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Thursday, November 14, 2019


You can tell I miss autumn by the pictures I am choosing. Here, it is cool and we do have one tree in the patio that has red leaves now, but we also have roses blooming all around. I see that other places are actually having some winter weather.

Today I want to go back to Darrell Johnson's book on Experiencing the Trinity. If you remember, I said that he picked seven characteristics of the Trinity to write about in his fourth chapter, "Entering the Trinity". I did comment on the first two: Intimacy and Joy. Then comes Servanthood, Purity, Power, Creativity and Peace.

I am reflecting on the creativity of the Trinity today. Just look at creation- no two persons are exactly alike; we see the creativity of the Trinity at work constantly in our world. And we, too, have been given the gift of creativity. How am I using this gift?

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Stay connected...

The opening prayer for the Busy Persons' retreat has one of my favorite Scripture passages. It is from I John 4:7-12. I will only copy here one sentence/ "In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that God loved us..." 
I would put this in the present tense.
I am just convinced that God made us so He can love us and we just need to allow Him to love us. Stay connected. The Pope in his exhortation to young people and to the entire people of God, Christus Vivit, tells us to "stay connected to Jesus, to 'remain online' with him..." He goes on to say that just as we try not to lose our connection with the internet, we need to make sure we stay connected to the Lord."

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Busy Persons' Retreat this week

I am again having the privilege of directing three of the faculty in the Busy Persons' Retreat here. It is always a special week for me and I ask your prayers for the retreat and my retreatants. 

Last Thursday, a few of us spoke to the Parents' Association meeting at 8:00 in the morning. We were amazed at the number of parents who were present for the meeting. It was to get to know some of the RSCJs here and each of us had a couple of questions to answer, but the two lovely women who had interviewed us ahead of time, actually put all the answers to there questions into a booklet for the parents. I thought the idea was really appreciated by the parents and it is good for them to know more about the Religious of the Sacred Heart and our education. 

Monday, November 11, 2019

When can we really celebrate peace in our world?

Today we celebrate the end of a terrible world war. We are still at war in various parts of our world. War is terrible, not only for the soldiers who are fighting, but for all the innocent families who are often in the path of destructive warfare. We must continue to pray for peace in our war-torn world.

I chose this picture after looking at some of the World War II photos that brought the reality of war back and I felt that I needed to look for a peaceful scene.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Thirty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

The Gospel for this Sunday is from Luke 20:27-38 or a shorter form may be used, but what I want to point out is that here we have Jesus talking about what happens after we die. He said, "The children of this age marry and remarry, but those who are deemed worthy to attain to the coming age and to the resurrection of the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage. They can no longer die, for they are like the ones who will rise. That the dead will rise even Moses made known in the passage about the bush, when he called out 'Lord', the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; and he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive."

If I have copied this passage, it is because I think I have never really meditated on it. I find it consoling to think that for God we are all alive in him. 

Saturday, November 9, 2019

"And God said to the soul...."

Here is a poem by one of my favorite mystics; I found the poem when trying to find the words of one of Mechthild of Magdeburg's songs. I have it copied in one of my journals but thought I could find it quicker through Google. Instead, I have the poem to share with you today:

And God said to the soul:
I desired you before the world began.
I desire you now
As you desire me.
And where the desires of two come together
There love is perfected

How the soul speaks to the soul
Lord, you are my lover,
My longing,
My flowing stream,
My sun,
And I am your reflection.

How God answers the soul
It is my nature that makes me love you often,
For I am love itself.
It is my longing that makes me love you intensely,
For I yearn to be loved from the heart.
It is my eternity that makes me love you long,
For I have no end.

Mechthild of Magdeburg (c.1207- c.1282/94) Germany
Translated by Andrew Harvey
We are having the funeral of Mamie Jenkins today and this poem makes me think of her.

Friday, November 8, 2019

More thoughts on Joy

Some rules for keeping and fostering joy are: (These are sent out by Karl Moore who has now put his 18 rules for happiness into a 99 cent Kindle booklet, but I am giving you an idea here. He said:
Eventually, I put the rules together into a book -- The 18 Rules of Happiness. Buy it on the Kindle for 99c here.

 Stop Feeling Sorry for Yourself!
Self-pity is the very worst kind of emotion. It destroys everything around itself, and leaves you feeling powerless. Stop being the victim, stop feeling sorry for yourself – and be happy.
Rule #2 – Be Grateful
The world is so fast-paced that we’re rarely grateful of its gifts. Think of all the things you’re grateful for right now: family, health, home, everything. Spend time being grateful each day – and be happy.
Rule #3 – Say Yes More
We each say “No!” way too often. Try saying “Yes!” more to all of life’s experiences. Don’t fight the river’s current. Say “Yes!” more to emotions, situations, social invitations – and be happy.
Rule #4 – Follow Your Bliss
In life, we often find ourselves half-way up a ladder we don’t want to climb, rather than at the bottom of one we do. What do you really want to be? Follow your own bliss – and be happy.
Rule #5 – Learn to Let Go
Emotions often hold us back from true happiness 

Thursday, November 7, 2019

The Joy of the Trinity

The second characteristic of the Blessed Trinity given by Darrell Johnson in his book, Experiencing the Trinity, is joy. I guess there has to be joy as they love one another so completely and perfectly.
The Father finds joy in the Son, the Son finds joy in the Father and both are full of joy in the Spirit and the Spirit rejoices in both the Father and the Son. Their joy is complete.

Now, the wonderful thing is that we are called to share in the joy of the Trinity.  I guess I need to reflect more on how I do this. One quote that comes to mind is John 15:11--"I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete."

Remember the hymn that we often sing in parishes?
"Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee,
God of glory, Lord of love.
Hearts unfold like flowers before Thee,
opening to the sun above.

Melt the clouds of sin and sadness,
Drive the dark of doubt away.
Giving of immortal gladness,
Fill us with the light of day....
All Thy work with joy surround Thee...
Lift us to the Joy divine."

I can still hear my Dad singing that next to me in the pew. 

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Characteristics of the Blessed Trinity

In his book, Experiencing the Trinity, Darrell Johnson has a Chapter on "Entering the Trinity" and in it he says that he has come up with seven words to try to understand and express the "inner-Trinitarian" dynamics. I find myself thinking about these words and how they both apply to the Trinity and to our relationship with the Trinity. I think I will try to put into my own words what each word is saying to me since I have been praying over the seven words the author selected.

The first word is intimacy. I rather like thinking of the Trinity as being always in an intimate relationship. I have no trouble seeing the Three in One as possessing the highest degree of intimacy. It is really amazing though to see how we are called to intimacy with the Trinity. I guess I often experience something of this when I say the words from the song:
 Breathing in, breathing out;
I am calm, I am smiling.
You in me, I in You. 
Present moment, wondrous moment,
Peace to the world, peace to the world.

I often cannot get further than the line "You in me, I in You" - that is intimacy!

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

The gift of a smile

I have been thinking about the truth of a saying found in the wrapper around a piece of Dove candy. (One of the Religious at my table at noon has been bringing each of us a piece of candy).

" A smile is the quickest way to brighten a room."

In college, one of the Seniors on the hockey varsity with me gave me the nickname of "Smiley" and I think it was a helpful one.  Of course, I did have a superior who told me that I was always smiling and needed to try to look more recollected! Fortunately, when I went to summer school I had a superior who had known me even as a student and she asked me what was wrong with me as I was looking so serious. When I told her why I was trying to look more recollected, she said to forget what I had been told as that was just nonsense and I had to be myself. She was a wise woman and later, when I returned from Chile, she became my spiritual director and gave me several directed retreats. I think she is still watching over me from Heaven. Anyway, I went back to smiling at myself, at others, at the world. 

Monday, November 4, 2019

Feast of St. Charles Borromeo

 It seems that when his uncle became Pope Pius IV, he made his young nephew Cardinal and then administrator of the see of Milan. Then he was given other offices and made papal secretary of state. He was not yet twenty-two and not yet ordained!
He assisted at the Council of Trent and helped draft the catechism. Finally, in 1563 he was ordained a priest and consecrated a Bishop. After the death of his uncle, he was allowed to return to Milan and dedicate himself to reforming the diocese. He died at the age of 46. Here is a quote from him:
"If we wish to make any progress in the service of God we must begin every day of our life with new eagerness. We must keep ourselves in the presence of God as much as possible and have no other view or end in all our actions but the divine honor."

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Thirty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time

The Gospel for this Sunday is one of my favorites (Luke 19:1-10).

It seems that Jesus came to Jericho intending to pass through the town. However, there was a wealthy tax collector named Zacchaeus who really wanted to see Jesus. Since he was not very tall, he climbed a sycamore tree in order to be able to see Jesus who was about to pass that way. When Jesus reached the place, He looked up and called out: "Zacchaeus, come down quickly, for today I must stay at your house." Zacchaeus came down quickly and with joy. When the crowd saw this, they began to grumble as they thought Jesus was going to go to the house of a sinner. But Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord: "Behold, half of my possessions, Lord, I shall give to the poor, and if I have extorted anything from anyone I shall repay it four times over." And Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house because this man too is a descendant of Abraham. For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save what was lost."

Let us ask Jesus for the desire to see Him and then for the grace to respond to His invitation as Zacchaeus did.