Thursday, November 30, 2017
Sixteen days away was a long time for me to be away. I had great experiences, but I am glad to be home. The week in Miami was full of graces; I had six wonderful people for the Busy Persons's Retreat and that was a real joy. I also had time to see some of my friends and that was a gift, too. Then, I had four days with my sister and her husband in Scottsdale, Arizona, and then four days with my brother and his wife in Gold Canyon, Arizona. My sister had 17 for Thanksgiving dinner and the long table looked like the ones we saw in Downtown Abbey. She loves to entertain and the dinner was so perfect - some brought dishes to add to the feast. It was a happy Thanksgiving and we had a lovely Mass in the morning.
Now, it is time to prepare for Advent. We will have a day of retreat on Saturday. I look forward to that and have a desire to really create silence during Advent this year. It is a gift we need to give ourselves and give God as He wants to speak to us and we need silence to hear his voice. More tomorrow.
Friday, November 10, 2017
Today we close the Busy Persons' Retreat for Parents this afternoon with a prayer service and then we begin the meeting of the Western Region which lasts until Sunday noon. I will need to leave a bit early as I have a 1:00 flight that arrives in Miami at 9:30 PM. Monday begins the Busy Persons' Retreat for the faculty, staff, and usually a few mothers. We are a team of six coming from New York, Boston, Cape Cod, San Diego, Grand Coteau, and Atherton. I will be in Miami until the next Sunday and then visit my sister and her husband in Arizona for four days and then my brother in Gold Canyon for four days. I will not be home until November 28. I will also be taking a vacation from my blog as it is too difficult to find a computer to write and post it. I will be back on before Advent. I suggest that you go to our webpage: rscj.org for I understand that we are beginning a year of prayer in honor of St. Philippine Duchesne who brought the Society of the Sacred Heart to America 200 years ago. Some reflection will be posted every Monday until Philippine's feast next November. I will be celebrating her feast this year in Miami on November 18.
Thursday, November 9, 2017
This picture makes me feel that the bench is waiting for me and I am just to sit in silence and admire the gorgeous colors of the leaves. It opens up the interior life so that I just stop and enjoy the beauty that surrounds me. To sink into silence is to find God and gives me joy. I need silence.
We all need some silence to listen to the Spirit who whispers words in our hearts. When I sit in silence, I know that God is in me and I am in God and that gives great peace and joy. Try it today.
Wednesday, November 8, 2017
At the end of Mass each morning one of us takes Communion to the sick and we have beautiful prayers that we say just before the sending. This morning we were using what we call prayer G (we have A through S this season and different prayers for different liturgical seasons) and I will copy "G":
"As we contemplate the mystery of a God who gives His life for us we are grateful for the promise given to us of life everlasting. Receiving the Eucharist increases the life of God within us. It is with joy that we send our sister to bear witness to this love and we pray for their healing."
What really struck me this morning was "Receiving the Eucharist increases the life of God within us." That is a tremendous truth that gives me great joy. Each day, I am increasing in the life of God!
Actually, we say the same in prayer "C" but it was only this morning that I was inspired to realize what I have said often, but the meaning really hit me today and makes me think that all my sisters are also increasing the life of God within us each time I give them the Eucharist. I am one now who gives the Eucharist each morning to those who cannot walk up to receive it even if they are at Mass; sometimes it is as many as 16 as we have many who need to use a walker so stay in their places for Communion. I also prepare the number of hosts for those who were not at Mass as there is almost always Communion for a few who are unable to come to Mass.
Tuesday, November 7, 2017
Someone wrote to me and asked if we had a place or book she could find with prayers used by the Society of the Sacred Heart. I do not think we have and intend to ask about a future booklet containing some of the prayers we often say and that are often only known to the Society of the Sacred Heart.
I have copied some prayers in past blogs, but today I am using one that I first found when doing my dissertation research and since then it has been copied with a better translation into English so here it is:
Sacred Heart of Jesus, give me a heart that is one with your own:
A humble heart that knows and loves poverty,
A gentle heart that holds and calms its own anxieties,
A loving heart that has compassion for the suffering of others;
A pure heart that seeks only the face of God;
A detached heart that longs for nothing other than the goodness of heaven;
A heart detached from self-love and embraced by the love of God, its attentions focused on God, whose goodness is its only treasure in time and eternity. Amen.
Monday, November 6, 2017
Today I am sharing one of Pam's musings as it seems to be what we are all about. We also begin the Busy Persons' Retreat for the parents today and I have my group of mothers formed after last year's retreat.
"Carry the seed to be sown."Mission
Sunday, November 5, 2017
This Sunday has Jesus finding fault with the leaders for their own lack of humility. Jesus expects us to love one another; to be willing to serve one another. He has shown us how to live more humanly and wants us to follow his example.
I think Pope Francis is saying the same to us today and he wants the leaders in the Church to be humble servants of all.
Jesus washed the feet of his apostles to let us know how we must be willing to do the same for those around us.
May this week find us serving others and with a smile. Let us seek ways in which we can help those around us. When we give joy to others, we give joy to Jesus.
Saturday, November 4, 2017
Our Probanists in Rome must be about half way through their long retreat. For those who do not understand the term I used, probanists are our young nuns from all over the world who have gathered in Rome for what we have always called "Probation" - the five more contemplative months before final Profession when the group comes together to pray, study the Constitutions, form an international community, and reflect on their vocation to the Society of the Sacred Heart and their inner call to follow Jesus. During this time, a thirty-day directed retreat is made and there are also visits planned in Rome, and a trip to Joigny where St. Madeleine Sophie was born and lived. This international group gets to know the Mother House in Rome and our Mother General and her Team.
For many years now I have prayed for each Probation and the Probation Team that plans these important months. I also pray for our novices all over the world. Please join me in praying for the present probanists and novices.
When I reflect on my interior path, I know I have come such a long way from the time of my first vows and then from final vows. I marvel at the graces I have been given on the way and feel such gratitude!
Friday, November 3, 2017
We all have an interior path to walk and I hope we are taking the time to savor our path. God has planned the path for each of us; no two paths are exactly alike. Do I take time to thank for the moments of beauty on my path that feed my soul? Have I been grateful for the companions who walk with me? Jesus is always there and Mary comes as soon as I call her. I do not know the path that leads me deeper into mystery, but I trust the Lord and go forward. If I am tempted to stop and rest along the way, Jesus is very patient and waits for me. The important thing is to stay on the path I have been called to follow and not let a side path lead me astray. I am sure we are all happy to have a path and not be stranded in a forest without any sense of direction. The path for each of us is a grace given and we go forward with joy. Sometimes we seem to be carried along our path and feel energized, but other times we slow down, look for a place to sit and contemplate where we are, where we have come from, and where we are going. That gives us courage to get up and continue on our path even if the going seems to now be uphill and a bit more difficult. If we ask Jesus to walk with us, the interior journey is enjoyable even in rough spots.
Thursday, November 2, 2017
Today we pray for all those who have died. There is no time with God so I think we are on shaky ground when we talk about "purgatory" and so I just pray for all those who have died and may need our prayer.
I am thinking about a year of prayer with St. Philippine Duchesne as one of the ways the Society of the Sacred Heart is celebrating the bicentennial of her arrival in America. I am looking forward to sharing the Monday reflections with all of you as soon as they begin this month.
There is a great reflection entitled "The Soul's One Purpose" from the writings of the Cistercian mystic, Beatrice of Nazareth in "Give Us This Day": She said the "all the soul's seeking, teaching, prayers to God, and meditation are for this one purpose: to get into the presence of God and become Love, and to live a moral life with the purity that is the signature of true love. " The rest of the reflection is worth reading.
Wednesday, November 1, 2017
I want to begin with a thought from the reflection of Kathy Coffey given in "Give Us This Day" for this feast:
"With no superpowers or special effects, the saints faced catastrophe with limitations, skills, gifts, and virtues similar to ours. They feasted on the same Eucharist and read or heard the same Word. Most important, they looked to the face of Christ which shines as radiantly on us. Theirs - and ours- the kingdom."
When I was ill two years ago with high fever, I found it consoling to feel the presence of all the saints in my room. My parents were there and so many others and I felt that all were praying for me. Since then, I have had devotion to all the saints in heaven and find that I often feel their presence. Of course, I am sure we all have favorite saints we pray to and this way of connecting with all the saints is rather new to me, but I find it helpful.
I guess it is a time to honor those who are helping us and who have not been canonized by the Church. I know my parents, my brother George, my grandparents, aunts, etc. are all up there and take an interest in seeing that I also will eventually be joining them. We were made to be happy with God for all eternity so let us rejoice today with all those who are now with God and keep on aspiring to be with them when God calls us.