My Favorite Month--Coincidence or Providence

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For as long as I can remember October has been my favorite month--filled to the brim with my favorite things (outside of Florida)--the turning of the leaves, the harvest of apples, and most heavenly of all the myriad products that are the fruit of the pumpkin.

It is also the month of the Feasts of two major Carmelite Doctors of the Church--St. Thèrése and St. Teresa of Avila. Moreover it is the month of one of the great feasts to honor our lady. The feast that bridges that infamous Domincian/Carmelite gap--The Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary.

Frequent readers will know that I have no strong devotion to the rosary, regarding it as, at best, a penitential practice. However, this is only because of me, not because of the Rosary, the praying of which is the source of many virtues for those who try to live out the promises of its mysteries.

So three major feasts and apples, leaves, and pumpkins. One might call it coincidence. But on careful reflection, I call it providence. Even early on God was speaking to me and in oblique, beautiful ways directing me to where he wanted me to be.

Praise to the Lord, our Gracious King, who grants us the gift of this most wonderful month of the year. The gradually shortening day lends a pleasant air of melancholy, and the fruits of the harvest give us the wonderful heady aromas of spiced cider and pumpkin cake. All these goods from the greatest of goods, our Lord and our God. And every Earthly good should give us pause to reflect upon Him who is the source of all goodness.

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Here's a link to a bunch of reflections on JPII's recent encyclical on the rosary:

On dryness in praying:

"However, I would not want you to believe, dear Mother, that I recite without devotion the prayers said in common in the choir or the hermitages. On the contrary, I love very much these prayers in common, for Jesus has promised to be in the midst of those who gather together in His name. I feel then that the fervor of my Sisters makes up for my lack of fervor; but when alone (I am ashamed to admit it) the recitation of the rosary is more difficult for me than the wearing of an instrument of penance. I feel I have said this so poorly! I force myself in vain to meditate on the mysteries of the rosary; I don't succeed in fixing my mind on them. For a long time I was desolate about this lack of devotion which astonished me, for I love the Blessed Virgin so much that it should be easy for me to recite in her honor prayers which are so pleasing to her. Now I am less desolate; I think that the Queen of heaven, since she is my MOTHER, must see my good will and she is satisfied with it. Sometimes when my mind is in such aridity that it is impossible to draw forth one single thought to unite me with God, I very slowly recite an "Our Father" and then the angelic salutation ["Hail Mary, full of grace, etc.]; then these prayers give me great delight; they nourish my soul much more than if I had recited them precipitately a hundred times." (my emphasis)

Therese of Liseaux

(Hat tip: Amy Welborn)

Dear Steven,

Based on your recent posts about the translation of the Bible into English, I think that you might find it interesting to know that the Episcopal Church celebrates the memories of William Tyndale, Thomas More, and John Fisher on the same day - October 6. Something else, perhaps, in this month to "give us pause to reflect upon Him who is the source of all goodness."

James Kiefer has a valuable site of hagiographies:

Thank you.


Sorry. That should have been "Therese of Lisieux". I ALWAYS get that wrong. ;)

Dear Neil,

I am surprised to hear that the Episcopal Church celebrates St. Thomas More and St. John Fisher at all. All to the good for them to have salutary reminders of the origins, I suppose. And, St. Thomas More is very very dear to me.

Dear David,

Yes, that passage has spoken for me often. I have come to hold the Blessed Mother in enormous esteem and great love, but I have never properly cottoned to the Rosary. When in group I recite it dutifully and even happily; but alone it is a difficult path. Thank you for the reminder of it.



You're in good company, Steven. Heck, she's a Doctor of the Church!

To indicate the diversity in Holy Mother Church on this issue, I find the Rosary (as a convert from Protestantism) a joy (on most days) to recite. It gives me an order and focus that I never had as a good Protestant boy.

Confession--well, that's another story. ;)

Yes Steven, your enjoyment of October shows you are a man of good taste. In addition to what you mentioned, I too have always had a fondness for this month, especially the first week of October. Besides the leaves turning their briliant hues, there's also that beautiful fragrance in the air of leaves swirling about -- and the aroma of leaves burning (we used to do that it in the olden days). And there are fond memories too, of the first bold snowfall catching everyone off-guard -- only to be followed by Indian Summer. Speaking of which we have the commemoration of North America's first martyrs: Sts Isaac Jogues, John Brebuf and companions. Plus, everyone's favorite, St Francis of Assisi; oh yes, and a personal friend of mine: our guardian angels commemorated today. And finally, I give praise and thanks to all who made it possible for me to splutter forth 68 years ago this coming Tuesday. Well, maybe. Yes, October is a greaaaat month!



About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on October 1, 2004 7:16 AM.

Prayer Requests--1 October 2004--Feast of St. Thèrése of Lisieux was the previous entry in this blog.

Prayer Requests--Feast of St. Francis of Assisi is the next entry in this blog.

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