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A Bit About Mamma Margaret

I have recently been finding pieces of wisdom that Mamma Margaret had given in her life.  Before I share that, I looked about a bio about her to share with all of you.  I found it at this website.  Below is the content, but there is much more one can find about her!

Capriglio

Margherita Occhiena was born on April 1, 1788 at Capriglio, in the province of Asti, sixth of ten children. She was baptised on the same day in the parish church. Her parents were peasant farmers full of good Christian attitudes and practices. From when she was just a child Margaret was a great worker. She had no opportunity for schooling because of the times she lived in and the tasks she had to do, but her love for prayer gave her a wisdom which could not be gained from books

Francis Bosco: I Becchi

In 1812 she married Francis Bosco. Francis was 27 years of age, a widower, with a three year old child, Anthony, and a sick mother to look after. Joseph was born the following year and in 1815 John (the future Don Bosco). They moved to the Becchi, a hamlet of Castelnuovo d’Asti. In 1817 Francis died of pneumonia.

A woman of great faith

Twenty nine year old Margaret found herself running the family alone at a time of famine, looking after Francis’ mother, Anthony, and young Joseph and John. Margaret was a woman of great faith. God was foremost in her thoughts and always on her lips.

A mother’s heart

The love of the Lord was so strong in her that it gave her a mother’s heart. A wise teacher, she knew how to combine fatherliness and motherhood, kindness and firmness, vigilance and trust, familiarity and dialogue, bringing up her children with disinterested love, both patient and demanding. Attentive to their own experience, she trusted both in human means and divine assistance. She brought up three children with very different temperaments, using the same criteria with different methods. She taught them the catechism and prepared them for their First Communion.

Accompanies her son’s dream

When she heard about John’s dream at the age of nine, she alone could interpret it in the light of the Lord: “Who knows, but maybe you should become a priest”. She allowed him to be with some of the rougher lads, because they were better behaved around him. Anthony’s hostility towards John’s studies forced her to send her younger son away so he could study. She accompanied him all the way to priesthood. That day she said something that would remain in Don Bosco’s heart for the rest of his life. In 1846 when Don Bosco was seriously ill, Margaret went to be with him and discovering there the good that he had been doing for poor and abandoned youngsters.

At Valdocco

When asked to go with him in this work she said: “ If you believe this to be the will of the Lord, I am ready to go”. Mamma Margaret’s presence turned the Oratory into a family. For ten years her life became entwined with that of her son and with the beginnings of Salesian work: She was the first and principal Cooperator of Don Bosco’s; she became the maternal elements in the Preventive System; without realising it, she was the “co-foundress” of the Salesian Family.

Death at Valdocco

She died in Turin, struck down by pneumonia on November 25, 1856, at 68 years of age. Many youngsters went to the cemetery crying as they would for their own mother. Generations of Salesians called her and will continue to call her Mamma Margaret.

 
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Posted by on April 19, 2012 in Living Salesian, Mamma Margaret

 

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Good Better Best

“Good better best never let it rest, until the good becomes better and the better becomes best. WHY? Because the human mind and the human heart are made for the best and will never truly be at rest until the good becomes better and the better becomes best. THEREFORE! Hitch your wagon to a star and aim high because if you aim low, you just might end up below the below.” Fr. Fabian

The above was a quote by a teacher in the philosophy department at my college.  He is in his mid 80’s now.  This is something that generations of people taught by him have heard him say.  I am pretty sure that he went immediately after his schooling to start teaching there, if I remember correctly.  You should enjoy this one.  It really gives you something to think about.

 
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Posted by on October 4, 2011 in Random Things

 

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Church Hopping

I know that I am traveling a little ways back, but life has finally granted me a moment to catch up with everything I wanted to blog about, at least some of it.  So, here is some of that I wanted to share.  Some of it is taken directly from my journal, some is written now reflecting back.  I do apologize for the longer than normal post, please still read it!

To start off Holy Thursday festivities, the school had a prayer service before the half day dismissal.  As a part of it, there was a dance at the end to “Footprints in the Sand,” by Leona Lewis.  We danced to the first two and a half minutes or so.  It was really good to dance again, and it was not just easy stuff.  I was with two sophomores, one of which choreographed the dance.  Dancing for God was wonderful.  While I was not even close to perfect, I did the best I could.  Here is the song.  Remember, we only went to about two and a half minutes in the dance, but the rest of the song is good too!

That evening we went down the hill to the Provincial House for the Holy Thursday services.  It was odd not being a part of the music in some way or the other.  I blame anyone.  I know there was a better chance of a [former] companion of mine was there.  Let me say though, I say with all that I had with her voice in the back of my head.  I did enjoy being surrounded by the sisters, it was a wonderful family to be with then. 

I have some quotes from the priest who presided over the mass.  They stuck out to me as her was giving the homily.  I wish I would have caught more of it on paper.

We were called not because we were ready, but because we are willing.

We know we are not perfect, but we are willing.

You know what devil, get lost.

After the service, a handful of us climbed into the seven passenger van around eight pm to start the church hopping adventure.  For those of you who don’t know the tradition (and I just learned, so my explanation is a little meh), this is what I am able to explain.  In order to stay awake with Jesus, unlike the disciples who fell asleep and did not keep watch, you travel from church to church visiting Jesus in all the chapels before He is reposed to a special place until the Easter Vigil.  We went to a total of eight stops between leaving at eight and arriving at the last just before midnight.  It was just after midnight when we got back home.  The following in italics is from my journal, written that night.

Stop 1: Oh Jesus, bring me to my knees in adoration of you.  I love you.  Here I wish to pray for Jen and all her intentions.  She is very precious to me.  Be with her.  Oh Jesus, transform me.

Stop 2: Oh Jesus, give me humility in adoration of you.  I love you.  This stop is for my parents.  Watch over them, keep them close.  Be with them.  Oh Jesus, transform me.

Stop 3: Oh Jesus, give me prudence in adoration of you.  I love you.  I pray for Renate wherever she may be.  Bring her back to you and keep her safe.  Oh Jesus, transform me.

Stop 4:  Oh Jesus, give me wisdom in adoration of you.  I love you.  Watch over Matthew, Molly, and Abby.  Help them to never stray from you and to have a stong relationship with you.  Oh Jesus, transform me.

Stop 5: Oh Jesus, grant me courage in adoration of you.  I love you.  I pray for my Marianist Family, that they are always faithful to their charism.  Keep them in my heart.  Oh Jesus, transform me.

Stop 6: Oh Jesus, bring my to understanding in adoration of you.  I love you.  Shower your love on Priyanka as she grows up.  Show her your love and care that she may follow you.  Oh Jesus, transform me.

Stop 7: Oh Jesus, help me to love fully in adoration of you.  I love you.  Protect all my close friends.  Keep them close to you.  Let them know all the good they have done, especially for me.  Oh Jesus, transform me.

Stop 8: Oh Jesus, give me patience in adoration of you.  I love you.  I pray for me grandparents.  Let them know how much they are blessings in this world.  Grant them everlasting peace.  Oh Jesus, transform me.

“silently, peacefully, we will rest in you, Lord.”

Home/Bed: Thank you Lord, for the time spent with you.  I pray that these words of mine make it up to you.  All this I do and ask for the sake of my vocation.  It is in you and your Father that I must put all my trust.  What else could there even possibly be?  Jesus allow me to sit at your table so that I continue to learn from you in the way you are with your disciples.  Keep in my heart the experience tonight.  Thank you for everything you have done in my life.

It was amazing to see Jesus in all the different churches in the area.  I am blessed to be here and I cannot wait to share this experience.  Peace.

 

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Mary, Woman of Wisdom and Patience

For one of the class we have with the sisters, we were instructed to read this certain passage, reflect upon it, find Mary’s message for us in it, and such.  Then we are to give the title to Mary that we feel in our hearts.  We have been talking about some that we could give her based on specific stories from the bible.  Here is the passage that we are to use.  It is John 2:1-12.

On the third day there was a wedding in Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the wedding. When the wine ran short, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.”  (And) Jesus said to her, “Woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servers, “Do whatever he tells you.”  Now there were six stone water jars there for Jewish ceremonial washings, each holding twenty to thirty gallons. Jesus told them, “Fill the jars with water.” So they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, “Draw some out now and take it to the headwaiter.”  So they took it. And when the headwaiter tasted the water that had become wine, without knowing where it came from (although the servers who had drawn the water knew), the headwaiter called the bridegroom and said to him, “Everyone serves good wine first, and then when people have drunk freely, an inferior one; but you have kept the good wine until now.” Jesus did this as the beginning of his signs in Cana in Galilee and so revealed his glory, and his disciples began to believe in him.

However familiar it may be with me, I had to read it over and over again before I could come up with some words that could describe my reflection.  There are many different perspectives one could take.  Even though my focus is to be on Mary, I ended up seeing it from others’ perspectives too, which served to help in getting a good grasp on what may have been really happening at the wedding.  I did not allow myself to think of Mary quite yet.

The first time through, I was drawn to the servers and what they must have felt and thought.  To them, this man was expecting them to bring him water so that they could serve wine.  Yes, they had done it, but there must have been some confusion in their minds. 

The second time through, I thought about the two getting married.  We do not hear about them other than the praise that the headwaiter (who had not known what had happened) had given the bridegroom at serving the best wine last instead of first.  Did the newly married couple know what had happened later down the line?  Had they known that they ran out of wine and yet there was more to be served?

In the third reading that I did, my focus went to Jesus.  This was the first miracle performed by Him.  What was He thinking in the process?  Maybe Jesus had an idea of how He would react, but He may also have had no idea what would be said of this miracle.  I am left to wonder, would Jesus have done it if Mary was not there?

From there, I read the story a fourth time.  In this reading, I focused on who Mary was in this event and what role she had in the miracle.  I found that she had an immense patience with Jesus.  Her son calls her woman and gives what we would call today as attitude.  She knows what Jesus is to do, as she was told by an angel some years ago.  Was she be spoken to by God to start Jesus off on His ministry?  Despite what Jesus told her, she still turned to the servers and told them to do whatever Jesus tells them to do.  The respect people must have had to listen to what she says, overstepping what Jesus told her.  During and after the miracle, the writer does not tell us anything more about Mary’s presence.  Letting my imagination run, I can see her backing up and watching from the side all that is taking place.  I see a big smile on her face at seeing Jesus begin the ministry He was born to do.  There had to be wisdom in her that she knew what to do and what to say.  There had to be patience in her in order to respond as she did in talking to Jesus.  There was a deeper connection she had to what good needed to happen and how.  Despite that Jesus was God made flesh, He grew up with a mother as any human child would.  Mary, His mother, had the wisdom and patience with Jesus as God gave her on the day He was conceived. 

 
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Posted by on March 31, 2011 in Inner Reflection

 

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Mass to Cemetary to Adoration

Today was a day of a few good things.  For me, this was great since the last week has been a little harder.  Mass this morning was a success.  We had the little aspirant band plus a sister.  My musical fellow companion has really got me to enjoy playing at mass again.  We work real well together.  I always wonder if she knows how much I look up to her; also how much I want to make sure she is alright and like to take care of her if she needs anything.  Needless to say, mass was wonderful and she is amazing.

We had a half day silent retreat today.  What that means for us is going about the afternoon how we choose, but in silence.  I started my bit, after we all prayed the visit together, with a walk.  I wandered my way up to the cemetery, where I love to go to just be, think, ponder, reflect, and such things.  I sat on the ground at the foot of the cross part of the graves in the wall.  Leaning against the wall, it was an interesting feeling to know that the bodies of many sisters lay behind me in there, as well as in the ground in front of me on either side of the little path.  As I was journaling, this is the poem that came to me.

Past Sisters at my Side

Among past sisters I sit

Praying the best I have

For much wisdom lays here

In this holy ground forgotten

Maybe they will hear my cry

The tears shed in this place

In comfort myself let loose

To those who will to me listen

So I come here and pray

That they are with my Lord

Enjoying paradise in heaven

Laughing, talking with Jesus

I ask always for intercession

To guard and protect this soul

Throughout each and every day

For they too, have their stories

Perhaps just like my very own

That they may understand

Sitting with them here, now

I pray they see who I am

That they may help me to see

To become that special person

In their comfort I do give

All of myself to God’s will

As I leave their resting place

I pray they are at my side

It was very good to be up there in the cemetery.  When I got back down, I curled up in another aspirant’s really comfy and warm blanket until adoration.

At adoration tonight, I got to do the exposition and reposition, as I had written about yesterday when I learned how to do it.  There was something different I felt in me, even though most of me felt the same.  It was what I needed at this time and I could not have asked for better timing to be asked to do it tonight.  Thank you Jesus for giving me the chance to share you with this community.

 
 

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Teach Me In Your Wisdom

In your wisdom oh Lord, teach me your ways

 

Like peanut butter and jelly

I wish to be connected to you

In harmony of love

Putting together in peace

 

In your wisdom oh Lord, teach me your ways

 

Like a pad of paper and pencil

One cannot scribe without the other

This I must be with you

Your will written on my heart

 

In your wisdom oh Lord, teach me your ways

 

Like socks and shoes on feet

They provide such a comfort and ease

A feeling you give me

To help me through my life

 

In your wisdom oh Lord, teach me your ways

 
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Posted by on January 20, 2011 in Creative Corner

 

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Adoration Amazingness

This past Sunday, we had adoration as per usual.  It was the first time in a some weeks I have been able to just be there.  The prior time I had led, the one before that was cancelled, the one before that I led, and something was weird with the one before that.  No matter my involvement, the experience is most often a good one.  Even so, it was most definitely good to experience it just as is (after setting up the stuff…of course).  I want to share with you some of the music and a poem that I wrote during the evening in prayer.

This is the first song that was play at adoration.  It was for the exposition.

The poem below, entitled “Lord, Love Me So,” was written during the silent adoration.

In my heart oh Lord

You are calling me

Lead me deeper

Your love is what I want

Cast out the devil

For he controls me not

I am all Yours

Your will is my life

There is nothing else

Only Your great richness

Use me in Your plan

Reaching out to others

For You are amazing

None are like You

Let prayer be on my lip

All the day long

You on my mind

You in my soul

You Lord, fill me up

That I may never stray

That I can share You

In unique ways

For this is my purpose

To serve You alone

My heart does leap

And sings joyously

Dancing to Your song

Oh how I smile

At Your goodness

Grant me Your wisdom

Let me work for you

Doing great things

Oh to be a saint

If it is your will

Protect me, guide me

And I will be Yours

You are the Lord

Who loves me so

This next song was used for the reposition at the end of prayer and adoration.

There is something amazing in that song and I love it so much.  It is what I feel in my heart a lot of times, along with other amazing things too. 

The hard part is holding onto that wonderful feeling when all seems to get hard.  So the prayer then is to live each moment as if in the presence of God, which we are truly always in.  Peace!

 

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