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Tuesday, April 30, 2019

I feel the Winds of God Today

Today I am copying the words of an English tune by Jessie Adams (1906) that can also be found on YouTube. I find myself praying with these words as one of our Chapter calls was to set sail and I often see myself at sea with Jesus as the pilot.

"I feel the winds of God today, today my sail I lift
Though heavy oft with drenching spray, and torn with many a rift
If hope but light the water's crest and God my bark will use
I'll seek the seas at God's behest, and brave another cruise.

It is the wind of God that dries my vain regretful tears
Until with braver thoughts shall rise, the purer, brighter years
If cast on shores of selfish ease or pleasure I should be
God let me feel Thy freshening breeze, and I'll put back to sea.

If ever I forget Thy love and how that love is shown
Lift high the blood red flag above, it bears Thy name alone
Great pilot of my onward way, Thou wilt not let me drift
I feel the winds of God today, today my sail I lift.

Monday, April 29, 2019

St. Catherine of Siena

Jesus is the bread of life. The risen Jesus continues to share His Body and Blood with us and wants only to be united to us. Why do we not realize this? St. Catherine of Siena was one who lived united to Christ and was given in 1374 the commission to help heal the world and the Church. I suspect that the Lord is still calling each of us, too, to help heal the world and the Church. 

One of my directees gave me some hand cream in an Easter basket for Easter. The name of this cream is "Hands of hope" and the tube says, "philosophy: hands of hope are the hands that help, heal, protect and comfort. Use your hands to give hope, and you will have hope to hold."

I am going to use this hand cream with great hope!

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Second Sundy of Easter, Divine Mercy Sunday

The Collect for today begins with "God of everlasting mercy, who in the very recurrence of the paschal feast kindle the faith of the people you have made your own, increase, we pray, the grace you have bestowed, that all may grasp and understand in what font they have been washed, by whose Spirit they have been reborn, by whose Blood they have been redeemed …."

The Gospel begins with the Risen Jesus having appeared to his disciples on Easter Sunday night, but Thomas was not with them. When the other disciples said to him, "We have seen the Lord," Thomas said, "Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the nailmarks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe."
So, one week later when Thomas is with the disciples, Jesus came and stood in their midst. After his greeting of peace, Jesus said to Thomas, "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 says, "My Lord and my God!" But Jesus will say "Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed." 
We are among the blessed who believe!

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Go into the whole world and proclaim the Good News!

This was published before I could schedule it for the 27th. 

Jesus is still trying to get us to understand that He wants us to give the Good News to everyone. Pope Francis is trying to convince us, also, that we are to go out to the margins and spread Christ's love to all. We are called to set sail, to be creative and find new ways to spread the Gospel. Jesus says in Mark's gospel: "Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature."

If you think about it, our vocation as Religious of the Sacred Heart is one that has internationality as part of our heritage and we have been sending missionaries to various parts of the world since 1818. I had a conversation with my brother on Easter and he said he would take me to St. Charles when I am visiting in May; I only now realized that I had not taught him about St. Philippine Duchesne. He was too little to remember that I did take him out to see the nuns before I entered and he asked me to tell him where the convent was when I suggested he visit the shrine. Now, I shall plan the day carefully so we get to see the new statue outside the Cathedral, the Provincial Offices, the old convent and the Shrine all on one day with maybe a visit with some RSCJs. He is willing to drive me. I will be in St. Louis only for five days and have both friends and relatives to see as well as RSCJs so I am planning the days way ahead. I leave here on May 17 and return on the 23rd of May.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Have you caught anything?

Today we have a wonderful apparition of Jesus to some of his disciples. Peter decided to go fishing and the six disciples who were with him decided that they would also go with him. They got in the boat and went out to fish but all night they caught nothing. Then, "when it was already dawn, Jesus was standing on the shore; but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus."

How often I do not realize it is Jesus who calls out to me. He calls to his disciples and asks if they have caught anything to eat. When they say a rather abrupt "no" (remember they are tired, hungry, and discouraged after a night of work having caught not a single fish!), then Jesus tells them to cast the net to the right side of the boat and they will find something. They do so and cannot pull the net in because of the number of fish. Then, "the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, 'It is the Lord.'" Peter then jumps into the sea but the others stay in the boat dragging the net with all the fish. Jesus is waiting for them with a charcoal fire with fish on it and bread. He has prepared breakfast for them.

I love the thoughtfulness of Jesus. He knew they would be tired and hungry and maybe cold; he had everything prepared for them and even put more of the freshly caught fish on the fire for them. I just like imagining that I am there, too, having breakfast with Jesus.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

"Peace be with you"

The two disciples are trying to tell the others what happened on their way to Emmaus and how they had come to recognize Jesus in the breaking of the bread. While they are still speaking, Jesus stood in their midst and said to them, "Peace be with you." But they were terrified and thought they were seeing a ghost. So then Jesus said, "Why are you troubled? And why do questions arise in your hearts? Look at my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you can see I have." And Jesus showed them his hands and his feet. 

Then, the Gospel tells us that "he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. And he said to them, 'Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in his name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things."

Now, we are the witnesses of these things. Let us radiate the peace and joy of Easter to all we meet. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

"Stay with us, for it is nearly evening..."

Today's Gospel from Luke 24: 13-35, tells us how Jesus meets with two of his disciples on the road as they were going to Emmaus, a village about seven miles from Jerusalem. Both of the disciples are really feeling sad as they conversed about what had happened. So, Jesus drew near and walked with them. They did not recognize him. He asks them what they are talking about and draws them out. Then he tells them that they are foolish and "slow of heart to believe all that the prophets spoke!" Then Jesus begins to explain why it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and enter into his glory. Beginning with Moses and the prophets, he interpreted to them what referred to him in all the Scriptures. Then, as they approached the village, "he gave the impression that he was going on farther. But they urged him, "Stay with us; for it is nearly evening and the day is almost over." So Jesus stays and when seated at table with them, "he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them. With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him, but he vanished from their sight."

Jesus comes and walks with us. We need to learn how to recognize him in others, to welcome him, to listen to him and invite him to stay with us. He certainly gave those two disciples new life and energy as they set out at once to return to Jerusalem to tell the 
Eleven and those with them.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Whom are you looking for?

Today's Gospel has Mary Magdalene weeping outside the empty tomb because she does not know what has happened to the body of Jesus. Then, Jesus asks her "Whom are you looking for?" She did not recognize the Risen Jesus until He calls her by name. Then Jesus will send Mary to announce the Good News: "Go to my brothers and tell them, "I am going to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God." So Mary went and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord. 

Jesus comes to us, too. He asks us "Whom are you looking for?" He calls us by name and how do we respond? I think Jesus is always present to us, but we are not present to Him. His question makes us think about whom we are seeking every time we go to pray, every time we are encountering someone. Am I seeking Jesus? The Risen Lord is present in me. I need only seek Him in my own heart first, but then He sends me to tell others about Him.
I, too, am called to announce the Good News; the Lord is truly risen, Alleluia, Alleluia!

Jesus comes when we do not expect Him

The Apostles were together that first Easter Sunday, except for Thomas. They were frightened and had locked the doors. They had great fear for they knew that the soldiers had crucified Jesus and they were afraid that they would come for his friends. They also had feelings of sorrow, remorse, and uneasiness because they had abandoned Jesus in the garden when the soldiers captured him. They also must have been confused because the women had said He had risen as Jesus had said He would; Peter and John had been to see the empty tomb. Later Peter would say that Jesus had come to Him but Peter was still so moved that he could not talk about it. While they are discussing all that had happened since Jesus had washed their feet and taken bread and said, "This is my body...", Jesus appears in their midst. Locked doors are no obstacle for the Risen Lord. His greeting is one of peace. He will go about for the next forty days bringing peace and consolation to many. This is what Jesus still does during the Easter season! Be ready to welcome the Risen Lord whenever He comes to console you; He desires that you have a share in His Joy!

Monday, April 22, 2019

Happy Easter Monday!

Easter Monday is still a celebration and Catholic schools are usually closed so the Joy of Easter is celebrated in many ways. The Easter egg hunts are over, but many children are playing with Easter bunnies, or tiny chickens (I hoped these are stuffed toys as  animals are not play things and seldom last the Easter season). We will have games here at Oakwood in the afternoon. 

I think that Jesus really wants us to be happy and enjoy life; He goes about bringing consolation to many during this Easter season so let us be attentive to His Presence in whatever way He comes.  And perhaps He is asking us to bring some joy to others by our visits, or taking time to listen to someone, or bringing joy to one who is lonely or suffering. He took one of my special friends here at Oakwood home to be with Him early on Easter morning.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Easter Sunday, Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad!

Here is a prayer by Susan Helene Kramer from an Easter card that wishes us the joys of Easter:

Lord, You have arisen forever in my heart!
May the sunrise remind me to shine in Your light.
May the caress of a gentle breeze remind me of your compassion.
May the fragrance of a flower remind me to blossom in Your love.
May the singing of birds bring a song of joy to my lips.
And in the closing of each day may I remember to quietly pray.
Wherever I am, whatever I do, may my thoughts in joy return to You!

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Holy Saturday

Mary was there at the foot of the cross when Jesus was taken down and laid in her arms. One could spend the day imagining what this time was for her and how she must have remembered holding Him in her arms when he was a baby, then a toddler, and now, she holds the lifeless body of her son.
We spend Holy Saturday in silent contemplation.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Good Friday

Let us follow Jesus through the Stations of the Cross. I found it difficult to understand as a child why they called this day "Good" Friday. It is the day that Jesus showed us how much He loves us and loves us to the end. His Heart was opened for us.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Holy Thursday night

The agony in the garden is when Jesus shows how human He is; He is faced with the betrayal, abandonment, the suffering He knows will end with His death on the cross, yet He prays for the strength to go through with it to show His love until the end. He took His three closest friends with Him and asked them to watch and pray with Him, but they fell asleep. He is alone. This is why we have adoration on Holy Thursday night - we stay with Him in silent adoration.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Wednesday of Holy Week

Christ's Heart was pierced on the cross and blood and water flowed out of it. He is also Living Water and His Heart is always open for us. St. Madeleine Sophie often spoke of how we are to draw out His Love and then give this Love to others. I think that Holy Thursday shows us how much Jesus loves us. First, He washes the feet of his disciples; a task that even the servants were not asked to do. Then, during the meal, His Love creates a way to remain with us when He institutes the Holy Eucharist and tells those at the table to "Do this in remembrance of me." He knows that one of His chosen twelve is betraying Him; one of His special friends is going to deny Him. All will abandon Him when the soldiers come to arrest Him. Yet, Jesus loves to the end. His love pours itself out and He wants only to love us and let His love spread throughout the world.

Judas arranges to betray Jesus - how can I make up for the times I have betrayed the One who loves me unconditionally?

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Tuesday of Holy Week

My focus so far this Holy Week has been on the great gift of the Eucharist. I am, of course, preparing for Holy Thursday, but my heart is so full of gratitude for the gift of God's presence with us in the Eucharist; we are able to receive Jesus who unites us to Himself, but also stays with us in the tabernacle. I think this Presence is so special and St. Madeleine Sophie thought so, too, and it is a grace to have the Blessed Sacrament in our communities. I think my love for the Eucharist has grown, but how often I am distracted after Holy Communion. What seems to help me is to say this little prayer that I have shared with you before but will do so again. We sing it often here.

"Breathing in, breathing out.
I am calm; I am smiling.
You in me, I in You. 
Present moment, wondrous moment,
Peace to the world,
Peace to the world.

It is a good prayer for any moment of the day or night!

Monday, April 15, 2019

Monday of Holy Week

This is a week marked by the gift of the Eucharist as well as the last days, the intense suffering and death on a cross where Jesus poured out his love for us. "No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends." (Jn 15:13) We are all friends of Jesus and his words on the eve of his death give true meaning to the cross. 

Today I am struck by the prayer after Communion ( one that I seldom read nor seem to take hear): "Visit your people, O Lord, we pray, and with ever watchful love look upon the hearts dedicated to you by means of these sacred mysteries, so that under your protection we may keep safe this remedy of eternal salvation, which by your mercy we have received. We ask this through Christ our Lord."

Having just received Jesus in the Eucharist, does the "visit your people" mean that I am asking Jesus to be with all of us and then we may profit by "this remedy of eternal salvation"? I need to ponder the prayer to really understand what I am asking.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Palm Sunday

There ar.
e three form for beginning the celebration of this Sunday which also marks the beginning of Holy Week: the first is when the palms are blessed in a place distinct from the Church and then the people carry palm branches in procession to the Church. The second is a solemn entrance with the faithful holding branches and then there is the blessing of branches and the proclamation of the Lord's entrance into Jerusalem takes place. The third form is for other Masses on this Sunday and just has a simple entrance.

The entrance antiphon: "Six days before the Passover, when the Lord came into the city of Jerusalem, the children ran to meet him; in their hands they carried palm branches and with a loud voice cried out: Hosanna in the highest! …"

Today is a day to remember how fickle we can be. Some of the same crowd that hailed the entrance of Jesus to Jerusalem may have been in the crowd that cried our "Crucify him!"  Let us ask Our Lady to be with us as we accompany Jesus during this Holy Week.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Joyful Prayer

Sometimes I feel I am at sea. It is a peaceful feeling as Jesus is in the boat with me. It means that I am still on a journey, but do not need to worry as Jesus is steering the boat. 

Father James Martin, SJ, in "Teach Us To Pray" has a reflection on the joyful prayer in Lent. He says that the aim of the liturgical season is a preparation for Easter. Some of that preparation is repentance, which does include considering our sinful patterns and attitudes. But the word the Gospels use is metanoia, a change of mind and heart. 
At the end, Father Martin asks us to remember two things: "Christ is already risen and will help you through the Spirit. And, second, the metanoia to which God calls you will lead you, and others, to a more joyful life. Happy Lent!"

This Lent has been joyful for me in so many ways, but I am also conscious of wanting to be with Jesus as He is still suffering in the plight of so many refugees, immigrants, children who are separated from their parents, those who are homeless, hungry, and alone.

Friday, April 12, 2019

Learning and Loving

This is the last paragraph of an interesting article in the Tablet on a topic that is getting to be of interest to many today.

"The issue of gender identity raises profound
questions about human nature. What was

thought obvious stands in need of investiga-
tion. However, perhaps the first step in stilling

this storm is not to think of gender identity
as something unspeakable. It is perhaps help-
ful to separate out practical issues, using

medical reasoning and legal reasoning and
pastoral reasoning as we would with other
issues. Perfect love casts out fear and when
irrational fear is cast aside what remain are

challenges common to other human situa-
tions. Perhaps then we will discover that being

trans is one more way to be human and one
more way to be Catholic."
Professor David Albert Jones of the
Anscombe Bioethics Centre is developing a
project at St Mary’s University, Twickenham
with Dr Claire Jenkins to engage with trans
people who are Catholic to help develop a
Catholic understanding of gender identity.
The views he expresses here are his own...

 It is amazing the number of people now who are wanting to change their gender for they have never been happy as male or maybe female, although I have read that fewer women seem to want to be men. I think this is a topic we need to know more about and definitely need to love each transgender person and accept them as I am sure God does. Actually, I have not worded this well; some feel that they are women in a man's body and vice versa. They just do not feel at home in their sex and this is important for their identity. I guess I am struggling to understand but I feel for those who are changing gender. 

Here is a quote that I like:
"When we work from a place of knowing who we are and how much we're loved, that we have a purpose and all will be well no matter the result, then we're doing work that heals". - @holleygerth

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Jesus took bread and said, "This is my body...

When we are present to this great gift, we realize that Jesus chose that which so common and ordinary that we often take bread for granted. Jesus wanted to use what was accessible and He was able to find a way to remain with us in a physical way even after his death. Every Eucharist brings Jesus to us and we have the grace also of keeping His Eucharistic presence in the Blessed Sacrament reserved in all Catholic churches, not just for Communion for the sick, but for us to be able to adore Christ present and talk to Him as one friend talks to another.
St. Madeleine Sophie was very devoted to adoration of the Eucharist. We had, from the first day we entered, a half hour of adoration in the afternoon; this was sacred time and could not be broken up - no one interrupted "adoration" time as one was, or so I was led to believe, obliged to start again - something impossible with our busy schedules as Aspirants. I often think that this prayer in the afternoon was what kept me peaceful and joyful with the rest of my day and night spent with the youngest children as we had even first graders boarding. Now, I relish the opportunity to spend a quiet hour daily in front of the Blessed Sacrament!

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Staying with Our Lady

During these last days of Lent, I am trying to think of how Our Lady felt as the time drew near for all that Jesus has said about how he was to suffer and die on a cross. This is her Son and she has raised him, taught him his first prayers, washed his face and fed him. As any growing boy, Jesus would have scrapped his knees, lost his baby teeth, learned whatever games the children played; he grew up being a normal boy. Paul tells us that Jesus was like us in all things except sin. 
Mary now knows the end is near. She waits and prays and loves.
I guess that is what we should also be doing during these last days of Lent. Let us love one another with the love that Jesus loves us. Mary will help us do this each day.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

The Election of Pope Francis

If you have seen the cover of America for the April issue, you may also have read the first part of a new book that comes highly recommended by the editor, Matt Malone, S.J. I have asked that we buy the book here and will use this blog to tell you why I did. First, I read in this issue of America an exclusive excerpt from this new book by Gerard O'Connell, America's Vatican correspondent, The election of Pope Francis: An Inside Account of the Conclave That Changed History. It is the first definitive account of that event.
Now, I quote Matt Malone, S.J.: "The book is a tour de force, expertly reported and crafted in a style that reads at times like a thriller. I hope you will pick up a copy at your local bookstore or Amazon shopping cart, for this will be required reading for students and scholars for decades to come."
We had the Sacrament of Healing yesterday during Mass. That is always a grace for all of us.

Monday, April 8, 2019

Our Lenten Journey

We are all on a journey. My spirituality group meets this morning at 8:00 and I am going to continue the theme of the retreat with them by using a few thoughts from our community prayer the first week of Lent. We are reminded that we are on a journey to Eastere, to the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. So, "our Lenten journey begins with an invitation to bring our hearts and lives before the Lord...what might we do to prepare for this spiritual journey in order to reach our desired destination?"
 We have less than two weeks now to prepare to enter into the joy of Easter Sunday with Jesus after we have journeyed with Him through His last days on earth and, especially the days of Holy Week when He suffered and died for us to show us His Love.
Our community reflection ended with the idea that we needed to choose life as "this is what we need as we prepare for our journey from today to the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Fifth Sunday of Lent

The Mass for this Sunday strikes me as a joyful one in the sense that the first reading from Isaiah says: "Remember not the events of the past, the things of long ago consider not; see, I am doing something new! Now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?"

Then the responsorial psalm has "The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy." Psalm 126 tells us that the Lord has done great things for us and we are glad indeed.

Then the second reading is from Paul's Letter to the Phillipians where he says that he has accepted the loss of all things and considers them rubbish that "I may gain Christ and be found in him...I continue my pursuit toward the goal, the prize of God's upward calling, in Christ Jesus."

Then we come to the Gospel where Jesus is left alone with the woman who had committed adultery (where was the man?) and, after writing on the ground with his finger, finally said, "Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her." When all had left, Jesus said to the woman, "Has no one condemned you?" then Jesus tells her that neither does he condemn her and she is to "go and from now on do not sin any more."

I guess this Mass is showing us that God is merciful and we have reason to rejoice. What is the new thing that God might be doing in our lives right now?        

Saturday, April 6, 2019

First Saturday

We honor Our Lady in a special way on the first Saturday of each month. It is good to know that the Society of the Sacred Heart all over the world has special devotion to both the first Friday and the first Saturday of each month. Here, we say together at the end of Mass the Consecration to the Sacred Heart on first Friday and then the special Consecration to Our Lady on the first Saturday of each month. I am copying it here for those who would like to have it as our Associates often ask for copies.

Act of Consecration of the Society to the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Holy Mary, Queen of Virgins, we come today with confidence and love to consecrate ourselves to your Immaculate Heart.
You are the Mother of Fair Love. In you is all hope of life and of virtue. Grant us this day the desire of our hearts by giving us 
-a love strong as death, which will separate us from all that is not God;
-a love so generous in its conformity to the good pleasure of God, that it may transform us and give us new life;
-a love so ardent that it may enkindle the souls of those confided to our care;
-a love so insatiable that all work and suffering may be as fuel to feed its flame until our last breath.
Mother of Holy Hope set your Divine Son as a seal upon our hearts and upon our arms, that we may, after your example, live and act by Him and for Him alone.
Intercede for our Holy Mother the Church in all her needs.
Save all who put their trust in you.
Bless our Society so devoted to you and to your Son.
Be the stay and support of our Central Team, and grant that we who are united with you in love on earth, may bless you and rejoice in you for all eternity. Amen.

The retreat day at Villa Maria del Mar with my group of Mothers was very good and I am grateful for all the prayer; it did not rain there. We did have rain on the way down but the drivers are very experienced and going through the mountains is beautiful even in the rain. All is so green this year because of all the rain!

Friday, April 5, 2019

Spring is here

Spring is here when the tulips bloom. It is difficult to believe that we are already almost at the end of the fourth week of Lent. How are we doing? Lent is a time to take time to reflect on our life with Jesus. Am I pleasing Him? Am I choosing what pleases Jesus or what pleased me? Something I need to stop and reflect on daily and often it takes real discernment to know if I am choosing what pleases Jesus.

Today is also the First Friday of April and I want to share this prayer with you. I have used it before as it is a famous one.

I abandon myself into your hands;
do with me what you will.
Whatever you may do, I thank you:
I am ready for all, I accept all.
Let only your will be done in me
and in all your creatures—
I wish no more than this, O Lord.
Into your hands I commend my soul:
I offer it to you with all the love of my heart,
for I love you, Lord, and so need to give myself,
to surrender myself into your hands without reserve,
and with boundless confidence,
for you are my Father. 
The Blessed Charles de Foucauld, the author of this prayer, prayed this with his life.  After some time as a gardener in Jesus’ hometown of Nazareth, he heard the call to establish a new way of religious life, the Little Brothers and Sisters of Jesus, who embody in their life and work the spirit of this powerful prayer of faith and surrender to the will of God.

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Thankful Beyond Understanding

As I am taking my spirituality group of mothers to Villa Maria del Mar for a mini retreat today, I think I will give them this page before we do our sharing after lunch. I am convinced that when we are thankful, we are joyful. This is from a retreat prayer service that someone gave me.

O God, source of this whole shebang,
we thank you that in your bewildering wisdom, 
and for your oft puzzling purposes,
You launched us on this wondrous exodus of life
toward the promised time of freedom and fulfillment,
and that in your staggering compassion
You girded up to be our traveling companion
until we find our way to each other and You.
Response: We say thank you, thank you, thank you.

We are thankful to you
for gifts of taken-for-granted commonness:
the song of a bird, the strum of wind, a hundred shades of green,
a parent's praying patience, a friend's voice, a changed way.
Work worth doing, children's questions, a new thought;
Our bodies, enough food, wine slowly shared, a quiet walk,
the touch of hands, catch of eyes, hark of dreams,
the wash of rain, snuggle of darkness, stardust on the roof,
the goad to repentance, the nudge to gratitude
in the utterly everywhere of small miracles.

Response: We say thank you, thank you, thank you.

Most of all we are thankful beyond understanding it -
that even in adversity, pain, and suffering,
even the face of defeat and death, as in all else,
Your Spirit labors for our healing, resilience and deliverance,
leaving on us your eternal fingerprints of grace and glory.
Response: We say thank you, thank you, thank you.


Wednesday, April 3, 2019

One Moment of Praise

Paul was always thanking and praising God with joy. I was trying to praise God more and found this prayer service that someone gave me. The last page has "One Moment of Praise" and, as I found it helpful, I am copying it here for you.

"O God of every now, and then,
we pause for one moment to praise you
for all the moments of our lives.
Response: O God, we praise you for every moment.

We praise you for the glorious moments:
bread, the intimacy of love, lilacs, morning coffee,
a rooted word, a rapturous song, a circle of stories
the scrunch of oldsters at play, children at prayer.
Response: O God, we praise you for every moment.

We praise you for the shared moments:
honest exchange, deepening trust, earned friendship,
smudgy work, a ballet of ideas, a lullaby of quietness,
trouble met, the release of tears, the easing of fears,
the renewing of wonder, the embracing of mystery.
Response: O God, we praise you for every moment.

We praise you for the surprising moments:
the wink of a stranger, the flutter of hope in the stillness,
the enchantment of a rainbow and claim of a promise kept,
the goodness beneath the flurry of things,
beauty our of the muck
the clarified direction in a prayer,
a light in the soul's night.
Response: O God, we praise you for every moment.

We praise you for the holy moments:
All the bearers of love, of truth, of mercy,
of meaning, of demand, of amazement,
all that nudges us to readiness for the risks of faith,
the mysterious all that attaches us to your grace
from which nothing can separate us.
Response: O God, we praise you for every moment.

O God, we praise you for every moment,
for you, source of each moment,
and present in all moments, always, in all ways.
Response: O God, we praise you for every moment.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Say to everyone, "love me, I love you"

Sometimes I choose a picture from my files just because it grabs me and I am not sure what it is saying to me. This is one of those pictures. I love the sky with its clouds, the rocky cliffs and, of course, the water, but I really do not know what this picture wants to tell me. There seems to be a path for me to follow.

Today I want to share a poem taken from Love Poems from God: Sacred Voices from East and West, ed. Daniel Ladinsky (Penguin Compass, 2002,) It is "With That Moon Language" by Hafiz:

"Admit something:
Everyone you see, you say to them, "love me."

Of course you do not do this out loud, otherwise
someone would call the cops.

Still, though, think about this, this great pull in us to connect.

Why not become the one who lives with a full moon
in each eye that is always saying,
with that sweet moon language,
what every other eye in this world
is dying to hear?

Monday, April 1, 2019

April Fools Day

Today is April Fool's Day but it is also now the fourth week of Lent and I seem to be filled with joy and wonder what this season this year is doing with me. I did remind our new community director that it is a good time for us to have the Sacrament of Healing again. When I was studying at St. Louis University I would go to the monthly Mass at the College Church where anyone who wanted to receive the Sacrament of Healing just came and the priest would go down the middle aisle at the noon Mass and anoint all who stood with their hands out. Here we have had beautiful ceremonies during Mass. The Sacrament is for anyone who wants to be healed even if it is not a physical healing. And, as the Dominican who used to give it to us here always stressed, the Sacrament forgives all your sins.

I am preparing a mini retreat for the mothers in my spirituality group. We will go to Villa Maria del Mar on Thursday after Mass and return by 3:00. It is such a short time that I think I will just give them some suggestions to pray over during the morning and then we have lunch together and time for sharing after that. I am hoping for good weather so we can pray by the ocean.
One suggestion might be just to get in touch with where we are on our inner journey. What do I desire? Am I feeling comfortable with God? What might God be telling me at this moment in my life?
I throw these questions out for all of us to use for reflection this week.