One Heart

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Happy mid-summer! How did we get to mid-August so quickly? What happened to the summer that we longed for although with limited activities? I know that all of us have been challenged in many ways with physical distancing, adjusting to masks, and making major revisions in our summer vacations. Have you seen the signs on lawns, “We will get through this together.” Are we? 

The Feast of the Assumption of Mary reminds me of this. It is the day we commemorate when Mary “went to sleep” and was raised to heaven, body and soul. More importantly, it was the greatest joy for her to be reunited with her Son, Jesus. Inseparable. Closely united. Alternatively, we can use the Latin term, “Cor Unum.” One Heart. We can imagine the tremendous celebration in heaven when they were reunited. 

Since I was named after the Blessed Mother, I looked up the name Mary with the new interpretation. It means, “Beloved.” Yes, Mary was the beloved of God, and of her son, Jesus. She invites us to that deep relationship with Jesus so that we, too, might experience being His beloved.

It is that unity that Jesus invites us to daily. We are each on a journey of discovering Him in our life. What did you learn about yourself in the past months? What carried you and strengthened you in times of fear and anxiety? Did you feel nudged to come closer to our Lord; to place your trust in Him? Did you feel a need to reach out more to your family members, friends, and relatives? 

I come from a close-knit family. My brother-in-law has a re-occurrence of cancer. When one whom you love suffers, you also suffer. Family pulls together. We rely on the prayers of loved ones, and we want to make every moment together an experience of “one heart.”

Posted by Mary Lestina

The Magnolia Tree

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Each spring, as the winter finally releases its frigid grip on us, the trees in my neighborhood all come to life. One of these trees is a Magnolia that proudly stands in my front yard.

For a few days in May, this Magnolia is filled with creamy white and ivory flowers, tinged with various shades of pink and purple. I'm always excited when I see the first buds, and I marvel at how quickly the flowers bloom.

And I marvel at how quickly the flowers fall to the ground and make way for green leaves. The entire process is over in several days, shorter if it rains.

During this time frame I do what I can to appreciate their beauty. I know it's fleeting, so I want to savor as much as possible.

Sound familiar? What is fleeting in your life? You can certainly fill in the blank with your blossom time: your children living at home before they begin their own life, special vacations with family and friends, game night with a big bowl of popcorn and lots of laughter, or a glorious sunset on a summer night. 

How are you savoring the moments of your life? Are you admiring the beauty and appreciating every single minute? 

Or are you letting the busyness of life sweep you away?

Take a moment today to discover your Magnolia Tree.

Patron Saints

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This spring, when our three children, who are students at St. Dominic Catholic School, were thrown into home/virtual schooling, their teachers and Mrs. Fischer tried to keep their day as normal as possible. They helped parents by providing direction for the regular academic material, but also with how to begin their day with prayer. After they listened to the daily school announcements, they listened to the Gospel and some reflection questions. Students were then instructed to pray, ending their prayer by asking for the intercession of St. Dominic.

Each classroom adopts a saint for the year to use as their intercessor. When we began school at home, we included St. Dominic, St. Francis, St. Patrick, and St. Pope John Paul II in our prayers. Our middle son, a 2nd grader, asked me if I a had a patron saint for my office. I said I didn't.

That afternoon, I shared his comments with my office mate, Mary Lestina. She thought it was a great idea. After much research and  deliberation, we settled on Sts. Zelie and Louis Martin. Not only were they the parents of St. Therese of Lisieux, they are also the patron saints of marriage and parenting. There could be no better saints to grace the office of the pastoral associate and child minister! We celebrated their feast day on July 12 by offering packaged snacks to our co-workers.

There is a patron or intercessory saint for just about everything, from professions to activities, travel and pets. Consider what is important to you or your family and do a little research. You may be surprised at what you find!

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