Our Lady of Lourdes, Our Lady of Knock, Our Lady of Fatima, Our Lady of Guadalupe, throughout the history of time the Blessed Mother has appeared to her people. She has taken different forms, has appeared in different places, and has come for different reasons. A few years ago we all heard the news story of the Blessed Mother appearing on the toasted bread of a grilled cheese sandwich. Seriously, stay with me a moment, I'm not making the sacrilegious turn you are fearing . . .
I'm sure This "toasted" vision was the inspiration of the Holy Toast Blessed Mother Stamper, a gift I received from a good friend at work yesterday. As I'm sure the "seasoned" sisters in community would agree making the decision to become a sister suddenly opens up an entire gift market never before experienced--"nun things." I have so far collected the "nun chuck" and "nun bowling" along with this most recent gift.
Tuesday nights I am responsible for putting dinner on the table. I cannot quite tell yet if they were actually joking or not when after the first meal I made two weeks ago they asked what we were having for dessert. I disappointed them that night, but I believe I was able to make it up with last nights treat!
After receiving the Holy Toast Stamper I spent the afternoon trying to figure out a way to incorporate toast into my meal . . . to say the least it wasn't going to work. BUT I had a revelation . . . I could stamp it into sugar cookies!!! So, last night Kathy assisted me in my silly adventure by making Apparition cookies. We kept it a surprise, and so after we were all finished eating I went to retrieve dessert. Upon walking into the kitchen I exclaimed rather shockingly, "OH MY! THE BLESSED MOTHER HAS APPEARED TO US!!!"
We all had a real laugh over the Holy cookies. I know, you're still thinking sacrilegious, but I promise you the reflection is coming! In all seriousness, the blessed mother has always been near and dear to my heart. When I was a young girl I prayed persistently to be like Bernadette, I wanted nothing more in life than for the Blessed Mother to appear to me. (I guess I should have realized then there was something different about me! That's not at the top of most seven year old's lists!)
I attended the University of Dayton for my masters work. Dayton is a Marianist school and so my love of Mary was even further fostered in the environment of the Marianists. Community is one of the most important aspects of the Marianist family, so much so we almost got sick of hearing about it. It wasn't until I left Dayton that I realized how truly powerful and awesome (in the truest sense of the word) the community I had there was.
I woke up this past Monday morning to the realization that I am the happiest I have been since leaving Dayton. I attribute this to community. That is what I most cherished from my time in the mid-west and what I most lacked in the past few years of my life. So as I sit here tonight reflecting upon my Holy cookies and community I realize that yes, it is absolutely appropriate that the Blessed Mother was in our cookies! Okay, maybe I technically stamped her in them, but I believe her presence was with us last night around our table.
I am so blessed, I'm not sure I could have been placed in a more perfect community for this time in my life than with my girls at Corpus Christi. I am growing to love them dearly. I just hope my hoarding drinking glasses and leaving shoes under the table doesn't drive them too crazy :)
Every morning we pray the Angelus together as a community, a prayer of the incarnation of Christ, Christ brought into the world by Mary's yes. May my yes too bring Christ into our world.