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Monday, July 15, 2019

Feast of St. Bonaventure

Bonaventure was a Franciscan theologian who is also a Doctor of the Church. He lived in the thirteenth century and was known as the "Second Founder" of the Franciscans for his role as minister-general of the Franciscans. Pope Gregory X ordered him to accept the title of cardinal-bishop of Albano. It seems that when the Papal Legates arrived to present him with his red hat and insignia of office, he kept them waiting while he finished washing the dishes! He was canonized in 1482.

I want to tell you about a marvelous invention for those who are hard of hearing. It is a free Google app called Live Transcribe but only works on Android machines. I read about it and went to Best Buy and bought their cheapest phone for $59.99, downloaded the free app and have enjoyed it for eight days now and really find it is helpful. It is very good about picking up speech and transcribing it more accurately than most captioning devices. I can get the homilies in the Chapel, hear people who often are difficult for me to lip read, use it in our dining room, if not too much background noise and, since my phone's captions have not been working, I put this new app next to the speaker phone and read everything my brother wanted to tell me.
I did not activate the phone as I have my I-phone which I do not really use unless driving myself or when out by myself. This new phone will not cost me anything but works on wi-fi with the new, free app. I think I am getting another Sister here to try it as it is very helpful and the transcriptions will remain for three days unless you want to delete them before that. I think I can even read out loud a quote I want to keep and copy it later without having to keep the book or article. I am sure this is going to be very useful for me and want to spread the good news!

Sunday, July 14, 2019

15th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Today's Gospel is Luke 10:25-37 and it we have the wonderful story of the Good Samaritan. Actually, the one who asks Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?"is a scholar of the law who stood up to test Jesus. Then Jesus tells us how a man fell victim to robbers; a priest and a Levite saw him but do not stop. It is when a Samaritan comes and sees him and is moved with compassion and approaches the victim, treated his wounds, lifted him up on his own animal and takes him to an inn to be cared for and gave the innkeeper money with the promise that he would pay more on his return if the man needed to stay longer to recover. After telling the story, Jesus asks: "Which of these three, in your opinion, was neighbor to the robbers' victim?" There is, of course, only one answer - the one who treated him with mercy. Then Jesus tells us, "Go and do likewise."

I fear that I am often like the priest who avoids helping; even when I stop to aid someone, I am not as generous as the Samaritan. This is a story that we all need to reflect on often!

Saturday, July 13, 2019

You are the "Now" of God

I will be sharing more on Pope Francis' Apostolic Exhortation:
Christus Vivit: to Young People and to the Entire People of God as there are some good thoughts for us to reflect on next week. The third chapter's title is "You are the 'Now' of God and the Pope says:
"...we cannot just say that young people are the future of our world. They are its present; even now, they are helping to enrich it. Young people are no longer children. They are at a time of life when they begin to assume a number of responsibilities, sharing alongside adults in the growth of the family, society and the Church."

Then he asks what are today's young people really like? What is going on in their lives?

These are good questions for all of us to use for reflection.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Summer goes so quick;y

Summer is half over and I am still waiting to tackle a "to do" list that I made for these days, which I thought might be quieter since we do not have the school in session. We do hear children's voices as there is a summer program for different ages, I think, and the pool is being used. 
I have done some good reading and also have spent time just reading for fun. One older book that I had never read before and that needs to be read slowly in Cynthia Bourgeault's The Meaning of Mary Magdalene: Discovering the Woman at the Heart of Christianity. This book is giving me much to think about as I go through the chapters slowly. The book has three parts and I am still on the second. The parts are: Mary Magdalene as Apostle; Mary Magdalene as Beloved; Mary Magdalene as Unitive Wisdom. 
There are about 30 pages of notes on the 17 Chapters, but I am finding some new ideas that lead to reflection. I no doubt will be sharing some when I have managed to digest this book.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Earthquakes are no fun

On the 4th of July Southern California was hit by a 6.4 quake. The pictures showed all sorts of damage and people trying to get away. It, of course, brought back memories of the earthquakes I lived through in Chile. Our convent in Vina del Mar was completely destroyed except for the very back kitchen wing and children's dining room. It was a 6.5 quake and the aftermath was the worst for me as there was no water, no electricity, and sixteen of us slept in the children's dining room for weeks after that quake. One adapts, but I am so glad this one was not worse. California is due, so they tell us, for another bigger one but we can only wait and pray that it will not take lives.
After I wrote this, (I try to schedule ahead) there was another 7.1 quake that has done much damage and I am sure that many people are living in fear in Southern California. The fact is that we are due for large quakes and no one can predict when they will happen. I think it is a call to put all in God's hands, but we also need to help those who have suffered now during these last two quakes in the South.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

For all parents and anyone in contact with young people

"Anyone called to be a parent, a pastor or guide to young people must have the farsightedness to appreciate the little flame that continues to burn, the fragile reed that is shaken but not broken...  The ability to discern pathways where others see only walls, to recognize potential where others see only peril. That is how God the Father sees things; he knows how to cherish and nurture the seeds of goodness sown in the hearts of the young. Each young person's heart should thus be considered 'holy ground', a bearer of seeds of divine life, before which we must 'take off our shoes' in order to draw near and enter more deeply into the Mystery."
Pope Francis in Christus Vivit.

I wonder if this passage will really be of help to parents with teen-agers. I suspect it could be, but in the moment of finding coke cans stashed under the couch, (my mother told me how that tried her patience with my younger brother) one might not be remembering those seeds of goodness in the hearts of the young. 
But the Pope also calls us to contemplate the plight of so many young people today "who suffer forms of marginalization and social exclusion for religious, ethnic or economic reasons." And he asks if we can weep before the tragedies of our young.  I hope you will read the entire Exhortation which was published last March 25. It can be found online.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

"For whom am I?"

What I want to share today is from the last chapter of Pope Francis' Exhortation, Christus Vivit which is on discernment. This is the passage that has stayed with me:

“So often in life, we waste time asking ourselves: ’Who am I?’ You can keep asking ‘Who am I?’ for the rest of your lives. But the real question is: ‘For whom am I?’ Of course, you are for God. But he has given you many qualities, inclinations, gifts and charisms that are not for you, but for you to share with those around you.”
It might be good to make a list of our qualities, inclinations, gifts and charisms to see how I am sharing them with those around me.

Monday, July 8, 2019

Remembering last February in Tahoe

If the summer heat is bothering you, this picture should help cool you; it was taken after we had been snowed in by a blizzard and it was so beautiful. We loved having the extra days and it was such a peaceful time. I needed to look at this picture again to feel that deep peace and the silent beauty of the snow. 

I forgot to mention that one important reading is from Heart Magazine; actually, the entire issue is well worth reading and can be found on our Province webpage, but the first article by Sister Suzanne Cooke is really exciting for me. I hope you will find it and read it and all of Heart !

Sunday, July 7, 2019

14th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Today's Gospel from Luke 10 has Jesus appointing 72 others whom he sends ahead of him in pairs to every town and place he intended to visit. He tells them, "The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest. Go on you way; behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves. Carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals; and greet no one alone the way...."
Jesus continues to give instructions, but even this first part of the Gospel for today gives us much to think about. I just realized how organized Jesus was for the Kingdom of God and how many places he intended to visit. The Kingdom of God was to be announced to all and that was what was important and still is important for us today. How are we being sent to announce the Kingdom. One of the priests who comes for Mass always tells us after the last blessing: 
"Go now and announce the Gospel by your love." I think that is every one did that, the world would be changed!

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Overwhelmed by all I want to read and reflect on these days of July

These last two weeks I have felt overwhelmed with all the good things to read. First, there is the Barb's Dawson's Letter addressed to all the Sisters and the Family of the Sacred Heart; then the document, " Being Artisans of Hope in our Blessed and Broken World." Now we have a letter from the Provincial Team and so much to ponder as well as the invitation to read White Fragility; that comes with helps for facilitators and discussion questions for each of the 12 Chapters. I am also trying to finish the Pope's Exhortation, Christus Vivit, to be able to share some on my blog. In the meantime, I am still praying over my retreat and have the desire to share more of it. I just need to take time to reflect on each of the above readings plus the wonderful issue of The Occasional Papers from the Leadership Conference of Women Religious on "Our Search for Meaning". And then there are the fascinating articles in the latest issue of Heart magazine that helps me to know how we are keeping the spirit of Sacred Heart education in so many ways and places. 
Really, we have a wealth of rich reading all coming at once. I need to slow down and find time to read all of this slowly. I am also reading the new volumes of Philippine's Writings; this is mostly a reread, but very fruitful for me and I hope all Philippine Duchesne's admirers will be able to read the two volume work that has just been published.
On my desk, there is another pile of magazines waiting to be read as I did not read during the retreat and see that even America is piling up. I did manage to finish the book that has been on the New York Times bestseller list for 41 weeks in order to pass it on as some of us want to discuss it. 
Perhaps summer is a time to read and reflect and you can make your own list. Children are often given a list of books to read. I remember one mother who posted her children's names on the refrigerator and pasted a tiny book next to a child's name when the child had finished a book. I forget how many books were to be read but remember the prize was a trip to a shoe store and each could pick out a brand new pair of sneakers at the end of the summer. I thought that was a wise mother and certainly helped her children find time to read.
Now I need to find some time to read!

Friday, July 5, 2019

First Friday of July

When I think of First Friday, I remember our hours before the Blessed Sacrament. To be truthful, I also remember when I had the experience of 7th and 8th grade in a parochial school, the breakfasts after Mass in the Church basement. We would be served hot cocoa and cinnamon rolls and that seemed to make First Fridays special. I knew, because of my many years at the Academy of the Visitation, that the First Friday devotion began with Jesus asking this of Saint Margaret Mary. It was only when I went to the Academy of the Sacred Heart in St. Charles that I learned about the idea of reparation. Now, some Catholic churches have perpetual adoration of the Blessed Sacrament; I am sure this has been a source of strength for many and has led to many good works. 
I have found that one only needs to sit in the Presence of the Blessed Sacrament and let Jesus love us and a gradual transformation takes place. 

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Happy Independence Day

Our country needs so much prayer today when we still have so much racism and our prisons are full, there are many homeless, hungry people in our land which is so full of riches and resources. We must change so that freedom from want is achieved instead of so much wealth going to few while many suffer.