Today my blog is late1 I was up at 5:00 AM and have done many things, but only now am remembering to post a blog. I want to share a few thoughts from the "Desk of Monsignor Carruthers" - he is the pastor of St. Augustine Church where I usually go to noon Mass and this is also the Catholic Student Center for the University of Miami; sometimes we all go to the 5:30 Liturgy there Saturdays. Monsignor is writing about the Holy Spirit. He reminds us that "It is the Holy Spirit that renews us and opens us again and again to the counsel and wisdom of God the Father. It is the Holy Spirit that deepens our communion with the Son, our Savior, and through Him our communion with each other...It is the Spirit that heals and renews us..." Later he reminds us that it is the Holy Spirit that comes to us with all his gifts; we are to give a daily "Yes" to the stirrings of the Holy Spirit within us. I am going to obey the inspiration of the Holy Spirit to work this morning to fight against a law that would allow people to carry unconcealed guns - a friend just sent me the information how I can help to prevent this. I think our lawmakers are crazy when they think that guns can protect us. We have so many senseless shootings right here in Miami because people have guns.
Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Your faithful and kindle in them the fire of Your love. Send forth Your Spirit, and they shall be created and You shall renew the face of the earth. Amen.
This morning I read that one way to help us to decide something is to journal with God. And then it said that when we wrote about our life and what was happening, we give God the opportunity to be with us and rewrite our life so we are aware and more grateful. Then, according to research, this kind of writing actually lessens anxiety. I almost laughed out loud because a couple of weeks ago I had a doctor's appointment. My blood pressure always seems to go up when my doctor takes it so he had prescribed medicine which I only took for two days as it made me so drowsy; I was back to have my blood pressure checked, but was a bit anxious about telling the doctor that I stopped the medicine. Well, he was running late and I had almost two hours to wait in his office. I only had my journal with me. I began to think of the highlights of the last years since I had written my life and soon I was filling eight pages of my journal before I was called to see the doctor. Lo and behold, when he took my blood pressure it was the lowest I have had in years! Was it the journal writing that did that?
I did journal with God again this morning. I guess I have so much to thank for that it is easy to go back over the day and be grateful, even if I was not aware of the grace given at the time. I reflect back and then thank for all the good things of the day - even for driving safely, or getting a note into the mail on time, etc.
Here is a quote that may help us today:
Your life is a sacred journey. It is about change, growth, discovery, movement and transformation... It is continuously expanding your vision of what is possible, stretching your soul, teaching you to see clearly and deeply, helping you to listen to your intuition.
Having begun finally a discussion group to deepen the insights we have found transformational in "The Emergent Christ" by Illia Delio, I would like to share a few from the beginning of her book. I must confess that my book is well-marked in different color pens and highlighters. There were ten of us for a very interesting time Thursday night just sharing ideas on the first Chapter. It is so true that we have learned so much about our universe and yet we have not kept up in theology. If God is love, God is dynamic and is capable of change. Everything is interconnected and we are all in relationship to every thing. What I do or do not do really is important .
Today is my mother's birthday. I am sure she is celebrating with the angels in heaven with my Dad. I have not been good at remembering birthdays lately. I hope to do better as for all of us here on earth it is the first day of a new year of life and moves us on toward our heavenly life. I love the feast of the Angels as I have a wonderful Guardian Angel who has helped me often. I am ashamed that I do not take the time to thank my angel who watches over me day and night and has given me tangible proofs of his or her existence in my life. Our Guardian Angels are another proof of God's love!
Each day I marvel at the clean, running water that is available for us to use for dinking, washing, cooking, watering the plants, etc. We so often take it for granted. Many, many people in this world of ours do not have the luxury of having clean water. Many walk long distances to have water and need to carry it home. It is so sad to see how we waste water when others do not have any. Our way of life is allowing us to just turn on the water and let it run until it gets either hot or cold and I think that this gift of God is a daily reminder to thank Him.
The Living Water that flows from the Heart of Christ is the greatest gift. It comes to refresh us, to strengthen us and is continually flowing from His Heart. His Love overflows into our hearts so that we may go forth and give His Love.
In your imagination you can walk through the leaves and sit down on this bench and invite Jesus to come and talk with you. I have several things to say to Jesus about the many graces He gives each of us everyday! My gratitude journal has been neglected lately, but I do try to thank each day for the little joys and surprises. I am trying to see the good in all that happens. It is interesting to me that I have no desire to watch television as it is just too many commercials. I do want to watch a few things but now depend on the newspapers for most of my news and I do find myself praying as I read the morning paper. There is so much suffering and I just hope the Pope's plea for us all to think of the common good will make a difference in our country.
St. Madeleine Sophie said, " We are called to reproduce in our lives the commandment that Jesus call his own: the precept of charity. We should all have the same thought; we ought to be ready to face any sacrifice in the interests of others."
And here is another quote: "Interior life is the primary need of our hearts. It is only the glory of God and zeal for the good of our neighbor that can draw us away." Now go sit on that bench and dialogue with Jesus.
While I enjoy still being able to swim in Miami. I do miss the brisk weather and the turning of the leaves into their brilliant autumn colors. I would love to take a drive through New England some year in the Fall months. I guess that is on my "bucket" list. Maybe next year. In fact, now that we are one Province, I would love to drive to Canada. I have been to Halifax and to Prince Edwards Island on a great vacation years ago and another time visited Toronto, but that is all I know of Canada. It is too bad that the train trip across Canada is so costly as that is one trip I still desire to make someday.
Since the cursor wants to act up again and only start from the center, I will cut this blog but give you another quote from St. Madeleine Sophie to think about. She said, "Let us cling to God alone and keep our gaze, our hopes, fixed on God. Let us live in peace, steeped in trust in God's goodness. Their is your source of strength; you will find it nowhere else."
I have just finished reading the Life of Mother Louise Callan; you can find it on Amazon and I had the Kindle edition which I read on my I-pad; I with I had had the printed edition as then I could have easily checked the notes at the end of the book while reading it. If you knew Mother Callan personally, you will want to read this book. Many of you know her because of her wonderful life of Philippine Duchesne. She taught me at Maryville and also made the retreat at St. Charles one summer when I was also making it. She had just finished the last chapter and offered to read it to us during our noonday meal. Each day of the retreat I was aware of the last days of Philippine and we were all crying by the time Mother Callan finished the chapter. I do not remember anything the priest said in that retreat, but I do remember listening to Mother Callan. On the fifth day of the retreat, Reverend Mother Walsh arrived to tell me that I would not be going back to Villa Duchesne in September (I had made my vows in December and then taught at Villa from January to June and then went to twelve weeks of summer school and was actually missing class to make my retreat at St. Charles.
If you have been reading my blog for the last years, you know how grateful I am to Pope Francis; he has inspired so many to reach out to others and to proclaim the Good News with joy! I think this visit to the United States has been very good for all of us and it is amazing that he can accomplish so much in such a short time. It is as if Jesus were visiting and I think Jesus would be saying the same things and reaching out to all.
Now we must pray that the synod of Bishops will also follow the Pope's lead and make decisions that are full of compassion. I also hope that Pope Francis will push for a greater role for women in the Church today. I have not followed all the television coverage, but just feel so good about the entire visit. I think he has touched many hearts. He is an example for all of us.
In this blog I have often mentioned over the years my efforts to develop a personal relationship with each Person in the Blessed Trinity. The Holy Spirit is invoked by me often for help, but I was thinking that I ought also to be thanking the Spirit for all the aid I constantly receive. I get carried away when I begin to think of the Trinity and how each Person is constantly loving and not one of us is forgotten. It is such a mystery, but after reading the daily news I just need to confide the world to God again each day. It does not help to get depressed over the violence, the suffering, the needless deaths because people carry guns, etc. - I do feel helpless, but God is all-powerful and all-loving and so I am consoled by the fact that God does care for our world and for each of us.
Pope Francis spoke of the culture of encounter. I liked what he said so much that it is one of my goals. Here is the quote I copied in my journal. I hope I have it right as I did not give the source: "To be a person of dialogue, committed to the culture of encounter, who looks for the best in people and is not judgmental..." We encounter others each day - let us look for the good in each and never be critical as we cannot judge another.
Because we celebrate St. Madeleine Sophie's feast on May 25th, every month in Chile, we had special devotions for her. I do not know if this is done in others countries, but it has stayed with me to make the 25th a special day and I try to honor Sophie who means so much to me. The Society of the Sacred Heart owes her so much. She was the foundation stone in 1800 who would be chosen as our first Mother General; she governed the Society of the Sacred Heart for 65 years! I am just with her this month thinking of how much she suffered from her foot.
She wanted to live under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. She also urged us to listen to Jesus. Here is a quote from her: "Great should be our zeal and ardor in acquiring the very spirit of the Heart of Jesus, so that we may be able to communicate it to all who come in contact with us."
May we follow Sophie's example and act always under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit!
According to Pope Francis, every time the Lord visits us, he calls us out of our house. "God's presence in our lives never leaves us tranquil; it always pushes to do something. When God comes, he always calls us out of our house. We are visited so that we can visit others; we are encountered so as to encounter others; we receive love in order to give love." Have I encountered God today? How has God shown me His love? Who have I encountered? Did I pass on that love? I think these are questions to ask ourselves each day. We can always take time to encounter someone by e-mail or phone or at work or wherever.
Hello, my name is Helen Rosenthal, RSCJ. Those initials stand for Religious of the Sacred Heart in Latin, French, Italian, and Spanish. Since my religious congregation began in France in 1800 and now is all over the world, we have kept the RSCJ. By now you know that I am not only known as Dr. Helen Rosenthal, but also as Sister Helen Rosenthal.
I am the oldest of four children. We were all born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. We lived in a big house with a playroom on the third floor. On Sundays we either went to my paternal grandmother's house where her six children would gather faithfully for supper or we would have my mother's father and our great aunt and uncle for a roast beef dinner at home. In summer, I would go to the lake with my Dad and I still love to swim.