Thursday, May 19, 2016

Birthday, Baptism and Our Lady (Day 2, Part 1)

We woke up early (traveling in a car can be exhausting!) and were ready to head out early for the next leg of the pilgrimage. It was a good decision since it was such a big day! This day we celebrated DH's #51, Mr. G's baptism anniversary and Our Lady of Fatima. Aside from July 26th, it is my favorite day :0)

First stop, Bowling Green, Ky. It was a few hours time from the hotel so it was a good landing place. I had no idea (because I'm still not always catching on that the Holy Spirit loves to shower us with grace) what an amazing morning it would be.

Since it was DH's birthday, I tried my best to find meaningful churches for him. St. Joseph's  seemed a perfect choice. A beautiful, old church with some really amazing statues. They had a shrine to the Divine Mercy set up, as well as a relic from the Little Flower. Also, my very favorite painting of foster father and Son...
Only slightly older than DH when G was born ;0)...that's why St. Joseph is perfect

Happy Birthday!

St. Anne too!
I know you're saying, "wow, can it get better?" You know the Holy's always so much better than the original plan!

This church was listed on the Holy Door Website but there was no door to be found in the church proper. It was a beautiful morning so we walked around the grounds and in the back was a small but beautiful Marian shrine. The door was locked but a wonderful Adorer let us in to share a few minutes with her, praying and Adoring Jesus present in the Eucharist.

It was beautiful like all Marian chapels. The side windows each depicted a different occasion where Our Lady appeared on Earth. I would normally have let you imagine for yourself. However, when I looked up front to the small altar and the windows through which the beautiful sun was streaming. Well, take a look.

The sun was so bright I know it's hard to see but everything that's important is there...The Blessed Mother, the Fatima children and the dancing sun...yes (AHEM...) the main focus of the chapel was the Miracle at Fatima. Oh, did I mention we were there on May 13th? God is so, so, so good. Wow. How blessed we were to pray that day in that chapel. I love when the Holy Spirit makes it abundantly clear that you are traveling in the greatest of company.

We had to make a short bathroom stop after our prayer so the wonderful lady in the office pointed us in the right direction. When I saw the area outside of the restrooms, I had to take a picture.
How beautiful, when you're dealing with restless children, to know that the Holy Family is there with you in your trial!

Back on the road... good-bye to Kentucky, next stop, Nashville TN!

We were rushing a bit because we wanted to make it for confession before Mass. Gratefully, we arrived with plenty of time and no one in line. St. Mary of the Seven Sorrows (see? She is with us everywhere) was such a beautiful church. I am so sad that these gems of faith are either closing for good or have to be closed except for Mass and confession. Pray for our world.

St. Mary of the Seven Sorrows

The entrance to the confessional

Beautiful, beautiful church!

Since there was no waiting for confession and thus extra time, we decided to cross town to hit another Holy Door and noon Mass. So grateful we were for making the journey. The Cathedral of the Incarnation is a beautiful parish (it was mine when I lived there for a few months)...nice to revisit with my blessings in tow :0)

Great place to celebrate your baptism day...a wading-pool-sized font ;0)
Holy Door

view from the Holy Door into the church

Going to Mass in the South is an interesting experience. The sheer number of converts seems to take the parish into one of two directions. The Cathedral, gratefully, goes the way of deep reverence. There is no "chatting" before or after Mass, the Tabernacle, while located in a side altar, is visible from almost everywhere in the church (and has its own five rows of chairs for those who wish to stay and pray.) The biggest difference is the way people approach the altar. I saw at least 30% of the people genuflect before receiving Jesus in the Eucharist and a full 50 to 60% received by mouth. There was also precious blood available to all the a daily Mass. I am so grateful when we happen into this type of situation. The kids pay attention to what's happening. I'm happy when it's something I'd like them to model (for the other direction, you'll have to wait for Atlanta ;0))

The priest's homily was also so meaningful on this day. The funny thing, he is stationed at St. Mary's (where we just went to confession) but was here to say Mass this day. He was ordained a year or two ago from Rome so we knew we were in for something good ;0) He spoke about wasting time on things that aren't so important. He spoke about the Fatima kids. He spoke of the Blessed Mother (and an angel prior? I have to read the story again) teaching them how to pray. Then, when Our Lady reappeared, they were playing in the field instead of praying. They were kids, yes, but they were taught how to pray but chose to play instead. Yes, ahem, I did need that just then. Not only to reinforce my belief that our family prayer should be foremost (I was wavering the day before...they're just kids, you know?) but also for myself. I waste so much time doing such silly things. The world needs as much prayer as I can deliver. That should always be the first choice! What a nice thought to help us continue our pilgrimage.

Whew, that's a full day already and it's only half-over! Next installment we'll concentrate on the secular attractions of Nashville...also exciting but in a less-grace-filled-way.

We are blessed.

No comments:

Post a Comment