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Friday, December 19, 2014

What a joy to see young children!

Yesterday, as soon as mass was over, the Montessori children paraded into the Chapel to entertain us with all the Christmas songs thy had learned. They were darling and so serious about the body movements that enlivened their performance. I am so glad that I was able to be there,

Now that I am feeling better I find myself using he Advent prayer: "Come, Lord Jesus, and do not delay!" I also had a light about today'Gospel. Zechariah was speechless for nine months and imagine how silent the house must have been before Mary arrived.
Now for a Christmas Blessing I received yesterday and want to pass on to you.

May all the days of all the years
That God has still in store,
Be filled with every joy and grace
To bless you more and more;
May hope of heart and peace of mind
Beside you ever stay,
And that's the golden wish I have
For you this Christmas Day!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Live this year as a grace

The laity share with consecrated persons the "same ideals, spirit and mission. The third part of the Letter gives Pope Francis' Horizons for this year of consecrated life. First, he wishes to speak to the laity a larger family, a charismatic family. The Year for Consecrated Life concerns the entire Church.
We are invited to experience this Year as a moment of thanksgiving to the Lord and grateful remembrance for all the gifts we continue to receive . .  .
The Pope also addresses the Churches of other traditions . . .he encourages dialogue and asks thePastors "to show special concern for promoting the different charisms" and he entrusts this Year to Mary, "the Virgin of listening and contemplation, the first disciple of her beloved Son."
Lastly, the Pope joins us in gratitude for "the gifts of grace and light with which the Lord graciously wills to enrich us, and I accompany you with my Apostolic Blessing."

Having finished my summary of the Apostolic Letter for the Year of  Consecrated Life, I am also happy to announce that after 40 days, the infection seems to have left me and I am no longer in isolation! Thank you for all the prayer!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Am I an "expert in communion"?

The third expectation for this year of consecrated life is the call to be an expert in communion. That is really a call for everyone as Jesus told us to love one another "as I have loved you." Communion entails mutual acceptance and concern...it banishes all envy, jealousy, criticism, gossip, and pettiness.
One of the strongest statements of the Pope is that no one during this year of consecrated life "can feel excused from seriously examining his or her presence in the Church 's life and from responding to the new demands constantly being made on us, to the cry of the poor."
"Only by such concerns for the needs of the world, and by docility to the promptings of the Spirit, will this Year of Consecrated Life become an authentic Kairos, a time rich in God's grace, a time of transformation."
I think this requires serious reflection.
So often we think of the Church as the hierarchy, or maybe even the buildins where we receive the Sacraments and forget that we are the Church!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

We are called to be Prophets

Prophets are people who know God and know his people. Pope Francis says that because they are free, "they are beholden to no one but God, and they have no interest other than God. Prophets tend to be on the side of the poor and the powerless, for they know that God himself is on their side."
It takes courage to be a prophet. We are to denounce evil and we are to announce the reign of God. I am convinced that whatever I do or do not do influences the evolution of the world!

Monday, December 15, 2014

62 Years of Consecrated Life

I made my vows sixty-two years ago today and remember the joy I felt as if it were yesterday! I had prayed to really understand what I was committing myself to for the rest of my life. I think I was so in love with Jesus that nothing else mattered. As I was the athletic coach for the school as a second year novice, I remember going to the locker room to talk to the girls for the last time on my vow day.
Now, having returned in memory to my first day of consecrated life, let me go back to Pope Francis' Letter. His expectations for this year of consecrated life are: Joy, ability to wake up the world in a prophetic way, living a spirituality of communion, a going forth to proclaim the Gospel, and, finally, that we question what it is that God and people today are asking. More about these expectations tomorrow!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Third Sunday of Advent

John came to prepare the way of the Lord! He came to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. Because Jesus came into our world e are never in darkness. The second reading from Paul's Lettr to the Thessalonians tells us to rejoice always. We are to pray without ceasing and in all circumstances give thanks! Quite a program for all of us as we enter the third week of Advent!

Friday, December 12, 2014

"When I am weak, then I am strong"(2 Cor 12:10

"We are called to know and show that God is able to fill our hearts to the brim with happiness; that we need not seek happiness elsewhere; that the authentic fraternity found in our communities increases our joy;and that our total self-giving in service to the Church, to families, to the elderly and the poor, brings us life-long personal fulfillment." That is a long quote from Pope Francis who expects us to live in joy!
No matter what difficulties we face, we can radiate joy as Christ is with us and we find our joy in Him!
Now, the Pope is counting on us "to wake up the world"! As religious, we follow the Lord in a special way, in a prophetic way. We are to be "prophets who witness to how Jesus lived on earth."

"Prophets receive from God the ability to scrutinize the times in which they live and to interpret events: they are like sentinels who keep watch in the night and sense the coming of the dawn."

How am I waking up the world?

Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Today is the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe and the birthday of St. Madeleine Sophie. I took the habit 64 years ago today. At that time we were dressed in wedding gowns as brides of Christ and walked down the center of the Chapel; then our habits were blessed and given to us; we then left the Chapel, had our hair cut and were dressed in the habit with the white veil of a novice. My parents came for the ceremony. Afterwards they went to Macy's in New York and sent me a whole box of toys so I played with the the novices on Christmas Day. I was 19 years old but still enjoyed playing jacks and pick-up sticks, yo-yos and spinning tops.
Did you know that the appearance of Our Lady to Jun Diego in Mexico in 1531 is one of nine Marian appearances approved by the Catholic Church? The next four were in France: to St. Catherine Laboure in Paris n 1830; to two children in LaSalette in 1846; to St. Bernadette in Lourdes in the 1850s; then at Pontmain in 1871. Then Our Lady appeared at Knock, Ireland in 1879, Fatima in Portugal in 1917, and the last two inBelgium in 1932-33.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Be not afraid . . .for I am with you!

Pope Francis wants the third aim of this year to be hope. Amid all the problems and woes that surround us, we are called to practice the virtue of hope. Our hope is based on Jesus, the One who loves us and who is all-powerful!
The expectations for this year are worth reflection. The firt is joy. The Pope tells us that the old saying will always be true: "Where there are religious, there is joy." It is God who fills our hearts with happiness!
The second expectation is "to wake up the world"! More on that tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Living the present with passion

We are called to live with passion. It is the passionate love of Jesus that leads us to live the Good News! Pope Francis tells us that "living the present with passion means becoming 'experts in communion'..." The Spirit inspires us with a passion for unity. We are called to be women and men of communion - as Pope Francis says, let us "Live the mysticism of encounter."

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Aims of the Year of Consecrated Life

As we begin this new liturgical year, I am aware that many of us are thrilled to also have this year dedicated to the consecrated life. The beautiful letter of Pope Francis has much to ponder. He begins by stating the aims of this year: To look to the past with gratitude; to live the present with passion; to a the future with hope. If you reflect on these aims, they are calls to all of us.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Feast of the Immaculate Conception

Any feast day of Our Lady is cause for rejoicing. I have been praying with Psalm 100 and today was thinking of Our Lady praying it. All her being rejoiced in the Lord! She always chose what was pleasing to God, without thought of self! She also notices when we lack something and intercedes for us with her Son. May we honor her today as our Mother and Advocate!