Monday, October 12, 2009

Kathryn Forrester Thro-The Little Mass Bells

Kathryn Forrester Thro: The Litttle Bells

Falling asleep last night after writing of the beauty of the small bells we hear at Mass, and of the loveliness of the Blessed Virgin's virtues, the thought came to my so quickly how I am like those earthly, transitory bells that can only point towards Heaven.

Someday, I will no longer have a voice at all. I might not awaken on this side of Paradise, but instead die to this world and perhaps be with Christ in Paradise, or await a further transformation of the soul.

Do we each have a special gift that is God's delight? If one is brilliant, studious, handsome, logical, persuasive, one can go out into the world and teach, bringing others to Christ through wisdom, through sharing in the vein of "Come, let us reason together." How magnificent, these great teachers! Leading us further into the mysteries of God, the history of the Church, all the while showing the love of Christ in their devotion to instructing us! Every lesson, every instruction sweeping us up in the ecstasy of the history and present passion of Christ in our lives while we listen in awe and wonder as new lambs in the fold.

What alchemy, what tender upbringing, we wonder, what sacrifices, and such great grasp of heavenly knowledge go into the making of those teachers who lead us towards the wisdom of love? How miraculous, to have the gift of the Great Teacher Himself, to now share that gift with all the lambs in the fold so that we stay safe in the arms of God? One is breathless, swept up in wonder at how generously and perfectly God shines out in His chosen teachers, who are shepherds of faith, who call us forward to participate in some way....In our awe, we shy away, and may wonder if we have anything to call a gift of our own, so entranced are we at the sheer majesty of wisdom we are only now seeing for the first time!

If one is born beautiful and admired, she may wed, have many children and bless the world and the church.

If one is poor, or is a lost child, she may be the one lamb that the Good Shepherd goes after, leaving the other Ninety and the Nine in the locked gates to search for that one, dear child of God. God has a special love for all those wanderers, for we, like sheep, so often go astray and so His love is big enough to search us out and find us, wherever we are.

But if I am neither brilliant or beautiful in the least, and am perhaps only a new convert, safe for the time being in the gates after myself being caught up in the Shepherd's great arms, into His safety, if I am his newest foundling, what can I ever hope to be?

Does He give me a special name? Some reminder that while He is busy, there is something He has given me to do?

Yes. Christ takes me down from His shoulders after rescuing me, leads me to the safe pasture and whispers in my ear at Mass about the little bells. That I may be the newest, the least studied, rescued from obscurity and storms. I may indeed be still shivering from those storms of life and wondering how all my problems will be solved. I may be timid at times, seeing the great wisdom all around me from the wise teachers he has given me.

What is there to do but be silent and learn, I ask? Then after a time of learning, He whispers that while it is true that I am just rescued, he will give me a little gift so that I will not be lost again. Like the beautiful little bells of Mass that sweep our poor temporal minds into thoughts of Heaven, he whispers that I shall become His little bell. That, like the Mass bells, I will not last forever, for only He can take us to Heaven. While I shall never be the great teachers I am so fortunate to have, I will have a little gift, a special calling. I shall be the little bell, He whispers, plucking one from the heavens and placing it around my neck.

If I am careful, and stay within the safety of His love, my gift will be to remember and remind others of all those He seeks out that are poor, lost, starving, abused, hungry, thirsty, imprisoned in spirit, in cells of their own making or behind bars.

He sets me down at my little writing desk and says "Make mention of these, my beloveds". To be a small reminder of His great love, to ring softly, on the right occasion, to watch and wait for signs to point all towards the Heaven of loving others as He loves us, that is the job of the little bell who will not live forever on the earth, but who is Heaven bound. Yet, for now, this little bell will ring, will sing of the Love of God for His most beloved: those who are still lost, and need a little music from Heaven to show them the way.

And what does He whisper to you today? Where are you on the landscape? Safe within decades of a loving family or storm tossed, waiting for rescue? Look to Him, towards Heaven. He may, this very moment, be catching you up on His shoulder so that He can whisper some Heavenly secret to you!

Kathryn Forrester Thro: The Beautiful Mass Bells. A Call To Loving Action

Kathryn Forrester Thro:
The Beautiful Bells of Mass: A Call to Action.

How the bells at Mass remind us to go out into the world with joy and love! I am a little bell, who cannot do anything at all, of myself. Yet in the Mass, as the great quote tells us, "We consume Christ, so that He consumes us!" In a world with so many things competing for our attention, at Mass we can look upon and venerate a portrait of Christ or a statue of The Blessed Virgin Mary, and we can be inspired towards loving action.
The beautiful and mysterious wonders of all the virtues of The Blessed Virgin Mary are so relevant in today's world. Mary always points us towards her Son, Jesus Christ, and His call to loving action.

Mary's heart is virtuous in love. She points towards Christ's love for the poor and dis-enfranchised. People of different faiths all over the world respect and venerate Our Lady. She is not only Queen of Love but also of justice.

October is a month set aside to remember women and children who have been abused and battered. The Blessed Virgin's heart cries out for the poor women, the single mothers who live in terrible circumstances, who need courage to ask for help. Shelters all over the country are filled to capacity, and according to statistics, these shelters only see three percent of the women and children living under the shadow of abuse, negligence, hunger and homelessness.

If we are truly members of Christ's Body, then we will feel the urgency of the needs of others not living in comfort. Does not our own body react when even its least member is hurting? If we stumble and fall, stubbing only our "baby toe", do we not flinch in sharp pain? How much more then, should we who are members of Christ, feel the deeper pain of those who live in fear, pain, poverty or loneliness? These circumstances of our fellow human beings should pierce us as they pierce the heart of Christ and of His Blessed Mother. In a world full of vulgar images and self-centeredness, they point to a better way.

We must, we must look out from our windows and see the world as it is: potentially beautiful, yes, but with so much work to be done in the fields of love.
Sometimes we can only do the smallest thing, but just as Christ turned a few loaves and fishes into a large, communal meal, miracles can happen and each response to the smallest request can be a new miracle.

If we can take time to listen to beautiful music devoted to Christ and His Blessed Mother, attend Mass with an open heart, then we will not be able to resist the great calling to do what we can, however little, with great devotion.

Let us be like the beautiful bells at mass, the little bells signaling God's Holiness!
Their ring, their singular sounds of joy can become a call to action.

Love is always more powerful than circumstances. St. Paul said that we fight not against flesh, but against powers and principalities. God always wins with love.
The world can be transformed by love in action. We can do nothing of ourselves. I am nothing, I know nothing, I have nothing...without Christ. With Christ, I can do all things.

"In Christ there is no male or female" an oft -forgotten scripture. Women and precious, innocent children who are battered and abused can find a great advocate in The Blessed Virgin and most importantly, in our Heavenly Father and In His Son, who bore our sorrows and wounds on the Cross and conquers them, so this day, in loving actions and prayer.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Kathryn Forrester Thro : Remember the children

Kathryn Forrester Thro: A Prayer to Remember the children. Some children walk barefoot on the earth. How many times are we told to "put ourselves in" someone else's shoes? How sad that some little ones lack life's basic needs such as this, and are prone to even more diseases because they are unprotected.
Please remember the little ones in your prayers and actions. There are so many ways to help and to connect. Love in action is the best prayer of all. If we are all one in the Body of Christ, then should we not feel the urgency of these needs felt daily by His beloved children?
Kathryn Forrester Thro
Mary's Joy (a helping hands link) Matching those in need with those who can help.

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Foundress of Mary's Joy, a Catholic helping hands link. Poet Laureate Emeritus of Virginia and Poet Laureate of Clan Forrester Society.