A Feastday Table: Feastday of the Visitation, and "Walking With the Saints"

There was a rather rich series of dreams right before the move, like a little roadmap. And one of the dreams was about taking feastdays to heart more, truly celebrating them. It was showing married life in the future, showing my partner coming home from work and him happy when he felt the feastday-ness at home as he entered, what a differnce that made. Celebrating life more : ) It reminded me of Medieval living, how their lives really centered around the various holy feastdays of the year, and i long for ours to as well.

I like how many see this as "walking with the Saints". Sweetness and light makes it even more personal, seeing it as "keeping company with the Saints", from

I take much inspiration from the Saints. I enjoy reading several different Saint-of-the-day and "lives of the Saints" type books regularly. I have a great devotion and love of (various saints)...and of course the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of all the Angels and Saints. Personally I find so much comfort and solace in their lives as they were human and lived in a corrupt and fallen world just as we do today. When I read about a particular Saint and become inspired by their example, it creates an enthusiasm and energy within me to share it with my family and to enter more deeply in praying for others through these blessed people. I also find that if I miss a few days of readings that my focus seems to shift into a more hurried and unfettered approach to my day, rather than a prayerful examination of the day or week ahead. I love this quote from my newest Liturgical Year resource, The Year and Our Children by Mary Reed Newland...

"The Saints, Our Lord, and Our Lady are our teachers, and they teach us in many delightful and beautiful ways. We should invite them into our homes every day of the year, joining our prayers to theirs, asking them to pray with us, now and then (when we have the time) creating a happy custom with which to celebrate their feasts. We are not without calculation in this matter. We look for profit and gain. A man is known by the company he keeps."

This really hits home with me. "A man is known by the company he keeps." So, what company are you keeping these days?...

For our family, (keeping company with the Saings) means bringing the lives of the Saints into our homes on a regular basis and joining our prayers with theirs, sometimes begging, sometimes asking a mere intention for those less fortunate or hurting. But they are truly company and we dress up our days with feasting their presence in our lives. The mere thought of an approaching Feast sets a different tone within the family and gives them a longing and joy to keep the company of these fine souls that God created to go before us into his divine Kingdom....

I love how Catholic Culture defines Ordinary Time:

"The rhythm of the liturgical seasons reflects the rhythm of life - with its celebrations of anniversaries and its seasons of quiet growth and maturing."

Isn't that just perfect and beautiful?? It's clearly a cue for me to take this idea and encourage it to blossom and grow within our family as we mature in our faith together...

I personally feel that desiring to be more steadfast in the Lord by living and breathing the liturgical year can lead to sainthood, this is what I desire for my dear children, we are keeping the company of the Saints as often as possible!

Admittedly, it can be difficult surrounding ourselves with the Saints. We seem to somehow become less or displaced within our own sins, but this is all the more reason to immerse our focus on the Saint’s lives and to bury ourselves in Our Lady’s mantle, the safest haven for solace and comfort.

Starting Small, or Baby Steps to Keepng the Company of the Saints:

1. Identify Saints to be celebrated for each week and find a reading about them (in
the post she has some great links to try for this)

2. Locate a holy card or image, statue of Saint and a candle (or several candles)

3. Designate a prayer table or area in your home for setting up your display (kitchen table works great for us)

4. Plan one activity to start: Mass, cake, tea, craft, special meal or truly, any combination of these, for the Saints, the skies the limit, but remember to start small

5. Plan to say a prayer or begin a Novena to the Saint (or Mary) to be celebrated

These are the very basic and simple ways to begin keeping the company of the Saints. When celebrating keep in mind the meaning a Saint may have for your family (namesake of a child or parent) then you will celebrate accordingly. Some days it's grand and royal, some days more casual and low-key, remember, we're striving for action, not marathons or keeping UP with the Jones' :) You're on a path heavenward, keep it simple!...

Play special music during your celebration, encourage respect and reverence for the occaision. Light a candle or several and begin with a prayer, "Come Holy Spirit fill the hearts of your faithful, and enkindle in them a spirit of love." Follow with your reading for that Saint and any other special prayers. Do your craft or have your treats. Always finish with a prayer asking the celebrated Saint to intercede for your family and any other intentions. It will be wonderful and you will love it as much as your dear children!! You will be creating a tapestry of love for your children and yourselves and you will find delight in asking these Holy people into your home. It will be the best company you keep! I Promise!!"

Well today's feastday is a double one...first celebrating the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and second celebrating Mary's Vistitation to her cousin St Elizabeth ....talk about a special day today! Looking at the Immaculate Heart will come in a second post, so first about this lovely feastday of the Visitation. I like how Virginia (Kitchen Madonna) presents this feastday with simply the Scripture around it...richer than anything else could be! From Luke 1:39-56:

"In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a city of Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and she exclaimed with a loud cry, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is he fruit of your womb! And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord."

And Mary said,

"My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has regarded the low estate of His handmaiden. For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed; for He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name. And His mercy is on those who fear Him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with His arm, He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts, He has put down the mighty from their thorns, and exalted those of low degree; He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich He has sent empty away. He has helped His servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy, as He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to His posterity for ever".

And Mary remained with her about three months, and returned to her home."

Can't help but feel that Our Blessed Mother, in essence, went on a blessed pilgrimage here. A pilgrimage rooted in loving her cousin and longing to be with her during this time. And our feastdays are pilgrimages i feel too, they shift our perspective, welcome in joy. Well, that is a journey. And even small journies like this can really change things, like any true pilgrimage can.

Blessed Feastday Everyone : )

(Images from
here and here)

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