NOTICE: I am a practicing Catholic, active and in good-standing with my local diocese, 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, Ministry Administrator

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Holy Relic Visitation: Our Lady of Fatima Prayer Group, 2/27/2016

Sometimes we can take blessings for granted without even realizing it.  One good example is the presence of God in nature.  Here in Hawaii, the abundance of beautiful, natural scenery is a daily sight for us... and because of it, God's blessings in nature can easily be taken for granted.  I admit that I do often enough.

Tonight, at our prayer meeting, a small incident that I shared from the life of our featured Saint - St. Catherine de' Ricci (read about her here) - inadvertently turned out to be the stimulus for one of our bigger takeaways this evening; an important reminder that we sometimes need to stop and smell the roses in life... so as to, perhaps, discover the rich, living presence of God in the beauty of his creation all around us.

Enjoying my time with
my two godsons.
So what was the story about St. Catherine that occasioned such lofty sentiments?  I read from a booklet about the Saint's life that she one day went for a stroll in the monastery garden with some of the other nuns when spotted a small, lone flower blooming on the ground.  The Saint was so captivated by what she saw that she pointed to the blossom and excitedly blurted to her companions, "My spouse [Jesus] created that flower.", as though God had caused the plant to bloom specifically for her enjoyment; a personal gift to her. Almost immediately, St. Catherine was caught up in an ecstasy that left her immobile for several hours(!) while she happily contemplated the goodness and wonder of God, via the flower.  It was a story that gave us a lot of food for thought.

Just think - St. Catherine spent hours in silent appreciation and mystic union with God over a simple plant, which was probably just a pesky weed... but how many of us pause for even a moment to consciously thank God for a brilliant rainbow in the sky or for a breathtaking sunset (common sights in our islands)?  We were humbled and several expressed their amazement and appreciation over St. Catherine's story... and how, moving forward, we'd all make an effort to recognize God's presence and gifts in nature.

Fellowship and potluck after our prayer time.

Lastly, a personal highlight for me from this meeting was having two of my godsons present in one place, at the same time, which never happened before.  A friend finally decided to attend our prayer meeting after several invitations, and she bought her son - my godson - and her disabled mother with her.  They all seemed to enjoy the fellowship and the potluck dinner, and were deeply touched by the Holy Spirit, judging by the tears they shed during prayer time.  We enjoyed their company, as well.  Again, blessings upon blessings, not to be taken for granted.

Thank you, Lord.

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