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Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Make a joyful noise to the Lord...

 

We had Psalm 100 in the Liturgy this week. It is one of my favorite psalms. It tells us:

"Sing joyfully to the Lord, all you lands; serve the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful song.

Know the the Lord is God; he made us, his we are; his people, the flock that he tends.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving, his courts with praise; give thanks to him, bless his name.

For he is good: the Lord, whose kindness endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations."

So, let us today serve the Lord with gladness and come before him joyful and grateful.


Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Courageous Joy


 

I bought a book that has the title Courageous Joy: Delight in God Throgh Every Season. It is 'An (in) Courage Bible Study volume written by Mary Carver and the (in) courage Community, 2021. I think I am going to want to share a few thoughts from this book in my blog, but I am just now reading the Introduction. The first words are "Choose joy!" Those who know me, know that is what I try to do each day and that is what draws me to share a bit from this book.

"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!" (Phi 4:4)

It is a command and an invitation and really a gift from God. There are, of course, different kinds of joy. Here, the author wants us to know that the joy of the Lord in much deeper and more life-giving than any joy of this world. And, it lasts longer!

Remember that gratitude and joy go together!

Monday, September 20, 2021

Thoughts on a Marian Prayer


I was going through a folder yesterday and found something that Lawrence Cunningham wrote in "Give Us This Day" probably last year. It is on the Salve Regina and I think some thoughts are worth sharing as this in one of the four Marian hymns sung at the end of the monastic office known as Compline or Night Prayer. I am copying it here for any who do not know it and then will give some of ideas to reflect on from Cunningham.

Hail, holy Queen, Morthe of mercy, our life, our sweetness, and our hope.To you do we cry, poor banished children of Eve; to you do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears. Turn, then, most gracious advocate, your eyes of mercy toward us; and after this our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of your womb, Jesus: O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.

This prayer is usually said at the end of the recitation of the rosary. It is a prayer of hope. In it we cry out to Mary and invite Mary to turn her eyes of mercy toward us and asking her to show us Jesus, the blessed fruit of her womb.

Lawrence Cunningham suggests that we can also look at this prayer as a prayer of pilgrimage - a journey for which we need assistance, care, and direction. "It is within this theme of exile that hope resonates so explicitly. To reflect on this is to be reminded that Mary's life recorded in the Gospels is one of travel: to her cousin Elizabeth, to shelter in Bethlehem, to safety in Egypt, to the Temple in Jerusalem, to the hill of Calvary."

Let us, then, recite this prayer asking Mary to accompany us on our own life's journey.

 

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time


 

Again this Sunday we ask that we may merit to attain eternal life. How? By keeping the precepts founded on love of God and our neighbor.

The Gospel for this Sunday is Mark 9:30-37

First Mark tells us that Jesus was on a journey through Galilee, but he did not want anyone to know about it. He was teaching his disciples and telling them that "the Son of Ma is to be handed over to men and they will kill him, and three days after his death the Son of Man will rise." They did not understand, but were afraid to question Jesus. Then, when they arrive in Capernaum and are in the house, Jesus begins to ask them what they were arguing about on the way. They remained silent as they had been discussing who was the greatest. Then Jesus sat down, called the Twelve, and said to them, "If anyone wishes to be first, he shall be the last of all and the servent of all." Taking a child, he placed it in their midst, and putting his arms around it, he said to them, "Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me; and whoever receives me, receives not me but the One who sent me."

I am just giving the Gospel this week as I really think we all need to think what receiving, welcoming children, but also we welcome the elderly, the immigrants, the lonely, the ill, etc. Jesus would welcome all and wants us to learn from him.

Saturday, September 18, 2021

Prayer to Our Lady


 


I am planning to share a prayer to Our Lady every Saturday. The prayers are found in Janice Connell's new book Christ Through Mary:Powwerful Prayers in a Time of Crisis. 

Prayer for Help (From the Liturgy of the Maronite Rite)

Let your intercession be with us, O Mother Most Pure, and come to us in our needs, as is our wont. We are exiles on this earth, without end ever before our eyes and even now many of us perish. Help us by your prayers, O Merciful Mother. Be always our advocate lest we are lost through our own ill will. Blessed and most holy one, plead for us before God that He may be gracious to us through your asking. Amen.


Friday, September 17, 2021

Be Still and Listen


 Someone is coming to visit me to talk about spiritual books I think she may want to read. This had me reaching for a few books on my shelves and one is titled, Be Still and Listen: Experience the Presence of God in Your Life by Amos Smith. It was published in 2018. I have a bookmark about two-thirds of the way into the book and I suspect that I put it back on my shelf because of other books needing to be read and forgot about this one. I do not think I reveiwed it, so will give you a short description taken from the back cover. 

"Part One, "Entering the Desert", introduces principles of awareness, deep listening and contemplation as essential for hearing what Scripture has to say. Part Two details the importance of mystery and struggle in the process of healing from past or present wounds. Part Three explores the 'undivided heart' that's possible when we come to know God in silence and stillness."

I am hoping to read Part Three soon, but at present I am reading three other spiritual books, all three are interesting but I seem to have less time for reading. This is no doubt my own fault and I am trying to make more time. Good spiritual reading also prepares us to find God at a deeper level.

Thursday, September 16, 2021

We all need a place of rest


 Richard Rohr often speaks of having a place of refuge, a place to go when we are feeling swamped by problems, sad news, overload that suddenly seems overwhelming, and all the things that threaten our interior peace. Sometimes we find that our refuge is a spot we can picture; maybe it is a memory; or maybe it is even a Gospel scene that restores our innter calm. I probably have several places of rest and one that seems strange as it is in the midst of the storm. I can feel the waves tossing the boat and then Jesus comes and says, "Fear not; it is I." And just to hear His words calms me. "Don't be aftaid; it is I."

Someone asked me when I began to keep a journal. I really do not remember, but I know I was keeping a daily journal in Chile before I was made head of the school. Then, I did not have time to write, but I do know I took time on Sundah to write something about the week. I know I have been keeping some sort of a journal for at least fifty-five years. I sometimes miss a day or even a week, but then I am back to jotting something - my journals are just for me so I mix up what I do with thoughts from prayer. I also think that because I alwayhs begin  with "Dearest Lord Jesus'....it is sort of a letter pouring out my thought and feelings. Sometimes I only write what I am grateful for that day; other times I will have a dialogue with the Lord. I just know that it is helpful for me to keep a journal and when I am not finding time to write, I need to examine what is going on in my interior life.

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows


 The Collect for today's feast is important for what we ask:

"O God, who willed that, when your Son was lifted high on the Cross, his Mother should stand close by and share his suffering, grant the your Church, participating with the Virgin Mary in the Passion of Christ, may merit a share in his Resurrection. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever."

John's Gospel (19-27) tells us: "Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved he said to his mother, 'Woman, behold your son.' Then he said to the disciple, 'Behold, your mother. And from that hour the disciple took her into his home."

Mary is our mother and is very close to each of us. She watches over us and is the one who tells her Divine Son what we have need of and then tells us to do whatever Jesus tells us.

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

The Exaltation of the Holy Cross


 This is a feast celebrating the fact that God's Only Begotten Son saved us and the Entrance Antiphon tells us: "We should golry in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, in whom is our salvation, life and resurrection, through whom we are saved and delivered."

I like the reading for today's liturgy and hope you have time to read them. I will just copy here the second paragraph of the Gospel from John 3: 13-17

"For God so loved the world that he gave his only son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved by him."

Monday, September 13, 2021

The Sun Always Rises


 Sometimes the news is so bad that we need to remember that God is in charge of the world and the entire universe and the sun rises each morning, even when we cannot see it. Autumn is coming but, out here in California we do not see many trees turning color; there is one in our patio whose leaves are red with the first cool day. Our apple tree just had a great crop of green apples and our numerous squirrels and our rabbits have feasted on many. Some of the bunnies escaped from the school's animal compound and three have been seen in our patio. One is a small black one; the others are white with black ears, and one has a black mouth and the other has a black eye. It is fun to watch them and they seem happy to be free.

I want to share a quote from Teilhard de Chardin's Divine Milieu that I prayed over today:

"God does not offer Himself to our finite beings as a thing all complete and ready to be embraced. For us, He is eternal discovery and eternal growth. The more we think we understand Him, the more he reveals himself as otherwise. The more we think we hold him, the further He withdraws, drawing us into the depths of himself." (I found and copied this quote from Richard Rohr's "Universal Christ", page 78 - sometimes the quote has a capital H and sometimes a small h).

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Twenty-Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time


 

The Entrance Antiphon for this Sunday: "Give peace, O Lord, to those who wait for you, that your prophets be found true. Hear the prayers of your servant, and of your people Israel." Cf. Sirach 36:18

Collect: Look upon us, O God, Creator and ruler of all things, and, that we may feel the workings of your mercy, grant that we may serve you with all our heart.

First Reading is Isaiah 50: 5-9a

"The Lord God opens mh ear that I may hear; and I have not rebelled, have not turned back....."

Responsorial Psalm: "I will walk before the Lord, in the land of the living." 

Second Reading is from the Letter of Saint James 2:14-18

"What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone says he has faith but does not have works?...."

Gospel is Mark 8: 27-35 "Jesus and his disciples set out for the village of Caesarea Philippi. Along the way he asked his disciples, "Who do people say that I am?' ....and then Jesus asks them, "But who do you say that I am?" Peter said in reply, "You are the Christ."

There is much more to today's Gospel, but I am always stopped by the question that I believe Jesus keeps asking each of us today - "But you, who do you say that I am?"Today!



Saturday, September 11, 2021

Powerful Prayers in Time of Crisis


 


Does it help to try to be peaceful on this anniversary that brings each of us such terrible memories? I am going to just look for a prayer from Jan Connell's book, Christ Through Mary: Powerful Prayers in a Time of Crisis. I have told you about the book and the thought of using some of the prayers on Saturdays and now I have Jan's permission to do so.

This is a prayer of St. Augustine found on p. 11"

O Blessed Mary, who can return to you sufficient thanks, or adequately celebrate your praises, for having by your consent succored a ruined world? 

What praise can human weakness offer to you, which by your means has found the port of salvation?

Holy Mary! succor the miserable, help the fainthearted, comfort the mournful, pray for the peo-ple, intercede for consecrated souls, pray for devoted souls and let everyone experience your intercession who celebrates you. Amen.