Today we honored St. Eulalia, a Spanish virgin martyr from before the time of Constantine, and patroness of Barcelona. It was quite festive. The story of her martyrdom was woven into all the texts of the Mass.
I was privileged to read the first reading from Isaiah:
Haec dicit Dominus:Which is translated:
Exsulta, sterilis, quae non peperisti,
laetare, gaude, quae non parturisti,
quoniam multi sunt filii desertae
magis quam filii nuptae, dicit Dominus.
Dilata locum tentorii tui
et pelles tabernaculorum tuorum extende, ne parcas;
longos fac funiculos tuos
et clavos tuos consolida.
Ad dexteram enim et ad laevam penetrabis,
et semen tuum hereditabit gentes,
quae civitates desertas inhabitabunt.
Raise a glad cry, you barren one who did not bear, break forth in jubilant song, you who were not in labor, For more numerous are the children of the deserted wife than the children of her who has a husband, says the LORD.The call for us to enlarge the space of our tents is consoling for those of us who are called to have what our culture calls large families, especially in light of the fact that I believe that our descendents will literally "people the desolate cities" left that way by the culture of death.
Enlarge the space for your tent, spread out your tent cloths unsparingly; lengthen your ropes and make firm your stakes.
For you shall spread abroad to the right and to the left; Your descendants shall dispossess the nations and shall people the desolate cities.