I will put enmity between you and the woman.
Received the latest issue of The Pilgrim, the literary newsletter published by homeless and formerly homeless persons under the aegis of the Episcopal Cathedral Church of Saint Paul in Boston. It will make its way into my chapel stall for meditation.
Still plowing, slowly, through Mumford.
Today the Catholic Church observes the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, the mother of Jesus. In the Church, solemnities are our highest holy days. This celebration, which proclaims the virtue of Mary as one highly favored by God and protected from the stain of sin, is as important as any Sunday service.
Our novice fraternity celebrated Mass, not at San Lorenzo, but at one of California's historic Franciscan mission churches. La Purisima Mission, located in present-day Lompoc, was founded in 1787 on the feast day of the Immaculate Conception. It is now a state park, but Mass is held there once a year on the anniversary of the settlement's founding. This year, the 225th anniversary of the mission, one of our formators had the privilege of presiding at the bilingual Mass, so naturally the novices would accompany him! The parishioners of the present-day La Purisima Concepcion Parish in Lompoc packed the modest chapel with us. After worship the novices, nourished in the soul by the Eucharist, more than nourished their bodies at Dragon Palace, a Chinese buffet in town.
As it happens, I will be returning to Lompoc for a third consecutive day tomorrow, as a few of my brothers and I will worship en español in the modern sanctuary of the Catholic community of La Purisima.
Now, soon back to our own chapel for evening prayer, and a transition from the special solemnity of the Immaculate Conception to the ordinary solemnity of our Sunday observance. This evening, continuing to address the Advent/Christmas letters I will send out shortly.
A very chilly morning, but bright and glorious and even warm again in the afternoon.