Saturday, October 31, 2015
This is the day we begin to think of those who have died and gone before us. Tomorrow is All Saints. I think I may have shared how present to me were the saints when I was in isolation for so many weeks last year. Sometimes my room seem crowded with them - canonized and non-canonized, I felt their presence around my bed.
I guess I am still asking why I am alive? What does God want from me?
As a child, Halloween was all about getting dressed up in a costume so you were someone else for the party and the trick and treat visits to neighbors. Now, for me, it is a serious preparation for the Feast of All Saints and the month dedicated to those who may not have gone straight to God when they died. I do pray for those souls, but, as there is no time with God, I sometimes get confused with the things that have been said about Purgatory. I do not need to understand speculative theology, but I do believe in praying for all those who have died.
Friday, October 30, 2015
The Mass Booklet, "Give Us This Day" has a lovely reflection on Mother Janet Erskine Stuart, RSCJ under the title of "Blessed Among Us". I would like to include her quotes here for us to think about. She said, speaking about education as "fitting citizens for the Kingdom of Heaven" that "I would not have minded what I taught, as long as I could have caught someone and taught them something." She reminded her sisters, "It is not so much what we say or do that educates; what really educates is who we are."
She also said: "Remember that the source of happiness is within ourselves. Nothing outside can give it, even if you make your circumstances ideal. Nothing can take it away." Janet died on October 21, 1914, at the age of fifty-six. "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 an deeply, helping you to listen to your intuition."
Thursday, October 29, 2015
Wednesday, October 28, 2015
This morning I was reading Pope Francis' talk at the end of the Synod and he had a wonderful quote from Blessed Paul VI that I copied in my journal and will copy here for you:
"We can imagine, then, that each of our sins, our attempts to turn our back on God, kindles in him a more intense flame of love, a desire to bring us back to himself and to his saving plan...God, in Christ, shows himself to be infinitely good...God is good. Not only in himself; God is - let us say it with tears - good for us. He loves us, he seeks us out, he thinks of us, he knows us, he touches our hearts and waits for us. He will be - so to say- delighted on the day when we return and say: "Lord, in your goodness, forgive me. Thus our repentance becomes God's joy."
Tuesday, October 27, 2015
Here is another excerpt to reflect on today from Laudato Si:
75. A spirituality which forgets God as all-powerful and Creator is not acceptable. That is how we end up worshipping earthly powers, or ourselves usurping the place of God, even to the point of claiming an unlimited right to trample his creation underfoot. The best way to restore men and women to their rightful place, putting an end to their claim to absolute dominion over the earth, is to speak once more of the figure of a Father who creates and who alone owns the world. Otherwise, human beings will always try to impose their own laws and interests on reality.
III. THE MYSTERY OF THE UNIVERSE
76. In the Judaeo-Christian tradition, the word “creation” has a broader meaning than “nature”, for it has to do with God’s loving plan in which every creature has its own value and significance. Nature is usually seen as a system which can be studied, understood and controlled, whereas creation can only be understood as a gift from the outstretched hand of the Father of all, and as a reality illuminated by the love which calls us together into universal communion.
Monday, October 26, 2015
I have a couple of links I want to share with you today. The first is one that I printed out to pray over during Advent - one page for each Sunday. Here it is: http://www.maryknollogc.org/sites/default/files/Faith%20Economy%20Ecology%20Advent%20Reflection%20Guide%202015.pd
A friend sent me this link and it is very good for a reflection on nonviolence: http://www.paceebene.org/2015/11/25/an-eye-for-an-eye-makes-the-whole-world-blind/
I suspect that it will be a long time before I share links again, but some may be helped by these.
As I am away each day this week, I hope you will be reflecting on the excerpts I am posting from Laudato Si.
68. This responsibility for God’s earth means that human beings, endowed with intelligence, must respect the laws of nature and the delicate equilibria existing between the creatures of this world, for “he commanded and they were created; and he established them for ever and ever; he fixed their bounds and he set a law which cannot pass away” (Ps 148:5b-6). The laws found in the Bible dwell on relationships, not only among individuals but also with other living beings. “You shall not see your brother’s donkey or his ox fallen down by the way and withhold your help… If you chance to come upon a bird’s nest in any tree or on the ground, with young ones or eggs and the mother sitting upon the young or upon the eggs; you shall not take the mother with the young” (Dt 22:4, 6). Along these same lines, rest on the seventh day is meant not only for human beings, but also so “that your ox and your donkey may have rest” (Ex 23:12). Clearly, the Bible has no place for a tyrannical anthropocentrism unconcerned for other creatures.
69. Together with our obligation to use the earth’s goods responsibly, we are called to recognize that other living beings have a value of their own in God’s eyes: “by their mere existence they bless him and give him glory”, and indeed, “the Lord rejoices in all his works” (Ps 104:31). By virtue of our unique dignity and our gift of intelligence, we are called to respect creation and its inherent laws, for “the Lord by wisdom founded the earth” (Prov 3:19). In our time, the Church does not simply state that other creatures are completely subordinated to the good of human beings, as if they have no worth in themselves and can be treated as we wish. The German bishops have taught that, where other creatures are concerned, “we can speak of the priority of being over that of being useful”. The Catechism clearly and forcefully criticizes a distorted anthropocentrism: “Each creature possesses its own particular goodness and perfection… Each of the various creatures, willed in its own being, reflects in its own way a ray of God’s infinite wisdom and goodness. Man must therefore respect the particular goodness of every creature, to avoid any disordered use of things”.
Sunday, October 25, 2015
I think that is a very good prayer for all of us. "Lord, that I might see." This man knows that he cannot see and desires this with all his being. We fool ourselves into thinking that we can see and we miss the plank in our own eye while trying to see a speck in our neighbor's eye. We need to be humble and pray for the Lord to let us see where we are proud, selfish, self-centered, resentful, envious, etc. I pray that I may see and then take my blindness to Jesus to be healed. I pray that the Bishops and priests may see how so many suffer from being cast out by Church law and how Jesus put people first and always welcomed sinners.
I am going to ask your prayer for the Busy Persons' Retreat next week at Carrollton. I am one of a team of six Religious of the Sacred Heart and each of us will be seeing six people each day for individual visits to help them see where the Lord may be leading them or what He may be asking them. It is an opportunity to have a one on one conversation about their life of prayer, to explore new ways, perhaps, of encountering the Lord. My part is to listen to each and to the Holy Spirit and let God act. I would appreciate your prayer.
Saturday, October 24, 2015
The Gospel for this Sunday is one of my favorites. It is Mark 10 where the blind man knows that Jesus is passing by and begins to cry out, "Son of David, have pity on me." Those around him try to make him keep quiet but he just cries out louder. Jesus stops and then they tell him, "Take courage, get up, Jesus is calling you."
Then Jesus asks this fundamental question that he keeps asking each of us: "What would you have me do for you?" Lord, that I may see. We all need to beg for the faith that cured that blind man. Lord, that we may see what is really important; that we may see how we fool ourselves; that we may see how You are the Way, the Truth, the Life .. . .
I find so much in this Gospel that speaks to me that I thought it good to get you thinking about it before Sunday. We all need to cry our for mercy.
Friday, October 23, 2015
Here is the end of the first chapter of Laudato Si :
61. On many concrete questions, the Church has no reason to offer a definitive opinion; she knows that honest debate must be encouraged among experts, while respecting divergent views. But we need only take a frank look at the facts to see that our common home is falling into serious disrepair. Hope would have us recognize that there is always a way out, that we can always redirect our steps, that we can always do something to solve our problems. Still, we can see signs that things are now reaching a breaking point, due to the rapid pace of change and degradation; these are evident in large-scale natural disasters as well as social and even financial crises, for the world’s problems cannot be analyzed or explained in isolation. There are regions now at high risk and, aside from all doomsday predictions, the present world system is certainly unsustainable from a number of points of view, for we have stopped thinking about the goals of human activity. “If we scan the regions of our planet, we immediately see that humanity has disappointed God’s expectations”.
We need to do something and that is why we have five more chapters in this encyclical. Pope Francis always leaves us with hope, but he points out the problems and urges us to live differently and to take action now.
I have been reading all the reports from the synod and just hope that all the Bishops will understand that the way to be like Jesus is to be merciful and that they will tell the priests to be merciful.
Thursday, October 22, 2015
Tonight is a week since the death of Marge, my community sister. It was so sudden that I am still feeling strange. The funeral was beautiful, the music excellent, and, if you want to watch it, go to
accounts/5136346/events/ 4430773/player?width=560& height=315&autoPlay=true&mute= false
This week has made me think of heaven more than I have for a long time. Death is really the beginning of our eternal life. I really believe this, but so much is mystery. We long to be with God and yet we cling to life; we certainly are living longer. I am happy for Marge going so quickly, in spite of the shock. I miss her more than I can say. Living in community together for sixteen years made us know each other very well and Marge had a gift for friendship. I hope I can be as wise and kind as she was.
Now, tomorrow we will go back to the Encyclical. I just need to write this blog to say how grateful I am for Marge and for all those who have been praying for us and even bringing us some food. One of my friends had been going to make a chicken pot pie for Marge; she made it today and brought it to us with a salad so dinner is all prepared. Our next door neighbor did the same when they heard the news. People are so good and caring. If you watch the funeral, be sure you go to the end when Sister Suzanne Cooke speaks about Marge.
Wednesday, October 21, 2015
Let us continue with reflection on excerpts from the Pope's Encyclical, Laudato Si.
55. Some countries are gradually making significant progress, developing more effective controls and working to combat corruption. People may well have a growing ecological sensitivity but it has not succeeded in changing their harmful habits of consumption which, rather than decreasing, appear to be growing all the more. A simple example is the increasing use and power of air-conditioning. The markets, which immediately benefit from sales, stimulate ever greater demand. An outsider looking at our world would be amazed at such behaviour, which at times appears self-destructive.
56. In the meantime, economic powers continue to justify the current global system where priority tends to be given to speculation and the pursuit of financial gain, which fail to take the context into account, let alone the effects on human dignity and the natural environment. Here we see how environmental deterioration and human and ethical degradation are closely linked. Many people will deny doing anything wrong because distractions constantly dull our consciousness of just how limited and finite our world really is. As a result, “whatever is fragile, like the environment, is defenceless before the interests of a deified market, which become the only rule”.
What are the harmful habits of consumption in my own life? What am I going to do about them?
If you want to see the beautiful funeral Mass for Marge Seitz, my community member who I am missing so much, just click on the link below:
Tuesday, October 20, 2015
Mater Admirable, Mother most Admirable, pray for us.
I go back to the grace of having been sacristan for the original Mater at the Trinita dei Monti in Rome for five months. It meant spending a good part of each morning cleaning the Chapel as it was so crowded with chairs and kneelers and all had to be moved, to be able to sweep and mop the floor. All of this with Mater who has been a definite part of my life since I was a thirteen year old boarder beginning my high school years at the Academy of the Sacred Heart in St. Charles.
We are one family all over the world and everywhere we go we find a statue or picture of Mater. In Chile, each school has its own chapel of Mater and in Vina del Mar every child brought roses to school to adorn the Chapel - imagine trying to arrange thousands of roses! It was rather overpowering and so I suggested that each child only bring one rose for the altar.
I wish everyone a happy feast and time to talk to Mater today!
Monday, October 19, 2015
The Mass for Marge Seitz, RSCJ will be this evening at St. Hughes and I know the Church will be filled as she has been working at Carrollton for the past sixteen years. I have had the privilege to live with her for those sixteen years. I have known her longer, of course, in fact she was in my sister's class at Maryville where she graduated in 1957. She was such a fun person, a real educator and had an innate kindness that allowed her to get along with anybody and everybody.
One of my RSCJ friends had this to say about her:
"Marge made such an impact on many generations with her wisdom, common sense, sense of humor, love of learning and ever adventurous spirit, whether exploring a new site near her locale or devouring a book, and of course her deep and practical faith. She is certainly one of our "greats". I know you will miss her enormously."
I just cannot realize that Marge will not be here to share books with me, to talk over the day and make wise and witty comments. I just find an ache in my heart. She was so simple, so human, so loving that her presence made a difference.
Sunday, October 18, 2015
This picture of Mater is familiar to every child of the Sacred Heart. The original was painted on the wall in the corridor of the Trinita dei Monti in 1844; soon it was a Chapel to honor her as Mater began to grant many favors and miracles. Her picture or stature is found in every school of the Society of the Sacred Heart and her feast is celebrated on October 20. Yesterday, I was present at the Mass for the alumnae at Carrollton and thought of all the graces I have received from Mater from the time I was a child at school until now.
Tonight we will have the wake for one of my community, Marge Seitz, who died suddenly on Wednesday night. It was a shock and I have not yet recovered from it. She had been so cheerful and even cooked for us on Wednesday. I think she must have returned to the kitchen to put away the soup she had made that was left over and too hot to put away earlier. She may have had a heart attack and fell. I had gone to bed at ten o'clock and she heard her getting ready for bed before that in her room. The other member of the community was watching television and heard a noise in the kitchen but did not go to investigate and so it was almost 11:00 before she thought she saw something on the kitchen floor and thought I must have fallen. When she turned on the light, she saw it was Marge and she was not breathing. She woke me, called 911 and they came and could not revive her. The police were here until after 4:00 in the morning. My first thought was to call a priest to come and we were able to do that. He anointed her and then the medical examiner arrived and began asking questions. Another policeman came and took photos, etc. I am sure that Marge went straight to God and I am even happy for her, but it has left me feeling disorientated and it is hard to concentrate. I did feel her presence at the Mass for Mater.
Her memorial card has a picture of Mater and this beautiful prayer:
Lord, God, You are attentive to the voice of our pleading. Let us turn to Mary and ask for comfort in our sadness, certainty in our doubt, courage to live through this hour. May our faith be strong and our love demonstrative, we ask this through Christ our Lord.
Saturday, October 17, 2015
It is good to sit in silence and know that Jesus desires to sit with us and maybe we will end with a dialogue. I have found that if I begin to think of what Jesus might want to say to me today and then write it in my journal, this often inspires a real dialogue between us. This picture certainly invites me to sit on the bench and just be with Jesus beside me.
From Laudato Si:
49. It needs to be said that, generally speaking, there is little in the way of clear awareness of problems which especially affect the excluded. Yet they are the majority of the planet’s population, billions of people. These days, they are mentioned in international political and economic discussions, but one often has the impression that their problems are brought up as an afterthought, a question which gets added almost out of duty or in a tangential way, if not treated merely as collateral damage. Indeed, when all is said and done, they frequently remain at the bottom of the pile. This is due partly to the fact that many professionals, opinion makers, communications media and centres of power, being located in affluent urban areas, are far removed from the poor, with little direct contact with their problems. They live and reason from the comfortable position of a high level of development and a quality of life well beyond the reach of the majority of the world’s population. This lack of physical contact and encounter, encouraged at times by the disintegration of our cities, can lead to a numbing of conscience and to tendentious analyses which neglect parts of reality. At times this attitude exists side by side with a “green” rhetoric. Today, however, we have to realize that a true ecological approach always becomes a social approach; it must integrate questions of justice in debates on the environment, so as to hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.
Friday, October 16, 2015
The synod in Rome is discussing the family in a pastoral way to see how the Church can reach out to the families that are not the same as the traditional ones that I grew up with. Then, I knew no one who was divorced and, if there was one child without two living parents in her home, we knew of the death that had taken one parent. I also lived in a neighborhood with large homes and many children.
Way back in 1993, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' pastoral letter entitled "Follow the Way of Love" said:
"Baptism brings all Christians into union with God. Your family life is sacred because family relationships confirm and deepen this union and allow the Lord to work through you. The profound and the ordinary moments of daily life - mealtimes, workdays, vacations, expressions of love and intimacy, household chores, caring for a sick child or elderly parent, and even conflicts over things like how to celebrate holidays, discipline children, or spend money- all are the threads from which you can weave a pattern of holiness."
This same pastoral letter tells us that "a family is our first community and the most basic way in which the Lord gathers us, forms us, and acts in the world. The early Church expressed this truth by calling the Christian family a domestic church or church of the home."
Let us pray for the synod.
Thursday, October 15, 2015
Now we are celebrating the feast of St. Theresa of Avila, a great contemplative who also founded many reformed Carmelite monasteries in Spain. The summer I taught Teresa's Life and Writings plus St. John of the Cross in Spain, I was able to take the students to Avila and to Toledo. It was wonderful to see places where Teresa had lived, but what draws me to her was her ability to teach others about prayer. Her "Interior Castle" is a classic and one I often return to as it explains so much about growth in our relationship with Jesus.
Wednesday, October 14, 2015
Again we listen to the wisdom of "Laudato Si":
47. Furthermore, when media and the digital world become omnipresent, their influence can stop people from learning how to live wisely, to think deeply and to love generously. In this context, the great sages of the past run the risk of going unheard amid the noise and distractions of an information overload. Efforts need to be made to help these media become sources of new cultural progress for humanity and not a threat to our deepest riches. True wisdom, as the fruit of self-examination, dialogue and generous encounter between persons, is not acquired by a mere accumulation of data which eventually leads to overload and confusion, a sort of mental pollution. Real relationships with others, with all the challenges they entail, now tend to be replaced by a type of internet communication which enables us to choose or eliminate relationships at whim, thus giving rise to a new type of contrived emotion which has more to do with devices and displays than with other people and with nature. Today’s media do enable us to communicate and to share our knowledge and affections. Yet at times they also shield us from direct contact with the pain, the fears and the joys of others and the complexity of their personal experiences. For this reason, we should be concerned that, alongside the exciting possibilities offered by these media, a deep and melancholic dissatisfaction with interpersonal relations, or a harmful sense of isolation, can also arise.
We certainly want to learn how to live wisely, to think deeply, and to love generously; we need to see how the omnipresent digital world is affecting us.
Tuesday, October 13, 2015
Here is another bit from "Laudato Si" to reflect upon today:
43. Human beings too are creatures of this world, enjoying a right to life and happiness, and endowed with unique dignity. So we cannot fail to consider the effects on people’s lives of environmental deterioration, current models of development and the throwaway culture.
44. Nowadays, for example, we are conscious of the disproportionate and unruly growth of many cities, which have become unhealthy to live in, not only because of pollution caused by toxic emissions but also as a result of urban chaos, poor transportation, and visual pollution and noise. Many cities are huge, inefficient structures, excessively wasteful of energy and water. Neighbourhoods, even those recently built, are congested, chaotic and lacking in sufficient green space. We were not meant to be inundated by cement, asphalt, glass and metal, and deprived of physical contact with nature.
We all have a responsibility to keep the very air we breathe healthy.
And what of the children who grow up without green grass and room to play? What are we going to do about this in our own city?
Monday, October 12, 2015
Happy Holiday for those who are not working today. It is a good day to pray for all those who are trying to establish citizenship in our country. So many desire to be legal. Our ancestors arrived and made their homes here and welcomed others to come and join us. Now, we are sending away people who have been living in our country and working for us in spite of the fact that their children have been born here. If you do not have your legal papers, you live in fear of being deported.
Let us thank God for our beautiful country and pray that our elected officials begin to realize that we can and should help the many who have been trying to establish citizenship. In Florida, we need the migrant workers, mostly from Mexico, but we are not treating them justly, not paying them a fair wage or allowing them to have acceptable working hours, housing, etc. Then, we deny them legal status so they live in fear of being deported.
Sunday, October 11, 2015
I am praying for those in the synod now and returned to the Pope's words on the opening morning. He said, among other things,
Let us remember, however, that the Synod will be a space for the action of the Holy Spirit only if we participants vest ourselves with apostolic courage, evangelical humility and trusting prayer: with that apostolic courage, which refuses to be intimidated in the face of the temptations of the world – temptations that tend to extinguish the light of truth in the hearts of men, replacing it with small and temporary lights; nor even before the petrification of some hearts, which, despite good intentions, drive people away from God; apostolic courage to bring life and not to make of our Christian life a museum of memories; evangelical humility that knows how to empty itself of conventions and prejudices in order to listen to brother bishops and be filled with God – humility that leads neither to finger-pointing nor to judging others, but to hands outstretched to help people up without ever feeling oneself superior to them.
Confident prayer that trusts in God is the action of the heart when it opens to God, when our humors are silenced in order to listen to the gentle voice of God, which speaks in silence. Without listening to God, all our words are only words that are meet no need and serve no end. Without letting ourselves be guided the Spirit, all our decisions will be but decorations that, instead of exalting the Gospel, cover it and hide it.
Dear brothers, as I have said, the Synod is not a parliament in which to reach a consensus or a common accord there is recourse to negotiation, to deal-making, or to compromise: indeed, the only method of the Synod is to open up to the Holy Spirit with apostolic courage, with evangelical humility and confident, trusting prayer, that it might be He, who guides us, enlightens us and makes us put before our eyes, with our personal opinions, but with faith in God, fidelity to the Magisterium, the good of the Church and the Salus animarum.
In fine, I would like to thank: His Eminence Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, Secretary General of the Synod; His Excellency, Archbishop Fabio Fabene, Undersecretary; and with them I thank the Rapporteur, His Eminence Cardinal Peter Erdő and the Special Secretary, His Excellency Archbishop Bruno Forte; the Presidents-delegate, writers, consultors, translators and all those who worked with true fidelity and total dedication to the Church. Thank you so much!
I also thank all of you, dear Synod Fathers, fraternal delegates, auditors and assessors, for your active and fruitful participation.
I want to address a special thanks to the journalists present at this time and to those who follow us from afar. Thank you for your enthusiastic participation and for your admirable attention.
We begin our journey by invoking the help of the Holy Spirit and the intercession of the Holy Family: Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Thank you.
Saturday, October 10, 2015
Pope Francis points our that often because of business interests and consumerism, our earth is less rich and beautiful. We need to care for the ecosystems. Read this excerpt from "Laudato Si":
35. In assessing the environmental impact of any project, concern is usually shown for its effects on soil, water and air, yet few careful studies are made of its impact on biodiversity, as if the loss of species or animals and plant groups were of little importance. Highways, new plantations, the fencing-off of certain areas, the damming of water sources, and similar developments, crowd out natural habitats and, at times, break them up in such a way that animal populations can no longer migrate or roam freely. As a result, some species face extinction. Alternatives exist which at least lessen the impact of these projects, like the creation of biological corridors, but few countries demonstrate such concern and foresight. Frequently, when certain species are exploited commercially, little attention is paid to studying their reproductive patterns in order to prevent their depletion and the consequent imbalance of the ecosystem.
36. Caring for ecosystems demands far-sightedness, since no one looking for quick and easy profit is truly interested in their preservation. But the cost of the damage caused by such selfish lack of concern is much greater than the economic benefits to be obtained. Where certain species are destroyed or seriously harmed, the values involved are incalculable. We can be silent witnesses to terrible injustices if we think that we can obtain significant benefits by making the rest of humanity, present and future, pay the extremely high costs of environmental deterioration.
Friday, October 9, 2015
Maybe we feel very knowledgeable about the scarcity of water in our world today. Still, I think we need to read what Pope Francis is stating in "Laudato Si" and I am aware that I am only giving a few excerpts, but hope that will motivate all to read the Encyclical.
30. Even as the quality of available water is constantly diminishing, in some places there is a growing tendency, despite its scarcity, to privatize this resource, turning it into a commodity subject to the laws of the market. Yet access to safe drinkable water is a basic and universal human right, since it is essential to human survival and, as such, is a condition for the exercise of other human rights. Our world has a grave social debt towards the poor who lack access to drinking water, because they are denied the right to a life consistent with their inalienable dignity. This debt can be paid partly by an increase in funding to provide clean water and sanitary services among the poor. But water continues to be wasted, not only in the developed world but also in developing countries which possess it in abundance. This shows that the problem of water is partly an educational and cultural issue, since there is little awareness of the seriousness of such behaviour within a context of great inequality.
31. Greater scarcity of water will lead to an increase in the cost of food and the various products which depend on its use. Some studies warn that an acute water shortage may occur within a few decades unless urgent action is taken. The environmental repercussions could affect billions of people; it is also conceivable that the control of water by large multinational businesses may become a major source of conflict in this century.
More to pray for and pray that we realize that we need to work for the common good of all!
Thursday, October 8, 2015
Here is another quote to reflect on from "Laudato Si":
28. Fresh drinking water is an issue of primary importance, since it is indispensable for human life and for supporting terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Sources of fresh water are necessary for health care, agriculture and industry. Water supplies used to be relatively constant, but now in many places demand exceeds the sustainable supply, with dramatic consequences in the short and long term. Large cities dependent on significant supplies of water have experienced periods of shortage, and at critical moments these have not always been administered with sufficient oversight and impartiality. Water poverty especially affects Africa where large sectors of the population have no access to safe drinking water or experience droughts which impede agricultural production. Some countries have areas rich in water while others endure drastic scarcity.
It is the poor of this world who suffer most from lack of water and we waste it!
I came home yesterday through flooded streets in a heavy rain; then we have had so much in the Carolinas that caused loss of life and homes and great hardship. Water comes to us in many ways. I pray for all those who have been suffering from the flooding; and I also pray for all those who are suffering from lack of water.
Let us thank for this precious gift.
Wednesday, October 7, 2015
Here is another excerpt to reflect on today from " Laudato Si":
25. Climate change is a global problem with grave implications: environmental, social, economic, political and for the distribution of goods. It represents one of the principal challenges facing humanity in our day. Its worst impact will probably be felt by developing countries in coming decades. Many of the poor live in areas particularly affected by phenomena related to warming, and their means of subsistence are largely dependent on natural reserves and ecosystemic services such as agriculture, fishing and forestry. They have no other financial activities or resources which can enable them to adapt to climate change or to face natural disasters, and their access to social services and protection is very limited. For example, changes in climate, to which animals and plants cannot adapt, lead them to migrate; this in turn affects the livelihood of the poor, who are then forced to leave their homes, with great uncertainty for their future and that of their children. There has been a tragic rise in the number of migrants seeking to flee from the growing poverty caused by environmental degradation. They are not recognized by international conventions as refugees; they bear the loss of the lives they have left behind, without enjoying any legal protection whatsoever. Sadly, there is widespread indifference to such suffering, which is even now taking place throughout our world. Our lack of response to these tragedies involving our brothers and sisters points to the loss of that sense of responsibility for our fellow men and women upon which all civil society is founded.
Let us pray for migrants today.
Tuesday, October 6, 2015
Having finally finished for a second reading "Laudato Si", I will no doubt be reflecting on some passages for a long time. I did begin to jot down the main thoughts for each section but only reached the fourth chapter with note-taking. It is the last two chapters that speak to me most and therefore I have not yet tried to take notes. In Chapter Six, the last Chapter on Ecological Education and Spirituality, #240, Pope Francis writes: "The divine Persons are subsistent relations, and the world, created according to the divine model, is a web of relationships. Creatures tend toward God, and in turn it is proper to every living being to tend toward other things, so that throughout the universe we can find any number of constant and secretly interwoven relationships. This leads us not only to marvel at the manifold connections existing among creatures, but also to discover a key to our own fulfillment. The human person grows more, matures more and is sanctified more to the extent that he or she enters into relationships, going out from themselves to live in communion with God, with others and with all creatures. In this way, they make their own that Trinitarian dynamism which God imprinted in them when they were created. Everything is interconnected, and this invites us to develop a spirituality of that global solidarity which flows from the mystery of the Trinity."
There is much to reflect upon in each section. If you have not yet read the Encyclical, I hope my brief reflections this week will help motivate you to do so. It is out there on the web for all to have easy access.
Monday, October 5, 2015
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.
Sunday, October 4, 2015
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.
Janet Erskine Stuart, RSCJ
Saturday, October 3, 2015
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 .
Friday, October 2, 2015
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!
Thursday, October 1, 2015
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.