Pilgrimage Day 53: St. Agnes, Pray for us!

January 21, 2014: the feast of St. Agnes.

File:St Agnese in Agone Rome interior 02.jpg

Way back in 1984 or so, I chose St. Agnes as my Confirmation saint (or did she choose me?). I had read about her in a book in my school’s library, and was struck by her courage, and her love for God. I wanted to be like her!

Here is the Antiphon from today’s Vespers:

The blessed Agnes stood in the midst of the fire * and stretched forth her hands unto the Lord, and prayed, saying O Thou Who Alone art Almighty! Who Alone art to be adored! Who Alone art to be worshiped! Who Alone art to be feared! I bless thee, and glorify thy Name for ever and ever!

I STILL want to be like her!!

Product Review:

For Christmas, my Mother-In-Law gave me a 5-Mile Walk at Home DVD with a set of hand-weights, which I have been using when the weather does not permit me to go outside for a walk. It takes about 1 hour and 10 minutes to do the 5-Mile Advanced Walk workout on the video. It keeps my heart rate close to where I want it to be during the workout, so I am really training my heart and burning the fat.

Stay tuned for some exciting news!

Pilgrimage: Day 31: What is a Pilgrim?

  1. 1.
    a person who journeys to a sacred place for religious reasons.
    synonyms: worshiper, devotee, believer

How much meaning is in this simple definition! Are we not pilgrims all our lives, if we seek God? And isn’t our God good to want to be found? He hides Himself for our good, but lets us find Him if we really want to. In fact, He seeks us and waits for our response. He is Love, and does not force Himself upon us.

“O gentle pilgrim of love, You stand at the door and wait!  How many doors in Bethlehem were closed to You: there was no room for You except in a wretched stable.  And is not my heart still more wretched, more squalid, more unworthy of You than that poor stable?  And yet, if I open it to You, You will not disdain to make it Your dwelling and the place of Your repose, as You did the stable where You were born.  O my Jesus, give me the grace to open my heart wide to You, to adhere with all the strength of my will to Your grace, to give You all my liberty, because henceforth I desire but one liberty: the liberty to love you with all my strength, to give myself wholly to You.  O Lord, how much You have loved us, and how few are those that love you!  Grant that at least these few may be truly faithful to You, and that I also may be of their number.”  ~Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, Divine Intimacy


A friend at my parish offered to be my “loser buddy” to keep each other accountable. We will tell each other our monthly goals, and encourage each other to keep going. She decided to make a punishment for herself if she does not meet her goal for the month: to clean the basement of the church. I have never heard of doing this, as I think not reaching the goal is punishment enough, but I’ll think about it. Any ideas?

She also suggested setting rewards for accomplishing each monthly goal. That’s easier for me, but she could not think of anything except being able to wear her favorite dress this summer. My monthly rewards might include: taking a leisurely walk at a park or garden by myself or with Ian, planting flowers this spring, reading a favorite magazine cover-to-cover without a single distraction; and a more long-term incentive is to be able to wear a pretty blue velvet skirt my Sister-In-Law gave me next Christmas.

// Great Gardens & Ideas //

Today’s walking assignment: 30 – 60 minutes in the fat-burning zone at 60 – 70% of your maximum heart rate. Finish your walk at a moderate pace with 5 minutes of cool down at a very easy pace.

So I guess I need to figure out how to use the heart rate monitor Ian gave me.


After my walk: I walked more or less briskly for about 40 minutes, south on Phoebe, west on Cooper, south on Black Forest, then turning east and then north on Phoebe again, stopping for a stretch at the mail boxes before heading back home. UPS had left a package, which turned out to be Ian’s new phone, so I think he will give me his old one. I am looking forward to using it in conjunction with my exercise program and for keeping better track of my tasks!

FYI: It was about 43 degrees. I wore synthetic long johns from Land’s End, a long, navy poly/cotton skirt, my casual red windbreaker, black gloves, scarf, and knit hat. I was pretty comfortable until turning east on Phoebe. Then I removed my gloves and was fine. I noticed my right foot hurt a bit along the outer edge, perhaps because I was walking on the left side of the road, which slopes up toward the center of the road.

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.