Holy Family

Holy Family

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Feast of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini

Good morning. God has a plan for each of us. In the reflection for today I’ve chosen to take a look at His plan for three different holy women as well as reflect upon the importance of discerning His plans for each of us. In today’s Gospel reading we return again to the hills of Judea to the house of Elizabeth and Zechariah, and in response to her cousin’s greeting Mary answers with the poetic words of the Magnificat. This hymn of praise reminds us of the words sung by Hannah in the Book of Samuel. Hannah who had been childless sings praise to God for the gift of a child. In both instances these holy women give praise to God and both understand completely the source of all goodness. Both humbly respond to God’s will and do so with all humility knowing that God is the source of all goodness. Both women possess a certainty that God oversees the normal course of their lives, and they both live their lives dedicated to doing God’s will. And so it is for each one of us, God has called each of us by name even before we were formed “in the womb” and again at our baptism to share His life and the mission of salvation. When everything else in our lives and in our marriage do not seem to make sense it is good to remind ourselves of this truth, it reminds us that there is a sense of purpose,a sense of meaning in the various situations and events that occur. Therefore, like our Blessed Mother, like Hannah, and like our Saint for today, Mother Frances Xavier Cabrini (Old Liturgical Calendar--1962 Missal, Celebrated on November 13 in the Current Liturgical Calendar) we are all called in some way to play a role in salvation history. Despite repeated disappointments Frances Cabrini continued to listen to the voice of God in her life and she responded to His will for her. It is of interest how God has called upon women throughout salvation history to participate in His plans for us in such significant ways. As it was for these holy women, we all are asked to respond in love to whatever God is calling us to in our lives. In marriage we respond in love to God’s will for us as we are called to gives ourselves totally to another. This calling does not end on the day of our wedding but requires daily discernment and with all things He speaks to us over time in the ordinary events, persons and situations of our lives. Like these holy women who humbly responded to God’s will, this daily discernment requires us to listen and surrender ourselves completely to God and to each other with love and trust. What does He want of me today? May our trust in His loving care for us give us the strength this day to do the work of Christ in our marriage and in all we do today. With these holy women let us open our hearts and minds to the Holy One so that we may listen and do His will in all things, and like Hannah let us rejoice in the gift of life. Make a great day!

Today we recall the good life, gifts, and works of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini. “We must pray without tiring, for the salvation of mankind does not depend on material success; nor on sciences that cloud the intellect. Neither does it depend on arms and human industries, but on Jesus alone.”

My soul magnifies the Lord, And my spirit rejoices in God my Savior. 
For He has regarded the low estate of His handmaiden, 
For behold, henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. 
For He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name. 
And His mercy is on those who fear Him from generation to generation. 
He has shown strength with His arm:  He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. 
He has put down the mighty from their thrones, and exalted those of low degree. 
He has filled the hungry with good things; and the rich He has sent empty away. 
He has helped His servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy; 
As He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to His posterity forever. 

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