I think I am taking a vacation this week end and hope you are, too. I am writing so many things at once that my head seems empty when I come to write a daily blog. I guess I could share a bit of what is going on in my own prayer life as I try to keep my gratitude journal and also pray for all the people who need prayer. I am very concerned about the situation in Syria and pray that we do not use violence. I also was concerned by an article in the paper this morning about Bogota - our world needs prayer. Anyway, do have a good Labor Day and I will be back with my blog by Tuesday.
Saturday, August 31, 2013
Friday, August 30, 2013
I am late writing today but better late than never!
Thursday, August 29, 2013
Only You, O God and you alone,
the broken heart console;
Only You, O God, and you alone,
the wounded world make whole.
O God, our rock and haven,
our stronghold, safe and sure,
though earth be torn and shaken,
in you we stand secure.
You guard us, faithful father,
within your sheltering palm;
you nurse us, loving mother
with milk and healing balm.
We pray, do not abandon the ones
you call your own;
our comfort and companion,
we trust in you alone.
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Here is a prayer I like:
God of infinite joy,
Your love exceeds our wildest expectations,
Your fondness for us baffles our small-minded faith.
Grant us the grace to experience your smile;
still all our fears of your frown.
Your prophet Isaiah tells us that we are precious in your sight;
May we take truth deep into our hearts.
Your apostle Paul tells us nothing can separate us from your love;
May we always live in union with you.
Give us again the joy of our youth
As we recognize and acknowledge your abiding presence.
Drive all anxiety from our hearts and indwell again at our table.
Tasting your delight, nourished by your love,
We will go forth to share the Good News.
(Taken from Robert Morneau’s “A Retreat with Jessica Powers”)
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
I usually have my journal divided into at least three parts: one for the daily entries that may include both preparation for prayer as well as gratitude for the graces of the day and also joys and sorrows; then there is the part where I review the month and prepare for Spiritual Direction; the third part is for favorite passages or quotes or maybe dreamwork, if I remember a dream.
I am seriously thinking of returning to keep a gratitude journal as that was so helpful. May I encourage all of you to also think of journaling - even to jot thoughts from your reading. I sometimes keep a list of books I want to read at the back of my journal so I will not forget about them.
Monday, August 26, 2013
Then I think of the spiritual house I have been erecting for years. Is it strong enough to face the powerful winds of a hurricane? I think Jesus is my rock and I trust Him to keep me safe until we are united forever in an eternal home. In the meantime, I do find it interesting to consider my interior home that I keep for Jesus alone and decorate it with many hidden acts instead of flowers. My house is filled with comfort things: books, armchairs, rugs, lots of color, a lovely fireplace, lamps, etc. I enjoy being there with Jesus in silence. What is your house like?
Sunday, August 25, 2013
Jesus passed through towns and villages,
teaching as he went and making his way to Jerusalem.
Someone asked him,
“Lord, will only a few people be saved?”
He answered them,
“Strive to enter through the narrow gate,
for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter
but will not be strong enough.
After the master of the house has arisen and locked the door,
then will you stand outside knocking and saying,
‘Lord, open the door for us.’
We all desire to go to heaven; we want to be saved. How are we acting on that desire each day? Am I more loving, more compassionate, and seeking only what pleases Jesus?
Each Sunday is an invitation to reflect on the way we are living our lives.
August 25 is special for me as it is my father's birthday. He was born in 1898, a man of integrity who did many kind and hidden things for others. I am sure he is in heaven with my mother and still celebrating life - now eternal life!
Saturday, August 24, 2013
I apologize to all who have left comments since June - I just found them and published them but if you want me to answer, please send me your e-mail. One about the archives of our school in Montreal seems to be possible to answer here. the school is still in existence and therefore kept the records so you would need to e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or the Head of School: Shawn O'Donnell at email@example.com.
I shall try to watch for comments but do answer e-mails so write to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com - sorry I just have not been looking for comments.
Friday, August 23, 2013
I do hope you all remember to look at the Concord Pastor's blog linked to mine on the right side. He has some wonderful prayers to reflect on and I find them very helpful. Sorry that I am posting late this morning but I was doing my own reflecting and just extended my prayer - one of the graces of retirement. Now to get back to that Life of Lucile Mathevon... do keep praying for that!
Thursday, August 22, 2013
Here is the prayer for the Mass: "O God, who made the Mother of your Son to be our Mather and our Queen, graciously grant that, sustained by her intercession, we may attain in the heavenly Kingdom the glory promised to your children."
I will be going to the noon Liturgy at the University tomorrow and having Spiritual Direction - it is good to look back over the summer and see the graces given and also my own efforts to cooperate with grace. It was a grace-filled summer! I guess I hate to see it end but schools have begun and all are back to the daily duties done, I hope, with joy and love!
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
This picture helps me to feel peaceful even though there are many things waiting to be done today and not the things I would like to be doing so I had better get started. I think one of the limitations of aging for me is to find less energy and I am getting to be a real procrastinator.
I am glad that still feel the need to give joy to others and that usually motivates me to get going and do the little things I otherwise would try to avoid. I suspect others also struggle to get some things done and I am grateful for the example of my mother who always tackled the hard things first. She liked to get all she had to do done early and then she was ready to enjoy the day. She sent countless cards to cheer others and her house was in order early every morning; she did not procrastinate! May I learn from her example!
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
May the light of your soul guide you.
May the light of your soul bless the work
You do with the secret love and warmth of your heart.
May you see in what you do the beauty of your own soul.
May the sacredness of your work bring healing, light and renewal to those
Who work with you and to those who see and receive your work.
May your work never weary you.
May it release within you wellsprings of refreshment, inspiration and excitement.
May you be present in what you do.
May you never become lost in the bland absences.
May the day never burden you.
May dawn find you awake and alert, approaching your new day with dreams,
Possibilities and promises.
May evening find you gracious and fulfilled.
May you go into the night blessed, sheltered and protected.
May your soul calm, console and renew you.
Monday, August 19, 2013
On the other hand, I do find that the girls in our school here in Miami are receiving an exceptional education and are accepted into the best colleges and universities. I admire the dedication of the faculty. May all our children and their teachers have a wonderful new academic year and a safe one.
Sunday, August 18, 2013
We are going to a special Mass today for one of our Sisters who came to Miami in 1986 just a few weeks after I arrived. She has done great work in her parish but is retiring and they will be giving her a reception after the Liturgy. We spent yesterday helping her sort out things and then trying to find room for some of them in our house.
Saturday, August 17, 2013
Ruth Haley Barton says that "the purpose of solitude and silence is just to be with God, to commune with him on that beyond words level that those who are in love know so well."
Let us all try to find time just to sit in silence and solitude each day. We sit in the presence of God lost in mystery; there is no need for words but only the union of hearts - my Heart lost in His Sacred Heart!
Friday, August 16, 2013
Here is another quote taken from 365 Tao Meditations by Deng Ming-Dao:
"There is no effort that we can make to still ourselves. True stillness comes naturally from moments of solitude where we allow our minds to settle. Just as water seeks its own lever, the mind will gravitate toward the holy. Muddy water will become clear if allowed to stand undisturbed, and so too will the mind become clear it is is allowed to be still."
I guess I am being invited once again to create more silence and solitude in my own life. There is a book that has been sitting on my shelf but now I have begun to read. It is Ruth Haley Barton's: Invitation to Solitude and Silence: Experiencing God's Transforming Presence. IVP, 2004. I think it might be helpful for anyone who wants to answer God's invitation to sink into silence. The purpose of silence is just to be with God and let Him be in control. It is not easy in our busy lives, but let us keep some time to just be!
Thanks for the prayer for the little book I started to write yesterday. I felt the prayer and hope to get a few more pages written today as I have a busy week end with my community and doubt that there will be any time for writing.
Thursday, August 15, 2013
One of my theology professors told us to always go to the Preface of the Feast to understand the theology of it. I just know that August 15 was a feast of Our Lady from the fifth century as it celebrated the fact that she is the Mother of God. The Magnificat Mass booklet has a selection on the Graces of the Assumption by Hans Urs von Balthaser who was a great Swiss Catholic theologian. He says that "when Mary comes to God on the day of her Assumption, she simply returns home to the place that was hers from the start, a place so familiar to her (for it is the revelation of her real being) that she instantly knows "this is where I have always been." And then he reminds us that we are children of the Father, members of Christ and have the Holy Spirit so that our home is also the place where we originated.
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
Tomorrow is the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and a holy day. Let us try to spend it with Mary and please do pray that my intention to begin writing the life of one of our pioneer Religious starts off well tomorrow and continues every day until the book is finished! It needs prayer to get me started!
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
Anyway, this year the party was just as wonderful as always and some very interesting people came. I think it is a lovely idea and a good way to build community and so I am sharing the experience with you. My brother arrived that same afternoon and enjoyed left overs as well as all the beautiful roses decorating the house when he arrived.
Monday, August 12, 2013
One of the highlights of my trip was the retreat at Villa Maria del Mar in Santa Cruz, California. The Sisters of the Holy Names run this retreat house on the ocean; it used to be $25 a day for Religious, but now is more like all retreat houses in charging more but they still have wonderful meals and I love the little prayer room facing the ocean where I can listen to the surf. I used to go to the beach every afternoon, but this year it was a bit cool and I did not get down there - it was a wonderful seven days and nights of silence. The house was full but everyone kept the silence. I was making my retreat in private but the Jesuit preaching twice a day for the others has a Liturgy each day before lunch that I loved. It is a sacred place for me and I have been going there almost every summer for the past twenty years.
After the retreat, I had good visits with all my friends at Oakwood. I could not get around to see all 50 of them individually, but it is always a joy to see how holy and contented our Sisters are in the retirement home.
I stayed with one of our communities in Redwood City who are so hospitable and I love being with them. Then I was able to visit the community at the University of San Diego for a few days to see friends and then went to Coronado to visit with my sister and her husband and my brother flew in for the last three days of the week. More about that last week tomorrow. It just is a grace to see friends in the summer! One of my friends drove down from Los Angeles so we were able to have Mass, lunch and dinner together one day and that was a real joy to see her.
Saturday, August 10, 2013
There is no place like home! I arrived at midnight but one of my community was still up to greet me. I had a wonderful time but still so happy to be home!
The first days were with about 200 Religious of the Sacred Heart, associates, faculty, alums, and staff members. We had people from all over the world which really made our gathering international. the presentations were outstanding and I hope you read them on our website- rscj.org.
at my table of eight there were three nationalities present as the Canadian former Provincial and now on the United States-Canada Province Team and a male faculty member from New Zealand were present and we had a good mix of ages and categories with Associates and alums as well as faculty.
We had beautiful Liturgies each day and morning prayer.
those days passed quickly and when we finished on Sunday I WAS ABLE TO SPEND THE REST OF THE DAY WITH MY NEPHEW, his wife and her son and nephew. We visited Stanford University and had dinner outside before they drove me back to Redwood City. More tomorrow.