Celebrating My Feastday!

My middle name is Concetta.  Growing up my mom translated it as “Constance” which I always liked because I felt called to be “constant” in my faith.  I think that helped me try harder.  This year I looked up “Concetta” and found:

CONCETTA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Italian

Italian cognate of CONCEPCIÓN

CONCEPCIÓN

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Spanish

Pronounced: kawn-thep-THYON (Spanish), kawn-sep-SYON (Latin American Spanish)

Means “conception” in Spanish. This name is given in reference to the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary.

What a gift this late in life to find yet another call on my life.  I’ve worn the Miraculous Medal since childhood and now I feel a bit closer to the mystery of what God has in mind for me. So I celebrate this day in an even more personal way.

That brings me to the other side of celebration. As I was heading off to Mass for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception and my Feastday, I was greeted by an icy driveway, and lots of slipping and sliding.  Treacherous as the roads and walks were,though, what a delight it was to make it through the church doors and have my heart lifted by the stalwart souls packing the pews. Sacrifice and celebration seem to go hand in hand.

The winds are still blowing outside and now the roads are littered with tumble weed.  What joy! Crazy as it my seems, when it costs me a bit,  I value the moment all the more.

Intense Hunger for God – Purgatory

Since these Easter days lead up to Mercy Sunday, I read a little from Divine Mercy in My Soul, St. Faustina’s diary.  Here’s what got my attention. It has to do with purgatory.

1185 July 9.1937. This evening, one of the deceased sisters came and asked me for one day of fasting and to offer all my [spiritual] exercises on that day for her. I answered that I would.

1186 From early morning on the following day, I offered everything for her intention.  During Holy Mass, I had a brief experience of her torment, I experienced such intense hunger for God that I seemed to be dying of the desire to become united with Him.  This lasted only a short time, but I understood what the longing of the souls in purgatory was like.

Praying for the souls in purgatory is, of course, a good work and a good habit, but sometimes I lose track of who they actually are. They can seem a homogenous mass of unknown people, like the “huddled masses yearning to breathe free” on our Statue of Liberty.  Who are they to me personally.  For me, they are my mother and father, my husband’s mother and father, sister and brother, my aunts, uncles, cousins and friends who have preceded me in death, intimate loved ones awaiting my prayers. Somehow it makes a difference to how I pray and that I pray.

My Imitation of Christ

The Voice of Christ:

“COME to Me, all you that labor and are burdened, and I will refresh you.

The bread which I will give is My Flesh, for the life of the world.

Take you and eat: this is My Body, which shall be delivered for you. Do this for the commemoration of Me.

He that eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, abideth in Me, and I in him.

The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.”


The Offering of Christ on the Cross; Our Offering

The Voice of Christ:

AS I offered Myself willingly to God the Father for your sins with hands outstretched and body naked on the cross, so that nothing remained in Me that had not become a complete sacrifice to appease the divine wrath, so ought you to be willing to offer yourself to Me day by day in the Mass as a pure and holy oblation, together with all your faculties and affections, with as much inward devotion as you can. What more do I ask than that you give yourself entirely to Me? I care not for anything else you may give Me, for I seek not your gift but you. Just as it would not be enough for you to have everything if you did not have Me, so whatever you give cannot please Me if you do not give yourself. Offer yourself to Me, therefore, and give yourself entirely for God — your offering will be accepted. Behold, I offered Myself wholly to the Father for you, I even gave My whole Body and Blood for food that I might be all yours, and you Mine forever. But if you rely upon self, and do not offer your free will to Mine, your offering will be incomplete and the union between us imperfect. Hence, if you desire to attain grace and freedom of heart, let the free offering of yourself into the hands of God precede your every action. This is why so few are inwardly free and enlightened — they know not how to renounce themselves entirely. My word stands:”Everyone of you that doth not renounce all that he possesseth, cannot be My disciple.” If, therefore, you wish to be My disciple, offer yourself to Me with all your heart.