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Tuesday, October 31, 2017


Today is Halloween, the eve of All Saints. It is good to see that some parishes are now having the children dress as saints. 
I loved our Halloween party last Saturday with all our staff and their children and friends invited. Almost everyone came in costume and prizes were given for the Sisters, the Staff, and the Children. I had the satisfaction of having the Seven Dwarfs win first place for the Sisters. We had come in singing "Hi Ho, Hi Ho, it's off to work we go...Hi Ho, Hi Ho and the seven of us had lovely different colors of felt elf hats made by our wonderful activity director; we had great wooden sticks with bandannas attached and beards for all except Dopey. It was fun and I guess I will think of something for next year. The Third Graders are coming to visit us today in costumes so that will be fun. One of the staff was a perfect Dorothy from the wizard of Oz even with the sparkling red shoes!
The important thing to remember today is that it is all hallows eve and tomorrow we celebrate the Feast of All the Saints!

Monday, October 30, 2017

Interior seasons of the soul

The beautiful fall colors draw me to walk in the woods of my imagination... when I make this an interior walk, all sorts of thoughts and feelings accompany me. How good God is to give a change of seasons, even in our interior. I suspect I love autumn because the longer it lasts, the further off is winter. When speaking of our interior journey (and that is what I am trying to do), winter days are often cold, dreary, and isolated. On the other hand, think of curling up with a good book in front of a friendly fire and maybe putting the book down to just be with God, contemplating His Love as the flames send you light and warmth. I love each season, but I have usually spent my interior life basking in the sun of summer or walking in the cool of autumn amidst gorgeous trees arrayed in scarlet and gold. 
Perhaps you will be reflecting today on the seasons of your soul. Pay no attention to the calendar year, but let your soul speak to you of its present season and the value it has.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

I find this Sunday's Mass joyful. The opening antiphon says: "Let the hearts that seek the Lord rejoice; turn to the Lord and his strength; constantly seek his face."

In the second reading from Paul's first Letter to the Thessalonians, Paul writes: "And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, receiving the word in great affliction, with joy from the Holy Spirit, so that you became a model for all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. For from you the word of the Lord has sounded forth not only in Macedonia and in Achaia, but in every place your faith in God has gone forth, so that we have no need to say anything."

The Gospel reading from Matthew 22:34-40 has Jesus telling the scholar of the law, who asked him which was the greatest commandment: "You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. The whole law and prophets depend on these two commandments."

When we are keeping those commandments, we are joyful!

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Halloween Costume Parade and Party

Our trees are just beginning to turn autumn colors but it is still so warm during the day that I did not even put on a sweater. This has been one of the busiest weeks with our celebrating Pastoral Care Week, preparing for a Halloween costume party today and having had several visitors who spoke to us at different times during this week. I also was interviewed by my student who has a creative project of interviewing people about their faith, how it has developed, etc. and then he makes podcasts of the interviews. He also transcribes it and that is all I want to see. After he left, I thought of several things I could have said and didn't, but hopefully it will be of help and he seemed very pleased with it. I thought it was a good way to get to know a person better and now want him to share his own faith with me.
I have been preparing the seven of us who live and eat breakfast together for our costume parade this afternoon. We went as a slumber party last year and I thought the seven dwarfs would be fun for this year. I had them draw the name of one and I ended up with Dopey. I have poles so we can carry bundles over our shoulders as that seems safer than pick axes or other tools. Our activity director got the film for us to see (it has been many, many years since I last saw "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" but I think we will be able to parade in singing "Hi Ho Its Off To Work We Go".  The important thing is that I have them all excited about it and we will practice before the parade and party this afternoon.
This blog is not so spiritual, but it is good to think about those seven and see if I am imitating the good qualities of the dwarfs as they seemed to accept each other and work together as a community with love and compassion.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Disclosure of present path

    Another picture from the garden at Filoli taken on October 19, a cloudy, cool day in the morning.

My spiritual path has been so peaceful lately, but I am still finding it difficult to put into words what is happening inside of me. My prayer has changed and I know that Jesus has been leading me down a new path of intimacy with the Blessed Trinity. I sit in the Chapel in front of the Blessed Sacrament and just try to be open and surrendered to whatever God wants; sometimes this leads to feeling the Presence of the entire Trinity in me and I am in them. How to explain? I cannot find the words but it is deep and intense while it lasts. I am just grateful and want to continue to walk with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, wherever they are leading me.
Let yourself be led by the Holy Spirit today in even the smallest things. It is bound to be an interesting day and you will do more than you thought possible. Try it.

Today I am having cancer surgery on the left side of my face. Tomorrow we are having a Halloween party and I have convinced the seven of us who live in Westwood and have breakfast together to go as the Seven Dwarfs. More on this later! 

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Where is my path leading me?

Ultimately, I trust I am being led to God. It is God who creates this interior path that I trod. Today I am using another picture from the estate, FILOLI, to reflect how often my inner path takes me through a new gate or door or just an opening that shows me something new. God works in our souls in such quiet and mysterious ways that often we do not even realize that we have just followed the path and passed through a gateway to new horizons. Perhaps this is connected for me with our call from the General Chapter 2016 to set sail. I would love to let the wind of the Spirit carry me along, but it seems that I am walking slowly, one step at a time. God keeps calling and I keep following. Sometimes the path is smooth and easier to walk; this prepares me for the more difficult paths that will appear sooner or later for this interior journey is not level but has some ups and downs. The important thing to remember is that we do not walk alone; Jesus is with us and carries us when the path is too rough. I know this from experience.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

A Happy Path, Happy Day

This picture was taken last Thursday when we had an outing to Filoli, a beautiful house and gardens. I choose this picture as I walked this path on the eve of Mater's feast and prayed to her about my own interior path. Since I am using the image of a path to think about my interior journey, this seemed to express the happiness my chosen path in life has brought me and the joy that continues to overwhelm me at times. 

It was a wonderful outing. I had signed up for this one as soon as I saw the sign. We were only to be four to go with our lovely activity director in her car. It was supposed to rain on Thursday and I think we were hoping all week that it would as the fires are still not completely controlled to the north of us. It was cloudy but the perfect day as not many people were there. We ended up with only two of us going; one is 98 but gets around very well and loves the gardens; the three of us were in the car by 10:00 and there within a half hour. We decided to separate until we would meet for lunch at 11:45 so I took off to explore the gardens and pray by myself. I walked through the sunken garden, the walled garden, the swimming pool, the back gardens and finally went to the immense rose gardens. There are 242 kinds of roses there and most of the bushes were in bloom! I sat to pray for a bit and then continued my exploration of the garden taking pictures as I went. I felt so happy and contented and felt that Mater had arranged this quiet day for me. We had lunch in the little cafe as it was too cool to eat outside with the peacock who was strutting around the patio. After lunch, I went to visit the house by myself and the others met me at 1:30 and we came home by 2:00 and I went to the Chapel to thank for such a happy day and to continue to explore my happy path.
I hope you will venture down your own interior paths this week.

Here is a quote I read: "Laughter is carborated holiness." Only I remembered it as "Laughter is joy percolating!" I rather like both! But I must confess that I like my version better!

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Come join me for a walk with my soul

This is something new for me and I am not sure where it is going. I often sit down to write my blog and find myself being led by the Spirit in a different direction. Now, today, I am just being with my soul and following this interior spirit who wants to lead me deeper into the solitude of these beautiful trees. I move slowly savoring the autumn air, the rustle of the leaves as I pass over them, and the colors that evoke memories. 
I feel that God is walking with me and suggesting so softly that I review the graces of the day. I begin with my awakening at 5:00 this morning; how grateful I felt for the exterior gift of a hot shower and the inner gift of feeling that all is gift. As I walked through the day, I realized that I am learning to let the Holy Spirit lead me. Now the desire for silence stops this reflection but you can have your own!

Monday, October 23, 2017

Interior journey ?

Paths, walks, roads, all seem to have a fascination for me. I think it is because each of us is on our own individual path. Maybe some walk on narrow footpaths through the woods, while others may have a cement walk, or even a highway to travel and so we also go at different speeds. I find I am now choosing the hidden paths where there is deep silence; I also find my spirit wandering along a path near the ocean and the sound of the surf is music to my ears. I have come to love both silence and solitude and think my soul seeks both. 

Perhaps I will share some of my solitary walks with my inner spirit this week. I am still finding my interior life more exciting than my exterior life. The problem is that we often get caught up in the exterior things and do not know how to articulate what is happening in the deepest part of out being.
Let us reflect on what kind of a path attracts our souls today.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

29th Sunday in Ordinary Time

This was supposed to be published on Sunday! It is too early!

Today's Gospel (Matthew 22:15-21) has the Pharisees plotting how they might entrap Jesus in speech. They want to know if it is lawful to pay the census tax to Caesar or not? Jesus knows what they are trying to do and asks them, "Why are you testing me, you hypocrites. Show me the coin that pays the census tax." When they do this he asks them whose inscription and whose image is on the coin. When they reply, "Caesar's" Jesus tells them: "Then repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God."

We are the ones that are stamped with God's image and we belong to God. 

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Mother of the Invisible and the Essential

Today we continue to celebrate Mater, Mother of the Invisible and the Essential.
My senior at Sacred Heart Prep who comes for an hour to visit with me each week just to establish a relationship, is conducting interviews with students, faculty, and staff, and others to hear how their faith has developed and he takes notes and has made three podcasts. On Monday, he is going to interview me about my faith journey so I am asking Mater to help me articulate it.
I learn much from my students and this boy is a real joy to be with weekly. He has a twin sister and his brothers who are now Juniors in college, are also twins. 
We are working with the school to give help to those who have lost everything in the fire. I think we are helping many but we have a family with three little boys who lost everything. They have found a two bedroom apartment that is very tiny and empty so we are trying to get some immediate help in the way of clothes, food, and furnishings so they can have their own space. The baby is 18 months, then there is a four year old and a nine year old boy and they need everything. And this is just one family.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Mater's Feast

This Feast of Mater Admirabilis is dear to all alumni of the Sacred Heart. I want to share a bit from a Circular Letter written to the entire Society of the Sacred Heart by our very Reverend Mother de Lescure in July of 1949. She tells us :
"Mater Admirabilis - the jewel of the Society- has been given to us as the virginal guardian keeping watch at the threshold of this sancturary; Mater Admirabilis, treasure of calm and serenity, in activity which should spring from the only fruitful source without ever exhausting or troubling it. We love her for the light of her lowered eyes, for the peace radiating from her contenance, for her very attitude revealing her inner fullness of grace. To have spent a few moments in her presence is a grace that leaves a lasting trace in our lives, and the welcome that this dear picture gives us everywhere we go throughout the Society is one of the signs that we are indeed at home...."

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Eve of Mater's Feast

My earliest memory of Mater comes from when I was about eight years old and it was a life-size statue of Mater that was outside the study hall at the Academy of the Visitation. I went there from the time I was five until I finished sixth grade. When I was still six years old, I was promoted to the second grade and at that time we had moved back to the house in the county so I came to school with my Dad very early and had to wait for him to pick me up at 5:30 P.M.  I would go to the study hall with the older girls after school but soon was tired of sitting there and would be allowed to go out to where Mater was as there would be another older girl there to answer the phone when a parent arrived below as a few others were sometimes called for after our usual dismissal time. I learned to play with whoever was out there listening for the phone. We would play hide the button and the folds of Mater's dress made great hiding places so I got to know that statue well by feeling in all the crevices and looking for hiding places or trying to find the hidden small button. I also developed a love of that statue as it was life-sized and therefore bigger than any other statue I have ever seen in our many convents all over as other countries often have a whole chapel just for Mater, but the statues are not as big. I then had the grace to be sacristan for the original Mater in Rome for five months and I loved being near to her and think she has been very near to me.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Now for some good sayings

People are like stained glass windows: They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light within.

I think we often miss the light within others and it is one of the things I am trying to see in each of my large community here. I live with very holy people, but sometimes I may not always see the light of Christ within each unless I am looking for it. 

We will be having the Feast of Mater on Friday and I am preparing for it by saying often throughout my day:
"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...

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Saint Philippine Duchesne

Her last years at St. Charles were happy ones for Philippine. She had her room near the little chapel that had been built to connect the convent to the Church and she continued to pray long hours but also was the one who went around checking the children's clothes and mending what needed to be mended. She taught catechism to a few of the french-speaking students in the little room under the front porch. She prayed long hours and she wrote letters. Her zeal for the Indians continued to the end of her life which came on November 18, 1852. She was buried in the convent cemetery beside the convent. Three years later people felt that she might be canonized so her body was exhumed. Her body was still intact so she was now moved to the octagonal little chapel that was out in front of the convent. Here her remains rested for the next 100 years. I was one who prayed at her tomb each night before closing up the little chapel that was dedicated to Our Lady. 
Philippine was beatified in 1940. 

Monday, October 16, 2017

Philippine is sent back to St. Charles

Most of the year that Philippine had with the Indians had been one of physical suffering for her. She hardly mentioned that in her letters which were full of the good that was being done for the Indians. She rejoiced in this tribe that had so many devout converts. Still, she knew that others felt she should return and finally a letter came sending her to spend the last ten years of her life at St. Charles. Philippine found it hard to leave her Indians but obeyed without objecting once the decision was made. It cost her to leave, but she soon was at St. Charles and willing to do all that she could to be of help in that community.
One still feels her presence there. She was such a woman of prayer and her prayer was for others, for the Church, and for the missions.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

28th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Jesus again is telling a parable. This time it is that the Kingdom of God may be likened to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son. He sent his servants to summon the guests to the feast, but they refused to come. He sent them out again to tell those invited: "Behold, I have prepared my banquet, may calves and fattened cattle are killed, and everything is ready; come to the feast." Some ignored the invitation; others laid hold of the servants, mistreated them, and killed them. The king was enraged and sent his troops to destroy those murderers and burn their city. Then he sent more servants out into the main roads to invite whomever they found. So they went out and gathered all they found, good and bad alike; the hall was filled with guests when the king came in to meet them. When the king saw a man there not dressed in a wedding garment, he said to him, "My friend, how is it that you came in here without a wedding garment?" The man was silent. Then the king said to his attendants, "Bind his hands and feet, and cast him into the darkness."
Now this parable from Matthew 22 gives us much to think about. Are we those who are invited but do not accept the invitation to the feast? Are we too busy? Or do we mistreat the servants who were sent to invite us? Maybe I am one who was found by the wayside and invited. What is the wedding garment I need to wear to partake of the feast?

Paul tells us today in the Second Reading to the Philippians, "I can do all things in him who strengthens me."
That is a consoling thought and he continues to tell us that God will fully supply whatever we need...

Let us thank God for the care he takes of each of us.

Here in California we are suffering with all who have lost everything in the terrible fires that have caused more destruction than any other year and we have more than 20,000 evicted suddenly from their homes without time usually to pack even their important papers. Many fled with nothing. We are trying to see how to help some but how will they find places to live when so many homes have been destroyed?

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Loved and respected by the Indians

Although Philippine could do little besides pray and sit with any sick Indian woman, the Indians had great reverence for her. They brought her all manner of things- fresh corn, chickens, wild plums. Mother Mathevon wrote of Mother Duchesne: "She stayed all morning in the church, so Sister Louise would take her a cup of coffee each day, and she drank it at the door of the church. After dinner she went again for three or four hours of prayer. The Indians had the greatest admiration for her, recommended themselves to her prayers, and called her Woman-Who prays-always."
Phiippine again thought of herself as a failure yet the number of baptisms grew and many were convinced that her prayers brought many new families to be baptized every Sunday afternoon and it was Mother Duchesne who inscribed all the names in the register.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Sugar Creek at last!

On June 29, 1841, the little band of missionaries: the four RSCJs, Fathers Verhaegen and Smedts, both Jesuits, and a diocesan priest, Father Francis J. Renaud boarded the Missouri river packer while a crowd of friends on the levee  were there to see them off. Mother Duchesne walked up and down the deck during the four day journey; she had found new life. It took another four days to reach Sugar Creek because the Jesuits did not want to tire out the nuns. The Indians came out to meet them on horseback. Then, about a mile from the mission, 500 braves appeared in gala dress. They had bright plumes and feathers and their moccasins embroidered with porcupine quills. The nuns were given a huge reception and Mother Duchesne shook hands with all of them. 
Unfortunately, no home had been prepared for the nuns. A good Indian let the nuns have his cabin which was close to the church; he went to live in a tent. His house was about 15 by 12 feet in size. One of the two chairs was reserved for Mother Duchesne. The first letter that Mother Duchesne wrote to Mother Barat was headed: "From the Tribe and Village of the Potawatomi". She wrote: "At last we have reached the country of our desires. ...The pastor does not think it wise at present to teach the children another language. ...The pastor has given us two fine cows and put at our service a pair of oxen, a good horse, and a charette." She goes on to say that it will be easy to plant a nice vegetable garden so they have nothing to complain about. They had brought with them a Negro man from St. Louis who is a carpenter but their baggage has not yet arrived so she had to use thick paper. She also admits that she has been ill again and finds it difficult to think. "This is a weakness I never experienced before and she says it accounts for the condition of her letter, but the facts are correct."

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Philippine's Desire Finally Fulfilled!

Philippine continued to desire to go to the Indian missions even when she was in poor health over seventy years old. The fact that permission had been given to make the foundation was a joy for her even though she was not being included in the preparations. Then, Father Verhaegen appeared at the convent one morning to say that he wanted the nuns to go with him in July as he would be making a visit to Sugar Creek. As he talked with Mothers Gray and Mathevon, Mother Duchesne sat with them for he never called at the City House without asking for her. They were speaking about the steamship passage, what baggage to take, and the date of departure and reservations for three religious. For only three? The priest had expected four. He turned to where Mother Duchesne was sitting quietly and said: "But she must come, too. Even if she can use only one leg, she will come. Why, if we have to carry her all the way on our shoulders, she is coming with us. She may not be able to do much work, but she will assure success to the mission by praying for us. Her very presence will draw down all manner of heavenly favors on the work." (Quoted in Callan's Life of Philippine Duchesne, p. 635).     
Mother Mathevon, who had been received by Philippine at Grenoble and formed by her at Florissant before being named superior at St. Charles, was to be superior of the little group. She was reluctant to have responsibility for Mother Duchesne and Philippine sensed this. She repeated often the little prayer she had made her own:
"Lord, I lean on you alone for strength.
Give me your arm to support me,
Your shoulders to carry me, 
Your breast on which to lay my head,
Your cross to uphold me,
Your Eucharist to nourish me.
In You, Lord, I sleep and rest in peace."                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

Wednesday, October 11, 2017


Philippine continued to grow in holiness through the trials and hardships she faced daily. Her humility was such that she thought herself a failure and yet she kept on mothering her community, forming the young religious to deep, interior life, and holding fast to the Constitutions of the Society of the Sacred Heart.  Vocations became more numerous and by 1830 there were 45 vowed religious in America; only fourteen of these had come from Europe. The novices were twenty-three that year. Philippine continued to pray and to struggle with the language as so many now did not know French. She felt useless, yet she was the first up in the morning and the last to retire at night. She worked hard wherever she saw a need; all of her original companions would die before she did.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Trials and Tribulataions

Philippine had so many difficult years that it is hard to just summarize what she had to go through during the years between the time she made the foundation of the City House in St. Louis and when she was finally allowed to leave the burden of superior in 1840. She had three houses in Louisiana that were causing her difficulty. although they seemed to flourish more than the three houses in Missouri. She was always short of personnel to fill the positions in her houses; she lacked funds, class materials, books, and often felt the weight of the financial situation of the houses in Missouri. She hated being in debt but she had to provide for so many: not only the children and the orphans, but the novices who were finally coming and increasing the numbers for the Society of the Sacred Heart in America.
The Religious who did arrive from France were critical of the way things were being done. They did not understand the cost of living on the frontier. Philippine had no money to hire men to cultivate the land and no money to enclose all the land. She was doing the best she could with what she had and, fortunately, the Bishop understood what she was accomplishing with so little help. She found her strength in prayer. 

Monday, October 9, 2017

These past two weeks have found me reading again the letters that Philippine wrote to Madeleine Sophie while still superior at Florissant from 1819 to 1827 when she was finally able to make the foundation in St. Louis. This was called the "City House" and many of my grade school classmates went there for high school. However, Philippine had many problems both at Florissant and in making the new foundation. 
One of her joys was helping the Jesuits who arrived in Missouri with two priests and seven Dutch novices. They arrived on June 2, 1823. It was the Monday before the Feast of the Sacred Heart. They were even poorer than the nuns so Mother Duchesne hastened to send over food and even took the nuns' choir cloaks to have material to make cassocks for the Jesuits! 
The superior, Father Van Quickenborne, 

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Sunday but late

Having prepared ahead of time, I thought I had also written a reflection for Sunday. I just looked and saw nothing so I am thinking of how we should apply the care of the vineyard to our world today. I think we are not caring for the world as we should and so the weather is causing us problems. We need to wake up and begin to fulfill the expectations God has for us to care for this beautiful planet He has given us.

We had a great homily today but on the second reading. Paul tells us to be joyful and grateful. We really do not want to let the bad things that are happening take away our joy. We are working for the Kingdom of God and need courage to keep on no matter how bad the news. Someone asked at dinner this week if we know of any newspaper that gave good news. I think many do, but it is not what gets the headlines.

I had a great Bible group this morning with three new members. They talked about it and someone came to ask if she could join us so we are definitely ten and the conference room where we meet only has ten chairs so I am happy to have them filled.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Our Lady of the Rosary

In looking for an image of Our Lady of the Rosary, I found this one and it is not usual to see our Lady dressed in pink so I am using it. It reminds me of Mater. James Martin in "Teach Us to Pray" for this month talks bout a woman he met who shared her love of the mysteries of the rosary. She said: "Oh, I love the Mysteries. When I remember all the things that happened to Jesus, it's like I'm with Mary and going through her scrapbook with her. We remember all those events, and I tell her what I think about them, and how they make me feel, and sometimes Mary tells me what she thinks and feels."

I think that is a beautiful way to pray the rosary and have tried it this week. It prolongs my walk with Mary and Jesus and there is much to share on each of the mysteries.

Friday, October 6, 2017

First Friday of October

First Friday used to mean that after the Mass and the Consecration to the Sacred Heart, we had a lovely day with the Blessed Sacrament exposed. Maybe that was only when I was a novice, but we always had Benediction. Now, we still have, here at Oakwood, an hour with the Blessed Sacrament exposed and I am sure this is a special hour for Jesus to see us all gathered in silent prayer before Him.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

From the Daily Decalogue of Pope John XXIII

We continue with this decalogue used in a memorial Mass:
7. Only for Today. I will do at least one thing I do not like doing; if my feelings are hurt, I will make sure no one notices.

8. Only for Today. I will make a plan for myself: I may not follow it to the letter, but I will make it. And I will be on guard against two evils: hastiness and indecision.

9. Only for Today. I will firmly believe, despite appearances, that the good providence of God cares for me as no one else who exists in this world.

10. Only for Today. I will have no fears. In particular, I will not be afraid to enjoy what is beautiful and to believe in goodness. Indeed, for twelve hours I can certainly do what might cause me consternation were I to believe I had to do it all my life.

To conclude: here is an all-embracing resolution: "I want to be kind, today and always, to everyone."

Much to think about today.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Feast of St. Francis of Assisi

The Collect for the Mass gives us what we are to pray for on this feast:
"O God, by whose gift Saint Francis was conformed to Christ in poverty and humility, grant that, by walking in Francis' footsteps, we may follow your Son, and, through joyful charity, come to be united with you. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever. 

It is a lovely custom in many churches to have the blessing of the animals on this feast. Francis loved all creatures and he was loved by them.

I have postponed the continuation of the Life of Philippine until next week, in case you are wondering why I have left her still at Florissant. It took time for her to establish the Society of the Sacred Heart in America and it will take time for me to tell her story.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

From my files

Going through my files the other day I came upon the Daily Decalogue of Pope John XXIII

1. Only for Today. I will seek to live the livelong day positively without wishing to solve the problems of my life all at once.
2. Only for Today. I will take the greatest care of my appearance: I will dress modestly; I will not raise my voice; I will be courteous in my behavior; I will not criticize anyone; I will not claim to improve or to discipline anyone except myself.
3. Only for Today. I will be happy in the certainty that I was created to be happy, not only in the other world but also in this one.
4. Only for Today. I will adapt to circumstances, without requiring all circumstances to be adapted to my own wishes.
5. Only for Today. I will devote ten minutes of my time to some good reading, remembering that just as food is necessary to the life of the body, so good reading is necessary to the life of the soul.
6. Only for Today. I will do one good deed and not tell anyone about it.

I think the last four I will post tomorrow as there is a great deal to reflect on in the ones I have copied here. I am sorry that I am not able to change the cursor to make the margins work right.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Feast of the Holy Guardian Angels

I have always had devotion to my Guardian Angel. In speaking of this with others, I found that some have prayed every day to their guardian angels; others have been very conscious of the presence of their angels. I am just so grateful to my angel who has been watching over me all these years and keeping me from harm. My angel has protected me, enlightened me, and told the Holy Spirit when I needed to be nudged or maybe pushed.
Let us thank God for the gift of the angels and let us be more grateful to our own angel and more conscious of the constant help we receive from our guardian angel. 

Pam, an RSCJ here at Oakwood writes a "Musing" each day and allows me to quote her. Here is what she wrote on the Gospel of Sunday:

"Please, would you gather the grapes?"
My  instinctive response was "no"
because I had other plans.
...but, on second thought,I realized
I just didn't want to do it!
lazy? selfish? bad mood?
So I changed my mind, my answer
and did what was asked.
Life is like that!
I just don't want to be bothered-
just curl up in selfishness...
then I realized "why not?"-
and changed my answer!
The grapes were pretty sweet!

Sunday, October 1, 2017

First Sunday in October

Sunday's Gospel (Mt 21:28-32) has Jesus asking a question of the chief priests and elders. He tells them a little story about a father that had two sons. He told each to go out and work in the vineyard that day. One said, "I will not" but then he went. The other said, "Yes, sir" but did not go. Which did his father's will? They told Jesus that the first son did so then Jesus said:
"Amen, I say to you, tax collectors and prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God before you."...this is good for us to reflect on as we often have choices to make. In the reflection given in "Give Us This Day", Elisabeth Meadows, OSB, says:

"The narrow way, although a choice of the will, is ultimately a choice of the heart. It is not really a path we follow but a voice that beckons.
The son who eventually made the right choice didn't get it right the first time. And sometimes neither do we."