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Friday, August 31, 2007

"Behold the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!"

Today's Gospel has the difficult parable of the ten virgins waiting to meet the bridegroom with their lamps to light his way. Half of these virgins are wise and come prepared with flasks of oil for their lamps. Half are foolish and not prepared for a long wait; they have no flasks of oil. All of them fall asleep. At midnight, there was a cry, "Behold the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!" All got up and trimmed their lamps but the foolish ones had not enough oil. Why did the wise ones not share? I guess they were wise enough to know that it was better to have the five lamps than to end in darkness because no one had enough oil. The foolish then leave to go try to buy oil. The bridegroom arrives and the wise virgins enter with him to the wedding feast. The others are locked out. The Gospel ends with a warning for all of us: Therefore, stay awake, for you know neither the day nor the hour.
It is a hard parable to understand. For those who came prepared, all went well. Am I prepared? I need to live each day as if it were my last day and then I shall be prepared. What is the oil I need to stock to keep my lamp burning? If wise, I shall be prepared to meet my bridegroom with joy!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

"Fill us with your love, O Lord, and we will sing for joy."

"Fill us with your love, O Lord, and we will sing for joy".
Today's Responsorial Psalm (verses from Psalm 90) tells me how to live in joy: be filled with God's love. Only God can fill me with his love so my part is just to be open to receive his love. Why is it so hard to allow God to love us? Is my heart too cluttered with other "loves"?

Ever since my retreat last summer, the Psalms seem to spark my prayer. This jumped out at me today: "Fill us at daybreak with your kindness, that we may shout for joy and gladness all our days."

Lord, fill us with your love today that we may bring joy and happiness to others. Let us, as the Gospel tells us, "Stay awake! For we do not know when the Lord will come. May He find us prepared and living in joy! Joy that comes from being filled with his love!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

From your presence where can I flee?

Today's Responsorial Psalm quotes some of Psalm 139, one of my favorite psalms. I was struck by a sense of gratitude and gift in reading the selected verses and hope you will be, too:
Where can I go from your spirit?
From your presence where can I flee?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I sink to the nether world, you are present there.
If I take the wings of the dawn,
if I settle at the farthest limits of the sea,
Even there your hand shall guide me,
and your right hand hold me fast.
If I say, "Surely the darkness shall hide me,
and night shall be my light"--
For you darkness itself is not dark,
and night shines as the day.

I prayed over the psalm with the refrain You have searched me and you know me, Lord and found that I needed to thank God for his presence in my life; a presence that is always with me.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

St. Augustine

Augustine tells his own story in his Confessions. That is the most famous of his works, but he also wrote City of God and numerous sermons, treatises, and letters. He had a son by his mistress but the son died in 389, two years after Augustine's conversion. Augustine was ordained and made bishop of Hippo and spent the rest of his life defending the Christian faith against heresies. Of all the Latin Fathers, he is the most influential; he had a gift for words. He also gathered his priests together to live; he founded the Canons of St. Augustine and his rule was the basic rule for many other religious orders. He is quoted often, especially "You have made us for yourself, O God, and our hearts are restless until they rest in thee.

When I was in college I talked my way into an advanced Latin course just because they were studying the Confessions of St. Augustine. I remember working hard to translate the pages with an English translation to help me. I loved the course. However, the Dean of Studies then put me into her Latin class the next semester and would put quotes from Pliny and Tacitus on the board in English for us to translate into Latin! That took knowledge that I did not have, but I still have fond memories of the course on Augustine and am glad I struggled to understand him in Latin!

Monday, August 27, 2007

St. Monica

St. Monica is famous for being the mother of St. Augustine. Actually, she had three children. Her husband converted to Christianity in 370 and died a year later. Monica then devoted herself to praying and doing penance for the conversion of Augustine who was not leading a good life and was following Manichaeism. When Augustine finally returned to the Christian faith and was baptized in 387, Monica told him: I did have one reason for wanting to live a little longer: to see you become a Catholic Christian before I died. God has lavished his gifts upon me in that respect." Monica is the patroness of mothers and gave us an inspiring example of the power of prayer.
How many mothers today are still praying and doing penance for their children? It seems to be part of the definition of a mother and to care about the spiritual well-being of children as well as the physical is part of the vocation to motherhood.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

21st Sunday in Ordinary Time

In today's Gospel we see Jesus passing through towns and villages, "teaching as he went and making his way to Jerusalem." Luke tells us that someone asked him, "Lord, will only a few people be saved?" Jesus replied, Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter but will not be strong enough.
This seems a strange answer but Jesus seems to be warning his own people that they will be locked out of the kingdom of God. Yet, People will come from the east and west and from the north and the south and will recline at table in the kingdom of God.
And Jesus adds, For behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.
It is a difficult Gospel but the first reading from Isaiah 66:18-21 tells us that the Lord has come to gather nations of every language; they shall come and see my glory.
May we all see his glory by striving to enter through the narrow gate. Christ is the Gate, and the Way!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

"Jesus Today"

The third part of Albert Nolan's latest book on "Jesus Today" is on Personal Transformation Today. The first part looked at the signs of the times; the second part explored the spirituality of Jesus in his time; and the third looks at the practical steps we need to take in order to live in our day.

"All mystical spiritualities are structured as journeys with steps or stages" but Jesus did not speak of stages. However, he was aware of the growth and development needed and gave us the parables of the mustard seed and the leaven. Nolan stresses that like all other forms of life, our spiritual life evolves, interacting creatively with other people, our environment, and historical events and responding to the opportunities that arise or missing them.
How am I responding to the opportunities in my life? Which ones am I missing? How will I respond today?

Friday, August 24, 2007

Prophet and Mystic

In reading Albert Nolan's Jesus Today I am struck by how he insists that anyone who wishes to take Jesus seriously would have to be prepared to become a prophet and a mystic.
Before Jesus, prophets were rare individuals. Jesus' aim was to open up the spiral of prophecy to everyone. We can all learn to read the signs of the times; we can all become courageous enough to speak out like prophets.
We can also become mystics. Mystical union with God is not an experience reserved for some special and privileged people. Jesus did not think that he alone could experience an intimacy with God. God was the abba and Father of all.

I was pleased to see that Nolan says that God's unconditional love was the foundation of Jesus' spirituality. It is definitely the foundation of mine. This conviction of God's unconditional love is what gives me joy and allow me to trust God no matter what.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Feast of St. Rose of Lima

When I was teaching at the Normal School in Peru I discovered what great devotion the students had to St. Rose. I went to pray at the tiny hut in her parents' garden where Rose lived a life of prayer and penance. She was born in 1586 and became a Third Order Dominican while still young; she worked to help the poor and the sick until her death in 1617 after an illness of three years. She was canonized in 1671, the first canonized saint from the "New World."

Today I want to share with you a marvelous book that I have just received. It is Albert Nolan's latest: Jesus Today: A Spirituality of Radical Freedom." My copy is the third printing from Orbis, 2007. It came out in 2006 and I think it will be a spiritual classic. Nolan's Jesus Before Christianity has sold more than 150,000 copies. He is a Dominican priest from South Africa who is a real scholar. His latest book is about the spirituality of Jesus; Jesus had a spirituality of his own and we can learn from him. Nolan says that Jesus' spirituality might be more relevant than ever before and that is is a spirituality of radical freedom.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Feast of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary

On the octave of the Assumption it is fitting that we celebrate the Queenship of Mary. This feast was only instituted in 1954 by Pius XII and at first it was on May 31, my birthday. Then it got changed to August 22 which was the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. That feast is now the day after the Feast of the Sacred Heart and the Feast of the Visitation is celebrated on May 31 instead of July 2!
I woke up singing a hymn that we used to sing at school and was amazed to be able to remember the words. It is:
O Queen of Angels, thou are glorious,
Glorious as a bannered host
Thou hast crushed the foe forever,
He no more in pride may boast.
Lady of our hearts we call thee,
Thou our gentle mother art.
Mary fold us in thy mantle,
Take us to thy loving heart."

The last two lines were repeated as a refrain and were my favorite.
I also was inspired this morning to go over some of the graces received from Mary and also to think of the persons, places, and events that have most influenced me. It is a good exercise, if you want to try it.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

St. Pius X, Pope

Giuseppe Sarto became Pope in 1903; he was the one who lowered the age for children to receive Holy Communion and he urged frequent communion for adults.

The other day someone asked me about the "Morning Offering" and I was ashamed to say that I could only remember the first part of a prayer that we said daily. Here it is from a little booklet of prayers that my mother said every morning:

O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer You all my prayers, works, joys and sufferings of this day. For all the intentions of Your Sacred Heart. In union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world. In reparation for all my sins. For the intentions of all our associates and in particular, for the intention of our Holy Father for this month.

It was a prayer promoted by the Apostleship of Prayer of the Sacred Heart and each month we would receive a leaflet with the special intention of the Holy Father for that month.
It is always good to offer up our day with all our prayer, work, joys and sufferings.
I am old enough to remember that the word joys was added to the prayer so that our entire day was covered. I guess it is fitting to remember this on the Feast of Pope Pius X.

Monday, August 20, 2007

St. Bernard of Clairvaux- August 20

Bernard entered the Benedictines at Citeaux and, although only 21, he convinced his brothers, his uncle, and many noblemen to enter with him. Within three years he was chosen Abbot for the new monastery of Clairvaux. Bernard attracted thousands to the stricter contemplative life and founded 68 monasteries and had authority over 164 of the 350 houses that existed across Europe. Bernard influenced popes, bishops, and councils and preached the 2nd Crusade but is a Doctor of the Church for his mystical and theological writings; he used Scripture with such ease that he was given the title of "Doctor Melliflous". Central to his theology is the belief that God is love and Love created us out of love to share Love itself.
In Sermon 83 in commenting on the Song of Songs Bernard says: "When God loves, he desires nothing but to be loved, since he loves us for no other reason than to be loved, for he knows that those who love him are blessed in their very love."

The Memorare, one of my very favorite prayers, is attributed to St. Bernard who had great devotion to Mary. Here it is:
Remember, O Most Gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection, implored your help, or sought your intercession was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence, I fly to you O Virgin of virgins, my mother. To you I come; before you I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in your mercy, hear and answer me. Amen.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

"I have come to set the earth on fire"

Jesus, at the beginning of today's Gospel(Luke 12:49-53), says to his disciples: I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing!
Jesus' mission was to cast fire upon the earth. Not a fire that destroys but one that purifies. One that kindles in us the desire for the reign of God.
Jesus, the Prince of Peace, then tells his disciples that he has not come to establish peace but division. This Gospel is difficult and a real challenge but we see Jesus stand strong and ready to weed out evil.
In the reading from Hebrews we are asked to "rid ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us and persevere in running the race that lies before us while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the leader and perfecter of faith. For the sake of the joy that lay before him, he endured the cross..."
It is not easy to be a prophet as Jeremiah knew. In the first reading today he is thrown into a cistern and left to die. Teresa of Avila once said to Jesus that he had so few friends because of the way he treated them! Gold is purified in fire; Jesus wants us to be on fire with the love of God. We pray to the Holy Spirit to Come, enkindle in our hearts the fire of Divine Love. And we shall renew the face of the earth!
Fire is full of energy and spreads quickly. Fire is a symbol of the love burning in the Heart of Jesus and in our hearts. Let us set the world on fire with love!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Feast of St. Jane de Chantal

Today is the feast of the St. Jane de Chantal who was widowed at age 28 with six children to raise. Later, with St. Francis de Sales, she founded the Visitation Order. She had established about 85 convents of the Visitation before her death. This is a picture by an unknown artist and is not correct theologically because the Heart cannot be separated from Christ; the Heart of Jesus means the whole person but stresses his love and interior dispositions. The heart is the center of the person.

I went to the Academy of the Visitation for six years as a child. It was there that I began to love Jesus under the title "Sacred Heart" so that for me the Sacred Heart was Jesus, the Son of God, who came to reveal His Father's love for us. St. Margaret Mary was a Visitation nun; Jesus showed Himself to her and told her how much He loved us by received only coldness and ingratitude from many in return for his ardent love.
I learned to trust the Heart of Jesus and to pray:
"Sacred Heart of Jesus, I implore
that I may love You more and more."

It makes a good walking prayer or driving prayer as my car has become a place of prayer.


Today's reading from Joshua 24:1-13 has the Lord remembering all he has done for his people. He reminds them that it was not their sword or their bow that conquered the promised land. The Lord then said: "I gave you a land that you had not tilled and cities that you had not built to dwell in; you have eaten of vineyards and olive groves which you did not plant."

When I reflect on my own life, I see that the Lord has done the same and more for me.
How grateful I should be for his constant care, his many gifts, my life itself! Let us take time to thank Him today for all that He has done for us and to thank also for those who are not grateful. We have so much to be thankful for that the day will be too short to even mention the gifts each of us have received!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Feast of St. Stephen of Hungary

St. Stephen lived in the late 10th century and early eleventh century. The entrance antiphon for the Liturgy is: Lord, be my rock of safety, the stronghold that saves me. For the honor of your name, lead and guide me.
Jesus is with us always; he leads us with gentle love and care into the presence of his Father.
Attitude is important. How can I cultivate a positive attitude towards all?
This passage from Paul's Letter to the Philippians (4:5-6) suggests a way:
"Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
To be gentle takes strength! But the Lord is near - not only near, He dwells in us. How can I not be at peace and grateful! One who is grateful, gentle, and peaceful has a positive attitude and attracts others.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Feast of the Assumption

Today we celebrate Mary's being taken up body and soul into heaven. The Feast of the Assumption of Mary was proclaimed a dogma to be believed by Pope Pius XII in 1950. The feast had been celebrated for centuries as it always seemed fitting that Mary would be with Jesus. The Preface for the Feast tells us that "God would not allow decay to touch her body, for she had given birth to your Son, the Lord of all life, in the glory of the incarnation."

The French have a custom of bringing Mary the key to the house and the fruits of the harvest on this Feast. May we give Mary the key to our inner life with Jesus. Mary teaches us to penetrate into the Heart of her Son, Jesus. It is Mary who comes to us with her motherly presence when we are suffering. She consoles us, but her message is always the same: Do whatsoever he tells you.
When I first went to Chile without knowing the language, I felt Mary's presence in a tangible way for many months. She still comes to me to guard my interior life and show me what is essential; she still says:Do whatever Jesus tells you to do.
So today I proclaim with Mary her Magnificat:All my being proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my Savior...

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Ocean Speaks to Me of God

I find myself using pictures of the ocean as these bring me easily into prayer. I am aware of the immensity and the depth of God's love for us. In today's Gospel, we again have Jesus asking us: "What is your opinion? If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them goes astray, will he not leave the ninety-nine in the hills and go in search of the stray? And if he finds it, amen I say to you, he rejoices more over it than over the ninety-nine that did not stray." It does not mean that he loves the lost sheep more, but there is joy when the one who has been lost is found. Jesus is actively seeking all of us and rejoicing when he finds us and brings us back. It is so easy to get discouraged in the spiritual life. We must keep a positive attitude that no matter what happens to us we are loved infinitely and Jesus is with us.

I came home yesterday from the University feeling very grateful for words of encouragement from three different sources. It made me think how important it is for us to encourage others, to remember to praise something well done, to point out the gifts of others. Today, let us be like Jesus and seek out someone and encourage them.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Christ, Our Rock

In our beautiful chapel at St. Thomas University, the base of the altar is a wonderful rock brought from the ocean from the Keys. It has a couple of deep holes that are like the "cleft in the rock" and I find God there. Some may prefer the "cave of the heart."
Anyway, I read a good quote today from Teresa of Avila that I want to share with you. It is from the 4th mansion in the:Interior Castle:
Love consists, not in the extent of our happiness, but in the firmness of our determination to try to please God in everything.
I like the quote because we do try to please God in everything and now I shall just concentrate on trying to make my determination very firm, constant, and generous.
Ignatius of Loyola says that love is proved by deeds rather than words. I have another quote that is from a little booklet Prayer for Finding God in All Things.
Love is a decision shown more by deeds than by words, by accepting people as they are rather than by trying to change them. I am called to spend myself for those who need my time and energy, my patience, generosity, and wisdom; love calls me to be present to another with such attention and reverence as will lead me to find God's presence in that person.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.

In today's Gospel(LK12)Jesus tells his disciples: Do not be afraid any longer, little flock, for your Father is pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your belongings and give alms.
Jesus does not beat around the bush. If we want to enter the Kingdom we need to get rid of all attachments to worldly wealth and be prepared. Where our hearts are indicates what our treasure is! What am I seeking? Am I willing to pay the price?
Jesus tells us the parable of the servants waiting their master's return. Blessed are those who are prepared and vigilant to welcome him. We do not know the hour when the Son of Man will come.
A wise person lives in the present moment and is ready to live as if each moment may be one's last moment.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Feast of St. Clare

Clare left home at eighteen and Francis gave her the habit of the Franciscans, but she had to live with the Benedictines where others joined her, including her mother and two sisters. They founded their own convent and the Poor Clares are still practicing radical poverty today. Clare was made abbess at 21, died at 60 and was canonized two years after her death.

Two thoughts for reflection from today's liturgy: If we have faith, nothing is impossible. Even faith the size of a mustard seed is able to move a mountain! We have been given the gift of faith so why are we not using it?
The other thought comes from Moses saying to the Israelites: The Lord is our God; the Lord alone! Therefore you shall love the Lord your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. These words are to be taken to heart --we are to live them! How am I doing this?

Thursday, August 9, 2007

God loves a cheerful giver

Each must do as already determined, without sadness or compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
Easier said than done but we have the Divine Energy within us that makes all possible!

God invites us to be cheerful in our daily dyings. Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit.

Jesus calls us to serve him in joy. For some reason I am reminded of the prayer attributed to St. Ignatius:
Dearest Lord, teach me to be generous;
teach me to serve you as you deserve;
to give and not to count the cost,
to fight and not to heed the wounds,
to toil and not to seek for rest,
to labor and not to ask for any reward,
save that of knowing that I do your will.

And may it be done in joy! Remember, God loves a cheerful giver!!

Who do you say that I am?

Today's Gospel has Jesus asking "But who do you say that I am?" This is an important, essential question that Jesus still asks each of us today and one that we need to answer from the depths of our being. Peter was inspired to reply: "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." What do I say today when Jesus again asks me?

It is also the feast of Edith Stein, St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross. Edith, a Jew was converted to Catholicism after reading the life of Teresa of Avila; later she entered the Carmelite convent. As Jewish-Christians were being persecuted in Germany, she was sent to another convent in Holland. My missalette,Living with Christ, said that when the Bishop spoke out against the persecution of Jews, the Nazis retaliated and arrested all Jewish-Christians and sent them to the gas chambers at Auschwitz. Edith and her sister Rosa were both taken there to die. Edith was named co-patron of all Europe with Bridget of Sweden and Catherine of Siena. Reading about what happened when that bishop spoke out against the persecution of the Jews made me reflect on the lack of action by Pope Pius XII; it may have saved more people than we may ever know.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Feast of St. Dominic

Today is the feast of Dominic de Guzman, founder of the Order of Preachers, known as the Dominicans. Since the 13th century they have taught, preached, and kept the faith alive; the prayer after Communion says they "have helped the Church to grow". The opening prayer for today's liturgy asks that Dominic may "help us now with his prayers as he once inspired people by his preaching."
The Gospel (MT15)is the story of the Canaanite woman who cried out to the Lord because her daughter was tormented by a demon. How many mothers have found help with her words, "Lord, help me"? She is heard because of her faith but also for her humility and her perseverance.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

"Take courage, it is I"

Jesus is our Light and brings us safely home no matter how big the storm, no matter how long it lasts; we can count on him.

In today's Gospel(Mt 14:22-30) Jesus sent his disciples into a storm while he went up the mountain to pray. Much later, during the fourth watch of the night), he came to them, walking on the sea. They are frightened and think it is a ghost. Jesus says: Take courage, it is I.

Jesus so often says the same to me: "Don't be afraid, it is I." When Jesus is present we have no need to fear. He may even call us to come to him on the water as he did Peter. If I look only at Jesus, I will be safe. Peter, aware of the wind and waves was scared but had enough sense to call, "Lord, save me!" Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught him and said: 'O you of little faith, why did you doubt?"

Since Jesus is always with us, there is no reason to be afraid, even when he asks us to get out of the boat and walk on the water. If he sends us into a storm, he is still watching over us, still saying, "Fear not; I am with you."

Monday, August 6, 2007

Feast of the Transfiguration

Jesus took his special friends and went up a mountain to pray. He invites me to go with them up the mountain to pray, too. In prayer, I encounter the transfigured Christ. Jesus is risen now so I am finding him transfigured. The Father still comes as the voice came from the cloud and I am still hearing: This is my chosen Son; listen to him.
Lord, help me to listen to you; you speak to me in prayer; you also speak to me through people, e-mails, telephone calls, chance encounters, events, and circumstances. You continue to say to me: "Love one another as I have loved you." With your divine energy, this is possible.
I returned yesterday from two days of prayer on the subject of Divine Energy. I think that the Holy Spirit dwelling in us is Divine Energy; we have the Presence of God within us and must believe that this is a reality and also believe that we have the power and energy of God in us. If we had enough faith, we could move mountains. We need to believe in the power of God, the Divine Energy, and count on it. God can do all things. Ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find...

Thursday, August 2, 2007

I leave tomorrow for a week end at the Cenacle in Lantana. My spiritual director is giving the week end on "Divine Energy" and I will go up early and take her out for lunch so that I can have a good visit. Thus I will again be away from the computer for three days! It is hard to get back to work after a long summer holiday, but I am planning to do so very soon! I actually wrote a blog and then forgot to post it so I will just wait until next week. Remember that God is never grasped by thought but only by love!
There is much to pray for and I am sure we are thinking of those who are fighting, those who were on the bridge that collapsed, those who are being deported, etc.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Give Thanks With Joy

One way to praise God is to serve Him in joy. Grateful people are joyful and we have so much to be grateful for each day. Yesterday I said that Psalm 100 helped me to express what I was feeling in retreat. It still seems to be a great Psalm for me to pray with, but I read it in Spanish today and liked it even more. I am copying most of it here in English:
A Psalm of Thanksgiving

Sing joyfully to the Lord, all you lands;
worship the Lord with cries of gladness;
come before him with joyful song.

Know that the Lord is God,
our maker to whom we belong,
whose people we are,
God's well-tended flock ...

Give thanks to God,
bless his name;
Good indeed is the Lord,
whose love endures forever ...

I thought of all the lands that I have lived in, stayed in for more than a month and counted those visited several times: Mexico, Italy, Chile, Peru, Spain, France, England; I have been to other countries like Israel, Scotland, Canada, and Argentina, but have not lived there. I found joyful memories in all of them and hope that I was helping them to "sing joyfully to the Lord"; the Spanish has the whole earth proclaiming the Lord and then says "serve the Lord with joy" and I think that is my vocation within a vocation. Today's Communion Antiphon is from John 15:16- "You have not chosen me; I have chosen you. Go and bear fruit that will last." Jesus reminds me often that he has chosen me and I am to pipe a song of joy. There is enough sorrow everywhere.