Search This Blog

Saturday, April 30, 2016

"Remain in my Love"

Sometimes a refrain keeps repeating itself as I go through the day.
Lately, it has been Jesus telling me, "Remain in my love" and I am trying to do that. This time of saying good-byes, packing, and getting rid of so much of my life is not easy for me. I find it very consoling to hear and repeat "Remain in my love." I want all my friends to remain in the love of Jesus and in my love, too.

One task I knew I was not able to do but one that needed to be done was to destroy the thirty or forty journals that I had saved. Fortunately, my niece did this for me. I met a Sister after Mass at the University and told her how difficult it was to see my life being thrown in the trash. She came back with, "Now how shall we canonize you without your writings?" My journals were not really worth saving, and I have the one I am writing in now that I began last Advent. And I have some lovely blank ones to write in when I finish the currant journal, but one does feel the loss of so many memories contained in the journals, but the best memories live on inside of me.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Love me?

My sister arrives tonight. I think this may mean less time for the computer, We will be visiting friends in Naples on Sunday and I suspect my sister will want to go out quite a bit, but I am going to get her to help me with my pictures - I do not want to take many things to Oakwood so perhaps she will want some of the pictures and I can throw others away.

What I want to share with you is something the Pope said to the Latin American commission about the danger of clericalism. Here is  a synopsis from the NCR:

by Joshua J. McElwee
Breaking News: Pope Francis has again sharply denounced the culture of clericalism among priests in the Catholic church, calling it "one of the greatest deformations" that must be confronted by the global faith community and saying it helps "diminish and undervalue" the contributions that laypeople make.

The pontiff has also strongly reaffirmed the right of laypeople to make decisions in their lives, saying that priests must trust that the Holy Spirit is working in them and that the Spirit "is not only the 'property' of the ecclesial hierarchy."
In a letter to Cardinal Marc Ouellet in his role as the head of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America, released by the Vatican Tuesday, Francis says he wants to speak to the members of the commission about how to better serve what he terms "the Holy Faithful People of God."
"Evoking the Holy Faithful People of God is to evoke that horizon which we are invited to look at and reflect upon," states the pope. "It is the Holy Faithful People of God that as pastors we are continually invited to look to, to protect, to accompany, to sustain and to serve."
"A father cannot imagine himself without his children," he continues. "He can be a great worker, professional, spouse, friend but what makes him a father has a face: they are his children.
"The same happens to us," states Francis. "We are pastors. A pastor cannot imagine himself without his flock, which he is called to serve. The pastor is a pastor of a people, and he serves the people from amongst them."
The pontiff then reflects on the role of baptism.
"Looking to the People of God is to remember that we all made our entrance into the Church as laypeople," states Francis. "The first sacrament ... is baptism."
"The first and fundamental consecration sinks its roots in our baptism," continues the pope. "No one is baptized a priest or a bishop. They baptized us as laypeople and it is the indelible sign that no one can ever wipe away."
"It is good for us to remember that the Church is not an elite of priests, of consecrated people, of bishops -- but that everyone forms the Holy Faithful People of God," states Francis.
The pontiff then says that he cannot reflect on the role of laypeople in the church "ignoring one of the greatest deformations that Latin America must confront, and to which I ask you to give special attention: clericalism."
"This attitude not only cancels out the personality of Christians, but tends to diminish and undervalue the baptismal grace that the Holy Spirit has placed in the heart of our people," states Francis.
"Clericalism brings about a homogenization of the layperson, treating as 'mandatory' limits to his or her diverse initiatives and efforts, and I would dare to say, the audacity necessary to bring the Good News of the Gospel to all places of social and overall political activity," he continues.
"Clericalism, far from giving impulse to diverse contributions and proposals, turns off, little by little, the prophetic fire from which the entire Church is called to give testimony in the heart of its peoples," says Francis. "Clericalism forgets that the visibility and the sacramentality of the Church belongs to all the people of God and not only an elect or illuminated few."
The pontiff then quotes from Pope Paul VI's apostolic exhortation Evangelii Nuntiandi, which praised the role laypeople have in pastoral work.
"Pope Paul VI uses an expression that I hold to be fundamental: the faith of our people -- their orientations, their work, their desires, their yearnings, when they are listened to and directed, end up manifesting a genuine presence of the Spirit," states Francis.
"We trust in our people, in their memory and in their 'sense of smell,' we trust that the Holy Spirit works in and with them, and that this Spirit is not only the 'property' of the ecclesial hierarchy," he continues.
"What does it mean for us pastors the fact that laypeople are working in public life?" asks Francis. "It means finding the way to encourage them, to accompany them and to stimulate all the attempts and efforts they are already doing to keep alive hope and faith in a world full of contradictions, especially for the poorest."
"It is not the pastor who must say to the layperson that which they must do and say; he or she knows more and better than us," says the pope. "It is not for the pastor to decide what the faithful must say in their diverse settings."
Francis also says that priests often "fall into the temptation to think that the committed layperson is he or she who works for the Church and or in things of the parish or the diocese, and we have reflected little on how to accompany a baptized person in their public and daily life."
"Without realizing it, we have created a lay elite believing that only those who work in things of priests are committed laypersons; and we have forgotten, neglected the believer that many times has their hope burned away in the daily fight to live the faith," states the pontiff.
"These are situations that clericalism cannot see, because it is more worried with dominating spaces than creating processes," he continues. "We must then recognize the layperson for their reality, for their identity."
"It is illogical, and even impossible, to think that we as pastors should have the monopoly on solutions for the many challenges that modern life presents to us," states Francis. "On the contrary, we must remain at the side of our people, accompanying them in their work and stimulating that capable imagination of responding to current problems."
"Our role, our joy, the joy of the pastor, is truly in the helping and the stimulating, "he continues. "Laypeople are a part of the Holy Faithful People of God and therefore are protagonists of the Church and the world; we are called to serve them, not them to serve us."
The pontifical commission for Latin America is a part of the Vatican's Congregation for Bishops, which Ouellet also leads.
[Joshua J. McElwee is NCR Vatican correspondent. His email address is Follow him on Twitter: @joshjmac.]


Thursday, April 28, 2016

New Book just translated and worth reading

There is a new book out on the History of the Society of the Sacred Heart that I have now on my I-pad and am loving it. Here is what our Provincial webpage has to announce it:

The Society of the Sacred Heart in the World of Its Times

Monique Luirard, RSCJ
by Monique Luirard, RSCJ(1943-2013), Professor emerita at the Institute of Political Studies of Lille, France, historian, specialist in the history of World War II and religious history Translated by Frances Gimber, RSCJ Preface by Clare Pratt, RSCJ
It tells the story of all the changes in the Society from the death of our foundress, St. Madeleine Sophie, up to 2000. If you love the Society or just love to read history, this is a book you will enjoy. In the meantime, we are excited about the book signing we will be having at Carrollton with six of us who wrote about our own prayer in the book, "Seeking the One Whom We Love: How RSCJ Pray." The six of us have some connection with Carrollton and that is why we were invited.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016


The picture is of a Chilean sunrise and makes me think of all the graces I received in my 20 years living and working among the wonderful people there. I find that often my morning meditation or prayer time is filled with memories that I now want to thank God for and that maybe I did not appreciate enough at the time. I was thinking today of how I nearly died in September of 2014 and how long it took for me to recover any strength; when I look back at those months, I see what a grace it was to have that time mostly alone with God.

Now, as I prepare to bring closure to the last thirty years of my life here in Miami, I again am filled with gratitude for so many graces; I have made good friends, have had some wonderful years at the University with interesting and loveable students, have enjoyed this huge city with so many nationalities, and have found God in all.
Let us thank God today for all the graces we have received and may not have taken the time even to say a simple "thank you"!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Be still...

I am sorry that I did not post anything yesterday but I have my niece here and we went out, but have packed all my clothes. Now I need to tackle my desk and some little drawers where I have stashed all sorts of miscellaneous things. The file cabinet in my home office was taken yesterday by a Sister who needed one.
Closing a large house is a big project and seems to be taking up more of my life than I would like, but progress is being made and I am sure I am learning much about myself in the process!

"Be still and know that I am God" is what keeps coming to me and I do stop and try to be still and just listen to the Lord in silence.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Love one another as I have loved you...

This Sunday's Gospel has Jesus giving us a new commandment. We are to love one another as He has loved us. Later in John's Gospel we hear Jesus saying, "As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you. We know that He loved us, and still loves us, but as the Father loves Him, He loves us. That is mind-blowing! And it is by our love that others know we are followers of Jesus!

I have been so loved; now I must love others with that tremendous love. Let us pray for one another so that we realize that this new commandment is what we are to concentrate on today. Pope Francis says that if we keep the corporal works of mercy, we are loving as Jesus asks us to love everyone.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

The ocean speaks to me of God!

One of my favorite images of God is the ocean. It is always the same, yet different. It is tremendous, beautiful, constant, deep, and can be playful, peaceful, and potent. It fills me with wonder.
I am probably repeating myself as I am sure I have talked about my love for the ocean in many past blogs. Today I am going to go look at the ocean, I hope, as my niece wants to see the Atlantic.

I have been going over what Jesus said in yesterday's Gospel:
"Let not your hearts be troubled." Since God loves us and God is all powerful, there is no reason to worry. Instead we need to think that Jesus told us He is the way, the truth, and the light.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

I belong to God...

Mother Stuart says: "We are all God's property, and our life must be one wild bird's song of praise, one wild flower's face looking up to God."

I belong to God; He can do what He wants with me. Yet, He has given me the gift of freedom.

When the Realtor wants to show the house, we must get out. As we need to be out at 4:00 tonight, we are going to go out to dinner.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Busy week ahead

Tonight, I have the last meeting with the faculty spirituality group from Carrollton. They are bringing food for the supper before our meeting. They will continue to meet as they find it life-giving to pray and share together. I will miss them.

My niece is also arriving this evening so one of my community is going to pick her up in Fort Lauderdale. She is coming to help me clear out and pack; my sister will come at the end of April so I may not always be writing my blog during this time. Tomorrow, after the Mass at the University, my faith-sharing group is being anointed! You know, one can receive the Sacrament of Healing often now and I find it a real grace and so we are going to receive it together.

Now for at least one spiritual thought for the day: " Come to Me," says the Lord, "and I will give you rest." I think Jesus wants us to turn to Him for all we need and He loves to help us when we ask Him. He also wants us to learn that He is meek and humble of Heart! I have noticed that my journal has several entries that include or end with "Lord, help me!"

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The Holy Spirit

Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit to enlighten us and to strengthen us. We prepare for the great feast of Pentecost which comes fifty days after Easter - We celebrate it on a Sunday, but we should be celebrating the Holy Spirit every day as we are so dependent on the Spirit with His many gifts.

Let us prepare for Pentecost by praying throughout the day,
"Come, Holy Spirit, and enkindle our hearts."

Monday, April 18, 2016

New week to love and serve the Lord

Monday opens a new week to love and serve the Lord. I was thinking that we have so many opportunities to spread joy and be grateful for friends and family, health and humor, the fact that we are not homeless and hungry - so many want the basics and have not enough to eat, lack clean water, have no one who cares for them. I pray for these, but I also thank God for His many gifts.

In getting rid of the Journals that I have written over the years, I realize that there is such a continuity on our lives of graces that are received every day. We often are not aware at the time, but we can always go back and thank for them. I need to go back to keeping a gratitude journal. I used to do this and it was a great help to keep me concentrated on the good things of each day.

I found myself the other day suggesting to a group of mothers who have been meeting with me that they ask each of the family to name what they are most grateful for each day. Then I thought I should be doing this with my own community!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Good Shepherd Sunday

Jesus is the Good Shepherd and He cares for each of us. He calls us by name and we listen to Him and follow Him. He loves each of us more than any earthly pastor so we let ourselves be loved and we follow Him wherever He leads. When we are tired, He carries us; when we stray, He seeks us with tender love and mercy. I really believe that the image of the Good Shepherd has made me feel carried by Jesus at many moments in my life. I also have heard his call to feed his sheep. Perhaps that is why I continue to write this blog.

The Sunday Gospel is quite short, but it is an important one.

Thursday night was the last meeting of our Reflection Group. I started this group over twenty- three years ago. It has changed over the years as far as the people, but the format has been the same and it has been life-giving for all. We meet for a light supper, then prayer and sharing of our experience after we have all read and reflected during the month on one chapter of our chosen book. The sharing has been very rich and I know I have made many deep friendships over the years with the people who have been part of the group. I pray that this group will continue to meet. I also just want to throw out the suggestion to all my readers to start a group that meets once a month for prayer together and then sharing. Many have told me that the silent prayer has helped them as they seldom have just sat in silence with others in prayer.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Help comes from many

I am trying to get rid of everything that I do not need to take to Oakwood with me. Several of my friends have offered to help us close this house. One helper who has given up some of her Saturday mornings to come and just do whatever I ask of her, is a little girl who is in the sixth grade. I had given books away to some of the members of one of my spirituality groups and one took home a book of poems. Her oldest child, the sixth grader, loved it and wondered if she could come and look at my books. She came, helped me sort through several hundred and was happy to find a few that were suitable for her as I had some childhood classics. I found her so quiet, organized, and willing, that she really was a great help and she seems to enjoy helping me so she has returned and will be here again today. I feel that she is a gift from God. Her younger sister is also willing and wanting to come, I think, but I will wait on that offer.
My niece arrives next week and I am counting on her to get my room emptied in less than a week. In the meantime, I am slowly going through papers - I stop to read instead of just throwing away.
If I am writing all of this in a blog, it is because I need the help of prayer to really clear out all that I have collected. I do not need to keep records of past years so just pitch and be glad. Having few things - just what is essential- makes for joy.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Time is greater than space

From "The Joy of Love":
Since “time is greater than space”, I would make it clear that not all discussions of doctrinal, moral or pastoral issues need to be settled by interventions of the magisterium. Unity of teaching and practice is certainly necessary in the Church, but this does not preclude various ways of interpreting some aspects of that teaching or drawing certain consequences from it. This will always be the case as the Spirit guides us towards the entire truth (cf. Jn 16:13), until he leads us fully into the mystery of Christ and enables us to see all things as he does. Each country or region, moreover, can seek solutions better suited to its culture and sensitive to its traditions and local needs. For “cultures are in fact quite diverse and every general principle... needs to be inculturated, if it is to be respected and ....

This excerpt helps us to see how broad-minded the Pope is. He is in touch with our humanity and the Holy Spirit has given him the gift of mercy!

I have trouble explaining what the Pope means that "time is greater than space" but know that the Pope puts people before doctrines and, although he upholds the teachings of the Church, he does believe that they are to be interpreted today with discernment and mercy. He is sensitive to the differences of culture, traditions and local needs. Would that the entire Church would also listen to the Holy Spirit and be open to what God is asking of us today.

Thursday, April 14, 2016


Tenderness is part of the joy of love. Here is another quote:

"Against this backdrop of love so central to the Christian experience of marriage and the family, another virtue stands out, one often overlooked in our world of frenetic and superficial relationships. It is tenderness. Let us consider the moving words of Psalm 131. As in other biblical texts (e.g., Ex 4:22; Is 49:15; Ps 27:10), the union between the Lord and his faithful ones is expressed in terms of parental love. Here we see a delicate and tender intimacy between mother and child: the image is that of a babe sleeping in his mother’s arms after being nursed. As the Hebrew word gamûl suggests, the infant is now fed and clings to his mother, who takes him to her bosom. There is a closeness that is conscious and not simply biological." 

My heart is not proud, Lord,
    my eyes are not haughty;
I do not concern myself with great matters
    or things too wonderful for me.
But I have calmed and quieted myself,
    I am like a weaned child with its mother;
    like a weaned child I am content.
Israel, put your hope in the Lord
    both now and forevermore.

This has always been one of my favorite psalms.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Family joys

This is a picture of family fun. I love to think of my own family when we would be gathered around the fire in the fireplace; we would toast marshmellows and read. We also used to pile into my parents' double-bed on Sunday mornings to have the comics read to us. Then, my Dad would make breakfast for us. He had one recipe that he just juggled around -  I have never eaten better biscuits or crepe-suzettes. He made shirred eggs baked with bacon around them and, as I have never seen them anywhere, I suspect it was an original creation of my Dad's. He was a good cook, but left the kitchen to be cleaned up by us.

If I am sharing family memories, it is partly because of the Pope's "The Joy of Love". Here is another quote as the Pope stresses the value and the joy of work:

"The Book of Proverbs also presents the labour of mothers within the family; their daily work is described in detail as winning the praise of their husbands and children (cf. 31:10-31). The Apostle Paul was proud not to live as a burden to others, since he worked with his own hands and assured his own livelihood (cf. Acts 18:3; 1 Cor 4:12; 9:12). Paul was so convinced of the necessity of work that he laid down a strict rule for his communities: "If anyone will not work, let him not eat" (2 Th 3:10; cf. 1 Th 4:11).

25. This having been said, we can appreciate the suffering created by unemployment and the lack of steady work, as reflected in the Book of Ruth, Jesus’ own parable of the labourers forced to stand idly in the town square (Mt 20:1-16), and his personal experience of meeting people suffering from poverty and hunger. Sadly, these realities are present in many countries today, where the lack of employment opportunities takes its toll on the serenity of family life. "

Let us pray today for all those who cannot find work...

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

More on "The Joy of Love"

Here we see a family going home together. I remember coming home on Sunday nights after a day spent at the lake. My little brothers would be sound asleep, but my mother would have me wake them and, in spite of the hours in the water, make sure I gave them a bath before reading them to sleep again. Mother and Dad would be dealing with all the things packed into the car that allowed us to have such a great day - wet suits and towels, the empty picnic baskets, balls and bats, and sometimes sandy pails and shovels.

My Dad worked hard for us and I think we took it for granted. The Pope brings out the need for work and the dignity of it. Excuse the "English" spelling.

From "The Joy of Love"
At the beginning of Psalm 128, the father appears as a labourer who by the work of his hands sustains the physical well-being and tranquillity of his family: "You shall eat the fruit of the labour of your hands; you shall be happy, and it shall be well with you" (Ps 128:2). It is clear from the very first pages of the Bible that work is an essential part of human dignity; there we read that "the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it" (Gen 2:15). Man is presented as a labourer who works the earth, harnesses the forces of nature and produces "the bread of anxious toil" (Ps 127:2), in addition to cultivating his own gifts

Monday, April 11, 2016

The Joy of Love

Families are meant to be happy together and to share joy! My parents used to plan little joys for us and one of the best summers was when my Dad decided to plan an excursion for us each day of his vacation. We went to all the interesting sites and I still feel the joy of the exploration of Tom Sawyer's cave.

The Pope in his "The Joy of Love" says

we can see that the word of God is not a series of abstract ideas but rather a source of comfort and companionship for every family that experiences difficulties or suffering. For it shows them the goal of their journey, when God "will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain any more" (Rev 21:4).


Sunday, April 10, 2016

Third Sunday of Easter

We again have the Gospel story of the third meeting of the disciples with Jesus. Peter has decided to go fishing and six join him and they fish all night and catch nothing. How tired and hungry they were when someone calls and asks them if they have any fish. When they reply "No", they are told to cast the net over the right side of the boat. They obey and the net is so full they cannot pull it in as it contains 153 fish! John recognizes then that it is the Lord and Peter, impulsive as ever, immediately jumps out of the boat to be the first to reach Jesus. Jesus has prepared breakfast for them. He has bread and fish on the fire, but asks that they add more fish. I am always caught up in this scene where Jesus is serving them. Then, when they had eaten, Jesus asks Peter three times the same question: "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" I am sure Jesus was giving Peter a way to make up for his three denials. The Gospel presents a rather solemn scene, but I think that once the seven disciples had recovered from the shock of having Jesus with them again and the fact that Jesus had prepared the meal and served them, I think it was a joyful moment and one that they never forgot.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

The Joy of Love

Yesterday we received the Apostolic Exhortation of Pope Francis entitled "The Joy of Love" and it is worth reading. It is full of love for family life, and full of mercy. I thought I would share some quotes that really struck me.

Jesus himself was born into a modest family that soon had to flee to a foreign land. He visits the home of Peter, whose mother-in-law is ill (cf. Mk 1:30-31) and shows sympathy upon hearing of deaths in the homes of Jairus and Lazarus (cf. Mk 5:22-24, 35-43; Jn 11:1-44). He hears the desperate wailing of the widow of Nain for her dead son (cf. Lk 7:11-15) and heeds the plea of the father of an epileptic child in a small country town (cf. Mk 9:17-27). He goes to the homes of tax collectors like Matthew and Zacchaeus (cf. Mt 9:9-13; Lk 19:1-10), and speaks to sinners like the woman in the house of Simon the Pharisee (cf. Lk 7:36-50). Jesus knows the anxieties and tensions experienced by families and he weaves them into his parables: children who leave home to seek adventure (cf. Lk 15:11-32), or who prove troublesome (Mt 21:28-31) or fall prey to violence (Mk 12:1-9). He is also sensitive to the embarrassment caused by the lack of wine at the marriage feast...

This is a sample of how Pope Francis weaves Scripture into his  writing and makes us think of some of the ways Jesus was present to help family members. I have not had time to read the entire document as it is long, but I like what I have read and I like the emphasis on mercy, discerning with people and a strong pastoral approach instead of just insisting on doctrine.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Joy is All Around Us

April is half over and winter is really over in many parts. I do not know how it is in Canada but one of my community returns from there today.
Here is another quote from "The Joy of Love" - I am including passages this week to get others interested in reading it, but it is too long to read on the computer and I am sure Amazon will soon have a published copy. I had part of this on the Tenderness of Love, but now copied what came before as I am impressed by the Pope's weaving in the forgiveness and mercy and then the tenderness...

Christ proposed as the distinctive sign of his disciples the law of love and the gift of self for others (cf. Mt 22:39; Jn 13:34). He did so in stating a principle that fathers and mothers tend to embody in their own lives: "No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends" (Jn 15:13). Love also bears fruit in mercy and forgiveness. We see this in a particular way in the scene of the woman caught in adultery; in front of the Temple, the woman is surrounded by her accusers, but later, alone with Jesus, she meets not condemnation but the admonition to lead a more worthy life (cf. Jn 8:1-11).

28. Against this backdrop of love so central to the Christian experience of marriage and the family, another virtue stands out, one often overlooked in our world of frenetic and superficial relationships. It is tenderness. Let us consider the moving words of Psalm 131. As in other biblical texts (e.g., Ex 4:22; Is 49:15; Ps 27:10), the union between the Lord and his faithful ones is expressed in terms of parental love. Here we see a delicate and tender intimacy between mother and child: the image is that of a babe sleeping in his mother’s arms after being nursed. As the Hebrew word gamûl suggests, the infant is now fed and clings to his mother, who takes him to her bosom. There is a closeness that is conscious and not simply biological. Drawing on this image,

Joyful union

This picture is worth more than a meditation in words. These children are happy together and are beaming their love to all of us, too. Now, I may feel joyful inside, but how do I manifest my joy. Some sing or dance, but I just try to smile and let the glow I feel inside spread out to others. I find myself since Easter repeating, "This is the day the Lord has made; let us be glad and rejoice! Alleluia, alleluia!

Remember, Joy is a gift of the Holy Spirit and we need to cultivate it, share it, allow it to grow and increase each day in us.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Love is shown in deeds

We are called to love one another. We are to love as Jesus loves.
He told us, "As the Father has loved me, so I love you." That means that our love is to be unconditional. We are called to love each and every person, no exceptions allowed. Love means many things but starts with only wanting the good of the other and doing all one can to help another fulfill his or her potential. It is not enough to pray for the other; we must show our love by being attentive to really assist the other in all that we can. I think we are happy when we are able to do that with everyone we meet. Love is shown in deeds
"The Sacred Heart never asks that we become perfect all at once, but that we work at becoming so day by day as God gives us grace and light."
St. Madeleine Sophie Barat

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Let us rejoice and be glad...

This child expresses joy because she is happy enjoying her ice cream cone. We are happy because Jesus is risen from the dead. He is with us and we need never fear because He loves each of us with infinite, unconditional love. I guess I never get tired of repeating this message as I often find others who have difficulty believing that they are loved unconditionally by the Lord. He loves us and does not stop loving us. He loves us as we are and He wants us to enjoy life. Let us rejoice and be glad; Christ is risen, Alleluia!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

"Remain in Me"

I am pondering this quote today:

Remain in me, as I remain in you. Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. 
--John 15:4-5

It is one that I often return to and I feel that the whole image of the vine and the branches is rich enough to keep me there for some time. Jesus will add later the words, "Remain in my love." That is all that He asks of us and He tells us that He has chosen us that we may bear fruit. We have not chosen Jesus - Jesus has chosen us. That is an encouraging thought when we think of ourselves as poor and empty. Jesus tells us to remain in his love and all will be well.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Feast of the Annunciation of the Lord

The angel of the Lord declared unto Mary...actually, every time we say the "Hail Mary" we are remembering the feast we celebrate today. Usually it is March 25, but Holy Week and Easter dates often cause this feast to be moved until after Easter week. Let us think of what happened to Mary when the Angel Gabriel greeted her: "Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with thee!" Mary was not expecting an angel and was greatly troubled by his words. Then the angel tells her not to be afraid for she has found favor with God. And then adds, "Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son and you shall name him Jesus."

What a message! Every time I think of this scene I marvel at the faith of Mary. The Holy Spirit comes and Jesus is conceived in her womb. What a mystery and what a gift for all of us. God so loved us that He sent His only Son to be one of us.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Divine Mercy Sunday

The second Sunday after Easter is now "Divine Mercy" Sunday. The responsorial psalm is taken from Psalm 118 and the response is: "Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, his love is everlasting."
It begins, "Let the house of Israel say, 'His mercy endures forever.'"

It is a consoling feast and I love the Gospel as Jesus comes to the Apostles on the first day of the week and says to them, "Peace be with you." Then He showed them his hands and his side. He also tells them: "As the Father has sent me, so I send you."

He breathed on them and said: "Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them and whose sins you retain are retained." Jesus gives us the Sacrament of Reconciliation so we may always find His Mercy and live in peace and joy.

Thomas was not with the others so John tells us how Jesus comes again a week later when Thomas is present and how Jesus tells Thomas to "Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving but believe." Then Thomas said, "My Lord and my God!"

So many of us make this same act of faith at the Consecration in the Eucharist each time we go to Mass.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

The Emergent Christ

I am reading the Chapter on the Resurrection and Transformation in "The Emergent Christ" for at least the fourth time. It is a book that I go back to, hoping to understand more each time. This year some friends have come each month to discuss a chapter of the book and we have had some great spiritual, theological and ecological discussions. What each reading does for me is deepen my gratitude for the faith I have. I know that Jesus rose from the dead and that each of us will also have new life after death. We are made for God who loves each of us with an infinite, tender, and unconditional love; yes, God loves us just as we are and wants us to be happy both here and for all eternity with Him.

This week after Easter has been full of joy in seeing how Jesus is present in my life, now. We are never alone. We can always go to the Heart of Jesus to draw out what we need, even if it is what He asks of us. He told Sister Josefa: "Come to my Heart and there find all you need, even if it is what I have asked of you."

Friday, April 1, 2016

A favorite scene

The disciples had gone to Galilee as Jesus had instructed them. They are bored sitting around and waiting so Peter announces that he is going fishing and six of them go with him. They toil all night and catch nothing. Jesus waits for them on the shore and has even prepared breakfast for them. He calls to them to ask if they have any fish. When they answer in the negative, he tells them to cast their nets and this time the catch of fish is huge. John at once realizes that it is Jesus on the shore and Peter cannot wait for the boat to reach land but throws himself into the sea. Then Jesus tells them to bring more fish to his fire as he knows they are tired and hungry. After breakfast, he will ask Peter three times. "Do you love me?"
How many times does Jesus ask me the same question?