feasts and seasons, perfectionism, saint celebrations, St. Martha

Feast of St. Martha: the art of celebrating imperfect

Vincenzo Campi, Christ in the House of Mary and Martha

This morning, I awoke to the pile of suitcases and unwashed things left in the living room upon our return last evening from a weekend away with family. The trip was wonderful- fun, relaxing, and joyful. We shared laughs by the river and laughs over barbeque and laughs over ice cream and laughs beside the pool. My children jumped on sofa cushions and bounced on sofa beds and crowded all at once into a hotel bathtub in the way only the youngest of siblings can…all splashing and trying to “swim” past each other with nowhere to go, then slipping and sliding in all the water that ended up on the floor.

When we got home last night, we were tired. After the kids were in bed, we decided to go to bed ourselves and leave the rest for later.

Later arrived this morning.
I went for my run as the sun was rising, and then I tackled life.

I am, after all, the Unpacker. I am the Washer of Things Dirty, the Cleaner-Upper of Messes Made. I am the Restorer of Order. And today, of all days, on the Feast of Saint Martha (who is the Patroness of Domesticity Done Right), it seemed like I should be about bringing my home and my family’s life within it back to Clean, Shiny, Beautiful & Lovely.

The Feast of Saint Martha belongs to all of us domestic warriors, the ones struggling with perfectionism and a to-do list that never ends. It also belongs to my daughter, Nora, who shares a middle name with my grandmother, Martha. There being no Saint Nora, we gave her Saint Martha. I’ve often wondered if I’m setting her up, if she will struggle as I do with the specter of Perfect and always wonder if she is doing enough.

I hope not.

My grandmother Martha is no Saint Martha in the domestic department, but she always gets by. The year the table collapsed at Thanksgiving dinner, spilling the just-cut turkey and the collards and the potatoes and the fruits of her up-since-5-this-morning cooking, she sat in her chair at the foot of of that table and laughed and laughed and laughed until the rest of us did, too, because there was nothing else to do.

That feast, with her laughter ringing off the ceiling, was unforgettable…and so was the mess. I was old enough that year to remember both.

Did Jesus talk about messes? “This mess you shall always have with you,” or something like that? I’m guessing he had more important things to worry about, but I’m grateful that Saint Martha seemed to get it. He showed up at her house, and while her younger sister sat raptly at his feet and hung upon his every word, Martha was busy getting things done.

After all, somebody has to get the groceries, make the meal, and clean up after the feast. No matter how much you love the Guest, there are always dishes to wash after he leaves. I always want to pat Saint Martha on the shoulder after Jesus rebukes her and tell her, “It’s okay, sister, I get it- I’ll help you sweep up.”

It’s hard not to look around here and see the messy, the less-than-perfect, the I-wish-I-had-time-to. The flowerbeds are weedy and the kitchen floor is sticky. The shelves are dusty and the floor is scattered with a perpetual sprinkling of little dinosaurs and bristle blocks and tiny shoes and open books. There are always towels on the bathroom floor, and the smallish boy who loves the foaming hand soap often sprays the mirror with it in his enthusiasm. The oven is still broken.

This mess, though- it’s full of hidden beauty. The sand on the laundry room floor was trucked in from our lakeside picnic this afternoon with friends. The syrupy smears on the high chair trays were left by little girls happily eating their feast day breakfast-for-dinner. The handprints and nose smudges that cover the front windows are created daily by a crowd of small people standing clustered together on tiptoe, straining to be the first to spot their Daddy as he comes up the driveway after work.

As he comes home. To this house. No, it’s not perfectly clean and tidy. No, it isn’t the picture of modern decorating bliss. But the people inside it are happy. The children are thriving and growing and falling all over themselves to tell him all about what they did today. And tonight, we celebrated Saint Martha, the patroness of domestic life and of my little daughter with smiley face pancakes and a lemon meringue pie that someone else baked.

Life is perfectly, imperfectly good. Celebrating needs to be about just that. And the best way for Nora to grow up knowing that she can enjoy her life even if things aren’t exactly perfect is for me to stop frowning at the mess and start the party in all its imperfect glory.

Saint Martha, help me to remember that we can dance on floors that haven’t been vacuumed;
We can snuggle together for stories on the sofa with the stain on the corner of the cushion;
We can wrap up after bath time in towels that haven’t been folded;
And while we may never be perfect, we are always perfectly Loved.
Bless our best efforts, and may we trust God’s grace to cover the rest.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.

feasts and seasons, name saints, saint celebrations, saints

Why do we do all this saint stuff? Celebrating holy days at home

image credit: discerninghearts.com via Creative Commons

I didn’t grow up with the saints. Role models, yes…people who lived good lives and had characters that we should emulate, definitely. But saints? Baptists don’t really do saints. We were a saint-free household and a saint-free church.

As I followed my fascination with liturgy into Episcopalian and finally Catholic churches, I started to see them. The Saints. Those holy men and women whose faithful lives and devotion to God had earned them spots on the calendar, stained glass windows, holy cards, dedicated prayers and feasts and customs. A whole tribe of people who were the Church, too, just on the other side of the veil. A cloud of witnesses who had been where we are, walked where we walk, struggled as we struggle. They were human. They were imperfect. And yet they sought God earnestly and were blessed.

Saints come from all walks of life. Some of the earliest ones were Jesus’ close friends, many of whom were martyred for their faith. Throughout history many of the saints were persecuted and killed for the sake of Christ, yet they persevered. They received the faith, and they handed it down. We are called to do no less. It is grace that saves us- thanks be to God!- but each of us is called to holiness. The saints are men and women who followed that path to holiness all the way to the end and who now cheer us on from the other side as we travel our own paths, striving all the while to be more like Christ. 

When my friend James died last year, I saw this concept more clearly than ever. He played a giant role in my faith development during his life on earth, and we stayed in touch through the years, sending long e-mails back and forth as we debated theological issues (and as he tirelessly answered my endless questions). James is in heaven now with God, probably enjoying some spicy food and perfect weather on His back porch. I imagine they talk about all kinds of things (as James was never really short on things to talk about on earth), but I don’t for a minute think that James has forgotten about those of us he left behind here. I know he sees our struggles, and I know he remembers to mention them when God comes over for dinner. (Or coffee, or whatever. I’m no theologian.)

Thankfully, there are many theologians that have done plenty of writing on this topic. Church teaching on saints tells us that they intercede for us in Heaven, just as they did on earth:

956. The intercession of the saints.  “Being more closely united to Christ, those who dwell in heaven fix the whole Church more firmly in holiness…. They do not cease to intercede with the Father for us, as they proffer the merits which they acquired on earth through the one mediator between God and men, Christ Jesus…. So by their fraternal concern is our weakness greatly helped.” [Lumen Gentium 49; cf. 1 Tim 2:5.]

2683. “The witnesses who have preceded us into the kingdom, [Cf. Heb 12:1 .] especially those whom the Church recognizes as saints, share in the living tradition of prayer by the example of their lives, the transmission of their writings, and their prayer today. They contemplate God, praise him and constantly care for those whom they have left on earth. When they entered into the joy of their Master, they were ‘put in charge of many things.’ [Cf. Mt 25:21.] Their intercession is their most exalted service to God’s plan. We can and should ask them to intercede for us and for the whole world.”

                                                                      from The Catechism of the Catholic Church

When new Christians enter the Church through baptism at Easter Vigil, we sing a Litany of the Saints…kind of a holy roll call of the names of those who have come before us on the journey. It is one of my favorite moments in the liturgy, as everyone sings together the familiar (Peter, James, John, Andrew) and the less-familiar (Chrysogonus?) names of our ancestors in the faith. At the end of the song, the names of the catechumens (new Christians) are sung, making them part of a long line of the faithful throughout the ages. I love that we bring in the catechumens through baptism in Christ, singing together, under the watchful eyes of so many who have lived their lives for Him. We invoke their names, and they are part of our gathered community, praying with us over those to be baptized as we sing, “Pray for us…all you holy men and women, pray for us.” 

It is traditional in Catholic families for each person to have a patron saint, a man or woman whose intercession we request and whose example we emulate. Sometimes, these patrons are chosen at birth (or at baptism, when a saint’s name is often conferred). Sometimes, a child adopts a patron at the sacrament of Confirmation, taking a saint’s name as her own when she claims her faith as an adult. Sometimes, we develop relationships with saints in unexpected ways as we grow in our faith. Maybe their writings speak to us, or maybe their history is similar to ours. Other times, there might not be a rational explanation for the connection we feel with a certain saint. Whatever the reason, I’m always grateful that our tradition recognizes the ranks of men and women who have come before us and who still intercede for us in prayer. The bond of love forged by Christ is unbroken through time, and the death of these saints did not make them work any less tirelessly to build His kingdom. We can count on them for help.

Don’t Catholics pray to saints? 
Well, yes and no. We don’t pray to saints in the same way we pray to God. We can go directly to God the Father with any request and “boldly approach his throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (Hebrews 4:16), but we also have the gift of a community of holy men and women who are part of the Body of Christ. They want to see us succeed. They gave their lives in service and sacrifice to the Kingdom of God. Death is no barrier to their work on behalf of Christ or His Church, and we are free to approach them and ask for their intercession on our behalf. This is not idolatry. We do not worship saints. We worship only God. We do so, though, with the knowledge that the saints worship the very same God but have the benefit of doing so face to face. 

In my little domestic church, each family member has a patron saint, and there are other important saints that we celebrate during the liturgical year. On the feast day of each person’s patron, we celebrate by having a festive meal together, complete with decorations and our best dishes. We read or tell the story of the saint’s life and display a holy card or icon with his or her picture. Sometimes, we do a special activity to remember something specific about the saint. There is always cake or a special dessert, kind of like a birthday. Because attending Mass is difficult enough on the weekends right now, we don’t go to Mass on our saint days (although I would eventually like to start that tradition when the children are older). We do try to perform some act of service to others or take some action to build the Kingdom of God as a reminder that we are all called to holiness and lives of service.

My own patron saint, St. Therese of Lisieux, famously said before she died, “I want to spend my heaven in doing good on earth.” All Christians believe that we can and should pray for one another here on earth. Why should we stop praying for the ones we love once we have died?

As as ecumenical Catholic Christian, I know that Catholic devotion to saints has sometimes been a barrier to dialogue with other Christian traditions. I see our relationships with saints as a way to build connectedness throughout the body of Christ, continuing the line of faithful discipleship from its origin with the Apostles straight through to modern times. We have much to learn from them and from the examples of their lives. My relationship with God is not diluted or confused by my relating to His saints; rather, it is deepened, enriched and revitalized by their wisdom and faithfulness.

All you holy men and women, pray for us!

What’s your take on the communion of saints? Do you have questions about this part of the Catholic tradition? I would love to hear your comments.

saint celebrations, Theme Thursday

Theme Thursday: Celebration

A little Nora-joy for you today.
Bare toes on the table. Tiny peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with the crusts cut off. Tea in little cups. Good light for photos. It’s Georgemas, the feast of St. George! What’s not to celebrate?

(Actually, the feast was Tuesday, and we celebrated with a special afternoon tea party.)

To my great chagrin, I have just looked at Cari’s calendar with prompts and have therefore seen that “celebration” was the prompt for March 28. (Which I did not do, obviously.)

Today’s prompt? “Sky.”

You know what, though? I’m leaving mine up like this, because yeah. It’s just been that kind of week.

For more Theme Thursday featuring other photographers who actually used the correct prompt, visit Clan Donaldson.

downton abbey, feasts and seasons, saint celebrations, St. George, tea

Feasting on Georgemas with afternoon (not high) tea

There are few things as satisfying as a properly-executed afternoon tea. We must call it “afternoon tea” and not “high tea,” as is so common here in the States. High tea is (apparently) something completely different – and we don’t want to look like commoners, do we? There are rules about these things, you know…don’t put both milk and lemon in your teacup, eat your finger foods with three fingers, not five (but don’t lift up your pinky, for heaven’s sake!). If you don’t believe me, just look at this amazingly-detailed tea etiquette post combining Downton Abbey and tea. (Don’t blame me if you get completely sucked in, though – the whole blog is fantastic.)

Perhaps you share my affinity for tiny sandwiches with no crusts and multiple dessert options at the same “meal” – not really a standard meal at all but almost able to replace two of them. Given the chance, I’d have afternoon tea every day instead of eating dinner an hour or two later. It feels so relaxing to be sitting around the table together, holding beautiful, warm cups and enjoying each other’s company instead of bustling around worrying about what we are having for dinner. If only I had my own Mrs. Patmore to work on dinner while I serenely sipped my tea…

She has things completely under control…so I’m going to stroll in the garden.

Ah, well. A mama can dream.

When we were visiting London, George and I had a cream tea at the cafe in the Crypt at St. Martin-in-the-Fields. It was my first proper English tea, and I was in love with the whole experience. It didn’t hurt that it was my first time in London and that there was excellent Baroque music involved just beforehand in the church upstairs. We were married but not yet parents. Traveling together was (is still) the thing we most loved to do. As I sat there in my very favorite purple velvet blazer with my very favorite person with nothing to do but take it all in, I was holding the world in my teacup.

This woman has no idea what she will be doing in five years.

Since we are celebrating the Feast of St. George today, and since St. George is England’s patron saint, we are having a proper afternoon tea.

Why an afternoon tea instead of our usual practice of a big feast at dinner? Here are ten reasons:

1. Tea takes place just after nap time, when everyone wants a snack anyway and is in a generally good mood.
2. It involves lovely cups and saucers and my favorite red teapot (from that trip to London).
3. It also involves lemon curd. I made some last year, and it was life-changing. It is the most wonderful stuff. I may or may not have eaten it straight from the container with a spoon.
4. Afternoon tea is an excellent excuse to eat lots of sweets.
5. I’d rather bake than cook any day.
6. Scones. Scones. Scones.
7. Even though it’s a feast day, we can have a simple dinner, which means we can put our kids to bed on time (increasing the chances that no one will melt down during our little party).
8. After the children are in bed, we grownups can have leftover dessert from teatime guilt-free.
9. Clotted cream (for the scones). If you’ve never had it, you really must find some.
10. The Sisters clink their cups together when they play “tea party,” and it is possibly the cutest thing I have ever seen.

Last year, we had a great Spanish dinner with a beautifully-decorated table and a garland of St. George’s flags. This year, we are going slightly smaller-scale, although SuperSam did a great artistic interpretation of St. George slaying a Tyrannosaurus that really added to the festive atmosphere. (Nothing like some dinosaur carnage to really make it feel like a party.)

“St. George just pushes a button on his sword and it shoots into the Tyrannosaurus…whoosh! And he dies.”

Our menu for today’s tea:

  • Lemon bars (from the box. Keeping it simple.)
  • Scones with jam and Greek yogurt (no clotted cream anywhere within 40 miles, unfortunately…but I found this recipe to try for next time)
  • Fruitcake made by monks from the nearby monastery in Berryville (where George’s spiritual director, Father James, lives and works)
  • Lemon curd
  • Tiny sandwiches (some cucumber, some peanut butter and jelly)
  • Excellent tea from a tea shop in Covent Garden

It was a lovely and festive celebration, and everyone was so full and happy that the children opted to just go to bed a little early and skip dinner. (No, really, they did…it was their idea.)

To close, I’d like to share this poem with you from the very excellent Mr. G.K. Chesterton. Who better to honor St. George?

The Englishman
by G.K. Chesterton

St. George he was for England,
And before he killed the dragon
He drank a pint of English ale
Out of an English flagon.
For though he fast right readily
In hair-shirt or in mail,
It isn’t safe to give him cakes
Unless you give him ale.

St. George he was for England,
And right gallantly set free
The lady left for dragon’s meat
And tied up to a tree;
But since he stood for England
And knew what England means,
Unless you give him bacon
You mustn’t give him beans.

St. George he is for England,
And shall wear the shield he wore
When we go out in armour
With battle-cross before.
But though he is jolly company
And very pleased to dine,
It isn’t safe to give him nuts
Unless you give him wine.

And there you have it…bacon and ale. What could be better, or more English?

Cheers. And Happy Georgemas to you all.

activities, feasts and seasons, little holydays, liturgical year, projects, recipe, saint celebrations

Feast of St. Brigid

St. Brigid was a 5th century nun who founded the monastery at Kildare in Ireland. Born to a mother who was a slave in a Druid household, she was named for the Celtic goddess of fire and is the patron of the hearth and the domestic arts. (She is also the patron of County Kildare, for obvious reasons.) Many of the stories about her are about her bringing warmth and light, so it is fitting that February 1st is her feast day…the first day of spring in the old Celtic calendar.

When we visited Ireland, George and I picked up a St. Brigid’s cross to bring back with us for our Christmas tree. It has been our tradition to find Christmas ornaments everywhere we travel and reminisce about our trips as we decorate the tree each year. I learned today that many people in Ireland make St. Brigid’s crosses on her feast day and place them near the hearth or stove (or sometimes, on the front door of the house).

Since we had already put away our St. Brigid’s cross with the other ornaments (are you impressed that our tree and ornaments are put away?), SuperSam and I decided to make our own St. Brigid’s cross to celebrate her feast today. They are traditionally made from straw or reeds. We followed this great tutorial from Catholic Icing and made ours from pipe cleaners. It was very kid-friendly, even for a preschool-aged boy with a short attention span for such things. (He pretended the pipe cleaners were eating each other, complete with “nom nom nom” sound effects.) It only took us about 20 minutes, and we ended up with two very colorful crosses to show for our efforts.

For dinner, we used this recipe for a chickpea soup from Carrots for Michaelmas. It was simple and tasty. Best of all, it was ready in an hour…the same amount of time it took to make this easy Irish Soda Bread. For dessert, I cut up some apples and topped them with oats, brown sugar, cinnamon and walnuts and baked them at the same time as the soda bread. It was simple, quick food, but it felt totally worthy of a feast.

The way this week has gone, I feel in serious need of a patron of the domestic arts, so I put my St. Brigid’s cross in the kitchen window. At the very least, the bright colors will perk me up first thing in the morning before the day gets going while I’m waiting on the coffee to finish brewing.

For another make-your-own-St. Brigid’s cross tutorial, try here. And check out Sarah’s post on how her family celebrated St. Brigid’s Day at two Os plus more. For a devotional resource on the saints (neither strictly Catholic nor strictly biographical, but with some ideas for prayer practices included), try Tom Cowan’s The Way of the Saints: Prayers, Practices, and Meditations. It’s not comprehensive, by far, but he writes about ways to honor some of the saints and apply their lessons in daily life. We enjoy having it as one resource in our library. (Yes, that is an Amazon affiliate link back there, just to be clear.)

Advent, feasts and seasons, liturgical year, saint celebrations, St. Lucy, The Bug, tradition

St. Lucy Day from a can

 This is our second St. Lucy Day as a family of 5. Since we have a Lucy (our oldest daughter, otherwise known as The Bug), we feel we ought to mark the occasion. Lucy may only be older by 40 minutes, but she believes it still counts…you can just tell when you talk with her.

Last year, we said, “Oh, it’s St Lucy Day. We should probably do something.” The Sisters were not quite 3 months old. Our celebration last year consisted of changing lots of diapers, rocking and nursing. Those things took all day. There simply wasn’t time for anything else.

This year, we have (a little) more time, and I fully intended to do something for St. Lucy Day.
Unfortunately, it fell the day after the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, which we celebrated. I had planned to make the special St. Lucy bread and have it in the morning. When that didn’t happen, I thought I’d make it during nap time and have it with soup for dinner.

It turns out, though, that this year I’m the kind of mom who chooses to go for a 5 mile run (on the treadmill) during nap time instead of baking special St. Lucy bread for my daughter’s name saint day. I suspect (okay, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt) that my family had a better evening because of my 5 miler than they would have if I had made the bread, no matter how well it turned out. Every mother runner (and probably her husband and children) knows that Grouchy Mommy in the morning + run at naptime = Better, Happier Mommy in the evening. Grouchy Mommy baking bread…well, that’s not quite as predictable.

So, no special St. Lucy bread this year. Although we’ve come a long way in a year, time is still so limited. As you all know, I have my hands full. I know many of you do, too.

Instead of soup and special bread last night, we spontaneously put everyone in pajamas, hopped in the car, went through the drive-thru at McDonald’s, and ate in the car while we drove around town looking at Christmas lights. We ended up outside of town in Shenandoah National Park to catch sight of a few of the Geminids in the hours before the meteor shower peaked, then came home and put everyone to bed a little later than usual.

The nicest thing about family traditions, particularly when you are trying to start them, is that they are flexible. They can be adapted to suit the situation in which you find yourself. I am a devout observer of traditions. I am not a fan, however, of rigidity. I grew up in a blended family with stepsiblings who were not always with us on the calendar date of major holidays. Sometimes we celebrated a day before everyone else we knew and sometimes a day after. My mom’s favorite phrase during these times was, “We’ll just need to play it by ear.” I remember all of us skating around the neighborhood in our brand new rollerblades, telling our confused neighbors that Santa had already been to our house when Christmas was still two days away. We were flexible…and it was fine. It all turned out okay.

Things change, and our traditions need to be able to change, too. Traditions are only as good as they make us feel, and if we stress ourselves out and get all weepy over how things aren’t going the way we wanted them to, the tradition is serving itself instead of our families. That’s not good for anyone.

So, with yesterday having come and gone with no St. Lucy festivities, we celebrated St. Lucy quickly this morning at breakfast, and we did it in a way that worked for us this year. I made a can of cinnamon rolls (the bake fast method, where you spread them out on the cookie sheet – it took less than 10 minutes). We stuck some leftover birthday candles in them and lit them. I quickly made a wreath for Lucy’s head out of pipe cleaners and put some more candles in that. (I did not light them.)

Throw in some smiley kids, and there you have it –
Instant celebration.

See those faces? This is what it looks like when you build traditions from the ground up. It’s not always perfect, it’s not always Pinterest-ing…but it is always worth doing, anyway. We’re building a foundation for our families, for our children. We’re laying the groundwork for memories and celebrations in years to come. It is enough just to start something, even if it’s something out of a can instead of from scratch.
A happy St. Lucy Day to all of you- a day late and slightly imperfect, but still just as meaningful.
Advent, cookies, feasts and seasons, little holydays, liturgical year, Mary, Our Lady of Guadalupe, saint celebrations

Why I’m baking biscochitos

Biscochitos are tiny little crispy bits of heaven by way of New Mexico. They are the state’s official cookie, and they are eaten at Christmas and other festive occasions. When we visited New Mexico two summers ago, we loved them and vowed we would make them at home. All of the recipes I could find then were a little more complicated than I could manage that year. Then last Christmas, I had less time than ever for baking (or anything, really) with the two baby twins needing my care.

This year, I am a more confident baker, and I am baking biscochitos for the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe on December 12.

The real way to make biscochitos is to use your New Mexican great-grandmother’s recipe that has been handed down in your family (and about a pound of lard). I have no New Mexican great-grandmother, and this isn’t a family recipe. It doesn’t belong to me at all- I found it on the website for a New Mexican newspaper – but I’m adding it to my family’s traditional celebration for this feast. (No lard, though. I used butter and just a tiny bit of Crisco. Crisco is scary, but lard scares me even more.)

I love Our Lady of Guadalupe. She doesn’t belong to me, exactly…maybe no more than the cookie recipe does. Her story, though, reminds me that God always finds ways to meet us where we are and that God is big enough for all of us.

On December 9, 1531, an Aztec peasant named Juan Diego encountered the Virgin Mary at Tepeyac Hill. His people had been under the rule of Spanish conquistadores for many years, and the Christian faith had been forced upon them. When he saw the Virgin Mary, though, she looked like him: she was wearing native dress, had brown skin and features like his (instead of like the Spaniards), and spoke to him in Nahuatl, his own language. Juan Diego reported the encounter to the archbishop, who requested proof that the lady was who she claimed to be. The lady instructed him to fill his tilma (cloak) with the roses growing on the hill and take them back to the archbishop. (It was the middle of winter, so the presence of the roses was in itself miraculous.) When Juan Diego followed her directions and opened his tilma to show the roses to the archbishop, they both saw a clear image of the Virgin Mary imprinted on the fabric.

Because the Virgin Mary appeared to Juan Diego’s people as one of them and spoke to them in their own language, millions of people converted to Christianity. Where the Spaniards had tried (and failed) to force the people to accept their faith, this apparition brought a message of love and acceptance: truth isn’t the property of the people who are persecuting you, there is room for you here, and God wants you just the way you are.

In Mexico and across the United States today, there are Masses and parades and celebrations honoring Our Lady of Guadalupe. At our parish, there was a Mass at 5 AM to start the day off, and there will be a dinner with a dance this evening. At our house, there will be a feast of fajitas, queso dip, and tamales. We’ll play Mexican music and enjoy each other’s company as we remember that God is the God of everyone…including each of us, even when we aren’t looking for God. And we’ll eat biscochitos for dessert.     
We cut the biscochitos in the shape of stars for Our Lady of Guadalupe. Her mantle is full of stars, like the night sky…and it’s big enough to cover all of us who want to stand beneath it. From now on, these cookies will be our way of remembering how she came to share God’s love with everyone.