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Friday, December 31, 2010

Reviewing the Year with the Holy Spirit

As I spend this New Year's Eve in prayer reviewing the year, I am so grateful for another year of life; for relationships with many from all over the world; for the fun times with my community; for the times of retreat, spiritual direction, and the unexpected moments when God reveals Himself in such tender ways... I am also aware of His calls during the past year and my response; my lack of promptness in responding is humbling and a motive for contrition. I am letting my entire life during 2010 pass by and also the big events in this world which have touched all of us and made the world seem small as we sufferered with those in Haiti, Chile, the Far East... and then those who are still fighting for America in a war that seems so senseless...and then we have those who have lost jobs, homes, and those who are now facing poverty in a land of plenty. Still, at this time of year we are aware of how many are really generous and helping others. I need New Year's Eve to think of all of this, to thank, to ask pardon, and to renew my own faith by seeing how God is in all and He has a plan and is leading each of us.
Happy New Year to all! I am going to Mass this evening and then joining my community for prayer and a small celebration. Tomorrow is a special day, too, as it is the Feast of Our Lady!

New Year's Eve

While we spend the day in prayer reviewing the year, I do not want to forget that the three kings are still on their journey to find the new-born King. One of my friends thought that she would write her own O Antiphons this year and has given me permission to share them with you. I suspect they make a good meditation for this last day of the year!

O Antiphons for the 21st Century

O King of Kings,

Who separated the light from the darkness,

Bring those who life in the darkness of alcohol and drug abuse into the greater thrill of Your Presence.

O Immanuel,

Who listened to the Canaanite woman who begged for her child asking for the crumbs under the table,

Remind us that you “created them in your image, male and female” so that all may treat women with respect and as children of God, not as beasts of the field.

O you who was Named the Son of the Most High,

Who asked for water from a “foreign” woman,

Take away our fear of differences and bring about unity and peace within our communities and the world.

O Great High Priest,

Who provided manna in the wilderness,

Show us how to feed each other so that no one need be hungry.

O Deliverer,

Who led Joseph to flee to save the infant Jesus from slaughter,

Save our infants and children from the abuse and deprivation that many experience in our time.

O Omega, the last to come as well as the first to be,

Who created all things and declared them good,

Give us the knowledge to explore your creation with goodness and love and not the evil of exploitation.

O Messiah,

Who brought water from a rock,

Bring Your water to all that thirst,

Bring us Your Kingdom.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Big Book of Christian Mysticism

Carl McColman's The Big Book of Christian Mysticism: The Essential Guide to Contemplative Spirituality is a book I have been reading for some weeks now; I think it is the kind of book that you read a bit and then put it down to think and pray. The first part of the book has eight chapters on "The Christian Mystery" and takes longer to read and I must confess that I am still in Chapter 7 on "The Mystical Paradox". However, I have read quite a bit of the second part of the book that has nine chapters on "The Contemplative Life". It is more practical but the entire book will, I think, lead you deeper into mysticism. There are also three Appendices, Endnotes, Bibliography and other Resources so you have 309 pages full of wisdom. The quote on the cover from Richard Rohr sums it up by saying, "All seekers will find both meat and dessert in such a full meal." The book is not for everyone, but if you are interested in Christian mysticism, you will profit from this study.

May we all spend New Year's Eve in a spirit of gratitude as we review the graces we have received; may we also be aware of the times we have not responded fully to God's calls and ask pardon, sure of His infinite mercy; and may we be filled with hope and joy as we prepare to begin a New Year. This is my prayer for all!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

New Books, New Blogs to look at for the New Year!

I suspect it is time I mention some other blogs worth reading and some new books I have been reading during the holidays.
This is a blog I like:

I have been reading a new book about silence. Holidays are wonderful for finding time to read. This book is by Sara Maitland and called A Book of Silence. The first paperback edition is 2010 and it is published by Counterpoint, but the book was originally published in Great Britain in 2008 by Granta Books. I found it on Amazon and was intrigued by this quote from the New York Times Book Review: "I can hardly wait to see what comes next from this marvelous writer, thinker and seeker." Now, this is not the best book that I have read on silence (I am sure my readers know how much I love Into the Silent Land) but this book is different. She is really a gifted writer who wanted to delve deeply into silence and so she goes off to experience it; she lives in a hermitage on an isolated moor in Ireland, she goes for a forty day experience alone in a remote cottage on the Isle of Skye in winter, she tries the Sinai desert as well as the Scottish hills. This is fascinating in itself, but she studies the rich cultural history of silence, too. I was happy to realize that she did much of her reading and studying about silence after analyzing her own experience, her own longing for silence. It is not the kind of book I usually would suggest to someone but I find I am enjoying it. I have only read the first few chapters but here are the Chapter headings: Growing Up in a Noisy World; Forty Days and Forty Nights; The Dark Side; Silence and the Gods; Silent Places; Desert Hermits; The Bliss of Solitude; and Coming Home. I suspect if you are feeling an attraction for silence and solitude at this moment in your life, this book may be helpful. I shall add it to the list on the right of my blog, but this book is not for everyone.
The other book I have been reading is posted now on the right side of this blog. It is The Big Book of Mysticism by McColman, Carl. The Big Book of Christian Mysticism: The Essential Guide to Contemplative Spirituality. Hampton Roads, 2010.and I shall write more on it tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

What is Jesus trying to teach me with the celebration of His birth?

This mother and baby reminds me that we have not been able to picture Mary and the Infant Jesus as they must have been; American infants have Jesus looking like a fair-haired child. Anyway, Jesus did come as a helpless child and I like to think that He chose to be born in a cave to be accessible to all!

The vulnerability of Jesus is what I am contemplating today. He comes so small, so helpless, so poor materially, and this was a choice! What am I learning from this?

Monday, December 27, 2010


These are a few quotes from a wonderful source that also gives many online, short courses in Spirituality and Practice. I just clicked on Quotations after having clicked on Joy and here are the first few given. This Christmastide is a time of joy, I thought it would be good for us to reflect on some of these quotes.


A life of joy is not in seeking happiness. But in experiencing and simply being the circumstances of our life as they are.
— Charlotte Joko Beck quoted in Open Mind by Diane Mariechild

To find joy in another's joy
that is the secret of happiness.
— George Bernanos quoted in Joy by Beverly Elaine Eanes

These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.
— John 15:14 in The Bible

The beating heart of the universe is holy joy.
— Martin Buber quoted in Simplicity: The Art of Living by Richard Rohr

We have God's joy in our blood.
— Frederick Buechner in The Longing for Home

The fullness of joy is to behold God in everything.
— Julian of Norwich quoted in Meditations with Julian of Norwich by Brendan Doyle

I guess the last quote from Julian says all I need today. Enjoy your day because God is in everything!!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Feast of the Holy Family

I should, of course, have chosen a picture with St. Joseph with Mary and the Infant Jesus as we are celebrating the Feast of the Holy Family today. It is always the Sunday after Christmas but this year it comes the day after the birth of Jesus and it is fitting to realize how important a family is in our lives. We learn our first notions of God in our families; it is the family that influences the way we live, our values, our tastes, our ideals, and our vision. We can never thank God enough for the family He gave each of us. It may not have been a perfect family (outside of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph's family, who has a perfect family?) but we learn from the different relationships we have and the family that lacks a mother or a father knows that something is lacking and so we pray for all families today. Divorce is so hard on children and so many children now have single-parent homes. Still more children are without homes or families. I guess I am thinking of the many in Haiti now who have lost their families. Let us be grateful and pray for all families today.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

A Christmas Prayer

A Christmas Prayer

Source of Divine Light, Emmanuel, God with us,
Your radiant love illuminated our waiting world
With the surprise of your Bethlehem birth.
Each year since then we celebrate this astonishing event,
rejoicing in your coming anew, not as a newborn Babe,
but as a hidden presence of divinity contained within each of us.
To our great astonishment, we have become your dwelling place.
We are now your Bethlehem.

Now you are Treasure birthed in the secret place of our soul.
Now you are Light gleaming through our gestures of generosity.
Now you are Hope radiating inside the core of our courage.
Now you are Joy shining into the dark caves of our gloom.
Now you are Peace glowing quietly in the crevice of our anxiety.
Now you are Love brilliantly reflected within our kindness.

O Christ, Light of all lights, Star of all stars,
dweller within these human homes of ours,
open our wandering minds and hesitant hearts
So your endless goodness radiates more completely in us.

We welcome you again and again, with gratitude and trust,
not only in this Christmas season of remembrance and celebration
but all through the New Year that awaits us.

-Joyce Rupp

As we reflect on these verses during this Christmastide, may the Infant find our hearts open to His Love, Peace and Joy. May we radiate His Love to each other and to our world so in need of His Love. This is my prayer for you this Christmas.

With love and prayer for a happy, holy Christmas and New Year,
Helen Rosenthal, rscj

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve

Our Advent longing will be fulfilled; Jesus comes to us again in a special Mass on Christmas - and now we even have early Christmas Masses before the traditional one where, at Midnight, the empty crib suddenly was filled with the Infant so reverently placed there. I am seriously thinking of going to the early children's Mass this year in order to cook a turkey dinner for my community on Christmas eve. I went once to a lovely children's Mass; those children must now all have children as it was the first year I came to Miami, I think, and that was twenty-four years ago. I believe there was even a birthday cake so the children sang "Happy Birthday" to Jesus. I remember some little girls dressed in green velvet dresses with lace collars; others were in red with matching bows; the little boys were more casually dressed, but some were feeling quite grown up in suits and some were even wearing ties. I think I was surprised to see the children so dressed up on Christmas eve in Miami. Of course, we did not have afternoon or evening Mass on the eve of Feast days when I was growing up.
We had a lovely veilee (we have a tradition in the Society of the Sacred Heart of a Christmas prayer vigil) last night for the Miami area RSCJs; we advanced our lovely prayer time together to the 23rd so that all could be present. Tonight we will have another prayer service for just my community and we will eat our dinner around the tree and listen to Christmas music together.
I wish you all a very Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

O Emmanuel - God is with us!

"O Emmanuel, King and Lawgiver, Desire of the Nations, Savior of All People, come and set us free, Lord our God.

God is with us! Finally, tomorrow is Christmas eve and so we wait with expectation. Our hearts are full of longing, hope, joy, and our desire increases as we call out "Come, Lord Jesus, and do not delay!"

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

O King of the Nations, the Only Joy of Every Human Heart...

O King of the Nations, the Only Joy of Every Human Heart: O Keystone of the Mighty Arch of Humankind, come and save the creature you fashioned from the dust.

We call for Christ, our King and the Prince of Peace, to come and save us. We declare that He is our Only Joy. Christ came at a moment when the whole world was at peace; now we must again beg Him for peace in our world, in our families, in our hearts. Christ is the Keystone and can bridge the distance that separates us from Him and from one another. God is Love and has sent Jesus to save us; to dwell with us!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

O Radiant Dawn

I seem to have lost my image of this antiphon, but it is one that is better to just use your own imagination to picture.
O Radiant Dawn, Splendor of Eternal Light, Sun of Justice: Shine on those lost in the darkness of death.

This is, of course, the shortest day of the year. We celebrate Jesus as the Radiant Dawn, Splendor of Eternal Light and Sun of Justice. Christ is our hope in darkness; He comes to disperse the clouds of gloom and bring us joy.

Monday, December 20, 2010

O Key of David

O Key of David, O Royal Power of Israel controlling at your will the gate of heaven: Come break down the prison walls of death for those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death.

I love this antiphon as Jesus is the Key; He opens our hearts as well as the gate of heaven. He also wants us to help others; Christmas is often a difficult time for those who have lost family and friends. How can I reach out this Christmas to console others? What still needs Jesus to come and break down the walls of death in me? Jesus, You have the key to my heart; help me to make it a home for You!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

O Root of Jesse

O Flower of Jesse's Stem, you have been raised up as a sign for all peoples; kings stand silent in your presence; the nations bow down in worship before you.
Jesse was the father of David who became Israel's greatest king. Jesus was born in David's royal line and flowered as the fulfillment of the hopes of his people.
We are all influenced by our ancestors' history. Let us look to our own, each a gift of God, and thank for our own roots. Christmas is a time to thank God for His many gifts beginning with family.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

O Sacred set us free...

O Sacred Lord of Ancient Israel, who showed yourself to Moses in the burning bush, who gave him the holy law on Sinai mountain: Come, stretch out your mighty hand to set us free.

Freedom is such a gift and God has come to set us free! Let our preparation for this Christmas be full of gratitude for the gift of freedom in our lives. We are free to give and receive His Love.

Friday, December 17, 2010

The O Antiphons

The last days of Advent are set aside to reflect on the meaning of the first Christmas.
The Gospel antiphons for these days at Mass and at evening prayer have come to be known as the "O Antiphons" and are also contained in the hymn, "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel. Each day's antiphon is worth a meditation. We begin with
O Wisdom, who came from the mouth of the Most High, reaching from end to end and ordering all things mightily and sweetly: come, and teach us the way of prudence.

Scripture References:
Proverbs 1:20; 8; 9
I Corinthians 1:30

Relevant verse of Veni, Veni Emmanuel:
O come, O Wisdom from on high,
who orders all things mightily,
to us the path of knowledge show,
and teach us in her ways to go.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Advent Icon

Today I will share some of the verses of an Advent Meditation by Janet Ersking Stuart: It has been put to music but usually we only know the first five verses; there are five more that are more for Christmas.

Long the ages rolled and slowly, to the coming of the Word,
Fervent longings grew more fervent, undismayed by hope deferred.
Weaker spirits sighed and whispered: "Could the Lord of all forget?"
While the Prophets scanned the protents, and in patience said: "Not yet."

Slowly passed the long procession, type and figure, saint and sage,
Seers with inspired voices, chanting from prophetic page,
Kings with crown and scepter carried, not their own but His by right,
Priests with incense, fire and victim, calling Him from Heaven's height.

O! that thous wouldst rend the heavens! O! that this might be the hour!
O! the wisdom, O! the Orient! O! the key of David's power.
O! Adonai, the Leader! Fire that shall Redemption bring,
O! desired of all the nations hasten! O! Emmanuel the King!

So they prayed, and through the ages so the faithful singers sung,
Sighing for the great appearing, sighs that like their harp-strings rang,
Dreaming that they heard the music of the High-priest's bells of gold
Ring among the silken fringes, in the glory known of old.

Dreaming that they felt Him coming, that the blessed time was near,
Counting out the weeks prophetic, gathering hope from everywhere;
Till at length the long procession halted, bade the singers cease--
Armies leaned upon their weapons...and the King was born in peace!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Anniversary of my Vows today!

This will always be a very special day for me. I am celebrating fifty-eight years since my giving myself to Jesus Christ in the Society of the Sacred Heart. It has been a time of great grace; there have been sorrows and many joys through the years but the Lord is always with me and I belong to Him and that makes all the difference. There is only one left in the Society of the Sacred Heart of the original five who made vows with me at Kenwood and she has been in Taipei and I have not seen her or communicated with her all these years so will try now to write to her. I have followed the great work she has done over there. Two are dead now and I made contact with another just last year; she had left the Society when I was in Chile; we happened to find ourselves together last year when I went to visit a friend; I suspect that was planned by the Lord. I am just so happy in my own vocation and look back on this anniversary and see how faithful the Lord is in every moment of my life and I am filled with joy and gratitude.

Here is a Christmas card that I hope you can see as it is worth it:

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Feast of St. John of the Cross

It continues to be a record cold in Miami but we have the heat back on as of last night. I have forgotten what it means to be in the north where they are actually snowed in and roads are blocked by the snow which the wind has blown into huge drifts that are blocking access to many roads. I guess the ski resorts are loving the amount of snow that we are getting this December in some parts, but others must be frustrated as they cannot get out to shop. All this brings me to St. John of the Cross and his feast today. He would want us to have the stillness, the silence, of the snow. It is not easy in Advent, but worth setting a time aside each day to be quiet; to listen to the gentle voice of God speaking in our souls; to just be and enjoy the many gifts we have been given by slowing down and taking time to thank for them. Advent is a wonderful season but we are filling it up with so many extras that we need to build in a few minutes of solitude each day just to be still. God is saying to each of us: "Be still and know that I am God."
If I miss a blog (I did yesterday), it is because I am reserving time to just be amid the business of this season. Preparing for Christmas is different when we are able to be silent even for a short time each afternoon.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Third Week of Advent

I cannot believe that it is the Third Sunday of Advent already. There are many things that I thought I would have done by now to prepare for Christmas and I have not had time to do. It is the first year that I am still writing Christmas cards and have not been shopping for presents yet. I am trying to keep an Advent peace and prepare by prayer and silence for the coming of Christ and I am sure that what is essential will get done. I went to a Christmas concert at the seminary on Friday night and the first half of the program was an "Advent Concert" and the seminarians were so earnest and well prepared. Then we all went out for hot chocolate and Christmas goodies and then back for the "Christmas concert". It was a cold night for Miami, but full of Christmas spirit so now back to make the most of these two weeks before Christmas. Come, Lord Jesus, is the song in my heart. In school, we sang it in Latin, "Veni, Domine Jesu, veni, veni Domine Jesu, y noli tardare" -at least that is the way I remember it as we sang it over sixty-six years ago as we walked to and from our classes during Advent.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Our Lady of Guadalupe

This Sunday is the third Sunday of Advent. It is also the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe and the birthday of St. Madeleine Sophie, foundress of the Society of the Sacred Heart in France in 1800. I took the habit on this day sixty years ago and had a special devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe because I had visited her shrine when I spent my summer as a sixteen year old visiting two of the Mexican students who were boarders at school with me; one of them had spent the Easter holidays with me and then invited me to stay with her in Mexico City. I wanted to go on a pilgrimage to the shrine and was so impressed by the faith of the people. It made a lasting impression on me and so each year I think of what Our Lady means for all of us, but especially those south of our boarder. May Our Lady of Guadalupe help pass the dream act and aid immigrants. I am ashamed of the way we treat some of the undocumented workers in Florida. May Our Lady of Guadalupe teach us to love one another and to treat each person with reverence and respect.
May we pause today for some Advent silence. I am with the invocation from the Litany of the Sacred Heart: "Sacred Heart of Jesus, to your obedience I unite myself."

Friday, December 10, 2010

Jesus, the Way, the Truth, and the Life!

Here is the prayer I promised to share with you. It is from Kwon Min-Ja, RSCJ and is found on the leaflet that has the Litany of the Sacred Heart so I do not know the origin of the prayer:

Jesus, the way, the truth and the life,
I offer you my entire self.
My memories of the past,
My desires of the present,
My intentions of the future.
Grant that I may stay only in
your presence at this moment!

Jesus, the way, the truth and the life,
make my heart one with the humility
and meekness of your heart!

Jesus, the way, the truth and the life,
Let my heart be united in the mercy
and love of your heart!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Advent Hope

It is not snowing here, but we feel a bit like the birds in the picture as this is our first "cold" spell of the year. I dug out my sweaters this morning and wore a red one to Mass over a white pull over- I guess it has been at least ten months since I have wanted to wear sweaters and I also put a blanket on my bed and I suspect that is the first time in two years! All of which shows you how spoiled we are in Miami with sunshine and warm weather all year.
I was thinking about hope and joy and gratitude and how we should be feeling all of these with excitement during these days. I suspect that Mary and Joseph must have had some of these emotions mixed with feeling a great deal of trust.
My invocation now is "Sacred Heart of Jesus, to your silence I unite myself>" and I am going to try to have some silence tonight as it was quite a busy day. I came in with the groceries and forgot that I had turned the alarm on this morning when I went to the University. Fortunately, as I was going back for the mail, I saw it flashing and then heard it so rushed to call the alarm company before they sent the police. I have a nice prayer for tomorrow's blog, but this will do for today as I am writing on the eve of posting since tomorrow is another busy day!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Happy Feast to Our Lady, patroness of the United States. I guess I always loved this feast because it was a wonderful holiday to look forward to when I was in grade school!
My youngest aunt took me shopping so that I could help her pick out gifts for the numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins of her boss. I always felt so grown up and she would take me to a downtown hotel for lunch after the shopping. We also saw the Christmas windows in the big department stores which were animated and so interesting that I could not wait to go back with my parents and younger sister to point out my favorite ones. I am sure that we went to Mass before anything as it was a holy day of obligation, but I must confess that I do not remember that part of the feast. However, I do remember the special holy day this was during my four years of boarding during high school with the Lily Procession being an outstanding memory of each year.
Now I feel that Mary is both friend and mother and has an interest in all that I do. She wants me to live in union with the Heart of Jesus and I think she is helping me to remember my phrase from the Litany each day. Today I am still on Sacred Heart of Jesus, to your fervent prayers, I unite myself. Our world is in such need of prayer - so is our Church, our government, our local and state politicians, etc.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Advent and St. Nicholas

I used to ask the community to put out their shoes and I would go around and fill them with some goodies and useful things. I am sorry I did not do that this year but will suggest that we do put some little surprise in our stockings this year. We skipped that last year, but I think it is fun to have something to open together on Christmas morning. We are just planning brunch again this Christmas at 2:00 in the afternoon as one of our religious works in her parish and also sings in the choir and so cannot arrive before 2:00. Well, this is still Advent and I am trying to be with Our Lady and the Infant in her womb. Wednesday is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary and one dear to all Sacred Heart children. In our schools we used to have a very solemn novena of preparation for her feast and, if you kept the practice (often it was something like silence) you were able to walk in the procession with a lily in your hand (we wore our good white uniforms and white gloves and it was an artificial lily in December) and present the lily to Our Lady saying, "O Mary, I give you the lily of my heart; be thou its guardian forever." I still remember the atmosphere of white veils, lighted candles, singing, and the relief to know that we all were allowed to present our lilies. If there were some who feared and actually knew they had failed to keep the practice, I do not remember anyone not being forgiven for the Feast itself. This memory goes way back but it is a good one and I offer Our Lady anew each year "the lily of my heart" and ask her to be its guardian forever!
We will have Mass in community today which is always a grace. I will be part of the Mass of celebration at St. Thomas University on the Feast itself as two professors are retiring and there will be a luncheon to honor their years of service.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Advent retreat was wonderful

I did get home on Saturday in time to swim before getting ready to go to the Mass and Christmas dinner at Carrollton. I had a lovely, silent time in Gainesville with the six hour drive up and the six hours back added to the three nights spent in the Cenacle there. On Friday night I went to a Christmas concert in the church with the Cenacle community. The choir was magnificent! I am glad I went as it was a fitting closure for my three days of retreat and I drove home on Saturday thanking God for this quiet time. It was quite cold in Gainesville but I enjoyed walking in the cold weather. The neighborhood is in the historic district and full of huge homes made of wood and most quite Victorian; some have the dates posted and are usually from 1854 to 1898. Many had carriage houses that now hold students as Gainesville is a real University town. Anyway, I am now home and hope to get back to writing and also to have a holy Advent preparing for the Lord's coming at Christmas. I wish that for all of you, too. I am going through the Litany of the Sacred Heart again and today is "Sacred Heart of Jesus, to your firm confidence, I unite myself." I think trust is a way to please the Heart of Jesus and so am confiding the entire world to Him.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Second Sunday of Advent

Advent is a time of desire, a longing for the coming of Jesus. Yet, Jesus is here; Jesus is in each of us at the center deep in us. We need to take time to get into touch with this inner presence, this God-man who created us, who understands us, who loves us. We increase our capacity to receive Jesus by our desire and that makes the Advent season a time of grace. Mary was the first to receive Jesus and she carried Him in her womb until it was time. God became dependent on time, on a woman, and on all the physical circumstances that govern our lives from birth to death. The Incarnation is such a mystery of God's love!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

The Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Sacred Heart of Jesus,
To Your adoration, I unite myself
To Your burning love, I unite myself
To Your ardent zeal, I unite myself
To Your reparation, I unite myself
To Your thanksgiving, I unite myself
To Your firm confidence, I unite myself
To your fervent prayers, I unite myself
To Your silence, I unite myself
To Your humility, I unite myself
To Your obedience, I unite myself
To Your gentleness and peace, I unite myself
To Your surpassing kindness, I unite myself
To Your universal charity, I unite myself
To Your deep recollection, I unite myself
To Your intense desire for the conversion of sinners, I unite myself
To Your close union with the heavenly Father, I unite myself
To Your intentions, desires, and will, I unite myself.
Love of the Heart of Jesus, inflame my heart.
Charity of the Heart of Jesus, abound in my heart.
Strength of the Heart of Jesus, uphold my heart.
Mercy of the Heart of Jesus, forgive my heart.
Patience of the Heart of Jesus, do not weary of my heart.
Kingdom of the Heart of Jesus, be established in my heart.
Wisdom of the Heart of Jesus, teach my heart.
Zeal of the Heart of Jesus, consume my heart.
Will of the Heart of Jesus, act in my heart.

Adorable Trinity,
We thank you for the favors which you granted Madeleine Sophie.
We ask you to grant us the same grace to be conformed to the Heart of Jesus completely. Amen.

This will give you plenty to pray over until the Second Sunday of Advent when I shall be back from my mini-retreat at the Cenacle in Gainesville.

You can just choose your favorite invocation and stay with it, if you want, but I took each in turn and really found myself remembering to say it during the day and it is a way of union with the Heart of Jesus.

Today is the feast of St. Andrew and the wedding anniversary of my parents!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Jesu-Maum Prayer

Today I am going to tell you about the Jesu-Maum Prayer or Journey through the Heart of Jesus Prayer. It comes from one of our Sisters in Korea who has written a book about it. Maum means Heart in Korean and this Jesu-Maum Prayer uses the Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus which I have been using this past month for prayer and which I am beginning to use again. The book was published in 2010 and is available from St. Pauls in Seoul, Korea. The title is Jesu-Maum Prayer: Christian Contemplation in an Eastern Kwon Min-Ja, RSCJ.

"Jesu-Maum Prayer is a prayer through which we intend to strive to unite our heart with the Heart of Jesus and to consecrate our whole mind, effort and energy to God, trusting in the guidance of the Holy Spirit. In short, it is a prayer that brings us into union with the Triune God. We practice the Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, a prayer of simplicity, to unite our heart with the Heart of Jesus."

Kwon Min-Ja has given many retreats to teach others about this prayer; she gives retreats of five days, eight days, and forty day retreats. I tried going through the Litany one phrase a day and found this very fruitful. I mostly stayed with the phrase during my morning prayer and then tried repeating it often throughout the day; it worked for me so I am beginning the Litany again and intend this time to stay with a phrase more than one day, if so moved by the Spirit. Tomorrow I will post the entire Litany and then I will be away so after tomorrow I will write a blog for the 2nd Sunday of Advent and tell you about my mini-retreat then. Please do not forget to pray for my friend in Scotland; she has a brain tumor and is getting worse and is now snowed in and in the hands of God.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

First Sunday of Advent

I am determined to finish my Christmas cards today so as to enter into the silence of Advent and give more time to prayer. I also need to find more time for writing that book or it will never get written. As we begin this season, let us pray together so our hearts may be more aware of the presence of Jesus who came into this world to bring us life. As we prepare anew for a special coming at Christmas, may we also be able to be Christ for one another this Advent. It is not easy so we need to pray for one another.

I have a Christmas card with a young drummer boy playing his drum at the foot of the manger and Jesus is looking at him. The card says above "He played his drum for Him." Below the picture which has only the drummer boy and the Infant Jesus with animals surrounding them, it says, "He played his best for Him." I hope that when Christmas comes this year I will be at the crib piping a song of joy for Jesus and that He will be able to see that I have done my best for Him this Advent. I have framed the card so I will give it my best effort to spread peace and joy, His peace and joy, and love, to all.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Advent begins tomorrow

Advent is a short season of only four Sundays before Christmas. It is a time of preparation and celebrates the coming of Jesus into our world on the first feast of the nativity; the coming of Jesus into our hearts in a special way when we call him and are prepared to receive him; and the third coming is when we will meet Jesus in the final judgment. Now is the time to prepare. Jesus is coming to us as a tiny baby; an infant who is weak, vulnerable, dependent on others for everything. He wants to be with us so let us pray and plan for an Advent season that will prepare our hearts to receive him with love. What do I need to do to prepare my heart? Is it a peaceful place? Or is it noisy? Is there too much interior chatter? Or is my heart too full of clutter? How will I prepare this Advent for his coming?
I shall be going up to see my spiritual director at the Cenacle in Gainesville and so will not be writing my blog next week. I suspect I will be off the blog from Tuesday to the second Sunday of Advent, December 5. A mini retreat is a good way to begin Advent and I look forward to these days of silent prayer. Please pray for me and I will share when I return.
I have added the book I spoke about the day before Thanksgiving. It is The Gratitude Factor: Enhancing Your Life through Grateful Living by Shelton so look for it on the right side.

Friday, November 26, 2010

What a wonderful day is Thanksgiving - and the day after!

The day after the feast is fun as we relive the time with our friends, the lively Mass full of Indians and Pilgrims and a children's choir who sang before Mass and then waved flags during the patriotic sing-along after Mass. Our feast was really a banquet and we thought of so many who might not have anything to eat today, but at least the soup kitchens were busy yesterday so that all would have a real Thanksgiving dinner! Now is the time to keep on thanking for the blessings we have and cultivate the habit of gratefulness. I am grateful for these days of quiet and look forward to some swimming and reading. I feel that we are all enjoying vacation, but I know that those who work in stores will have a hectic day tomorrow. I cannot imagine shopping the day after Thanksgiving with the crowds of people. Still, I will try to get a start on Christmas cards this week end and my Christmas letter as I like to have this done before Advent. Now that so many have e-mail, I hope to send fewer cards as the postage is more, too. Still, I know some of my friends like to have my card and Christmas letter sent by regular mail, so suspect I may not cut the list very much. I should be thinking of Sunday as the first Sunday of Advent and preparing for the coming of Christ. I am going to start over with the Litany of the Sacred Heart.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving, A Day and A Way of Life

We give thanks today for all our blessings! But we are ungrateful children if we do not turn daily to our Creator God who lavishes love on us in so many ways...
I am reading a book I received just two days ago called: "The Gratitude Factor: Enhancing You Life through Grateful Living" by Charles Shelton, S.J. It is a book that I know I will want to suggest to others as there are so many practical exercises and reflection questions throughout the book to help us grow in gratitude. Charlie Shelton is a licensed psychologist as well as a Jesuit priest and this is his sixth book. I am eager to sit down and read it.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving and let us decide now to live a grateful life each day!

It is my brother's birthday and also the birthday of my former Dean and friend so do pray for John and Joe today. I remember vividly the Thanksgiving that my brother was born; we had just finished eating a huge turkey dinner at my paternal grandmother's and my mother told Daddy that she should probably go to the hospital and not go home. My Dad's youngest sisters said they would take her to my Dad could take us home first with my grandmother who had agreed to come and stay with us as my brother, George, would not be two until Christmas day. I was too excited to go to sleep that night until I heard that I had another brother born on Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

So much to thank for...

Someone just sent me this which was written by Joyce Rupp, one of my favorite writers for quotes, prayer preparation, and practical exercises. See if you like this to pray about on the eve of Thanksgiving:

A Closer Look at Thanksgiving

If you sit on the bank of a river, you see only a small part of its surface. And yet, the water before your eyes is proof of unknowable depths.

Anita Diamant, The Red Tent

If you look at a sunset, you might see only the disappearance of daylight.

If you look beneath, you may see darkness opening the splendor of stars.

If you look at illness and disease, you might see only physical diminishment.

If you look beneath, you may see it as a teacher bringing you vital wisdom.

If you look at a broken relationship, you might see only a harsh ending.

If you look beneath, you may see the courageous seeds of new growth.

If you look at lost dreams, you might see only disappointment and doubt.

If you look beneath, you may see the stuff that new dreams contain.

If you look at the death of a loved one, you might see only pervasive sorrow.

If you look beneath, you may see that love lives on forever in the heart.

If you look at the planet's pain and creatures' woe, you might see only despair.

If you look beneath, you may see hope woven in the compassionate care of many.

If you look at yourself, you might see only tarnished unfinishedness.

If you look beneath, you may see your basic goodness shining there.

If you look for the divine being, you might see mostly unresolved questions.

If you look beneath, you may be astounded at the availability of divine love.

Thanksgiving is a time to look beneath our external lives for the unwavering love, the ceaseless peace, and the enduring strength that lie in the deep waters of our soul. The more we trust the "unknowable depths" of our existence, the more the power of gratitude becomes a song we daily sing. With what do you struggle today? What might lie beneath that struggle for which you can "give thanks?

Joyce Rupp

My invocation which is the last from the Litany of the Sacred Heart and which I will be using in all the odd moments today is: Will of the Heart of Jesus, act in my heart.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

An Oasis

Someone sent me this picture this morning and I thought that my life right now is an oasis. Maybe yours is, too. I think this week is also an oasis between the last Sunday of the Liturgical year and next Sunday when we begin Advent. In fact, I suppose you could say that it is a moment to rest and refresh ourselves for the journey through Advent. Advent is a time of waiting and I love to think of the desires and hope in Mary's heart as she waiting for the birth of Jesus.
Zeal of the Heart of Jesus, consume my heart is today's invocation.

Monday, November 22, 2010

This is a picture of the first Thanksgiving; I am afraid it is a small picture but it makes me proud to think that we have been celebrating Thanksgiving for centuries and that the entire country is gathered around this national holiday each year. We have so much to give thanks for and sometimes it helps to keep a journal of gratitude so we begin to see how many little things happen to us each day that call forth gratitude on our part. In South Florida, the hurricane season closes on November 30 and so we can again give thanks that we have been spared the many hurricanes that have formed in the Atlantic but have not hit us. Poor Haiti has had earthquake, hurricane, storm, and floods, and now cholera. I guess when we give thanks we are also praying for those countries who are less fortunate. I pray for those without freedom as living in a free country is such a gift. I pray for those who suffer from a lack of water, food, and housing; I pray for those who are without work and are suffering because they cannot care for their families. I am grateful for my health, home, friends, vocation, family, and education - listed just as I was typing and not necessarily in that order but one does not prioritize gifts and all listed are pure gift!
Wisdom of the Heart of Jesus, teach my heart!" is my invocation for today from the Litany of the Sacred Heart.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Giving thanks for todays feasts and the entire universe

Check this site out for Thanksgiving!

The video is spectacular and has many pictures and sound so I hope you can watch it. Today is the feast of Christ the King and marks the last Sunday of the Liturgical Year. Next Sunday we begin Advent and so this week is one of Thanksgiving for the good we see around us, the beauty of our world, and for the many graces we have received this year. It is also the feast of the presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the founding of the Society of the Sacred Heart dates back to this day in 1800 so we are celebrating a 210 year birthday today. Let us pray for all who have gone before us!

"Kingdom of the Heart of Jesus, be established in my heart" is the next invocation in the Litany and very fitting as it coincides with today's feast; I see this as a special intervention of the Lord as the truth is the invocation each day has been just right and a big help to me during these last weeks to keep me in the presence of Jesus in all the odd moments as well as during my formal times for prayer. I finish the Litany on Thanksgiving Day! I think I need to copy it all here for you to have it the day after Thanksgiving. I might, and probably will, begin it again then and keep it during Advent as I have found it so helpful!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

A Meeting Place with Jesus

For many reasons, I love this little house. I have a fantasy exercise that I used to use with students about imagining a house they discover in a favorite place and find their name on it. As they approach, Jesus stands at the door waiting for them. He welcomes them, offers them refreshment, shows them the house that is set up just for you with your favorite things, and then both of you sit and relax in front of the fire and just talk. Before you leave, Jesus tells you that He created this house for you so you would have a comfortable place to come and just be together. Then he gives you a gift. What does Jesus give you? And so the fantasy is an imaginative way of getting in touch with Jesus who is always waiting for us.
That is my thought for the day. My invocation is "Patience of the Heart of Jesus, do not weary of my heart."

Friday, November 19, 2010

Waking up laughing

Yesterday I had a lovely feast of St. Philippine Duchesne. This is a picture of her tomb in the Shrine at St. Charles and I am praying to her today to thank her for her many years of watching over me. I woke up laughing yesterday and remembered the last part of a vivid dream. I was in a Chapel praying in a stall; others came in and the one next to me said it was time for chanting Office and I was the officiant. I sat down and then realized I had a missal in my hand and not my office book. I had to get up to lift the stall and find my office book. Then I realized that all were waiting for me and I was flustered and began the office not sure of what I was doing; at one point, not knowing if it was my part or another's marked in the office, I said to myself, "but who am I?" By the time Office was over I felt that I had made mistakes but I wanted to laugh. In fact, I told the person next to me that I was sorry but could not stop laughing and then I woke up. It was a good dose of humility with humor and a lovely way to begin the day.
Here is a poem to honor Philippine, written by one profession ceremony:

You old woman saint and creased face

went to Sugar Creek,

your eyes speaking hope, your ears compassion.

Others preached, you prayed.

Others taught wise truths, you played with children

smiled at them and held a small bird in your lap,

hid a frightened child in your skirt folds,

wound your ancient time-piece once again

before a child’s-gaze, amazed.

You blessed the prairie Church

with your true presence.

Then with your old body

and beads smooth-worn

Went home to die,

you with your old hands.

Judy Brown, RSCJ

Today I am praying, "Strength of the Heart of Jesus, uphold my heart."

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Feast of Philippine Duchesne

Today is Philippine's Feast and I have this marvelous picture of a statue of her that is in the Chapel at Mound City. It was taken by Dawn Stringfield on our trip in October to see the places where we had worked with the Indians in Kansas city. The problem is that I cannot seem to find where I saved it. Now, I think I found it. It says a great deal to me about Philippine. The older picture is posted with it as we need to remember that Philippine was over seventy when she finally was able to go to the Indians. Let us ask her for courage, and a tremendous love for Jesus.
My invocation for today is "Charity of the Heart of Jesus, abound in my heart."

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Love of the Heart of Jesus, inflame my heart!

My invocation from the Litany of the Sacred Heart is "Love of the Sacred Heart, inflame my heart!" As I say it today, I am thinking of St. Philippine Duchesne. Her heart was certainly inflamed by the love of the Sacred Heart and this allowed her to do heroic things for Jesus, but it was the daily duty done so faithfully from the morning call before dawn to the nights when she stole time for more prayer or went around the dormitories to see what was needed, or spent time writing to loved ones in France. Letters gave her pleasure when receiving news from across the sea, but she also wrote to give pleasure to others and to let them know about the American mission. Here is a prayer to her:
"O God who lovest souls and hast in all ages chosen apostolic hearts and endowed them with Thy knowledge and Thy love, hear the prayers which we offer through the intercession of Thy servant Saint Philippine Duchesne. Kindle in us the zeal with which her life was consumed, and grant that after following her example in charity, self-denial and prayer on earth, we may be admitted one day to the same glory in our heavenly country. Through Christ Our Lord, who livest and reigneth now and forever. Amen."

Check this out: - it is an article from one of the blogs listed on the right that is worth reading on electronic communication by a Bishop to his fellow bishops!

Our novena:last day!
Lord Jesus, through the intercession of St. Rose Philippine Duchesne, to your Sacred Heart I confide...(here I am putting my friend from Scotland, but you may add your own intentions, too) Only look...Then do what Your Heart inspires...Let Your Heart decide... I count on It...I trust in it...I throw myself on its mercy...Lord, Jesus! You will not fail me!..."

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Sugar Creek and Philippine Duchesne

Philippine was happy to be able to be with the Indians even if she could not learn their language. She was there to pray for them and pray she did. The story is that she was in the Chapel for four hours in the morning and another four in the afternoon; I know that the Indians called her the "woman who prays always." However, she also was the one to help nurse sick Indians so often her prayer was at the bedside of a dying Indian. The winter was very cold and the Indians did not know how to dress to survive the ice, sleet, and snow and often became ill. They were touched by Philippine's care and concern. She was suffering herself but found the energy to go out and assist when she was needed at the sick bed of an Indian.

My friend in Scotland, the one we are making the novena to St. Philippine for, just sent me this that I want to share with all:

For Freedom

As a bird soars high
In the free holding of the wind,
Clear of the certainty of ground,
Opening the imagination of wings
Into the grace of emptiness
To fulfill new voyagings,
May your life awaken
To the call of its freedom.

As the ocean absolves itself
Of the expectation of land,
Approaching only
In the form of waves
That fill and pleat and fall
With such gradual elegance
As to make of the limit
A sonorous threshold
Whose music echoes back among
The give and strain of memory,
Thus may your heart know the patience
That can draw infinity from limitation.

As the embrace of the earth
Welcomes all we call death,
Taking deep into itself
The right solitude of a seed,
Allowing it time
To shed the grip of former form
And give way to a deeper generosity
That will one day send it forth,
A tree into springtime,
May all that holds you
Fall from its hungry ledge
Into the fecund surge of your heart.

~ John O'Donohue ~

(To Bless the Space Between Us)

Monday, November 15, 2010

An Older Mother Duchesne

When Mother Duchesne was sixty-five years old she described herself as "a worn out instrument, a useless walking stick, fit only to be hidden in a dark corner." She added, "God allows every circumstance to deepen this impression on my soul."

Three years later she is writing: "It seems I have outlived myself, and I see the time coming when I shall be good for almost nothing...I have time now to plant and tend our vegetable garden. This quiet work has one very great advantage- it brings such peace to the soul. This results, no doubt, from contact with the beauty of nature, which lifts one up to the Creator."

Just three years later Mother Duchesne is on her way finally to the Indian Mission at Sugar Creek, Kansas. There she was venerated by the Indians and named, "the woman who prays always". She loved the Indians and they loved her, but her health was such that her superiors felt that she should return to the convent at St. Charles where she spent the last ten years of her life.

Today's invocation from the Litany is Sacred Heart of Jesus, to Your will, I unite myself."

Our novena continues:
Lord Jesus, through the intercession of St. Rose Philippine Duchesne, to your Sacred Heart I confide...(here I am putting my friend from Scotland, but you may add your own intentions, too) Only look...Then do what Your Heart inspires...Let Your Heart decide... I count on It...I trust in it...I throw myself on its mercy...Lord, Jesus! You will not fail me!..."

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Shrine in honor of St. Philippine Duchesne

This is a picture of the Shrine at St. Charles at the Academy of the Sacred Heart; Philippine's tomb is here and it is a very prayerful place. I am preparing the prayer for the RSCJs in the area today on Philippine and asking her what she wants to say to me at this moment in my life.

I am also reminded of what we have learned from her and will share what Father T. Gavan Duffy said:

"What have we learned from her? The value of a steadfast purpose; the success of failure and the unimportance of our standards of success; the power of grace released by deep, divine desires and simple duties daily done; the old, unearthly, start, unwelcome fact that God is the workman, we the tools, so that He often takes the keen edge of our choice plans and uses it in His own way, not ours, producing wonderful results beyond our ken—but only if the handle of the tool is smoothed and rounded to His hand by penance and by prayer."

The invocation from the Litany of the Sacred Heart for today is: "Sacred Heart of Jesus, to your desires I unite myself."

Our novena continues:
Lord Jesus, through the intercession of St. Rose Philippine Duchesne, to your Sacred Heart I confide...(here I am putting my friend from Scotland, but you may add your own intentions, too) Only look...Then do what Your Heart inspires...Let Your Heart decide... I count on It...I trust in it...I throw myself on its mercy...Lord, Jesus! You will not fail me!..."

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Prayer used by St. Philippine Duchesne

Here is a prayer that Philippine used and I really like:

Lord, You alone are the Center in which I find rest.
Give me Your arm to support me,
Your shoulders to carry me,
Your breast to lean upon,
Your Cross to uphold me,
Your Body to nourish me.
In You, Lord, I sleep and rest in peace.

Our novena continues:
Lord Jesus, through the intercession of St. Rose Philippine Duchesne, to your Sacred Heart I confide...(here I am putting my friend from Scotland, but you may add your own intentions, too) Only look...Then do what Your Heart inspires...Let Your Heart decide... I count on It...I trust in it...I throw myself on its mercy...Lord, Jesus! You will not fail me!..."

My walking prayer today is "Sacred Heart of Jesus, to Your intentions, I unite myself."

Friday, November 12, 2010

Lord, teach us to be generous...

Yesterday I promised this prayer that is in the Novena Booklet:

"Lord God, Master of our lives, you led St. Philippine Duchesne from the silence of the cloister to an intense apostolic life. Through her intercession enable us to respond to your call with the same generosity which she drew from the Heart of Jesus, your Son, our Lord, who lives with you and the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen. (Then our novena of confidence)
Lord Jesus, through the intercession of St. Rose Philippine Duchesne, to your Sacred Heart I confide...(here I am putting my friend from Scotland, but you may add your own intentions, too) Only look...Then do what Your Heart inspires...Let Your Heart decide... I count on It...I trust in it...I throw myself on its mercy...Lord, Jesus! You will not fail me!..."

The invocation from the Litany of the Sacred Heart today is "To Your close union with the heavenly Father, I unite myself."

Thursday, November 11, 2010

What does St. Philippine Duchesne say to us today?

I have a quote that I love of Philippine to share with you today:

His Wisdom governs me-
His Power defends me-
His Grace sanctifies me-
His Mercy encompasses me and
All will go well with me."

Often Philippine would write about her faults, her incapacity, her sense of failure, but at the same time she was animating her community and inspiring them to do great things for God. She was a happy person, content with what God gave her and with a great desire to do more for God, to convert the Indians, to help others in any way she could.
I am wondering what she wants to say to me this year as I prepare for her feast. I am sure she is urging me to be more grateful for the many graces I have received; I think she would be happy with my life but urge me to be more fervent, to look for ways to serve in little things, to find more time for prayer, and not to count the cost. I suspect that she would also want me to tell her about my desires and she would push me to have a heart open to the entire world.
Here is a prayer taken from a booklet novena to St. Philippine Duchesne:

(I seem to have lost it after typing it so I shall put it on tomorrow)

Lord Jesus, through the intercession of St. Rose Philippine Duchesne, to your Sacred Heart I confide...(here I am putting my friend from Scotland, but you may add your own intentions, too) Only look...Then do what Your Heart inspires...Let Your Heart decide... I count on It...I trust in it...I throw myself on its mercy...Lord, Jesus! You will not fail me!..."

My 'walking' prayer today is: "Sacred Heart of Jesus to your intense desire for the conversion of sinners, I unite myself."

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Courage to be ourselves...

I have just read a reflection on Goal Five for our Higher Education group. Goal Five is saying that we commit ourselves to personal growth in an atmosphere of wise freedom. The reflection quotes one of our great educators, Mother Grace Dammann who, when speaking before the National Educational Association back in 1936, said that one of the greatest challenges of Catholic colleges of that time was "to have the courage to be ourselves, courage to seek our own standards..." I thought this "courage to be ourselves" is a grace that St. Philippine Duchesne would love to give us during this novena to prepare her feast. I will again copy the prayer I am using:

Lord Jesus, through the intercession of St. Rose Philippine Duchesne, to your Sacred Heart I confide...(here I am putting my friend from Scotland, but you may add your own intentions, too) Only look...Then do what Your Heart inspires...Let Your Heart decide... I count on It...I trust in it...I throw myself on its mercy...Lord, Jesus! You will not fail me!..."

My "walking prayer" today is the next invocation in the Litany of the Sacred Heart:
Sacred Heart of Jesus, to your deep recollection, I unite myself." I am seldom able to be in "deep recollection" so it is a joy to know that I can unite myself to that of Jesus who did manage to live in deep recollection or at least made the time for it throughout his life.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Nine Days to the Feast of St. Philippine Duchesne

Philippine was such a great pioneer woman and showed such heroic courage throughout her life combined with a great love for all and a tremendous zeal for souls with an intense desire for the conversion of the North American Indians. I often wonder if her zeal did not influence those early Missourian Jesuit novices who later worked on the Indian missions. We know of her maternal solicitude for those who were the first to make their novitiate near our convent in Florissant. She saw to it that they had cassocks made from the nuns chapel cloaks; she sent food when her own convent had so little; she prayed for them and their work.

I am not much on novenas, but today I began one to Philippine. (When I was in Chile I had a spiritual friendship with a Spanish religious who lived for a time in the same community and we would both choose a practice of some austerity and rival each other during the nine days before the feast of our great missionary in keeping it; maybe that is why I think of always doing something to prepare for Philippine's feast.) This is an easy one for any who want to join me. It is the Novena of Confidence:
"Lord Jesus, through the intercession of St. Rose Philippine Duchesne, to your Sacred Heart I confide...(here I am putting my friend from Scotland, but you may add your own intentions, too) Only look...Then do what Your Heart inspires...Let Your Heart decide... I count on It...I trust in it...I throw myself on its mercy...Lord, Jesus! You will not fail me!..."

I am, of course, continuing my "walking prayer" with an invocation from the Litany of the Sacred Heart each day. Today is Sacred Heart of Jesus, to your universal charity, I unite myself." Jesus certainly taught us about loving everyone, even our enemies. He could say while being nailed to the cross:"Father, forgive them..."