Celebrating the Feast of the Annunciation as a Family

I find that Liturgical Living is an important part of Catholic family life. Our family started a tradition years ago. I believe I found it on Kendra Tierney’s blog, Catholic All Year, many years ago and it just seemed to be a good fit for our family.

The Feast of the Annunciation is a major Marian Feast, also known as “Lady Day”, which focuses on the Incarnation. The Annunciation commemorates the visit from St. Gabriel the Archangel to the Blessed Virgin announcing she would be the mother of Christ. This Feast dates back to the fourth or fifth century. How beautiful that Catholics have been celebrating this Annunciation for so many, many years! That is the beauty of the Universal Church.

So, how does my family celebrate? Since it is a major Marian Feast, we have waffles for dinner with powdered sugar or whipped cream and strawberries. The interlinking design of the waffles signify the connection between Our Blessed Mother to the Holy Trinity (similar to the Fleur de Lis). The powdered sugar or whipped cream symbolizes the Archangel Gabriel. It is important to note that the feast day of St. Gabriel the Archangel is the day before the Annunciation, March 24th.

These small meals may seem simple but are an important part in teaching my children about their Faith. It is through everyday associations that they will find connections to God and their Catholic Faith. Have a Blessed Feast of the Annunciation on March 25th.

A Mother’s Search for Hope

I found my vocation to motherhood along a rather winding road, but looking back, it was most definitely Divine Providence. God has his plan and sometimes it’s better not to get in his way. Looking back, I am grateful that I accepted this calling. Over the past eight years of struggling and laughing through my busy days, exhausting days, and happy days, I have learned to take each day at a time, but with renewed hope.

The endless love a mother has for each child cannot be explained – it is a gift. With each baby, my love for them grew and I am so very grateful for this love, it has helped me through the long days and short years.

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But I have found another very important virtue in relation to motherhood and that is HOPE. Without love, a family does not grow, but without hope, there is no faith in the future. As I spend my days with my children, I have attempted to remain far from the rambling terrors of the outside world. Yes, it is important to be aware of current events, but if these “events” become a distraction, then it is time to let them go. So, even though I have a love for the law and politics, I have determined that this phase of my life is not suited among that unhappiness. There is very little hope among the unrest in our world. My time is better suited with my family and their immediate needs.

I refuse to focus on the dangers, selfishness, and unhappiness promoted in our society. Instead, I look to the virtue of hope in a desire to have faith for brighter roads ahead for my children, future generations, and for society as a whole.

I recently saw a comforting memorial on Facebook where mothers, from all walks of life, were taking a moment to recognize not only their living children, but the children they have lost early. I’m not an emotional person, but seeing how many mothers have suffered through miscarriage or the loss of a child is astounding. We hide those pains deep within our hearts, because just as our love is overflowing, so is our hurt and pain. There still remains a stigma as women suffer alone through the loss of a child – it is difficult for others to comprehend. As I reflect back on my own three miscarriages, and one rather recently, I desire to focus on the good. I pray that those babies are sitting among the angels and saints in heaven and looking down upon their earthly family with smiles.

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I refuse to hide my loss and push those thoughts into a back corner. I search for hope that in the future, I may one day see those beautiful babies face to face. True hope can be found in the faces of my children each and every day and for that I am truly grateful.

I am celebrating Mother’s Day Weekend and my daughter’s 8th birthday on the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima (because I’m Catholic and Portuguese, so this 100th anniversary is an extra special day for our family) with open arms and with prayers for all my children – the four sweet little faces that grace my eyes every day and the three faces that I am unable to see right now, but hope to see in the next life.

There is no one I can thank more than my own mother for her unselfishness love and hope for her family. Thank you, mom!

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Michelle Cascio Photography

I hope that you also have a blessed Mother’s Day

among the faces of your children!