Twilight Twitches

Twilight Twitches

fetscherDear Family,
So here I am writing this Twitch for December 31/January 1. I’m writing on December 22nd because of the printing deadlines and wanting to give the staff (including me) December 26th to do a little recovery.

That means that I haven’t experienced Christmas 2017 yet, so I must imagine what might happen in the next few days, and then sort of pretend that I’m writing to you after that celebration and then projecting myself into 2018. Have I totally confused you? Good, because I didn’t want to be alone in my confusion.

fetscherDear Family,
Like so many things in our lives, the last week of Advent disappeared as though it wasn’t important. It got crowded out of the calendar. Even the Leaflet Missalette company must have been having a bad corporate hair day, because they left the Fourth Sunday of Advent out of their booklets, too. That’s why we printed today’s Scriptures for you.

Whether we had a printed version or not, we did hear the words Luke’s gospel proclaimed: “Be it done to me according to your word.” 1:38

I was sitting here before the computer screen, messing around with the various colors and fighting with the margins in the title, really important stuff. Then...

I looked at the readings I was referring to above and really saw the words, “Be it done to me...” Never mind the colors and the margins.

fetscherDear Family,
Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In all circumstances give thanks.” So says St. Paul as he finishes his first letter to the Thessalonians. We heard it today. Earlier in chapter 3;12-13, he offers the reason for their rejoicing. He says,  “...  may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, just as we have for you, so as to strengthen your hearts, to be blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his holy ones.”

The huge love for which Paul prayed in verses 12 and 13 is seen on a practical level by living out the norms of conduct that he gave them. The principles of Christian living, of acting morally, come right out of how we see ourselves relating to God. Knowing His love for me points me in the direction of a moral conduct that is the practical, personal expression of one’s Christian faith, love, and hope.

fetscherDear Family,
So, I picked up Annie at the airport after her aunt and our friend, Sister Mary Richard Rowley, S.C. had died in New York. Annie had spent the previous four days at Sister Mary’s bedside, watching and waiting as Sister Mary went through the last throes of pneumonia.

As we drove home, a very tired Annie said in passing, “Can you just imagine people going through things like this without any faith?”

It’s a question I have posed at funerals. Maybe some of you have even heard me ask the same thing. What a difference there is between a congregation sitting in front of you that has been shaped by faith, and one that simply has no idea what you’re doing or what the prayers are saying. They watch and wonder... what is this all about?

fetscherDear Family,
Happy Advent! Why do we use purple during Advent? It’s a color calling us into a reflective attitude. Purple, or violet, can also bring us a penitential outlook. Think of Lent. So, what is the color doing for me right now?

“Dear Jesus, I’m thinking about celebrating your birthday coming up. I’m really sorry that I haven’t been more grateful for the gift of yourself that you gave us, and keep giving us. And Lord, if actions speak louder than words, I’m really sorry that what I say and do doesn’t reflect you very well all the time either.”

“Lord, when I think about it, it seems like you’re calling me to ‘give birth’ to you.” A guy giving birth sounds a little weird. “Lord, help me recreate you. When you call us to be your followers, what else could you mean except, ‘Make Me Present!’”

fetscherDear Family,
Last week I enjoyed introducing Father Antony and the St. Mary community to you so much that I forgot to say Happy Thanksgiving in last Sunday’s Twitch. That plus the fact that, because of printing deadlines, I’m really writing this Twitch on Nov. 16th. Right now, your ‘last week’ is my ‘next week.’ How’s that for total confusion? It’s okay. Sort of goes with the territory these days.

SO, what would I have said to you if this was last Sunday’s pre-Thanksgiving letter? Well, firstly, thanks for reading this. The Twitches are my way of trying to keep us in touch with each other. I don’t labor under any illusion that they are masterpieces of prose. However, writing forces me to stop and think a little bit about the who, what, where, when, and most of all, the why of St. Sebastian.

fetscherDear Family,
I am very happy to welcome a new ‘holy man’ in our midst. He is Father Antony (no ‘h’) Vayalikarottu. Father Antony is the vicar of St. Mary’s Malankara Catholic Church of South Florida.

Their web page tells us that, “St. Mary’s is part of the Syro-Malankara Major Archiepiscopal Church. The Church is in full communion with the Bishop of Rome. The Mission is started by the faithful catholic Malankarites from Kerala, India....”

fetscherDear Family,
Thank you for your contributions to the Respect Life October request for baby stuff. Interesting comment: “We get lots of lovely things for little girls, but we don’t get many clothing items for boys.” I’m toying with the idea of making a run to somewhere and just buying some boys’ stuff, but then I have a vision of running into a parishioner who wants to ask, but won’t, “Why are you buying kids’ clothes?” It might be kind of fun to keep them wondering...

fetscherDear Family,
I stole this reflection, body and bones, from the Creighton Online Ministries Daily Reflections. Our author is Maureen McCann Waldon, a retired member of the faculty at Creighton. I hope you will appreciate it as much as I did and understand why I’m passing it on. In Jesus,

The greatest among you must be your servant. - Matthew 23:11

fetscherDear Family,
So, what is special about Wednesday, November 1st, besides being Annie’s birthday? In case you didn’t figure it out from the heading, it is All Saints Day. Thursday is All Souls Day and you can find a very thorough treatment of the history of both feasts on Catholic Online.

Historically, in some places the two days have been linked together with All Hallows Eve thrown in for good measure. (So, why do we dress kids like ghosts and witches instead of saints?)

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