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Home WHAT’S NEW Reflections Reflections over Morning Coffee

Reflections over Morning Coffee

Pat HaggertyReflections over Morning Coffee
Spiritual site in a noisy world…

By Pat Haggerty

Assumption PDF Print E-mail

The Assumption of Blessed Virgin MaryBy Pat Haggerty

We are about to celebrate the beautiful feast of the Assumption.  What comes to mind for us when we think of Mary’s Assumption?  Do we think of Mary ascending into heaven surrounded by choirs of angels?  Do we think of Mary’s “yes” to the Lord?  Do we think of Mary as our powerful intercessor to her Son?  Perhaps we think of all these things.

We can find associations to all of the above in the readings for the feast day.  In the first reading from Revelations, we read:  “A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.” We get a glimpse of our salvation in the second reading from 1 Corinthians:  “For since death came through man, the resurrection of the dead came also through man.  For just as in Adam all die, so too in Christ shall all be brought to life. . .”   In the gospel acclamation we sing:  “Mary is taken up to heaven; a chorus of angels exults.”  Finally, in the gospel reading, we ponder the beautiful words of Mary’s Magnificat:  “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; m spirit rejoices in God my Savior for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.”

A Baby Seal and Laudato Si’ PDF Print E-mail

Pat HaggertyBy Pat Haggerty

For many of us, summer is a time to take a break, get away, and rejuvenate.  We use this time to reconnect with friends and family and to connect with nature.   This may mean hiking on a mountain, picnicking in a forest grove, enjoying a campfire on a cool night, or walking the beach at your favorite seashore.  Whatever your connection with nature entails, it is sure to bring you closer to the wonders of God.

The other day I was lounging on my beach chair at the New Hampshire shore.  I was enjoying watching the waves roll in and seeing the progress of the tides.  All of a sudden, I saw a small blob creeping up onto the sand in a kind of “worm-like” fashion.  To my amazement, it was a baby seal!  Within minutes a small crowd of onlookers had gathered to view this tiny spectacle of nature.  In all my years at this beach, I have never seen a baby seal up close and personal.

Lessons Learned PDF Print E-mail

Pat HaggertyBy Pat Haggerty

We often hear the term “life-long learners.”  That is especially true in the education field.  Many schools and districts have something pertaining to life-long learning in their mission statements.  It is definitely something of value to aspire to.

We can be life-long learners of texts and materials, but we can also be learners of the world around us.  That is just as important.  To learn from the world and those around us is a gift to be treasured.  New doors can be opened for us and self-discovery can be the bonus.

I recently took a trip to Quebec City for a convergence of Lay Assumptionists from three areas.  We met at Montmartre, the Assumptionist facility in Québec, and we were hosted by Alliance members from that region.  What a wonderful and meaningful gathering!  I have been reflecting on the experience ever since.

I took away many things from the trip, but I would like to share three key remembrances with you.  They have to do with hospitality, energy and consecrated religious.  Those sound like such random topics, but they all have something to do with what I experienced.

Many Kinds of Service PDF Print E-mail

Pat HaggertyBy Pat Haggerty

Over the Memorial Day weekend, I happened to be in a store with my brother-in-law, a retired Army officer.  He was wearing his baseball hat that had embroidered on it “Retired Army.”  One of the sales clerks came up to my brother-in-law and thanked him for his service.  Dick, my brother-in-law, was genuinely moved.  I could tell that he was touched by the young man’s kindness but also very proud of his time in the military.

We owe so much to those who have served our country.  They have given of themselves, and some have given their lives, so that we can live in a country that is free.  Let us thank them often and not just on a holiday weekend!

When we say the word “service,” it can conjure up many things and not just military service.  It brings to mind reaching out to others, helping those in need and making a connection with those isolated in our society.  We all can serve in many ways---big and small.  Mother Teresa has left us that legacy.  She once said, “May we never forget that in the service to the poor we are offered a magnificent opportunity to do something beautiful for God.” (From Mother Teresa:  No Greater Love)

The Most Beautiful Month PDF Print E-mail

Blessed Virgin MaryBy Pat Haggerty

Everyone has their favorite month.  Perhaps it’s the month of their birthday or a month associated with their favorite season.  I wouldn’t say that May is my favorite month, but, like a childhood song I know, it is the “most beautiful month.”  As an elementary student at St. Anthony’s School, we always sang “It is the month of Mary” during May.  It began with the words:  “It is the month of Mary; it is the most beautiful month.”  We sang it in French, though:  “C’est le mois de Marie; c’est le mois le plus beaux.”  That song still resonates with me.

There are numerous Marian hymns that we can identify with.  Many are hymns that we sang as children that conjure up images of May processions and rosary devotions.  I was curious to delve into more songs of Mary.  In a popular GIA publication, I counted sixty-one hymns to Mary.  They read like a timeline of Mary’s life---a life integrally woven into the life of Christ.  It is awe-inspiring to think of Mary and the path that led her to be the Mother of Jesus.  Thinking about the scope and depth of Mary’s commitment is most humbling.  We can learn so much from Mary.  At the heart of who Mary is beats her beautiful YES to the Angel Gabriel.  It is the yes that brought our salvation story to fruition.

Joseph Gelineau’s beautiful song, “Canticle of Mary” adapts the Magnificat in a very special way.  Antiphon II of the hymn is as follows:  “Blest are you, O Virgin Mary, blest are you for your great faith.  All that the Lord promised you will come to pass through you, alleluia, alleluia.”

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