In 1997, Pope Saint John Paul II instituted a day of prayer for women and men in consecrated life. This celebration is attached to the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord on February 2nd. This Feast is also known as Candlemas Day; the day on which candles are blessed symbolizing Christ who is the light of the world. So too, those in consecrated life are called to reflect the light of Jesus Christ to all peoples. The celebration of World Day for Consecrated Life is transferred to the following Sunday in order to highlight the gift of consecrated persons for the whole Church.
Pope Francis, this past Wednesday, asked people to pray for all those in Religious and Consecrated Life, who have been called to profess the evangelical counsels.
He was speaking on Wednesday during his General Audience, in anticipation of Thursday’s celebration of the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, which as we stated, is also the World Day of Consecrated Life.
“I ask you to pray for the priests, sisters, and brothers belonging to contemplative and apostolic Religious Institutes,” Pope Francis said. “Their life dedicated to the Lord, and their charismatic service, will bear abundant fruit for the good of the faithful, and for the evangelizing mission of the Church.”
The Holy Father asked the faithful to pray that “through their witness of life, they may radiate to the world the love of Christ and the grace of the Gospel.”
Here, in the Archdiocese of Toronto, we are blessed to have more than 900 religious men and women from about 100 different congregations serving in the Archdiocese. The World Day for Consecrated Life is a wonderful opportunity for us to thank God for the gifts of these religious sisters, brothers and priests and to pray for God’s blessing upon them in their efforts to faithfully live the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity and obedience.
I wanted to Thank You and Everyone in our Parish Family for all of your support and kindness.
Thank you as well to those who came to the dinner. As you know – Laura made ‘pup-cakes’ for Leo; it was so special.
We had all of Leo’s friends from Zooland and Montessori laughing as Laura and I told them all of the stories and funny things he did. AND here’s the best part – I’ve always wanted to write my own children’s story; so I’m going to try to do one for Leo.
“The Clown that Should be King”
If I was Prince William I would dress up like a clown when I became King and become a clown dictator ordering everyone around and say things like:
“You must do everything I say; but only if you want to…”
“You will eat your chocolate cake and you will like it! Or I will make you have Ice Cream too!”
“What kind of bumbling fool would do such a thing; make sure he does it again – that was hilarious”
For the last 3 days poor Laura and I have been going nuts trying to get ‘everything’ done in time – so whenever she was panicking and freaking out I would say, “LAURA! We have to follow the plan; can we please just stick to the plan?”
Otherwise, she would start crying and say things like, “But Dad! We can’t do that now, because we have to go to Longo’s first to get the Cake Mix and Icing before you take me home to get the muffin pans and… and… and…”
“Ok, Laura,” I would say, “you’re right, we will just have to change the plan… or I guess we need a new plan…”
And then who ever happened to be with us, Laura’s God Mother or a friend or neighbour or even my mother would ask, “Why didn’t you just tell me you were going to do that now? I didn’t know that you made up a plan, we could have met you there, before you and… and… and…”
Then at just the right moment I would say, “Because there is no plan!” Then Laura and I would burst out laughing every time because what people didn’t know was that I had told Laura that it was going to be impossible to plan anything and that we would just have to try very, very hard to get it all done, that included her ‘Pup Cakes’.
The amazing thing was that we were able to get everything done and more to make it special for Leo! Everything was perfect and went exactly the way we knew it would and had planned it, all along 😉
At the dinner reception I told many the story about Laura and our secret ‘plan’ – and then added this to the story about the ‘Clown that should be King’:
The Clown King demands to know who has the plan?
“Which plan, the new plan or the old plan?”
Oh foolish Clown and King of Plans, I guess you will have to change the plan.
“But it’s not my plan you fools, I’m a Clown King, not the real thing!” he protested. “I don’t make plans! You must make the plans and you must follow them; so I can change them before you can make them. That’s my plan and I’m sticking to it!”
“Oh great preposterous King of Clowns – There is NO PLAN! We never make plans, because that’s how we plan everything.”
We all had a good laugh! And cried a little too.
Thank you Chris and Matthews family for sharing your life and your faith with us. Your examples of faith and trust in God have been truly an inspiration for us all…
I once saw a giant billboard in the US that said,
“If you ever want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans.”
It is true. We make plans, but God has the final say. We cannot always see what God is trying to do with, or in our lives, but let us place our trust in Him knowing that in His infinite wisdom, God does know what He is doing, and one day, we too shall know and understand.