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Monday, March 19, 2018

Feast of St. Joseph

St. Joseph does not speak in the Gospels. He was a carpenter and no doubt taught Jesus his trade. He was a man who listened to his dreams and acted upon them. We really know so little about Joseph, but he must have been an important father figure for Jesus who gradually came to the realization that he was the Son of God. By then, I think Joseph had departed and Jesus was left to take care of his mother. 

As we need to start the stations of the Cross today, or continue with them, here is the third one according to Pope John Paul II:
Jesus is condemned by the Sanhedrin (Luke 22"66-71)
Jesus is led in for trumped-up charges.
Caiaphas declares "It is expedient that..."
"Are you the Son of God?"..."I am"....
"What further testimony do we need?"
The whole Sanhedrin formally hands over Jesus to Pilate desiring he be put to death.

Let us pray: O Jesus, meek and humble of heart, deliver us
-from the fear of being humiliated
-from the fear of being despised
-from the fear of suffering rebukes
-from the fear of being forgotten
-from the fear of being ridiculed
-from the fear of being wronged
-from the fear of being suspected.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Fifth Sunday of Lent

Jesus tells us in today's Gospel that "unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit." Then Jesus says that he is troubled. "Yet, what should I say? Father, save me from this hour? But it was for this purpose that I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name." Then a voice came from heaven, "I have glorified it and will glorify it again." The crowd heard it but some said it was thunder but others thought an angel had spoken to Jesus. Jesus told them that this voice did not come for his sake but for theirs. And Jesus said, "When I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself."
Jesus knows that the hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. He is trying to prepare his friends for what he is going to suffer for them and for us. He himself said that there is no greater love than to give one's life for another. Am I ready to go with Jesus now, to be with Jesus during these two weeks that remain before we celebrate his resurrection? What am I doing for Jesus? What will I do?

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Happy St. Patrick's Day

This is a great day for the Irish and I am quite Irish as my maternal great grandparents and my maternal great grandfather all came from Ireland and were proud to raise good Irish Catholic families. We always celebrated this day and were proud to be Irish Americans. That is why the whole question of limiting immigration and deporting so many who have been living peacefully here is so upsetting to me. We are spending more than three trillion dollars a year to be able to deport people who only want to be good citizens if we let them. If some are not yet citizens, is it because it costs $800 to get you citizenship now? And what are we paying for the hard labor of picking fruit in the fields all day? We are treating those who come to have a better life in a way that is certainly not the way we would want to be treated.     


Friday, March 16, 2018

Scriptual Stations of the Cross

These Scriptual Stations of the Cross were promulgated by Pope John Paul II and I am using them in this blog to help us enter more fully into the Passion and Death of Our Lord this year. By beginning today, I hope to cover them by Holy Thursday with time out for St. Patrick's Day and Palm Sunday. Actually, the first two I have really covered in my own reflection on the Agony in the Garden and Jesus' arrest when betrayed by Judas. However, I shall add here the thoughts of John Paul II when he adds "Let us offer to the Father our difficulties;"Your will be done, not mine:
-in our aging when we are no longer consulted
-in the times we register ourselves as useless
-when we must ask more frequently for help
-in the scenario of ebbing energy
-in the standing aside for younger people
-in the acceptance of pain
-in the dependence when another girds us and leads us where we would not go"

Thursday, March 15, 2018

What I am reading

The New York Times Magazine that I read faithfully each week, always asks the author being interviewed: "What books are on your nightstand?" Usually there are many and quite often I have never heard of any of the books on the nightstand and even on the floor by the bed.
I have no books on top of my very tiny nightstand which barely holds a lamp, a clock, and a tiny statue of Our Lady. However, I do have nine book shelves still full of books. What I am sharing today are those I seem to be reading at present and only one, recently received as a gift from a dear friend, belong to me; the rest have been given to me within the last ten days by my kind sisters here who have even checked a couple of books from our library for me after I have expressed an interest. These books are now to be found between bookends on top of the bookcase near my chair: World Without End. This book is the one given to me and consists of interviews with both Father Thomas Keating and Joseph Boyle by Lucette Verbovin, a Flemish film producer and author; Richard Rohr's The Divine Dance; David Richo's
The Sacred Heart of the World: Restoring Mystical Devotion to our Spiritual Life, a book I had in Miami and now want to read again; Ashes to Easter, by Robert Morneau, a old book but is good Lenten resource but I have not really been using it yet; and This Fight is Our Fight by Elizabeth Warren. This last book is not really spiritual reading but is concerned with the struggle to save America's Middle Class. I also have my Journal between those book ends in case I need to record a thought or a quote for future use.
I have less time to read here than I did in Miami. but reading is important for me and I was delighted to know that my high school senior had made a resolution to read a book a week. I forgot that there is still another book among the above just waiting to be read. It is called Religious Life: The First Constitutions of the Religious of the Society of the Sacred Heart, Text and Commentary.
My friends who know me are going to say, "And what novel are you reading this week?" I think I am not reading any at the moment; I have quite a collection on the shelf under my night-stand, but perhaps Lent lends itself to more serious reading. 

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

"I say yes to everything that happens to me today...

Here is the prayer by David Richo: The Power of Grace

I say yes to everything that happens to me today
as an opportunity
to give and receive love without reserve.
I am thankful for the enduring capacity to love
that has come to me from the Sacred Heart of the universe.
May everything that happens to me today
open my heart more and more.
May all that I think, say, feel, and do
express loving kindness
toward myself, those close to me, and all beings.
May love be my life purpose, my bliss,
my destiny, my calling,
the richest grace I can receive or give.

I have just returned from almost an hour and a half of prayer with the Sacred Heart Prep; after the early prayer service, we processed in perfect silence to the plaza where we stood in circles around the mandala and again the names of each of the 17 who were shot at the high school in Florida were read aloud and the big tower bell tolled for each of them. Then, still in silence, we walked out the front gate and stood on both sides of the street for seventeen minutes in honor of the 17 who had lost there lives. The early prayer service was so solemn and each of the 17 had their picture shown on the big screen while one student came forward for each to place a lighted candle on the stage. The students had prepared the prayers and all was so solemn. I was really impressed by the silence. The middle school had their own prayer service, but the seventh and eighth grades came for the ceremony with the tolling of the bell in the plaza. It was impressive to see how many of the RSCJ from Oakwood took part on walkers and three with their electric carts. Some parents were there and the teachers also came.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Jesus, betrayed by Judas

We begin our meditation today with the betrayal of Judas, one of the twelve chosen by Jesus to be an Apostle. Judas comes with soldiers to take Jesus captive and Judas goes to kiss Jesus so the soldiers will know whom to seize. What must the Heart of Jesus feel when one He loves has chosen to betray him for thirty pieces of silver! And his other chosen friends are also to flee and leave Him alone. How often do I turn from the love Jesus is showing me and walk away, preoccupied with my own concerns?

We had an excellent retreat day with the Associates last Saturday given by Father David Richo. I will share a prayer from it tomorrow as I thought it quite powerful. It has been a busy week with the retreat for the faculty and staff, the third graders for reading, my student, the Bible group, and trying to get in some exercise by walking outside.

Monday, March 12, 2018

The Agony in the Garden

One year when I was in Chile I spent the entire Lent praying with Jesus in the agony of the garden. I feel that this is where Jesus showed how human he was as he struggled to accept what he was to go through for us. In spite of the struggle, he kept praying, "Not my will but thine be done." 
We have so much to learn from Holy Thursday when Jesus washed the feet of his friends, then gave himself to them in this wondrous Sacrament of the Eucharist. Then he went to pray and asked his three closest disciples to watch and pray with him. Peter, James and John were not able to do this and Jesus was alone with the struggle to accept all of the suffering and even death on the cross. Once he has accepted all, he is at peace and will go forth to meet Judas who comes with the soldiers to betray him with a kiss. Imagine how the Heart of Jesus feels. Yet he surrenders himself to the soldiers and his disciples all leave him and flee. Let us not leave Jesus alone this Lent!

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Fourth Sunday of Lent

The entrance antiphon for this Sunday is: Rejoice, Jerusalem, and all who love her. Be joyful, all who were in mourning: exult and be satisfied at her consoling breast.

The collect asks "that with prompt devotion and eager faith the Christian people may hasten toward the solemn celebration to come."

We rejoice but we also hasten on as we begin the fourth week of Lent. We are preparing for the solemn celebration to come and we are following Jesus on his way to Jerusalem where he will lay down his life for us. Let us remember the resolutions we have made to give these forty days of Lent to the Lord in a special way. 

Friday, March 9, 2018

Litany of the Sacred Heart

The response is: Immerse us in your Mercy...

Heart of Jesus...
providing in lavish proportions...
revealing new truths and forms of beauty...
orientated to those most in need...
rebuffed for your sheer goodness...
center of a Church without borders...
shepherding all nations...
diffusing the fragrance of divine indwelling...
delighting in innocence and modesty...
guiding us to the sabbath of eternity...
beating with 'Yes' to the Father...
restoring people to their intrinsic dignity...
yearning for a Church which is poor and for the poor...
fulfilling God's covenant with his people...
banishing judgmentalism in all forms...
befriending society's cast offs...
lavishing unquenchable love on good and bad alike...
merciful beyond human imagining...
existing in space and time and for eternity...

Let us pray: Christ Jesus whose heart encompasses all humankind, let our eyes see with your eyes, let our hands do as You would do, so your reign comes on earth as it is in Heaven. Amen.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

His Embrace

"His father saw him...ran to him...clasped him in his arms and kissed him tenderly" Luke  13:20

How often was there the deep joy of being welcomed home? An embrace from your mother? 

Heart of Jesus existing in space and time and for eternity...

Pope Francis: "The community of Peter and Paul teaches us that the Church at prayer is a Church on her feet, strong, moving forward! Indeed a Christian who prays is a Christian who is protected, guarded and sustained, and above all who is never alone. Prayer is the encounter with God, with God who never lets us down, with God who is faithful to his word, with God who does not abandon his children." 29 June 2015

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

His Mercy

"I want mercy, not sacrifice."  Matt 9:13

How often was there the deep joy of being welcomed home? An embrace from your mother? concern for your well-being?

How tough was it when folk did not grasp that ritual words and actions were invalid unless they represented tenderness and love?

Heart of Jesus merciful beyond human imagining...

Pope Francis: "Christ's resurrection is not an event of the past; it contains a vital power which has permeated this world... it is true that in the midst of darkness something new always springs to life and sooner or later produces fruit...however dark things are, goodness alwas re-emerges and spreads. Each day in our world beauty is born anew... values always tend to reappear under new guises."  EG276