Search This Blog

Monday, November 30, 2009

Feast of St. Andrew

Scotland - Saint Andrew
Saint Andrew is the Patron Saint of Scotland. He was born in Capernaum and was a fisherman on the Lake of Galilee. Together with his older brother Peter he became one of Jesus' first disciples.
After Jesus' resurrection Saint Andrew made many journeys by land and sea, teaching and preaching. He died for his faith, although just where and when is not certain, but he was crucified on a diagonal cross because it is said that he did not feel himself worthy enough to suffer on a cross the same shape as his Lord.
Many years later his bones were brought to Scotland for safe keeping and were buried in a shrine where the town of St. Andrews now stands. I took this information from the Internet. I know he was one of the first two who followed Jesus and he was the one who recruited Peter. He was one of the twelve apostles and so has had his own feast. It is sometimes just before Advent and it was the wedding anniversary of my parents.
We can ask Andrew to help us prepare for the Lord's coming this Advent. He was a disciple of John the Baptist who came to prepare the way of the Lord!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

First Sunday of Advent

Advent is a time of preparation. It is a time to slow down and get in touch with what really matters in our life. Unfortunately, we have made the preparation for Christmas so material that we are rushing around and are preoccupied with gifts and cards and the shopping malls are crowded and then the decorations rushed and we forget the essential. Let us slow down and realize that this is a season of waiting, of longing, a season to find silence and peace as we unclutter our hearts. We are preparing the way of the Lord. We are making room in our hearts and calling, "Come, Lord Jesus, come!" I think it is Mother Stuart who says that we only say "Come" when we are prepared. Let us spend this Advent preparing for the coming of the Lord into our hearts and into our world.
I will not have finished my Christmas cards before Advent this year, but will try to write them in great peace and with love and joy as my gift to others.
Come, Lord Jesus, and do not delay!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Prayer of the Potawatomi

This is the last time I will be speaking of St. Philippine Duchesne (at least for a time) but one of my course just wrote a beautiful piece about her and quoted this prayer composed by Sharon Karam -

Prayer of the Potawatomi on Hearing of the Death of Philippine.
By Sharon Karam, RSCJ

She comes, Great Spirit.
She comes soon.
Comfort her spirit and care for her passage.
Let the grasses of the fields whisper her homecoming.
Let the lapping of the Mississippi’s water
Chant her back to you.
Put out your colors this morning in all four season’s flowers.
Let them bloom all at once in her honor.
Let the mockingbird, known for cleverness,
Imitate all manner of songs, one for each mood of our hearts.
For we are sad; she was our sister.
We are glad, too; she is your child.
We are sorry; too many miles prevent our putting out his blanket
Once more, over her shoulders.
(She learned weaving from our hands;
We learned to pray from her face).
Let the sun blaze forth her compassion,
And the full moon tonight remind us
Of her hours praising you in this tent.

Our village will keep vigil tonight.
Chief declares a fast in her name until tomorrow.
We will pray in what was her tent
For both our peoples and for all those places
On the flat map which she left for us.
Creator, hear our prayer for her, for our children,
For those prairies, trees, and rivers.
For the faraway mountains and this brook which holds our tears.
Hear our sighs for these, our children,
That they remember what she taught them
And recall her name, for many moons, as your great woman.

Now let us ask Philippine to help us prepare for Advent which begins tomorrow!!!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Day After Thanksgiving

We had a beautiful day! I went to a Liturgy that is always so moving with a sing along at the end with all the patriotic songs. They always have someone from the armed forces carry in the American Flag at the end and this year it was a very young and handsome Marine; tears came into my eyes as I realized that this young man was soon to go to war and might be killed as the many other young people have that we have been sending into battle.

We had a gorgeous dinner and were all quite exhausted afterwards; we have delicious leftovers to enjoy tomorrow. The papers call tomorrow "Black Friday" and people get up early to go stand in line for the doors to open at the stores as all have these huge sales to get shoppers out to buy. It is the biggest shopping day of the year! I am not going anywhere tomorrow but will write Christmas cards and maybe clean out my books. I always do my Christmas cards during Thanksgiving vacation so they go out early and I can begin Advent with my Christmas preparations more or less done so I can concentrate on the spiritual preparation. I do still need to send a few gifts, but no shopping for me on "Black Friday"!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving to All!

Today I am copying a Thanksgiving Prayer that "Dear Abby" that was penned by her mother, Pauline Phillips.

O Heavenly Father,
We thank thee for food and remember the hungry,
We thank thee for health and remember the sick,
We thank thee for freedom and remember the enslaved.
May these remembrances stir us to service,
That thy gifts to us may be used for others. Amen.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Women - have they a flaw?

This is longer than usual, but someone sent it to me and I thought it would be of interest to all women.

One Flaw In Women

By the time the Lord made woman,
He was into his sixth day of working overtime.
An angel appeared and said,
"Why are you spending so much time on this one?"
And the Lord answered, "Have you seen my spec sheet on her?
She has to be completely washable, but not plastic,
have over 200 movable parts, all replaceable
and able to run on diet coke and leftovers,
have a lap that can hold four children at one time,
have a kiss that can cure anything from a scraped knee to a broken heart
-and she will do everything with only two hands."

The angel was astounded at the requirements.
"Only two hands!? No way!
And that's just on the standard model?
That's too much work for one day.
Wait until tomorrow to finish."

"But I won't," the Lord protested.
"I am so close to finishing this creation that is so close to my own heart.
She already heals herself when she is sick
AND can work 18 hour days."

The angel moved closer and touched the woman.
"But you have made her so soft, Lord."
"She is soft," the Lord agreed,
"but I have also made her tough.
You have no idea what she can endure or accomplish."

"Will she be able to think?", asked the angel.
The Lord replied,
"Not only will she be able to think,
she will be able to reason and negotiate."

The angel then noticed something,
and reaching out, touched the woman's cheek.
"Oops, it looks like you have a leak in this model.
I told you that you were trying to put too much into this one."
"That's not a leak,"
the Lord corrected,
"that's a tear!"
"What's the tear for?" the angel asked.

The Lord said, "The tear is her way of expressing her joy,
her sorrow, her pain, her disappointment, her love,
her loneliness, her grief and her pride."
The angel was impressed.
"You are a genius, Lord.
You thought of everything!
Woman is truly amazing."

And she is!
Women have strengths that amaze men.
They bear hardships and they carry burdens,
but they hold happiness, love and joy.
They smile when they want to scream.
They sing when they want to cry.
They cry when they are happy
and laugh when they are nervous.
They fight for what they believe in.
They stand up to injustice.
They don't take "no" for an answer
when they believe there is a better solution.
They go without so their family can have.
They go to the doctor with a frightened friend.
They love unconditionally.
They cry when their children excel
and cheer when their friends get awards.
They are happy when they hear about a birth or a wedding.
Their hearts break when a friend dies.
They grieve at the loss of a family member,
yet they are strong when they think there is no strength left.
They know that a hug and a kiss can heal a broken heart.
Women come in all shapes, sizes and colors.
They'll drive, fly, walk, run or e-mail you
to show how much they care about you.
The heart of a woman is what makes the world keep turning.
They bring joy, hope and love.
They have compassion and ideals.
They give moral support to their family and friends.
Women have vital things to say and everything to give.



Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Maybe the Thanksgiving holidays always bring back memories, but I am thinking of how often I took the natural beauty of Chile for granted and need to thank for that now. It is one of the most beautiful countries in the entire world and I had the joy of living there for twenty years! I must admit that my memories of the first year are not all good as I went without knowing a word of Spanish and was given charge of the Middle School with 157 children; that was bedlam the first morning but I survived! We did not leave the very limited grounds but could see a park behind us full of lovely trees. Then, with the changes and working in formation and on a mission team, I did travel up and down Chile as a spiritual director who visited all 19 communities. By then, after having been head of a school of over 600, and having ten years in the school, I was more into formation and retreat work and found that I loved helping others. I look back with gratitude on those years, especially the last years as superior in the poorest region of Chile. We had a wooden house built by the priests next to the church on a bluff in Coquimbo. We could walk to the other side of the church and see the ocean. Then, a short walk in the other direction brought us into the desert. It is good to let these memories flow freely through me as they increase my gratitude for all that I have been given.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Thirsty for God

I have been feeling a thirst for God. This is good, but it has made other things less attractive to me and they are the things of daily duty done with a smile and with love. I am wanting to pray when I need to be cleaning out my office. This is temptation so I must learn to pray and clean and make the clearing out a prayer. I am finding joy in being able to give things to people.
I think that God gives us a thirst for Him so we keep seeking Him. The longing for union with Him is the reason we keep striving to live each day well or at least a little better than the day before. I always see how much is still to be done to make my soul transparent, joyful, and grateful. Advent will be a time of thirsting for God.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Jesus, King of the universe

Almighty and merciful God,
you break the power of evil and make all things new
in your Son Jesus Christ, the King of the universe.
May all in heaven and earth
acclaim your glory
and never cease to praise you.

Let us widen the circle that prays this prayer together on Sunday beyond Catholics and Anglicans. (this is taken from an Anglican page where I found this picture)

Let us pray that the reign of Christ may live in our hearts and come to our world]

Almighty and eternal God,
you have made of one blood all the nations of the earth
and will that they live together
in peace and harmony;
so order the course of this world
that all peoples may be brought together
under Christ’s most gentle rule;
through Jesus Christ our Lord
who is alive with with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God now and for ever.

A friend in Scotland has just sent me this link where you will find the wonderful book of The Life and Letters of Janet Erskine Stuart online:

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Endings and Beginnings

This is dawn, the beginning of a new day. The other is sunset, the beginning of the end of the day. Actually, dawn is the bottom picture as I posted it first and the sunset is on top. Both are so common in our daily lives that we do not stop to reflect on them, but are often caught up in the beauty of the first streaks of light crossing the sky as we wake up or the gorgeous color of the sky in the evening. What really matters is what we are doing in between these scenes. Has my day been one of love? Have I reflected joy so that others are uplifted? Have I shown my gratitude to each who surround me with such love and service? I guess it is time for me to thank for the days that do reflect the beauty of God's sunrises and sunsets and hope that I am also creating some soul beauty by my actions between sunrise and sunset.

Today is a delightful Saturday and I am going to enjoy it fully as I prepare to give thanks to Christ, the King of my heart, and end this Liturgical year's Sundays tomorrow and prepare for Advent.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Christ the King is the end of the liturgical year

This Sunday, we will be celebrating the Feast of Christ the King. It used to be at the end of October and now is the last Sunday of the Liturgical year and the Sunday before Advent. Advent begins a new liturgical year and I love the sense of beginning anew to wait for the birth of Jesus in our hearts and in our world. I have a new Journal ready to begin the new liturgical year. Today, though, I am thinking of the Kingship of Christ; he came to establish a kingdom, but not in this world. He came to us poor, needy as any tiny baby is needy, and like us in all except sin. He lived a humble life and has given us an example. Let us prepare for Sunday by letting him reign in our hearts!
Now, an important announcement. Do not buy the book I thought had on Mother Stuart. I ordered three copies of the Life and Letters of Janet Erskine Stuart and they came at once, but they are not about her and not the book that I thought it was going to be and so I am sending all three copies back today! I cannot understand how they can use the same title and have nothing about Mother Stuart. I hope none of you ordered the book. I will not ever mention a book again that I have not had in my hands, but this is one of my favorite books and has been out of print so when someone told me about it, I not only ordered it, but was delighted to tell others.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Clearing Out

This picture is from Scotland and speaks to me of living water. I have just heard that I need to vacate my office before the holidays and so that means getting rid of a wall of certificates, a wall of books, four file cabinets, and many other keepsakes that have been given to me over the years. I knew we were going to be short of space and so said last year that I would not really need to keep my office, but I thought I had until March. Now it means that I must get rid of everything as I really cannot take anything home as I have no room to put anything!! My bedroom is overflowing with books and there is no place to put them in my community. I could use some prayer right now to help me get rid of everything. Twenty-three years is a long time and I have accumulated many things!! I know I will feel good once I am rid of everything, but I am feeling exhausted just thinking about the amount of stuff I have even in my desk drawers! I can help others clear out, but find my own things difficult to just pitch.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Philippine's spirit is still at St. Charles

Many will be visiting the Academy of the Sacred Heart today for the Feast of Saint Philippine Duchesne. I love the little shrine which was her resting place for so long and where some of us went every evening after supper to pray and then close up the shrine. There were amber and green vigil lights on her tomb which was a marble slab in the middle of the floor; it was so easy to pray there in the flickering light of the almost finished vigil lights. I was only thirteen when we started going out each night with one of the nuns to pray there, but it is easy for me to still remember how much I felt loved by Mother Duchesne. I did not know much about her life then but knew that she loved children and we felt her love there.
Happy Feast to all my readers today! For more information about Philippine go to:

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Eve of St. Philippine Duchesne's Feast

Philippine was so humble! I continue to read her life again and marvel at her love that allowed her to embrace so many hardships. The worst, of course, was feeling that she was a failure and useless. I hope she is rejoicing with all the family of the Sacred Heart tomorrow in heaven and that she sees the fruit of her abnegation and tremendous love.

I am late getting this on because there has been one thing after another that I have had to do today and I guess my blog did not take priority. This is a busy week and I seem to have forgotten all the things that were happening this week. Well, I am sure all the essentials will get done and hopefully I will be more inspired tomorrow.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Resting in God gives energy!

This is a picture of an older Philippine Duchesne. I am just amazed at all she did and think the saints must have draw energy from prayer. I find myself even getting more energy after Centering Prayer and so I guess it is something that really does happen in prayer. I do know that nothing goes right for me the day I do not have at least an hour of prayer in the morning. Sometimes it seems that I just sit there and it is very poor prayer but it does seem to transform the day. Now, if only I were as faithful to find the time for prayer in the afternoon. Well, reading Philippine's life has called me to look deeply into my own.

Yesterday I was up at 5:30, prayed, showered and dressed and went out to get some breakfast. I met one of my community who was still in her bathrobe. She asked me where I was going as I had been to Mass the evening before and this was Sunday! Wow! I thought it was Monday and so had the entire day to do nothing!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

We do not know the day or the hour...

Today's liturgy is reminding us that we do not know when the end is coming; heaven and earth shall pass away, but the word of God will not pass away. No one except God knows when- we just need to be prepared. The end of the liturgical year brings the thought of what used to be called "the four last things" - death, judgment, heaven or hell- before us so that we think seriously about how our lives are being lived in preparation for a future. We will be celebrating the Kingship of Christ as a fitting end to the Liturgical Year and then we being again with the beautiful season of Advent.

I am still deep into the life of Mother Duchesne who had so much to suffer. She was so selfless and humble and still a wonderful example for all of us.

Before I end today, I want you to know that you can now buy the marvelous book in paperback on called "The Life and Letters of Janet Erskine Stuart" - I hope all my readers will have their own copy and enjoy the wonderful prose as well as the deep and simple spirituality of this terrific English woman. I am ordering two copies today for Christmas gifts. It is a great book and one I often read over and over again.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Preparing Philippine's Feast by Praying at her tomb

The shrine at St. Charles was never finished, but it makes the smaller, starker version seem to fit St. Philippine Duchesne's life. She worked so hard and prayed so long and well during her whole life. She always considered herself a failure as the houses she began in Missouri were struggling during her lifetime; she never learned to speak English very well; when she finally managed to get to the Indians, she was unable to learn their language and could only pray for them. She said in a letter to Mother Barat as early as 1829: "I am nothing but a wornout walking stick, fit to be cast aside right now. But I beg you not to agree to the suppression of one of the houses in Missouri. St. Charles will be an educational opportunity for the children of the vast spaces of the western country. This convent (she is writing from the City House in St. Louis) is in the episcopal city, the most important place in the state. St. Ferdinand is the novititate and has a boarding school with a lower tuition than we charge here..."

Philippine did not even have money to pay the postage to send letters; she did her best to write when there was an opportunity for Europe. Her letters are full of details that help us to picture the life in the early convents and all the hardships that the nuns endured. She makes light of the privations, but does worry about the health of her nuns and the children. I am reading again some of her letters and feel that she is very near to us today.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Gate to Academy of the Sacred Heart in St. Charles

I have fond memories of both entering and leaving this gate at St. Charles as a child carrying a suitcase as I was a weekly boarder for my four years of high school there.

Now to continue with the Jane Cannon's little account of St. Philippine Duchesne returning to open the convent in St. Charles and the consecration of the new Jesuit church in 1828.
"When the consecration of the church began at ten o'clock all the towns-people were waiting in the church yard for the procession to begin. The nuns recalled several of the awkward things that occurred during the service. One priest asked for a little piece of cotton (probably to blot the holy oils.) A nun brought him a knife (the French word for knife is similar to the word for cotton.) A little later the priests notices that, in place of wine, the cruet had been filled with vinegar. One of the priests said, "Mother Mathevon, you have given us vinegar; now give us some wine!"
After the ceremony the bishop and all the dignitaries came to the log cabin for breakfast. The nuns tried to receive them as graciously as they could with their poor provisions. A cup of coffee was the best beverage they could offer. Mother Duchesne, wishing to give the best, hastened to sweeten it, and put two large spoonfuls of salt into it. When the bishop tasted it he exclaimed, "Oh Ladies, but it is salty!" All the other nuns realized immediately what mistake she had made for they had wondered earlier, "Where did Mother Duchesne get that beautiful white sugar?"
The next day, August 14, the bishop and two of the nuns went back to Florissant and Mothers Mathevon and O'Connor were left to struggle with their new environment. They soon put themselves to work to fulfill the roles of carpenter, painter, mason; and in fifteen days, they made the house unrecognizable. School opened October 24 for seven pupils. By November they had twelve; and by December, sixteen.
The nuns reported to their families and superiors in France, "We have been for some time the object of real curiosity, not only to the people of St. Charles, but to those of all the surrounding districts, who come in crowds to look at us. And one lady amongst others, after having looked us up and down with much care, said, in a very pleased way, 'But they are just like other people!'"

Imagine how they started the Academy that now has over 700 boys and girls who are receiving a wonderful education and are known for their politeness. We no longer have the high school but the school has excelled in so many ways. It is good to remember how the nuns began - no furniture to speak of, no beds, no running water, and lots of rats!!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Pioneer Women Religious Establish Education West of the Mississippi

Let us return to the first day that the nuns returned to St. Charles after leaving the cabin almost ten years earlier. The Jesuits may have urged them to come back, but they did not seem to think to prepare the log cabin or even to clean it up for them!

"We commenced first by sweeping the part destined for the recitation of prayers,then-little by little-all the house. But cleaning up, on the other hand, we fell into a new embarrassment, for the rats (who is such filth found an abundance of food) gave us no peace. They walked abroad in our midst in full daylight, and came at night to give us sweet kisses.

As to our furniture, it was in harmony with the hourse; we had no beds, and were obliged to sleep on the floor. We took an old carpet from the Chrusch to serve as bed covering; but the dust and the fleas with which it was filled did not allow us a moment's rest.

The day after the nun's arrival was to be the consecration of the new church. The bishop and twelve priests said their holy office in the nuns' log cabin the night before since they could not enter the church until it had been consecrated. The next day mass was offered nine times in the cabin. Mother O'Connor has all she could do chasing rats all the time she was serving!"

Tomorrow we will finish with an account of the consecration of the church and some mistakes made that now seem funny to us, but I suspect made the Religious feel silly.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

St. Philippine Duchesne

Next week, on November 18, we celebrate the feast of St. Philippine Duchesne. She was a great pioneer saint and I want to share with you an excerpt written by Jane Cannon who is the alumni director at St. Charles. Some of the alums, including myself, adopt one of the eighth graders each year and write to them for the feasts that are celebrated by children of the Sacred Heart all over the world. Here is what Jane has summarized about the beginnings of the present Academy of the Sacred Heart:

"Starting Over in St. Charles"
The Religious of the Sacred Heart were only in St. Charles for one year (1818-1819) and then moved to Florissant, where they stayed until 1828, when the Jesuits invited them to come back to the log cabin, which was situated near the new stone church that the priests had built. This is what happens the day they came back.

Mothers Duchesne, Octavie, Mathevon and O'Connor got up at 3:00 a.m. to prepare for their trip to St. Charles. Bishop Rosati had arrived from St. Louis on horseback and joined them in time to board the ferry for the trip across the river. They caught site of St. Charles by eight o'clock.

As they walked up the street from the river toward the log cabin (Duquette Mansion) the women of the town looked out the windows of their houses and waved to welcome them. One lady dance in the street and cheered for their arrival. Others were at home preparing dinner for their welcome.

When they reached the cabin a man accompanying them crawled through a window to open the door since there was no lock on the door. Here is how one of the nuns described their new home: 'The house was built of poor boards, badly joined and offering no exterior attractions. Six rooms, or rather six hovels, without windows, without flooring, without doors, composed our little palace. A cave basement under the hours was the abode of all the animals of the village. The sheep, the pigs, etc. found their place there regularly and made human sojourn in the house intolerable by the odors which came up from their hovel.'"

This will be continued tomorrow as I think it makes us admire what the first Religious went through to establish a school that is still educating children today!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Another Week

Our air-conditioning unit for our house broke down again last Friday. Because of the hurricane in the Gulf, we have been having some breeze. We are concerned about New Orleans and the gulf coast; I think it is to hit sometime tonight or even tomorrow. It is true that the hurricane season lasts until December 1, but one begins to relax once we are into November. This has been a good year for Miami and we are grateful, but I hope this present hurricane will not do damage to anyone.
Reflecting on hurricanes makes me think how little we can control them. We all have some minor, inner hurricanes at one time or another, at least it seems to me going by my own experience. They just blow up into a storm; sometimes we are aware of the gathering forces that are swirling around in us. We seem to have no way of stopping them and suddenly they are full-blown hurricanes ready to do great damage to others. We need to cry out to the Lord for only He can help us when we feel rocked by the storm inside. I am usually a very calm, peaceful person, but find that unexpected forces still spring up and can easily lead to an inner hurricane without the help of God who has the power to say, "Peace, be still!" Then calm returns.

This is not what I intended to reflect on today. I was praying over the water that flowed from the temple and became a river and made the trees give fresh fruit each month... well, maybe I needed to calm an inner hurricane before beginning a busy week.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time - The Widow's Mite

Today's Gospel (Mark 12:38-44) has Jesus sitting opposite the treasury and observing how the crowd put money into the treasury. He says nothing but observes. He sees the rich people putting in large sums; he sees the widow putting in two small coins worth a few cents. Then, he calls his disciples to himself and said to them, "Amen, I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the other contributors to the treasury. For they have all contributed from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has contributed all she had, her whole livelihood."
What does this mean for me?

After reading the hymn given in Magnificat for the evening prayer, I thought it worth copying here for you:
Where Temple offerings are made,
And knowing he must die,
Our Master, resting in the shade,
Watches the world go by.

Some offer silver, others gold,
Some what they can afford;
Some give,k in order to withhold,
And some to gain reward.

A widow passing by, who scarce
Can scrape enough to live,
She finds two pennies in her purse,
Gives all that she can give.

How deeply moved is he by this,
He leaves us in no doubt;
And he himself will die for us
Before the week is out.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Make Gratitude Your Personal Attitude

I love the name of the title of the 25th Chapter in Paul Coutinho's Just as You Are: Make Gratitude Your Personal Attitude. I also like the entire chapter, but will just give a few excerpts here:
"When gratitude becomes our way of life and our inner attitude, then we will always look for something to be grateful for. And so for those who are in love with God and are grateful, bad things can never happen to them. They will see the gift in negative things that happen, and this experience will bring out the best in them. They are able to realize the more real things in life and see life for what it really is and not the passing illusions that cause so much suffering and take away our joys and happiness. When we focus with grateful hearts on the positive things in life, we find that these parts of our lives keep growing, and then we have more and more things to be grateful for."
I am still trying to live this and think the key phrase here is "for those who are in love with God and are grateful".
Paul also says: "Gratitude at its core is an awareness of gifts and the presence of God. When gratitude becomes our way of life, then we will be praying all the time and always will be happy. This is good for our spiritual, our psychological, and even our physical lives. And with gratitude as our personal attitude, we will be in union with the Divine every moment of our waking and sleeping hours."

Let us be grateful today for everything God sends us for all is gift!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Just As You Are

Just As You Are is a another book by Raul Coutinho, S.J. The subtitle is "Opening your life to the Infinite Love of God". Paul also wrote How Big Is Your God and I know I have quoted from that in the past. His new book depicts how being in love with the Divine is God's gift and is always available to anyone who is looking for it. He speaks of God as the Divine seducer who never gives up; God wants us to live in union with him and seduces us. However, falling in love demands our cooperation, too. Paul Coutinho says that "If you want it, you'll find it. In fact, love will find you."
His Chapters are quite short so I am in the third part of the book tititled "Being in love with God" and Chapter 25, "Make Gratitude Your Personal Attitude:.
More on that tomorrow! I will now add this new book to the list of Spiritual Reading that is so full of good books that I hope all of us make time for good reading!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Reflections on my visit to St. Louis

It is a week since I left St. Louis and its autumnal beauty. The trees were so colorful and I loved just driving around looking at the reds, yellow, and orange leaves as they still clung to the trees. I had forgotten how beautiful this season is in St. Louis. Actually, it was rather misty most days but that was nice, too, as it kept me from being cold. I had my Scottish sweater with me and it was perfect and I never used the gloves I had searched for when packing in Miami!
My week was something of a pilgrimage. It began at St. Charles with prayer in the shrine where St. Philippine Duchesne is buried; then I made a visit to the little room where she lived the last ten years of her life after returning from the Indian mission. Since I went to school at the Academy of the Sacred Heart in St. Charles, I enjoyed just drinking in the wonderful spirit that permeates the whole atmosphere.
Then, of course, I was off to see one of my childhood friends who has always been a good and close friend. She lost her husband in April and this was the first time I had to visit with her. She is a lovely person and coping better than I thought and we still laugh a great deal together. We met three times for visits while I was in St. Louis; I also saw other dear friends and just driving around my hometown brought back many memories. One day I visited the new Provincial Offices, St. Louis University; went to Mass at the New Cathedral (something I did daily while studying for my doctorate), and visited the Society of the Sacred Heart United States' Archives. I found many letters that I had written from Chile in my file there. I also was invited to the area meeting on Sunday and so was able to see most of the rscjs that live in the area. I stayed in a very welcoming community that is almost like a second home since I have been visiting and staying there for the past 23 years! Amazing to think that I have now been 23 years in Miami and am still working at St. Thomas University!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

"My forgetter's getting better..."

This was sent to me and I am passing it on as I cannot remember who sent it:

"Forgetter Be Forgotten

My forgetter's getting better,
But my rememberer is broke
To you that may seem funny
But, to me, that is no joke!

For when I'm 'here' I'm wondering
If I really should be 'there'
And, when I try to think it through,
I haven't got a prayer!

Oft times I walk into a room,
Say 'what am I here for?'
I wrack my brain, but all in vain!
A zero is my score.

At times I put something away
Where it is safe, but, gee!
The person is is safest from
Is, generally, me!

When shopping I may see someone
Say 'Hi' and have a chat,
Then, when the person walks away
I ask myself, 'who the heck was that?'

Yes, my forgetter's getting better
While my rememberer is broke,
And it is driving me plumb crazy
And that isn't any joke!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A breath of compassion...

We used this prayer adapted from "Prayer of the Cosmos" in community this week and I liked it enough to copy it here: (Sorry but no image today as I could not open it)

Jesus said: from the deepest part of yourself, let love be born from the rays of the One that shines around you...
Let this come from your whole heart-
The center of your life; your passion, courage and audacity-
And touch your whole subconscious self- that instinctive soul within...
From this self liberate your whole energy and life force to flood your entire mind with love.
This is the most important command- the first creative movement that empowers all others. The second is like it: Draw a breath of compassion for the one mysteriously drawn to live near you; love them as you love the self that dwells within.

The last lines fascinate me.

Monday, November 2, 2009

All Souls' Day

This is a picture of the cemetery at Grand Coteau on our convent grounds; it is where I wish to be buried if I did in Miami. I could be cremated and the ashes taken there and buried with many RSCJs who have died before me. This is the Feast to think of all those who have died before us, but especially those who are not yet in heaven rejoicing with God for all eternity.

My thoughts this morning are again from Rossetti's book When the Lion Roars; the fourth chapter talks about the mystical journey as a "life that focuses on being, rather than on doing. Mystics are friends of God. This is a source of joy for us. Rossetti, after quoting Jesus who calls us friends and says that he has chosen us, tells us that God himself finds joy in us!

He also says: "All friendship includes some degree of self-revelation or the friendship cannot grow. God continues to reveal himself to us; he calls us friends. We must learn to do the same." After speaking about the transparency we are called to have with God, Rossetti ends the chapter with these lines that I just want to say a big AMEN to: "Our greatest gift and our everlasting joy is our friendship with God."

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Feast of All Saints

Happy Feast to all my friends in Heaven! All there are saints even if not canonized officially by the Church. And I suspect I have some friends who are saints still on the way to heaven, but wearing halos even now. God wants us all to be saints! Why not? We are called to be happy with God in heaven for all eternity. This is our destiny and worth working for as best we can but we all know that grace is God's gift to us and we can only trust God and continue to love while here on earth. We know that God has a place prepared for us and so we rejoice with all the saints and feel a longing to join them when God calls us home.