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Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Peter denies Jesus

Judas betrayed Jesus with a kiss; Peter denies three times even knowing Jesus. What must the Heart of Jesus feel when his chosen ones betray him, leave him, and deny him? 

Today, in all parts of the world, we have people in pain, people who are betrayed, denied, by those in power; people who need to flee from their home to save their lives. Jesus still sees and suffers with the injustice in our world today. He asks us to do something to help the homeless, the refugees, the outcasts in our world. What will I do?

Monday, March 19, 2018

Feast of St. Joseph

St. Joseph does not speak in the Gospels. He was a carpenter and no doubt taught Jesus his trade. He was a man who listened to his dreams and acted upon them. We really know so little about Joseph, but he must have been an important father figure for Jesus who gradually came to the realization that he was the Son of God. By then, I think Joseph had departed and Jesus was left to take care of his mother. 

As we need to start the stations of the Cross today, or continue with them, here is the third one according to Pope John Paul II:
Jesus is condemned by the Sanhedrin (Luke 22"66-71)
Jesus is led in for trumped-up charges.
Caiaphas declares "It is expedient that..."
"Are you the Son of God?"..."I am"....
"What further testimony do we need?"
The whole Sanhedrin formally hands over Jesus to Pilate desiring he be put to death.

Let us pray: O Jesus, meek and humble of heart, deliver us
-from the fear of being humiliated
-from the fear of being despised
-from the fear of suffering rebukes
-from the fear of being forgotten
-from the fear of being ridiculed
-from the fear of being wronged
-from the fear of being suspected.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Fifth Sunday of Lent

Jesus tells us in today's Gospel that "unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit." Then Jesus says that he is troubled. "Yet, what should I say? Father, save me from this hour? But it was for this purpose that I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name." Then a voice came from heaven, "I have glorified it and will glorify it again." The crowd heard it but some said it was thunder but others thought an angel had spoken to Jesus. Jesus told them that this voice did not come for his sake but for theirs. And Jesus said, "When I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself."
Jesus knows that the hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. He is trying to prepare his friends for what he is going to suffer for them and for us. He himself said that there is no greater love than to give one's life for another. Am I ready to go with Jesus now, to be with Jesus during these two weeks that remain before we celebrate his resurrection? What am I doing for Jesus? What will I do?

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Happy St. Patrick's Day

This is a great day for the Irish and I am quite Irish as my maternal great grandparents and my maternal great grandfather all came from Ireland and were proud to raise good Irish Catholic families. We always celebrated this day and were proud to be Irish Americans. That is why the whole question of limiting immigration and deporting so many who have been living peacefully here is so upsetting to me. We are spending more than three trillion dollars a year to be able to deport people who only want to be good citizens if we let them. If some are not yet citizens, is it because it costs $800 to get you citizenship now? And what are we paying for the hard labor of picking fruit in the fields all day? We are treating those who come to have a better life in a way that is certainly not the way we would want to be treated.     


Friday, March 16, 2018

Scriptual Stations of the Cross

These Scriptual Stations of the Cross were promulgated by Pope John Paul II and I am using them in this blog to help us enter more fully into the Passion and Death of Our Lord this year. By beginning today, I hope to cover them by Holy Thursday with time out for St. Patrick's Day and Palm Sunday. Actually, the first two I have really covered in my own reflection on the Agony in the Garden and Jesus' arrest when betrayed by Judas. However, I shall add here the thoughts of John Paul II when he adds "Let us offer to the Father our difficulties;"Your will be done, not mine:
-in our aging when we are no longer consulted
-in the times we register ourselves as useless
-when we must ask more frequently for help
-in the scenario of ebbing energy
-in the standing aside for younger people
-in the acceptance of pain
-in the dependence when another girds us and leads us where we would not go"

Thursday, March 15, 2018

What I am reading

The New York Times Magazine that I read faithfully each week, always asks the author being interviewed: "What books are on your nightstand?" Usually there are many and quite often I have never heard of any of the books on the nightstand and even on the floor by the bed.
I have no books on top of my very tiny nightstand which barely holds a lamp, a clock, and a tiny statue of Our Lady. However, I do have nine book shelves still full of books. What I am sharing today are those I seem to be reading at present and only one, recently received as a gift from a dear friend, belong to me; the rest have been given to me within the last ten days by my kind sisters here who have even checked a couple of books from our library for me after I have expressed an interest. These books are now to be found between bookends on top of the bookcase near my chair: World Without End. This book is the one given to me and consists of interviews with both Father Thomas Keating and Joseph Boyle by Lucette Verbovin, a Flemish film producer and author; Richard Rohr's The Divine Dance; David Richo's
The Sacred Heart of the World: Restoring Mystical Devotion to our Spiritual Life, a book I had in Miami and now want to read again; Ashes to Easter, by Robert Morneau, a old book but is good Lenten resource but I have not really been using it yet; and This Fight is Our Fight by Elizabeth Warren. This last book is not really spiritual reading but is concerned with the struggle to save America's Middle Class. I also have my Journal between those book ends in case I need to record a thought or a quote for future use.
I have less time to read here than I did in Miami. but reading is important for me and I was delighted to know that my high school senior had made a resolution to read a book a week. I forgot that there is still another book among the above just waiting to be read. It is called Religious Life: The First Constitutions of the Religious of the Society of the Sacred Heart, Text and Commentary.
My friends who know me are going to say, "And what novel are you reading this week?" I think I am not reading any at the moment; I have quite a collection on the shelf under my night-stand, but perhaps Lent lends itself to more serious reading. 

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

"I say yes to everything that happens to me today...

Here is the prayer by David Richo: The Power of Grace

I say yes to everything that happens to me today
as an opportunity
to give and receive love without reserve.
I am thankful for the enduring capacity to love
that has come to me from the Sacred Heart of the universe.
May everything that happens to me today
open my heart more and more.
May all that I think, say, feel, and do
express loving kindness
toward myself, those close to me, and all beings.
May love be my life purpose, my bliss,
my destiny, my calling,
the richest grace I can receive or give.

I have just returned from almost an hour and a half of prayer with the Sacred Heart Prep; after the early prayer service, we processed in perfect silence to the plaza where we stood in circles around the mandala and again the names of each of the 17 who were shot at the high school in Florida were read aloud and the big tower bell tolled for each of them. Then, still in silence, we walked out the front gate and stood on both sides of the street for seventeen minutes in honor of the 17 who had lost there lives. The early prayer service was so solemn and each of the 17 had their picture shown on the big screen while one student came forward for each to place a lighted candle on the stage. The students had prepared the prayers and all was so solemn. I was really impressed by the silence. The middle school had their own prayer service, but the seventh and eighth grades came for the ceremony with the tolling of the bell in the plaza. It was impressive to see how many of the RSCJ from Oakwood took part on walkers and three with their electric carts. Some parents were there and the teachers also came.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Jesus, betrayed by Judas

We begin our meditation today with the betrayal of Judas, one of the twelve chosen by Jesus to be an Apostle. Judas comes with soldiers to take Jesus captive and Judas goes to kiss Jesus so the soldiers will know whom to seize. What must the Heart of Jesus feel when one He loves has chosen to betray him for thirty pieces of silver! And his other chosen friends are also to flee and leave Him alone. How often do I turn from the love Jesus is showing me and walk away, preoccupied with my own concerns?

We had an excellent retreat day with the Associates last Saturday given by Father David Richo. I will share a prayer from it tomorrow as I thought it quite powerful. It has been a busy week with the retreat for the faculty and staff, the third graders for reading, my student, the Bible group, and trying to get in some exercise by walking outside.

Monday, March 12, 2018

The Agony in the Garden

One year when I was in Chile I spent the entire Lent praying with Jesus in the agony of the garden. I feel that this is where Jesus showed how human he was as he struggled to accept what he was to go through for us. In spite of the struggle, he kept praying, "Not my will but thine be done." 
We have so much to learn from Holy Thursday when Jesus washed the feet of his friends, then gave himself to them in this wondrous Sacrament of the Eucharist. Then he went to pray and asked his three closest disciples to watch and pray with him. Peter, James and John were not able to do this and Jesus was alone with the struggle to accept all of the suffering and even death on the cross. Once he has accepted all, he is at peace and will go forth to meet Judas who comes with the soldiers to betray him with a kiss. Imagine how the Heart of Jesus feels. Yet he surrenders himself to the soldiers and his disciples all leave him and flee. Let us not leave Jesus alone this Lent!

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Fourth Sunday of Lent

The entrance antiphon for this Sunday is: Rejoice, Jerusalem, and all who love her. Be joyful, all who were in mourning: exult and be satisfied at her consoling breast.

The collect asks "that with prompt devotion and eager faith the Christian people may hasten toward the solemn celebration to come."

We rejoice but we also hasten on as we begin the fourth week of Lent. We are preparing for the solemn celebration to come and we are following Jesus on his way to Jerusalem where he will lay down his life for us. Let us remember the resolutions we have made to give these forty days of Lent to the Lord in a special way. 

Friday, March 9, 2018

Litany of the Sacred Heart

The response is: Immerse us in your Mercy...

Heart of Jesus...
providing in lavish proportions...
revealing new truths and forms of beauty...
orientated to those most in need...
rebuffed for your sheer goodness...
center of a Church without borders...
shepherding all nations...
diffusing the fragrance of divine indwelling...
delighting in innocence and modesty...
guiding us to the sabbath of eternity...
beating with 'Yes' to the Father...
restoring people to their intrinsic dignity...
yearning for a Church which is poor and for the poor...
fulfilling God's covenant with his people...
banishing judgmentalism in all forms...
befriending society's cast offs...
lavishing unquenchable love on good and bad alike...
merciful beyond human imagining...
existing in space and time and for eternity...

Let us pray: Christ Jesus whose heart encompasses all humankind, let our eyes see with your eyes, let our hands do as You would do, so your reign comes on earth as it is in Heaven. Amen.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

His Embrace

"His father saw him...ran to him...clasped him in his arms and kissed him tenderly" Luke  13:20

How often was there the deep joy of being welcomed home? An embrace from your mother? 

Heart of Jesus existing in space and time and for eternity...

Pope Francis: "The community of Peter and Paul teaches us that the Church at prayer is a Church on her feet, strong, moving forward! Indeed a Christian who prays is a Christian who is protected, guarded and sustained, and above all who is never alone. Prayer is the encounter with God, with God who never lets us down, with God who is faithful to his word, with God who does not abandon his children." 29 June 2015

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

His Mercy

"I want mercy, not sacrifice."  Matt 9:13

How often was there the deep joy of being welcomed home? An embrace from your mother? concern for your well-being?

How tough was it when folk did not grasp that ritual words and actions were invalid unless they represented tenderness and love?

Heart of Jesus merciful beyond human imagining...

Pope Francis: "Christ's resurrection is not an event of the past; it contains a vital power which has permeated this world... it is true that in the midst of darkness something new always springs to life and sooner or later produces fruit...however dark things are, goodness alwas re-emerges and spreads. Each day in our world beauty is born anew... values always tend to reappear under new guises."  EG276                                                                                                                                                     

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

His Generosity

"What do you want me to do for you?" Mark 10:51

Did you feel impelled to give of yourself to all who came for healing not matter how tired you were? Was the cost high?

Heart of Jesus lavishing unquenchable love on the good and bad alike...

Pope Francis: "...what the Holy Spirit mobilises is not an unruly activism, but above all an attentiveness which considers the other " in a certain sense as one with ourselves." This loving attentiveness is the beginning of a true concern for their person which inspires me effectively to seek their good... True love is always contemplative, and permits us to serve the other not out of necessity or vanity, but rather because she is beautiful above and beyond mere appearances." EG 199

I love the question Jesus keeps asking us: "What do you want me to do for you?" And then the quote from Pope Francis is worth pondering today!

Monday, March 5, 2018

Know His Heart: His Gentleness

"Woman, you are free of your infirmity" Luke 13:12

Did your loving Heart sense the pains of age and disability? When the woman straightened up what was the eye-to-eye communication? Did you ever meet her again?

Heart of Jesus befriending society's cast-offs...

Pope Francis: "Human beings are themselves considered consumer goods to be used and then discarded. We have created a "disposable" culture which is now spreading. It is no longer simply about exploitation and oppression, but something new,...those excluded are no longer society's underside or fringes or its disenfranchised- they are no longer even a part of it. The excluded are not the 'exploited' but the outcast, the 'leftovers'". EG 53

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Third Sunday of Lent

I read somewhere that when Jesus was cleansing the temple, overturning the money-changers' tables, and driving out those who sold the animals to be sacrificed, he was upset because people were not paying attention to the Presence of God. That makes sense to me as the people who sold the animals and the money-changers were really there to help the Jews to fulfill the law, but the reason the Jews were coming to the temple was God! They had lost sight of that. 
Now, how many times have we gone into the Presence of God and been concerned about our own problems and failed to realize that God was waiting to have us come to Him? I think we are just to be with Him and listen to Him and let Him love us! Try this at Church today.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

His Meekness

"Neither do I condemn you: go in peace and sin no more." Jn 8

How repulsed were you when the pharisees smugly pushed the woman forward? Did the frightened woman's eyes speak for many others? 

Heart of Jesus banishing judgmentalism in all forms...

Pope Francis: "Who am I to judge them if they are seeking the Lord in good faith?" (Press conference on plane 2013)

Friday, March 2, 2018

His Culture

"as was the custom...." Luke 2:42

As a teenager did the multiple rules rile you? Was it cool to talk to Joseph about traditions? 

Heart of Jesus fulfilling God's covenant with his people...

Pope Francis: "We cannot demand that people of every continent in expressing their Christian faith, imitate modes of expression which European nations developed at a particular moment of their history, because the faith cannot be constricted to the limits of understanding and expression of any one culture. It is an indisputable fact that no single culture can exhaust the mystery of redemption in Christ." EG 118

We are celebrating a 100th birthday today with many guests and there will be still another celebration tomorrow in San Francisco. 

Thursday, March 1, 2018

His Inclusiveness

"It happened that a number of tax collectors and sinners came to sit at the table with Jesus and his disciples." Matt 9:10

Was it hard to bear with the critics fault finding about your table friendships? Did their envy of your popularity dampen your spirit? Did class distinctions disturb you?

Heart of Jesus yearning for a Church which is poor and for the poor...

Pope Francis: "Let us ask the Lord to help us understand the law of love. How good it is to have this law! How much good it does us to love one another, in spite of everything. Yes, in spite of everything!....We all have our likes and pray for a person with whom I am irritated is a beautiful step forward in love...Let us not allow ourselves to be robbed ot the ideal of fraternal love!  (when still Archbishop)

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Know His Heart: His Disappointments

"Where are the other nine?" Luke 17:17

How did you feel when you gave all you had and no one uttered a word of gratitude? Was it heart-breaking when folks, once cured, forgot you in daily life?

Heart of Jesus restoring people to their intrinsic dignity...

Pope Francis: "Solidarity is a spontaneous reaction by those who recognize that the social function of property and universal destination of goods are realities which come before private property. The private ownership of goods is justified by the need to protect and increase them, so that they can better serve the common good; for this reason, solidarity must be lived as the decision to restore to the poor what belongs to them." EG 189

I am not sure why that quote was chosen but I am relying on the Holy Spirit having inspired this little booklet that I am sharing with you. There is so much to reflect on if we stop to think of the times we forget to thank; are we really grateful for the daily gifts the Lord gives each of us? Or do we contribute to the disappointments the Lord still feels as the risen Jesus still has a human heart that can feel ingratitude.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

His Prayer

"He went up into the hillside by himself to pray." Matt 14:23

In the union with the Father and the Holy Spirit was your body transfigured though there was no one to see it? Were you renewed in vigor? What was your prayer like when alone?

Heart of Jesus beating with 'Yes' to the Father...

Pope Francis: "We only devote periods of quiet time to the things or the people whom we love; and here we are speaking of the God whom we love, a God who wishes to speak to us. Because of this love, we can take as much time as we need, like every true disciple: 'Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening."
                                                                        EG 146

Monday, February 26, 2018

His Steadfastness

"I have made your name known to them and will continue to make it known." John 17:26

As you taught day after day with poor results did you get disheartened? If the disciples seemed slow to cotton on to your message was it easy to keep smiling?

Heart of Jesus guiding us to the sabbath of eternity...

Pope Francis: "It is also important to ask for the grace of 'personal memory'; what has God done with me in my life? How has he made my journey? We also need to know how to ask for the grace of hope, which is not optimism; it is something else. Finally, let us ask for the grace to renew each day our covenant with the Lord who has called us." Homily May 2014

Reflect today on your own personal memories of how God has been and is acting in your life. Take time to listen to God! 
I think the Transfiguration of Jesus happened because God wanted to strengthen Him; Jesus took his three friends up the mountain to pray and God allowed Jesus to be transfigured to strengthen all of them for what was to come. I also believe that we are given special moments in prayer that help us to "Listen to Jesus" and be strengthened for whatever the future holds. This is the fruit of my prayer yesterday!

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Second Sunday of Lent

The Gospel has Jesus taking Peter, James, and John up the mountain where he was transfigured before them; his clothes became dazzling white and Elijah and Moses appeared and were conversing with Jesus. Then a cloud came and they heard a voice saying "This is my beloved Son. Listen to him."

That is what we are all called to do: Listen to Jesus! To do this, we need to quiet our whole being. I am copying here again a great way to do this. Just say the following slowly:
Be silent. Be still. Alone, Empty before your God.
Say nothing. Ask nothing. Be silent. Be still.
Let your God look upon you.
That is all. God knows, God understands, God loves you with an enormous love, and only wants to look upon you with that love. Quiet. Still, Be. Let your God love you--love you.
                                                              Edwina Gateley

Saturday, February 24, 2018

His Simplicity

"Are not two sparrows sold for a penny?" Matt 10:29

When children gazed at you with wide eyes and you joined in their game was it sheer fun? When close friends invited you for a meal did they serve your favorite dish? Did you look forward to sitting quietly with your Mother without having to talk?

Heart of Jesus delighting in innocence and modesty...

Pope Francis: " True faith in the incarnate Son of God is inseparable from self-giving, from membership in the community, from service, from reconciliation with others. The Son of God, by becoming flesh, summoned us to the revolution of tenderness." EG 88

As you read these reflections, I hope you feel as I do that you can find other texts that perhaps better show the characteristic named - here it is the simplicity of the Heart of Jesus. I am sure you also will have different questions to ask Jesus, but that is good. The whole point of praying with these blogs is to lead you to personal reflection and then to stillness. Just sit with Jesus in silence.

Friday, February 23, 2018

His Peace

"Fear not little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom." Luke 12:32

Did your Heart always drink in the beauty of the countryside?...Was it your sense of sacredness and joy which led you to find metaphors from them in your teachings?

Heart of Jesus, diffusing the fragrance of divine indwelling...

Pope Francis: "The Gospel message always begins with a greeting of peace, and peace at all times crowns and confirms the relations between the disciples. Peace is possible because the Lord has overcome the world and its constant conflict...EG 229

Thursday, February 22, 2018

His Fidelity

"My aim is to do not my own will, but the will of him who sent me." John 5:30

"How tiring and inconvenient was it to be itinerant with no shack of your own?"

Heart of Jesus shepherding all nations...

Pope Francis:
"In the consecrated life we live the encounter between the young and the old, between observance and prophecy. Let's not see these as two opposing realities! Let us rather allow the Holy Spirit to animate both of them and a sign of this is joy, the joy of being led by the Spirit, never unyielding, never closed, always open to the voice of God that speaks, that opens, that leads and invites us to go toward the horizon."
                                                    Homily February 2, 2014

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Know His Heart...His Yearnings

United States
United Kingdom

Above I have copied the page views for the top countries; they give only 10 but Canada and South Korea did not copy. I also have listed Brazil, Portugal, Spain, Indonesia, Malaysia, Japan, China, and other countries but what startled me was to see the number of hits on my blog from Russia.

Now to go back to the Yearnings of the Heart of Jesus. Remember that there is a scripture quote, then a question or two for Jesus, then an invocation and finally a quote from Pope Francis. This should give you plenty to reflect on during these first days of Lent.
"Teach them to observe all that I have commanded you."  Matt 18:20
When you experienced women and men changing their lives for the better did your Heart dance with gratitude? Was this a joy you shared in your prayer with the Father?

Pope Francis: Evangelization aims at a process of growth which entails taking seriously each person and God's plan for his or her life. All of us need to grow in Christ. Evangelization should stimulate a desire for this growth, so that each of us can say wholeheartedly: "It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. (Gal 2:20) EG 160

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

His Rejections soon as they saw him they implored him to leave the neighborhood. (Mark 8:34)

How painful was it when you saw possessions counted more than humans? Were you surprised that a crowd could so quickly turn against you?
Heart of Jesus, buffeted for your sheer goodness...

Pope Francis: "Jesus, the evangelizer par excellence and the Gospel in person, identifies especially with the little ones. This reminds us Christians that we are called to care for the vulnerable of the earth. But the current model, with its emphasis on success and self-reliance, does not appear to favor an investment in efforts to help the slow, the weak or the less talented to find opportunities in life." EG 209

Monday, February 19, 2018

His Forgiveness

"Simon, I came into your house, and you poured no water over my feet. . . You gave me no kiss... You did not anoint my head with oil ...." 
Could you forget slights, insults and criticisms immediately? Did it cost you to accept invitations which were given for show?

Heart of Jesus, orientated to those most in need...

Pope Francis: "The salvation which God offers is the work of his mercy. No human efforts, however good they may be, can enable us to merit so great a gift. God, by his sheer grace, draws us to himself, and makes us one with him." EG 112

Sunday, February 18, 2018

First Sunday of Lent

The Gospel tells us that the Spirit drove Jesus our into the desert. He remained there for forty days, tempted by Satan. Later, Jesus must have told his Apostles about these temptations. Mark does not go into detail but does tell us that the angels ministered to him. And then he tells us that Jesus, after John had been arrested, began to proclaim the Gospel: "This is the time of fulfillment. The Kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel."

We are still being called to repent and believe and this first Sunday of Lent is time to reflect on how we are living the Gospel.
Take some desert time today to be alone with Jesus.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

His Wisdom

"I tell you most solemnly, unless a person is born from above, he cannot see the Kingdom of God."
(the questions are always addressed to Jesus) Were you thrilled by the courage of visitors who came secretly to you to avoid detection? Did you heart sing when they responded to your teaching even if kept private? 

Heart of Jesus revealing new truths and forms of beauty...

Pope Francis: "The church is herself a missionary disciple; she needs to grow in her interpretation of the revealed word and in her understanding of truth." EG 40

Friday, February 16, 2018

Know His Heart: His Graciousness

The picture makes me think skiing is almost flying at times.
Now, I am going to see if a little book that has been put out for our use here and has been, as it says on the back, "crafted for personal devotion" may help us. Actually, there is a whole series of these little booklets and I do see that there is an e-mail given on the back:

I am just sharing this on titled "Know His Heart" and inside the front cover there is an explanation that says: "The proposed questions, open to expansion, followed by an ejaculatory response are an attempt to appreciate what Jesus' feelings might have been in certain situations of his life leading us to know Him better. The ejaculatory responses form the final litany." 
There are eighteen attitudes so here is the first: His Graciousness.  "There was a wedding at Cana in Galilee... the mother of Jesus said to him, 'They have no wine."

How did you feel when your mother made this request?
Heart of Jesus, providing in lavish proportions...

Pope Francis: "Joy adapts and changes, but it always endures even as a flicker of light born of our personal certainty that, when everything is said and done, we are infinitely loved... the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases. His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning." EG 6

Thursday, February 15, 2018

More on Wonder

Here is a song sent to me by a dear friend in Miami last week. I love it so am sharing it with you. It is by Lee Ann Womack :

I hope you never lose your sense of wonder,
You get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger,
May you never take one single breath for granted,
God forbid love ever leave you empty handed,
I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean,
Whenever one door closes, I hope one more opens,
Promise me that you’ll give fate a fighting chance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.
I hope you dance.
I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance,
Never settle for the path of least resistance.
Livin’ might mean takin’ chances, but they’re worth takin’,
Lovin’ might be a mistake but it’s worth makin’,
Don’t let some hell bent heart leave you bitter,
When you come close to sellin’ out reconsider,
Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.
I hope you dance!”

I, too, hope we never lose our sense of wonder. I hope we always feel small when we stand by the ocean and, above all, I hope we keep dancing inside even when we need to sit down!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Ash Wednesday

We begin the Holy Season of Lent today. Let us pray for one another as we enter this holy time of transformation. Let us follow Jesus during these forty days until we find ourselves with Him in Holy Week and, above all, with the risen Jesus on Easter!

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Shrove Tuesday

In the United Kingdom, today is called Pancake Tuesday. The idea is we feast today and fast tomorrow on Ash Wednesday.
I hope we are also celebrating Valentine's Day earlier this year as it is such a fun day and cannot be celebrated very well on Ash Wednesday!
The Shrove Tuesday I remember best was when I was just a Freshman at college and a group of us decided to go to New Orleans for Mardi Gras. We were all night on the bus and then, while the others went to our convent to stay, my aunt and uncle met me and I stayed with them at night. The first night I just wanted to sleep so they went to a military costume ball without me. My Uncle Bob was a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army and he went as a "shower" with a shower curtain arranged around him; he said he would never do that again as some thought they could pour their drinks over him! The next night we went to one of the balls as Bob was an escort and my aunt and I sat in the balcony and watched the gorgeous presentations to the King of the Ball and then the dancing. It was a week end to remember and we ended up riding in a truck during one of the parades through the streets of New Orleans. We came back in a drawing room on the train and I was the only one with any money as my aunt had pressed two dollars into my hands along with a "poor boy" sandwich when they left me at the station. The others fell on me as they were hungry and thirsty. When we arrived at Union Station early in the morning we piled into a cab and had the driver wait at Maryville while we borrowed money from the nuns to pay him. We could not miss class as it was a triple-cut day! Amazing how vivid some memories are still after so many years! 

Have a happy day and maybe have a few minutes to plan for Lent - we are given the next six weeks to deepen our faith and hope and love in so many ways. What are you going to do for Lent this year?

Monday, February 12, 2018

Shrove Monday

The two days before Lent begins on Ash Wednesday are called Shrove Monday and Tuesday. While it would be good to think about what we might want to do for the Lord during the six weeks of Lent, many are just thinking of eating and drinking with parties and balls, especially in New Orleans where there are parades and great celebrations. 
I put the symbol of Lent above on the blog today so that we can take a few moments to reflect and talk to God about what God might want us to do during Lent. These weeks are a preparation for us to be able to enter more fully into the Paschal Mystery, and to be able to rejoice more fully with the Lord on Easter when He is risen from the dead. 
Let us spend some time today with the Lord.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time

This is one of my favorite Gospels. The leper comes to Jesus, kneels down, and begs him to cure him. He says: "If you wish, you can make me clean." Jesus stretches out his hand, touched him, and said: "I do will it. Be made clean." The leprosy left him immediately, and he was made clean.

What a wonderful faith the leper has. Have we the same? 

Jesus told him not to tell anyone but to go show himself to the priest but the man cannot contain his joy and he spread the news so quickly that the gospel tells us the it was impossible for Jesus to enter a town and so he remained outside in deserted places, "and people kept coming to him from everywhere."

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Childlike wonder

I love this picture and imagine the children in the family made the snowman when they woke up to the wonder of a winter fairyland.
 I have a quote from "The Sense of Wonder" by Rachel Carson. It might make for a fruitful reflection today.

"If I had influence with the good angel who is supposed to preside over the christening of all children, I should ask that her gift to each child in the world would be a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life as an unfailing antidote against boredom and disenchantments of later years, the sterile preoccupation with things that are artificial, the alienation from the sources of our strength."

Today we have the funeral of Sister Madeleine Desloge; she was 101 and I had the privilege of being with her when she died. She never lost her sense of wonder. She took joy in so many things that we often take for granted. I imagine her roaming around in heaven full of childlike wonder. Her favorite expression during these past months when she found it hard to talk, was "Oh boy!" I suspect she is still exclaiming "Oh boy!"

Friday, February 9, 2018

Our sense of wonder connects us to the world

"The root of the word 'educate' means 'to care' - a caring that flows naturally from a deep feeling for the world. This kind of care seems to embody a type of wisdom that has nothing to do with information or knowledge in its restricted sense. Our connection to the world is not through information about it, but through a sense of wonder." John Wilson aka Paramananda

Now that quote is rather startling, at least it was to me when I first read it. Now it makes sense, but one needs to see the value of a sense of wonder to understand it, at least that is what I think. 

There is a sense of wonder when we are confronted with the mystery of the universe, the configuration of the stars, the planets, even the dark holes. Iain Matthew in his wonderful book "Dark Night of the Soul" says that "to be contemplative is to be a watch in the night for the approach of Mystery. And it is a readiness to be transformed in an engagement with that Mystery."  

Before God, we can only sit in wonder--wonder at the beauty all around us; wonder at the uniqueness of each human being, of each snowflake, etc. 

Thursday, February 8, 2018

58th Anniversary of Final Profession

The American group made our final profession in the Society of the Sacred Heart on February 8; that same day, it was announced that I would not be going back with them but was being sent to Chile. It was a day full of emotions. I had known since Christmas eve that I was to go to Chile, but was not allowed to mention this to anyone. I made the thirty-day retreat before profession deepening the retreat I had made in August with a famous French Jesuit, who impressed on me the fact that I am called to do what God wants, when He wants it, and how He wants it. That seemed a good program for life and the Holy Spirit did not tell me anything different in the January long retreat.
 I arrived in Chile on Valentine's Day. It was night but the Vicar and the Mistress of Novices who knew a little English, were waiting at the airport. It was quite hot and Rome had been so cold. February in Chile is like August here only no fans. In fact, when I arrived and for at least half of the twenty years I was there, we had no refrigerators, no washing machines, no heaters - things I had taken for granted.

I do not know how I began with these memories when I had every intention of continuing with the theme of wonder and amazement. Maybe I am still wondering why God chose me to go to Chile. At the time, I went for life. It was only after Vatican II that missionaries were to return to their own province every three years in order to stay in touch and later be able to return to that Province.  I am sure we can all find wonder in the way God directs our lives and showers us with His gifts. He is a God of surprises!

Wednesday, February 7, 2018


Today is the eve of my 58th year of Final Profession and then I was sent directly to Chile without knowing Spanish! Time flies and I have now been writing this daily blog for over ten years as the first years were not even archived. I never go back over the blogs I have written, but I know others do. I guess they find the archives at the bottom right or maybe they are just using the Google search engine.
When asked how I write something everyday I must confess that I usually just sit down in front of the computer and wait for the Holy Spirit to nudge me. Sometimes I remember that I have something I read and want to share, but other times I just write and hope it will touch at least some of my readers.
Today I want to share some quotes on wonder that I have been reflecting on just now (they are from last April's issue of "Friends of Silence"). 
"Wonder is the basis of worship." Thomas Carlyle

"Children live in a world of dreams and imagination, a world of aliveness...There is a voice of wonder and amazement inside of all of us, but we grow to realize we can no longer hear it, and we live in silence. It isn't that God stopped speaking; it is that our lives became louder." Mike Yaconelli from "Dangerous Wonder: The Adventure of Childlike Faith."

I will have more to say on wonder tomorrow as I am trying to cultivate it in my own life. I think it is a necessary gift.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

How does your faith make you grow?

Here is a quote from the Pope to reflect on today: 

"A faith that does not trouble us is a troubled faith. A faith that does not make us grow is a faith that needs to grow."

I do not need to comment on that as I think it will resonate within you. However, it lead me to remember something my great Uncle Jim always quoted to me as a child: " When the going gets tough, only the tough keep going."

Have a happy day! Ponder how your faith makes you grow.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Several Thoughts Tonight

Snow can be beautiful and I miss the quiet that a snowfall brings, but I do not miss having to clear the snow off the car and scrape the ice off the windshield. Still, I think a picture is worth more than words and I am going to be using some snow scenes this week. They remind me of how fortunate we are with the temperature nearing 70 degrees this week. They also will remind all of us to pray for those who are still suffering from the snow storms. I feel for those who do not have shelter and so just now I have mixed feelings about even using these pictures. I hope we see the beauty of new-fallen snow, and sense the quiet. We are only ten days away from Lent. We certainly will be celebrating Valentine's Day on Shrove Tuesday or before as Ash Wednesday is February 14. I mention this now so we can all prepare for the holy season of Lent. Let us ask the Lord how we can do this. The Holy Spirit will let us know what is pleasing to the Lord.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

"For this purpose I have come"

Jesus goes to the home of Peter and Andrew with James and John. The first thing he does is cure the mother-in-law of Peter. Her fever left her and she waited on them. In the evening, the people began to bring all those who were ill or possessed by demons. He cured many who were ill and drove out demons. Then, today's Gospel tells us: "Rising very early before dawn, he left and went off to a deserted place, where he prayed." However, Simon Peter and those who were with him pursued him. When they find Jesus, they tell him that everybody is looking for him. Then Jesus says: "Let us go on to the nearby villages that I may preach there also. For this purpose have I come."
Jesus prayed and discerned what he was to do. He knows what he is to do and he gradually forms his apostles to be able to carry on his mission. He invites them to go with him. He is still inviting others to help him in this mission of proclaiming the good news. We have been called and we have the grace to do whatever He asks of us. Let us be brave and even bold as we preach by our very lives.

Let us set sail full of zeal, as Philippine did. I urge you all to follow the year of prayer we are having with Philippine. Each week a new reflection appears. People from all over the world are contributing these reflections. Check them our on our but the link is on the right side of my blog.