Happy Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent!
And welcome to the Lent/Easter 2009 edition of the Mary Moments Carnival! Thanks to Twitter, we have quite a few new faces in the lineup this time. My deepest thanks to everyone who participated!
Although she was unable to post to this Carnival, our fearless administrator Sarah is offering the following "Carnival special."
Sarah says, "I have copies of each of these:
(1) The How-To Book of the Mass, by Michael Dubruiel
And now, without further ado, we give to you ... the Lenten/Easter Mary Moments Carnival!
(2) A Guide to the Passion (100 Questions about The Passion of the Christ)"
(3) I'd also like to throw a book into the ring: Violets for Mary, by Norma McCulliss. This charming little children's book teaches children to love the Blessed Mother ... and to be kind to others. Makes wonderful family reading!
If you'd like a chance to win any of these books, just leave a comment here or drop Sarah a note at firstname.lastname@example.org. (You can get an additional entry by linking to this MM Carnival post to your own blog -- just email Sarah to share the link or leave it in the combox). Thanks for your help in spreading the word about the Carnival ... and about this blog!
"Getting to Know You..."
Valerie, an adoptive mother of two young adults, sent me "A Miracle," which she had recently reprised on February 25 at "I Am My Kid's Mom." Valerie recalls the moment she first turned toward Mary ... just as her mother had. She writes:
"I was able to compose myself enough to follow TP down to the PICU unit. When we arrived, they told me I had to wait in the waiting room for about 20 minutes until they could get her situated in her bed. I kissed her hot forehead, and her eyelids fluttered in response. I went into the waiting room, and just dropped into a chair. I was aware of other people looking at me, but it didn't matter. It was at that point in time that I began to pray feverishly. I found myself talking to Mary, realizing she KNEW what I was going through, because she had watched her Son suffer so much as well. I don't remember all that I said to her or what I prayed to God, but in a matter of a few minutes, I found myself saying the Rosary."Ginny Moyer, author of Mary and Me, contributed this piece about her trip to Lourdes while on her honeymoon in 2002. "Lourdes ended up being the catalyst for my first real, adult reflections on Mary. In the weeks following the trip, she began to figure more and more prominently in my thoughts. I won’t go into the details here, mostly because it’s just too much to fit into a blog posting. I do hope to tell that story in my next book."
"Learning to Like You, Hoping that You Like Me..."
Jane at "Philaneglus" sent in this reflection about the Holy Family. In a world where we often feel misunderstood and even judged for the decisions we make as parents, it helps to know that the Blessed Mother and St. Joseph intercede for us with understanding and compassion.
Pam Pedler sent me this wonderful story of her pilgrimage to Lourdes. "Lourdes: From Tourist to Pilgrim Guest" was first published in the "Denver Catholic Register," and Pam generously agreed to let me post it at "Streams of Mercy" and include it in this month's Carnival ... Thanks, Pam!
"...You are Precisely My Cup of Tea!"
And at "Mommy Monsters," I've posted "Limping Toward Lent" as a gentle reminder of the ultimate purpose of the season: To offer ourselves -- our strengths and weaknesses and struggles and all -- to God. This offering, even to one as holy as Mary, must have seemed an impossible task at times, simply because of the enormity of it. At such times, only by the grace of God can we hope to persevere.
Finally, at "Catholic Fire," Jean posts these practical ideas for how to observe Lent. While not strictly a "Marian" post, it addresses a theme that IS very much "in the spirit of Mary" -- how to live our lives in imitation of Christ, whose Passion and Death we recall during this holy season.
Lyrics to "Getting to Know You" from The King and I by Oscar Hammerstein