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Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Halloween

Oakwood always has a great Halloween party and most take time to go look for costumes, hats, masks, and other props as prizes are given for the best costume, the funniest, etc. Well, I proposed to the nine of us in Westwood to go as the "Westwood Slumber Party".  I then asked if maybe there would be a collective prize for the best group or best entrance or something. We are all happy to be going in comfort in robes and slippers, but we are looking for a few stuffed animals to carry or a candle or pillow and some may find a night cap to wear. Anyway, I am writing about this before it happens and will add a note after the party.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Wanting to see Jesus


Zacchaeus wanted to see Jesus. He was a tax collector and a wealthy man, but not tall enough to see over the heads of the crowd. He decided to climb a tree. Not very dignified for his position as a wealthy man, but his desire to see Jesus was so strong that up the tree he went. Imagine his consternation, and then joy when Jesus stops , looks up, and then invites him to come down as Jesus wants to stay at his house.

How many times when we are really longing to see Jesus; He comes to us and invites Himself to stay in our hearts! And what is our reaction?
Zacchaeus quickly received Jesus with joy. He also says that he will give half of his possessions to the poor. And Jesus tells him that "today salvation has come to this house because this man too is a descendant of Abraham. For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save what was lost."

Let me listen to Jesus as He invites me to come quickly as He wants to stay with me. His Heart is always open for me. Is my heart open to receive Jesus with joy?

Saturday, October 29, 2016

The solitude of His Heart

Yesterday I shared some of what has inspired my own spirituality. I want to continue to quote from the Letter of R. Mother de Lescure.

"A deed, a word, a gesture, a movement, and attitude of Jesus in the Gospel, ...all may lead us into the solitude of His Heart, where the riches and interior dispositions of His Heart are found."
We are to ask St. Madeleine Sophie to teach us, as she knows how, to persevere in prayer, offered for this revelation of which we are not worthy, seeking and desiring in suppliant prayer the little light which will flash, perhaps from the depths of the abyss." 
She asks us to be resolute in our desire not to leave Him alone, and to share, in some small measure, in the solitude of His Heart.

This call to people the solitude of His Heart resonates with me and it is something I try to do. I really believe that in prayer we can beg to go deep into His Heart; that we are called to do this and then to go out to give His Love to others. We also find the pierced Heart of Christ in the suffering that we find all around us in our world today. He is there and waiting for us to find ways to comfort and console those who are suffering. We have the corporal and spiritual works of Mercy and it is up to each of us to discern in prayer what the Lord is asking of us to do now. We may not be able to carry out some of the works of Mercy, but we can always pray and often there is someone near that needs us.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Immersed in Love

I have again been using the Circular Letter to the Society of the Sacred Heart written by R. Mother de Lescure in November 1949. I entered in June of 1950 and this letter has influenced my spirituality. I am drawn to it and would like to share a bit of it with you. She told us that the Society of the Sacred Heart was preparing to celebrate its 150 anniversary on November 21, 1950; we were also doing this in a Holy Year. We were asked to deepen our love of our foundress, St. Madeleine Sophie by studying her letters, conferences, circulars, and all that she has left us of herself that reveals the special grace of our vocation. We also were asked to spend some time each day with her..."for the grace of the vocation that her fidelity merited for us...for the grace of graces of being consecrated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and to His work of Love."
The name of our Society is a special grace. It was first of all a "Mutual and real experience of ownership" between the Society and Our Lord." Then, it gives us the "right to enter and dwell" in His Heart. Our name would be "a title to entrance, not to the threshold but to the very depths of this divine Heart." The name of the Society of the Sacred Heart is also a contract. "It is a is the Heart of Jesus that we must give to souls; we must make Him known and loved by all who come in contact with us."
That is enough to reflect on today. But I love the idea of entering and dwelling in His Heart and being called to go to the very depths of His Heart.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Vibrating the Goodness of God

Thomas Keating said that "We're all like localized vibrations of the infinite goodness of God's presence. So love is our very nature. Love is our first, middle, and last name. Love is all; not love as sentimentality, but love that is self-forgetful and free of self interest."
The above was quoted by Richard Rohr in one of his online posts. I am fascinated with the idea that we are all "like localized vibrations of the infinite goodness of God's presence." This thought has stayed with me and helps me as I look around and see so many who are really vibrating God's goodness. I hope it is contagious and we will convert the world!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Courage, Vision...

Some pictures keep drawing me. This is such a rugged tree and the ocean is so immense. Both speak to me. We need to be brave, have courage no matter what because we know that God is with us and is protecting us. Then, we also need to have a broad vision as wide and deep as the ocean. Each of us has a part to play in the evolution of the world. What we do, think, say, each day makes a difference.

What kind of reflection does that trigger in you?

I must confess that I am thanking God for the gift of peace. I am almost always peaceful but several things on the same day really had me feeling upset. One was thinking that I had lost my hearing aid and searching everywhere. I finally had to go to bed without finding it. I kept saying "Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place my trust in You." In the morning, I asked someone to look in her car as I had been in it the day before and thought that maybe the hearing aid fell out of my right ear there. She found it! I went to the Chapel to thank Jesus and I have a new appreciation for the gift of peace which I almost always feel and have been taking for granted.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Tuesday Joys

I love Tuesdays! I have my Third Graders for reading; today I have my boys who are delightful and who also read very well and, when I ask them questions, you can see them think! Then, every morning I go to read to one of our Sisters in Spanish. She is from Colombia and has recently broken her wrist so we read in her room. We sat in the patio in the summer. I love reading aloud in Spanish and these are Meditations on the Gospel of John by Jose Pagola. He is the same author that wrote "Jesus, An Historical Approximation" which I raved about three years ago and have tried to have all my Sisters and friends read.
Then, at 2:00 I have a small Centering Prayer and Faith-Sharing group where we also prepare the next Sunday's Gospel. This is like the one I loved that met weekly at the University when I was in Miami. I think everyone needs to have a small group where there is a trust level that makes it easy to share our experience of God.
Actually, there are so many little joys in our days here, but Tuesday seems special and seems to be more contemplative as I do not go to Physical Therapy, we do not have reunion so there is more time to pray in the Chapel, and someone cleans our rooms in Westwood on Tuesdays.

Monday, October 24, 2016

God knows what it is like not to be God....

Here is a quote from "Jesus and the Prodigal Son" that I have been mulling over and copied to be able to share it here.
"Morality is our human gift to God, enabling God to fulfill the hunger of love ...dying not just for us but with us. Unity between God's creation is only possible if God knows what it is like not to be God. This is the unimaginable kenosis, the self-emptying of the Incarnation...Jesus died loving. Therefore, he died whole. He died humanly. (Laurence Freeman, "Christian Meditation Newsletter", August 2003.)

That has much to make us reflect as we begin this new week.

Sunday, October 23, 2016


Jesus loves the humble. He addressed this parable to "those who were convinced of their own righteousness and despised everyone else." He describes how two men went to the temple to pray. One was a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee is proud of all he is doing; the tax collector on the other hand stayed at a distance. His humble prayer was "O God, be merciful to me a sinner." And Jesus tells us that it was the humble tax collector who went home justified.
Jesus told us to learn that He is meek and humble of heart and we are called to be like Jesus. Am I humble when I go to pray? Or do I think well of myself? It is the humble prayer that pierces the clouds.
Let us pray for humility.

Saturday, October 22, 2016


Mystery isn’t something that you cannot understand—it is something that you can endlessly understand! There is no point at which you can say, ‘I’ve got it.’ Always and forever, mystery gets you!” —Richard Rohr, The Divine Dance: The Trinity and Your Transformation

Think of the Blessed Trinity. I cannot begin to understand God. Yet, the more I cultivate a relationship with the three Persons, the more Deeper I penetrate into this mystery. It is infinite which means my finite mind will never understand it, but I know it pulls me in to be part of this mystery.

I am thinking a great deal about the Trinity these days. I find it so easy to relate to Jesus and I think I have a great relationship with the Father; I love the Holy Spirit, I pray to the Spirit, but I am not sure that my personal relationship with the Holy Spirit has deepened. However, I think the Spirit is very present to me.

Mapping our Interior Life

Having spent a very fruitful time going back over my own Eucharistic history, from my First Holy Communion until the present, I want to share me next project that is rather connected in the sense that I am going back over my interior life. I wrote about my exterior life several years ago. It was helpful and I was able to include some family pictures and then some important events. I had never thought about mapping my interior life, but I am attempting it now. I suggest you try it, too.
I have been saying that as we age, the interior life is more exciting than our exterior life. Now, I am going to try to recall all the most amazing graces that happen interiorly and I am starting by a sort of "Mapping" the interior journey by reflecting on the sign posts that have marked my life. Then, I will go back and fill in as I believe I will see a pattern and maybe a division of chapters when I try to write it up. Will I share it? Probably only with a few, at least at first. However, I am inviting each of you to do the same. Al least take some time to go over the moments when you are aware of your interior life with Jesus and the Father and the Holy Spirit.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Prayer to Mater Admirabilis

We recited this prayer yesterday at the Liturgy and I thought I would copy it here for you as it is one that I love. It is adapted from the Circular of R. Mother de Lescure, 1949.

Mater Admirabilis, precious jewel of the Society,
virginal guardian keeping watch at the threshold of the sanctuary,
treasure of calm and serenity, flowing into acti9vity from the
Source without ever exhausting or troubling it . . .
we come to you under the pressure of over-activity which at times consumes and disturbs us, or scatters our energies here and there in doing what is visible and accidental...
Virgin of the invisible and the Essential...
we beg you to detach and free us from all that is passing,
lead us to fix our gaze upon the Invisible which your eyes behold:
the Invisible Presence, the Invisible Life, the Invisible Action, the Invisible Love: eternal values, the great realities of our faith.

Keep us, throughout our busy and over-crowded days,
in the radiance of things not seen, "firm as if we beheld the Invisible."
In the midst of non-essentials which entice us and carry us away,
we run the risk of weighing down our souls and confusing our values. Give us a right understanding of the Essential and a hunger for it! One thing alone is necessary: the will of God and the work of His Love to which we are consecrated.
Whatever God will to mark with His seal. no matter it's size,
importance or worth in human eyes, there is the essential;
there, in full activity, is the strength, fruitfulness, and deep happiness flowing from God's action, life and love.

Mother most Admirable, teach us this wisdom...

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Mater's Feast

What a wonderful feast for all alumni of the Sacred Heart all over the world. Mater was our own image of Mary as a young girl who became our confident, our helper, our recourse in all out troubles, our protector, and advocate. Her image has been in every Sacred Heart convent and school certainly since the mid 1800s - a school would not be complete without a statue or picture of Mater placed in a prominent place - some schools have special Chapels dedicated to Mater.
The children still have the tradition of wearing pink on her feast and we always had a special pink snack in the afternoon. I suspect that many of our schools still do that.
My months caring for the little Chapel of Mater at the Trinita dei Monti in Rome have remained a special grace in my life. I have her picture in front of me as I write this blog and I am wondering what I can do for her that will be special on her feast.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

What do you think?

This is from Pam's musings:


When I have watched a  person
throw a lump of clay on a wheel
and begin to form a cup, a bowl-
this question surfaces:

Why in life situations does
the outside of something become
more important than the inside?
or we are more concerned that
others  see the outer side.

Outside/inside,it's one thing! side is not the whole thing.
we can hide one side or discover
it as part of the whole- just another
view or angle, but  both sides
make it what it is.

I copied this today as I continue to mull over the newfound fascination with the interior life over the exterior life. I think that as we grow older, the interior life becomes much more exciting, more important, and opens up endless possibilities as we are talking about life with the Trinity - the indwelling of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in each of us!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Feast of St. Luke

St. Luke 'Collect for the Mass speaks of his love for the poor and asks that all who glory in his name may persevere as one heart and soul...

Pope Francis is always urging us to read the Gospels each day. Luke has some stories that the others do not and they show us God's love for us and his mercy. Luke also gave us the Acts of the Apostles and shows us how God was acting in ongoing history. Luke helped Paul and I am grateful for the trouble Luke took to write both his Gospel and the Acts.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Feast of St. Ignatius of Antioch

I am quite fond of St. Ignatius of Antioch. What I want to share today though is from the first reading from the Letter of Paul to the Ephesians. It is a quote that I often go back to and remember how much it impacted me in my first directed retreat over forty years ago. It made me realize more than ever the great love God has for each of us.

"But God, who is rich in mercy, because of the great love he had for us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, brought us to life with Christ (by grace you have been saved), raised us up with him, and seated us with him in the heavens in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not from you; it is a gift of God; it is not from works, so no one may boast. For we are his handiwork..."

The Psalm 100 is one of my favorites and the refrain is "The Lord made us, we belong to him."

That is enough for several meditations and we are to sing joyfully to the Lord, and enter his gates with thanksgiving...

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Prrsistence in Prayer

This Sunday's Gospel has a clear message: keep persisting and it will be given to you. That unjust judge did not want to heed the widow who had no one to intercede for her and no money to bribe him. He would not have rendered a just decision except for the fact that the widow kept bothering him. Jesus tells us to "Pay attention" - ...will not God then secure the rights of his chosen ones who call out to him day and night? Will he be slow to answer them?"

How persistent am I in prayer? And what is God asking me to pray for today? Paul says in his Second Letter to Timothy: "Proclaim the word; be persistent whether it is convenient of inconvenient; convince, reprimand, encourage through all patience and teaching."

I guess we have enough to reflect on today.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Do not worry...

Sometimes a picture will trigger a reflection; any kind of road or path always invites me to think how we are all on an interior journey. Perhaps I am drawn to autumn because it is this time in my life when I look back and let go of so many things the way the trees are letting go of their leaves. At the same time, I press forward to continue my journey into the love of God. His love is infinite and He calls all of us to follow Him.
The Gospel has Jesus telling us that He will acknowledge us before the angels of God and we are not to worry as the Holy Spirit will teach us what we should say. Now, I do not expect to be hauled before the authorities, but I think the advice Jesus gives us is so helpful: "do not worry...for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that moment what you should say."
I just need to keep on my interior journey and trust the Lord; Jesus has given us the Holy Spirit to inspire us, to help us discern our way when we come to a fork in the road. It is the Spirit who keeps nudging us forward, helping us to overcome obstacles. Indeed, I find it is often the Holy Spirit who writes this blog!

Friday, October 14, 2016

Questions rather than answers

This thought has stayed with me this week:
Over a lifetime of practice, contemplation gradually helps you detach from who you think you are and rest in your authentic identity as Love. At first this may feel like an “identity transplant” until you learn how to permanently rest in God.

The thought comes from one of Richard Rohr's meditations, but I wonder when we can say that "I know who I am" and not be fooling ourselves. I know who I think I am, but even that seems to change. This week I have done quite a bit of reflection on what my life is now as compared to other years. Some questions keep coming to me. One is "Why did God bring me back to life when I had actually stopped breathing in the hospital when I had that aspirated pneumonia two years ago?" Another is "Why am I so loved by God?" "What is my way of giving joy to Jesus and others here at Oakwood? How am I called to follow Jesus poor?" "Am I pleasing Jesus by my daily choices?"

Lots of questions and I am counting on the help of the Holy Spirit to show me whatever the Lord wants of me now. It gives me great peace to feel surrendered, open, and, hopefully able to say yes to whatever is asked of me.

I suspect as we get older we still have more questions than answers. However, if we take time to reflect on the questions that are surfacing in us, we may find that the Holy Spirit is working in us through the questions. The questions may be more important than the answers.  I have found that my interior life is really more interesting than my exterior life. I wonder if that is true for many.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Eucharistics memories

My preparation for my First Holy Communion was during first grade at the Academy of the Visitation. Those of us who were preparing to receive both First Communion and Confirmation on the same day from Archbishop Glennon {later a Cardinal but he also had been my Dad's tennis partner when both were younger), were taken to a special room with a large chart with pictures of what were thought to be the most important stories for us to know. These same pictures were in a book that we were given and there were gold stars around the pictures in my book as I was absolutely fascinated by all we were learning and could tell the stories and answers all the questions, thus earning all those gold stars! I think I fell in love with Jesus during that year of preparation. I wish I could say that the moment of my First Communion was life-changing. The truth is that I remember that I had the responsibility to lead the class into the Chapel. Since I have seen pictures of my First Communion dress and veil and even of the gifts given to me at breakfast after Mass before returning to the Chapel for the Sacrament of Confirmation, it was too much for a six year old to take in and I just remember being very happy. All my relatives seem to have been present for the ceremony.
I do not have a great memory about our participation in Masses at school but do know that I liked to steal into the Chapel when my Dad dropped me off very early in the morning on his way to work.
That was a habit that stayed with me, quick visits at the back of the Chapel or Church.
To be continued, perhaps, but do think about your own Eucharistic history.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

God comes to us in so many ways

This picture is worth a meditation by itself. God has given us such beauty. Although I miss the autumn colors here, California is a beautiful state and I rejoice in the beauty around us.
I continue to read again the Letters and Conferences of Sister Clare Pratt who was Superior General of the Society of the Sacred Heart of Jesus from 2000 - 2008 and now is our community director at Oakwood.
In Clare's letter for the Feast of the Sacred Heart in 2005, she invites us to share our stories. She says: "Let us get in touch with our own 'Eucharistic histories', share our own Eucharistic stories.... Let us begin from our experience: significant moments, ...shifts in our understanding and sacramental practice, 'where we are now'.
Some of us have walked a straight road from childhood. Others have known mountains and valleys..."
I was caught - hopefully it was an inspiration of the Holy Spirit - and decided immediately that I would try to trace my own Eucharistic history in order to both thank and ask forgiveness. I spent our day of silence listening to my memories of Eucharist from the preparation for my First Holy Communion when I was six to my love of the Eucharist today about 80 years later. I may share some of this.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Total gift of self

When one studies the life of so many saints, their gift of self becomes evident no matter what the circumstances. They are reflecting in their own way the gift of self that characterized Jesus. If we want to follow Jesus, to be united to Jesus, we will hear him call us, too, to this complete gift of self.

This is a quote from one of Sister Clare Pratt's Letters to the whole Society of the Sacred Heart in June of 2003:
"As we fix our gaze on Jesus poor and once more resolve to follow him in the midst of our fear-gripped world, our logo of the world inside the Heart takes on new meaning. The Heart of Jesus is a place of refuge and welcome, a shelter, a safe place, a place of peace where every fear is put to rest. His is a Heart open to ALL. Like a Mother, He reaches out to the weakest and most vulnerable, the mentally and physically handicapped, the psychologically fragile, the addict, the prisoner, the refugee, the unwanted and unloved, those suffering any form of rejection. His Heart is the wounded heart of humanity, pierced by injustice and oppression, crushed by rejection and exclusion, crying out: 'My God, My God, why have you abandoned me?'"

This paragraph from the Letter touched me deeply and has been a source of prayer for me since I used it for prayer on First Friday.
Jesus certainly gave Himself entirely to whoever was suffering, in need, and still is suffering in the wounded heart of humanity.

I need to go back to this Letter later as there is a call to real poverty to be following Jesus who chose to be poor; I felt that I really lived my vow of poverty in Chile and was happy to be sharing the life of the poor, at least in some ways. It is much harder for me now as I have all that I need and more so it is a challenge to live without desiring anything but being grateful for all that we are given. I need to reflect on what Jesus is asking me now with regard to poverty.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Only one returned

If I had been among the ten lepers cured by Jesus, would I have been the one who returned to give glory to God? How often do I forget to go back and thank Jesus? And how often am I grateful, but forget to go back and thank the person who is so thoughtful?
Gratitude is something that makes us more human, more appreciative of what is done for us. I think we feel gratitude but do not always take the time and trouble to say thank you. I guess I am realizing more and more that all is gift and sometimes one feels such gratitude and joy, but also feels inadequate to thank the very ones who are making me feel this way. Of course, we can easily turn to Jesus and sometimes I just ask Jesus to thank for me. Reflecting on yesterday's Gospel has made me realize that I am sometimes not the one who has returned to give thanks.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

How grateful are you?

This is a commentary on the Sunday Gospel that has made me reflect:
"We will not take full possession of our lives until we learn to give thanks for them. We don’t really own our legs or eyes, our hands and skin unless we’re daily grateful. We don’t really live with our loved ones unless we foster an appreciative, almost contemplative sensitivity to their presence. It is only the loss of them—or the threat of it—that shakes us into an awareness of their manifold grace.
But when we wake up from our sleepwalk, when we see the wonder of the smallest parts of our existence, we begin to live. It is then we know what it is like, with the tenth leper, to be saved.
Perhaps the most grateful person I’ve ever heard of was an old woman in an extended care hospital. She had some kind of wasting disease, her different powers fading away over the march of months. A student of mine happened upon her on a coincidental visit. The student kept going back, drawn by the strange force of the woman’s joy. Though she could no longer move her arms and legs, she would say, “I’m just so happy I can move my neck.” When she could no longer move her neck, she would say, “I’m just so glad I can hear and see.”
When the young student finally asked the old woman what would happen if she lost her sense of sound and sight, the gentle lady said, “I’ll just be so grateful that you come to visit.” There was an uncommon freedom in that student’s eyes as she told me of her friend. Somehow a great enemy had been disarmed in her life.
Gratitude not only empowers the receiver of the gift; it confirms the giver. “You really believe I love you,” the giver says in the heart.
It is truly wondrous when others actually believe you love them. It is glorious when someone thanks you.
Might God be more interested in our gratitude than anything else? Was the primal sin ingratitude?
The healed leper, Naaman, proclaimed to Elisha, “Now I know there is no God in all the earth, except in Israel.” How God must have delighted.
And Christ, having healed ten, saw something greater in the one Samaritan who made time to come back, fall at his feet, and praise God. He saw the splendor of a human heart that believes it is loved, that accepts the gift. Such faith not only brings salvation. It is the gift back to God, so enchanting that God would die for love of it.

John Kavanaugh, SJ

Saturday, October 8, 2016


In a talk to Jesuit students the Pope spoke about the main element at school, following what St. Ignatius teaches us, is to learn to be magnanimous. "Magnanimity: this virtue of the great and the small, which always makes us look at the horizon. What does being magnanimous mean? It means having a great heart, having greatness of mind; it means having ideals, the wish to do great things in response to what God asks of us. It also means to do well the routine...daily actions, tasks, meeting with people--doing the little every day thins with a great heart open to God and to others."

I guess we all need to cultivate magnanimity. Am I seeking the greater good? Or do I settle for just doing enough to feel comfortable but not going the extra mile? Jesus wants us to cultivate this virtue. 

Friday, October 7, 2016

Go, for I am with you

The last point in the address of the Pope to that International
Congress on Catechesis also is for all of us to reflect on today.
The love of Christ compels us to go out. The Pope says that "starting anew with Christ means not being afraid to go with him to the outskirts. Jesus tells us to "Go, for I am with you." This is what is so beautiful for us; it is what guides us." If we go out to bring his  Gospel with love, with a true apostolic spirit, with parrhesia, he walks with us, he goes ahead of us, and he gets there first....God is always ahead of us! When we think about going far away...we may be a bit afraid, but in fact God is already there." 

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Put Christ at the Center of our life

The second point of the Pope in the address to the International Congress on Catechesis was about "imitating Jesus and leaving ourselves behind and going out to encounter others." The Poe said that this is a beautiful experience, and yet a paradox. Why? "Because when we put Christ at the center of our life, we ourselves don't become the center! The more you united yourself to Christ and he becomes the center of your life, the more he leads you out  of yourself, leads you from making yourself the center and opens you to others. This is the true dynamism of love; this is the movement of God himself! God is the center, but he is always self-gift, relationship, love that gives itself away... and this is what we will become if we remain united to Christ. He will draw us into this dynamism of love. Where there is true life in Christ, there follows openness to others, and so a going out from oneself to encounter others in the name of Christ.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Be close to Jesus

Pope Francis has said " What is important is to find the way best suited for you to be with the Lord, and this everyone can do; it is possible for every state of life. Now each one of you could ask, how am I experiencing "being" with Jesus? This is a question I leave you: How do I experience this remaining with Jesus, abiding in Jesus? Do I find time to remain in his presence, in silence to be looked upon by him? Do I let his fire warm my heart? If the warmth of God, of his love, of his tenderness, is not in our own hearts, then how can we, who are poor sinners, warm the hearts of others? Think about it!"

I think that the above which is a continuation of the first point in the Pope's homily to the participants at the International Congress on Catechesis given in September of 2013, is a program of all of us. Tomorrow I will continue with his second point, but let us find time to sit with Jesus and let Him love us today.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

A way of praying

"Abide in my love, remain attached to me, as the branch is attached to the vine. If we are joined to Him, then we are able to bear fruit. This is what it means to be close to Christ. Abide in Jesus! This means remaining attached to him, in him, and with him, talking to him. Abide in Jesus!"
The above quote is from Pope Francis, September 27, 2013. He was speaking to an International Congress on Catechesis. He tells them that the first thing for a disciple is to be with the Master, to listen to him and learn from him. This is always true, for us, too, and at every season of our lives.
Then, the Pope says:
"I ask you: How do you abide in the presence of the Lord? When you visit the Lord, when you look at the tabernacle, what do you do? Without you let yourself be looked at by the Lord? May we let ourselves be gazed upon by the Lord. He looks at us, and this is itself a way of praying."

I find it an easy way to pray and a one that just lets me sit in the Presence of Jesus and let him love me. The Pope says this letting the Lord gaze on us "warms the heart, igniting the fire of friendship with the Lord, making you feel that he truly sees you, that he is close to you and loves you."
Go try it.

Monday, October 3, 2016

The fruit of sorrow

Mother Stuart gave one of her first conferences as Superior General on Our Lady of Sorrows. This was in September of 1911 and I want to share this quote with you today:
"In the spiritual life the fruit of sorrow is joy. When sorrow falls on the heart that loves God, it is sure to expand in that heart under the sunshine of faith and love, till it finally ripens into joy, whose fruit in turn becomes a seed for eternity."

Sunday, October 2, 2016

What qualities does Jesus want us to have?

Today's Gospel tells us about the servant that was able to do all that was expected of him. He was loyal and trustworthy and wanted to do all that his master expected of him. Here is a bit of a commentary that is interesting:

"The neologism that I propose (“due-nothing” servant) reflects the pun-oriented sense of humor that Jesus exhibited (in Aramaic) on many occasions. While this servant clearly is not a “do-nothing” person, it is also clear that a servant is “due nothing” for services rendered.
Jesus’ demands of forgiveness, loyalty, and the surrendering of an entitlement mentality still challenge his American disciples."

John J. Pilch

Different parts of the Gospels show us different qualities that we need to be disciples, but we often forget that we are servants and therefore nothing is due to us.

We need to remember the angels today as it is also their feast.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Living in joy

The third attitude that Pope Francis spoke of in his homily is: "living in joy". He said, "if we walk in hope, allowing ourselves to be surprised by the new wine that Jesus offers us, we have joy in our hearts, and we cannot fail to be witnesses of this joy. Christians are joyful; they are never gloomy. God is at our side. We have a Mother who always intercedes for the life of her children, for us, ....
Jesus has shown us that the face of God is that of a loving Father. Sin and death have been defeated. Christians cannot be pessimists! They do not look like someone in constant mourning. If we are truly in love with Christ and if we sense how much he loves us, our hearts will 'light up' with a joy that spreads to everyone around us."

So, let us show our joy to all for Christ loves each of us and wants us to be joyful! We also can reflect with Mary today to see how we can give Jesus joy. Jesus told us that He always does what is pleasing to the Father. One way to give joy to Jesus is to do always what is pleasing to Him. Mary will help each of us to know what we can do this very day to please Jesus.