An Autumn Note from Fr. Frank

Pumpkins

Autumn is in full spring. In celebration of the harvest, we will have our pumpkin decorating with the patterns given out the weekend of the 19th-20th. Bring your carved pumpkins to church the following weekend to be placed in the sanctuary and other areas of the church.

El Día de los Muertos

The last weekend of October, bring old photos and funeral prayer cards to be placed on our Altar of Memory beginning in November. In honor of the beautiful Mexican tradition, our altar will be decorated with colorful images celebrating El Día de los Muertos: the Day of the Dead. This wonderful tradition goes back centuries to indigenous cultures in Central America. The Catholic faith blended many of these pre- Christian rituals with our own belief in the Resurrection of the dead.

El Día de los Muertos is a celebration of our belief that, while this life before death  is temporary, our lives will continue forever in the next world, an eternal Easter Day. The veil of tears in this life will be lifted, allowing total harmony and joy to be perpetual guests in the Kingdom. Any photos, cards, and prayers  left on  altar will used for our Easter fire at the Vigil next April. What a beautiful way to let go of these images by having them consumed in the great Easter fire!!

A Simple Daily Prayer

Last week, I mentioned how absolutely necessary a daily practice of personal prayer must be established to nurture the tiny seed of faith. One practice I engage in comes from the Jesuit tradition.

It consists of reflecting briefly on five words:

Creation- Presence-Memory-Mercy-Eternity

When I awaken, I just quietly say those words to myself. Less than a minute. After the usual morning rituals, with coffee in hand, a sit a pray each word:

Why was I created? Who created me? For what purpose? How does creation affect me?

I then acknowledge the Presence of God, remembering that God can only be experienced NOW, in the present moment.

I engage in Memory: what happened in the past day that brought me closer to God? what drew me away from the living God? what memories in my distant past need surfacing? how can I face them if they are threatening? I ask God for the Grace of courage.

I then invoke Mercy, being sorry and feeling sorrow for my sins. How have I hurt someone? Who needs forgiving or to be forgiven?

I end by seeing the larger picture of Eternity. I remind myself of this, our destination, as the point of the whole journey called life.

This prayer experience takes 10-15 minutes tops.

When I get anxious, or filled with doubt or fear, I simply repeat those five words. In the car. Waiting in line. At the doctor’s office. Before I go to sleep. After the homily. As the plane takes off....

Creation-Presence-Memory-Mercy-Eternity

Peace,
Fr. Frank