DAILY CATHOLIC     LABOR DAY WEEKEND     September 4-7, 1998     vol. 9, no. 174


To print out entire text of Today's issue, go to SECTION ONE and SECTION TWO and SECTION THREE

    INTRODUCTION      "Getting to the Heart of the Matter" is what Sister Mary Lucy Astuto pinpoints in every issue when she takes a common sense approach to living our faith with her practical columns. In this issue, she targets Tuesday, September 8th as a special date for it is first and foremost the Feast of the Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the second special significance for this day is equally special to Sister which she shares with all in her column TWO REASONS FOR LIKING SEPTEMBER 8TH.

         Her column, along with columns by Father John Hampsch, C.M.F. and Father Stephen Valenta, OFM Conv., provide effective, vital insights into our faith and ways of fulfilling God's Will every day in every way. You can visit Sr. Lucy at her web site for Heart of Mary Ministry at http://www.heartofmaryministry.com or you can reach her at Srmarylucy@aol.com by e-mail.


          I have two reasons for liking the date September 8. No matter what year!

          First of all, of course, on that day we celebrate the birthday of Our Blessed Mother. Can you imagine the party there is in Heaven? Can you imagine the singing of the angels and the songs of the saints? One thing I am confident of is that the music in heaven is not BLASTING loud and monotonous like so much wedding reception music Iíve heard in recent years. (I just want to get out of the room because it hurts my ears. Itís so loud! What do people see in that to be so wonderful? I have never been able to figure it out. I feel sorry for the musicians because theyíll go deaf before their time, Iím sure!)

          I think Our Lady dresses up specially on her birthday! I wonder if she has a special dress she particularly likes! Actually, I wonder if Our Lady celebrates her birthday twice, because she revealed to the visionaries in Medjugorje that her birthday is really on August 5th. September 8th is the date the Church assigns the ďbirthday celebrationĒ of Our Lady because evidently, Our Lady didnít inform the ďcalendar arrangerĒ when her birthday really was.

          I donít mind if Our Lady celebrates twice. She deserves any celebration she wants for all that she had been through on earth as well as the heartbreak she must endure in our modern times. So many of her children today donít give her the respect that one should even give even their earthly mother.

          Yes, Iím for all the praise and loving the angels and saints in heaven can give her on her birthday(s). Iím all for the praise and loving Our Ladyís earthly children can give her -- not only on her birthday(s), but every day.

          And for my Protestant brothers and sisters who may be reading this article, the praise to which I refer is NOT synonymous with worship and adoration. That belongs to God alone.

          So HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MY DEAREST MOTHER! Please keep praying for us so that one day we may be part of your heavenly celebration party.

          So what is the second reason why I like September 8th?

          Itís because it is the anniversary of my entering Religious Life. Forty-one years ago this September 8th, I, as a 17 year-old, left my father and mother and walked through the convent doors of the Sisters of Mercy. I had a sacrificial heart -- willing to leave everything and anything to become the ďbrideĒ of Our Lord Jesus.

          Time has worn me down. Martyrdom is a lot easier when it happens quick-like, but when it is drawn out -- slowly -- over a period of many years -- well, the spirit is still willing, but now Iím tired of pulling the plow and give all to Jesus that He might make up for what I lack.

          Happy Birthday, my sweet Heavenly Mother! Thank you for accepting me as a bride of your Son, inadequate that I am!

          Praised be Jesus Christ!

September 4-7, 1998       volume 9, no. 174


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