Daily reflections for prayer, growth in the spiritual life, and good prayer sources. This blog also has links to other websites. One feature is a list of spiritual books.
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Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Pockets of Silence
The other day I received the the sixth issue of "Contemplative Connections" sent out by the Merton Institute for Contemplative Living. Today I will quote one paragraph for our reflection.
"Contemplative living calls us to rest within the pockets of silence in our lives. These pockets are opportunities to listen to ourselves, God, others, and all of creation. When we listen first and then respond in both verbal and non-verbal ways, we are replenished. We find the strength to release the debris that forms the barrier to our true selves and that prevents our ability to enter into the deep, sustainable relationships with God, others, and nature."
I guess I was struck by the image of "pockets of silence" and began to think where these were in my daily life. If these are opportunities, it is important to find these pockets and even create some new ones. After all, as another quote from this same page will tell us: "Contemplative living is a radical yet simple means of discovering who we truly are by entering into deep relationships with ourselves, God, others, and nature. To live contemplatively is to be in the present moment while being aware of life unfolding." Then we will be able to respond intentionally, consciously, and without judgment to what occurs in our lives.
Last night one of our Sisters from Cuba came to dinner and told us about a program they are using the has three parts. The first is just concerned with mental health; the second is all about silence; and the third introduces Christ and Christian living. I thought it interesting that they value silence so much that it is what the whole second section of the program is about. I think the program came from Spain and I did not get the name of it, but the first past has been helpful to many and has been prolonged.
Posted by Helen at 9:46 AM No comments:
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
I find that pictures of paths and roads always make me think of my own spiritual journey and that of others, especially that of those who have asked me to walk with them on the road to God. It is so mysterious and unknown at the same time the road is well trod by those saints who have walked before us.
I have been reading a book about Paul Farmer. He is an extraordinary person who has done much for world health as well as creating an oasis of health-care in Haiti. I will have more to say about him tomorrow.
Posted by Helen at 8:12 AM No comments:
Monday, June 28, 2010
Water and a contemplative attitude
Alone in a boat in a quiet sea is an image that seems very contemplative to me. I suspect I feel a bit like that when swimming alone.
I have started back to water exercise and it is so good to be there again. There are usually a group of about twenty-five women and a few men and all begin to smile as they do the exercises in the water for an hour. The instructor is a very friendly, caring person and tries also to plan an outing every month. I first started going over ten years ago but somehow, last year, I just never managed to get there. Now I hope I am back on a schedule to go three or four times a week. It may mean writing my blog the night before or just writing it later in the day. I heard today that one of my friends has been put in a nursing home by her relatives far from Miami. I will try to stay in touch as it was very hard for her to leave her home here and she was not able to say good-bye and found it very hard to leave. Her name is Carrie and let us pray for her.
Posted by Helen at 9:04 AM No comments:
Sunday, June 27, 2010
Pictures can inspire one to both contemplation and to action
A picture is worth more than words. I seem to have run out of words but suppose that sooner or later I will be able to reflect with words again. For now, I seem to just want to be. I had filed this picture under "blue spring" and clicked on it without remembering what it was. Now I can see that the name is appropriate and the picture a good one for this lazy Sunday.
I am having a desire to clear out the family room and get rid of all the magazines that are covering the table in front of the couch. I guess maybe my Sunday will not be so lazy if I start on this needed task!
Posted by Helen at 10:03 AM No comments:
Saturday, June 26, 2010
Jesus was homeless
Jesus tells us in the Gospel for this Sunday that "Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head."
I often think that if Jesus were to visit Miami, we would find Him with the homeless! These are people who often have nowhere to rest their heads; the police push them out of the underpasses; parks close at sunset; shelters have no room for them and so they wander the streets. It is not easy to live like that and it is hard to see such misery in a country that is not able to eradicate poverty in our own cities.
Posted by Helen at 10:47 AM 1 comment:
Friday, June 25, 2010
Fantasy and reality
This picture carries me back to flying through the Andes between Chile and Argentina. It is not like this exactly but something ethereal in the picture is what attracts me. We live in reality and this picture is real, but it is also one to carry us into the world of imagination and fantasy. I think the imagination is one of God's greatest gifts to us. Let us float through the clouds and arrive at a mountain peak and see what God is saying to us today.
I may be imagining because the news lately is so terrible: people being killed; animals being covered in oil; immigrants being deported; wars, fires, floods, and so many homeless! We need to publish something good to balance the evil that the media publish everyday.
Posted by Helen at 6:56 AM No comments:
Thursday, June 24, 2010
God is everywhere!
Nature speaks to us of God. I find God in just contemplating a beautiful scene. I also find God in people and in the swimming pool. It is hot but beautiful in Miami and everything is so green! God is everywhere! May we have eyes to see and recognize the many ways God appears in our daily life.
Posted by Helen at 8:35 AM No comments:
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
If you are invited to go for a walk down this path, with whom would you like to walk with you? What would you want to talk about? Would you be comfortable with silence? I have just read an article about the problems at the border with Mexico. It always seems strange to me how we have no trouble letting people go back and forth to Canada but we refuse to allow people to come in from Mexico. They even stopped the statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe! This is not much of a reflection today but I think the whole question of immigration is one to take to prayer. When I look at the United States and know that we all came from other countries at one time or other with the exception of the Native Americans who we have not treated well either, I am ashamed that we are so complicated with our immigration laws. If the children are born here, they are American and allowed to stay but we are actually deporting the parents because they came here to work and did not get the proper papers and so are considered "illegal" and can be put in jail even if they have lived here for years and have not even had a traffic ticket! I know we need to reform the laws and to do it with compassion as well as justice.
Posted by Helen at 7:33 AM No comments:
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Sometimes we need a bridge
I think the picture of the bridge speaks to me about the way we are to link the two aspects of our lives; we are both contemplative and apostolic. To keep a balance is difficult, but I think it is the grace of our vocation to keep striving for this. I guess holy people learn to integrate the two.
Posted by Helen at 2:17 PM No comments:
Monday, June 21, 2010
Gratitude is such a gift!
I have a house guest so went out this morning without writing my blog; I seldom do this, but there is a certain freedom in letting a daily task go every once in a while. Actually, I enjoy putting out some reflections on my blog but sometimes I feel as if I have nothing to say and should skip a day here and there. I did spend time this morning reflecting on the graces of two great spiritual directors that I God provided for me years ago. Both are dead now but I kept retreat notes from both and looked over them today. One set of notes is all in Spanish and so many memories came back as I went over them. I have so much to be grateful for that it seems I should be singing a song of gratitude everyday.
Posted by Helen at 2:51 PM No comments:
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Trust is faith in one who loves us
I do not know why I chose this picture today nor do I know why it made me immediately think of trust. Trust makes me think of children throwing themselves off the side of the pool and knowing that their father will catch them. Maybe the trust we had with our fathers is how we learn to really trust God the Father with whatever happens in our lives. I am thinking of my Dad this Father's Day and how he was always there for us.
I have just come back from the Cathedral for the Mass for the Religious to welcome our new Archbishop. There was much ceremony (everything is the Cathedral adds to a beautiful liturgy). There was a reception afterwards and I was happy to go and saw many of my friends from other Congregations.
Posted by Helen at 9:30 AM No comments:
Saturday, June 19, 2010
Tomorrow is Father's Day
Fathers are so important in our lives. They give us an image of God. My Dad was always there for us. I remember him catching for me in the evenings when I was in fourth grade and aspiring to be the star pitcher. When I think of it, we played with a real baseball and at school girls only played softball so I am not sure why I worked so hard at throwing strikes. I probably just wanted my Dad's attention. I remember being driven to school early with my father and having him hearing my multiplication tables, or my French homework. Sometimes he would recite poetry that he had learned as a boy in school. It was a long drive every morning and every evening but now I realize what an opportunity it was to have that time alone with my Dad. He was the one who I told all that had happened during the day and I had his undivided attention. Later, when my sister and baby brothers would stay home, I often went out to the lake with my Dad and spent the entire day; the war was on and so my Dad had decided to help out by selling lake lots on Sundays. We would go to early Mass and then drive out to the lake and I would spend most of the time in the water. My mother always prepared a picnic for us and sometimes she would come, too, but it was hard to get out early on Sundays with my little brothers. My maternal grandfather and my great aunt and great uncle usually came on Sundays for dinner so she stayed home to cook for them. It is amazing how Father's Day brings back so many memories and how grateful I am that I had a Dad that helped me to know how loving God the Father is...
Posted by Helen at 6:18 AM No comments:
Friday, June 18, 2010
Today I would send my readers to rscjinternational.org, our international web page that has some new links that are very interesting and some great spiritual helps, too.
Posted by Helen at 8:23 AM No comments:
Thursday, June 17, 2010
God is in every snowflake; in every tree and in me!
I am still cooling off and found on a long ride that the air-conditioning is not working in my eleven-year-old car so it is going in today to the shop to see about fixing it.
I wrote this last night for Thursday as I went to the garage this morning to leave my Toyota; it will be ready tomorrow so I am glad I do not need to use it before then. It is so hot that the workmen cannot work outside. Miami is often hot, but these days have been especially hot and humid. The morning newspaper was full of articles about ice cream - how much Americans eat, where there are special ice cream places, etc.
Posted by Helen at 2:24 AM No comments:
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Enjoy the beauty God gives us and fight to keep it...
Last night I listened to our President's speech and the complexity and long term effect of the oil spill on everyone is depressing but his determination to right the wrongs and look to the future was helpful.
I received the following in an e-mail from Scotland yesterday:
"I am the forest that is being cut down.
I am the rivers and the air that are being polluted,
and I am also the person who cuts down the forest
and pollutes the rivers and the air.
I see myself in all species,
and I see all species in me.
— Thich Nhat Hanh in Plum Village Chanting and Recitation Book
Posted by Helen at 5:21 AM No comments:
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Cool Scene for hot days
I think I have nothing to say today so let us contemplate the beautiful snow scene and remember the silence that surrounds a walk in the snow. I am not missing snow after twenty-four years in Miami, but I am enjoying looking at it as we are having some hot days. My head seems empty today. I will sink into the silence of the snow scene.
Posted by Helen at 11:08 AM No comments:
Monday, June 14, 2010
It is a new week and very hot. I have been praying with a letter sent to the whole Society of the Sacred Heart for the Feast. What most strikes me is the fact that God's love is still being poured out into our hearts. This is happening now! It is a special time for each of us as we are called to give God's love to others. He continues to pour his love into my heart so that I may return his love and give it to others. I need to reflect on how I am called to do this each day. Yesterday's thoughts from Pope Benedict XVI on the 23rd Psalm are still echoing in me as I have experienced the care and concern of the Lord in the details of my life and know that he leads me...now, how can I give the joy and gratitude I feel to others today?
Posted by Helen at 7:02 AM No comments:
Sunday, June 13, 2010
Some Thoughts from Benedict XVI
I am sharing here some of the thoughts of Pope Benedict XVI for the Feast of the Sacred Heart which was also the closing of the year of the priest - I thought what he says worth sharing here
Pope to Priests: "Become a Wellspring" - excerpt below:
The word of God, which we have sung in the Entrance Antiphon of today’s liturgy, can speak to us, at this hour, of what it means to become and to be a priest: "Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble of heart" (Mt 11:29).
We are celebrating the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and in the liturgy we peer, as it were, into the heart of Jesus opened in death by the spear of the Roman soldier. Jesus’ heart was indeed opened for us and before us – and thus God’s own heart was opened. The liturgy interprets for us the language of Jesus’ heart, which tells us above all that God is the shepherd of mankind, and so it reveals to us Jesus’ priesthood, which is rooted deep within his heart; so too it shows us the perennial foundation and the effective criterion of all priestly ministry, which must always be anchored in the heart of Jesus and lived out from that starting-point. Today I would like to meditate especially on those texts with which the Church in prayer responds to the word of God presented in the readings. In those chants, word (Wort) and response (Antwort) interpenetrate. On the one hand, the chants are themselves drawn from the word of God, yet on the other, they are already our human response to that word, a response in which the word itself is communicated and enters into our lives. The most important of those texts in today’s liturgy is Psalm 23(22) – "The Lord is my shepherd" – in which Israel at prayer received God’s self-revelation as shepherd, and made this the guide of its own life. "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want": this first verse expresses joy and gratitude for the fact that God is present to and concerned for humanity. The reading from the Book of Ezechiel begins with the same theme: "I myself will look after and tend my sheep" (Ez 34:11). God personally looks after me, after us, after all mankind. I am not abandoned, adrift in the universe and in a society which leaves me ever more lost and bewildered. God looks after me. He is not a distant God, for whom my life is worthless. The world’s religions, as far as we can see, have always known that in the end there is only one God. But this God was distant. Evidently he had abandoned the world to other powers and forces, to other divinities. It was with these that one had to deal. The one God was good, yet aloof. He was not dangerous, nor was he very helpful. Consequently one didn’t need to worry about him. He did not lord it over us. Oddly, this kind of thinking re-emerged during the Enlightenment. There was still a recognition that the world presupposes a Creator. Yet this God, after making the world, had evidently withdrawn from it. The world itself had a certain set of laws by which it ran, and God did not, could not, intervene in them. God was only a remote cause. Many perhaps did not even want God to look after them. They did not want God to get in the way. But wherever God’s loving concern is perceived as getting in the way, human beings go awry. It is fine and consoling to know that there is someone who loves me and looks after me. But it is far more important that there is a God who knows me, loves me and is concerned about me. "I know my own and my own know me" (Jn 10:14), the Church says before the Gospel with the Lord’s words. God knows me, he is concerned about me. This thought should make us truly joyful. Let us allow it to penetrate the depths of our being. Then let us also realize what it means: God wants us, as priests, in one tiny moment of history, to share his concern about people. As priests, we want to be persons who share his concern for men and women, who take care of them and provide them with a concrete experience of God’s concern. Whatever the field of activity entrusted to him, the priest, with the Lord, ought to be able to say: "I know my sheep and mine know me". "To know", in the idiom of sacred Scripture, never refers to merely exterior knowledge, like the knowledge of someone’s telephone number. "Knowing" means being inwardly close to another person. It means loving him or her. We should strive to "know" men and women as God does and for God’s sake; we should strive to walk with them along the path of friendship with God.
Let us return to our Psalm. There we read: "He leads me in right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff – they comfort me" (23:3ff.). The shepherd points out the right path to those entrusted to him. He goes before them and leads them. Let us put it differently: the Lord shows us the right way to be human. He teaches us the art of being a person. What must I do in order not to fall, not to squander my life in meaninglessness? This is precisely the question which every man and woman must ask and one which remains valid at every moment of one’s life. How much darkness surrounds this question in our own day! We are constantly reminded of the words of Jesus, who felt compassion for the crowds because they were like a flock without a shepherd. Lord, have mercy on us too! Show us the way! From the Gospel we know this much: he is himself the way. Living with Christ, following him – this means finding the right way, so that our lives can be meaningful and so that one day we might say: "Yes, it was good to have lived". The people of Israel continue to be grateful to God because in the Commandments he pointed out the way of life. The great Psalm 119(118) is a unique expression of joy for this fact: we are not fumbling in the dark. God has shown us the way and how to walk aright. The message of the Commandments was synthesized in the life of Jesus and became a living model. Thus we understand that these rules from God are not chains, but the way which he is pointing out to us. We can be glad for them and rejoice that in Christ they stand before us as a lived reality. He himself has made us glad. By walking with Christ, we experience the joy of Revelation, and as priests we need to communicate to others our own joy at the fact that we have been shown the right way.
Then there is the phrase about the "darkest valley" through which the Lord leads us. Our path as individuals will one day lead us into the valley of the shadow of death, where no one can accompany us. Yet he will be there. Christ himself descended into the dark night of death. Even there he will not abandon us. Even there he will lead us. "If I sink to the nether world, you are present there", says Psalm 139(138). Truly you are there, even in the throes of death, and hence our Responsorial Psalm can say: even there, in the darkest valley, I fear no evil. When speaking of the darkest valley, we can also think of the dark valleys of temptation, discouragement and trial through which everyone has to pass. Even in these dark valleys of life he is there. Lord, in the darkness of temptation, at the hour of dusk when all light seems to have died away, show me that you are there. Help us priests, so that we can remain beside the persons entrusted to us in these dark nights. So that we can show them your own light.
"Your rod and your staff – they comfort me": the shepherd needs the rod as protection against savage beasts ready to pounce on the flock; against robbers looking for prey. Along with the rod there is the staff which gives support and helps to make difficult crossings. Both of these are likewise part of the Church’s ministry, of the priest’s ministry. The Church too must use the shepherd’s rod, the rod with which he protects the faith against those who falsify it, against currents which lead the flock astray. The use of the rod can actually be a service of love. Today we can see that it has nothing to do with love when conduct unworthy of the priestly life is tolerated. Nor does it have to do with love if heresy is allowed to spread and the faith twisted and chipped away, as if it were something that we ourselves had invented. As if it were no longer God’s gift, the precious pearl which we cannot let be taken from us. Even so, the rod must always become once again the shepherd’s staff – a staff which helps men and women to tread difficult paths and to follow the Lord.
At the end of the Psalm we read of the table which is set, the oil which anoints the head, the cup which overflows, and dwelling in the house of the Lord. In the Psalm this is an expression first and foremost of the prospect of the festal joy of being in God’s presence in the temple, of being his guest, whom he himself serves, of dwelling with him. For us, who pray this Psalm with Christ and his Body which is the Church, this prospect of hope takes on even greater breadth and depth. We see in these words a kind of prophetic foreshadowing of the mystery of the Eucharist, in which God himself makes us his guests and offers himself to us as food –as that bread and fine wine which alone can definitively sate man’s hunger and thirst. How can we not rejoice that one day we will be guests at the very table of God and live in his dwelling-place? How can we not rejoice at the fact that he has commanded us: "Do this in memory of me"? How can we not rejoice that he has enabled us to set God’s table for men and women, to give them his Body and his Blood, to offer them the precious gift of his very presence. Truly we can pray together, with all our heart, the words of the Psalm: "Goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life" (Ps 23:6).
Posted by Helen at 8:53 AM No comments:
Saturday, June 12, 2010
Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary
I do not have a picture that I really like of the Immaculate Heart of Mary so I think Mater best expresses the qualities of Mary's pure heart; Mary never knew sin but she also is so attentive to respond to God's love. I think that this feast is one that is celebrated in heaven as it is one that pleases Jesus. He wants us to imitate his mother and strive to keep our hearts immaculate.
Posted by Helen at 6:30 AM No comments:
Friday, June 11, 2010
Feast of the Sacred Heart
I entered the Society of the Sacred Heart on the Feast of the Sacred Heart sixty years ago! It is a beautiful feast and I still remember my feeling of wonder that I was actually following Jesus and giving my life to be with him. I still have some of that wonder along with a great desire still to give my life completely to the one who loves me and shows me such love. His love is still being poured into our hearts today.
I seem to have lost yesterday's blog but it does not matter as I was thinking then of the Letter sent to the entire Society of the Sacred Heart by our Superior General for this year's feast. It is a tradition to write to all the Religious for the Feast of the Sacred Heart and now the letter comes in French, Spanish, and English. It sent me back to the Chapter 2008 Document and has me reflecting on how much I need the Holy Spirit to transform me so as to live united to Jesus. The letter has several questions to reflect on and calls to deepen. I was struck by the need to reflect on how Justice and Peace and the Integrity of Creation are part of our charism and how am I living this?
We will have a Liturgy this evening and renew our vows (a tradition of devotion) in union with the whole Society. I will be thinking of that day sixty years ago when I stopped for a quick visit with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament on the eve of the Feast before walking over to the Novitiate at Kenwood. What a wonderful journey I have been on with the Lord for sixty years!! I need to spend today thanking and celebrating his love. I am the lost sheep that he loves!
Posted by Helen at 6:56 AM No comments:
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Novena for the Feast of the Sacred Heart is helpful
I hope each of my readers has been able to follow the novena for the Feast of the Sacred Heart. Some of the pictures, reflections, and Scripture passages have been so well chosen that I feel I should not be writing this week.
One of our Religious who just lost her mother told us how much the following had helped so may we pray it together for her and for all who need our prayer today:
You are attentive to the voice of our pleading.
Let us find in your Son
Comfort in our sadness,
Certainty in our doubt,
And courage to live through this hour.
Make our faith strong
Through Christ our Lord.
Posted by Helen at 5:43 AM 1 comment:
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Jesus stands at the door...
This picture will hopefully lead you to reflection as it is all I am writing today. Please do not forget to look at the novena of the Sacred Heart on the right side under blogs under The Concord Pastor Comments.
Posted by Helen at 9:09 AM No comments:
Monday, June 7, 2010
I love this picture; the water is so peaceful and I feel that I am out there waiting for God. God comes in so many ways. I think that now I find God most in silence but know He waits for me in people, in places, and in hidden service. I feel his nudges, his inspirations, and sometimes seem incapable of following them. I stay quiet and do nothing until I get a real push from God. I am grateful for the pushes and seem to need them more as I move on in life. Before God may have been tugging me to stay still; now God pushes and pulls until I heed His calls. He knows how deaf I am and so sometimes a strong shove is all that works. Thanks be to God for his shoves and pushes, his pulls and persistence!
Posted by Helen at 7:42 AM No comments:
Sunday, June 6, 2010
Feast in Honor of the Eucharist
Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. Since the early centuries Christians have believed in the presence of Christ in the Eucharist and have done this "in remembrance of Him." Each Mass makes Jesus present in a real but sacramental way and so we also receive Him in Holy Communion, take Him to the sick, worship Him in Eucharistic adoration. More parishes are now having perpetual adoration. I think the second Preface of the Holy Eucharist sums up the theology behind this feast:
Father, all powerful and ever-living God, we do well always and everywhere to give you thanks through Jesus Christ our Lord.
At the last supper, as he sat at table with his apostles,
he offered himself to you as the spotless lamb,
the acceptable gift that gives you perfect praise.
Christ has given us this memorial of his passion to bring us to its saving power until the end of time.
In this great sacrament you feed your people and strengthen them in holiness,
so that the family of mankind may come to walk in the light of one faith,
in one communion of love. We come then to this wonderful sacrament to be fed at your table and grow into the likeness of the risen Christ. Earth unites with heaven to sing the new song of creation as we adore and praise you for ever...
This feast has a sequence that is quite long; the penultimate verse is one I love"
Very bread, good shepherd tend us,
Jesu, of your love befriend us,
You refresh us, you defend us,
Your eternal goodness send us
In the land of life to see.
Posted by Helen at 4:54 AM No comments:
Saturday, June 5, 2010
This is a "teddy sheep" and not a real, live one
Although Sunday is the Feast of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, I am into the Novena for the Feast of the Sacred Heart and this year all the readings are about sheep. I looked for images and found some, but real sheep are not pretty; in fact, sheep are rather dirty and dumb-looking. Maybe God loves them just as they are and finds them beautiful. I decided to begin with this "teddy sheep" that resembles just a little bit the fuzzy lamb that a friend gave me for Christmas in 2008; it usually is on my bed or on the file case in my room snuggled up to a stuffed animal that looks like a tiger. I think of myself often as a lamb being carried in the arms of Jesus so the picture today could fit better than a real sheep. However I am working up to another picture where I am one of a flock of real sheep following Jesus, my Shepherd.
Posted by Helen at 3:00 AM No comments:
Friday, June 4, 2010
What patterns do you see in God's action in your life?
Flowers in patterns was the name I gave this picture which I just found stored in my documents. It made me think that there are patterns in my own life that I need to both discern and remember. God acts in each one differently as God made each of us unique. I need to reflect on the way God calls me, comes to me, speaks to me in daily life.
What are the patterns you see in your own ordinary life that are God's way of acting in you and with you and for you? I am reflecting on this today and may want to look at my old journals for help in discerning the patterns for myself. Is it important? I suspect it is as I find that if I recognize a pattern in someone who comes to me for spiritual direction and point out God's way of acting in his or her life, it seems to make a big difference. I know something of the design or pattern of the tapestry God is trying to weave out of my life, but I think I often fail to reflect on the repetition of God's action in my life.
What triggered today's reflection? I suspect it is the fact that I am reading again the life of Reverend Mother Benziger. I am firmly convinced that reading the lives of some of our great Religious is a way to deepen my own spirituality and Mother Benziger was one who had a great influence on me. The first time I met her was in Rome where she was the Assistant General in Charge of the English-speaking vicariates. (We had not yet become "provinces"). I went over to give her a hug that her sister, Mother LuLu Benziger has sent her. She hugged me back and said, "Sister, in all the years I have been here at the Mother House my sister sends me a hug with those who pass through Kenwood on their way here, but you are the first to actually give me a hug from her!" Then she asked me about my prayer and I found that I could talk with ease with her about my relationship with God and it was the beginning of a wonderful spiritual friendship with her.
Be sure to check out the Blog I have added on the right side of the page under my Blogs as the Concord Pastor is posting good things and now is the novena for the Feast of the Sacred Heart!
Posted by Helen at 3:56 AM No comments:
Thursday, June 3, 2010
"I know him in whom I have believed..."
Today's first reading is from Paul's Second Letter to Timothy and I suspect that some of Paul's words will touch you as they do me. He calls Timothy,"my dear child" and then Paul says: "I am grateful to God, whom I worship with a clear conscience as my ancestors did, as I remember you constantly in my prayers, night and day." I wonder if Paul did as I do and often pray for "all that I have promised to pray for and all who need my prayer."
Paul goes on to say, "For this reason, I remind you to stir into flame the gift of God that you have...He saved us and called us to a holy life, not according to our works but according to his own design and the grace bestowed on us in Christ Jesus before time began, but now made manifest through the appearance of our savior Christ Jesus....I know him in whom I have believed and am confident that he is able to guard what has been entrusted to me..."
Perhaps this reading caught my attention because I watched the installation of our new Archbishop. He has need of the grace of God as he takes over this international archdiocese; fortunately he speaks both Creole and Spanish and has been welcomed home as a native son of South Florida. Let us pray for him, Archbishop Thomas Wenski, and also for one another that we may "stir into flame the gift of God" that we have been given. "I know him in whom I have believed."
http://concordpastor.blogspot.com/ Do check out this blog that has been added to my blog list on the right side as the novena for the Feast of the Sacred Heart is going to be worth following and every Monday this blog makes for excellent reading! I am glad I have added it for you.
Posted by Helen at 7:06 AM No comments:
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
The Fire of God
This poem of Joyce Rupp was part of the prayer one of my community prepared for my birthday on Monday. It was a lovely day and I think this may be the best year of my life and I hope I will be able to give joy to God and others. Here is the poem which I am still praying over:
I wanted it.
Desired it greatly.
Yearned for its coming.
But when it did come
I fought, resisted,
ran, hid away.
I said, "Go home!"
I didn't know
the fire of God
could be more
than a gentle glow
or a cozy consolation.
I didn't know
it could come
as a blaze.
searing my soul.
chasing my old ways,
smoking them out.
Only when I stopped running,
gave up the chase,
did I know the fire's flaming
as consolation and joy.
could I welcome
the One whose fire
I had long sought.
Posted by Helen at 3:31 AM No comments:
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
New Archbisop in Miami
Miami Archdiocese has a new Archbishop as of today and it is our fourth. Actually, we all know Archbishop Thomas Wenski as he was here before going to Orlando. Since this is big news here, I thought I would put a few highlights about his life. He was born in West Palm Beach, October 18, 1950 in the middle of a hurricane! He made his First Communion in 1958 and entered the minor seminary for high school when only 13! He was ordained in 1976 and later studied Creole in Haiti in order to minister to the numerous immigrants from Haiti in Miami. Later he will study Polish language and culture at the Catholic University in Lublin, Poland. In 1984 he was named director of the Haitian Apostolate. The Haitians love him. In 1996 he is named director of Catholic Charities for the Archdiocese of Miami and forms a collaborative relationship with Caritas Cuba; later he will travel often to Cuba on behalf of the Church. In June of 1997 he is chosen to be an auxiliary bishop of Miami and chooses for his motto: "All Things to All Men." He is ordained bishop in September. He chairs the Catholic Legal Immigration Network and then the U.S. Bishops' Committee on Migration and serves on many boards including that of St. Thomas University. In July of 2003 he is appointed coadjutor bishop of Orlando, succeeding Bishop Dorsey. Now, after seven years in Orlando as Bishop, he comes to Miami and will be installed today as archbishop of Miami in a ceremony at St. Mary Cathedral.
Welcome home, Archbishop Wenski!
Posted by Helen at 3:27 AM No comments:
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