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Friday, February 15, 2013

Happy Lent!

This picture shows our planet and those planets smaller than Earth. However, Earth is really small in comparison to what is out there in the universe. It makes me feel very small when I think of our planet in relation to the sun.
I am really taking a vacation until March 1 but needed to tell you that I am reading a great book and if you are looking for good spiritual reading, this is the best! The author is a Catholic priest, Father Jose Pagola, and the title is Jesus: An historical approximation. It was translated from the Spanish in 2009 and I have the third edition printed in 2012. It is worth reading and getting your libraries to stock it. It is easy to read but has wonderful footnotes at the bottom of most pages. I think it is over 400 pages and I have only read about a hundred but I am loving it so wanted to tell you about it today.
I also want to remind you to look at the daily reflections on St. Philippine Duchesne during the month of February that are found on the U.S. Society of the Sacred Heart website (link to that on the right side of this blog.) I will be back March 1 so please remember to come back to this blog then. Have a happy and holy Lent!

Monday, February 11, 2013

We have much to reflect on as we enter Lent on Wednesday

I guess I am taking a short vacation from my blog but there is so much for all of you to be reading that you will have much to reflect upon. Now there will be updates about the Pope's resignation and plans, and then the daily reflection on Philippine that is on the United States Province website each day is really worth the time to look that up. I just seem to have overbooked myself these days and leave on Sunday for Arizona and a ten day visit with family. I will have the first days with my brother and then move over to stay with my sister and my niece will be there at the same time. I will be back on February 27 and blogging again by March 1. I hope you all have a good and holy Lent beginning with Wednesday - Ash Wednesday reminds us that time flies and we need to make good use of it.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

The Joys of Getting Older

I was thinking about the joys of getting older and then someone sent me a rather long but funny way of looking at the freedom that old age brings. I am going to copy it for you, but invite you to reflect on the joys of whatever age you are - our life is full of joy and we need not forget the many joys of each day just because Lent is coming. Lent is to prepare us to celebrate the joy of the Resurrection - eternal joy! In the meantime, I am so happy with everyday joys but also want to give joy to Jesus and to others by Loving!

Don't delete this one; you'll laugh when you see the return message.


I would never trade my amazing friends, my wonderful life, and my
loving family for less gray hair or a flatter belly. As I've aged, I've
become kinder to myself, and less critical of myself.. I've become my
own friend. I don't chide myself for eating that extra cookie, or for not 
making my bed, or for buying that silly cement gecko that I didn't need,
but looks so avant grade on my patio. I am entitled to a treat, to be messy,
to be extravagant.

I have seen too many dear friends leave this world too soon; before
they understood the great freedom that comes with aging.  

Whose business is it if I choose to read or play on the computer until
4 AM and sleep until noon? I will dance with myself to those wonderful
tunes of the 60 &70's, and if I, at the same time, wish to weep over a lost
love..... I will.

I will walk the beach in a swim suit that is stretched over a bulging body,
and will dive into the waves with abandon if I choose to, despite the pitying
glances from the jet set. They, too, will get   old.  
I know I am sometimes forgetful. But there again, some of life is just as
well forgotten. And I eventually remember the important things.  

Sure, over the years my heart has been broken. How can your heart not
break when you lose a loved one, or when a child suffers, or even when
somebody's beloved pet gets hit by a car? But broken hearts are what
give us strength and understanding and compassion.   A heart never
broken is pristine and sterile and will never know the joy of being imperfect.
I am so blessed to have lived long enough to have my hair turning gray,
and to have my youthful laughs be forever etched into deep grooves on
my face.

So many have never laughed, and so many have died before their hair
could turn silver.

As you get older, it is easier to be positive. You care less about   
what other people think... I don't question myself anymore. I've
even earned the right to be wrong.  

So, to   answer your question, I like being old..  It has set me free.  
I like the person I have become.  I am not going to live forever, 
but while  I am still here, I will not waste time lamenting what 
could have been,  or worrying about what will be.  And I shall eat
dessert every single day (if I feel like it). 


Friday, February 8, 2013

Anniversary of Final Vows

It was on February 8, 1960 that I made my final vows in Rome; I remember it was a day that I had longed for and to receive our cross and ring was the sign of a commitment until death. It was also announced on that day that I would be going to Chile as a missionary. At that time, you went for life so I did not think I would ever see my family again, unless my parents would be able to come to Chile. Jesus had so many graces waiting for me in Chile and the next twenty years were spent in that wonderful country. In His own way He has been leading me all my life so I feel only joy and gratitude today as I pray for all those who were professed with us - the name given to our group was "Apostolic Courage" and I think we have all had to practice that no matter where we have been.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

I hope you are reading the brief bit about St. Philippine Duchesne posted on our Province website each day in February. Here is today's which I love:

They called her "The Woman Who Always Prays,"
And so she did...
She did not know then, but her life was a prayer.
She did not know then that, like God,
she was great enough to fail.

But she does matter, this Woman Who Always Prays.
Still she treads the wheat fields
Of the America she did not understand;
She understands it now; God understands even America.

She nurtured the burgeoning harvest,
was the grain of wheat that died.
She, lonely at eighty, walked in solitude.
Toiled at the sparse wheat field when there was no rain,
Little seed; 
But God was the seed, the rain and the growth of the wheat in silence.

And this field of the Society, washed by two oceans, mapped
the faith of Philippine;
Believing when there was no rain, little seed, sparse ground.
Believing that the wheat would spring.
Working for the impossible harvest.

~ Janet Reberdy, RSCJ

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

One Week Before Ash Wednesday

I felt very enthused about preparing for Advent and not at all thinking of Lent yet. I have a Mardi Gras party to look forward to on Sunday and a home Liturgy on Shrove Tuesday and a few other things that are perhaps keeping me from thinking about Lent plus I will be going away on the First Sunday of Lent to spend ten days in Arizona with family. I guess this is all a bit distracting, but hope that I will settle down to make a plan for the six weeks of Lent. This is a season that the Church gives us to prepare to enter more deeply into the Pascal Mystery - the suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus.
So many of my friends are dying that I feel that one should prepare as though this was the last Lenten season one may have in this life. I guess the big question is :What does the Lord want from me this Lenten season? Fortunately, we each have a week still to discern the answer to that question or, better still, listen to the Holy Spirit. I think one thing I will do during Lent is to read and pray over a big that I have just ordered. It is about the historical Jesus and is by Jose Pagola and has good reviews. That and being disciplined about my schedule for prayer and exercise may be what the Lord wants from me this Lent. I also hope He shows me how I can be working on the book I really want to write, but seem not to make myself spend time in actually writing it. I may just need to build in time just as I have done for the gym, water exercise class, and afternoon prayer. Let us prayer for one another this week and think seriously about what the Lord might be asking of us this Lent.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Thirsty for God

Today I read something that I want to share with all of you as I do not think it was written only for Religious but would help all of us. Here it is:

Last Saturday, our Holy Father celebrated a Mass of thanksgiving, with the presence of many Major Superiors, for all Consecrated Men and Women at St. Peter's Basilica. In his homily he too gave us three invitations - the bold is my own emphasis
"Firstly, I invite you to nourish a faith that is capable of illuminating your vocation. In this regard I urge you to remember, in an interior pilgrimage, of the 'first love' with which the Lord Jesus Christ warmed your heart, not out of nostalgia, but to nourish its flame. This is why it is necessary to be with Him, in the silence of adoration, and thus to reawaken the desire and the joy of sharing one's life and choices, of the obedience of the faith, the blessedness of the poor, and the fundamental nature of love.
Secondly, I invite you to a faith that knows how to recognize the wisdom of weakness. In today's joys and afflictions, when the harshness and weight of the cross make themselves felt, do not doubt that Christ's 'kenosis' is already a paschal victory. In societies of efficiency and success, your life, marked by its 'minority' and by the weakness of the small, by its empathy with those who have no voice, becomes an evangelic sign of contradiction.
Finally, I invite you to renew the faith that makes you pilgrims toward the future. By its nature consecrated life is a pilgrimage of the spirit, in search of a Face that sometimes shows itself and sometimes hides itself: 'Faciem tuam, Domine, requiram'. May this be your heart's constant desire, the fundamental criterion that guides your path, both in its small daily steps as well as in its more important decisions. Do not fall in with the prophets of doom who proclaim the end or the non-sense of consecrated life in the Church in our days. Rather, 'put on the Lord Jesus Christ', 'put on the armour of light' … and remain wakeful and vigilant."

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Oceans of the World

I had this picture filed under world oceans and when I pulled it up for this blog, I was amazed to see how much of our world is really ocean! I am always being amazed these days, but that is a good sign as I am also learning so many new things. My I-phone is a revelation; my Kindle now contains an entire library; my car has automatic windows that is a tremendous gift in Miami, and I am finding that I can link up with friends for games every day even if they are in Arizona!
Now, I have prepared a good mixture of snacks to munch on during the Super Bowl and I am praying for the team who plays better tonight to win and no one get hurt. We will have our Sunday night prayer a bit early and then watch the game - I am not sure I will make it to the end unless it is really quite close and then I shall stay.
My reflections are not very spiritual today, but I did spend time with the thought of how Jesus must have felt when the people in his home town not only did not accept him but were so angry that they wanted to get rid of him. The good thing about this Gospel today is that it shows Jesus was really like us except for sin, as St. Paul tells us. His neighbors never saw anything different in Jesus while he was growing up; he was a normal boy who had to grow in wisdom and grace.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Feast of the Presentation of the Lord & End of Christmas Season

I always like this picture as it reminds me of a place where I used to go with a friend and take a picnic lunch. We lived in St. Louis and Forest Park was a safe place where children could go and play and no one ever worried about us as we did not seem to have any crime in that part of the city. We would walk over and there was a big rock in the middle of the pool at the top that we would manage to climb up to sit on without getting wet and then eat our lunch while watching the water bubble over the rocks as it ran down hill. I do not know what happened to it then but maybe it went under the road and emptied into the lagoon. The memory is of being cool and cosy on our rock and enjoying each other and our lunch as I have always loved picnics.
Well, now that the Christmas season is over, I need to put away my Infant Jesus and Christmas candle, but I hate to do it. I shall go through my Christmas cards before throwing them away as I do dedicate one day to pray for each who has remembered me at Christmas. A friend gave me that suggestion years ago and she took one card a day. I find it easier to just mark my calendar but the important thing is the prayer.
I love the Feast of the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple. Candles are also blessed on this day. My mother kept the blessed candles and whenever there was a storm, she would take them out and light them and feel safe. I think we have lost some of our faith in these sacramentals today, but I am glad I remember so many helps that the Church provides still such as holy water,
This is not what I intended to write today, but guess it will do but I hope all go back to read the Gospel for this feast.

Friday, February 1, 2013

First Friday

Again it is First Friday and a day special for all those devoted to the Heart of Jesus. Maybe you need to be of a certain age to appreciate the memories of so many First Fridays with special ceremonies and traditions. I know that I have spoken about some of these last month, but I was reflecting on them again today and other "rituals" or customs that families and schools have now made part of my life. We are influenced by our memories. Anyway, I left the gym a bit early so I could get a parking place and found myself with a good twenty minutes before Mass for some quiet prayer. I find it so helpful to just sit there in the Presence of Jesus and try to do this every afternoon in our Chapel.
Today we begin the month dedicated by the Bishops to Saint Philippine Duchesne. Just go to the U.S. Province website listed on the side of my blog and you will find a different reflection on our saint for each day of the month. Today's speaks of Philippine's global heart.