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Friday, July 30, 2021

Tomorrow is the Feast of St. Ignatius or Loyola


I have been reading Walking with Ignatius by Arturo Sosa, S.J., the Superior General of the Jesuits in conversation with Dario Menor. I have found it very helpful not only to see how the Jesuits are now adapting to fewer vocations, but how they are prioritising their Apostolic Preferences and how they are seeing how they can partner in mission with others. I think that it has given me new insights into what we are contemplating in our own Society as we move forward listening to the needs of the world.

I find that Ignatius gave us a great gift in giving us the rules for discernment. My own life is certainly influenced by the Spiritual Exercises, the daily examen, and the practice of discernment. I have had the grace of making the thirty-day retreat in Spain in the Jesuit retreathouse built over the little cave where Ignatius began writing what would become the guidelines for all Ignatian retreats. I even spent an all night vigil in that cave and had the grace of going back just three years later to give the thirty-day retreat to four Religious from different countries. Two were priests from Malaysia and India; a Brother from the Philippines, and a Sister from a monastery in the United States. Spending time in that cave made me feel close to Ignatius. I also have had three Jesuit cousins, have my doctorate from a Jesuit University, have made many directed retreats with Jesuits, and have given many directed retreats in Chile so Ignatius is a special friend.

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Listen to the Word of God

 God speaks to us in so many ways and He speaks to us daily! Are we listening? Of course, we know the Bible is the Word of God, but God is not limited to His Biblical word; He speaks to us each morning as the sun rises and He is still speaking with us at sunset. We need to cultivate seeing His Presence in each person, event, and circumstance in our day. It is a gift to be able to recognize how God is communicating with us at every moment. Let is ask for this gift today.

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Time to get going again

 This picture seems to sum up the way many of us have been feeling during this long time of hoping that the boat will be safe and we will reach a new destination after so many months of uncertainty. Of course, the virus caused us to feel that we were at sea in a tiny boat, but we also have so many other currents that are shaking our boat: the crisis of lack of care for our earth, our oceans, etc.; the crisis of homelessness, the plight of the refugees, racism, etc. Now, we need to get out of the boat wherever we can land and do something!

I am beginning to write my blog again because I see that many are waiting for it to appear. I am with new energy; my infected let is healing and I am grateful for that! We all have much to be grateful for and I hope each of my readers will keep a gratitude journal during these next months. If you do not like to write, just spend a few moments each day thinking of all the things you feel grateful for and so often take for granted. God likes to be thanked and He is contantly watching over all of us and providing what we need. Let us be grateful and let our gratitude overflow so we are joyful persons.

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

 Today's Collect asks the Lord to increase the gifts of grace so that made fervent in hope, faith, and charity, we may be ever watchful in keeping the Lord's commands.

The first reading is from Jeremiah 23:1-6 and talks about the shepherds who do not take good care of the sheep. The Lord says, "I mself will gather the remnant of my floce from all the lands to which I have driven them and bring them back to their meadow; there they shall increase and multipl. I will appoint shepherds for them who will shepherd them so that they need no longer fear and tremble; and now shall be missing, says the Lord." There is still more but I will stop there.

The Responsorial Psalm is: "The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want." 

I love Psalm 23 and love the idea that the Lord leads us besides restful waters....

The second reading is from the Letter of Paul to the Ephesians 2:13-18

Paul tells us that Christ is our peace and that He came to preach peace to all.

The Gospel is Mark 6:30-34 

The apostles gathered with Jesus and reported all that they had done and taught. Then Jesus said to them: "Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while." They went off in the boat by themselves to a deserted place. However, people saw them leaving and hastened there even before them so that when they disembarked there was a vast crowd. The Gospel tells us that Jesus was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd and he began to teach them many things.

I love thinking of Jesus as my Good Shepherd who seeks me out and leads me to restful waters.

I have thought of July as a vacation month at least in the sense that I am not writing my blog daily. I still feel the need to write less during this time. It gives me more time to read. 

Sunday, July 4, 2021

Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

 We really celebrate the 4th of July tomorrow, but I am writing today and want to tell you that the readings for this Sunday are excellent and I hope you will pray with them. They are Ezekiel 2: 2-5; 2 Cor 12:7-10; and Mark 6:1-6.

I want to share the reflection from Give Us This Day that is taken from Saint Oscar Romero

"God comes, and his ways are near to us. God saves in history. Each person's life, each one's history, is the meeting place God comes to. How satisfying to know that one need not go to the desert to meet him, need not go to some particular spot in the world. God is in your own heart.

Who will put a prophet's eloquence into my words to shake from their inertia all those who kneel before the riches of the earth-- who would like gold, money, lands, power, political life to be their everlasting gods! All that is going to end. There will remain only the satisfaction of having been, in regard to money or political life, a person faith ful to God's will. 

One must learn to manage the relative and transitory things of erth, according to his will, not make them absolutes. There is only one absolute: he who awaits us in the heaven that will not pass away."

Happy Canada Day as well as Happy Fourth of July - please remember that I am on vacation for the first two weeks of July. I am here at Oakwood, but will be very busy with the MIssion Forum for the Province that ends only on the 11th so I think I will not be writing my daily blog until after that.

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

The last day of June

 It is always good to review the month with the Lord and see the many graces given during the past thirty days. June seems to have flown by; there were good moments such as our retreat, preparation for the Feast of the Sacred Heart, my time of solitude when ill, and then the wonderful five nights near the ocean. I loved that and now must settle down and catch up with some presentations, some work sent to help us prepare for our Mission Forum which will be by zoom from July 8-11. I still feel that I am on vacation.

Remember, grateful hearts are joyful hearts!

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Feast of St. Peter and St. Paul

 Today is a beautiful day and a feast of two great Apostles: Peter and Paul. We owe much to both of them and I am praying to them today for help for the Church, especially here in the United States. I do not thinik that all the Bishops are really listening to Pope Francis and we have certainly not begun to work toward the synods that each diocese is called to hold within the next two years. We need to begin now to listen to one another and then discern what the Holy Spirit is calling us to do. Let us pray today for all our Bishops, Archbishops, Cardinals and for our Holy Father, Pope Francis. 

I returned from a wonderful vacation near the ocean yesterday. The first morning I slept until 8:55 - something that I have not been able to do for ages. It was so restful to get up when I wanted, eat when I wanted, and to go sit and contemplate the ocean. The weather was lovely; it was cloudy in the early morning, but then the sun came out and it was a joy to be outside. I suspect my nose may peel, but it was worth it just to sit and listen to the waves and watch the surf. 

I am so grateful that I am writing this blog the first night I am home, but I still feel that I am on vacation so do not be concerned if I am not writing every single day!

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

After the Retreat

 I had a lovely eight days of silence and prayer. Our preached retreat was on the Beatitudes but stressed that we need to study the interior dispositions of the Heart of Jesus. I usually stayed with one thought each day but will be going over the retreat for many days.

I am still on vacation from this blog. Actually, I will be away for five nights beginning Wednesday afternoon and returning on Monday. I will be with one of my RSCJ friends in a condo lent us for these days and I really look forward to being away. I will also be able to walk out and be able to see the ocean. This is a real gift and so I will again not be writing a daily blog.

Saturday, June 12, 2021

Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Although this is one of our great feasts, I do not have a picture of the Immaculate Heart of Mary that I like so think Mary would rather have us look at this picture of a sailboat setting out to sea in a calm water. I like to think that we are all in a boat with Jesus and Mary and have set sail. We may not know the ports along the way, but we are in the boat and will somehow reach our final destination. We are full of peace and secure in the love of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary for each of us.

We go into retreat tonight so I will not be writing my blog but count on your prayer for this important time alone with Jesus and Mary. 

Friday, June 11, 2021

Feast of the Sacred Heart

 Today is a great feast for the Society of the Sacred Heart. It is good to have this Feast and that of the Immaculate Heart of Mary tomorrow before we go into retreat on Sunday. I hope we are going into retreat on Saturday night and coming out a full eight days later. I am looking forward to the retreat and ask prayers for all of us. It is always a time of renewal and I like to think of it as a "honeymoon" time.

I will not be writing my blog during this time and perhaps not many blogs in June as it is good to take a vacation sometimes. Please continue to keep my sister-in-law in your prayers. Her name is Anita and she has a very serious type of cancer and is in great pain. Thank you.

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

 Again I am quoting from the reflection on Sacred Heart Spirituality by Mudita Sodder, RSCJ.

"Having observed the preferences of His Heart, one needs to choose like Him, the poor and under privileged. This mst reflect in one's life - the friends one has, the choices one makes when one visits people, the things one chooses to do and how one does them. In order to discover Jesus' Heart, one needs to contemplate His words, His attitudes, His relationships, His way of relating to all creatures...".

Remember, above all, that Jesus loves us unconditionally.

Monday, June 7, 2021

What is Sacred Heart Spirituality for you?

 This week, I am sharing a few thoughts from a paper sent to me by an RSCJ in India, Dr. Mudita Sodder. She has given me permission to do so and my aim is to help each of us to think more deeply about what Sacred Heart spirituality means for each of us at this point in our lives.

She begins by saying that spirituality is a way of life and that "Sacred Heart of Jesus Spirituality is the way of the heart-the path of unconditional love. To follow in the footsteps of the Master, one has to study the interior dispositions of Jesus' hert and learn to love wholeheartedly and unconditionally. To make this a reality in one's life, one needs to have a tete-a-tete with Him daily, spending quality time and energy, in quiet prayer and contemplation." (I cannot get the ^ inserted over tete)