a sword will pierce your heart

Greetings in Christ and Our Blessed Mother! Can you believe we are already into the month of February?! We pray that you are doing well and staying healthy! We’ve seen a lot of news headlines lately about the flu and the Coronavirus and all sorts of other germs that have us washing our hands a lot more these days!

If you are following the old calendar, then you are coming up to the end of the Christmas season, which will be concluded on Sunday, the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord (also called The Purification of Our Lady and Candlemas). If you observe the new calendar, then you concluded Christmas earlier in January with the Feast of the Epiphany.

For this week, we’ll be looking at all sorts of things to keep you on your toes and in “the know.”

So, without further ado, let’s get into this!

Presentation of the Lord
This Sunday is an important feast that has gone by various names over the years. 40 Days after Christmas, we celebrate when Jesus was brought into the Temple by His parents. You may remember the story involving the prophecy of Simeon and Anna. To learn how the feast has developed over the years and the significance of each of these celebrations, check out this article!

Candlemas Brings Light to the World
Dr. Marcellino D’Ambrosio expounds on the idea that Candlemas is about bringing the light of Christ into a world filled with darkness. “The Presentation is a feast of mission, a reminder of the call to commit ourselves wholeheartedly to what our last three Popes have called “The New Evangelization.” To read more about this great feast from this perspective, follow this link.

Reaching Out to those who Suffer
We’ve all been in situations where we someone we knew was suffering and needed our consolation. Maybe you’ve felt that you didn’t know exactly what to say or do. Sometimes it’s as simple as just being there with a reassuring look or perhaps a hug. In this article from Catholic Exchange, How We Can Take the Hand of Jesus, the author describes a time she took her children to a nursing home to visit and pray with the residents. It’s a beautiful testament to the healing power of human touch.

Sunday Readings
This Sunday’s readings, the 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time, are focused on the Presentation of the Lord. In addition to the link above, we also found this piece from Catholic Culture that has some neat insights into the feast! Also, if you’re interested in reading Scott Hahn’s reflection, check out this link from St. Paul Center for Biblical Studies!

Marian Minute
As the Gospel readings for this Sunday will tell us, Simeon told Our Lady that a sword would pierce her heart so that the thoughts of many hearts would be revealed. We certainly think about this passage on September 15th, the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, but it is fitting to meditate on it this Sunday as well. We recently discovered this article by Taylor Marshall and we loved how it shed new light on scripture that we have read so many times.

Saint Spotlight
This coming Monday, February 3rd, is the feast of St. Blaise. If you attend daily Mass, you might remember going up to receive a blessing on your throat with 2 candles that have been tied together. The tradition is an old one and refers to a time when St. Blaise, a doctor, helped a young boy who had a bone stuck in his throat. To learn more, check out this piece by Catholic Culture.

Catholic Movies
Steven D. Greydanus is a film critic for the National Catholic Register, a Catholic publication that we trust. He put out a Top 10 List for 2019 so we thought we’d check it out! His #1 film is called A Hidden Life, which we plan to see ASAP – it looks great! Interestingly, he did not include “The Two Popes” as a favorite, which has been quite popular in the media lately. Neither he (Greydanus) nor Bishop Robert Barron gave favorable reviews of the film. So, if you’re looking to find a movie that doesn’t challenge your conscience, check the list above!

For the Kids
Do you want to celebrate The Presentation (Candlemas) with your family? If so, check out Catholic Icing for craft ideas, food suggestions, songs, videos, and more! There are a ton of great resources here!

Nifty News
If you have a smartphone, you may have noticed that as you’re typing a message, it supplies you with word options automatically. It’s a predictive feature that takes into account the words that you often use that might make sense in the context of what you’re typing. So, just for fun, a priest asked folks on Twitter to see what they would be the patron saint of by typing in “patron saint of the” and wait to see what word people’s phone supplied. The responses were fitting for some and funny for others. Check it out the results here! When Lori typed in “Patron Saint of” her phone suggested, “the coffee saint.” We’d say that’s spot on!

When an earthquake struck Puerto Rico a couple weeks ago, there certainly was significant damage to be dealt with, including a Catholic Church in Ponce. Luckily, 2 priests and the faithful of the parish were able to retrieve the tabernacle just moments before the church was destroyed. What a beautiful reverence for Our Eucharistic Lord they had as they endangered their own lives to keep the Blessed Sacrament safe!

We have received several calls and emails this week asking for prayers. Unite with us in praying for all those battling illness: mental, spiritual and physical. Thank you for being with us this week. May you have a blessed week ahead.

Marian Center Update
Our Lady of Guadalupe Mom’s Rosary Group meets this coming Tuesday, February 4, the first Tuesday of the Month, from 9 am to 11 am. We moved up the time a bit, because Lori has an appointment. Join us for prayer, fellowship, time for kids to play and moms to chat. Bring a snack and we’ll have the coffee and tea.

Just a reminder that the Marian Center has reduced hours during the month of February. We are open only on Saturdays from 10-4, but we’d love to open it up for you by appointment. If you’d like to stop by the Center, just call us at 231-347-6279 to set up a day and time!

To Christ Through Mary,

Katie Moe and Lori Mercer

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