We are beginning Advent this Sunday and so should begin preparing for this wonderful season of preparation to welcome the Infant Jesus as He comes into our world, into our hearts. Advent is a season of hope, a joyful season. How am I going to prepare my heart to welcome Christ again this Christmas? Keeping a gratitude journal has helped me. It really makes you aware of all you have to be thankful for each day. It helps me to focus on the positive! It makes every day a Thanksgiving!
Here are two quotes from St. Philippine Duchesne:
"When one loves God, ne never says 'enough'."
"Do not look back to the past, not forward to te future. Claim nay the present for it holds God's will."
I was remembering one Thanksgiving when I had been in Chile for several years and my Dad was concerned that I never had turkey. He sent a generous check, the superior gave it to the treasurer who went all the way to Valparaiso to procure turkey for the community. She told me that she had bought two turkeys and I should bring them in as they were still in our van. I found two live turkeys and did not know what I was to do with them. We had to kill them, then hang them up to drain them, then pluck them, and finally had them ready to cook. I planned to make the dressing and stuff them on Thursday morning, but the Sister in the kitchen assured me she had stuffed both and had them in the oven. They cooked beautifully, tasted wonderful, but the "stuffing" turned out to be an apple and a pear in each. Still, it was a great Thanksgiving and I went swimming in a really rough Pacific Ocean and loved it!
To share something more spiritual, here is a quote from St. Madeleine Sophie:
"Your will is set on corresponding to Christ's love and not refusing anything. That is all the divine Heart asks of us. He does not ask that we become perfect all at once, but that we work towards this each day, in the measure that grace operates in us and the radiance of the Holy Spirit enlightens us."
Turn on the TV this week and you will find directions for buying a turkey, stuffing a turkey, cooking a turkey, carving a turkey, etc. Thanksgiving is so much moe than the turkey dinner. We need to make some spiritual preparations, too. What am I most grateful for? I guess I would say "for the gift of life"! And for family and friends. Today is my brother's birthday; I was twelve when he was born on Thanksgiving night. I was old enough to take care of him and he was really a beautiful baby.
I am reading a book sent to me by a dear friend. It is Philip Newell's llatest:"The Rebirthing of God"
He quotes Julian of Norwich as saying that we are made of God, not just made by God. Then Newell says that the wisdom of God is deep within us. The creativity of God is within us and the love longings of God are at the heart of our being "Deep within us are holy, natural longings for oneness, primal sacred drives for Union." That should give us something to reflect upon. We have so much to thank for!
Today is the birthday of the society of the Sacred Heart.in 1800. We began with a very small group who made their vows in Paris. Another small group would come to America in 1818. Now we are in 43 countries revealing God's love wherever we are!
One of the greatest graces of my life was being able to go to the Academy of the Sacred Heart in St. Charles where Saint. Philippine Duchesne founded the first Sacred Heart school in America in 1818!
I received my vocation there.
After a year in Rome that included six months at the Trinita dei Monti, I was sent to Chile where I spent twenty wonderful years. Having just had a near death experience has made me so grateful for the many graces given to me.
I invite all my readers to reflect back over their life and thank God for all the graces given to each. What better way to prepare for Thanksgiving!
I am now recuperating in California at our retirement home but can walk again by myself. I seem to have another infection so at present I am in isolation for a few days and the aides must wear gowns to enter my room. I guess I will try to think of these days in solitude as a mini retreat to thank for all the graces received and I know so many have been praying for me. I am grateful!
I can walk now so will just walk around my room as I was just getting some strength back. When the Holy Spirit inspires me, I shall continue the blog, but I think it will not be this week. We are in the novena for the Feast of St. Philippine Duchesne and I am reading her letters again.