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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Serve with joy

The pleasure of service is one of the meditations on joy given by Bishop Morneau in Growing in Joy. He has this quote from Gandhi:

"...service can have no meaning, unless one takes pleasure in it. When it is done for show or for fear of public opinion, it stunts the man and crushes his spirit. Service which is rendered without joy helps neither the servant nor the served. But all other pleasures and possessions pale into nothingness before service which is rendered in a spirit of joy."

And George Herbert wrote: " All worldly joys go less/ To the one joy of doing kindnesses."

Am I serving with joy? We need to ask ourselves: Are we able to radiate joy?

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Leapt for Joy

When has your heart leapt for joy? Dolphins are able to show their playfulness and joy by leaping high out of the water. I love to watch them and think that sometimes my heart does leap for joy. Of course, there are all kinds of joy. Sitting among parents at the first football game of the year, you could feel their joy when the son caught a pass. That is a passing joy and certainly did not happen often yesterday in the first game of the season. The other team's players looked huge next to ours and I was told they were not in our league and so the game did not count, but we were outplayed.
To go back to the joys we feel, some are so deep and quiet that we may not leap, but only savor the moment in a more profound way. I guess when I feel great gratitude, I also feel deep joy. God loves me and that is the basic reason for my joy.
Mother Theresa, who seems to have spent much of her religious life in a dark night, has this to say about joy:

"Joy is prayer--joy is strength--joy is love= joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls. God loves a cheerful giver. She gives most who gives with joy. The best way to show our gratitude to God and the people is to accept everything with joy. A joyful heart is the inevitable result of a heart burning with love. Never let anything so fill you with sorrow as to make you forget the joy of Christ risen."
(Quoted by Bishop Robert Morneau in Growing in Joy, p. 26)

May we realize that love and gratitude are the wellsprings of joy and the thought of the risen Lord should be a way for all of us to experience joy even in the midst of sorrow. The joy will be deep within even when we are feeling sorrow.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Gratitude and Thanksgiving

We seldom see a cloudy sky here, but we do have an overcast one in the morning. It has kept us cool all summer except for a few hot days but August has been delightful. I am feeling such gratitude for this wonderful place and people. I think I am receiving the hundredfold now.

I read today that gratitude and thanksgiving help to make all the other practices more beautiful. When gratitude shapes our lives, "fidelity is more likely to be joy-filled, truth is life -giving, and hospitality is offered with generosity and joy. Similarly, gratitude flourishes when the other practices are vibrant." (This is taken from the section on Embracing Gratitude as a Way of Life in "Living into Community: Cultivating Practices That Sustain Us" p. 57)

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Take the lowest place

Jesus went to dine at the house of a Pharisee and told the parable of how those who had been invited were choosing the places of honor at the table. He said that we should take the lowest place - "for the one who humbles himself will be exalted."

And then he says not to ask those who may invite you back, but invite the poor, the crippled, and the lame, and the blind and you will be blessed indeed because of their inability to repay you. "For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous."

The world would be a better place if we were taking care of the poor and those who have disabilities. When I think of the money some are making and then read about the number of people right here in the United States who are homeless and living in poverty, I just pray that something can be done to help them.

In the meantime, let us pray for the grace of humility.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Jesus walked

I seldom walked anywhere in Miami; it was too hot. Now, I am walking for twenty minutes three times a day and finding it is a time for prayer and reflection and wonder at the beauty around me.
The redwoods alone invite awe and gratitude. My walks have also helped me to reflect on how Jesus made His way around with his disciples. He walked the dusty paths from one village to another.
Was he reflecting on the nature around him? He used some of what he saw in his parables when teaching in the villages. He avoided the large cities for the most part. He preached the Kingdom of God was at hand; he reached out to those who were poor, isolated, sick and infirm. He was open to go wherever he was needed or invited. He still is.
I guess I feel Jesus is inviting me to walk with him, to talk to him and to listen to the concerns of His Heart. I am grateful that I can walk and more than grateful and full of joy to know that Jesus wants to walk with me. He wants to walk with each of us. Get going! (I miss the swimming pool we had at our house in Miami, but I am grateful that I can watch the water polo practice in the huge pool here. I used to be able to swim there years ago, but now I think the insurance has made this impossible. Even the students who are not on teams or trying out for the swimming team are not able to go swim.)

Friday, August 26, 2016

Thank for all that is good, and dear and beautiful

I think that I shall be a fan of the Sacred Heart Prep football team here in Atherton. I have been watching them prepare for their first home game this coming Saturday. As the football field is next to Westwood, we can hear the shouts and even see the scoreboard, but I shall go early and bring a book so I have a good seat on the bleachers to cheer our team. I am enjoying seeing the mixed campus here. The boys sometimes stop and introduce themselves with a poise that is unusual for teenagers. The seniors all arrived on the first day of school with white pants and the Sacred Heart red tee shirts and they led the Freshmen with a planned activity. Classes began after lunch but each was only fifteen minutes. I was told that this allowed each student to find the right classroom for the course he or she is registered for this semester.
I am not very spiritual tonight but do want to share a few more thoughts. This is from "The Diary of Anne Frank" and is quoted in Bishop Morneau's Growing in Joy: "When I lie in bed and end my prayers with the words, 'I thank you, God, for all that is good and dear and beautiful, I am filled with joy.''

Anne was in hiding to escape Nazi persecution - the circumstances were not good in that attic and there was the constant fear of being discovered. Yet, this Jewish teenager could be filled with joy by thanking God for all the good, and dear, and beautiful.
Try it yourself. I did and it was an experience of joy. We have so much to be grateful for each day. Let us not miss the opportunity to thank God and to thank others who do so much for us.

Thursday, August 25, 2016


In the mail today, I received a book from a dear friend with a note to tell me that the first section of this book is on gratitude, "a topic about which often you talk." That is true because I believe that a grateful person is a joyful person. The two go together. I am looking forward to reading this book: "Living Into Community: Cultivating Practices That Sustain Us" by Christine D. Pohl. 

The book is speaking about any community and gives these four practices that sustain community: Gratitude, Truthfulness, Making and Keeping Promises, and Hospitality. I suspect that there is much to reflect on in this book and I will happily share, if so inspired by the Holy Spirit.
Chapter 2 begins with a quote from George Herbert's "Gratefulness":
Thou who hast given so much to me,
Give one thing more--a grateful heart....
Not thankful when it pleases me,
As if your blessings had spare days;
But such a heart, whose pulse may be praise.

Let us ask then for a grateful heart whose very pulse is praise!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016


Today I read that happiness is an outward expression of our inward joy that is found in Jesus. Of course, anything that pertains to joy interests me.  I read about a book called "The Happiness Dare" by J
Jennifer Dukes Lee and this was quoted in the daily "In Courage":

Happiness is a feeling, but it’s also a decision. It’s a choice we get to make every day.
Where do we make that choice? I guess it is in everything from the moment we awaken until we sleep again at night. The entire day is choosing happiness by choosing what pleases Jesus.
Julian of Norwich said, "And what can make us rejoice more in God that to see in him that in us, of all his greatest works, he has joy?" And Bishop Morneau says that "joyful persons live with the conviction that they are not only acceptable in God's sight, but are truly one of God's delights. Joy leads us to self-acceptance and the acceptance of others. More broadly, joy leads us to say yes to our existence." From "Growing in Joy", p. 11.

When we are not happy, let us ask ourselves why we are not. It really helps to discover the cause. Last week, I was feeling funny inside, as though something was not quite right. After prayer and reflection, I decided I was just grieving my friends. After thirty years in Miami, it is natural that I miss many good and dear friends, but once I realized what was causing me to feel "funny inside" I began to both count my blessings and take time to contact a few of my friends. Being is California instead of Miami just means that I am grateful for e-mail and for writing notes to friends to stay in touch. Now I am smiling and send a big smile to all.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Love is demanding

"Love is demanding; but there is no greater joy than love." That is a quote from Cardinal Schonborn's conversation about "The Joy of Love" from the August 15-22 issue of America. The interview was conducted by Antonio Spadaro, S.J. and the title is "The Demands of Love." Love is demanding, but God is Love and His Presence kindles joy. Sometimes we forget that God is present when we are struggling to love as "the Father loves" Jesus and as God loves us.
"Love one another as I have loved you" is what Jesus keeps telling us. In our world today, we need to keep on loving - loving those close to us, loving those who come to us, migrants, refuges, those in countries far from us but who are suffering and need love. We all need love and we are all called to love. We go to the Heart of Jesus to find this love and then we pour it out with joy to all. As John of the Cross told us: "Put love where there is no love and you will find love."
Let us spend the day pouring out the love that overflows from the Heart of Jesus.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Of Many Things

Today is the Feast of the Queenship of Our Lady. I looked at the pictures on Google and decided Our Lady would rather have a nature picture. I can imagine Mary in Heaven surrounded by angels and saints, but my imagination is not at all capable of seeing her as she has been depicted by others. I think she would want to be the Queen only to help us, but not with all the regal appearances. But who knows what it is like to be Queen of Heaven?

The title "Of Many Things" is, of course, taken from the front  inside page of  America. Matt Malone, S.J. is both President and Editor in Chief and has written an interesting introduction to the August 15-22 issue of America which features an article on people with disabilities. He begins by confessing his own disability: a loss of hearing seven years ago in his left ear. He said he is still learning how to deal with this - where to sit or stand to increase his chances of hearing something. He said that he has learned that many are sympathetic to those who are visually impaired, they can be quite impatient with those who are hearing impaired.
Since I am hearing impaired, I loved his honesty. He says it has made him more in touch with the world's pain. It gave me much to think about and to thank God again for my own deafness which has been a blessing in may ways, although I guess I get as frustrated at Matt at times when I cannot hear.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Sunday Rest

Today my blog is late as I did not schedule it for today and I had a very busy morning and no time to return to my room. Now I am happy it is Sunday and we have prayer together in front of the Blessed Sacrament (Exposition) at 4:00 so time to catch up with notes I wanted to write yesterday.

My refection today is on the above picture which always draws me into prayer. The water gushing from the rock is the love being poured out from the Heart of Jesus and being carried by us to so many in all parts of the world.
As I walk around the grounds here, I see the last preparations for the opening of school tomorrow. It seems that we have almost 1200 students arriving to start classes. The football players have been here all week; today there are groups of freshmen being led around the campus by older students. Perhaps these are the Ambassadors.
Next Sunday we are expecting all the students from the Sacred Heart Club and we will each adopt one or two to have visits with each week during the academic year.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

God seems far away

My reflection today is triggered by Karl Rahner who talks about how our hearts can be so inert, tired, worn out with everyday things. God may seem far away; we can feel incapable of loving as Jesus asks us to love - "Love one another as I have loved you"! Well, we cannot love as Jesus asks unless we seek this love from Him. We must pray for this love and God will answer our prayer by pouring out this love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit. God must "love himself in us and through us in His Holy Spirit, for our love to be worthy of Him."
The truth is that we need to pray for love of God. We cannot will to love others as the Gospel asks, but we can pray for the grace and this is one prayer that pleases God and He is sure to grant us, if we really want it.

We have a funeral here this morning of a very beloved Religious.
It is easy to meditate on death here, but there is always joy when another of the community goes to God. We have a beautiful sharing of memories after the funeral Mass with all friends and relatives present.

Friday, August 19, 2016

An Ordinary Day

Having been asked to describe an ordinary day at Oakwood, I asked myself if I ever have an "ordinary" day? Do any of us? However, I will try to describe what I do each day and mention some of the options. Since I have a room in Westwood which is across the patio from the main part of the house, the eight or nine of us who are living here gather for breakfast around a large, long dining room table. Our designated housekeeper among the many helpers that staff Oakwood, brings over most of the breakfast from the main dining room at 7:15 but cooks eggs to order for us. After breakfast I return to my room to pray until the 9:00 Mass. Then I take one of  my sisters who is in a wheelchair back to her room and make sure she understands the day's schedule. Then I may join a small group who is having a cup of coffee (I go for a glass of water). Then I usually go out to walk around the property for about 20 minutes. Then I go to my room and do some spiritual reading, play Words with Friends, answer e-mails, and read the newspaper which is in the Westwood living room as well as in the Fireside Room and the Rosewood library. At 11:45 we begin to gather for lunch which is our main meal. Again, after lunch I go out and walk. Then, by 1:15 I am in the Chapel for an hour of prayer before the video"Armchair Exercise" that several of us go to at 2:30. We have several different tapes and it is helpful for stretching muscles that I might not be using and it gets our heart rate up. It is only twenty minutes. Then I am free to visit some of the Religious who are in wheelchairs or I may join some in the dining room for "gouter" as we have kept the French name for a snack. Mostly, I am reading and we have reunion from 4:00 to 5:00 Monday and Wednesdays, a movie on Saturday afternoons, Exposition on Sunday, etc. We will soon be seeing more of the students both the seniors who we adopt for a weekly visit, or helping third graders by listening to them read aloud, or, I want to start going to the soup kitchen in September and then I will be in a few other groups. This gives some idea of my days here, but none are ordinary.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

The value of silence

I never thought that I would be writing about the value of silence. At boarding school, we kept silence in the dormitory, in the study hall, and always in our single file march to wherever we were to go. It was a surprise to me, however, as a novice to be in trouble for a lack of silence. I was just too friendly and would speak without remembering that we were to keep silence at all times except for the half hour od recreation after the noon meal and the presided recreations at night. Conges were a relief since we were allowed to speak on these holidays.
As a young Religious, there was also the rule of silence, but being with the little ones all day and night made the idea of silence seem good when I had the opportunity for it, but it was while I was at the Trinita in Rome that I was finally aware of the great gift of silence for our interior life. Since then, I have loved silence. As Thomas Keating says, "Silence is God's first language!"

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

It is wonderful to have so many ways to keep in touch with friends. E-mail is fastest but I love writing notes, especially to those not on the Internet. I also text with a few friends and chat with others while playing Words with Friends. I think I am getting addicted to playing that game!
Reaching out to others by writing notes is a ministry for me and so is this blog. I sit down at the computer and pray and wait for the Holy Spirit to inspire what I should write here each day. I just trust that the Spirit knows what is best and has been helping me to pen this blog for years. This week I will have written 3,000 blogs and that is just since Google started counting them for me!
God keeps saying, "Be still, be still and know that I am God

Monday, August 15, 2016

Feast of the Assumption of Our Lady

Today is a beautiful feast. When I was at the Trinita in Rome, the community kept an old French custom of putting gifts in front of Our Lady and including the key of the house. It was a way of consecrating the home to Mary. I have no key now, but think I may put my Journal in front of Mary to ask her to bless my year. I guess putting a calendar and laptop might also be a good idea.

I am settled and now trying to renew my efforts to keep the goals I set for myself to work on last year. The most important one is the first: to give priority to the interior life." I will always need to work at this, but Oakwood is certainly a place that helps me for prayer.
We have so much to pray for and God does not need words to know what is in our hearts.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Keeping or eyes fixed on Jesus

This Sunday's Gospel has Jesus saying, "I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing!"

I suspect with the fires raging in California now that it is not the most popular thought for homilists and they may well turn to the second reading from the Letter to the Hebrews: "Brothers and Sisters, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us rid ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us and persevere in running the race that lies before us while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the leader and perfecter of faith. For the sake of the joy that lay before him he endured the cross, ..."
You can read the rest, but I am struck by the fact that Paul tells us to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus. That is really all that matters!
The first reading had the princes throwing Jeremiah in the well where he was sunk in mud. However, God did not allow him to die as he still had much to say to a stiff-necked people. We, too, have work to do for the Lord and so we must fix our eyes on Jesus and know that beyond the suffering comes the joy, and our joy will be eternal.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Finding God in All Things

The Holy Spirit wrote the blog today under this title. Then the internet connection was broken and I lost it. The idea was that we are to find God in all things, but to do that, we must be present, be respectful and reverent and learn to listen to the way God wants to show Himself to each of us. He is present in all things; it is we who are often unaware - I guess I should speak for myself. I know that I often do not pay enough attention to the present moment and that is where God is!

Friday, August 12, 2016

Grateful Wonder

I have been looking with wonder and gratitude at all the gifts we are given and often take for granted. I have two things to share. The first I think may be known to you:
Yesterday is history.
Tomorrow is mystery.
Today is a gift.
That is why we call it the present.

The other is connected to wonder and radical amazement and it is from Patricia Schneider's " The Patience of Ordinary Things"
"It is a kind of love, is it not?
How the cup holds the tea,
How the chair stands sturdy and foursquare,
How the floor receives the bottoms of shoes or toes.
How soles of feet know where they are supposed to be,
I've been thinking about the patience of ordinary things,
How clothes wait respectfully in closets
And soap dries quietly in the dish,
And towels drink the wet from the skin of the back.
And the lovely repetition of stairs,
And what is more generous than a window?"

I think this poem lends itself to keep adding something not only about the patience of ordinary things, but about the amazement shown by children when they first discover ordinary things! May we not lose our sense of wonder!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

God is full of Surprises

Pope Francis often mentions that we should let ourselves be surprised by God. 
I think God loves to surprise us and often is waiting for us to jump with joy when something surprising happens in our lives. Sometimes it is something small, but we did not expect it and it is a surprise from God. If we start looking for these small surprises, we will be amazed at how many come from God and give us joy.
Has God surprised you today?

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The Prayer of the Heart

Here is another favorite quote from "The Prayer of the Heart in Christian & Sufi Mysticism":

"The prayer of the heart always returns us to the center of our soul and teaches us the truth of oneness."
"As the lover becomes more and more immersed in the Beloved, the greater become the experiences of oneness, of merging with God."
Let us pray for one another as we allow the Holy Spirit to lead us to this oneness with our Beloved.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

If Only...

The General Chapter is almost over and we will soon have our delegates home and perhaps several will visit with us. At least we will have our own community director, Sister Clare Pratt, to give us a clear and accurate account of these weeks. Our website has just teased us in wanting to know more, but we have had pictures posted and daily updates. I understand that one needs to wait until all is decided before sharing some of the discussions, but I am interested in hearing all that I can about the Chapter.
In the meantime, as I am scheduling my blog ahead and hoping that what I find interesting is also of interest to my readers.

This is from Pam's musings but I think it would be good to reflect on it today.

  "If only you had been here, my brother would not have died."
                  If Only..
When we are let down, disappointed,
saddened because we couldn't prevent
a loss, a death - we want God
to know, to DO something!
Where were you when we needed you?
"I am with you always."is the word
that echoes in the still air.
Do I believe that in times of loss,
of disappointment, of sorrow?
I do not want finality, I want
a miracle!      "Do you believe?"
I believe, help my unbelief.
You were there all the time!

Monday, August 8, 2016

Radical Amazement and Hope

On the last day of retreat the focus was on Radical Amazement and Hope. Without hope, we cannot move forward. I love the song we used that day so will copy the words here:

Hold on to hope; you got to hold on to hope, 'cause Hope will change the world, you know hope will see us through.
When this world is getting you down and you feel you're losing hope, just dig deep inside, wake up your soul and hope is a good place to start.
Hold on to hope; you got to hold on to hope...

I returned from Davis, California, in time to join the party that was celebrating Sister Madeleine Desloge's 100th birthday. My nephew picked me up at 11:00 AM and we arrived after 1:30 as the traffic was heavy almost all the way. I often wonder where all these cars are going. I did have a lovely visit and now am home at Oakwood rejoicing in the new Central Council that our new Mother General named this morning. One from Europe, one from India, one from Africa, and one from Mexico.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

A Mystic Heart

The focus for the fifth day was on "A Mystic Heart" and I loved the song which is "Love Me Deeply" by Briege O'Hare, OSC but inspired by one of my favorite mystics, Mechtild of Magdeburg.

"Come, Lord, love me deeply.
Love me often and love me long.
Come, Lord, love me deeply
Sing to me your lover's song.
For the more often you love me
The purer I become,
And the more deeply you love me
The more beautiful I am,
And the longer you love me,
The holier I'll be.

Yes, I'll love you deeply,
I'll love you often, I'll love you long;
I will love you deeply
As I sing my lover's song;
O yes, I'll love you deeply
For this is my desire,
Yes, I'll love you often,
I can be no other way;
And I'll love you, love you, love
For I am the Eternal One.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

The Gift of Transformation

The focus for the fourth day of retreat was on "The Gift of Transformation" and I was immediately drawn to what our formation booklet says about it. I quote from it here:

"The strategies of change come from our own initiative, while transformation is always the fruit of an Encounter. It happens when we venture with our whole being into a deep, sincere encounter with God and let ourselves be encountered by God, just as we are, with nothing in our lives remaining outside of this encounter."

I think I mostly prayed over this and God's transforming love in my own life.
The song used was "When I Pray" by Daniel Nahmod.
"When I pray, I feel my heart go deeper,
my heart go deeper into my God.

Right here, right now, right where I am, I pray.
Right here, right now, right where I am I pray.

We also considered pray from the "butterfly effect" - it was a good day to consider how God is at work transforming us and our world.

Friday, August 5, 2016

I am grateful for the abundance in my life!

I took this picture of the goats who came to our reunion before retreat. They are very friendly!

The focus for the third day of the contemplative retreat was all on gratitude. The heading was "I am Grateful for the Abundance in My Life." I just went back over the abundance of graces I have received in my life and felt my heart overflow with gratitude. So many friends to be grateful for as well as wonderful relatives, the best parents anyone could have, classmates that are still my friends, and then all my sisters in the Society of the Sacred Heart. Then, I thought of all the experiences I am grateful for and how Jesus and Mary have been leading me. It was a day of gratitude and made me think that I should return to keeping a gratitude journal or at least thank for one thing each day in my new journal that I am just ready to begin. I started the other in Advent and it is now full with all sorts of entries, quotes, experiences, and joys that I do not want to forget.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Still some sharing on 2nd Day of Retreat

The picture is of the East side of Villa Maria del Mar showing my third floor window near the roof, the tree and ocean in the distance and the top of part of the dining room which has wonderful windows overlooking the ocean. I love the third floor as the overhang keeps the sun from hitting the windows  during most of the day. My corner room has another window looking out at the ocean.

On the 2nd Day of the retreat we had this message given to us: "Because you believed in me, I believed in me."  Here are some Scripture passages that came to me:
I have chosen you to bear fruit...
I can do all things in Him who strengthens me...
I have called you by name. You are precious in my eyes. I love you.
Remain in my love.
Come to me...
Take courage; it is I.

We had a song by Josh Groban called "You Raise Me Up"

When I am down and , oh, my soul, so weary;
When troubles come and my heart burdened be;
Then I am still and wait here in the silence,
Until you come and sit awhile with me.

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains,
You raise me up to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up to be more than I can be.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

I Believe In You

Picture taken from Villa Maria del Mar where I could sit in the shade and contemplate the ocean.

Second Day of Retreat and the focus was on God's believing in me, loving me just as I am. We were to hear God saying throughout the day, "Helen, I believe in you."
Then it was suggested that we think of others who have believed in us. I had a whole list, a long list and spent much time thanking for so many who have believed in me, who have seen possibilities in me, who have loved me and pushed me to be more than I could have been without their believing in me, loving me, encouraging me.
Then we were to think of some of the people I have believed in and the gifts I gave them.
Many of the people who believed in me and gave me incredible gifts of love are now with God, but some are very much alive and I did write a letter to one person who believed in me as that was another suggestion. Actually, I sent an e-mail from my I-pad.

Yesterday, we heard that our Provincial had been chosen to be our new Mother General for the next eight years. It was great news, but also means we now need to find a Provincial and, if we nominate one of the present Team, then we need a new Provincial Team member. However, I am thrilled about Barb Dawson's election and know she will be a great leader for the Society. I feel for her though as it is not an easy position to hold as we are all over the world and some Provinces are getting smaller and some are asking for changes in our way of governing. We are now being grouped in regions; Europe has been working at this for several years, but Asia only began and now the United States/Canada Province is one region with the Antilles and Mexico and South America. I have great faith in Barb leading us into the future. We celebrated here and took a picture to show her how happy we are.
I will be away for a few days visiting a dear friend, but my blog will appear each day. I think I will soon be writing  blog 3,000!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

A Sacred Pause

Tree overlooking the ocean that is one of the beautiful gifts of Villa Maria del Mar, a real God tree!

The first day of retreat was just to have us appreciate "A Sacred Pause" and the song was "You Bid Me Come" by Kathy Sherman.

"You bid me come, simply to be in your loving presence
No need for words, just as I am; nothing to do but rest in you."
We were invited to pause, to quiet our soul.

I want to share the two last lines of a quote from Thomas Merton that I love:
"I am completely addicted to the realization that just being is enough." That is a good kind of addiction to cultivate as least now that I am retired! And here is a Spanish proverb to reflect on:
"How beautiful it is to do nothing and then to rest afterward."

I went back to Matthew 11:28: "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."

Monday, August 1, 2016

Back Blogging - Sharing retreat

Taken on the beach at the retreat house, Villa Maria del Mar

Thanks for all the prayers for my retreat; it was really a heavenly week. I was in the corner room on the east side of the third floor, the best room in the entire house! That was a gift and then the weather was almost perfect. We did have a few foggy mornings, but then the sun appeared. I actually spent a great deal of time in my room. This contemplative retreat had us meet for prayer at 10:00 each morning and we were given a focus for the day with some quotes to help us. I loved having one focus for each day and it was quite easy to pray all day in perfect silence. I also loved listening to the surf! I will be sharing the focus of each day with you. Unfortunately I cannot share the songs that began each session or the night prayer and sharing of the graces of each day, but I think you will find plenty to reflect upon. I am going to schedule ahead as I did say I was taking two weeks of vacation.
We always ended prayer with a sung " Be still, be still and know that I am God. Be still, be still and know that I am God."