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Tuesday, June 30, 2015


My bookshelves are overflowing with books that I am reading or wanting to read. I am also so grateful that I can read. I feel for those who have poor sight, for those who never learned to love reading, for so many now that do not have books, do not have the opportunity to go to a public library and browse, for those who do not read.

We had built-in bookcases in our living room; their were four of them. My Dad had the one to the right of the fireplace and I had the one on the left. The other bookcases were on either side of the entrance to our spacious room that ran the full width of our home. We had French doors that opened onto a small, wrought iron balcony overlooking an enclosed garden complete with a stone bench and bird bath. I loved that room. We all read and loved to read at least from first grade. However, when we had the first television set on our block, my brothers were addicted to whatever they were allowed to watch and the youngest in our family learned by hearing rather than cultivating a love of reading.

I am most grateful for this gift of loving books, but now I seem to be collecting too many. I do not like reading spiritual books on my I-pad. I have another whole library of interesting books there. Maybe I will need to find more time to catch up with all the good books waiting to be read. In the meantime, I look at the books and feel gratitude.

Monday, June 29, 2015


Add caption
            We are all called to trust.        Sometimes I am so frustrated with this blog. Now I cannot get the margins to work for me and so I am thinking of taking a vacation. If will probably stop writing on July 5th as I go to retreat from July 7-15 and then we have our Provincial Assembly/Chapter from the 15th to the 19th. If the Holy Spirit inspires me, I will post a blog but I may just decide to take vacation. I was going to write today about trust. Jesus is all-powerful and He loves us. Why do we find it hard to trust?                                                                                                                                                                                   

Sunday, June 28, 2015


Jesus was close to people, even strangers that came up to Him. He reached out and touched the leper; Jesus took the little girl's hand and helped her up and then told the parents to give her something to eat. He let others touch Him. He was close to the people around Him and He had compassion on the crowds. We all know this, but do we live it? I think reaching out to people is one of the chief lessons the Pope wants us to learn. We need to go out and really spread the joy of the Gospel. Who am I reaching out to today? I touch others by taking the time to send a note, an e-mail, or text.
People seem to have phones in their hands wherever you look; I hope they are reaching out to give joy to others.

I have been playing Words with Friends for months now and I guess I sometimes have almost twenty games going. I have decided not to play after I finish all my currant games as I will be going to retreat and then we have our Provincial Assembly. I will miss the fun of playing with others, but will start again before the end of July. I just noticed that I was getting addicted to playing and it was taking more time. I hope all I play with will understand my three week vacation - I am going to miss playing but think this is the thing I need to do now.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Celebrating Memories

I have been going through papers that one of our Religious is leaving behind; some will go to the Archives but many are copies of what we have so I need to destroy them. It makes me want to clear out all my old copies of conferences and letters from the Mother House as I seldom go back to look at any of them. Many have now been published and we have the books in community. However, I owe the reflection for this blog from a paper on Healing Memories. I am sure some people do need to heal memories, but what about celebrating our memories?

Today I am celebrating my memories. Many are of Chile and I have revived them because two of our Religious have just returned from a formation meeting there. It is really one of the most beautiful countries in the world and the people are wonderful. I guess my memories of colorful festivals and dancing, singing, and just being joyful are to be celebrated today and thanked for again. I loved every place I lived and visited in Chile and I did have the great job of traveling spiritual director that kept me visiting the 19 communities that we had after the changes when the Bishops were begging us to live in their towns and do parish work. We had been only four schools and then we suddenly had 19 communities instead of four or five. I guess it just seemed sudden to many of us. I loved working with the communities, giving workshops, teaching communal discernment, and just being with them as I spent about a week in each community from 1974-75 and then I went to live in the poorest region in the north of Chile and was superior for a very holy, hard-working community in Coquimbo. I just have many, many memories to celebrate and I am sure you do too! Let's celebrate!

Friday, June 26, 2015

The God of Surprises

My reflection today is based on the desire of Pope Francis that we may cultivate hopefulness, let God surprise us, and live in joy.
I think this year has taught me much about the way God really does surprise me. Each day is full of surprises, if we are attentive to realize how God acts in our lives. I woke up aware of the presence of my own mother and father. That is something that happened several times when I was ill and in isolation, but this is the first time since I have been home. It was a surprise to feel their presence and their love.

Yesterday I had several surprises. One of the nicest was the dinner I cooked for my community. I think I will tell you about it as it is so easy and, although I think I "invented" this dish, I do remember that Gin O'Meara created something similar. I returned home later than I thought I would yesterday afternoon and so quickly assembled on the counter the following: five potatoes, two onions, two large tomatoes, half of a green pepper, half of a red pepper, one zucchini, a bag of grated cheese. I cut and slices all and then added it in layers to a large baking dish: a layer of potatoes, then onions, then tomatoes, then cheese, then peppers and zucchini, then more potatoes, tomatoes, and cheese. I cover and baked this for an hour at 350 - I had some thin chicken breasts that I poached in cooking wine and then cooked a few minutes to brown them a bit on both sides. They were added to the top of the other dish before serving. I had added salt and pepper to both the potatoes and tomatoes but I thought the dish still needed a bit more but all thought it delicious.
I guess this was a surprise from God and I will definitely repeat as it is so easy and only one dish to wash - we have leftovers for today and I suspect they will be even better. I had watermelon for dessert.

Thursday, June 25, 2015


The other morning I was inspired to write about holiness. I really thought that the Holy Spirit inspired the blog that I wanted to schedule for today. Maybe I liked it too much as it disappeared. I do not know where it went and felt frustrated. Now, I am sure that the lesson to learn here is that feeling frustrated can be part of life and we need to learn how to turn frustration into grace. I can just be grateful that I felt the blog wrote itself under the Holy Spirit's inspiration. I just sat down and wrote and now cannot remember all that I wrote. I need to pray before writing this reflection.

Here is the quote that began my own reflection on holiness:

"Holiness comes wrapped in the ordinary. There are burning bushes all around you. Every tree is full of angels. Hidden beauty is waiting in every crumb." This is from Macrina Wiederkehr, OSB quoted in the June issue of Friends of Silence.

For me, I need the awareness that there is grace in everything that happens. We say "yes" to whatever the Lord wants and we find the grace to do it, the feeling of thankfulness that we have life, and a deep joy that we are able to respond to the Lord, with the help of His grace. He is always with us and His Heart is open to find there all that we need, even if it is what He asks of us! He assured Sister Josefa this when He told her: "Come to my Heart and there find all that you need, even if it is what I have asked of you."
This is a favorite quotation of mine and perhaps my way to find holiness.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

What is grace?

This is taken from "Friends of Silence", the June Issue and has made me reflect on grace. What is it? "It seems to linger just beyond our awareness until it seeps in unbidden and undeserved -- the unexpected fragrance caught on the breeze, the cool refreshing stream with its melodic soothing of the heart, the warmth of the sun on an upturned face. It triggers the moments that against all odds soften our hearts. Perhaps it arrives on the fingertips of human touch or in the space between the notes of our allegro movements. Perhaps it is a gentle tap on the shoulder from beyond the edges of the visible world that causes us to turn our heads to listen and to look and to feel the blessings all around us. Whatever it is and wherever the source, it asks nothing more of us than gratitude."

The bold is mine. In one sense, I think gratitude is grace. I am just trying to live the gratitude I feel overwhelming me - maybe old age is just being grateful for all that has been, is, and will be.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Walking with God

Living in Miami for many years has made me a non-walker; it is just too hot. We walk from an air-conditioned house to an air-conditioned car, to an air-conditioned store, office, church, etc. We are just spoiled, but I know I need to walk. I now walk some in the swimming pool. Others walk in the air-conditioned malls. This picture makes me think that we all are also walking interiorly. We are trying to walk with Jesus and live united to Him. I just read that Reverend Mother Goetz, our Superior General when St. Madeleine Sophie died, said that devotion to the Sacred Heart means living united to Jesus and when we are united, then we can do much good. She believes that a true Religious must live in union with Jesus. I desire this union, but am far from living it.

Union and conformity with the Heart of Jesus was a key phrase in the spirituality of St. Madeleine Sophie and is found often in the 1815 Constitutions. She talked a great deal about prayer, interior spirit, fidelity to the inspirations of the Holy Spirit - all means to union and conformity with the Heart of Jesus. Let us all strive for this union and conformity with His Heart.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Missing Father's Day

Spending Sunday remembering my own Dad seemed to make me forget to post a blog. I am sorry about that, but hope you all had a restful Sunday and celebrated your fathers - here or in heaven. My Dad was really special, but I guess many of us had "special" Dads.

My parents moved at my insistence into a smaller, one-story house with a pool for the last years of their lives. The pool brought us all together as we all loved to swim. One of my memories of my father is watching him in the evenings go out to the swimming pool and just sit on the deck and watch a rubber swan float around the pool.  If I find one, I would love to do the same, but I can see our pool from the Chapel in our house and it is very contemplative to just look at water.

Friday, June 19, 2015


Do you find it difficult to find words of praise? How about this idea?
Would a cartwheel count? I tested the weight of the idea in my mind and it felt so much more like light than darkness. What if praise is a cartwheel? What if praise is putting two feet on the ground at the beginning of the day? What if praise is tying up your shoelaces? What if praise is taking this breath right here . . . and the one that comes after it, like a steady tide of the very smallest vestige of hopefulness, gently rolling itself beneath the soles of your aching feet? What if praise is whatever is the only thing you can muster when the darkness has closed in around you?
And what if that breath, or shoelace-tying, or cartwheel-turning praise is the smallest mustard seed of faith, buried in the darkness when the fallow season wraps around us and makes the Light so hard to see?

This may have appeared on Twitter, too, but I like it.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Our heart becomes a place of continual prayer

Would that our hearts become a place of continued prayer!!
It can happen and I am sure it does for many, but I am one who is easily distracted and need to quiet my heart to listen to how the Spirit is praying in me. Our inner life is fascinating when we are attentive enough to grasp all that goes on in our hearts. I guess I am often in my head instead of my heart, but I find this overwhelming feeling of gratitude is from my heart.

I am grateful and happy because I am so grateful. It has been an amazing year for me and I am finding that I love silence and just being and I no longer feel guilty when I am just resting in God. There are always many things to be done, but most can be postponed and nothing happens. I guess that is the joy of being "retired" - one has time to just be!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Encounters with God

This is the gate to the entrance of the Academy of the Sacred Heart in St. Charles. Sometimes it helps all of us to go back to early experiences of God. I certainly lived in a holy atmosphere while I spent the four formative years of high school there as a weekly border. There were many times when we prayed together: Morning prayers, daily Mass, Benedictions, etc. - those are not the times I go back to today when I think of encountering Jesus. It was usually when I was able to go to the Chapel alone; I would kneel on the doorstep and just talk to Jesus and listen, too. I kept that habit of little visits even when I went to college. It helped at the old Maryville to have the Chapel central on the main corridor so I passed it often.

Another experience of an encounter with Jesus was in the midst of a thunder storm on the back sleeping porch of my house. One never forgets a "peak experience" of God and I invite you to go back and relive your own moments of encounter with God.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Did you know?

The Mustard Tree has grown!

In Pope Francis', "The Joy of the Gospel" the word "Joy" occurs 28 times in the first four pages, plus seven " rejoices." Did you know that?
I learned it because I read it!
I was reading a short article by Margery Eagan, "Seeking the transcendent" that someone gave me. It was published on May 27, 2015 in Crux. She feels that the shrinking number of American Catholics is "also about Catholics seeking and not finding an experience of the holy and transcendent - of God- in their Church."

She goes on to explain that when the Holy Father says that "the joy of the Gospel fills the hearts and lives of all who encounter Jesus" he is talking about an actual experience of God, which changes everything. She also reminds us of these lines from John's Gospel:  "Live in me, and I will live in you."
"Abide in me."
"Remain in me."
"I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete."

We are all called to be mystics for a mystic is someone who has experienced those glimpses and believes they have had direct communion with God. I think most of us have had that kind of experience and it stays with us. God wants us to encounter Him in many ways so just let yourself be lost in His Love.

Monday, June 15, 2015


To think there are people who
  have never seen a squirrel,
Who spend their lives seeing only
  tigers, or polar bears, or leopards,
Who have never laughed at those bushy tails,
Or watched them store up acorns,
Or disappear up a tree.
Perhaps it is a deprivation those
Who contemplate only ostriches
  don't even know they suffer,
Just as most of us will never
  know we're missing the
  tangy taste of fried worms.
It is good to remember or privilege;
Not everyone sees a tiny
  fellow scamper up an oak.

( Privilege is a poem by Carol Bialock, RSCJ)

Sunday, June 14, 2015

We need to trust God and be patient...

This Sunday we have two parables that Jesus told and both seem to me to be a call to trust.

Gospel Mk 4:26-34

Jesus said to the crowds:
“This is how it is with the kingdom of God;
it is as if a man were to scatter seed on the land
and would sleep and rise night and day
and through it all the seed would sprout and grow,
he knows not how.
Of its own accord the land yields fruit,
first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear.
And when the grain is ripe, he wields the sickle at once,
for the harvest has come.”

He said,
“To what shall we compare the kingdom of God,
or what parable can we use for it?
It is like a mustard seed that, when it is sown in the ground,
is the smallest of all the seeds on the earth.
But once it is sown, it springs up and becomes the largest of plants
and puts forth large branches,
so that the birds of the sky can dwell in its shade.”
With many such parables
he spoke the word to them as they were able to understand it.
Without parables he did not speak to them,
but to his own disciples he explained everything in private.

In the first parable, we see that the Kingdom of God does not depend on us.  We scatter the seed and it sprouts and grows. God is the one who both provides the seed and causes the growth. In the second parable, we see that again we see the Kingdom of God spreading from a tiny mustard seed, the smallest seed of all. Once it is sown, it springs up and becomes the largest of plants and puts forth its branches to welcome all. I think both parables teach us to trust in God's action. I may not understand (those listening to Jesus did not understand), but I can trust and go forth to sow the seed and plant and then be patient.


Saturday, June 13, 2015


This is part of something I read the other day and like. It first speaks of the word "winsome" and then applies it to the way we want to attract others:

Even in the darkest times, we carry within us a hope because the source of our joy is secure. We touch lives when we live ours joyously, as winsome ambassadors for Christ.
How can we be more winsome at work or school? Be cheerful and include those that others leave out.
How can we be more winsome at home? Discipline in love, and work to maintain a pleasant atmosphere. Be playful with your husband and children. Laughter is contagious.
How can we be more winsome in our friendships? Be an encourager and a supporter, who delights in the success of others.
Do you know someone who is especially winsome? What happens if truth is delivered without love?
by Dawn Camp, My Home Sweet Home, editor and photographer of The Beauty of Grace

Friday, June 12, 2015

We are always being formed...

God made us to grow and become fully alive, fully human. We are all being formed by others, by circumstances, by the daily events.
Formation lasts all of our lives.

An important part of our formation, no matter who we are, is reflecting on the world around us. Now we have an encyclical that will help us to care for our planet. I may just be one person but what I do and do not do is important for the evolution of the world!

Prayer of the Heart

I picked up a small book that I seemed to have been using months ago as I have underlined certain passages. It is "Prayer of the Heart in Christian and Sufi Mysticism" and I found it helpful in my own preparation for the Feast of the Sacred Heart. Today we renew our vows during the Mass and, although this is a renewal only of devotion, I think it calls us to deepen our experience of our consecrated life.
This little book by Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee speaks of prayer as a "way to be with God." We each have our own way of being with God. The prayer of the heart "draws us deep within the center of our being where we can be alone with our Beloved . . .where we can speak and live the deepest longing of our soul to be with God."

I guess I am more aware of praying in the Heart of Jesus; I am drawn into His Heart to be with Him, to give Him joy, to let Him love me.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Our eternal joy

Since I have been back, I have not been to look at the ocean, but did contemplate the bay the other day from our school which has a gorgeous view. I miss the ocean and love this picture of Chilean horses on the beach.

I thought I might share this from Julian:

In the long text version of Revelations of Divine Love, Julian of Norwich devotes a chapter to the Sacred Heart. The words Jesus had spoken to her twenty years before as he directed her gaze to the wound in his side — “Look how much I loved you” — she explains as follows:
[It is] as if he said, 'My darling, look and see your Lord, your God, who is your maker and your eternal joy. See what pleasure and delight I take in your salvation, and for my love rejoice with me now . . .  All my bitter torment and painful hardship has changed into endless joy and bliss for me and for you.
Jesus wants us to live in joy and rejoice with Him; He is our eternal joy!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015


Each day I am more grateful for all that I received from my stay at Oakwood. I would love to be able to write to each to thank for the prayer, the notes, the many acts of kindness and thoughtfulness that made me happy to be there even while I was desiring to be back in my own community. This week I am sending many notes and also hoping to write a few in Spanish for my friends in Chile. I find writing notes part of my ministry now as we all are trying to spread the joy of the Gospel. Of course, I also reach out to many through e-mail, but I think some of my friends prefer notes and some are not even using a computer.

There was an elderly Religious when I was a young nun who never missed an opportunity to thank. She thanked someone for the least service. In fact, she thanked for everything. Her spirit of gratitude is what I most remember, but she was famous for being the first Religious of the Sacred Heart to receive a doctorate in Physics, I think, and I do not know how many honors she won through her brilliant teaching. I am glad I remember her as the one who always thanked for everything! My preparation for the Feast of the Sacred Heart seems to have become one of gratitude. Gratitude for my vocation, for my family, friends, the wonderful experiences that I have had, my ministries that have been wonderful and varied - I began teaching first grade and managed to teach every grade up through post-masters! I also spent many years in formation work and loved giving directed retreats and then and now forming base communities or spirituality groups. I know I have been marked by my twenty years in Chile and I am so grateful!

If grace is asking only gratitude, let us be grateful today for each moment, for each encounter, for the weather, the food we eat, the words we hear and the beauty we see.

"Holiness comes wrapped in the ordinary. There are burning bushes all around you. Every tree is full of angels. Hidden beauty is waiting in every crumb." Macrina Wiederkehr, OSB in the June issue of "Friends of Silence."

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

The name we bear

I have been thinking about what the Feast of the Sacred Heart means for me today. I entered for this feast 65 years ago and I knew it was the big feast for the Society of the Sacred Heart, but I am not sure I grasped what a wonderful feast it is where we celebrate the immense love of Jesus for each one of us. There are different readings according to the cycle of the Liturgy and the feast is always the Friday after the Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ. Jesus gives us Himself in the Eucharist and then gives His life for us. How can we ever doubt His love?

When we speak of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, we are really speaking of Jesus, not just His Heart. On the other hand, it is a great symbol for us of His love. It means a great deal to me to know that the soldier who pierced the Heart of Jesus led to early devotion to His Sacred Heart. The mystics found the entrance and lost themselves there in prayer. I have learned to enter His Heart and just be there.
It has been a grace to be a Religious of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. We are called to enter into His Heart, to draw out all that we need and to give His Love to others.

Monday, June 8, 2015

International Formation Meeting in Chile

From June 13 to the 23 I ask prayer for the Society of the Sacred Heart's International Meeting on Formation which will be held in Chile. Chile now has an international noviciate for several countries in South America and it is such a wonderful country! To hold the meeting there gives me great joy. We are sending two from here; they leave on Saturday morning after we celebrate the Feast of the Sacred Heart together this Friday. It will be an opportunity for me to send notes to my friends in Chile.

I am meeting with a spirituality group today at Carrollton; they did not meet while I was away, but seem to want to continue and so we will meet in the Chapel there after school hours and pray with the reading for the Feast of the Sacred Heart. We will all be at the Mass on Friday; the Religious of the Sacred Heart in the area will renew our vows during the Liturgy at St. Hughes and faculty rewards will follow the Mass and then we will all have lunch in the new Wellness Center at Carrollton. Let us all pray for both the coming Formation Meeting in Chile but also for our own preparation for the Feast of the Sacred Heart this coming Friday. All the readers of this blog will be in my prayer.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

A Quiet Sunday

Every so often I seem to need to remind myself that Sunday is the Lord's day and not the day to do all the work we could not get done before Sunday.  Now it seems that we have forgotten that our ancestors really kept this day holy and free from manual work. I remember being told that one did not wash or iron or sew on a Sunday. Grass had to be cut on Saturday and the car washed, but not on the Lord's day.

We forget that we are given this day to rest and spend some time with God. We can just relax with a good book, or go do something we like to do - swim, play golf, go to a movie, etc. Before, the stores were not open on Sunday; there was one pharmacy by turn that would be open but no one shopped on Sunday. Now, the stores are full at all hours on Sunday. I try not to need to go to the grocery store on Sunday, but when I do need to go, it is crowded. I guess I am just using this blog to remind myself to keep holy the Sabbath in some way this summer as I have lost my usual contemplative Sunday morning, although I still find time for longer prayer even after getting up later. I do spend quite a bit of time with the Sunday papers. I did not do that when I was away and now ask myself if I am wasting time or is it necessary to be informed? Since I devour the Sport section as well as the New York Times Magazine, I wonder if I am just fooling myself about spending Sunday morning with the newspapers. Maybe the Holy Spirit is nudging me to reflect more about my Sundays.

Feast of the Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ

Here is something worth reading from John Kavanaugh, S.J.:

Whatever its historical genesis and development, the feast of the Body and Blood of Christ has a thematic reach that touches the core meaning of our salvation and the furthest extent of our mission.

First, it is a celebration of Jesus Christ’s body, a body like our own, genetically coded, conditioned by birth, developing through life, and undergoing the terrible relinquishment of death. It is a celebration of his body, moreover, which he identified with bread and wine in his Last Supper, given to us as the food of faith. We literally take into our own bodies the body of the Savior. This re-enacts the Incarnation: God once again takes human flesh. We are the indwelling.

Communion also re-enacts our redemption. Each time we celebrate this sacrament we embody the covenant of Christ, wherein God sees in us anew the flesh of Jesus. It was not by the “blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood” that our redemption was achieved and our consciences cleansed. Jesus Christ, “body, blood, soul, and divinity,” becomes substantially one with our bodies as our very food and sustenance. Thus God beholds each of us and sees the beloved Son sent to save us.

But it is not only God’s vision of us that is affected. Our own vision of ourselves and of each other is transformed. If we fully penetrate this mystery, we are empowered to see each other as God sees us: as the body and blood of Christ.

The consecration at the Eucharist is marked by the words, “This is my body. ... This is my blood.” Through our Communion, the words apply to each of us. Transubstantiation, then, applies not only to the appearances of bread and wine, it also applies to the appearances of human flesh.

Perhaps this is the eucharistic meaning of Jesus’ parable of the last judgment in Matthew 25. When all the nations of the world are gathered together, the Son of Man utters those strange words: “Insofar as you did it to the least of these, you have done it to me.” In the body of the prisoner or stranger, the hungry or the naked, the disconsolate or the sick, a second transubstantiation has taken place. Christ has said over the least of us: “This is my body.”

In his sermon “The Weight of Glory,” C. S. Lewis wrote: “Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbor is the holiest object presented to your senses.” Christ’s body is as hidden in the least of us as it is under the appearances of bread and wine. Both require an uncommon and daring faith.

When we labor for human rights, when we shelter the poor, when we dismantle the bombs, when we protect the unborn, when we reach out to the criminal, we do these things not as political activists or social workers. We do them not as liberals or conservatives. We do them as people who worship the incarnate God.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

This picture is my reflection for today. My blog scheduled what I had to say for the Feast of the  Body and Blood of Christ for Sunday but it was published on Thursday and I seem to have lost another blog.

I have been thinking quite a bit about old age and this is one picture that speaks to me of the serenity that comes with knowing that you now can be at peace and not worry about getting things done or what people think of you. I still have "to do" lists, but I am not too concerned about when the things I need to do or just want to do will be crossed off. Instead, I know the essentials will be taken care of if I just live in peace and try to give joy to Jesus and others. I just find that my priorities have changed and I no longer plan and strive to accomplish much. Each day brings its own joys and challenges, but to contemplate a picture with still water just deepens the peace and gratitude I feel now that I have reached 84 which is supposed to be "old, old age."

The newness of "old" age

"Old age in not when we stop growing. It is exactly the time to grow in new ways. It is the period in which we set out to make sense out of all the growing we have already done. It is the softening season when everything in us is meant to achieve its sweetest, richest, most unique self." Joan Chittester

I guess we need to take stock of who we really are after so many years of living. We are called to help in the building up of the Cosmic Christ. Nothing we do or do not do is discounted; we all have a responsibility in this evolution of the world and "old" age brings a newness, a fresh energy, at least for the things of the Spirit. Let us listen to God's heart as God listens to each of us.

Friday, June 5, 2015

On Being Loved

You've loved me in many ways, my God,
Now, after sixty summers I know your treats:
Tales a sunrise tells;
The easy silence of friendship;
And, in ultimate kindness,
Death's shattering of shells.

But your tricks, now:
How compassion is squeezed from the lemon of pain;
How many winters it takes a mind to wisdom;
How you seduce with one white rose,
Then spurn and trample and snub;
How your breath on the neck is hot and cold,
Nothing lukewarm;
How you knock politely for years,
Then suddenly tear down fences, gates and doors
To grasp the heart like a trophy.

Now that I'm old,
Mercy, Lord.
And do not change your ways,
I want your unexpected fierceness of love
To the end of my days.
                           Carol Bialock, RSCJ

Another of Carol's poems to reflect on today. We really had time at Oakwood to renew  our friendship as we were usually the first two at a window table for breakfast at 7:30 each day.
Carol arrived at the Academy of the Sacred Heart as a border in 1944 - I arrived at the same time but she was a senior and I was a freshman and only boarded at school four nights and had three at home each week which I found just a perfect way to go through the four years of high school. Then, Carol went to Maryville and I followed her there; both of us entered the Society of the Sacred Heart and were again together as novices. Then, many years later when I was head of the school in Chile, Carol came and we roomed together for a year as our school had to be built after the earthquake and we began it in our new location without the community part being finished. Even the classrooms had no doors or blackboards when we began school that year. Anyway, Carol gave me her poems and I am so happy to be able to share some of them with you for your reflection!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

How to spread joy

How do I spread joy to all around me? I know that I am called to give joy to Jesus and to others. It is done mostly by loving, I think, but when I am grateful and take the time to express my great gratitude, I think I also give joy. Maybe I find telling someone "thank you" easier than saying "I love you". Both are necessary. Both can be expressed in action as well as in word. Who will I give joy to today?

The other side of this reflection is how grateful I am for all those who give me joy. It is often the little things that fill me with joy. For instance, when we were about to begin exercise class at the gym yesterday, I realized that I had left my bottle of water in the car. One of my companions said, "Go buy a bottle at the gym's reception desk; they only cost a dollar." I did not want to be late for our class so just shrugged and said I would drink water later. She went and brought me a bottle of water. It was not the water but the generosity to go get it for me that gave me real joy. I am sure we all have moments of joy given us by others and so we are also grateful and gratitude increases our joy!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The Angel of Joy

I will not let the angel of joy
Flood my soul in vain.
I will not let darkness be victorious.
When fear tightens its noose,
Constricts the heart,
Clogs the mind,
I will go to the man of light
Who has always befriended me
And breathe deep
In the release
Of his embrace.

This is another poem by my fellow RSCJ, Sister Carol Bialock.

Let us all breathe deep in the release of His embrace and go forth and spread joy today.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Five minutes in a garden

You know I love to share Carol Bialock's poems with you. Here is a short one called "Five Minutes in a Garden":

Five minutes in a garden and you
Know it's all God.
The daisies can't deceive,
The roses can't keep the secret.
We may call it a garden
But it's really the one body
The one flesh
The only life there is.

Her poems call forth reflection. I hope you like this one1

Monday, June 1, 2015

An Oasis of serenity

I was given Joan Chittister's "The Gift of Years: growing Old Gracefully" yesterday by a dear friend. He knows a book is always a great present and this one has helped me to renew my desire to be joyful until the end. I was skimming through the book and came across the idea that I should be "an oasis of serenity" in my old age. I need to face the fact that 84 means old age and see how I am going to be this "oasis of serenity". I am off to the gym now! May I radiate peace, love, and joy!

Another dear friend gave me a gift certificate for Amazon you will all benefit as I expect to find new books to tell you about during the year!