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Thursday, December 1, 2022

Advent thoughts

 My thoughts during these first days of Advent have been inspired by a conference of our Mother Foundress and a recent message from our General Council in Rome. First, I am really trying to identify  with the infant in the womb of Mary. This infant is the Son of God. This Infant is almost fully formed, but not quite ready to be born. Mary carried the Infant when she went with haste to visit her cousin, Elizabeth who was also with child. Both Mary and Elizabeth carried new life. They shared that life with others. "They nutured the gift that God gave to each of them and stood together walking into an unknown future with joy and pasion."

Let us spend time today with both Mary and Elizabeth. I am fascinated by the life that Mary carries to both Elizabeth and her unborn son, John. Mary is the first missionary and she is with us today as we prepare to honor her Son in this season of Advent which prepares us for the coming of Jesus.

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Lighting the Advent Wreath

 Every night before our evening prayer in Westwood we light our Advent wreath. Their is such a spirit of expectation during Advent. Christ is coming. but Christ is here with us and we are able to receive Him into our hearts each morning. I give Holy Communion to some who are not able to walk up the aisle during the morning Mass. I love giving Christ to my sisters and hope I can do this in other ways for those I meet during the day.

Robert Morneau defines prayer as "an act of intentionality by which we attune ourselves to that Someone hidden within our souls and who transcends all time and space." He also describes Advent as a "season of serious conversation and tender intimacy."

How am I spending this wonderful season of Advent? How am I going to spend each week, each day, in preparation for the coming of Jesus into our world again in a special way at Christmas?

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Tuesday Afternoon, First Week of Advent

 I had computer troubles so I am late in posting, I love Advent and have finished writing my annual letter and addressing about 62 Christmas cards so I can settle down and really enter Advent. I am using Robert Morneau's Advent Meditations and will be sharing some thoughts with you. He begins with a lovely poem from Jessica Powers. It begins "I live my Advent in the womb of Mary." She is speaking of the baby growing in the womb of Mary, but St. Madeleine Sophie suggests that we all spend Advent in the womb of Mary. 

Sunday, November 27, 2022

First Sunday of Advent

 Today we light the first candle on our Advent wreath. As we do this, we are praying for Jesus to come into our world and into our hearts in a deeper way.

Collect: "Grant your faithful, we pray, almighty God, the resolve to run forth to meet your Christ with righteous deeds at his coming, so that, gathered at his right hand, they may be worthy to possess the heavenly Kingdom."

The first reading is from Isaiah 2:1-5 and is a cry for peace.

Responsorial Psalm: "Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord."

Second Reading is from Paul's Letter to the Romans; 13; 11-14

Paul tells us that the time is now for us to awake from sleep for our salvation is near.

Gospel is from Matthew: 24: 37-44 We must be prepared, "for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come."

Advent is really a time of joyful preparation for the coming of the Lord. Let us begin today to prepare our hearts to receive Him.

Saturday, November 26, 2022

Eve of the First Sunday of Advent

 This year, since Christmas falls on a Sunday, we have four complete weeks of Advent. This is a wonderful season when we prepare again for Christ's coming into our hearts in a new and deeper way as we celebrate another Christmas. The Church gives us this season of Advent, a season of real joy as well as preparation.

Today we want to give time to reflect on what Jesus might be asking us to do during this Advent. Or, maybe He wants us to not do something - let us spend some time with Jesus today asking Him to show us how He wants each of us to live this Advent. Perhaps you know what He wants for Christmas from you and, the good news is that we have four full weeks to prepare for His coming into our hearts in a new and deeper way this Christmas.

Friday, November 25, 2022

Preparing for Advent

 This picture was taken at the Dominican Vacation House where I have often made the Guided Imagery Retreats. I love the ocean. 

Today I am praying for my brother as John was born on November 25, a year when it was also Thanksgiving Day. I know we all have given thanks for his birth and life. He is still grieving the loss of his wife so please pray for him.

Now, Advent begins on Sunday and we need to pray about what we might be called to do during Advent. We all want to spend these weeks before Christmas preparing for the coming of Our Lord into our world. He comes as a helpless baby who needs love and care. He comes again in a special way into our hearts each Christmas so let us prepare to receive Jesus this year by asking Him to show us how he wants us to spend Advent!

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Happy Thanksgiving

 Today, I give thanks that I am at home in Oakwood. I am thinking of so many who are fighting or serving in other countries, the thousands of refugees, those who are having to work today and cannot be with their families, and those who may be alone. Let us remember all in our prayer today and let us be grateful and joyful because we are able to celebrate Thanksgiving together this year!

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Thinking about Thanksgiving

 I suspect that the turkeys are not as happy as we are about Thanksgiving. It has become a norm in the United States to have turkey on Thanksgiving. I suspect that I have told the story of my experience one year in Chile. I had been there ten years and was now head of the school and my Dad thought I should have turkey on Thanksgiving. He sent a check and said it was to be used for turkey, so the treasurer was told by my superior to please get turkey for the community. She called me on Wednesday morning and said she had been out to do the shopping and my turkey was in the van. I went out to bring it in and found two live turkeys!! I was really astonished when I saw them. I managed to get them into the kitchen and hoped the Sister cook would know what to do. She immediately took them out and killed them and hung them up and told me to come back later to pick the feathers off the bodies so she could cook them the next day. Other Sisters helped me to do this task and I wanted to stuff the turkeys myself so I went early the next morning to the kitchen only to find the turkeys were in the oven. The Sister assured me that she had taken care of stuffing the two turkeys. I envisioned dressing, but in Chile they just put an apple and an orange inside the turkey and cook it that way. I thought it made for delicious  moist turkey and we did have a great dinner. I also told my Dad that once was enough for that gift!

Let us thank God for such helps as wonderful boxes of stuffing found in our grocery stores. We did make the dressing from scratch when I was home and my Dad always asked to have celery included!

Make a list of things to thank for today!

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Growing in gratitude

 Thanksgiving is only two days from now and our hearts are overflowing with gratitude as we prepare to celebrate this holiday. Our students are off all week as many go away for Thanksgiving. Here, we invite all the RSCJs is the area for Mass and a great thanksgiving dinner. 

I think we all have much to be thankful for this year. We have survived COVID! We are excited about the synodality that is blooming in our church all over the world as we prepare for the first of two sessions of synods that will help us to change what needs to be changed and deepen our faith. I know that it is hard to be thankful when we think of war, refugees, the unfair treatment of migrant workers, blacks, and so many others. Still, God is present to each of us and He can do all things and He loves us and that is reason to give thanks.

Monday, November 21, 2022

The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

 Tradition has it that Our Lady was presented in the temple at a very early age. We used to have the "Little Mary" ceremony at school on November 21 when one of the little girls would be chosen to go to the statue of Our Lady and present her with flowers.

The feast is an important one for the Society of the Sacred Heart as it is the day we celebrate our founding in 1800.  I guess we are now clebrating our 222 birthday! As young nuns, we always had a triduum of prayer the three days before the feast and renewed our vows on the feast. Since we were very busy in the school, we met at night in the Superior's room to prepare the feast and sometimes we even had a talk in the Chapel by a priest for the entire community. We were replaced with the children during the talks. It made the feast stand out for me and I should mention it to our chef here to see if he is aware of it being a special birthday for us. He has learned how to make wonderful ice-cream cakes!

It is always nice to celebrate a feast of Our Lady. I would like to ask your prayers for my brother, John, whose wife died last December after a long struggle with luekemia. He is depressed and needs prayer.

Sunday, November 20, 2022

Feast of Christ the King

 On this last Sunday of the Liturgical Year, we celebrate the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. It is an important feast and we ask that we might proclaim his praise as well as render service.

I love the Entrance Antiphon which is from Revelation 5: 12; 1:6
"How worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and divinity, and wisdom and strength and honor. To him belong glory and power for ever and ever."

The Collect is "Almighty ever-living God, whose will is to restore all things in your beloved Son, the King of the universe, grant we pray, that the whole creation , set free from slavery, may render your majesty service and ceaselessly proclaim your praise."

The first reading is from the second Book of Samuel 5:1-3

Reponsorial Psalm: "Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.

The second reading is from Paul's Letter to the Colossians 1: 12-20

The Gospel is from Luke 23: 35-43

Christ is King of the Universe - but we still often forget this and this Sunday is a good time to renew out commitment to Christ.

Saturday, November 19, 2022


 Thanksgiving is only five days from now and I hope we are all spending time in gratitude for all that we have been given. There is so much to thank for that we should make a litany of all that we are grateful for each day. I find that the more grateful I am, the happier I am as gratitude and joy seem to go together. Some people are naturally grateful, I think; others need to cultivate gratefulness.

I am grateful each morning that I wake up and can get up, take a hot shower, put on clean clothes and just sit in my comfortable chair and say: "Thank you, God, for another day." Then I am always grateful that I can walk over to the Oakwood dining room and have a delicious, hot breakfast served to me. I am grateful for the Sisters who join me as we usually sit at tables for four. Then there is time for prayer before our 9:00 Liturgy.  I am really grateful for this daily Mass and the opportunity to give Holy Communion to those of my sisters who cannot walk up to receive Communion from the priest. The day's schedule is read after Mass; although I do not participate in many of the varied activities, we are always able to join whatever is planned for the day. I usually spend the morning at my desk either on a zoom or answering email and letters or maybe just sitting in my chair and reading. We have our main meal at 11:30 and again I am grateful for our wonderful kitchen staff, the nurse assistants who serve us, the flowers on the tables, etc. We are spoiled! And so the day contiues with a walk with one, an hour in front of the Blessed Sacrament, sometimes a movie or just time to read before five o'clock supper followed by prayer in Westwood with all my community there plus two who join us. We usually have some good conversation together after prayer and then some watch television but I will go read but during prayer there is silent time to reflect on the day and that increases my gratitude.

I did not mean to write all this, but sometimes it helps to just go through an ordinary day and be grateful for all we have,