Pilgrimage Day 21: O Key of David

Day 21: December 20: Ember Friday

In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,
earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow, in the bleak midwinter, long ago.

Frosty Wind Made Moan

This morning, we awoke to a cold, dark world outside. The fog was so thick that we could not see the neighbors’ houses.

Cold and chill, bless the Lord.
Dew and rain, bless the Lord;
Frost and cold, bless the Lord.
Ice and snow, bless the Lord.

Thick Frost

The hoar frost was thickly blessing the Lord!

Lots of family members are coming this afternoon, and my daughters will serve an impromptu tea party. Lucy made ginger snaps, Margaret is brewing tea, and Andrew made a special gluten-free dessert for Aunti Mimi. Meanwhile, Susan mopped the bath room and Anne washed dishes. Peter and Thomas cleaned the boys’ room while Robert messed it up, and Maria cleaned up the living room. When they arrive, Aunti Mimi will cut the girls’ hair while we all visit. The kids, especially the younger ones, can’t wait for their cousins Bella and Benedict to come!

Today’s Novena prayer:

20 December: 

O Key of David, 
and Sceptre of the house of Israel, 
that openeth and no man shutteth, 
and shutteth and no man openeth, 
come to liberate the prisoner from the prison, 
and them that sit in darkness, 
and in the shadow of death. 

Our Father...
Hail Mary...
Glory Be...

Pilgrimage Day 20: O Root of Jesse


December 19, 2013

I have been informed by several sources that there are only 5 shopping days until Christmas. Thankfully I do not have to go into that mad rush to grab the last Cabbage Patch doll (or whatever toy is absolutely indispensable this year), or fight for the last fondue pot (or whatever kitchen gadget will make me the most beloved gift-giver this year).

Instead, I will help my kids finish their school work so that they can have Christmas Eve and Christmas Day off with a clear conscience, and I will meet with my spiritual Director so that I can have meet my Lord on Christmas with a clear conscience!  What could be better in this last stretch of Advent?

Today’s walk: 25 – 45 minutes, getting the heart rate up. I’ll report in the comments about what I did later.

19 December: 

O Root of Jesse, 
which standest for an ensign of the people, 
at Whom the kings shall shut their mouths, 
Whom the Gentiles shall seek, 
come to deliver us, 
do not tarry. 

Our Father...
Hail Mary...
Glory Be...


Pilgrimage Day 19: O Adonai

Ember Wednesday, December 18, 2013

I love the Ember Days, and wish more people knew what they were and could take advantage of the riches God has for us if we only ask for them!

This morning I was blessed to be able to go to Mass at my parish. Fr. James Gordon, FSSP, said Mass and gave a beautiful mini-sermon on Our Blessed Mother’s  “Yes.”

18 December: 

O Adonai, 
and Ruler of the house of Israel, 
Who didst appear unto Moses in the burning bush, 
and gavest him the law in Sinai, 
come to redeem us with an outstretched arm! 

Our Father...
Hail Mary...
Glory Be...

Today, I took my walk at about 2 PM. I walked 40 minutes, and I know it was more than a mile, but I don’t think it was much more than that. I wore black leggings under my denim skirt, and a yellow t-shirt with a red-and-white button-front shirt over it. I wore my green BSA socks instead of my new gray walking socks. I am sure I looked very fashionable to the people in the cars passing by. Perhaps they thought the circus was in town. My shoes continue to be very comfortable. The temperature was about 60 degrees, so I was not cold at all. I was pretty comfortable, although I did break a sweat. My hands swelled a little, which means I need to drink more water!!!

Day 18: O Wisdom

Here is the second day of the O Antiphon Novena:

December 17: 

O Wisdom that comest out of the mouth of the Most High, 
that reachest from one end to another, 
and orderest all things mightily and sweetly, 
come to teach us the way of prudence! 

Our Father...
Hail Mary...
Glory Be...

Since yesterday I took all the kids Christmas shopping, today I will go alone and do my own shopping for groceries and Christmas gifts. If I get home early enough, I will do my 40-minute walk while it is still warm outside!

Day 17: December 16: O Antiphons Novena

This Novena, though it starts one day earlier than the O Antiphons, correlates with the O Antiphons in the titles used to address Jesus between the 17 th and the 24 the of December. It would, therefore, make a good Novena to pray when your family prays the O Antiphons.

December 16: 

O Shepherd that rulest Israel, 
Thou that leadest Joseph like a sheep, 
come to guide and comfort us. 

Our Father...
Hail Mary...
Glory Be...

Today I was supposed to walk 40 minutes, but I took my 10 children Christmas shopping instead. They wanted to buy little gifts for their cousins who will be in town for Christmas, so we spent the afternoon going from place to place finding just the right gift for each person. I did walk for several hours, but I did not get my heart rate up, unless you count my impatience boiling my blood.  My confessor will be seeing me soon.

Pilgrimage: Day 11 Happy Birthday to Me!

Day 11: December 10, 2013: St. Melchiades, Pope and Martyr, pray for us!

Pope miltiades.jpg

Today I turn 44! Ian is in Fort Collins at work, the kids are working on their school, and I am helping them while I get ready for a doctor’s appointment. I know it does not sound all that special or exciting, but the life that God has given me, and that I have freely chosen and accepted, is the most beautiful gift. Each moment I choose to say “Yes” to God is a diamond He adds to His Blessed Mother’s crown.

So how do I say YES today? By getting up when I would rather stay in bed. By getting the children up when I would rather enjoy the quiet as long as possible. By encouraging them to do their schoolwork when it would be easier to have a free day. By helping them with their school when I have 1,000 other things that have to get done besides this. By staying in God’s holy Presence all day, and keeping the inner peace He gives me, even when there is disorder and noise all around me. By doing what each moment demands. By giving priority to my prayer time, and going to bed on time so that tomorrow I can get up and do it again!

Here is a beautiful thought for today: “What? The cross make us lose our inward peace? Surely it is the cross that bestows it on our hearts. All our miseries come from our not loving it.” ~ St. John Vianney

Today’s walk: 20-40 minutes at an easy pace.

Pilgrimage: Day 10

Pilgrimage Day 10: December 9, 2013: St. Juan Diego, pray for us!

Today was a little warmer than the last few days, and I spent a lovely morning with my Mother-In-Law shopping at IKEA and then having lunch at Panera. I was not walking briskly at IKEA, but we were in there for a couple of hours at least. It was a lot of fun to spend all that time with Mom, looking at all the neat storage ideas and picking up a few Christmas gifts and kitchen utensils.

IKEA Chest of drawers

I came home and helped the kids with their school for a while, and now it is just about dinner time. I will do a little workout after prayers tonight before I get ready for bed since I did not really “walk” today. I have only been doing this walking regularly for a short time, and I have been feeling really good. I do not want to get out of the habit, especially since Ian bought me some wonderful walking shoes and socks this weekend for my birthday, and my feet have never felt better. Tomorrow’s high temperature is supposed to be almost 40 degrees, so I think I might be able to handle walking outside! If not, maybe I will go walk at the mall.

Saucony Women's Xodus 4.0Saucony Women's Xodus 4.0Saucony Women's Xodus 4.0Saucony Women's Xodus 4.0Saucony Women's Xodus 4.0Saucony Women's Xodus 4.0Saucony Women's Xodus 4.0Saucony Women's Xodus 4.0Saucony Women's Xodus 4.0Saucony Women's Xodus 4.0Saucony Women's Xodus 4.0Saucony Women's Xodus 4.0

Thinking ahead to sleeping on the ground, I found this inflatable hiking mattress that attaches to a sleeping bag. Just something to think about.

Inflated and stuffed size comparisons including Women’s.

Here are some sleeping bags that attach to the mattresses! Sounds like a good idea! This particular down-filled bag weighs only 1 lb., 15 oz.. Nice for carrying on the trail.

Antares 20 Sleeping Bag

Here are some walking socks, for good measure.

A priest friend who has done the pilgrimage said it would be a good idea to have a walking stick. He went as a seminarian and was very thankful that he had the stick, because he was physically unprepared in other ways.  There are collapsible staffs available also, which might be a good idea.

That’s all for now. I am hoping to hear soon from friends who have done this pilgrimage, and if I do, I will post about that in addition to the physical and material preparations I am doing.