My Spring Reading List!

After the heavier reading of Lent, I thought I'd like to continue some inspirational spiritual reading through the Easter season as well. 

Here's my book list!

Private and Pithy lessons from Scripture - Mother Angelica
Little Book of Life Lessons - Mother Angelica
Three to Get Married - Fulton Sheen
The Little Oratory
Diary Sister Faustina
Getting Past Perfect - Kate Wicker
The Words We Pray - Amy Welborn
Perfectly Yourself - Matthew Kelly 
Crossing the Threshold of Hope - Pope John Paul II




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Patron Saint for a year

Readers have probably noticed around St. Blog's that different blogs have chosen or asked to have chosen a patron saint for their blog. I took part in that a few years ago and was given St. John of God. I thought that was quite appropriate at the time because he is the Patron Saint of booksellers and I was attempting that year to concentrate on selling books on eBay, Amazon and Half.com.

This year, Esther at Catholic Mom in Hawaii was in charge of matching bloggers with their patrons, and I was matched with St. Columba. I set right out in trying to find a connection between us.

Columba lived in the 6th century. He is one of the patrons of Ireland and although I do not have a drop of Irish blood in me, my husband and my children do and I have been trying to learn more about their Irish heritage. Interestingly the kids and I have been reading a lot about Scotland and that is where St. Columba lived and set up a monastery.

He apparently was also a lover of books and got caught copying a friends Psalter which lead to a disagreement, a court judgement and a war in which many died. Feeling responsible Columba vowed to win as many souls for Christ as perished unjustly in this war.

Although St. Columba sounds like a fascinating saint (the account of his life also has one of the first mentions of the Loch Ness monster!) I didn't feel a strong connection with him until last week.

I was reading a book about the life of Jacqueline Kennedy. When Mrs. Kennedy was planning the funeral for her husband, she spent a lot of time studying the funeral for President Lincoln about 100 years before. In her research she discovered that the body of President Lincoln's 12-year-old son was exhumed to travel with is father in the funeral train to their final resting space in Springfield, Illinois. Mrs. Kennedy had two deceased children and she very much liked the idea of them being reintered with their father and set about making it happen. Mrs. Kennedy's mother Janet took on this task for her grieving daughter.

From Janet and Jackie: The Story of a Mother and Her Daughter, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
Jackie was still in the White House, staying up all night and walking its halls. She had become obsessed with one thought: reuniting her dead children with their father. When her friend and chief of protocol Angier Biddle Duke had given her material on Lincoln's funeral, she read that the President had been buried next to his young child. Jack, she thought, should have his children by him too. "I'll bring them together now," she said remembering that Jack had told a friend that he'd "rather be with my family" after death than alone at Arlington National Cemetery.

She called Janet and explained her plan to reinter her dead babies and their father at Arlington. Janet felt it was unnecessary and ghoulish: let the dead rest. Jackie insisted. She wanted it done and wanted it done right. That could mean only one thing: Janet would have to supervise the exhumation of Arabella and Patrick. There was no one else Jackie would trust.

Early one morning a few days later, Janet took a private flight directly to Newport. There she met with director of Newport's best funeral home, the one that had seen to the arrangements for Arabella. They drove together to St. Columba's Cemetery.
That anecdote did grab my attention. I like the idea of family grave sites or at least being together in the same cemetery. I admired Mrs. Kennedy's determination to do that for her own family.

From what I could discover there are several cemeteries in the country named for St. Columba. Irish immigrants would come and found a parish named for their patron saint, and then naturally buy property for a cemetery and give it the same name. I very much like the idea of connecting with one's ancestry and heritage.

So maybe that's the lesson I am to learn from Saint Columba this year? I find the question intriguing.






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