Search This Blog

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Our internationality is such a gift!

The Society of the Sacred Heart is world-wide and I actually feel part of the mission we have in over 43 countries.This week, without leaving home, I am experiencing our internationality in several ways: we heard that one of the Canadians will be living with my community next year and, as of July 8, we will be one Province called the United States-Canadian Province. I welcome this. We also had one of our Colombian nuns here for dinner the same night we welcomed one from Japan. Tonight, another community member who is usually in Rome working with our young nuns before their final profession, is arriving because her brother is very ill. Please pray for him. She has just returned from a month in Korea and then is to go to India later in July as we have young sisters in formation in both these countries. Anyway, I can just be here in Miami and find news from my sisters from all over the world. One from California came yesterday.
Now, this is the last day of June so I want to end with a prayer that is powerful but I forget to say it myself so now have a card stuck in the mirror to remind me:

Soul of Christ, sanctify me,
Body of Christ, save me,
Blood of Christ, inebriate me,
Water from the side of Christ, wash me,
Passion of Christ, strengthen me,
O good Jesus, hear me,
Within thy wounds, hide me,
Suffer me not to be separated from thee,
From the malicious enemy, defend me,
In the hour of my death, call me
and bid me come unto thee,
that with thy saints I may praise thee
for ever and ever. Amen.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Feast of Saints Peter and Paul

This is one of my favorite feasts as I think we have so much to learn from both of these Apostles and Saints.
Peter was close to Jesus. He was one of the first selected by Jesus to be an apostle. He was impetuous, but a real leader. He followed Jesus and was a witness to His transfiguration. He also was a witness to the prayer of Jesus in the garden. Peter had promised not to abandon Jesus, but Jesus told him that he would deny him three times that same night - and this at the Last Supper when Jesus had washed the feet of each of his chosen ones. Yet, Peter repented and ended up being the first Pope to help the followers of Jesus.
Paul was certainly not a friend of Jesus and was diligent in trying to stop the first followers of Jesus. Jesus had to meet him on the road to Damascus and convert him. Once Paul's eyes were opened, he became a great Apostle and fearless in preaching the reign of God. We can learn from both Peter and Paul as we follow Jesus today.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Preparing for Sunday

Tomorrow is the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul so I thought I might post something on the Sunday Gospel. I think it is good for all of us to consider what it means to follow Jesus. I hope you remember to look at the commentaries that are posted on the Concord Pastor's blog (link to it on the right in my blog). Just click on the bible - I am using something from Larry Gilleick, S.J. below:

The Gospel has several distinct and important features. It is a turning point, literally. Jesus from this point on has turned toward Jerusalem where he will be lifted up on the cross and raised up after his resurrection. The word “resolutely” speaks of his determination to fulfill his identity as priest, prophet and king. From here in these verses, Luke presents Jesus as working slowly upward and directly to the city of Jerusalem. This provides the context for the next section of today’s reading.
The group that he sends out then travels into a village of Samaria where they are not welcome. James and John ask Jesus if they should call down destructive fires on the Samaritans. Jesus rebukes them and they leave having better things to do as they journey. The long-standing dispute between Jews and Samaritans was about proper interpretation of scriptures, and also about where exactly the proper place of worship is: which territory in which God has truly appeared. We read about this also in John 4: 9. From then until now the battle for scriptural turf and possession of the truth rages on.
The third section of today’s Gospel is about call and response. Three persons are attracted to Jesus and the disciples. Jesus presents them with the basics of being one of his followers. There is an invitation offered to face the tensions between self-possession of one’s personal kingdom and self-donation for the Kingdom of God. There are healthy and normal desires for home and family-relations. The Gospel closes with an image of perseverance. Jesus seems to be talking of himself as well as to those who wish to follow him. Fidelity is never an easy journey.
Do read all of Larry's commentary as he shares his own entrance to the Society of Jesus. It made me think of how I said good-bye to everyone at Union Station in St. Louis and boarded the night train for Kenwood . I actually slept very well and only when the porter woke me to warn me that we were approaching Albany. I just had time to dress and eat the turkey sandwich that my parents had bought for me on the way to the train station (my mother had cooked my favorite dinner so I do not know how I could have been expected to eat that sandwich but it made for a good breakfast.) I took a cab up to Kenwood and waited in the parlor for the Mistress of Novices who then took me to the Chapel for a brief visit. Then I crossed the threshold of the new building that housed all the novices of the United States and Canadian Provinces and some from other countries, too. I met my "angel" who took me out for a walk. A new life began that day and, although I certainly was homesick as a novice, I have always been grateful that the Lord called me and I answered His call.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

A New Sense of Humility

Perhaps it comes from reading Ilia Delio's book on the "Humility of God, combined with the Life of Pope Francis and the book I am rereading, Pagola's "Jesus an Historical Approximation" but I certainly have been reflecting on humility. I suspect it has no connection with the humility we were supposed to get as novices by humiliation. This is a new sense and I think the pictures of the tiniest of seeds, and then the large mustard tree spreading its branches to welcome all illustrate what humility means in my life today.
The parable created by Jesus to show how much God loves us and His joy when we return to Him, speaks to me of the humility of God. The prodigal son was wrong to ask for his inheritance and leave his family to go off to lead a life of pleasure. When he is reduced to wishing that he had the pods to eat that were given to feed the pigs, he comes to his senses, realizes that he needs to return and ask his father's forgiveness. Meanwhile, the father has been longing for his son's return and going out to watch for him in vain. Finally, the day comes when he catches sight of his son coming home and he rushes to meet him. He embraces him and shows him his joy by asking the servants to bring the best robe for him and a ring and sandals for his feet. He leads him home planning a celebration to show how happy he is to have his son back home again. There is never a hint of reproach.
Then, of course, we have the other son who is resentful when he hears the joyful celebration going on as he comes home from his hard work in the fields. He refuses to go join in so his father comes out to him. The father listens to his complaint; indeed he is full of resentment for the father has never killed a fatted calf for him. The father assures him that all that he has is his - the father loves both of his sons. I did not intend to write any of this today, but do take time to reflect on the humility and love of God for each of us. Then we know how to act with humility in our own lives. I think the humble person is always grateful and joyful!!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A picture is worth a thousand words...

It is dawn on the Lake of Tiberius and I am imagining how this looked to Jesus as I am sure he watched the dawn come often as I expect he prayed on the shore in the early morning even before sunrise. I look forward to my retreat on the ocean as I find the immensity of it speaks to me of the love of God. The ocean is always changing, in motion, yet it is the same ocean. God's love is infinite! I guess I am filled with gratitude when I think of how much we are loved. All we can really do is let God love us and try to live and love as Jesus did!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Who is Jesus for Christians today?

"Jesus is the key, the foundation and the source of all we are, we say and we do." This quote if from "Following in the Footsteps of Jesus: Meditations on the Gospels for Year C" by Pagola. He says that we need to keep hearing Jesus ask us, "Who do you say that I am?" I was thinking how I answer that question and I know that Jesus is my Spouse, my Savior, my Friend, and my Lord and God.
Pagola asks, "But does Jesus truly occupy the center of our lives? Does he hold the absolute first place in our communities? Do we place him above everything and everyone? Do we belong to Jesus? Is he the one who animates and inspires us?"
These are questions that we need to reflect on during this last week of June. I chose the picture of Jesus with the children as I read in our Sunday paper about the number of Catholic schools being closed in New York and other places. I know that the schools have been an expense, but I hate to see them closed as so many have taught children to know and love Jesus and try to live and love as Jesus did.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Jesus wanted us to believe that the reign of God has begun and we yet we are to pray "Thy Kingdom Come." I think that we do not realize (I am just beginning to try to do this) that we are part of the evolution of the world and have a important role in bringing about the reign of God. Jesus told us that we are to love one another as He has loved us. That seems to be what He kept trying to teach us by His example: He went about doing good, showing compassion to those who were suffering, healing the sick, welcoming all, even sinners. He taught by example, but also used parables that were full of ordinary things that all could know and reflect on - the ravens, the lilies, the sower, the beggar, the lost coin, the shepherd who cared for his sheep, etc. I am being caught up into the life of Jesus in a new way as I pray and ponder the book, "Jesus: An Historical Approximation" by Jose Pagola. If I keep mentioning this book, it is because it is having an influence right now on my spirituality. I hope all my friends will read it and find joy in discovering a human Jesus who is very close to each of us.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Who do you say that I am?

Jesus called his first disciples who left their boats to follow him. Later, after they had been with him as he healed others, preached, left them to pray, and enjoyed many meals with them, he asks them: "But you, who do you say I am?" He is still asking each of us this same question and waits for our answer. We are unique and so each of us must give our own answer to his question found in the Gospel for this Sunday.

We might also reflect on the Psalm for this Sunday:

Responsorial Psalm Ps 63:2, 3-4, 5-6, 8-9

R. (2b) My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God.
O God, you are my God whom I seek;
for you my flesh pines and my soul thirsts
like the earth, parched, lifeless and without water.
R. My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God.
Thus have I gazed toward you in the sanctuary
to see your power and your glory,
For your kindness is a greater good than life;
my lips shall glorify you.
R. My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God.
Thus will I bless you while I live;
lifting up my hands, I will call upon your name.
As with the riches of a banquet shall my soul be satisfied,
and with exultant lips my mouth shall praise you.
R. My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God.
You are my help,
and in the shadow of your wings I shout for joy.
My soul clings fast to you;
your right hand upholds me.
R. My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Tired and Thirsty

Summer has begun and people are tired and thirsty. Some are looking forward to having vacation and planning where to go, what to pack, and busy with many details so they can enjoy some days of leisure.
Jesus was tired when he reached the well and sat down to rest. His disciples went off to procure some food. Jesus, in the meantime, is thirsty. He thirsts not just for the water the woman could give him; he has a greater thirst to further the reign of God and sets about doing this with the request "Give me to drink."
This must have startled the woman as a Jewish man would normally never speak with an unknown woman and a Samaritan! However, Jesus draws her into conversation and soon she wants only to tell others that she has found the Messiah.
I guess seeing that Jesus is so human is what helps me to enter into conversation with him each day. By now we are like an old married couple and hardly need words as we know each other's thoughts. Still, when I am tired and thirsty, I think of this scene and feel drawn into conversation with Jesus. He does ask some good questions!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Recognizing Jesus

Sometimes, before my afternoon prayer, I look at the brief meditations in Macrina Wiederkehr's Abide: Keeping Vigil with the Word of God.  Today I am looking at her reflection on John's Gospel account of Jesus appearing on the shore (John 21: 1_14) with the title "Recognizing the Beloved." She asks us, too, to remember times when we felt we had toiled all night and caught nothing and then Jesus changes the darkness into dawn. What are the moments in our life when we have said, "it is the Lord?"  Listen to Jesus asking us if we have caught anything to eat - what is nourishing us spiritually?
Macrina concludes with a short poem:

O Risen Christ,
When I search for you in the darkness
Show me the light of your face.

When my darkness is too heavy
Send me the dawn.

When I am dejected because of your absence
Remind me to share my presence with someone.

When I am dejected because of your absence
Remind me to share my presence with someone.

When I am hungry for nourishment
Invite me to breakfast. 

when I cast my nets on the wrong side of life
Come to my assistance.

When I do not recognize you
Call me by name.

I remember a time in retreat as a young nun when I actually heard the words, "It is I, do not be afraid." I am still filled with gratitude when I recall this grace! I think it would be good for all of us to reflect on the times Jesus has been waiting on the shore to catch our attention; for the times we have recognized Him; for the times He has prepared nourishment for us.
Today is officially the first day of summer! Am I planning my summer with Jesus?

Thursday, June 20, 2013

My retreat-the most important week in the year

Today I received the information about the retreat I will be making at the Villa del Mar Retreat House in Santa Cruz, California from July 17-24. The Villa Maria del Mar is run by the Sisters of the Holy Names and is a sacred place for me. I have been able to have either a retreat or some days of prayer there almost every summer for over twenty-five years. It is right on the ocean; some mornings are cold and foggy but the sun often shows itself in the afternoon with a gorgeous blue Pacific Ocean, often with white caps after the fog. On Wednesday evenings you can see over seventy sailboats out in the bay. At other times I see Dolphins and there are surfers at all hours to watch. When I began going to California for my retreats, Sisters were only charged twenty-five dollars a day! Now, it is more expensive as all retreat houses have had to charge more, but it is such a wonderful place and I am so happy that I will be able to return for a whole week this year. I am beginning to pray for the retreat which will begin exactly four weeks from today.  (I am writing this on Wednesday but posting on Thursday.)
I count on your prayer, too. It is the first time in years that I will be making a preached retreat. If I do not understand the Jesuit, I guess I could skip the conferences given twice a day, but I will be happy to have the daily liturgy and the evening sessions sound positive: two nights have a movie, two for faith-sharing, others for prayer and Reconciliation. It really is the most important week in the year for me. The last two years I have made a directed retreat at our retirement home and then had a few days at Villa Maria del Mar to deepen the retreat. Twice I have managed to have a thirty-day prayer experience there and the ocean scenes stay with me all year.
I did not plan to write about my retreat today, but I just heard the schedule and now am planning how I will prepare for this most important week of the year!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

These trees are at the Academy of the Sacred Heart in St. Charles where I went to boarding school during my four years of high school. I have such good memories of those years and thought being home three nights a week and at school for four nights was ideal. I had some wonderful teachers and, of course, the spirit of Mother Duchesne, now a canonized saint, penetrated the entire school and the grounds around it. I still feel her spirit when I return for a visit.
I read a good article from John Allen on the Pope as a Parish Pries for the World. He says that there are four
"defining features of Francis' leadership style: simplicity, humility, remaining largely apolitical, and being remarkably accessible to ordinary folks."
I think we need to keep praying that all pastors will practice these four features of  leadership style.

I am still reading for a second time the book on Jesus by Jose Pagola and Jesus certainly was known for his simplicity, humility, remaining largely apolitical, and being remarkably accessible to ordinary folks. In fact, he went out to preach in all the small villages to reach the people. His message was that the reign of God has come. He preached this with passion. He also showed compassion to all but seemed to seek out the lowly, the outcasts, those in most need. If everyone was compassionate, humble, and seeking to help others, our world would be different. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Behold this Heart which has so loved you...

This was sent to me by one of my directees who knows how I have been reading all I can about Pope Francis: It seems that during a Mass with the gardeners and other workmen for the Vatican the Pope asked them just to think and take time to pray for what they desired- the desires of their hearts. Then the Pope went and sat in the back of the church and prayed in silence with them before returning to continue the Mass.
By the way, if you are interested, the Pope's homily for last Sunday and a letter written to the British Prime Minister are both on the blog you find linked to mine on the right side.

Now, for another bit from Reverend Mother de Lescure's Circular Letter of November, 1949 - she tells us that St. Madeleine Sophie offered the Society of the Sacred Heart to the redemptive plans of the Heart of Jesus. "She saw it marked with His features, impregnated with His Spirit, united to His interior dispositions, and dependent upon His Life; and thus, rich in Him alone, it would carry to the world the message of His Love and say to souls: 'Behold This Heart which has so loved you.'"

We are to give the Heart of Jesus to souls. We are to make Him known and loved by all who come in contact with us...I guess I ask myself how I am letting the love of the Heart of Jesus pass through me to others? What can I do today to reveal God's love?

Monday, June 17, 2013

How do we encounter Jesus?

How do you encounter Jesus? This is a question I ask those who come for spiritual direction and I think there are many answers as we are all unique individuals. However, today I want to share what I think I have been drawn to reflect on - it is the last sentence in the Preface of Jose Pagola's book, Jesus: An Historical Approximation. I am reading this book again and still stopping to pray with it.

"We begin to encounter Jesus when we begin to trust God as he did, when we believe in love as he did, when we come to suffering people as he did, when we confront life and death with hope as he did, when we pass on the contagion of the Good News as he did."

I hope all my friends will read this book You will encounter Jesus in many ways.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Sunday's Gospel and the Love of the Heart of Jesus

All four Gospels have the story of the penitent woman who comes to bathe the feet of Jesus with her tears. This Sunday we have Luke's version and I am copying an excerpt from a commentary found on the Concord Pastor's blog - remember that I have this blog linked on the right so you can just click on the bible and find five wonderful commentaries for the next Sunday's liturgy.

The Woman and the Pharisee—Luke also paints a deliberate contrast between the Pharisee and the woman. By inviting Jesus to a meal, the Pharisee recognizes Jesus as an equal. In the Mediterranean world, only equals can invite each other to meals. But after Jesus' arrival, the Pharisee extends no other sign of hospitality, suggesting that he does not accept Jesus for who he is: God's prophet.

The woman stands in stark contrast. The story tells us she was a sinner but gives not a clue regarding the nature of her sin. Though her sinful reputation was known in the city, we do not know what city it was. That she boldly enters the men's space (reclining at table) and is not impeded by Simon suggests she might be a widow, but Simon's neglect may also be part of his determination to withhold signs of hospitality and respect for Jesus.

The woman, however, performs for Jesus all the signs of hospitality that the Pharisee quite intentionally omitted: she provides water for cleansing (v. 44), tenders a kiss of greeting (v. 45), and provides perfumed oil for anointing (v. 46). It is precisely these deeds that tell us the woman has been forgiven. Simon's refusal to act like a host indicates that he has not experienced—perhaps not even sought—forgiveness.

Contemporary Western commitments to equality as a cultural value often make it difficult to perceive other cultures respectfully on their own terms. In today's story, what the woman has done for Jesus is much more important than her alleged reputation or status.

John J. Pilch

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Prayer that leads us into the Heart of Jesus

This sunrise calls one to early morning prayer. How do we prepare to descend into the Heart of Jesus?
In the Circular Letter that I have been quoting this week, Reverend Mother de Lescure tells us that "A deed, a word, a gesture, a movement, an attitude of Jesus in the Gospel...all may lead us into the solitude of His Heart, where the riches and interior dispositions of His Heart are found.
She also reminds us that there may be darkness but "let us remain there, humble, and trusting, courageous and faithful, never doubting that love is at work in the soul, even unknown to it, as long as it is resolute in its desire not to leave Him alone, and to share, in its small measure, in the solitude of His Heart."

I hope reflecting with me this week on bits of this powerful Circular Letter has been helpful for you; it has for me as I suspect this letter was almost a school of prayer for me as a novice.

Friday, June 14, 2013

How to descend into the Heart of Jesus

"The immense solitude of His Heart does not often find anyone with whom it can communicate." I am pondering that line from Reverend Mother de Lescure's Letter that I have been sharing with you this week. She tells us that St. Madeleine Sophie founded the Society to people the solitude of the Heart of Jesus.  We were to " heed the ardor of His heartbeats" and "not leave Him alone in the depths of His Life....That is why  she wanted prayer to lead us to the most intimate and reserved realm of His Interior Dispositions..."
We are to be ready to descend into the solitude of His Heart alone, detached, and offered. But "the fact remains that this is a grace. we do not take it by storm; it is the conquest neither of the inquiring mind nor of the tenacious will. We ask for it on our knees, prostrate in our misery, conscious of our unworthiness, certain, however, of the call which is expressed by the name we bear, Jesus Christ, revealing His Heart, and we, unworthy beggars, entering and descending to unite and conform ourselves: such was to be the prayer of the Society."

I know that many different people read my blogs; I think, although the above was written for the Religious of the Sacred Heart, we can all learn to beg the grace of entering the Heart of Jesus.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Reflection on the Name

By giving us the name, Society of the Sacred Heart, St. Madeleine Sophie assured us of the right to enter and dwell in His Heart. What a gift!
To continue to quote from the November Letter of Reverend Mother de Lescure in 1949:
"Our Lord has many disciples, apostles and friends. During his mortal life and since, many faithful, chosen souls have looked on Him, followed Him, and loved Him. However, is it rash to think that few, too few, going beyond what they have seen and heard about Him, are able to enter the depths of His Life? The solitude of His Heart is a crushing reality. How many souls remain at the threshold, without ever trying to reach, were it only the edge of the torrents of Love which rise towards His Father and souls."

I have already told you how the phrase "the solitude of His Heart is a crushing reality" really influenced me as a novice. Now you have it in context. More on this tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Naming the Society with the name of His Heart was a mutual and real exchange of ownership between the Society and Our Lord who accepted the offering and took possession of it. As Reverend Mother de Lescure says in her November Circular Letter of 1949, "In marking it with His name, He made it His own and gave it His Heart. His name became the sign of the contract between love and mercy on one hand, confidence and total abandonment on the other, for this is what an alliance me be that unites the Heart which is only Love and Mercy with the poor, weak creatures that we all are....this reciprocal possession would make possible by right and fact the admirable exchange of poverty and riches, of failure and pardon, of frailty and strength, of powerlessness and life..."
What a grace for us to be called the Society of the Sacred Heart! Let us ponder what this means for each of us today - Religious, Associate, Alumni, Colleague, Friend, Child of Mary, etc. There is much to reflect on in considering the name of the Society.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Carried by Jesus

Have you ever felt that Jesus was carrying you? I suspect we all have felt this at different times in our lives. I love the story of only one set of footprints because Jesus was carrying the person who thought he had been left alone with all his problems. Jesus is always there for us.

I want to quote a bit from one of my favorite letters of Reverend Mother Therese de Lescure. This is the one that she wrote to the Society preparing for its 150 year celebration. It is on our name, Society of the Sacred Heart:
"It was first of all  between the Society and Our Lord who accepted the offering and took possession of it. In marking it with His name, He made it His own and gave it His Heart...

"What our Holy Mother further assured the Society by its baptismal name was the right to enter and dwell in this Heart.....

But this name would also be a title to entrance, not to the threshold but to the very depths of this divine Heart.,,,

I am going to try to keep to the theme of the Sacred Heart of Jesus during the month of June as it will be good for us to reflect on various aspects of the devotion. I do hope you try praying with the invocations posted in yesterday's blog.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Trust and Pray

Today I am sending you a real treasure. I no doubt sent it a long time ago in this blog, but using this for prayer was a real grace for me and I am sure it will be for you, too. We used to say this in preparation for the First Friday of each month.


Sacred Heart of Jesus,
To your adoration, I unite myself
To your burning love,
To Your ardent zeal,
To your reparation,
To your thanksgiving,
To your firm confidence,
To your fervent prayers,
To your silence,
To your humility,
To your obedience,
To your gentleness and peace,
To your surpassing kindness,
To your universal charity,
To your deep recollection,
To your intense desire for the conversion of sinners,
To your close union with the heavenly Father,
To your intentions, desires, and will, I unite myself.
Love of the Heart of Jesus, Inflame my heart,
Charity of the Heart of Jesus, Abound in my heart,
Strength of the Heart of Jesus, Uphold my heart,
Mercy of the Heart of Jesus, Forgive my heart,
Patience of the Heart of Jesus, Do not weary of my heart,
Kingdom of the Heart of Jesus, Be established in my heart,
Wisdom of the Heart of Jesus, Teach my heart,
Zeal of the Heart of Jesus, Consume my heart,
Will of the heart of Jesus, Dispose of my heart.

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

Take one invocation to spend the day with and repeat it as you go through the day. It will make a difference in your life!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Sunday Reflection

This Sunday's Readings give much to reflect on and I think that we are learning to be more aware of the great compassion of God. I am also reading the book "The Humility of God" by Ilia Delio - it is taking me a long time because I need to keep going back over a page and underlining so many of her thought-filled sentences. I think her speaking of the humility of God in this book and the compassion of God in another have made the readings for Sunday speak to me of the great compassion shown and commented on for this Sunday by John Kavanaugh - we are still reborn in Christ!

"Elijah begged God to restore a dead son to a poor widow. Guilt was the order of the day. She presumed it was either Elijah's fault or her own that the son had died. But the guilt was overcome. The prophet, hovering over the lad, called his lifebreath back.
]esus, for his part, encountered a widow at Naim. He saw her in the funeral procession of her only son. Moved with compassion for her loss, his words were, “Do not cry.” He touched the litter and said, “Young man, 1 bid you, get up.” Then ]esus gave him back to his mother.
But did these two children of two widows eventually die someday? Of course they did. This can only mean that the message behind all those accounts of bringing back to life is not the perpetual postponement of death. Death will come, whether now or later. But the healings of the prophets, as well as Jesus, are symbolic of a deeper healing. The point cannot be to stave off death. If that were the point, Jesus himself should never have died.
But Jesus did die. And he was risen up by the power of the Father. That is the point. No matter what death we endure—even sin itself—it is not definitive. We are reborn in Christ."

The Heart of Christ is full of compassion and He needs us to be compassionate!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

This is not really a picture of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, but it is a traditional image of Mary that speaks to me of her intercession for all of us. She is a real mother and watches over us. The surest way to the Heart of Jesus is through the Heart of Mary.
I am glad the feast of the Immaculate Heart is the day after the Feast of the Sacred Heart as those two hearts are so closely united that it seems fitting to have the feasts so close together. On the other hand, I think we celebrate the Immaculate Heart of Mary less now. It used to be on August 22 and something we really looked forward to as the summer was ending. Now, it is a quiet day with more time for prayer and that is good.
We had a lovely Mass with all the faculty and staff of our school here in Miami yesterday and then lunch there. The RSCJs in the Miami area also celebrated by going out to dinner. A huge rain storm started after we were safely seated inside for dinner. We all made it home safely but I read in today's paper that some areas were badly flooded. I am still praying with "Jesus: An Historical Approximation" and hope you are reading it. The author is Jose Pagola, a Spanish priest.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Feast of the Sacred Heart

Today's feast has reading about the Shepherd who cares for his sheep. I think the message that we are receiving from Pope Francis is that we need to go out and look for the sheep. We are all called today to deepen our relationship with Jesus, to speak to Him, heart to heart and to listen to Him. When we contemplate the Heart of Jesus we not only increase our love for Him but want to give His love to others. There are so many opportunities in our daily life to reach out to others. What keeps me from doing this? Let us ask both for a deep encounter with Jesus today and the apostolic zeal to continue to bring others to Him.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Seeking the Lost Sheep

Jesus tells us that if a sheep has strayed the good shepherd will leave his flock and go to search for the lost one. I think that Jesus is still our Good Shepherd and willing to go after any of us when we wander away.
He knows each of us better than we know ourselves; He loves us and wants what is best for us. We are always being led to green pastures by our Good Shepherd who calls us by name and goes before us. Why are we so stupid as some sheep and want to go our own way? As we prepare for the Feast of the Sacred Heart tomorrow, let us ask Jesus to "carry us home" and keep us in His Heart.
We, the Religious of the Sacred Heart in Miami, in union with our sisters all over the world, will be renewing our vows tomorrow. Those of us in Miami will do this at a Mass celebrated with the faculty of our school at 11:30.
As most of you know, we have really renewed our Province website; you can find it at and my blog also appears on it.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

A Litany

 We can all find many varied ways to describe the Heart of Jesus and pray to Him. This is from Wendy Wright:

Litany of the Sacred Heart

Heart of Jesus, hear our prayer!

So loving
So humble
So gentle
So compassionate
So faithful
So wise
So patient
So steadfast
So tender
So spacious

Heart of Jesus, hear our prayer!

God’s joy
God’s shalom
Harp of the Trinity
Wingbeat of the Spirit
Breath of God
Five-petaled rose

Heart of Jesus, hear our prayer!

Womb of justice
Birthplace of peace
Our dearest hope
Longing of our lives

Heart of Jesus, hear our prayer!

Freely flowing fountain
Spring of grace
Freshet of forgiveness
Merciful river
Mystical dew

Heart of Jesus, hear our prayer!

Warmth of our hearts
Transforming fire
Cosmic furnace
Enflamer of hearts

Heart of Jesus, hear our prayer!

Heart of evolution
Beginning and ending
Center of all

Heart of Jesus, hear our prayer!

Garden of virtues
Mystical dew
Table and food

Heart of Jesus, hear our prayer!

Our refuge
Our shelter
Our comfort
Our rest
Our welcoming breast

Heart of Jesus, hear our prayer!

Wounded by love
Pierced by our cruelty
Broken by our hardness
Mystic winepress
Poured out as gift

Heart of Jesus, hear our prayer!

Have mercy, gracious heart,
Give us gratefulness
Teach us tenderness
Let us learn to love.

Hear our prayer!

- Wendy Wright

Let us pray...
God of all our hearts,
open your heart that we might see in yours
the beauty of each and every one created in your image.
We pray for all who have died
that they may find in your heart
the eternal peace you offer us.