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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

We are called to embrace silence

"Silence is a privileged entry into the realm of God and into eternal life. There is a huge silence inside each of us that beckons us into itself, and the recovery of our own silence can begin to teach us the language of heaven. For silence is a language that is infinitely deeper, more far-reaching, more understanding, more compassionate, and more eternal than any other language...
There is nothing in the world that resembles God as much as silence." - Meister Eckhart

That is a powerful quote to reflect on today. And remember that silence is God's first language! I learned that from Father Thomas Keating!

Monday, March 27, 2017

Monday of the 4th Week of Lent

It is time to renew our Lenten resolutions. If they were good ones, we probably have broken them, but God sees our efforts and is pleased as long as we do not give up! So, I begin again with great apostolic courage. The name given to our large group of new professed religious in 1960 was "Apostolic Courage" and sometimes I call upon that name to give me new energy and determination. Many of my sisters from that group are now with God and perhaps they are encouraging those of us who remain to keep up our courage and remember our devise:
Death operates in us to give life to others. I think the official translation is "Death is at work in us for life in others." I am part of the Mystical Body of Christ and we are all joined together so that what one does has an effect on the entire body.

Here is a quote from a former Mother General who I loved dearly: "We must be able to crate an inner silence so that the unfolding drama of the world becomes a reality that touches us; so that the love of God within us may inspire a creative and joyous response."

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Fourth Sunday of Lent

The cure of the man born blind is a long Gospel, but John wants us to know how Jesus healed this man who had been born blind and how that infuriated the Jews. They refused to believe that one who had been blind from birth now could see. They actually throw him out. Then Jesus goes to find him and asks him if he believes in the Son of Man; and the man says, "I do believe" and he worshipped Jesus.

So often we are blind; we do not see but Jesus comes and wants to open our eyes. He is the Light of the World and comes to each of us to show us the way to the Father.

Where do I need to pray for the ability to see? It is easy to be blind to those in need around us.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Feast of the Annunciation

What a mind-blowing experience for Mary to have the Angel Gabriel come to announce that she was to be the Mother of God! And how this experience must still resonate with Mary each time she hears us saying: "Hail, full of grace. The Lord is with thee."

This Feast honors Mary who was open to the Angel's message and was able to surrender herself totally to God's plan. "Be it done to me according to your word." She did not understand, but she was able to accept and believe and became to the first missionary as she soon carried the Infant beginning to live in her to Elizabeth whose child leapt in the womb and we have the words attributed to this elderly, expectant mother, said in greeting Mary: "Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb."

It is a feast to celebrate with Mary and to beg the grace to be so open to God that we are able to say "yes" to all He asks of us."

Friday, March 24, 2017

To try to flee rom You is madness

Spring comes early in California. It is only March and the flowers are blooming and the flowering trees at Oakwood have been spectacular. I may try to post some pictures of beauty at Oakwood, but here is a picture to reflect on as we think of the gift of such beauty.
I am going to share today an excerpt from Jacopone da Todi's  The Lauds:
O Love, divine Love, why do You lay siege to me?
In a frenzy of love for me, You find no rest.

From five sides You move against me,
Hearing, sight, taste, touch, and scent.
To come out is to be caught, I cannot hide from You.

If I come out through sight I see Love
Painted in every form and color,
Inviting me to come to You, to dwell in You.

If I leave through the door of hearing,
What I hear points only to You, Lord;
I cannot escape Love through this gate.

If I come out through taste, every flavor proclaims:
"Love, divine Love, hungering Love!
You have caught me on your hook, for you want to reign in me."

If I leave through the door of scent
I sense You in all creation; You have caught me
And wounded me through that fragrance.

If I come out through the sense of touch
I find Your lineaments in every creature;
To try to flee from You is madness.

Love, I flee from You, afraid to give You my heart;
I see that You make me one with You,
I cease to be me and can no longer find myself.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Spring Beauty

I took this picture of the tulips that are springing up in the patio outside my room. We have flowers everywhere and it is still March! The beauty around me makes me full of joy: Easter is coming. It has been a joyful Lent, but I think Jesus loves us to be joyful

God abides in silence

We are in the Busy Person's Retreat for the Faculty and Staff here at Sacred Heart Prep in Atherton. The following is from our opening prayer last Monday:

The wise tell us that God abides in silence-
that God speaks in the silent serenity of the heart.
Let us not speak of silence;
rather, let silence speak to us of God.
let us enter , through the door of serenity,
the silence of our heart.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

To Learn from Animal Being

John O'Donohoe has this poem from To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings

To Learn from an Animal Being

Nearer to the earth's heart,
Deeper within the silence:
Animals know this world
In a way we never will.

We who are ever
Distances and distracted
By the parade of bright
Windows thought opens:
Their seamless presence
Is not fractured thus.

Stranded between time
Gone and time emerging,
We manage seldom
To be where we are:
Whereas they are always
Looking our from
The here and now.

May we learn to return
And rest in the beauty
Of animal being,
Learn to lean low,
Leave our locked minds,
And with freed senses
Feel the earth
Breathing with us.

May we enter
Into lightness of spirit,
And slip frequently into
The feel of the wild.

Let the clear silence
Of our animal being
Cleanse our hearts
Of corrosive words.

May we learn to walk
Upon the earth
With all their confidence
And clear-eyed stillness
So that our minds
Might be baptized
In the name of the wind
And light and the rain.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Saint Animal

Father Michael Fish, OSB CAM, gave us some poems to reflect on and I am copying one here to share. The picture just is one that Gaby took last Thursday when I was comforting the goat. The poem is by Chase Twichell and is found in Poems of Awakening: An International Anthology of Spiritual Poetry, edited by Betsy Small.

Saint Animal

Suddenly it was clear to me--
I was something I hadn't been before.
It was as if the animal part of my being
had reached some kind of maturity that gave it
authority, and had begun to use it.

I thought about death for two years.
My animal flailed and tore at its cage
til I let it go. I watched it
drift out into the easy eddies of twilight
and then veer off, not knowing me.

I'm not a bird but I'm inhabited by a spirit
that's uplifting me. It's my animal, my saint
and soldier, my flame of yearning,
come back to tell me
what it was like to be without me.

Monday, March 20, 2017

I have been reading Cynthia Bourgeault's The Heart of Centering Prayer: Nondual Christianity in Theory and Practice.  It is a book to read slowly and take time for reflection on what I have read. Since I am still in the second part, I can only say that I find the book helpful.  My Lenten reading is really on John's Gospel. I can only read a few minutes of The Good Wine, by Bruno Barnhart each day as he gives me too much to think about.

Feast of St. Joseph

I think of Joseph as a young man, certainly not more than 15 years older than Mary when they were betrothed, and probably less so he could have been in his twenties. He has been chosen by God and he is a man of faith. God speaks to him in his dreams and he obeys! He must have taught Jesus many things. He taught by his example. We have not a single word of Joseph. Perhaps he is calling us today to value silence, to create and embrace silence.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Third Sunday of Lent

Jesus was tired from the journey and thirsty, too. He sits by the well waiting until the Samaritan woman comes to draw water. He asks her for a drink and draws out her story until she is converted and rushes back to tell the others: "Come see a man who told me everything I have done. Could he possibly be the Christ?"
Many came to see Jesus and invited him to stay with them. He stayed there for two days and many more began to believe in him because of his word. They told the woman: "We know longer believe because of your word, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is truly the savior of the world."

Jesus waits for all of us to come to draw living water from Him; he wants to convert us, too, this Lent. Let us draw near and listen to Him.