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Wednesday, May 12, 2021

God does not come uninvited


 I was preparing to discuss the fourth Chapter in Richard Rohr's The Universal Christ on a zoom with my reflection group in Miami when this phrase jumped out at me: "God does not come uninvited."  How am I inviting God into my life each day?

Rohr goes on to say that God does not want robots, but lovers who freely choose to love in return for love. Since I am convinced that God made me to love me, how do I let this love expand in my daily life so that I am conscious of His Love in every part of me and my life? May today be one lived so that God may love me with His infinite Love and may His love overflow to all I meet today! I pray that this will happen for all of us.


Tuesday, May 11, 2021


 In the Gospel for the 6th Sunday after Easter Jesus tells us to remain in His Love. How? By keeping the commandments. Then Jesus says: I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy might be complete."

Jesus wants us to live in His Joy! When we love one another, we are joyful. Let us go out today singing for joy - we are alive! We are loved!

Monday, May 10, 2021

Shout with Joy


 Every evening in Westwood we are not beginning our prayer together with this copied for us by one who loves it:

"Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall proclaim your praise.

Come, Let us sing to the Lord. And shout with joy to the Rock who saves us.

Let us approach Him with praise and thanksgiving, and sing joyful songs to the Lord."

I think I need to shout with joy and really concentrate on praise and thanksgiving. We read so much bad news that it is important to stress the good things and to communicate our joy to others.

Sunday, May 9, 2021

Sixth Sunday of Easter


 The Liturgy today is full of Joy! The Entrance Antiphon is "Proclaim a joyful sound and let it be heard; proclaim to the ends of the earth: The Lord has freed his people. alleluia.

This is also Mother's Day so we can celebrate all mothers.

The collect: "Grant, almighty God, that we may celebrate with heartfelt devotion these days of joy, which we keep in honor of our risen Lord, and that what we relive in remembrance we may always hold to in what we do."

The Responsorial Psalm it also joyful - Ps 98: 1-4 "The Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power.

Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done wondrous deeds; his right hand has wond victory for him, his holy arm.....

All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation by our God. Sing joyfully to the Lord, all you lands; break into song, sing praise."

Of course, because of the restrictions still in place, we are not singing very much, but we can be singing interiorly!

The first reading is from the first Letter of John 4:7-10

"Beloved, let us love one another, because love is of God; everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God....."

The Gospel is also about love. John 15:9-17

"Jesus said to his disciples: 'As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love....

It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you. This I command you: love one another."

How do we remain in His love? We need to be conscious of His Love in us always!

Saturday, May 8, 2021

First Saturday of May


 Pope Francis has asked for the end of this pandemic by saying the rosary in honor of Mary this month. My sister has great devotion to the rosary. She just moved with her husband into a retirement place in Scottsdale less than six months ago, but has started two rosary groups on her screened-in porch. She and her husband always say the rosary together before going to bed.

For years, I said the rosary every single day! I must confess that I do not say it that often now. I should return to it this month and maybe it is a call to all of us to spend some time with Mary. 

Friday, May 7, 2021

First Friday of May


 Sometimes it helps me to pray to think that I am meeting Jesus who is just waiting for me. I do not imagine the well, but do invite Jesus to have tea with me. It is easy to talk to Jesus and He is a great listener. I think the gift of imagination is important for prayer, especially when we are not able to just be quiet. I can also imagine Jesus sitting with me in my room and talking with me about all that happens here at Oakwood. 

Jesus is interested in every detail of our lives. He may know it, but He still likes us to tell Him how we feel, what is going on in us, what we may fear or feel uncomfortable about and He listens and gives us His peace. Try talking to Jesus about everything today - I began with frustration as I could not get past my screensaver on my computer this morning. I guess the Holy Spirit prompted me to reboot and lo and behold, all worked perfectly. 

Many are preparing to celebrate Mother's Day and I am spending a bit of time with both Mary and my mother who is in heaven watching over her children. How grateful I am for my mother who was always there for me. 

Thursday, May 6, 2021

New Beatitudes


 

Pope Francis, on the Feast of All Saints in 1916, spoke about the need for a new set of beatitudes.
His six beatitudes were:

1. Blessed are those who remain faithful while enduring evils inflicted on them by others and forgive them from their heart.
2. Blessed are those who look into the eyes of the abandoned and marginalized and show them their closeness.
3. Blessed are those who see God in every person and strive to make others also discover him.
4. Blessed are those who protect and care for our common home.
5. Blessed are those who renounce their own comfort in order to help others.
6. Blessed are those who pray and work for full communion between Christians.

Are we living these? Maybe the first two are not what we are called to do each day, but the other four are and we will be happy trying to live these. Blessed and happy!

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Cinco de Mayo


 Today is the Cinco de Mayo and, as many of our Certified Nursing Assistants are from Mexico, it is a day we celebrate. The food is Mexican and I am sure some will arrive in colorful costumes to help us all celebrate. 

I have a vivid memory of visiting Mexico when I was just sixteen years old. I went with my best friend and still wonder how I managed to convince my mother to let me go to visit the student that I had brought home for the Easter holidays. We were three days and three nights on the train and made friends with everyone in our car. We played cards with all men and we were so innocent that I am sure our Guardian Angels protected us all that summer. I did get to go on a pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe and we so struck by the faith of all the people going up the steps on their knees. The doctor, an uncle of the girl I was staying with, had come to Mexico City after the birth of twin sons. He had promised to go to the shrine barefoot. I wanted to go with him. He said he would come by for me in the morning. He did, but we went in a taxi and he only walked into the Church barefoot. However, it was an experience that has stayed with me and I saw such faith in the many pilgrims. Lourdes is impressive, too, but the faith I saw as a teenager in Mexico impressed me.

My spiritual thought for the day: God takes delight in his creation. God delights in me and you.

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Remembering May Crownings


 One of our Religious who still teaches here in the lower grades told me that they would be having a May crowning this year for each group of 15 children; the oldest in the class will be crowning Our Lady; the youngest will carry the crown. The school used to borrow the statue of Our Lady that we have (and that was given by my cousin), but this year each class will process to the grotto in front of Oakwood. That means that I can watch from the Chapel. 

I am still using the prayer of memories and recalling the month of Mary when I was a boarder at the Academy of the Sacred Heart in St. Charles. The Chapel is now the library, but I recall it vividly and loved the statue of Our Lady. I wonder what happened to it as I do not think it is in the new Shrine where St. Philippine Duchesne is now buried. The statue of Mater is now in the corridor leading to the Shrine and is as beautiful as ever. 

I want each of us to make this a special month honoring our own mothers and Mary. She watches over each of us with tender love. Perhaps we will make a imaginative crown of good deeds as Mary would like that. I am suppoed to be living this year is docility to the Holy Spirit, but find myself forgetting to discern my day. Things get done when I take time to discern how to organize my day. 

Monday, May 3, 2021

Celebrating all Mothers


 May is the month when we celebrate mothers; our own mothers, grandmothers, others who have "mothered" us. I am copying here a Prayer for Mothers taken from Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers and found in this month's Give Us This Day, page 8. We forget that history tells us that as Catholics, we think of the Church as Mother. I wonder how many do that today? It is hard to honor and cherish "Mother Church" when we know that scandals and corruption is part of her history, but we can certainly honor God who shows us the qualities of a true mother. Julian of Norwich spoke of the motherhood of God. 

Loving God,

as a mother gives life and nourishment to her children, so you watch over your Church. Bless our mother. Let the example of her faith and love shine forth. Grant that we, her family, may honor her always with a spirit of profound respect. Grant this through Christ our Lord.

May we spend this month honoring our own mothers, godmothers, grandmothers, other maternal figures in our lives. Let us show our gratitude even if they are now watching over us from heaven.

Sunday, May 2, 2021

Fifth Sunday of Easter


 The Gospel today is one of my favorites: John 15: 1-8

"Jesus says to his disciples: :I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower. He takes away every branch that does not bear fruit, and every one that does he prunes so that it bears more fruit. You are already pruned because of the word that I spoke to you. Remain in me, as I remain in you....." 

The second reading is from the First Letter of John 3: 18-24

"Children, let us love not in word or speech but in deed and truth. Now this is how we shall know that we belong to the truth and reassur our hearts before him in whatever our hearts condemn, for God is greater than our hearts and knows everythig. Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence in God and receive from him whatever we ask, because we keep his commnadments and do what pleases him...."

Both of these readings merit praying with today and pondering in our hearts. 

Saturday, May 1, 2021

May is the Month of Mary and begins with the Feast of Joseph, the Worker

 


In the United States, May is the month of Mary. It is a beautiful month and always ends with a feast of Our Lady on the last day. This year, May 31 is also Memorial Day and so is a holiday. Perhaps we will be able to have an outdoor picnic by then since we are all vaccinated and the weather is usually good for outdoor noonday picnics. 

What shall we do to honor Mary especially during May? I am going to try to say a Hail Mary just before I close my eyes at night. And, since we say evening prayer together in Westwood every evening, I will concentrate on saying the Magnificat with greater devotion.

I love beginning the month of Mary honoring St. Joseph. I guess I am getting more work done today because I am aware of this Feast. This is helpful advice that is from the Little White Book for May 1:

"Between me and every decision, the should be a space in which I determine what Jesus is calling me to do rahter than what I think I should do."