Sunday, January 4, 2015

Gifts of Epiphany

Today we celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany (yes, some of you celebrate it on Tuesday which is technically the real day but, being lazy, we wrap it all up into one day. Wouldn't want people to have to go to Mass twice in one week ( can guess who said that) To be fair, we will be at Mass on Tuesday as well but...I digress).

I like that it was today because, finally having a minute to stop and collect my thoughts, I realized that today is also the feast of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton. From Franciscan Media's Saint of the Day:
Mother Seton is one of the keystones of the American Catholic Church. She founded the first American religious community for women, the Sisters of Charity. She opened the first American parish school and established the first American Catholic orphanage. All this she did in the span of 46 years while raising her five children.

Five children? Yep, that's me. 46? That's me too. So, perhaps, Mother Seton had her hand on one shoulder while the Holy Spirit pushed from behind. I haven't done all the amazing things she did in that short life but I am trying to be ever more open to any opportunity to expose our kids to the faith. I know there was some extra-worldly encouragement to get us through what turned out to be a glorious day, full of gifts, as we celebrate the arrival of the Three Kings.

We went to Mass last night because #1 was serving. I'm not thrilled with the vigil, as you know, but it did give us a rare treat...time to sleep in on a rainy, windy morning. We were up, dressed and fed in time to head out for Childrens Rosary . I L-O-V-E this time with the kids every month. There are such faithful, loving people involved. It is an amazing opportunity to pass our beliefs, along with several generations of others, to our children. They love getting together with this group. What an amazing gift.

 Practicing his lector skills before we begin.

Beautiful people, beautiful chapel, glorifying Jesus through His Mother

We headed home and had some quiet time while we waited in great anticipation (and did a few rehearsals) for our reenactment of the Three Kings arriving to present their gifts to the newborn King.

 After a few costume adjustments he proceeded to jump around yelling "flap, flap, flap"

 Blessed Mother and our Kings (frankincense candle...purple box for the myrrh)
Presenting their gifts

Today is also the day that the kids open their final Christmas gift...this year it was from their other siblings. Tradition in the making.

Finally, we come together on this day to bless our home as a family...

20 + C + M+ B+15
This inscription is usually written in chalk above the door. The
20 and 15 refer to the year, the CMB are said to represent ei-
ther Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar-the Magi-or the Latin
Christus Mansionem Benedicat, which means "Christ, bless
this home. - Liturgical Publications
How grateful we were this year to have a special guest! Our deacon is one special man; dedicated, faith-filled and hard working. He is so loving to our kids, always willing to give an extra blessing after Mass or educate them in some today, as he was putting on his garb, he was explaining/asking/quizzing them on the different parts. He was such a good sport...going room-by-room with us to bless our home with holy water after DH wrote in the "5" (with our newly blessed chalk pen!). Amazing, amazing blessing we were given today.

How blessed we were to have this day, shared with family and friends, spending time to help our children learn about the beginning of Jesus' life in this world. How grateful I am to have these "gentle nudges" to seek out these opportunities. There may be other things to do but nothing that is this important. God is so good!

We are blessed! Happy Epiphany everyone! St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Pray for Us!

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