Wednesday, December 14, 2016

#WorthRevisit: Saint John Vianney

Advent is more than half way over and we are quickly approaching the Christmas season. In a recent post, Seven Reasons to Write and Send Christmas Cards, I discuss how writing cards, notes and other handwritten things are falling out of style and are important. I felt that sharing the idea of celebrating your priest throughout the Liturgical year is important too. I thought this post would be a good reminder to not forget the priests at your parish while participating in your family activities throughout Advent and Christmas. Here is my #WorthRevisit with Reconciled to You and Theology is a Verb:

Also I am running a Christmas Giveaway and you still have eight days to join! Checkout Keeping Christ in Christmas for access to the Raffle.

Feast of Saint John Vianney: Celebrate the Priests in Your Life
Today was a beautiful day! We woke up to a partly cloudy sky but a nice cool breeze has been blowing all day giving us some relief from the crazy hot summer days we've had recently. I am so excited for the crisp autumn air to finally arrive here in Colorado! Autumn is my most favorite time of the year and this will be my first experience in the mountains. We just got word Little Man's first football practice will be tomorrow and I have to finalize school registrations too. Still waiting to hear about Goalie's soccer team. All of these fall activities reminds me of the quote from The Great Gatsby, "Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall."My anticipation for all things autumn got the better of me and I already pulled out the fall decorations.

Besides getting to enjoy my newly fall decorated home today, we are celebrating the Feast of Saint John Vianney. Saint John Vianney is known for the many hours he spent hearing confessions, sometimes over 16 hours a day! He was tormented by the devil for converting many sinners. The torment was known by many who knew Saint Vianney and they witnessed his bed frame even having singe marks on them. It is said that the Devil told St. John Vianney, “If there were three such priests as you, my kingdom would be ruined. The Saint, for his part, developed a remarkable sense of humor about the supernatural assaults, saying, “Oh! the grappin” – his nickname for the Devil – “and myself? We are almost chums.”

He is the patron saint of priests so a good way to honor the day is by celebrating the priests that have inspired and motivated you in your faith. We are new to the parish here in Colorado so I felt it would be a great idea to write them thank you notes for helping us feel so welcomed and helping Little Man get back into Altar Serving. In addition to the priests at our parish we wrote another thank you note to a priest that helped me and my family through the toughest time in our life (up to this point). Father Dominic was our priest in Florida and to be blunt, he saved me and my family. I was drowning in sadness, pain and confusion and he brought me back to an understanding of faith and trust. He had a special connection with my children and we all cried when he was relocated just a few months prior to us moving to Colorado. I hope everyone has a Fr. Dominic in their lives. A priest who has truly touched their lives in ways that words can not describe.

Because of the cloudy weather today we decided to color as a family and watch a few movies. It was a nice peaceful way to spend the day. Especially since Goalie had behavioral therapy and was super energetic this morning.

Saint John Vianney lived in France and fasted often. He would boil potatoes and eat a few each day until they were gone... even when they were often times moldy. I wanted to create a French dish that included potatoes so I decided to make a French Pot Roast! A small simple meal would suit this feast well considering Saint Vianney's tendencies to fast. The Pot Roast was super simple to make. I threw in the roast, carrots, potatoes, onions, celery and then I made a French onion gravy and poured it over the roast in the crock pot. I set it on high for 6 hours because I forgot to start it after I returned from Goalie's appointment this morning. You could cook it on low for 10 hours for a more tender meat.

“Private prayer is like straw scattered here and there: If you set it on fire, it makes a lot of little flames. But gather these straws into a bundle and light them, and you get a mighty fire, rising like a column into the sky; public prayer is like that.” 
-- Saint John Vianney

I will be praying a novena to Saint John Vianney starting today. I hope you decide to join me and pray for your priests and future priests along with any other special intentions you may have. Here is Day 1 of the Novena:
Saint John Vianney, you were blessed with a loving and devout family who supported your desire to increase your faith and devote yourself fully towards imitating the life of our Lord Jesus Christ. In your quest to pursue your holy vocation, you were not deterred by the many obstacles that came your way. Your strong faith carried you through all of life’s trials to your place in God’s kingdom.
Obtain for me the same courage and faith that allowed you to give all to God without counting the cost. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide me to the right decisions that will best serve God and my neighbor.
Believing in the power of your kind intercession, I humbly ask you to pray for me and the special intention I am hoping God will grant me through this novena...
(Mention your intention here)

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. 

St. John Vianney, Priest of Ars, pray for our priests, and pray for us. 

Saint John Vianney, pray for us!

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