October 13, 2019 – A View from the Rectory Window

Welcome to October. What a great month to be Catholic. I believe the great feasts of October encourage us on our pilgrim journey to our heavenly homeland. Saint Therese opened the month, calling to us from heaven. As she was dying in the convent infirmary, Therese could look out and see the rose bushes blossoming. She loved roses. She had thrown rose petals as a Child before the Blessed Sacrament. As she reflected on her quiet, hidden, and gentle life ending, she believed in faith that God had great things in store for her. She believed that her mission was only beginning as she entered the fullness of life with God. She explained: “After my death, I will let fall a shower of roses. I will spend my heaven doing good upon earth. I will raise up a mighty host of little saints. My mission is to make God loved…

“Saint Therese’s message is about simplicity and love in the ordinary events of life. Trust in Therese is important, and when she wills, roses or their fragrance may appear. The stories are remarkable how roses have shown up in the lives and experiences of people, especially in the darkest times. The ordinary and constant way these roses and graces have shown up in people’s experience is extraordinary. It is important to always maintain the rose of confidence that our All-Loving God hears and responds to our needs, according to the mysterious ways of His Love.

“Angel of God, my guardian dear. To whom his love God commits me here; Ever this day be at my side. To light and guard, to rule and guide. Amen”

Another sign to encourage us that our All-Loving God hears and responds to our needs, according to the mysterious ways of His Love is the feast of the Guardian Angels (October2). It is an established Catholic teaching that every human being, from the moment of conception, has a guardian angel. Our guardian angels are constant companions in every season of our lives. This angel remains a protective spirit of that person until bodily death. Catholics believe in the protective ministry of the angels and are encouraged to go to their guardian angels and indeed talk directly to them. God does not leave us unprotected, he sends his angels to watch over us as King David affirms: “For he will give his angels charge of you to guard you in all your ways (Psalm 91:11).

October also gives us St. Francis of Assisi and St. Bruno, St. John XXIII and St. John Paul II, the great mystics St. Teresa of Avila and St. Margaret Mary, the martyr bishop of Antioch St. Ignatius the martyr bishop of Paris St. Denis, the martyr missionaries John de Brebuf, Isaac Jogues and their companion North American Martyrs, St.Luke the Beloved Physician and St. John Capistrano, along with other shining saints.

But October’s crowning feast is that of the Holy Rosary, October 7. The rosary is our dearest companion and ladder to heaven, the greatest of all devotions and our defensive weapon against the evil one’s attacks. By praying the rosary, every day, we come under Our Lady’s protective and beautiful mantle; we rest safely in the grace of Christ our Lord.

To put these graces into expression the Church in the United States asks us to go out into the world and witness to the Gospel of Christ, especially in the midst of what Saint John Paul II called a “culture of death.” October is Respect Life Month. The annual Respect Life Program is a nationwide effort to help us understand, value, and become engaged with building a culture that cherishes every human life.

October reminds us that we are pilgrims caring for one another, under the care of those in heaven,

Fr. Pete