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Thursday, October 17, 2019

The Shadow Side of Joy

David Richo tells us that "the shadow side of joy is in the opposite of acceptance of change. It is in believing that joy will last forever, a denial of the condition of nature that all is transient. To say yes to the givens of life is devotion to her. That yes helps us since by it, we let go of our ego clinging, the most inveterate obstacle to authentic joy. This is the joy of equanimity in the midst of shifting predicaments and shifting feelings in a shifting world--what is meant by joy in any circumstance. We then not only accept things as they are; we savor them. The shadow proves to be our ally once we befriend it."
I am not sure this is easy for me - the joy in any circumstance; and I am sure Our Lady of Sorrows was not feeling joy while following Jesus on the way to Calvary. Four years ago one of my community whom I loved dearly, went to God quite suddenly. Carrollton is having a Mass for Marge Seitz today. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

More on the title of Our Lady of Joy

I am still using David Richo's book: When Mary Becomes Cosmic.
He says that joy can be a quality of any experience. He then gives an example: "Speaking metaphorically, we can say that a rose faces autumn with a joy equal to that felt in spring. She knows she will be reborn though not as this same individual rose. Her joy is precisely in the fact that she is not attached to an identity in any limited or literal way. She has let go of attachment to a separate identity in favor of everlasting oneness. Such letting go is the essence of jubilation." That is enough for reflection today.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Feast of St. Teresa of Avila

Just last week I copied this quote from Teresa of Avila:

"The important thing is not to think much, but to love much and so do what most stirs you to love."

What most stirs me to love? Sitting in the Chapel and letting the Lord love me seems the best way for me to answer that question, but I think it is one that we all need to ask ourselves and then go do something about it.




Monday, October 14, 2019

Maater's Feast is near

October 20th is the Feast of Mater. Since it falls on a Sunday this year, we are celebrating the Mass on Saturday. As this is such a beautiful feast for all the Sacred Heart family, I want to give you time to prepare - maybe a special practice in her honor this week.

I had the group of five women who are making the 19th Annotation retreat with me from September to mid May, here for our weekly meeting this morning. I realize that I am late with my blog, but the week end was too busy to even sit at the computer. I loved the day of retreat with a Guided Imagery at the Dominicans in San Rafael on Saturday, but it was a long day and I went to bed early. On Sunday, we spent the morning seeing the movie we had missed on Saturday and then we had a long vidyo conference with the Central Team. I did manage to do some reading and had my hour of prayer and prepared a bit for today as I had two meetings to prepare for this morning. I really think I need to try to be more contemplative this week. We are to have flu shots tomorrow!

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Twenty-Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time

All week I have been thinking about Jonah and his running away from what God called him to do. God did not let him get away. Perhaps sending the whale to save Jonah was a grace that he would later thank God for, but I do not think it was a pleasant time for him. Imagine what those three days and nights were like for this unwilling prophet. He knew he had run away from God. I guess, in little things, we sometimes try to run away from what God wants of us. He pursues us, too. Maybe we are not thrown into the sea, but sometimes we feel a storm within us. God always gives us calm and peace, so we need to run to God.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

The Gift and Power of the Imagination

I am a firm believer in the gift and the power of our imagination. As Marlene Halpin, in her wonderful little book, Imagine That! Using Phantasy in Spiritual Direction, points out, the imagination does not lie. It helps us in so many ways: to plan ahead, to recall memories, to help us discern choices, etc. I am looking forward to another Guided Imagery with music. I just let my imagination take me along wherever it wants to go while I am listening (this only happens when I am engaged in a Guided Imagery Retreat) and I find it transforming my spiritual life after I have done the work of looking at all the symbols and images and what they might mean in my own life now.
I will count on your prayer for today as it is harder to do a GIM in a group, and I am sure we will be doing it in the group and then sharing perhaps with the person next to us. 


Friday, October 11, 2019

Mary, Cause of our Joy



I was asked to review a book by David Richo: When Mary becomes Cosmic: A Jungian and Mystical Path to the Divine Feminine. I have not had time to do this yet, but did read the four or five pages under the title "Mary, Cause of our Joy". The author, whose books I like, gives several reasons why Mary is the cause of our joy. I will mention here only a few that most appeal to me. I am sure all the reasons are true, but these are most helpful for me at this time:
Mary is the cause of our joy because she brings Jesus into our world and He is our joy. It is impossible to be sad in the presence of Jesus ( I think this is true but maybe hard to believe) The idea comes from a quote from Edward Schillebeeckx"s Jesus: An Experiment in Christology.
Mary is also the cause of our joy because she is full of grace, "the free gift of spiritual energy and momentum that complements us and shows us the divine potential in ourselves. The cause of our joy is in us since wholeness/sanctity is in us, God within us: 'For what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at his coming? Is it not you? (1 Thess 2:19)

That is enough for today. Tomorrow I will spend the day in San Rafael in a day of prayer and reflection with the Dominican Sisters. The day is planned by my spiritual director and the title is "The Gift and Power of the Imagination: A Taste of Guided Imagery and Music as a Spiritual Pathway. I go with three others from here so do pray for us.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Random Thoughts

Today we again have no school as many parts are having the power turned off. No electricity means that many appointments here for doctors, etc. have been cancelled. It means that I am to have a day just to read as the amount of reading material has been piling up in my room. The talent show has been postponed to January so I do not need to work on the skit.

Yesterday and earlier today, I could not get internet access to my computer. Now, I hope, since I was able to get into my blog, I can send and receive. I have no trouble with my I-pad but only my computer. Our receptionist lives in Half Moon Bay and said she has no power and her children's schools are closed. I was supposed to go for my yearly check-up for my eyes, but the office is closed. I am relishing the idea of a quiet day.

I keep thinking about the book of Jonah. He tried to run away from God, but God did not allow him to escape his vocation to be a prophet. First, the storm at sea when he was trying to go the opposite direction, then, realizing that God had sent the storm, he told the sailors to throw him overboard. God again intervened by sending the huge fish to swallow him but not to harm him. After three days and nights, the fish deposits him on a beach and he does go to preach repentance. He succeeds in getting the entire city to repent, but he is angry that God is so merciful and will not punish the inhabitants. God is always merciful and I think Pope Francis is teaching us how to reach out to others in compassion and mercy.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Oakwood Talent Show



I am delighted that I have finished the Artisans of Hope document but thought it important enough to use my blog space to cover it in small sections. Now I am free to talk about our life at Oakwood and what is giving me great joy. 
Yesterday I went with my spirituality group of Mothers for a day of retreat at Villa Maria del Mar. We really enjoy doing this twice a year. Now, I am engaged in writing a script for my Sisters who live in Westwood so we can do something together for the Talent Show which is October 16. I have an idea, but the script is not yet written and I will need to concentrate on it tomorrow.
We do keep busy here and our construction has been a real trial for many. We will eventually have a new front door, a widened street for drop offs, a sidewalk, several new small rooms and three huge bathrooms for handicapped persons as our were too small for wheel chairs. It is still a mess, but hopefully the end is in sight - I think we are hoping for November now.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

There is an urgency ...

I think the last two paragraphs of Being Artisans of Hope in our Blessed and Broken World  are to be read and acted upon and I am copying them here:

"Now, more than ever, we are conscious of the urgency not only to take action where we are, but also to speak our and give witness to JPIC together. As RSCJ and members of the Sacred Heart family,
we commit to taking deliberate steps to collaborate with one another and with other groups that share our vision and values for justice, peace and the integrity of creation.

The International JPIC meeting led to the articulation of the four imperatives...The sense of urgency we feel reminds us of our call to be artisans of hope in our blessed and broken world. It is a call to weave a new social fabric together and with others.... This document, however, does not represent a conclusion, but rather another new beginning where we now give live to the imperatives in the next phase of this JPIC journey: that of living together the call to be artisans of hope in our blessed and broken world. Together, with hope and in Cor Unum, we shall write the next pages of this JPIC story...."

Monday, October 7, 2019

Now what am I to do?


We are to give witness to JPIC as Artisans of Hope.
We find direction and inspiration in these four imperatives:
1. Our awareness of the significant role that POWER plays in our life and our mission in the world.
2. JPIC is also a work of structural and systemic transformation that begins with soul-searching honesty and involves the Spirit. One integrated movement weaves together the contemplative and active aspects of our Sacred Heart charism.
3. We have been called to understand our relationship with the earth and to care for our common home. The cry of our wounded earth demands urgent and deliberate response, and caring for this, our common home, is both a call and a witness to hope.
4. Living our charism and mission in a world marked by conflict and force mobility compels us to walk with and be in solidarity with people on the move.
 

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Twenty-severnth Sunday in Ordinary Time


I feel that we are in the boat with Jesus and He is showing me how to relax and trust. He is sound asleep!

The responsorial psalm is "If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts." Here are the verses chosen from Psalm 95:
"Come, let us sing joyfully to the Lord,
let us acclaim the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving,
let us joyfully sing praises to him.

Come, let us bow down in worship;
let us kneel before the Lord who made us,
For he is our God,
and we are the people he shepherds, the flock he guides.

Oh, that today you would hear his voice:
Harden not your hearts.....

I love this Psalm and want to be an artisan of hope and this helps.

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Conclusion


We have been on a journey through the important document, 
Being Artisans of Hope in our Blessed and Broken World. 

We acknowledge with gratitude all our desires and efforts to collaborate with God's work of transformation in the world through our service with the heart of an educator....

As we continue the work of JPIC that the Spirit has begun in us, we find direction and inspiration in these four imperatives:

1. Role of power
2. Structural and systemic transformation
3. Relationships and care for our common home - "caring for this, our common home, is both a call and a witness to hope."
4 Compelled to walk with and be in solidarity with people on the move.  
"Now, more than ever, we re conscious of the urgency not only to take action where we are, but also to speak out and give witness to JPIC together. As RSCJ and members of the Sacred Heart Family, we commit to taking deliberate steps to collaborate with one another and with other groups that share our vision and values for justice, peace and integrity of creation.

...This Document, however, "does not represent a conclusion, but rather another new beginning where we now give life to the imperatives in the next phase of this JPI journey: that of living together the call to be artisans of hope in our blessed and broken world...."

Friday, October 4, 2019

Feast of St. Francis of Assisi



It seems fitting that on the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi we have reached the last page before the conclusion of Being Artisans of Hope in our Blessed and Broken World and it is entitled: 
Giving Witness to JPIC as Artisans of Hope.

Here I will try to summarize for we were mandated by our General Chapter "to be One Body which loves, practices and gives witness to justice, peace and integrity of creation at all levels of our life and mission."
We express that more precisely as "being artisans of hope in our blessed and broken world."

While we act at the local level, we commit ourselves to do the following at the international level:
1. Coordinate JPIC efforts with regional concerns and international commissions and networks of the Society of the Sacred Heart.

2. Strengthen advocacy efforts and consolidate on-the-ground educative efforts into a more global response through the UN-NGO Office.

3. Create a 'JPIC Resource Center' to facilitate communication, networking, and exchange of resources.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

More questions seeking answers



At the end of the 4th imperative in Being artisans of Hope in Our Blessed and Broken World, we are asked how do we:
1. Employ different platforms to raise awareness and educate ourselves and others about the plight of people on the move in our different countries and contexts (e.g. international meetings and fora, web resources and printed materials)?

2. Exert greater effort to appreciate diversity, grow in the attitudes and skills of interculturality, and allow ourselves to be transformed by relationships and encounters with people on the move?

3. Tap the potential of our internationality so that we can share the resources needed to sustain programs and activities that accompany migrants and refugees, and help them to rebuild their lives?

4. Open communities, whenever and wherever possible, or initiate opportunities for volunteer work at the borders and margins where migrants and/or refugees live?

Through our myriad efforts, whether in action, reflection, or prayer, how do we provide concrete expression to Jesus' invitation to those who are weary and overburdened to come, find rest, and learn from His Heart (Matthew 11:28-30)?

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Feasr of the Guardian Angels


I suspect that my mother is celebrating her birthday today in Heaven with all the Angels. I so often feel her presence in my life and feel that she is watching over me with my Guardian Angel. Now to return to the last questions given in the 4th Imperative of "Welcoming People on the Move":

Do we care and allow the cry and anguish of earth and people to touch us?

 Do we care and bring these to prayer, conversations, and ministries? 

Do we care and take concrete steps to welcome people on the move, to help the afflicted, and to contribute to the rebuilding of their lives? 

Do we care and analyze the situation in order to take action to systematically prevent or at least contribute to the lessening of the impact of these forms of suffering?

Impelled by our charism and mission as Sacred Heart educators to vivify hope in this, our wounded world, we are called to be in solidarity with 'people on the move."

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Welcoming People on the Move continued



Countless people risk their lives to escape war, persecution, poverty and natural disasters. "Our commitment to JPIC compels us to re-examine how we stand in solidarity with those who are at these "frontiers". In light of an ethic of caring, we ask ourselves:
--Do we care about the people, displaced by war and other forms of conflict?
Do we care about those who are forced to migrate in order to escape poverty and violence?
Do we care about the people affected by destruction cause by extreme natural disasters? 
Do we care about our earth and its creatures as they (and we) suffer from the impact of climate change and environmental degradation? 

Do we care, or have we become numbed by the bombardment of images in mass media and social media? Are we moved to acts of care or are we overwhelmed by feelings of helplessness,
paralyzed by fear, or occupied by ….
Do we care, or have we inadvertently fallen into the trap of what Pope Francis calls the "globalization of indifference"?

Please take time to reflect on these questions and our attitudes toward all suffering displacement for whatever reason.

Monday, September 30, 2019

Welcoming People on the Move


We now come to the 4th and last imperative given in our JPIC document: Welcoming People on the Move: Walking with those who seek refuge and hope for a better future.

"Whereas RSCJ and members of the Sacred Heart family are called by the 2016 General Chapter "to reach new frontiers," there are people and families who are pushed into "frontiers". Displace by poverty, violence, and environmental degradation, they are forced to leave their home, plunge into the unknown, and seek refuge in lands and cultures not their own."

I am just giving us a small amount to reflect on each day this week; we are almost at the end of the document, but this is an imperative that I feel very strongly is a call to every person living in the United States. We need to welcome these displaced people with open arms. Instead we are turning them away or putting them in cages in detention for weeks and months; separating families from their children, etc.

I am leaving all of this in bold today as it is so important for us to work to really welcome those who seek refuge with us!

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Twenty-Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time


Today's Gospel (Luke 16:19-31) has Jesus telling the Pharisees the story of the rich man who dined sumptuously each day while there was a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who would have loved to have even the scraps that fell from the table. Dogs would come and lick the sores of Lazarus. When he died, he was carried to the bosom of Abraham. When the rich man died, he was in torment in the netherworld and begged that Lazarus could come and give him even a dip of water from the tip of his finger. But, "Abraham replied, 'My child, remember that you received what was good during your lifetime while Lazarus received what was bad; but now he is comforted here, whereas you are tormented.'"

This is my summary of a very powerful story told by Jesus to make us all heed and remember that we have an obligation to look out for others, to share, and not be greedy and mean. Jesus gave us the Beatitudes and the first is "Blessed are the poor in spirit,..."

This could be a fruitful Gospel for all of us to meditate on today.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Third Objective to challenge us



The third objective given under the imperative of caring for our common home:

3. "To create and collaborate in local and global ecological initiatives that generate hope.
For example:
--Be aware of the principal ecological issues, concerns and sources of hope of local contests and people, especially indigenous peoples.

--Engage with groups that support sustainability (such as Catholic Global Climate Movement and Green Faith).

--Find ways to be in solidarity with those who are suffering from the effects of climate change and natural disasters.

These objectives open many opportunities for collaboration and action."

Friday, September 27, 2019

Second Imperative in Caring for our Common Home



2. To continue-through our educational mission-to transform our relationships with the earth and one another as well as to strengthen the sense of interconnectedness. For example:

Together with people with whom we work, learn more about "Integral ecology" (Laudato Si #137).

- Sponsor programs that bring young people from different contexts together to reflect on ways to protect the earth.

- Collaborate with the RSCJ International Education Commission to explore formation programs on environmental issues.

Please remember that the bold is mine. What are some other examples of how I/we transform relationships with the earth and one another?  We are been having a Creation Season and so I have been using the prayers each day that call me to remember the blessings we receive from the earth, the trees, etc.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

First of Three Key Objectives


The International JPIC meeting encouraged three key objectives for continued attention. Here is the first as it seems better to take just one a day:
1. To be more conscious of our lifestyle and to make the necessary changes in order to be more responsible for our common home. 

--Make responsible choices in our everyday lives at personal, communal and institutional levels (transportation, energy, use of plastics, purchasing Fair Trade food products).

--Take steps toward zero-waste.

--Educate for and practice ethical investing.

I  find this call to examine our choices in our daily lives a  challenge  and hope we really reflect and discern our choices in order to care for our common home.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Caring for our Common Home


The third imperative is Caring for Our Common Home. It is also a call to hope.

"We have been called to understand our relationship with the earth in many ways...." This is an urgent call. We need to respond by seeking creative and effective ways to heed this urgency. We need to heed the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.
"As educators for justice, we are committed to reflection, critical analysis and action in order to effect changes in the root causes and systems that endanger our planet and those who are most vulnerable."
"We know that such transformation can only begin by acknowledging our personal responsibility for our common home. We want to examine the ways in which we are complicit in unethical environmental and consumer practices, and address these as constructively as possible."

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Advocation for Structural and Systemic Change


Today we take up the last section of the second imperative of  "Transforming and Being Transformed: Advocacy that begins with soul-searching honesty." To do this work we need to collaborate with one another as well as with groups that share the same vision and hope for justice, peace, and integrity of creation. The call to be "artisans of hope is, in itself, a call to collaboration and collective action that promotes human dignity and weaves a new social fabric.

Being and acting together as One Body will enliven our power to effect transformation of unjust structures and systems.
While our spirituality has always been relational. it is precisely at this moment in our collective history that we are more sensitive to the potential of interrelationships... We are convinced that our unity and spirit of Cor Unum give us greater hope, energy and creativity to transform unjust structures."

Where do we see possibilities for transformation in our personal lives, in community, in our apostolic engagements?

How do I experience myself/us as an "artisan of hope"?

Monday, September 23, 2019

Back to studying

California seems to be having summer weather right up to the end of September. I think it is difficult for the young students here on campus as they would prefer to be at the beach. Fortunately, the classes are interesting and our students have a great deal of self-discipline and are very much into the school routine. 
I want to continue with our JPIC document.

There are several questions in the JPIC document that we should take time to reflect on and then act. We are to act locally with a shared global vision. Here is a quote: "We are aware that while our work with others happens in local contexts, we are also global citizens. This is due not only to our membership as part of an international body, or our being called to be and act as One Body. It is largely because we are all affected by the many realities in our world. We are becoming more and more conscious that our involvement at the grassroots level contributes to transforming systems with national or global reach. Moreover, our responsibilities as global citizens and the transformation of minds, hearts, and actions that we desire to intersect with our Sacred Heart spirituality: 'Our Spirituality is embodied by our becoming global citizens and it revitalizes our vocation to transform the world with the hearts and minds of educators.'"
How do global realities affect my/our educative ministry?

What concrete steps do I/we take to act locally with a shared global vision and with whom is it shared?

Plenty for all of us to think about today!

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

The Responsorial Psalm for this Sunday is "Praise the Lord, who lifts up the poor."
 The Gospel (Luke 16:1-13) is the story of the dishonest manager. The reflection at the end in my Give Us This Day asks us to look into our hearts and discover what towers atop your list of goals. See where God stands on the list, where money, power, fame, whatever. Then, "take the IOU you have with God, rip it up, write a new one--this time not less but more, this time in tune with the command of the Old Testament and New: 'I shall love the Lord my God with all my heart, all my soul, all my mind, all my strength.' And while you are at it, you might as well add: 'And I shall love others, all others, as I love myself.'"



Saturday, September 21, 2019

An invitation


"We are invited to be more open to the transforming work of the Spirit in us and in the world." This section on examining our complicity in the JPIC document tells us that when we are aware of our personal, communal, congregational, institutional complicity in unjust systems, it humbles us and calls us to listen, to be reconciled, to confront our own sins of racism, classism and sexism, and from this profound awareness of our weakness and complicity, "to take action with others to advocate for structural and systemic change."

What structures or systems of injustice touch me?
In what way am I complicit in structures that do not further or even impede JPIC?
How am I going to take action?

Friday, September 20, 2019

Our own complicity

Our JPIC document tells us the "we are called now to a new moment of awareness and to express all this in more concrete ways as artisans of hope with an ethic of caring. Now, that which is not evident until we 'create silence (2016 Chapter) and listen generatively, comes to the fore: Our own complicity in systems of injustice."

When we share experiences of vulnerability in a generative way, we open our hearts, minds, and wills to new perspectives and we unleash creativity for new ways of being and acting. We then understand more fully that it is undeniably essential to be educated and to educate about the complexity of normative global systems that touch our own local RSCJ communities and personal lives, and how we may actually be contributing, albeit inadvertently, to the very structures we wish to transform."

That should give us enough to reflect on today. It makes me ask how I might be contributing to an unjust system?

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Examining Our Complicity

We have all seen the abuse of power in our political, social, economic, cultural and religious structures; some are favored while others are oppressed and marginalized. We have been bombarded with events that show us how people and how our common home are devalued and destroyed. The JPIC document points out various forms of structural violence - "patriarchy and clericalism in the church; extreme political ideologies such as dictatorships and unhindered global capitalism; systemic and systematic disregard of the environment; institutionalized racism, classism and sexism; and the many forms of xenophobia, all of which condone and normalize unjust attitudes, practices, and social policies."

Tomorrow we will see how we realize our own complicity in systems of injustice.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Called to advocate for structural and systematic change....

The second imperative: Transforming and Being Transformed, ends with this small but powerful paragraph that should lead to real transformation:

"As artisans of hope in our blessed and broken world, we continue to be called to advocate for structural and systemic change in our respective local contexts. This time, however, we do so with urgency and a shared global vision that begins with an honest examination of how we may be complicit to the very structures that we work to transform."

I know that I want to be an artisan of hope in our blessed and broken world; how am I called to advocate for a transformation with regard to the unjust structures that I find in my own life?

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Transforming and Being Transformed

The second imperative for our time given in our JPIC document is Transforming and Being transformed: advocacy that begins with soul-searching honesty. Transformation is not the same as change. Transformation is always the fruit of an Encounter. It is "the Spirit dwelling within us that gradually transforms us, enabling us through His power to remove whatever hinders the Spirit's action."

JPIC is also a work of "structural transformation that involves the Spirit: communal, social, political, economic, ecological, planetary, and cosmic transformation. One integrated movement weaves together the contemplative and active aspects of our Sacred Heart charism. Our mission is to discover and make known God's love. Transformation through an ethic of caring implies our participation in person, local and global transformation. At its foundation our conviction is that JPIC is rooted in the experience of God's compassion, which evokes a caring response at all levels, always guided by the Spirit. Seeing the world through the perspective of God's compassion, engaging in education and prayerful reflection, and acting from a deep place of love all help us to see transformation as a value, a goal, and a way of live."

Monday, September 16, 2019

Power, a share in the Spirit's energy....

The artisans of hope document demonstrates that "the reality of power cuts across the different areas of our JPIC engagement. This demands, therefore, that we educate ourselves and learn to exercise power in a way that humanizes our world and generates hope. More specifically, in at least two ways:
1. Our formation programs should include spaces for critical self-reflection and dialogue on power and authority in relation to: how we live our vocation; practice discernment; and exercise co-responsibility for our life and mission. In addition, there should be an opportunity to examine our use and possible misuse of power in our personal relationships, our life in community, and within the different structures of the Society of the Sacred Heart.
2. Provinces should design and implement systematic programs that enable each and all of us to grow in the  understanding and use of power as artisans of hope.

Through these opportunities, we hope to grow together, not only in the transformative attitudes and skills needed for right relationships among ourselves, but also to follow the example of Jesus, who calls us to love one another and 'wash one another's feet.'"

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Rejoice with me...

Our Lady of Sorrows loses her feast because of the Sunday Liturgy having preference. I am sure she does not mind and the Gospel must also be one of her favorite Gospels as Jesus tells us three parables of love and mercy. (Luke 15:1-32, shorter form is 1-10).
It begins with the tax collectors and sinners drawing near to listen to Jesus. The Pharisees and scribes began to complain, saying, "This man welcomes sinners and eats with them." So Jesus tells them this parable: "What man among you having a hundred sheep and losing one of them would not leave the ninety-nine in the desert and go after the lost one until he finds it? And when he does find it, he sets it on his shoulders with great joy and, upon his arrival home, he calls together his friends and neighbors and says to them, 'Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.'                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Power is a reality


To continue with the section on our relationships of power, we know that "Power is a reality with which to contend in the Society of the Sacred Heart. Power is available to us in a variety of ways:
knowledge, culture, language, use of information, roles and services entrusted to us, access to funds, just to name a few. Power affects the way we relate in community, live our vow of obedience, collaborate with people and groups in our ministries, and value or, at times, hold on to, the ministries entrusted to us."

"We are not called to be a star that shines alone, but rather to be part of a constellation in the universe..."

It is necessary for us "to exercise critical self-reflection about our concept and exercise of power and authority."

"We need to harness power, especially our shared power, and put it at the service of mission and the common good.. The desire to care and be artisans of hope becomes sentimental and fruitless without the power to act on it....As Sacred Heart educators, we are convinced that 'to educate is in itself and act of justice' and we take to heart the call of the 2008 Chapter 'to orient all our educative endeavors toward creating relationships of equality, inclusion, non-violence, and harmony, believing that to have life, and life in abundance, is the deepest desire of God."

Friday, September 13, 2019

Washing One Another's Feet


This section is an invitation to critically reflect on JPIC and our relationships of power. I will only give a few of the passages that have struck me. Power does play an important part in our life and mission. "Power, without justice, is destructive and death-dealing. Power, when exercised without mutuality and reciprocity, becomes a tool of domination and oppression. Power, without concern for peace and unmindful of the integrity of creation, is cruel and violent, and is harmful to both victims and perpetrators of violence."

At the same time, we have been witness to the "healing capacity and redemptive value of power, especially when it is put at the service of reconciliation and love."

Tomorrow we will see how power is available to us and how we need to harness power and put it at the service of mission and the common good.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Artisans of Hope

The Introduction to the JPIC document ends with this paragraph:

"We hope that all who pursue justice and peace for humankind and creation will see themselves as artisans of hope. Our joint efforts and collective work contribute to an ongoing process of weaving a new social fabric. As artisans of hope, we derive courage and confidence from our educational mission and Sacred Heart spirituality in a world that calls for just use of power, structural and systemic transformation, an ethic of caring, and openness to welcoming people on the move."

Tomorrow we begin with the first imperative: Washing One Another's Feet.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

A Day We All Remember


None of us will forget September 11 but this is a scene from the memorial that helps me.

To continue sharing  Being Artisans of Hope in our Blessed and Broken World:

The international meeting identified four imperatives for our time. Each one is developed more fully throughout this document.

"1. Washing one another's feet: an invitation to critically reflect on JPIC and our relationships of power.

2. Transforming and being transformed: advocacy that begins with soul-searching honesty.

3. Caring for our common home.

4. Welcoming people on the move and walking with those who seek refuge and who hope for a better future."

We will be looking at each of these four imperatives. I hope our daily reflection on this important document is changing the way we think and live each day.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Recurring themes


There are some recurring themes with regard to the future directions of JPIC:
"a yearning for an integrated approach to and a more integral vision for JPIC; 
a desire to become better informed and educated about the interrelationships among the local, regional, national, and international levels so that we may work more effectively toward structural and systemic change;
a two-pronged call to move forward with JPIC in the spirit of hope and to live more fully as global citizens recognizing that by doing so we expose ourselves to the risk and possibility of change within our own structures, systems and selves."

How do these themes impact my life?

Monday, September 9, 2019

Paths fascinate me...

Sometimes my prayer seems to take me along a new path. It is exciting as I never know where it is leading me and I just go.

To continue with the Introduction to our JPIC Document, certain opportunities, invitations, and challenges for moving forward were identified: "We are rooted in and draw strength from the well of a very long tradition of working for justice and peace. Our spirituality impels us toward transformation through our contemplation of the pierced Heart of Jesus. This tradition binds us to one another and to others in our common efforts to act our of compassion in order to relieve suffering and effect change in our wounded world." 
The italics are mine and I am hoping this is true. Is my spirituality impelling me toward transformation through the contemplation of the pierced Heart of Jesus? I hope so, but there is so much suffering in our world; I am glad others are out there doing what they can to relieve the suffering and to effect change. I pray for this. And I pray for each of us to know the path God is calling us to follow at every given moment!

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Twenty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

On this Sunday we ask for both true freedom and an everlasting inheritance. The first reading is from the Book of Wisdom (9:13-18) and begins, "Who can know God's counsel or who can conceive what the Lord intends?" 
That is why we pray, discern, try to listen to what God desires of us. This is important during this month when we are looking at the care of our common home. How can I help? What does God ask of me? Here and now!

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Focus of passion, hope and energy

Having emphasized these three goals: compassion, relationships, and transformation, the Introduction to the JPIC Document speaks of a focus of passion, hope, and energy for so many. Special attention is given "to the importance of small, creative consistent actions in response to concrete realities."

It also mentions that collectively, as an International Society, we express ambivalence and ambiguity about working together with others. There is inconsistency in our concepts and practices around collaboration. We speak of a "need for increased awareness and acceptance of others; a disposition of reciprocity and mutuality; and the development of criteria for collaboration that address who, what, how, when and why." 


Friday, September 6, 2019

Introduction

Today, I begin to share some of the thoughts from the Introduction to the JPIC document. It begins with a quote from our Chapter of 2016 -" To be One Body which loves, practices and gives witness to justice, peace, and integrity of creation at all levels of our life and mission." This provided the impetus for convening the international meeting in the Philippines in November of 2018.

"In preparation for this meeting, the entire Society and members of the Sacred Heart family engaged in a reflection process that held three goals:
1, To live compassion by coming together to listen deeply to the cries of humanity and the entire earth community.
2. To establish relationships that impel us to act as One Body and decide how we are to pursue our JPIC commitment.
3. To transform attitudes and actions in view of deepening our expression of JPIC for the Society's life and mission.

The synthesis of the responses generated by this process highlighted some important aspects of our JPIC story. . ."

To be continued tomorrow, but let us reflect on how we are living compassion, relationships and transformation in our own lives.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Called to discern and transform our way of being and doing

The Statement about our commitment to Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation tells us:

"While we seek the transformation of systems and structures, we also recognize the significance of our day-to-day-gestures of care for the earth, others and one another. These experiences help to humanize the social fabric which, in turn, allows us to move towards global transformation. As such we, therefore, see JPIC as a way of life and feel called to discern and transform our way of being and doing."

How am I caring for the earth? And for others? 


Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Contemplating the pierced Heart of Christ....

Continuing with the Statement of the JPIC Commitment of the Society of the Sacred Heart:
"Contemplation of the pierced Heart of Jesus in the heart of wounded humanity impels us to be in solidarity with the displaced and excluded, to defend the victims of abuse of power, and to commit ourselves to search for systemic changes.

Care for relationships is at the root of our tradition. We want to develop this tradition in new, more profound ways. Today, we are more sensitive to the importance of interrelationships, and so we would like to strengthen collaboration with other groups equally committed to justice, peace, and integrity of creation. We recognize, as well, the urgency to enliven collaboration among ourselves and with the entire Sacred Heart family. This unity gives us more energy and creativity to transform unjust structures."

This is calling me to examine how I am in solidarity with all those today who are displaced and excluded and also to look at new ways of collaboration. It gives me something to reflect on right now
 as I imagine how the Heart of Jesus looks on those we have put in cages, separated from their children, and those who are seeking refuge in our country but are not allowed to enter; the plight of the refugees is very real and heartbreaking.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Hurricanes are terrifying




I woke up this morning worrying about those in the path of a powerful hurricane. Let us pray.

How am I responding?

In June, we receive a wonderful document that is the Statement of the JPIC Commitment. It is long and contains so much to reflect on that I am going to be copying a bit each day at least for a time as it is important for all of us. It begins by telling us:
"Our world is at an historic paradoxical moment. It holds new possibilities while it is also wrought with inequality, suffering, and violence. As such, we are citizens of a world that is both broken and blessed. We feel profoundly the cry of the poor and the pain of the earth. We desire to participate in the care of "our common home" - working against injustices, constructing peaceful inter-relationships, and protecting the earth." 

Wow, how am I doing this? Now, if there is something in bold print, it is because that is what I had underlined when reading it.  
The document continues: 
"As family of the Sacred Heart, we are called to respond 'as One Body,' drawing from our charism and mission as educators. This means growing in a shared vision that allows us to understand the complexity of the political, economic, and social systems that confront us; increasing awareness of how we ourselves may be complicit in injustice; and deepening practices rooted in an integral ecology."

Monday, September 2, 2019

Season of Creation

On our international web page we read:

The Season of Creation: September 1 to October 4

  • Spring in Pena, by Ana María Uribe rscj (COL)

    The Season of Creation: September 1 to October 4

    • Spring in Pena, by Ana María Uribe rscj (COL)
    • Joigny, by Kim Eun Jeong rscj (KOC)
    1. 1
    2. 2
     
    The Season of Creation, which runs yearly
    between September 1 and October 4,
    is that time of the year when we renew
    our commitment to pray and care for creation.
     
    What is the Season of Creation?
    "September 1 was proclaimed as a day of prayer for creation (World Day of Prayer for Creation, or Creation Day) by Ecumenical Patriarch Dimitrios I for the Orthodox in 1989, and was embraced by the other major Christian European churches in 2001 and by Pope Francis for the Roman Catholic Church in 2015. And it has happened that in recent years many Christian churches have started celebrating the “Season of Creation” (also known as Creation Time) between that date and October 4, which is the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi (author of the Canticle of the Creatures in the 13th century) that some Western traditions observe. 
    It is meant to give flexibility to celebrate prayer services for creation in alternative dates throughout the month, while engaging in different actions to care for creation throughout the season. Several statements from the past few years have called to observe this month-long Season of Creation, such as those of the Catholic Bishops of the Philippines in 2003, the Third European Ecumenical Assembly in Sibiu in 2007 and the World Council of Churches in 2008."

    What are we doing now in 2019 to care for creation?  

  • Joigny, by Kim Eun Jeong rscj (KOC)
  1. 1
  2. 2
 
The Season of Creation, which runs yearly
between September 1 and October 4,
is that time of the year when we renew
our commitment to pray and care for creation.
 
What is the Season of Creation?
"September 1 was proclaimed as a day of prayer for creation (World Day of Prayer for Creation, or Creation Day) by Ecumenical Patriarch Dimitrios I for the Orthodox in 1989, and was embraced by the other major Christian European churches in 2001 and by Pope Francis for the Roman Catholic Church in 2015.
And it has happened that in recent years many Christian churches have started celebrating the “Season of Creation” (also known as Creation Time) between that date and October 4, which is the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi (author of the Canticle of the Creatures in the 13th century) that some Western traditions observe.
It is meant to give flexibility to celebrate prayer services for creation in alternative dates throughout the month, while engaging in different actions to care for creation throughout the season. Several statements from the past few years have called to observe this month-long Season of Creation, such as those of the Catholic Bishops of the Philippines in 2003, the Third European Ecumenical Assembly in Sibiu in 2007 and the World Council of Churches in 2008."