NOTICE: I am a practicing Catholic, active and in good-standing with my local parish, who professes faith and loyalty to the Church. This ministry - my "little work" - is strictly a personal expression of that faith and loyalty, and not an officially recognized ministry in the Diocese of Honolulu. ~ Peter

Saturday, September 2, 2017

First Saturday Parish Rosary at St. Anthony of Padua Church, 9/2/2017

An accurate portrait of St. Teresa 
Margaret of the Sacred Heart, painted 
soon after her death in 1770.
GOD IS LOVE.  This one phrase from 1 John 4:16 became our main focus for today's First Saturday Rosary, thanks to the Saint we venerated this evening. She - St. Teresa Margaret of the Sacred Heart - heard that phrase during a sermon and it affected her soul in a mysterious, powerful way. I can only speculate that the Saint had surrendered herself completely to the sublime implications of those words... and, through the grace of the Holy Spirit, it brought her to an instantaneous and overwhelming personal realization of God's unconditional love for her; lighting her soul ablaze with the fire of Divine Love!  In turn, the resulting joy and fulfillment it brought her motivated the nun to respond by sharing the same Love with others, through the active expression of it to all who she came into contact with.

Being a cloistered Discalced Carmelite, St. Teresa Margaret could only express herself - the Divine Love burning inside her - within the walls of Carmel... but, still, she did it magnificently and it eventually led to Sainthood for her. So prior to beginning the Rosary Prayer, I asked the prayer participants to reflect on the very same scripture passage - God is Love - and to challenge themselves as to how they, too, like our Saint of the Month, can positively respond to God's Love operating in their own lives.

As for our Rosary, it was simply beautiful... yet again. I used our prayer time as an opportunity to put into practice the challenge I made to the others, and did my best to open my heart to any inspirations of Divine Love, as reflected in the Glorious Mysteries we contemplated... and I wasn't disappointed.  I felt the comforting "presence" of Jesus and Mary in the Day Chapel as we prayed.

And not surprisingly, after the prayer was finished, several people took the opportunity to approach the display altar to venerate the sacred relics of Our Lady's veil and hair from St. Teresa Margaret.  The inspirational faith-message of the young Carmelite had made an impression - God is Love!

This month's display altar... with parishioners venerating the statue & relics after our prayer.

Pertaining to the hair relic, it's a fairly sizable amount that I have in my ministry's custody, not just a few strands of hair in the theca. One would think that it was recently cut from a living person, being that the bundle of hair still appears vibrantly blond despite the passage of nearly 250 years. It's amazing... and each time I venerate this relic, it never fails - I can always picture in my mind how lovely the Saint must have been in life with her long locks of hair cascading down and around her pretty face.

For anyone interested in participating in our monthly prayer meeting at St. Anthony of Padua Church in Kailua... the next First Saturday Rosary for Peace will be offered on October 7th, beginning at 4:25pm.  All are welcome!

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