Today is the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Celebrate by sharing the prayer below. Click here for Our Lady’s story with friends and family. The art and prayer on this page are by Sister Ansgar Holmberg. The story appeared first in Good News, one of the Pflaum Gospel Weeklies. Happy feast day!
Our Mother Who Art
You are the mother
of the dark and the light
the rich and the poor
the humble and proud.
You are the mother
of the young and the old
the strong and the weak
of those who rejoice
of those who weep.
You are the mother
of woman and man
of small and of great
of broken and whole.
You are the mother who art.
Grace VanderWaal challenges us to see more in ourselves and our lives than we recognize in our day to day actions. When we recognize and cultivate our talents, we can find ways to lead and work for good. In doing this, we follow John the Baptist, who “gave witness to the light.” When we share our true selves, we share our gifts with the world.
Key lines: Tap your foot and listen in / Ignore the world, let the music cave in / Close your phone and breathe in the air / You’ll soon realize that there’s something that is / So much more than this
Questions: How do you share your gifts with the world? How do you cultivate these gifts? When has being your true self challenged your friendships? Who do you consider to be a leader in your community or and school?
Family traditions and rituals give us strength, teach us the meanings behind the things we celebrate, and connect us with our extended family and others around us. The song “That’s Christmas to Me” is not just a list of the things we value about the feast day but a reminder of the traditions we love and the closeness those traditions create between ourselves and those around us.
Key lines: The fireplace is burning bright, shining along me / I see the presents underneath the good old Christmas tree / …I see the children play outside, like angels in the snow / While mom and daddy share a kiss under the mistletoe / And we’ll cherish all these simple things wherever we may be / Oh, why? ‘Cause that’s Christmas to me
Questions: What are some of your favorite Christmas traditions? What have you learned from the tradition about what Christmas celebrates? When have you experienced the traditions of a different culture? What new traditions would you like to create with your family and friends?
This week’s Spirit is about waking up to what is happening in the world around us. It is easy to put off unpleasant issues and can be challenging to convince others of a problem we see. Maggie Rogers’ song “Alaska” is about taking a challenging path alone, sometimes without the people we love, and moving forward with our eyes wide open.
Key lines: I was walking through icy streams / That took my breath away / Moving slowly through westward water / Over glacial plains / And I walked off you / And I walked off an old me / Oh me oh my I thought it was a dream / So it seemed / And now, breathe deep
Questions: What issues or problems do you recognize in your school or community? What woke you up to the issue? How did the problem touch you? When have you been asleep to a situation or issue that mattered to others? How can you help people around you wake up to issues important to you?
The last Sunday of the liturgical year celebrates Jesus as Christ the King, who promises to judge us on whether we do the works of mercy. Catholic social teaching challenges us to these same actions. We can all take part in helping those who need food, clothing, water, shelter whether it’s donating resources or helping out at a shelter or food kitchen. When Imaginary Future sings out that “we are the love we give,” they are calling to us to look beyond ourselves and at our neighbors who may need greater support.
Key lines: This is not some one-way mirror / Looking out at the world we’re in / We are the love, we are the love we give / I’m starting to see it clearer / We belong to those who live / We are the love, we are the love we give / We are the love, we are the love we give
Questions: What economic and social issues do you recognize in your community and school? How can you help to raise awareness of these issues? When have
you needed a helping hand?
Sunday’s gospel is about investing in our talents. SPIRIT encourages us to look at our talents and gifts and to use them. Who benefits from our gifts, who beside ourselves? Do we use our gifts to enrich our spirit, team, and community? The song “Champion” is about how champions are forged out of their experiences and choices.
Key lines: I got rage every day, on the inside / The only thing I do is sit around and kill time / I’m trying to blow out the pilot light / I’m trying to blow out the light / I’m just young enough to still believe, still believe / But young enough not to know what to believe in / …If I can live through this / I can do anything / …Champion, champion / And I can do anything
Questions: What skills or talents have you worked at improving? What are the benefits and sacrifices you’ve have made to develop these talents? When have you had to quit something you loved? How do you encourage other people to use their talents?
SPIRIT asks us, “When do you pray?” Our lives are often busy with school, work, family, and friends, constantly in motion. We often forget to slow down and snatch a moment of reflection. Slowing down (even a 15-minute walk) can often be a prayerful and centering. It helps us to clear our heads and open our hearts to who and what is around us. Nick Cave’s song “Breathless” is about opening our eyes to the world and beholding the beauty we live in.
Key lines: The wind circles among the trees / And it bangs about the new-made leaves / For it is breathless without you / The fox chases the rabbit round / The rabbit hides beneath the ground / For he is defenseless without you / The sky of daytime dies away / And all the earthly things they stop to play / For we are all breathless without you / I listen to my juddering bones / The blood in my veins and the wind in my lungs /And I am breathless without you
Questions: When have you been so busy that you missed out on something? What helps you slow down, clear your head and open your eyes and heart? What is prayerful about this? How often do you pray? Who do you consider to be wise? What makes them wise?