to fall asleep in front of You."
With great delight we watched the Home Schoolers' annual Epiphany Pageant at St. Brendan's Church in Bellingham, MA. The music was skillfully led by Michael Olbash at the piano and the melodious voices of the Blackstone Valley Youth Choir - such a talented group. Epiphany allows us to meditate on the whole Christmas Story, from the Annunciation of Archangel St. Gabriel to the Blessed Virgin Mary all the way to the Wise men adoring Our Lord. The Annunciation tells of Our Lady's humility and obedience in saying Yes to Our Lord. Baby Jesus manifests His great love for mankind and the radical means He chose to redeem us. St. Joseph, just and silent, humbly carries out the will of God. The Wise Men remind us that we can bring the gold of our obedience, the incense of our adoration to God, and the myrrh of our sacrifices. The shepherds exhibit their faith when they ran to find the miracle of God's love.
Epiphany Morning Prayer
Father, you revealed your Son to the nations
by the guidance of a star.
Lead us to your glory in heaven
by the light of faith, under the Mantle of Our Lady.
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TO ADORE OUR LORD!
The Franciscan Handmaids of the Immaculate seek daily to draw closer to Our Lord. Adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament is fundamental to Our spiritual life as we seek to conform our hearts unto His. Additionally, praying the Liturgy of the Hours, the rosary, the Chaplet of Divine Mercy and the Sorrows, we place ourselves in the Immaculate Heart of Mary, asking Her to bring us closer to Her Son.