This weeks episode got off to a rocky start. My house got hit by lightning and recording studio in basement flooded on Monday late afternoon.
My computer system, internet router and hard drive with podcast information went down and currently in repair shop for evaluation.
So if you received a podcast labeled 169 Constant Procession instead of this weeks expected 247 Constant Procession, the mix-up was my attempt to get at least a section of this weeks podcast to you in a timely manner.
Either number tells the beautiful story about Saint Aldegone and the Virgin Mary.
Saint Aldegonde was born into a royal bloodline and to be wed to a noblemen, however she believed in Jesus’s unconditional love and his incomprehensible nobility that none other could be compared with.
Missing elements for this weeks podcast will be added to next weeks installment.
Wish me luck as I attempt to piece together the computer system and basement studio!
From stories about the Madonna’s intercessions for seafarers to a bit about the story of Captain Leonard LaRue (aka Brother Marinus), skipper of the Meredith Victory.
His bravery with this freighter in 1950 earned the Guinness Book of Records award for rescuing the most people (14,000!) during a single voyage. Now in the works is a cause for possible sainthood for him.
Also here’s a shout out to the Eastern Orthodox Christian Church’s around the world who’s Pascha (Easter) services culminate on May 2, 2021.
The Virgin Mary was on the march recently in Paris, plus a story about a miraculous precursor to this recent Paris procession and in my hometown, a mission that is run by Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity.
Links are throughout this page as mentioned in the podcast:
This earlier story tells about a priest turned amateur architect to rebuild a cathedral housing a miraculous statue of the Madonna in Boulogne sur mer, a coastal city in France. Father Haffreingue built the bell tower “tall as a prayer” to house the relic of “Our Lady of the Sea.”
This installment looks at the celebration beyond Easter Day, plus an apparition of the Virgin Mary before she passed on! The Virgin Mary was living in the region near Jerusalem but suddenly appeared to St. James the Apostle while he was in Spain! This apparition is known as Our Lady of Pilar or Our Lady of the Pillar in present day Zaragoza, Spain on the Ebro River.
Insightful Looks at Our Lady of Pilar and Zaragoza, Spain:
Now continues the most joyful time in the Easter season! This is the start of the 50 Day Feast! Though for the Orthodox communities, the celebration of ‘Pascha’ (pause) is still 4 weeks away. But in the West, things are in high festivities. I’ve heard a bishop once say this is the season of the Resurrection and is a wonderful time to celebrate one’s trust in God’s pure love for each one of us.
Holy week is here as we draw closer to the death and new life of Jesus and it’s the main focus of this podcast. But as injections are a focus in 2021, I’m also injecting a bit about Corona and my town.
In spite of the punishment meted out to an innocent Jesus as demanded by weak leaders and approved by the crowd of people, their plan backfired when they put to death the man their leaders did not like.
And through his rebirth, he lives on and is celebrated as a victory of God. ‘Stop Doubting And Believe.’
Part of today’s installment is guaranteed to surprise to you! Also, will the unusual circumstances with our continuing in the Corona times during 2021’s Lenten season help you find a closer bond to Jesus?
I know the folk song in this installment surprised me…a song from yesteryear as they say. And as I’m sure you’ll agree came out of left field.
Looking back 1 year ago to my projections of how long sheltering in place would be & how my outlook may have changed from Lent 2020 to Lent 2021.
Who would have thought as we reach the one year mark, that some still may not permitted to attend a March 2021 Sunday service! Never mind the reality that for many, the offering of communion would still not be offered?
As the milestone of isolation grinds on, this season of Lent takes our Easter journey on a course that differs from all the previous Lenten experiences
By this I mean everyone, Christian believer or not, has been involved in some form of social isolation for an entire year. So our spiritual goal to pull back from the day to day social interactions in order to get closer to Jesus takes on a different feel this year 2021.
Because isolation is the byword for everyone this year. So our personal journey requires a different sort of individual contemplation. The prevention of having to physically attend church and come together in our common pilgrimages towards the great Easter moment is not like any other year.
With the trauma of life coming from all sides this year, the Lenten journey offers many specific prayers for personal reflection. We can, as did Mother Mary, witness the journey Jesus took and a way through our trials of today.
By now going without and prayer most likely is becoming a more significant part of your day. The conscious considerations should provide a greater meaning, especially when we sometimes waiver from our long term commitment to honoring our Lenten practices.
And as prayer is becoming a more significant part of our day, we find ourselves with fewer distractions because of the restrictions still in place for everyone anyways.
So this may be requiring different considerations for our daily Lenten practices than from all our years before 2021. But it should provide a greater meaning.
And regardless of your level of success, the reality remains that there is a constant process of consideration and reflection that is daily taking place within us now.
What is happening is a cementing into place of the need to look into ourselves in a deeper way than ever before and to look to Jesus in his last days on earth as a human as well as the Godly approach he practiced as he faced the challenges of his life as a human being.
Which makes me want to reflect on how the experience of the Virgin Mary as she raised Jesus may have continually returned to her mind as she witnessed the last days of his life on earth.
WHAT ARE YOUR SUGGESTIONS FOR NOSE MASK SLIPPAGE?
Today, I have a curiosity about those masked people out there who can’t keep their masks secured over their noses. Now while it is true that an occasional loosening of a facemask does plague us all, never the less it will soon be one year since the concept of wearing a mask has become part of everyone’s day to day awareness.
This podcast includes a Bishop’s thoughts on why to participate in the Lenten season, plus in this episode are the experiences of the Virgin Mary during the cruel event that created the cause for Easter over 2000 years ago.
Also there are my observations on today’s corona isolation and the obvious but overlooked reason why many people don’t want to get vaccinated.
This installment of Constant Procession retraces the early travels of an icon St. Luke created of the Virgin Mary that is said to have been miraculous. Known as a ‘Black Madonna, it is said to have stopped a plague after it was taken in a prayer procession through the streets of ancient Rome.
There are overlooked aspects of the effect isolation due to the pandemic has on us and without communal prayer, we must double our personal efforts to pray to God on our own.
The other day I was having trouble with a minor technical issue with my printer. I knew there would be someone on line who had a video with a fix.
Naturally I went to ‘everyone’s go to video source’ on the internet to find a video that would demonstrate someone’s recorded solution to this printer’s problem.
To my surprise, for this particular issue there was just one video. I played it.
The narrator had a very thick accent, actually barely a command of the English language. For me, having grown up in a first-generation English language household, this is not an issue.
It’s generally just a matter of paying closer attention to the words being spoken and in this case, the technical aspect of the issue helped with my understanding.
The solution was fairly straight forward and I was able to make the adjustment on my printer. I went back to the video to add a ‘like’ to the provider who spoke broken English for his solution.
I happened to scan one of the comments just before clicking off my computer.
To my surprise the comments, and there were a number of them were extremely crass and condescending. Even cruel.
The comments for the most part had nothing to do with the solution. They did not say things like, ‘Hey this didn’t work’ (because the solution did work) nor did it say they had a better solution.
No instead the comments were solely about the persons English. And it’s not as though the comments had a positive spin like, ‘Hey next time check out the pronunciation of some of your wording’ or ‘Your solution was great, but your accent got in the way a bit.”
No, the comments were like, ‘Hey don’t even try to do a video in English.’
Another comment ‘Your English Sucks, and so do you’… and these don’t include the comments with cursing.
It still makes me shake my head as I recall the experience. I mean this was just a solution to setting up a printer. It was not discussing a societal issue nor the tumult of the Corona virus on society.
Yet the discord and judgements of those commentators, mostly anonymous, were extremely venomous and angry and unnecessary on such a simple printer related work around.
All this brings to light the notions that idleness, lack of social interaction and paying too close attention to one’s personal communication medium is devolving us into silos of behavior unfitting for humanity and especially in this day and age.
As I mentioned last week, without the practice of communal praying to God, where you and your churchgoing peers do attempt to try to reset a weekly recommitment to live by the Golden Rules of honoring our Lord and treating others the same way as we wish them to treat us, is making the world a more challenging place to live day to day.
The longer this isolation drags on, the more it’s important to seek time with God.
Idleness, the silos we are all finding ourselves in due to the pandemic fears and the inability to gather on Sunday’s in church, is contributing to the unrest all across the world.
We can live better and make a better world out of this virus mess. We can grow stronger if we work together in not being so judgmental.
And as for finding a friendly, someone you can identify with, this brings to mind how the Virgin Mary found her solution when facing the uncertainty of her pregnancy.
As an infant the Madonna, was given over to the temple to be raised there. Her parents had done this to honor God’s gift of her birth to them.
In my timeline of her history, I set that date as 15 BC.
And the next date on my timeline is year one BC, Before Christ, the time when the Madonna, during her pregnancy travels to see her elderly relative Elizabeth is also with child. Elizabeth is about six months further along than the Virgin Mary.
This visit makes sense if you take a moment to think about it. Where do most people go during an uncertain time in one’s life?
Frequently one seeks out a trusted person or to someone who would have some sort of understanding from a similar experience in their life.
How must the Virgin have felt after hearing the reaction Elizabeth had upon her arrival?
These were Elizabeth’s words- “The child in my womb has leaped for joy when he heard your voice as you entered the room!” Elizabeth exclaimed to the Madonna.
Can you imagine it?
A little background on who Elizabeth was seems appropriate.
The story of Elizabeth, who was up in years and had been barren her whole life is an amazing story all by itself. She was the wife of Zachariah, and a relative of the Virgin Mary.
Elizabeth’s husband Zachariah was an elder in the temple and six months the Virgin Mary’s visit he too had an apparition. It was also from the archangel.
At the time Zachariah had been appointed to enter a part of the sanctuary that only one priest could enter alone. While inside this holy place he had an apparition of the archangel Gabriel, who told him his wife would have a child.
But Zachariah replied it was not possible as she was too old. Zachariah weakness of faith cost him his ability to speak and he remained that way during Elizabeth’s pregnancy, only to regain his speech after the birth of his son and only then after confirming (via writing) that the name his wife wanted.
Stay tuned next week for another episode of Constant Procession…
I value feedback through the comments section here
A miraculous statue of the Virgin Mary appeared in 636 AD in Boulogne sur mer and though destroyed along with the cathedral that housed it, ‘Our Lady of the Sea’ came back thanks to a priest, Fr. Benoit Haffreingue.
Please leave your comments about your Covid experiences and/or your New Years Resolutions here in the comments section or at Nikossteves@gmail.com!
Check out these links to earlier installments mentioned in this installment:
Merry Christmas time! Enjoy the color lights inside, cheery lighting displays outside, even Jupiter and Saturn become a Christmas Star! Let’s celebrate Christ coming down from heaven to the earth!
THE ‘CHRISTMAS STAR’ never seen by contemporary humanity before today!
Rumors that Christmas tree lots have been sold out way early this year, indicates that our inside isolation opened more homes to the smell of evergreens. This year it would seem more elaborately decorated trees bring Jesus into our homes
May GOD BLESS YOU as we celebrate the Birth of Christ coming into our world through the Blessed Virgin Mary!
Merry 12 Days of Christmas, let the celebration begin!
CHRISTMAS DAY – JANUARY 5th EVE!
Best Wishes to You and Yours and Thank-you for listening to Constant Procession!
Here are some links from other sites to give you ideas and history for the 12 Days of Christmas in an effort to extend and SLOW DOWN the CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY SEASON…
Are the words to the holiday songs simply a backdrop for my concerns of life on these final days of 2020? How well am I prepared for the upcoming miracle of Christmas?
These unusual final days of 2020 call to my mind the words of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a minister who gave his life in a Concentration Camp just a few weeks before the end of WW2 and also thoughts from Frances Reck’s 1992 Christmas recollections from her ‘Blue Letter’ inspired by the Medjugorje Apparitions.
“No priest, no theologian stood at the manger of Bethlehem. And yet all Christian theology has its origin in the wonder of all wonders: that God became human.
Holy theology arises from knees bent before the mystery of the divine child in the stable. Without the holy night there is no theology.
‘God revealed in flesh,’ the God-human Jesus Christ- That is the holy mystery that theology came into being to protect and preserve.
How can we fail to understand when we think that theology is to solve the mystery of God, to drag it down to the flat, ordinary wisdom of human experience and reason!
Its sole office is to preserve the miracle as miracle, to comprehend, defend, and glorify God’s mystery precisely as mystery.”
Apparition of the Virgin Mary at Medjugorje on December 25, 1992 as reported in ‘The Blue Letter’ with editorial by Frances Reck:
“Dear Children, Today I wish to place you all under my mantle to protect you from every satanic attack. Today is the day of Peace, but throughout the whole world there is much lack of peace. Therefore, I call you to build up a new world of Peace together with me, by means of prayer.
Without you, I cannot do that, and, therefore, I call all of you with my motherly love, and God will do the rest.
Therefore, open yourselves to God’s plans and purposes for you to be able to cooperate with Him for peace and for good.
And do not forget that your life does not belong to you, but is a gift with which you must bring joy to others and lead them to Eternal Life.
May the tenderness of my little Jesus always accompany you. Thank you for having responded to my call.”
Francis Reck adds- “Our Lady’s message this month confirms the greatest of God’s Commandments: Love God, and love your neighbor as yourself.
She tells us to: ‘bring joy to others and lead them to Eternal Life.’
She reminds us that our purpose for being on earth is to love God, love our neighbor and gain Eternal Life in heaven.
Our Lady’s words are filled with wisdom and the love of God.”
I value feedback through the comments section here OR- Better via email at NikosSteves@gmail.com
Constant Procession tells of key apparitions of the Virgin Mary since she passed on from the world and how she serves humanity through Christianity.
The origin of these podcasts began with my book The Constant Procession. (An e-book copy of the book can be found here on the website.)
Constant Procession (the podcast) is published here every Tuesday morning.
Slowing down the Christmas pace by spending time in the preseason with the ‘Forefeast for the Theotokos’ and in the Roman Catholic church for the ‘Feast of the Immaculate Conception,’ ‘Our Lady of Guadalupe,’ ‘St Juan Diego’ and a homework assignment for St. Nicholas the ‘Christmas Saint.’
As we try to reach for normalcy given the limitations in our lives during these first weeks of December 2020, it’s the strengths of the Apostolic churches that affords us the luxury of a rich history with many great traditions gleaned from the Christian communities for almost 2000 years, as well as our personal past Christmas times.
And during the burdens of the world in isolation, it’s Advent and the Nativity Fast that keeps us moving along on our wintry journey.