The hardest thing for me, since becoming Catholic, a decade ago, has been fostering a relationship with Mary. I know that one of the best ways to do this, is to pray the Rosary. I do love this simple prayer. I like the rhythm of the prayers while meditating on the life of Jesus. For some reason, though, I just don't feel like I can relate to Mary as well as I can to some Saints, like St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, or St. Thérèse of Lisieux. I don't know why that is. Maybe, I just think that Mary was so long ago and since she was perfect, she wouldn't know about what it's like to be human. But Mary was human, and even though she did not sin, she did experience human feelings and emotions. She was a daughter and a mother. And she experienced suffering. I cannot even begin to imagine what it must have felt like to watch Jesus suffer. I can barely watch "The Passion of Christ" movie. Mostly though, I bet I don't have a deep relationship with her, because I don't spend a lot of time with her.
I wish I had grown up with Mary in my life. I think it is wonderful when children grow up knowing the Saints and the Mother of God. I, along with the children, am learning a lot more about Mary, by celebrating her special feast days. The book that is giving us a great start is Mondays with Mary. I'm so happy I bought this book. At first I couldn't figure out when to begin celebrating special Mary days, because the days are not organized by date. But then I e-mailed Meredith Henning, the author, and she sent me the list of Mary celebrations along with the dates, which will be available in the new edition when it comes out. (You can follow Meredith on her blog to stay updated.) So now, I can easily go to the current month, look at the upcoming celebrations, check the recipe in the book, and make plans for our next tea time with Mary. Mondays with Mary has readings, activity suggestions, and, as already mentioned, recipes. I love this! I just think it is so fun to have an excuse to have tea and cookies. And this isn't just for girls you know...my boys enjoy a good tea, not to mention the cookies. After all, the are one quarter European. =)
I don't have a lot of fancy table cloths and dishes, and I don't have any other Mary statue besides this one, which is very dear to me, because my best friend's mother gave it to me, and she has passed away since. She is a Saint in heaven, I'm sure of it. This photo (above) was taken on September 24th, when we celebrated Mary, Our Lady of Mercy. I hadn't prepared a whole lot, so we just had little graham crackers and a warm herbal tea with honey. I read the reflections in Mondays with Mary to the boys. I then prayed and sang the Chaplet of Divine Mercy in Song in the living room while the children played. I love this prayer when it is spoken, but especially when it is sung. That link will take you where you can listen to it, and purchase the CD if you like. I highly recommend it. Whenever I play this prayer, I feel like peace comes into my soul and home.
My mother made this tea top. (Haha, I'm leaving that typo. Tea pot is what I meant, but it does have a lovely top, don't you think?) It's so perfect for our liturgical tea time celebrations. I am a big St. Thérèse fan (if you hadn't already noticed), and so I am browsing Shower of Roses, to find little creative ways to celebrate St. Thérèse this Saturday, on October 1st. We are having a special Saint Thérèse luncheon. The boys don't really know all that much about her, so I will read them her story on page 22 of Book of Saints Part 2. We will have some rosy colored sweet drink and a special dessert.
What are you doing to celebrate Our Lady and the Saints?
If you plan on having a special tea or celebration in honor of St. Thérèse this Saturday, please take a lot of pictures and blog about it. Then I will set up a link-up so we can all share our ideas. If you plan to participate, please grab the code below and post it on your blog so we can have as many participants as possible. Thank you!