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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Spring and Eastertide go together

During my twenty wonderful years in Chile, I had to celebrate Easter when we were getting ready for cold weather and Christmas came as summer began. In my mind I connect Easter with spring and with new life.
And new buds on the trees, spring flowers, and flowering peach trees as we had three of those in our backyard and they were so beautiful. They were Japanese peach trees and a gorgeous pink!

I read something of St. Catharine of Siena"s yesterday and will share a bit with you. I have studied her but must have missed this particular meditation that was chosen on her feast to be the meditation of the day in the Magnificat. I like what she says (remember that she is a fourteenth century mystic) and will copy a few of her sentences here.

"Abandon yourself for him, learning from this Jesus who in order to give you the life of grace gave up his bodily life. And as a sign of his generosity he opened up his whole self by creating a bath within his open side after he had died, to show us his love. Do you want to live in security? Then hide yourself withing this side and see that you are never found outside this 0pened heart--though once you enter, you will discover such joy and sweetness that you will never want to leave...."

Monday, April 29, 2013

Who is most important in your life and why?

Who is the most important person in your life and why? I guess at different times in our life we all might have varied answers...I guess the "why" is the important part of the question. Is it because of the love of the other person for me? I suspect it usually will be and so I am asking you to reflect on the love Jesus has for each of us. No one loves us with infinite love. He gave us the others in our lives who love or have loved us. He is always with us and loving us and so I know Jesus is the most important person in my life. Unfortunately, I do not always seem to remember this and act on it. I think it is not easy to let Jesus love us. It should be, but I know I have found it difficult to accept such deep and constant unconditional love!
Now, loving Jesus means first letting Him love us; then it means that we are to love as He loves us! How am I doing this in the concrete?
That is enough to reflect on for today.But it is also the feast of St. Catharine of Siena.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Fifth Sunday of Easter: He shall dwell with them...

This is another flower sent to me that makes me think of Spring.
I do not know how we have arrived at the fifth Sunday after Easter so quickly, but I love the readings for the Liturgy. In the first, Paul and Barnabas make converts among the Gentiles and this is God's work - God is using them and they know it!
The second reading is from Revelations and very consoling; here is a quote from it:

." He shall dwell with them and they shall be his people, and he shall be their god who is always with them. He shall wipe every tear from their eyes, and there shall be no more death or mourning, crying out or pain, for the former world has passed away.”

That is worth reflecting on and then in the Gospel, Jesus gives us a new commandment to love others as He has loved us!!

Time is too slow for those who wait.
Time is too fast for those who fear.
Time is too long for those who mourn.
Time is too short for those who rejoice.
But for those who love,
Time is eternity.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Jesus and Pope Francis

I continue to read all I can find on Pope Francis as he seems to be saying and doing what Jesus might be saying today. I have just finished another biography of him and found his complete homily given at the Easter vigil. Here is a brief excerpt that I liked but will also give you the reference where you can find the entire homily.

"Let the risen Jesus enter your life, welcome him as a friend, with trust: he is life! If up till now you have kept him at a distance, step forward. He will receive you with open arms. If you have been indifferent, take a risk: you won’t be disappointed. If following him seems difficult, don’t be afraid, trust him, be confident that he is close to you, he is with you and he will give you the peace you are looking for and the strength to live as he would have you do."

You will find this at

I am reflecting on the last sentence, especially the fact that jJesus gives us the strength to live as he would have us live.

Friday, April 26, 2013

"Do not let your hearts be troubled..."

Today's Gospel begins with Jesus telling us, "Do not let your hearts be troubled." He goes on to tell us today as he told his disciples: "You have faith in God; have faith also in me.... What does it mean in my own daily life to have faith in Jesus? I think he wants me to turn to him no matter what happens and to trust him. I think I often hear him tell me not to let my heart be troubled.
Before the end of the Gospel, after Jesus tells the disciples that he is going away but will come back again and take them to himself so that they may be with him and adds, "Where I am going you know the way."
Thomas immediately asks how can they know the way as they do not know where he is going. Then Jesus tells him, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

Jesus is still calling us to follow him and he is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Thomas A Kempishas Jesus say that without the Way there is no going; without the truth, there is no knowing; without the life, there is no living. "I am the Way you must follow, the Truth which you must believe, the Life for which you must hope.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Have you been outside today?

I think I need to ask myself this question every morning? Have I been outside today? This is the time of year when we should be outside thanking God for the beauty that surrounds us. New life is springing up all over; the trees are so green, the flowers are blooming, and it is not too hot to enjoy the fresh air. I guess some will be saying, "It is not too cold now to enjoy being outside." This is another picture sent to me and it just makes me want to go out and sit in our patio. Instead, I must rush to get ready for the University but do always eat lunch outside after the noon Mass.with Patrick. We have a favorite spot shaded by an awning. Usually there are a few students also eating lunch and working on their laptops as the tables are wired so they can plug in and work outside. This is possible all year long with a canopy overhead to keep out the sun. What a blessing to live in Miami!!
I received a life of our new Pope and have read it last night and this morning to finish it. I really admire Pope Francis and think he personifies Jesus for us.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Spring Is Really Here

Easter-tide is such a joyful time! The beauty of nature adds to our joy. Most of all, I think that this season is supposed to be a happy one as Jesus is appearing to us and revealing His Love in so many ways. We need to be on the lookout for the sudden and surprising ways Jesus comes to us during these days.

I left the gym today and found that a huge truck had parked next to me and I did not see how I was going to have room to back out of my parking place without scraping the mirror on the passenger side of the car. I also could not see if anything was coming as the truck was so huge and extended out too far. As I was trying to back out without much success, two men suddenly appeared and one even reached in through the driver's window and helped steer while the other gave motions to help us and kept the cars from both directions waiting so I could finally get out. These were certainly good Samaritans, but maybe it was Jesus getting me out of a situation that seemed impossible to me.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Early memories

When I was little, there was a woods within walking distance of my home. My great-uncle Jim retired to come back to St. Louis and be near me. That is what I was always told, but he also was near his sister, a brother, and my mother was his favorite niece. He lived in a hotel and came to our house every Monday, Wednesday and Friday; he would arrive mid-afternoon and take over the care of me and afterwards my sister and brothers until dinner and then stay and visit with my Dad. They would listen to the radio and then Uncle Jim would go home around 10:30. This was his life for years. What started this memory of one of the most loving persons I have known, is that Uncle Jim would take me for walks in the woods. I was forbidden to go there by myself and I loved the paths under the trees. Sometimes we would take our red wagon, especially when my baby sister would be with us as she could not walk very far. Uncle Jim would pull us and tell us fairy tales. He was a wonderful man and I am sure he has a special place in heaven.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Joy is breaking out all over!

I just received this lovely picture of Spring flowers in New Jersey. The fact that it comes from one of the Sacred Heart alums that I am praying for everyday makes it more precious and so I am sharing it with you.
I think that I do not go out to enjoy nature enough in Miami. I do go out by the pool, but it is so hot that we really do not have flowers. I guess the heat keeps me inside too much!
I went back today to thinking about finding Jesus going around and consoling people during this Easter season. I find that I am called to do the same and just as I find joy in receiving an e-mail from a friend, I need to try to pass on that joy. I read this question this morning that keeps coming back to me today: ""When has Jesus appeared to you?"

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Sunday, A Day of Rest

I often sit here at the computer and let the Holy Spirit inspire the blog. Today, I opened to a picture in my file that said "beautiful scene for rest"; I opened it and immediately thought of how important the Lord's Day is in my life. It is a day to stop and remember why we do all that we do.

I was reading about the floods this morning and hoping that those people whose houses are surrounded by water are not in danger and that their houses will be saved.

I am using "Following in the Footsteps of Jesus: Meditations on the Gospels for Year C" by Jose Pagola, the same author of the book I used all during Lent and intend to start to read again: "Jesus: An Historical Approximation". Today's Gospel begins with "My sheep listen to my voice; I know them and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand...."  Jesus explains what it means to be his sheep. Pagola says that he "emphasizes only two characteristics he considers the most essential and indispensable: My sheep hear my voice...and they follow me."  We still need to listen to His voice and follow Him!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Canadian Tulips Give Joy!

I heard the news of the capture of the suspected bomber after a biblical lecture last night. That was a motive for joy for all! This picture is a motive of joy for me as it takes me to God. The excellent lecture by a wonderful speaker from Yale Divinity School last night was on Resurrection after Death. I assure you it is still a mystery! I say in the creed that I believe in the resurrection of the body but have no idea what that really means. I am finding that more and more of life is a mystery because we cannot understand God.
I am reading another one of Ilia Delio's books, The Humility of God: A Franciscan Perspective, and find myself underlining so much of the first chapter as she says things that are worth reflecting on and so here is a quote:

"God is a mystery of humble love. It is a mystery that you cannot reason or try to figure out. You must simply live in the mystery.....Silence is a language God can speak without being constantly interrupted because God is a mystery of incomprehensible love, and love speaks for itself."

Friday, April 19, 2013

Boston Tragedy Affects All of Us

As part of Boston seems to be completely locked down while the manhunt continues, I am thinking of how this is affecting everyone and how the effects of the bombing will remain with many of us for many days and weeks and more, especially for those in Boston. My prayer is for all those who are suffering both from the physical injuries and from the mental anguish.

It is past the middle of April and the paper is talking about more snow storms in the north and roads that were dangerous in other states because of ice and sleet. I love this snow scene because it is so peaceful and hope you will find some stillness in just gazing at it.

We had a good discussion last night in our Reflection Group. I woke up thinking of how we are all one, yet very different. I love the idea that I am connected with all and need to love them as God loves me. I am reading a book about a man who is struggling in his married life; he has two young daughters so is trying to stay married but has built a cabin in the woods for his family hoping it will help bring them together. The picture above reminded me of the book that I am reading at night - sort of a story of a man's search for happiness.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Computer is Wanting Me to Upgrade for more speed...

Since I am impatient with the slowness of the computer, you have two snow scenes to contemplate today. I am still on "stillness" and slowing down, so why do I not accept that my computer has also slowed down? Yesterday, as I hurried to leave the gym to make it to church, I found myself sitting in traffic and not moving.
I decided that this was the Lord slowing me down. This morning, I tried to write this blog before going to the University and the computer was so slow I could not do it. However, I have just made a huge taco salad for our reflection group and so think that I can sit at the computer for a moment. I was struck by the Gospel for next Sunday referring to us as sheep and the Lord knows each of us. I like this thought as I often feel that only God really knows us and the wonder is that He not only knows us but loves us.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Be still....

"Be still and know that I am God" is one of my favorite lines from Psalm 46 but how hard it is to stay still, to be calm and serene when one starts thinking of all that needs to be done. I let myself forget that I do have all the time there is and that what is really important will get done if I am peaceful and prioritize the tasks. Having said this, you will realize that I have planned too much for today and so need to get started - and I am very late getting started today as I read the paper and cleaned up the kitchen when I should have been grocery shopping. Now I will just go to the gym and try to accomplish all that I think needs to be done today in the afternoon. Hopefully, I will stay "still" deep inside and let God decide on the importance of my "to do" list. I am sure my readers often feel the same pressure but it does not help to feel stress - remember that each of us has all the time there is!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


Yesterday, after scheduling a blog for today, tragedy struck with two bombs in Boston killing and injuring over a hundred persons. It was such a shock and horrible to watch the replays on television, but it also made me think that I read about bombings in other parts of the world everyday almost and never feel the same heart-rending emotion as I did watching those in Boston being rushed to hospitals. I read two of the blogs on my blog and would ask you to do the same to pray for all involved in this act of terrorism. Cardinal Timothy Dolan spoke for the Bishops and ended by saying:

The growing culture of violence in our world and even in our country calls for both wise security measures by government officials and an examination by all of us to see what we can personally do to enhance peace and respect for one another in our world. In the wake of the tragedy, the Boston church circulated this image on its social-media sites....

Hidreth Meiere, 1892-1961

Hildreth Mei`ere (cannot get the accent over the second e) was one of the most influential and creative artists who left the world a richer place. Her art is everywhere. I had seen her wonderful mosaics in the cathedral in St. Louis, but her work is all over.
Hildreth Meière. Hildreth Meière (1892-1961) was a renowned Art Deco muralist, whose numerous commissions grace government and commercial buildings and houses of worship across the country. In midtown Manhattan alone, Meière’s mosaics decorate Temple Emanu-El and St. Bartholomew’s Church, where she also designed the stained glass clerestory windows. Her enormous mixed-metal and enamel sculptures adorn the façade of Radio City Music Hall. In lower Manhattan, Meière’s mosaics can be seen in the dramatic Red Banking Room at One Wall Street, and in the landmarked lobby of the Walker-Lispenard Building.

This is the Resurrection at the St. Louis Cathedral.

Recei9ving an honorary degree from Manhattanville - you can see the habit that I wore for almost 20 years!
Anyway, I just thought you might be interested in Hildreth and you can find much on the Internet. I asked her daughter what her day was like and she told me she always read the paper in bed every morning! I rather liked that.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Wonderful AASH in Omaha

There were over two hundred Sacred Heart alums gathered in Omaha for the national meeting of the AASH which is held every two years. Two years ago it was in Miami and I received the Woman of Conscience award with my sister, brother-in-law, and many friends present. I thought the alums in Miami did such a great job of planning and everyone was so happy about the meeting that this time might be less exciting, less fun, and less interesting. I was wrong! I have now been to about five of these AASH meetings over the past dozen years and I must say that this one was excellent and perhaps the one I enjoyed the most. I also found Omaha a fascinating city and our tour of the state capitol in Lincoln was one of the highlights of the trip. We were given a great tour of the building with all the lovely art work and mosaics of Hildreth Meiere and then we had a marvelous talk and slide show about Hildreth by her daughter! That was all on the first full day after we had had a general meeting and regional meetings in the morning before boarding our buses for the trip.
On Friday, we were at our school, Duchesne Academy, for the morning panels and talks and a lovely lunch; the afternoon had tours of Omaha past or present. I chose Omaha past and loved seeing the lovely old homes, the cemetery where many of our Religious are buried, and the museum where Union Station was once and now has all sorts of exhibits. Friday night we had the "at home" dinners where different alums host us in their homes. Each takes a certain number and opens her home for the evening. We had a delicious catered dinner where I was and the evening was full of good food and conversation in beautiful surroundings.
I was staying in the house where our Religious live in Omaha and they were so hospitable and made sure we had rides to and from the hotel and events. Saturday we had a gorgeous Mass at the Cathedral and the giving of awards followed by lunch at the hotel and then another tour. I was going on it but wanted to be able to go to another Mass at five on Saturday as I was flying home to Miami on Sunday and it takes a long time as we went to Houston and then to Miami. Saturday night we had a banquet at the zoo!! We walked through a marvelous display of all sorts of fish,  live, lively penguins, and other sea life and as we strolled past a bar, one picked up a drink and then kept meeting waiters with tempting appetizers so it was an interesting walk through these inside exhibits before reaching our beautiful dining room. I guess that is enough for today. I am glad to be home but loved the trip.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Finding the Presence of Jesus in our Lives

We need to keep finding the presence of Jesus in our daily lives. Nothing is more important. I bought the little book by Jose Pagola, "Following in the Footsteps of Jesus: Meditations on the Gospels for Year A" and he mentions in his Introduction that "the life of the church would be transformed if believers, Christian couples, priests, religious, bishops and educators would make the Gospels their bedside book." That may be true, but I suggest that we all read his book, "Jesus: An Historical Approximation" to really make the Gospels come alive for us. I am adding both books to the list of spiritual reading on the right side of the blog.

I have other books to add, too. I am reading a new book by Ilia Delio, "The Unbearable Wholeness of Being: God, Evolution, and the Power of Love." You remember how much I enjoyed her book on "The Emergent Christ" after I got through the first two chapters. I think I had to read it three times before I really grasped all the consequences of what she was writing about - how everything I do helps or hinders the evolution of the world. That is a powerful book. Much easier to read and enjoy is her "Ten Evenings With God" and her "Compassion: Living in the Spirit of St. Francis" which I loved. The new book looks to be dense but worth the effort to grasp her thought. I find I need to stop often to think about what she says.

Now, I am also taking a little vacation from my blog as I go to Omaha for the National Meeting of the Associated Alumni of the Sacred Heart on Tuesday morning and only return on Sunday so no blog between April 9-15. In the meantime, let us look for the Presence of Jesus in our lives and try to be like Jesus in our daily lives!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

First Sunday after Easter

This is also now called Divine Mercy Sunday. Our newspaper has a full page add in the main section showing Jesus pointing to His heart from which flows graces as he promised , "a whole ocean of graces" for those who approach the Fount of His Mercy.
Jesus told St. Faustina (I never could get through her writings but like this quote): "When you approach the confessional, know this, that I Myself am waiting there for you. I am only hidden by the priest."
I think that the grace of the Sacrament of Reconciliation really does bring the Presence of Jesus and with it a deep peace that sometimes last for days. I like the face to face confession possibility now and would not go back to the "hiding behind a screen" - anyway, the gift of the Sacraments are ways that Jesus comes to us and we should thank for them at this season of the year.
As far as this Sunday's Gospel highlights both the institution of the Sacrament and Jesus great love for his friends. He does not reproach them for abandoning Him; He comes again when Thomas is present and tells him to come and put his fingers into the wounds of his hands and his hand into his side. Thomas believes and exclaims, "My Lord and My God" - Jesus ends by saying that blessed are those who believe without seeing.
I find this a very consoling Gospel.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Jesus Still Walks With Us

I think that the days after Easter are times when Jesus keeps coming to us in many ways. Sometimes it is a phone call or letter or just an encounter with a friend; at other times it is a sense of presence that makes us feel loved and cherished. I guess I find these days happy ones as I am more conscious of the Presence of Jesus who really wants us to enjoy life!

Here is a blessing that we used for one of my community and I think worth reflecting on:

May the Word of God always be heard from your lips
as you unfold for others the mystery of Christ at work within you,
doing immeasurable more than you can ask or imagine.

May your heart be a fountain of the unfailing waters of salvation.
May your love be as free as the waving of your hands,
and your hope a plaid of many colors.

May your heart see its shores undivided.
May those you see, the pain you feel,
the doubt, the fears of tomorrow speak to you every day
of the God who accompanies you each day.

May the beautiful things you see along the road of life
get up and join you on your journey,
and may the god of the journey
bless you every step along the way. Amen

Friday, April 5, 2013

Stars are wonderful and make me wonder...

This is not going to be about the stars really but about how we are all caught up in the evolution of the world. It is such a mystery how the universe keeps expanding and we keep evolving. It causes an attitude in me of wonder. Wonder is such a gift; I watched a young baby examining a toy with eyes of such wonder. I do not want to lose this gift.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Be Happy!

Jesus wants us to share his joy. He made us to be happy. So often we let stress into our lives and so we end up fretting about what we think we should be doing and not doing. Here is something I copied this morning that made me reflect on my own life and my "to do lists"!!

Stress is a Choice
by David Zerfoss Several years ago while listening to my pastor give a Sunday sermon, he spoke about how life is made up of a series of choices. It made me realize that my hectic professional and personal life was of my choosing. Therefore, a life of stress had become my choice.

Many of us hurry through life going from one place to the next, focused on conquering the next mountain, making the next deal, running the next errand, and believing we will never have enough time to do all the things we need to get done. Yet, there is all the time in the world if we just realize that we are the creators of this life we choose to live. That's right. Life is a series of choices and being free from stress is one of those choices.

Whether your business life is overly complicated or your personal life (or both), you have chosen this current system of chaos. The world is a tantalizing swirl of getting the next "fix," tempting us to fit more and more things, people and processes into our lives, personally and professionally. And because we are so busy being busy, it's easy to be lured into the fray, with our lengthy to-do lists. Yet, the greatest achievements have often come from the simplest of ideas and in the simplest forms.

A very wise and holy Religious of the Sacred Heart told me once that "We have all the time there is - twenty-four hours each day. No one has more time than I have. Slow down and enjoy!"

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

"The things of the heart can't be explained..."

You may have missed what the Holy Father said at the juvenile prison after washing the feet of the twelve young people, boys and girls on Holy Thursday. Here it is:
"I thank you, boys and girls, for welcoming me today; I am happy to be with you. Go forward (avanti), eh? And don't let yourselves be robbed of hope, don't let yourselves lose hope! You understand? With hope always, let's go forward! Thank you.
Then a young man in the crowd said, "Thank you for coming today, Father. But I want to know one thing: why did you come here to Casal del Marmo today? That's all."
Pope Francis replied: "It's something that came from my heart; I just felt it. Where are those who perhaps could help me more to be humble, to be a servant as a bishop must be. So I thought, I asked: "Where are people who might like a visit?" And they told me, "Casal del Marmo, maybe." And since they said it, here I came. But it really just came from my heart. The things of the heart can't be explained, they just come.
Thanks, eh!
I need to say goodbye now. Thank you so much for your welcome. Pray for me and don't lose hope. Always go forward! Thanks a lot!

The things of the heart can't be explained, they just come. Let us reflect on this today!!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Easter Tuesday

This is a week to rejoice with Jesus who is truly risen. We have a double "Alleluia" all week in the Liturgy and we should go around sharing the joy of Jesus. I remember when I was a missionary in Coquimbo in the poorest region in Chile, the Bishop appeared on Easter Monday; he just dropped in and stayed for tea and said it was what he liked to do during Easter week. I guess Jesus gave us the example of appearing to share his own peace and joy and we should do the same. If you do not feel up to dropping in on others, you can call or send a note. I suspect there are many elderly people who would enjoy some kind of a visit.

Monday, April 1, 2013

A Poem for Reflection

May Jesus be with us today and each day to give us His Joy to pass to others!

The fire rises in me
By Symeon the New Theologian
(949 - 1032)
English version by Ivan M. Granger
The fire rises in me,
          and lights up my heart.
Like the sun!
Like the golden disk!
Opening, expanding, radiant --
          -- a flame!

I say again:
          I don't know
          what to say!

I'd fall silent
-- If only I could --
but this marvel
          makes my heart leap,
it leaves me open mouthed
          like a fool,

urging me
          to summon words
          from my silence.

-- from Real Thirst: Poetry of the Spiritual Journey, by Ivan M. Granger

/ Photo by ImagineAMatrix /