Tag Archives: Blessed Virgin Mary

TLM Atlanta: Mother Loves Us

We departed our beach house yesterday morning and headed for home. This morning I woke up in a hotel room in Atlanta, GA.

This morning began early. That’s because it’s Sunday. This was both a travel day (meaning, for us, we would drive about 800 miles) and the Lord’s Day (meaning we would move Heaven and earth to find a traditional Latin mass).

In the suburb of Mableton, GA, we attended the 8AM low mass for Pentecost in, drumroll please…

Another St. Francis de Sales parish!

Have I mentioned he’s the patron of writers and I think he’s stalking this writer?

This parish is run by our old friends, the FSSP and has been ensconced in this current property since the early 2000’s. I actually attended a daily mass here a year ago. The parish church is not huge but not particularly tiny either. So it surprised me that there was a sign in the parking lot indicating mass would be in the gym. After some searching we found said gym. Down a hill. A very long bill.

I surmise that the interior of the church building might be undergoing some renovations as the gym has, in addition to a few hundred folding chairs, a semi-permanent sanctuary space made out of finer polished oak and complete with a proper rail on three sides.

St. Francis de Sales, Mableton, GA. Picture taken last year on a different trip.

The priest who said mass preached a phenomenal homily, as is now expected by me of all Fraternity priests.

What really caught my attention, though, was the fact that every single person in attendance was properly attired. I will be writing on proper mass attire soon. But especially the men…

Suits.

Ties.

Hair neatly parted.

Like men.

Grown men.

Strong masculine men who love their wives and children and aren’t trying to show off but simply to look their level best for Christ and His sacrifice.

As I said, more on that to come. Just remember, this was Atlanta and there was a certain Gone With the Wind vibe to be felt.

I loved it.

And I truly loved that the great Mother of God, Mary Most Holy absolutely came through for me. I mentioned I had asked her prior to this trip to make Latin mass available to me every day. That she did.

Never doubt the love of a mother for her children. She wants only good things for us. She is happy when we want to kneel beside her as her Son gives Himself for our sins. I think of the many times in my life when my own ingratitude towards her Son’s sacrifice must have pierced her Immaculate Heart.

Never again.

Mother, give me to worship thy Son every day in His sacrifice!

And she did. And she will.

And He is only too happy to oblige anything she asks of Him.

Turn to her. She loves you.

Virgin most powerful, pray for us!

The Passion, Art, and Moms

I have been in the Fatherland going on a week now. I am here to visit and spend time with my mom who is in the hospital.

It is also now the Sacred Paschal Triduum. I have been able to slip out of the room to make my way to a piecemeal collection of beautiful Catholic churches in order to observe the liturgy of the Church during these holiest of days.

Yesterday – Holy Thursday – I started out the day looking for a place to confess my sins. I mean, I could confess them anywhere and to anyone but I kind of wanted to do it to an ordained priest. Something about actual absolution and all… Here’s the thing. I am in the habit of going roughly once a week. But as we enter into these three days, surprisingly, confessions are rather limited. I don’t know if it’s that the priests are all of a sudden really, really busy or what. But I was able to find a scheduled round of confessions at St. Michael’s, a church tucked away at the lower end of Broadway near Bloomfield Ave. in the North Ward. Those familiar with the area will know exactly what this looks like. I can’t adequately describe it. OK, I could adequately describe it and I will one day but it would take pages. For now, I would like the artwork of the church tell the story. You see, most churches in this part of the world look like this one. Old, traditional, built on the donations of the mostly poor immigrant Catholics who brought to these shores their Old World style and peculiarities.

The thing is that in the art I was reminded of the story. The story here is the love of a mother for her Son and the love of the Son for the whole human race including you and me. Let’s start…

Here we see the Last Supper. Appropriate since this was taken on Holy Thursday. Note the detail and use of brilliant color.

Now let’s look at the Woman and her Son.

Not quite what you were expecting? I know, it’s Easter-time, not Christmas. But take a look at what was hanging on the wall just next to this particular window.

From His infancy to His death He was always close to His mother. It was in her arms that He rested in life and in death. Imagine her joy and her sorrow. I want that when my children read this in years to come they recognize something my parents taught me – that devotion to Our Lord comes through devotion to His mother. As He was pleased to rest in her arms we must turn to her in prayer and always be devoted to the Mother He gave us from the cross.

Here now, some other pieces on which to meditate…

And finally…

He is STILL with us, alive and awaiting YOU.

Crushed

So here’s the story about that picture I posted earlier this week.

Two weeks ago at this very hour yours truly was driving around the DFW Metroplex. During the day I am a teacher and school administrator. At night, however, I still maintain my other job as a medical courier. I don’t usually have Friday jobs, it’s just a slow night of the week. But this particular Friday night I got called to pick up a sample at a lab in north Dallas. On my way out to the airport I decided to make use of the time to pray.

Traveling south on the President George Bush Turnpike (yes, they use the full name as it was constructed during the gubernatorial administration of his son) I drove along, praying my rosary. I’m a pretty safe driver – never been in anything more than a minor fender-bender. I was praying for a few specific things. You see my car, a 2006 Accord, was starting to show its age and I had begun to think it was time to move on. “Blessed Mother,” I said summoning all best Catholic school boy piety I could muster. It never goes away. “Blessed Mother, I could really use a new car.” Trust me, friends, Mary is the Queen of Heaven and Earth. There is nothing she can’t obtain for us from her Son. Of this I am certain. But there’s also no guaranteeing how she’s going to go about doing that.

I was just about to toss in the part about the F-150 and in my mind I was thinking about color options (hint: a car should only ever be black or silver, possibly navy) when I looked up into my rear view mirror and saw a smaller, older pick up truck barreling toward me.

“Not like that!” I shouted as I frantically looked around to the two outside lanes. It was rush hour traffic, though, and there was nowhere to move. I braced for impact and in a second it was all over. The driver of the pickup wasn’t paying attention, caught himself at the last minute, and hit his breaks. He slammed into the back of my car and shoved me into the car in front of me. No airbags deployed so the impact speed must have been low enough. The three of us moved over to the shoulder and then waited for the police to show up.

The other two drivers barely had a nick on their cars. My Accord? Let’s just say it resembled an accordion. Hey, that’s kind of clever…

Anyway, I had the car towed home where a few days later an inspector came out to officially declare it a total loss. It’s obnoxious that someone else screwed up and I’m out a car but that’s life.

Today the second of two insurance checks arrived. I’ve been doing my research. Truthfully that F-150 isn’t totally out of the question, albeit a model that might be 3-4 years old with a few miles on it but that’s cool. I’ve learned all about the fun and exciting world of auto insurance as well. And to be honest, my agent, Steve Martinez with Safeco (props to him) was thoroughly professional and got the process rolling with good speed. The pickup driver admitted fault so that helped. But it still stinks.

That 13 year old car with 200K of my best driving miles on it was a sure bet for me. I’m sure it would have gone another 100,000 miles too. Instead I’m holding two checks for a minimal amount and a vision of a larger, newer vehicle dancing around my head.

And that prayer to the Infant of Prague I posted about earlier? Yep, that’s one of the intentions. I hear that devotion is particularly powerful. Nonetheless, I looked at that car on the shoulder of the highway two weeks ago and thought of something. In my own lifetime, in the recent past, a wreck like that would have taken someone out. Everyone had a seatbelt on and somehow we all walked away without scratches or injury.

For the possibility of landing in my dream car
For the Blessed Mother’s humor

For the grace of walking away from a serious accident and appreciating all the good things I have; coming home to my wife and kids and not heading to an ICU… For these I am grateful.