O sanctissima, O piissima!
Dulcis Virgo Maria!
Mater amata, intemerata,
Ora, ora pro nobis!
We have ushered in the Month of May, the Month of Mary! Fortuitously our First Saturday was also May 1st, and we prayed and feasted and sang, carried her statue in procession and crowned Our Lady with roses! This time, there was evidence of something particularly special going on, and we are especially grateful for the way God can grace with communion and surprise us with unexpected gifts when we gather.
Distinct from our gathering for the Feast of St. George just recently, when the skies darkened and resounded with thunder and lightning, and it veritably poured (though still we were afforded with windows of sun and song), this First Saturday was a day of spring brightness and warmth, verdant and vibrating with life in all forms. Birds and flowers cooperated gladly with our efforts, and we successfully manufactured and had hoisted (by four strong young lads) a litter for a statue of Mary, covered with care in a variety of healthy blooms. We are thankful - we are filled with gratitude - for the inspiration and the opportunity and the good will of friends to help us honor our greatest helper in this vale of tears! These kinds of moments are a great respite from the weariness of the world, and we are blessed to be given small glimpses of, we hope, what lies in store.
Over the years, we have endeavored in our First Saturday gatherings to nurture reverence for Our Lady of Fatima whose messages, we find, are vitally instructive and fruitful to our age. Moreover, it has been appropriate to honor her primarily through prayer, spoken and sung. Memories of children lined up upon the Rosary Tree at our old house, situated before our Mary Garden where we would gather to offer a rosary together, warm the heart. Naturally, singing breaks out around the evening bonfire after the praying and eating, and there is always a glad mix of sacred and folk songs. During this most recent First Saturday, a wonderful thing occurred: the music came alive in a way it never really had before, and in retrospect it is easy to see that, along with the fact that we've gotten better with practice, it was because our boys really sang. We had all manner of vocals and instruments, but it was the strong pipings-in of young men that really made the night, to the delight of the whole crowd. We have always known that patient work yields the most joyful rewards, but it was truly a surprise to see how years of preparation - anticipation it could be said - have come together just so. We were given a great gift of consolation in the simple sound of authentic, heartfelt, soulful singing. Who can resist joining in a good thing when you have a good young man to lead? Better, a passel of them!
May our lives continue to be nurtured and blessed by Him whose music moves the stars, and helped along by the blessed Lady who gave birth to Our Lord!
On this little homestead our family aspires to work the land and hand on the Catholic Tradition, walking in wonder and learning to live by the fruits of our labor, in honor of Our Lady of Fatima, who guides us to Him.