Wednesday, February 28, 2018
"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
"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."
Monday, February 26, 2018
"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
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.
Saturday, February 24, 2018
"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
"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
"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...
"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
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
..as 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
"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
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
"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
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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
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
Tuesday, February 13, 2018
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
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
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
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
"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
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
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
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
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 website-rscj.org but the link is on the right side of my blog.
Saturday, February 3, 2018
Today's Gospel has Jesus telling his apostles, after they had reported all they had done and taught, "come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while." So they went off in a boat by themselves. People saw them leaving and went after them on foot from all the towns and arrived before them. Jesus saw the vast crowd, "his heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things."
This Gospel makes me think of how often we are called to be both apostolic and contemplative at the same time. Jesus wanted to be alone with his apostles and let them rest, but the needs of the crowd came and touched his heart. And so it is with us. We may feel the need to go to a quiet place and then someone turns up and needs us. We are both contemplative and apostolic at the same time. It is "breathing in and breathing out"! We do need time to pray, but we also are called to be for others. Prayer is also both contemplative and apostolic.
Friday, February 2, 2018
Mary had to be purified forty days after the birth of her son and so arrived at the Temple and was met by Simeon, a holy and wise man who immediately took the child in his arms and gave us the prayer that is said with the night office:
Lord, now let your servant go in peace;
your word has been fulfilled:
my own eyes have seen the salvation
which you have prepared in the sight of every people:
a light to reveal you to the nations
and the glory of your people Israel.
The Holy Spirit was active and, after leading Simeon to recognize the Infant as the "Christ" - "a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel", he said to Mary: Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted--you yourself a sword will pierce--so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed."
That must have given Mary and Joseph much to reflect on but then Anna also came and gave thanks to God for this Child. Mary and Joseph returned to Galilee and to their own town of Nazareth, but their hearts were full of the encounters in the Temple.
Now, what does this Feast fill your heart with as you reflect on the obedience of the parents to the law, the work of the Holy Spirit is revealing the Child as the one to bring redemption to all, and then the prophecy that Mary will be pierced with a sword?
I am sure the Holy Spirit is still trying to reveal Christ to us in many ways each day. I leave you with the following quote:
Most of the things we need to be most fully alive never come in busyness. They grow in rest.
Thursday, February 1, 2018
Checking-in with Jesus is something that we all could find helpful if we just stop and ask Jesus where we have found Him during the day. Look back on the day with Jesus and perhaps ask Him to help you to remember that all is gift and to give thanks for the many gifts of the day.
Jesus will help you to remember
- when did I listen to your voice today, Jesus?
-when did I resist listening to your voice today?
-when did I remember to turn to You to ask your help?
-when did I forget you and perhaps need to ask Your pardon for my lack of ........
We used to be required to make an Examen twice a day as the Jesuits and many others who follow Ignatian spirituality also did. I suspect it is not required today and many have given up this practice but perhaps more of us do reflect back over our day with Jesus in some way. It is a very healthy practice and I always suggest keeping a gratitude Journal as one way to do this check-in with Jesus. Try it and see if it is not helpful for your own spiritual life. Or invent your own review of your day with Jesus and see how this can be so fruitful.