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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Eve of Palm Sunday and Holy Week

We are thinking about how the Passion, Death, and Resurrection influences our lives. Sometimes we forget the importance of the events of this week on our own lives today. It is good to take time to reflect on not only what Jesus suffered to show His love for us, but what this means for us in living out our own lives.
I was just reading a long article on Reconciliation and how we all need to be reconciled to God, each other, and our world.

Now to return to my reflections on the Constitutions of the Society of the Sacred Heart, we were on #10, the first number under our Service in the Church.

We are sent by the Church
to communicate the love of the Heart of Jesus.
In Him all find their true growth as persons
and the way towards reconciliation with one another.
This we believe; this we want to proclaim.

It is clear that we are to communicate the love of the Heart of Jesus and this is day in and day out no matter what we are doing. This is our mission and we have the grace to do this, or rather the Heart of Jesus uses us to reveal His love to others. I cannot do this well if I am grouchy or moody; I need to radiate His love, peace, and joy.
Now, to look at the part where it states that "In Him all find their growth as persons and the way towards reconciliation with one another."

I am conscious that I am only beginning to reflect on some parts of the Constitutions taken line by line and find it helpful. The good part of this line is that we are in Him always and so we do find our growth as persons in so many ways and are called and helped to reconciliation with one another.
Let us pray for one another during Holy Week!!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Approaching Holy Week

Yesterday in my faith-sharing group of four (three men and myself) we followed our usual pattern of conversation, centering prayer, and then reading and sharing on the Sunday Gospel. Since this coming Sunday is Palm Sunday, the Gospel is the entire Passion account from Mark and we read it in four parts. I must say it was a really powerful experience and very moving. I think we were all caught up in the last days of Jesus with all that He went through before His death and resurrection. I am always struck by the line that says "Then all left Him and fled" -

Here is something from the Constitutions of the Society of the Sacred Heart that really sums up our mission and perhaps it is really the mission of all of us. It is from the section on our Service in the Church:


We are sent by the Church
to communicate the love of the Heart of Jesus.
In Him all find their true growth as persons
and the way towards reconciliation with one another.
This we believe; this we want to proclaim.

We are sent by the Church
to communicate the love of the Heart of Jesus.

We are all called to communicate the love of the Heart of Jesus.
Let us give His love to all today!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Lent and Resolutions

I am beginning again! There is really only a bit of Lent left and I feel that I need to make each day count as I am not happy with my failure to keep my resolutions. I guess it is good for my humility and makes me realize again that I can do nothing by myself!! Feeling helpless throws me on the Lord! I am late today writing this as I had a busy day at the University and just came home after grocery shopping. I did pray over the next paragraph in our Constitutions and will share it with you tomorrow, I hope.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Society of the Sacred Heart has an international noviciate in Chile and received two more novices yesterday, the Feast of the Annunciation. This makes me go back to the Constitutions of the Society today and take up the last paragraph of our End and Mission.

Mary, woman of faith among the People of God,
lives close to us,
as she does to everything that radiates the life of her Son.
Our Society entrusts itself in a special way to her
whose heart is united and conformed to that of Jesus,
so that she may lead us to Him.

Mary does live close to us; I often feel her presence in my life. It is a very consoling presence but she usually just tells me what she told the servers at the wedding feast: "Do whatsoever He tells you."
Mary's whole being proclaims the greatness of the Lord, her Son. She wants to lead us to Jesus and help us to love and serve Him in joy.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The one thing necessary...

Here is a quote I thought you would like; it is from Jean-Pierre De Caussade's book on Abandonment to Divine Providence:

"The 'one thing necessary' is always to be found by the soul in the present moment. There is no need to choose between prayer and silence, privacy or conversation, reading or writing, reflection or the abandonment ot thought, the frequentation or avoidance of spiritual people, abundance or famine, illness or health, life or death: the 'one thing necessary' is what each moment produces by God's design."

Would that it were that simple!! I find I need quite a bit of discernment to find God's design in the present moment although there are times when no one need hesitate as it is just obvious. I remember as a young religious we had talking at breakfast on a feast day. The nun opposite me picked up the plate with various kinds of fruit on it and one tumbled into her bowel as she was passing it to me. She laughed and said to me "I guess God did the choosing!" She has since gone to heaven, but I often think of her quick response that saw God's will in such an ordinary thing.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Christ in Evolution

I know that I have been sharing my experience of reading Ilia Delio's book, "The Emergent Christ" but now I am reading her earlier book "Christ in Evolution" and loving it. It came out in 2008 but I have a 4th edition, 2011 and this is a book that was taught in one of our graduate Christology classes and I thought at the time I heard the students were struggling with it, that I should get the book. Delio is not an easy read but I am finding this book (which I have just begun to read) is something that I would want to have graduate students read and ponder. Delio looks at her own Franciscan tradition with Bonaventure, but also goes to Teilhard de Chardin, Raimon Panikkar, Thomas Merton, and Bede Griffiths to complete her message of Christ at the center of an evolving universe. I will be reading this book slowly and I am still using "The Emergent Christ"!

Today we are celebrating the Feast of the Annunciation so let us ask Mary for a new understanding and deeper relationship with her son, Jesus.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

We want to see Jesus

Like the Greeks in the Gospel, we all want to see Jesus. We seek to find Him every day and He is in us, with us, more present to us than we are to ourselves. I guess I find it difficult to be conscious of His presence so often during the day. Sunday is a day to spend more time thinking about both my desire to see Jesus and His constant presence in my life.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

World-wide interests

When I was a child at school at the Academy of the Sacred Heart in St. Charles, I loved Mother Philippine Duchesne dearly and prayed daily at the little shrine where she was buried or at her room. She had founded the school in 1818, went back to reopen it in 1828 and installed Mother Lucille Mathevon as superior; Philippine went to the Indian mission with Lucille in 1841 but had to return after a year and she spent the last ten years of her life at St. Charles. Her prayer was always worldwide and the fact that the Society of the Sacred Heart is an international Society with houses in over 44 countries today is something that attracted me even as a child. I never dreamed that I would be able to spend twenty years as a missionary to Chile later, but those words from the Constitutions mean more to me now because of my friendship with Philippine. I think "friendship" is the word I want to describe my relationship with her. I felt that she was a friend and always ready to help me. Here is what we are praying over in the Constitutions that brought to mind Philippine and her prayer for the world:

The pierced Heart of Jesus
opens our being to the depths of God
and to the anguish of humankind.
Jesus draws us into His movement of adoration
of the Father
and love for all, especially those who are poor.
We keep returning to this word of Jesus,
as to a light which gradually transfigures us in His image:
"Learn of Me, because I am gentle and humble of heart."
(Mt. 11:29).

I guess that I should add that Philippine spent long hours in adoration; she was really a woman who prayed always, as the Indians called her, but she was both deeply apostolic and contemplative and today is a canonized saint!

Friday, March 23, 2012

All Spring from Union with the Heart of Jesus

I am back to one of my favorite passages in the Constitutions of the Society of the Sacred Heart and one that expresses our spirituality so well:
For us, life, community, apostolic service,
all spring from our union and conformity
with the Heart of Jesus.
This grace of vocation
is a way of conversion and of apostolic fruitfulness.
The pierced Heart of Jesus
opens our being to the depths of God
and to the anguish of humankind.
Jesus draws us into His movement of adoration
of the Father
and love for all, especially those who are poor.
We keep returning to this word of Jesus,
as to a light which gradually transfigures us in His image:
"Learn of Me, because I am gentle and humble of heart."
(Mt. 11:29).

It is only by the grace of my vocation that I get up every day wanting to live in union and conformity with the Heart of Jesus who so loves me. I think this grace extends to anyone who loves Jesus for He is united to us and wants us to realize this. He also "opens our being to the depths of God and to the anguish of humankind."

I am sure many of us feel almost overwhelmed by the anguish of our world today. I shared with some of my friends the other day something that has helped me. I often begin my prayer by holding in my hand a small globe and then just go around the world touching each continent and confiding it to Jesus so that His love and compassion will care for all as I feel so helpless. This has given me a way to pray for the world and I sometimes do the same at the daily Eucharist.
We will continue reflecting on the above passage tomorrow as it is so full!

Thursday, March 22, 2012


Today I am sharing a poem by Robert Morneau from his book, "Reconciliation" - this is copyrighted but I am using it only to motivate my readers to get the book from Orbis and read it, if you have not done so. The book was published in 2007 and I have returned to the poems at the end as they always seem to help.

Would that things were settled:
the garden weedless,
correspondence all answered,
the check book balanced,
relationships harmonious, peaceful.

Such is not the case--
life itself is unsettling,
with its weeds and spats,
its laundry always there,
its duties demanding care.

Being unsettled is a gift,
a blessing in disguise.
It keeps us on the move,
however turtle-like,
drawing us to a final harvest.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

How do I see the immigrant situation in the United States

Cardinal Roger M. Mahony, recently retired archbishop of Los Angeles gave an inspiring talk at the Catholic University of Anerica's annual Dean Hoge Memorial Lecture and it is worth reading online at the National Catholic Reporter's site:

He has always been an advocate of just immigration reform and says that we must "value our immigrants" and get to know them.He went on to point out that "we need these immigrants, we use these immigrants" and it is immoral to treat them badly.
I think the entire article is worth reading.

On another topic, we were asked by one of our Religious to send in three images that spoke of our passion, what really moves us and I thought this was an excellent way of sorting out what really matters in my life. (It is also a good preparation for our Provincial Assembly), I sent in a picture of the head of Jesus, one of the world, and one of children. I do not think I have shared this in my blog but it has been a reflection that is still going on as we heard we can send more images. I think I need to send a map of Chile and maybe a picture of St. Thomas University or one of my community, etc. I am satisfied that I did send the three things I am think I am most passionate about at this moment in my life.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

How Do I Hear God?

Silence is God's language and I keep reading about how we need to listen to God in prayer and be respectful of His silence. I think God is often very quiet at the hour of prayer, but then He comes to us in so many other ways. I get an e-mail that is just what I needed to hear; or maybe it is the comic strip I read at breakfast, or a remark made by one of my community that is so evidently God speaking through these different ways, if I am attentive to listen. God also whispers in my heart!

Lent is something like a desert and yesterday's feast with the Gloria and white vestments was a real celebration and made me glad that Saint Joseph's
feast is on the 19th and we have the Feast of the Annunciation coming up on the 25th so we will have Joseph and Mary helping us as we try to enter into the rest of Lent.
I think God wants me to keep from getting down when I fail; get up, smile, and begin again - when I manage to do this, sometimes, I have the sensation that God is carrying me!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Feast of St. Joseph

Lent is half over and we realize that Easter is coming soon. It is time to ask St. Joseph to help us to go back and not only remember the good Lenten resolutions we made, but give us the courage and fortitude to keep them during these last weeks. I am beginning again!
Some author I was reading lately suggested that Joseph must have escorted Mary to the house of Elizabeth; this is a new idea and one that I had not thought of before. I knew that Mary needed to travel with others to go visit her cousin Elizabeth, but it makes sense that the man she was to marry would want to go with her and make sure she arrived safely. Now I wonder when Joseph had the dream and then could talk to Mary about the child they were going to bring into the world.
Joseph did not leave us any words so we can imagine what his life was like and how often he was alone with Jesus and imparting fatherly wisdom to this youngster who was like us in all things except sin. Jesus had much to learn from Joseph and so do we. He was a man of great integrity, courage, and faith. Let us pray to him today!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

A day late but here is an Irish Blessing


May the roads rise to meet you,
May the wind be at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rain fall soft upon your fields,
And, until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.
May you be poor in misfortunes,
and rich in blessings,
May you know nothing but happiness,
from this day forward,
May good luck be your friend,
In whatever you do,
And may trouble be always,
A stranger to you.
May you always have work for your hands to do,
May your pockets hold always a coin or two,
May the sun shine bright on your windowpane,
May the rainbow be certain to follow each rain,
May the hand of a friend always be near you,
And may God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

This is to wish everyone a happy St. Patrick's Day! I am three-fourths Irish and love celebrating on this day all of my ancestors who came from Ireland.

I am going to share something that is from the Concord Pastor's blog listed on the right in my blog but you may not have seen this and I think it is good for all of us to renew our prayer life sometimes by just asking the same questions.

Suppose I set aside 10 minutes a day in Lent...

Just 10 minutes
to sit down in a quiet place,
apart from others,
to breathe deeply,
to be still...
to know that God is near,
at hand, by my side, in my heart..

What would be the best time of day for me to spend these 10 minutes?
in the morning? midday? in the evening? the same time each day?
What would be the best place for me to find some peace and quiet?
at home? in a church or chapel?
outdoors? the same place each day?
How will I begin?
make the sign of the Cross
relax and remember that God is with you
ask God to help you pray
be at peace with however the 10 minutes pass
and remember that tomorrow is another day to pray...
How might I spend those 10 minutes?
simply in silence?
with the scriptures?
speaking from my heart to the Lord's heart?
What might I pray?
tell the Lord what's in your heart;
speak to him as you would to your best friend;
pray by listening...
Open the scriptures and read until you come to a verse that hits you...
read the verse again, and again, and again until you know it...
speak it aloud or pray it silently, letting it sink in...
let the verse become part of your prayer...
ask the Lord to bring that verse back to your attention through the day...
What might I expect?
peace and quiet...
time alone with the Lord...
the consolation of God's presence...
How will I end my 10 minutes?
thank the Lord
pledge to return tomorrow
pray the Our Father
make the sign of the Cross

Just 10 minutes? At least to begin with! Set a modest goal, and 10 minutes out a day of 1,440 minutes is certainly a modest goal.

Look for the Cross (top of this post) each day in Lent for some "prayer starters" and a reminder, a nudge, to set apart 10 minutes a day... to be still... and to know that God is near...

So do look at the Concord Pastor's blog and click on the Cross. Remember, too, that if you click on the Bible you will get several excellent commentaries for the next Sunday's liturgy.

Friday, March 16, 2012

How long have you been loved?

I came across this poem by Robert Morneau and thought I would share it with you today. It is found in a book by him called Reconciliation and I go back to it every once in a while but had forgotten about the poem.

How long have you been loved?
Give me your age and add nine months.
That's how long.
At this very moment-now-
you are been loved,
loved into existence,
loved unto death.

We've all heard the common expression:
"He/she just doesn't get it."

I'm one of those.
When will I get it-
get the insight that I
have been loved for a very long time?
Get the fact that all of us
are full of grace,
beloved and cared for?

Maybe tomorrow?

Now, I think this poem calls for some reflection and we need to accept the truth that many of us do not realize that we are being loved every minute of our life. We will be filled with joy when we do believe this and want to give love to others.

Well, tomorrow is St. Patrick's Day so I hope you all celebrate and know that you are loved!!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

I think there is more to say about the passage from our Constitutions that I posted yesterday - here is the part I did not really reflect on in yesterday's blog and yet it is very much a part of our spirituality:

Our starting point is the Gospel
with all that it demands from us of love, forgiveness
and justice,
and of solidarity with those who are poor
and rejected by the world.

Jesus told us to love as He has loved us; we are to love with His love as we can do nothing without Him and He calls us to take a stand for justice always. This may just mean doing the little things we see if our daily lives. Jesus sought out the poor, the outcasts, those who were in need of His love. We need to be His hands and feet and voice in our world today.
My Dad never missed Sunday Mass but he also did not talk much about religion. I remember that I was in high school and in one week I had three different people tell me things that made me realize how my Dad lived the Gospel. The first person was a black woman who came to clean and cook for us sometimes and I happened to meet her when going to wait for the bus to take me back to boarding school on Monday morning. She told me that she had been waiting in line to pay her bill at the downtown Laclede Gas and Light Company and my Dad had come by and seen her and insisted on taking care of her bill so she did not need to wait there. She was so grateful as she had a long way to go and might have missed her bus; then I met a man who worked with my Dad and who told me how he was standing up for all the men in this section of the company so they could have a union for all the employees and he was showing a great deal of courage as the head of the company was not in favor of allowing the union. My Dad even accepted to be treasurer for this new union. The third came from our yard man who just mentioned to me how much he respected my Dad because of the way he would ask him so politely if he could do something. Old Tom told me that most just ordered him around and wanted everything done at once but my Dad was "a gentleman and always so considerate when asking for something to be done." I remember seeing my Dad in a new light after three testimonies in one week; in fact, I began to realize that my parents lived the Gospel even if they did not talk about it. Well, I do not know what brought all that out of me today, but I was thinking of the ways we practice justice in daily life.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Today is the day saint Elizabeth Ann Seton (1774-1821), our first American born canonized saint, joined the Catholic Church in 1805. She was foundress of the American Sisters of Charity but only after her husband died; some of her children were still young when she went to Baltimore to teach at the request of Bishop John Carroll, first bishop in the United States who had insisted that the priests have a voice in electing their bishop.

To continue reflection on the Spirituality of the Society of the Sacred Heart from our Constitutions:

We participate in the mission of the Church
through the service of education
which is our way of continuing the work of Christ.
This service of education and instruction is directed
chiefly towards the young
and those who bear within them the future of the world.
Caught up as we are in the desires of His Heart,
we want people to grow in dignity, as human beings
and as children of God
Our starting point is the Gospel
with all that it demands from us of love, forgiveness
and justice,
and of solidarity with those who are poor
and rejected by the world.

Having taught every class from kindergarten through postmaster's for over sixty years, I feel I really lived a great deal of my life at the service of education. I felt even more an educator during the years I also did formation work for my Province in Chile, or was superior and teaching English to help support the community, or when giving retreats, etc. We are educators and this influences all that we do.
The desire to help people to grow as human beings and children of God does demand a great deal from us and leads us into different ministries. Our starting point is always the Gospel. It is amazing how looking at Jesus in the Gospel, trying to put on the mind and heart of Jesus, seems to solve so many situations. The Gospels are not just to be studied but to be lived.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

I did begin the writing of my book on one of our Religious.
Now, for the blog, I am back to looking at our spirituality as expressed in the Constitutions of the Society of the Sacred Heart. We had been looking at the section on our End and Mission.

In #6, after talking about our vowed commitment, we read:

Rooted in Him through contemplation
we wish to be women who create communion.
By the witness of our love and apostolic dedication,
by sharing the life of our peoples
whose cultures are rich and varied,
our communities throughout the world
help to further communion in Christ.

I think the line "rooted in Him through contemplation" is essential to our spirituality and to that of all my readers, too. It does not mean that we are not very active people, but we are called to sink deep into the Heart of Christ and just remain in His love and then all that we do is with Him and in Him and for Him. We are contemplative and apostolic, sort of like breathing in and out. We do not have to think about breathing, we just are doing it naturally. I suspect that when really rooted in Christ through contemplation, we do not need to think about this because we just are; and then we can give His love to others.
We do desire to be women who create communion. I guess that is something that we need to work on in our world today. We need to think of ways to do this and go out of our way to praise others, support and encourage them. We all know how good we feel when someone tells us something positive; let us go and do likewise.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Now I Begin...

I cannot put off writing the book that is waiting any longer. Here is what is getting me going today: (I hope Megan does not mind me copying this to share with my readers, but I did find it helpful.)

Facing the Demons of Inaction

Megan, selected from Experience Life
March 10, 2012

Get Going!
If you’re ready to end your habit of procrastination, here are the next four steps:
1. Identify an important, beneficial project or task about which you have been procrastinating.
2. What’s the next step you need to take? Name it, even if it’s just a small task like making a phone call.
3. Noting and accepting any uncomfortable feelings that come up, decide to take action anyway. When are you going to do this thing? Identify a specific day and time. You’ve just made an appointment with yourself.

And now the fun part …
4. Accompanied by trepidation, fear, doubts, indecision, shyness, anxiety or any other demon that happens to show up DO IT. Enjoy the experimental feeling of doing it even in the face of your other feelings.

No question about it: Taking action isn’t always pleasant. But in many ways, it is exhilarating, particularly when it is difficult!

Plus, look at the payoff over the course of a lifetime: a lot more accomplished and a lot less suffering, fretting and regret.

Feeling overwhelmed and underpowered? Do something anyway. As Joan Baez once said, “Action is the antidote to despair.”

Read more:

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Sunday Rest

I remember when Sunday was really a day of leisure; now people do all their grocery shopping, washing, numerous errands and do not realize that we now do not take off one day a week to spend more time with God, ourselves, and others. I think that Jesus pushing out the animals and moneychangers from the Temple patio has something to tell us today.
I read a quote from Abraham Lincoln that I liked: "Tis better to keep silence and be thought a fool, than to speak and leave no doubt about it." I am trying to remember this from memory and may not have it just perfect, but I am thinking I need to keep silence and just let God be God today.
We are now getting up in the dark and eating supper with the sun still in the sky.
Have you gone out these days to look at Venus and Jupiter? Both planets are very visible and beautiful and a source of awe and wonder!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Books of the Bible Game found

Today I am just posting the fifteen books found in the little game I posted two days ago - one reader wrote immediately that she had found nine but was still looking; another sent me this list that I thought others might want to have as it lists the fifteen books in the order they are to be found.

1. Mark
2. Luke
3. Kings
4. Acts
5. Revelation
6. James
7. Ruth
8. Numbers
9. Job
10. Amos
11. Esther
12. Judges
13. Titus
14. Lamentations
15. Hebrews that order, reading left to right.

That was fun!

Sorry that this is all I have time for today!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Women Religious really are Prophets !!

I am reading Sandra Schneiders Prophets In Their Own Country: Women Religious Bearing Witness to the Gospel in a Troubled Church. Orbis, 2011. Most of what she says in the book has been published in articles in the National Catholic Reporter and I am just enjoying having these in book form as Sandra gives such a positive view of religious life and our role today as we are living a new form of religious life, but one very much like the life that Jesus lived and would live today.
Actually, the book is very refreshing and makes so much sense; it also makes me grateful for my vocation.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Life goes on and we can choose to live peacefully

I was thinking today that it is always in my power to live at peace with God, myself, others, and the world. This is possible because at the center of each of us God abides and God allows us to still the turmoil by sinking into His Love and that gives such peace. Of course, we also work to have peaceful relationships with everyone and it is not always easy but is possible. I guess peace is a fruit of the action of the Holy Spirit in our lives and world and we can so easily ignore the Holy Spirit. However, that is why we take time to listen to the quiet voice who leads us to peace. If I sit and look at a picture that is peaceful, I can feel deeper peace seeping into me. Try it!

Here is a game we played at the Mardi Gras party and I thought you would enjoy. You are to find the fifteen books of the Bible in the short note below. It is not difficult but does make you think.

In these remarks are hidden the names of fifteen books of the Bible. It is a real lulu! Kept me looking so hard for facts I missed the revelations. I was in a jam especially since the names were not capitalized. The truth will come to numbers of our readers. To others it will be a real job. For all it will be a most fascinating search. Yes, there will be some easy to spot; others, hard to judge. So we admit it usually results in loud lamentations when we can’t find them. One Lady said she brews coffee while she puzzles over it.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Stormy Weather

I can no longer remember the words to the song, "Stormy Weather" but I know I liked it. My mother used to hold me up to the window during storms when I was little to show me how beautiful the sky could be even in a storm. Later I found out that she did this so I would not be afraid of storms as that was one of her great childhood fears.

When I read the news I feel that our world is under a siege of stormy weather.
The JPIC booklet that I mentioned before (Journey from Lent to Pentecost) reminds me that "Suffering, our own and that of others in our Earth-community, leads us to the foot of the Cross where the pierced Heart of Jesus opens out being to the depths of God and to the anguish of humankind."

How am I being moved with compassion? What am I doing today to help others?

From the Chapter of 2000 we have this powerful statement: "We are convinced that our lives, given in love, are the strongest expression of our spirituality."

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Alone with God

Here is a quote from Thomas Merton sent to me by one of my friends; he is very generous in sharing quotes, poems, and prayers that he thinks I would like so I am sharing this quote with you:

Thomas Merton wrote, “As soon as a man or a woman is fully disposed to be alone with God, they are alone with God no matter where they may be. At that moment they see that though they seem to be in the middle of their journey, they have already arrived at the end. For the life of grace on earth is the beginning of the life of glory. Although they are travelers in time, they have opened their eyes for a moment, in eternity.”

It reminds me of being out on the sleeping porch as a child during a great storm with lots of thunder and lightning and feeling that I was there alone with God. I thought the sky beautiful and had no fear and the rain was cooling the air. I think it was an afternoon storm and I had gone out on the porch to read but found God in an unforgettable way. My eyes were opened to both His greatness and His nearness as I felt surrounded by His tender love. After that experience I remember cherishing times when I was alone with God.

Monday, March 5, 2012

My Own Psalm

You may remember that when researching different kinds of prayer I mentioned that one could write one's own psalm and that I was going to do this. I finally did it at the conclusion of my afternoon prayer and it just flowed out of me so I am going to share it here. I love the refrain:
Let us sing with joy, shout our glee!
The Lord loves both you and me!

I rejoice even in my weakness
God is my strength and always with me.

Let us sing with joy, shout our glee!
The Lord loves both you and me!

Let us sing with joy His praises
Let us give thanks for all His gifts.

Let us sing with joy, shout our glee!
The Lord loves both you and me!

He loves me and provides all I need
He watches over me to keep me from harm.

Let us sing with joy, shout our glee!
The Lord loves both you and me!

With God at my side I do not fear
He calls me His beloved, loved unconditionally.

Let us sing with joy, shout our glee!
The Lord loves both you and me!

My home is deep in His Heart
I dwell immersed in His Love.

Let us sing with joy, shout our glee!
The Lord loves both you and me!

From His Heart I draw out love
To spread it far and wide.

Let us sing with joy, shout our glee!
The Lord loves both you and me!

His compassion flows through me
He desires we live in unity.

Let us sing with joy, shout our glee!
The Lord loves both you and me!

I see, in typing this, that I could make many changes but wanted to share it as it was written as I think it was under the influence of the Spirit and does express what I was feeling and that is what the Psalms do!

In the meantime, we need to pray that the big issues of immigration reform, the whole question of poverty in our own country and the world where people are without food and shelter, the environmental issues, and the need for peace in our world do not get neglected in the fight for religious liberty that is being waged by so many because of the contraceptive services in health care that are against the respect for life, but no one is fighting to get rid of the death penalty with the same intensity. These are the issues I am taking to prayer and trying to learn more about some of the injustices that are taking place in my own city. I suspect you will continue to hear more about this from me as the Society of the Sacred Heart's Justice, Peace, and the Integrity of Creation international commission has all of us on a Journey from Lent to Pentecost with a booklet full of reflection questions. I like the booklet as it is also making us reflect more on the words of our own Constitutions.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Transfiguation of Jesus

Jesus invites his three more intimate friends, Peter, James and John, to go up the mountain with him; Luke tells us that Jesus took them up to pray. While Jesus is praying, He is transfigured before them. This Gospel is always the second Sunday of Lent. We need to see Jesus transfigured in prayer and to hear the voice of God the Father saying, "Listen to Him." We, too, are to go apart in Lent to pray and be transfigured by listening. We have these weeks to concentrate on hearing God's voice and trusting God as Abraham did.

Don't forget that you can look at the Concord Pastor's blog linked on the right side of this blog and click on the Bible and find several short but excellent commentaries for the Sunday readings. Since I also have several places listed under prayer resources where you can follow the liturgical readings, I have stopped commenting on them except when the Spirit inspires me to share an experience of them. The Transfiguration has been a favorite reading ever since I began a eight day retreat with it once in Chile and really felt as if I were on the mountain with Jesus.

Here is a verse I read yesterday and thought I could share as it is true that when moving forward into the light we cannot see, but looking back we see so many grace-filled moments of light.

We travelers, walking to the sun, can’t see
Ahead, but looking back the very light
That blinded us shows us the way we came,
Along which blessings now appear, risen
As if from sightlessness to sight, and we,
By blessing brightly lit, keep going toward
That blessed light that yet to us is dark.
—Wendell Berry

Saturday, March 3, 2012

"We commit ourselves to following Christ..."

In our Constitutions we read

We commit ourselves to follow Christ
by consecrating our lives
through the profession of the vows of obedience,
poverty and chastity.
Rooted in Him through contemplation
we wish to be women who create communion.
By the witness of our love and apostolic dedication,
by sharing the life of our peoples
whose cultures are rich and varied,
our communities throughout the world
help to further communion in Christ.

We are all called to commit ourselves to follow Christ. Maybe everyone is not called to consecrating their lives by religious vows, but I do think that we are all called to create communion. I am blessed by my vocation to share the life of others from different cultures and different parts of the world. One of the greatest graces of my life was to spend twenty years as a missionary in South America and it has marked me for life. I try to keep up with some of my friends from there and have others in Spain, Italy, England, Scotland and Ireland and hope to renew friendships with several of the Canadian Province. Keeping up relationships takes time and trouble, but I feel called to do this even more as so many of my friends (those still living) are suffering and more isolated. People appreciate getting a card just to let them know that you are thinking of them and praying for them.
It could be a good thing to do this Lent - just think of some of your friends who perhaps do not do e-mail and would love to hear from you and sit down and pick up a pen and write. It is one way to create communion. I am also trying to be encouraging and giving more feedback to my friends as I know how much it means to get good feedback. I think this is a way to help us further communion in Christ.

Another book that I am reading is by Edward L. Beck, a Catholic priest who is a member of the Passionist Community and who wrote God Underneath and now has written Soul Provider: Spiritual Steps to Limitless Love - not new but good for me for Lent as it is an easy to read modern version of the St. James Climacus' The Ladder of Divine Ascent, a classic in the History of Christian Spirituality and still read each Lent in Eastern monasteries!
Beck takes each of the thirty steps and makes them come alive with real life stories. I am only on step six, but it is a delightful book I am enjoying so I mention it here. I am not yet listing it on the side of the blog as I need to read it first! I taught the classic online!

Friday, March 2, 2012

"God is selfless love..."

I just learned from Silvana that today is
Women's World Day of Prayer today - the theme is Let Justice Prevail. Let's be united prayerfully with praying women all around the world - this is worth looking at today!

Continuing to share something of the Chapter on "The Inner Universe" from
The Emergent Christ by Ilia Delio, O.S.F. as this is the chapter I keep praying over these days:
"God is selfless love poured out by the power of the Spirit as dynamic newness of love desiring a beloved--to make whole, to unify, to evolve toward an infinite depth of love. God acts in creation as God is in Godself--dynamic love.It is out of this love that we are and continue to be created."

A bit later she writes that "Jesus' death on the cross is the most authentic statement of created life--it speaks to us of the wild love of God, the drama of evolution, and the trust that is needed if a new future is to be realized. The illogical cross is the logic of God. It is the logic of self-involvement that requires a self-emptying, a space within oneself for new life to be born."

Praying these quotes with #4 of our Constitutions that I quoted in a blog a few days ago, is helping me to enter into the "Mystery of the open side of Jesus" and to realize that in my daily Eucharist I am drawn into the gift of Jesus to His Father for the life of the world.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

"The Emergent Christ"

The book that I have been reading for some time now and find to be really transforming is Ilia Delio's The Emergent Christ with the subtitle "Exploring the Meaning of Catholic in an Evolutionary Universe".
She also wrote Christ in Evolution and I have not read that. The Emergent Christ is her latest book (Orbis, 2011) and Ilia Delio, O.S.F. is a senior fellow in science and religion at Woodstock Theological Center, Georgetown University.

You may remember that I spoke of this book some time ago - months ago- in some blogs and said that the first chapter was quite dense and I was happy to have a Glossary in the back of the book; actually, I have not found this an easy book to read and I am finishing it for the second time and still trying to digest all the new ideas that are presented. Maybe some of the ideas are not that new, but the language is different but worth the struggle to grasp her content as it is causing a transformation in my own way of looking at life and the world and my part in it.

Today I am only going to give a quote from what I read yesterday on prayer. It is in the 8th Chapter, "The Inner Universe" (there are only nine chapters). Delio quotes from Bonaventure's Soul's Journey into God and then has this to say:
"Bonaventure begins with prayer as the key to relationship with God. Prayer is the expression of intimacy with God; it shapes who I am and what I become. Prayer unfolds the inner universe in which I am created and which I create. It is the most direct line of communication to my interior reality in which every denial of that reality is a diminishment of myself. Prayer, therefore, requires an honest encounter with God. When I fail in this honesty, I diminish myself because I fail to allow the fullness of God's Spirit to move within me and thus I fail to come to my authentic self in God."

Now, that says a great deal to me but it is difficult to grasp and so this is one of the quotes I keep praying over and thought I would share with you today. I am also adding the book to my list of spiritual reading. I have more books to add, but the truth is that I have not finished some of them but will begin to talk about them. Spiritual reading nourishes the soul.
I had a directee who always wanted to have a good book for Lent and he would spend Good Friday reading to make sure he finished the book chosen each Lent.