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Sunday, June 30, 2019

13th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Jesus is on his way to Jerusalem in today's Gospel. Someone comes and says: "I will follow you wherever you go." Jesus tells him: "Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head."
Then to another Jesus said, "Follow me." But this one asked to go first to bury his father. Jesus tells him, "let the dead bury the their dead. But you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God."
That is what we also are called to do: proclaim the kingdom of God!
How am I doing this? What might Jesus be saying to me today?
It is Sunday, the Lord's day; take some time to be with Him today!

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul

I love the entrance antiphon for this feast as it is such a good summary of these two great saints.

"These are the ones who, living in the flesh, planted the Church with their blood; they drank the chalice of the Lord and became the friends of God." 

It is good to go back over the lives of each of these saints and see how the Lord worked in each. He also is working in each of us to bring us into the Communion of Saints and make us good "friends of God".

Friday, June 28, 2019

Feast of the Sacred Heart

The liturgy for the Feast of the Sacred Heart this year is my favorite with Jesus addressing the parable of the shepherd who would leave the 99 and go after the lost one until he finds it and then rejoice with his friends because he has found his lost sheep.

Jesus is our good shepherd and does not abandon us. We are so loved and called to go forth and love others. We are all one flock and no one is to be excluded. We had a wonderful letter from our Mother General in which she told us that knowing we are so loved by God no matter what is the essence of hope!

Happy Feast to all. We will have our Liturgy and renewal of vows at 4:00 followed by dinner with the RSCJs in the area and other guests. 

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Reviewing the retreat

The first day of the retreat opened with a handout that has a picture of Christ with a multitude of people in the cavity of His Heart. Below is this quote from Teilhard de Chardin's Hymn of the Universe:
"I love you, Lord Jesus, because of the multitude who shelter within you and whom, if one clings closely to you, on can hear with all the other beings murmuring, praying, weeping,..."

Then come these questions: Who is in your heart? What do you bring to the retreat?

Then, we said the following response together: We entrust to you, O God.
The cares of our hearts
The needs of your Church
The wounds of the world
The hopes we carry, for ourselves and for others
The times we have been too self-protective
The many gifts we've been given
The deep desire for peace

Besides the readings from our Constitutions, we were given the following Scripture passages as suggestions for prayer:
Ephesians 1:7-10; Wisdom Chapter 9; 1 John 1:1-4; and any Taize antiphon you love.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

We are called to be prophets

One of the thoughts that struck me in the retreat was the reminder that we are all called to be prophets. I think this means for me to not only announce the good news, but to help motivate others to change things that are not so good. This means studying the issues, not being afraid to speak out and to work for a better world. For me, the top issue to be resolved immediately is the plight of the refugees. We are detaining them in horrible conditions; we are creating "concentration camps"! If we saw another country doing this, we would all be against it. Children are being detained in camps for months separated from relatives, having to follow a prison routine; I learned that in the detention camp in Florida the average stay for a child is 67 days. Think what that does to anyone, but especially to the young. We must rally round those who are trying to welcome refugees and allow them to experience the freedom that the United States has always held in such high esteem. We need also to remember that many of our ancestors came to this country as refugees. We have land and resources to still receive others and not lock them up on arrival.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019


Last night when I wrote my blog about the delightful supper with the girls from Villa Duchesne I forgot to put today's date so, of course, it was published last night. That is the reason I am writing again this morning. I have been thinking so much about the value of friendships and how grateful I am to having had so many really wonderful friends; I still have wonderful friends, but I also have many now in heaven. I think friendship is a gift, but it is also to be cultivated. Pope Francis speaks so often about the culture of encounter - going out to others, listening to them to know their stories, their hopes and dreams. 
I have been reading the Pope's Apostolic Exhortation, Christus Vivit to Young People and to the Entire People of God. I think that the Holy Spirit is inspiring me to use some of this Exhortation in my blogs after this week. Now, I still want to share more of my retreat and prepare for the feasts of the Sacred Heart of Jesus this Friday and the Immaculate Heart of Mary on Saturday.

Monday, June 24, 2019

Wonderful Surprise Today

We had a lovely surprise this evening. Twenty-five girls from our school, Villa Duchesne, in St. Louis arrived to spend a few days here. They had supper with us and they were delightful! They will be sleeping on the third floor of the original building built in 1898 when we began a boarding school here. They arrived straight from the airport and could not get over the beauty of California; they came on 280, a highway that is gorgeous to drive and arrived just in time for our 5:00 supper which we ate with them in the patio. The weather has been perfect and we had at least eight tables set for six or eight so we were two RSCJs at each table. One of the girls at my table could not get over the fact that I grew up in a house not only on the same street in St. Louis, but only two houses down from hers. I taught at Villa Duchesne in 1953 which was no doubt before their parents had even been born! They are going to do some social work in San Francisco, and feed the hungry, pick up trash and also see something of our surroundings. They will have Mass with us on Wednesday morning and then something with us in the Fireside room. It is just good to see young people and these girls were so polite and wholesome! 
Not a very spiritual blog tonight, but I am so proud of these Sacred Heart Seniors that I had to write about them.

Thoughts from retreat

We came out of retreat on Sunday morning, the Feast of the Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ. It was a great retreat and I have many thoughts to share. One of the first is a great gratitude for apostolic friendships. We were looking at the friendship between St. Madeleine Sophie and St. Philippine Duchesne but were also asked to look at the friendships we have had and even to write to thank some of our friends. Many of mine are in heaven now, but I realized that I still have many and, although I only wrote three notes, I could have written to many; friendship is a gift!

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Feast of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ

We come out of retreat today!

This is a beautiful feast and I am so grateful
for the attraction I have for the Eucharist.
That is a such a gift!

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Feast of the Most Holy Trinity

Today we are in retreat for this feast of the Trinity. I will, however, finish today with the gifts of the Holy Spirit for I think it is good that we ask for Wonder and Beauty.

Draw us into Yourself, Spirit of Wonder and Beauty,
so that we may worship You and glorify You.

In union with Jesus who has given us this Spirit,
we return to You, loving God, all that You have given us. Amen!

Do keep praying for the retreat!

Saturday, June 15, 2019

The gift of Reverence

Abide with us, Spirit of Reverence,
so that we may be transformed into Your image
and become holy.

I entered the Society of the Sacred Heart on this day, 69 years ago! And today, Oakwood begins our annual retreat until June 23. I count on your prayers.

Friday, June 14, 2019

The gift of Knowledge

Fill us with insight, Spirit of Knowledge,
so that we may put on the mind of Christ
and see God in all creation.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

The Gift of Fortitude

Inspire us, Spirit of Fortitude,
so that we ma always have courage 
and speak the truth in love.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

The gift of Counsel

Move within our community, Spirit of Counsel,
so that everyone of our encounters may be filled with your Presence.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

The gift of Understanding

Grow in us, Spirit of Understanding,
so that we may listen and know how to speak your word.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Asking for the gift of Wisdom

"Breathe on us, Spirit of Wisdom,
so that we may be Your divine life alive in the world."

Sunday, June 9, 2019


We say in our 1982 Constitutions of the Society of the Sacred Heart: 4. "By our charism, we are consecrated to Glorifying the Heart of Jesus: we answer His call to discover and reveal His love
letting ourselves be transformed by His Spirit
so as to live united and conformed to Him,
and through our love and service
to radiate the very love of His Heart." 

It is the Holy Spirit who transforms us and so we ask the Spirit for this grace and for His coming into our hearts with all the gifts and fruits the Spirit gives. 

I count on your prayer as I will be in pre-retreat days and then retreat now until June 23. I will be back with my blog about June 24 but you will find a petition for the different gifts of the Spirit each day of this coming week.. Let us pray for one another.

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Eve of Pentecost

It is the eve of a great Feast. What would we do without the Holy Spirit? Here is a quote from St. Madeleine Sophie who had such a strong devotion to the Holy Spirit:

"If I could only make you realize the happiness of a soul who gives herself to the Holy Spirit wholly and without reserve! She is no longer the one who acts, it is God himself. She moves only to follow his inspirations. Everything comes easy for her: the Holy Spirit has taken possession of her..."

Let us give ourselves to the Holy Spirit tomorrow, wholly and without reserve!
I also want to remind you that after tomorrow I will not be writing my blog until maybe June 24. We will be in retreat now from June 15 to June 23 and I will be away for five days beginning Monday. I have, however, put one of the prayers we say every day in preparation for the Feast of Pentecost; I will just put one petition for each day of this week when I am away.

Friday, June 7, 2019

Quoting Jean Vanier

This will be my last quote from The Impact of God and it is the last paragraph of the Foreword written by Jean Vanierin in 1995"

"For some people, John of the Cross...seems too austere and complicated, for others too pantheistic, not sufficiently Christ-centered. Iain Matthew reveals beautifully the true John, firmly centered in Jesus, in love with Jesus, the John who through all his life and teaching shows the path to inner liberation and union with God. This book will help many to be God-centred, Jesus centred, and in all things centred in love."

I guess English English uses "centred" while American English uses centered. The point is, I firmly believe the Holy Spirit has inspired the blogs this week leading up to Pentecost. I know it was a strong nudge from the Holy Spirit that sent me back to The Impact of God and only to the last Chapter this week.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Within but hidden

John of the Cross is a master of contemplative prayer and a great spiritual director. He has, according to Iain Matthews, "led us on a search for encounter with God. He has done so in the assurance of the resurrection - under the impact of a God who is pouring himself out. This God searches out the persons and makes them capable of the gift that will fill them. Something is happening, . . . we may not see it happening. John's quest is for encounter, not for a feeling of encounter..."

The most real thing about us is our need for God. God comes to us in our need.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Stop fiddling . . .

Here is another gem of wisdom from Iain Matthews in the last chapter of The Impact of God: "The person who used more or less to control her religious world with images, words, feelings, cannot but feel disconcerted when this activity of hers no longer seems to yield God. When God circumvents our radar, the instruments we once employed to connect with him are going to feel redundant, and his deeper presence will go unnoticed, until we adjust our expectations. The temptation is to keep fiddling with the control panel ('at least I'm doing something'). A better alternative, John suggests, is to surrender. Surrender, and be with the one who is content to be with us."

This is really good advice. You just need to surrender and let God love you! 

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

The simplicity of prayer

One of my superiors, who later became a great spiritual director for me, often told me that prayer was simple; not easy but simple. Iain Matthews says that "if our need is for Christ, and Christ is present, gazing, giving himself, then prayer contains an impulse towards simplicity. Pray can be a 'being with'.'
I think we want to do something in prayer and God just asks us to be! As long as we are present with the desire to pray, God can do what He wants in us. And, what He wants is to love us. I am so convinced of this that I want everyone to just go to prayer, be open to this love God wants to pour into us, and relax and enjoy this gift of Divine Love! 

Here is a quote from John of the Cross: "Well then, soul of beauty! Since you now know that in your heart your Beloved, for whom you long, dwells hidden, you concern must be to be with him in hiding and there in your heart you will embrace him."

Monday, June 3, 2019

Let the Holy Spirit pray in us...

I believe that the Holy Spirit nudged me to pick up again The Impact of God  by Iain Matthew. Here is another quote to share with you today: "Once we are with the gospel Christ, the gaze of faith, the mutual presence in love, mantains a loving contact. It puts us in place before the radiating gaze of the living God. We are asked to be awake there. We can rest there, till we find we need to strengthen the gospel framework again. In that contact God is building up his life in us, communicating himself to us; the tough of two vitalities which cannot but leave the inmost person changed."

We can and should relax in prayer as it is God who is active and just wants to love us. We need to be open, surrendered, and let the Holy Spirit free to act in us. Indeed, the entire Trinity is present when we open ourselves in prayer to be aware of this Divine Presence in us.

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Ascension celebrated on Sunday

I wonder how the Ascension really was. Luke tells us that, after telling his disciples to "stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high", Jesus led them out as far as Bethany, raised his hands, and blessed them. As he blessed them he parted from them and was taken to up to heaven. They did him homage and then returned to Jerusalem with great joy and they were continually in the temple praising God." (Luke 24:48-53}

In the Acts of the Apostles, Luke tells us: "I dealt with all Jesus did and taught until the day he was taken up, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the Apostles whom he had chosen. He presented himself alive to them by many proofs after he had suffered, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the Kingdom of God. While meeting with them, he enjoined them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for 'the promise of the Father about which you have heard me speak; for John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit." 
Then Luke goes on to tell us how Jesus was lifted up and a cloud took him from their sight.
There is some message there about waiting; there is a value in that time of waiting for the Holy Spirit to empower them. Perhaps we are now waiting between Ascension and Pentecost and should intensify our prayer and praise in order to prepare for the Holy Spirit.

Feast of the Ascension

The Feast of the Ascension was celebrated forty days after Easter and was one of the universal feasts from the beginning of the liturgical year, along with Christmas, Easter, and Pentecost. Luke tells us: "

"And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, 'Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.'"
 Jesus had told the Apostles that it was good for him to go as he would send the Holy Spirit and so, Ascension is forty days after Easter (now moved to Sunday in some places) and Pentecost is fifty days after Easter and always celebrated on Sunday. 

Saturday, June 1, 2019

The Impact of God

Perhaps it is years now since I discovered Iain Matthew's book, The Impact of God: Soundings from St. John of the Cross. It was out of print at the time and one of our Religious lent me her copy to keep as long as I wanted. Before I returned it, I found that Amazon had it as it had been newly published; I bought three copies so I could return hers with a new one for Oakwood plus a gift and one for myself. This week I felt the urge to pick it up off of my bookshelf and I opened to Chapter 20. I will be quoting a bit from this great spiritual book as it is again speaking to me and I find it confirming my prayer at this stage of my life. Here is a quote:

"The Apostles's primary call is 'to be with him' (Mark 3:14). In John's gospel, this is the fruit of Jesus's resurrection: 'abide in my love' -  remain, stay with, be with(John 15,9)….
"If God is indeed giving himself, our task is to be in place to receive. The gaze of faith keeps us in place. We are not told to keep extracting his love; we are told to abide in it."

Jesus is sleeping in the boat

What I like about this picture is the fact that Jesus is so relaxed that he can just go to sleep in the boat in spite of the movement and noise and then the wind and the waves. Those of the Apostles who knew how dangerous the sudden storms at sea could be, were terrified. They woke Jesus and Jesus immediately calmed the sea so they felt safe, but he also rebuked them for their lack of faith. I think I have often meditated on this scene and it has given me the gift of peace. 
As we begin this month of June, let us prepare for the Feast of Pentecost on the 9th and the Feast of the Sacred Heart on the 28th.
We will also be in retreat from Sunday evening, June 16 to June 23; it is only six days so I will be having a few semi-retreat days with one of our Religious in a condo near the ocean lent to us by the Sisters of Mercy. We will be there June 9-14 and I will not be on my computer so think it might be good for me to take a vacation from this blog (and give my readers one, too!) from June 9-to after the retreat. I will be writing my blog up until Pentecost and then off until the week of the Feast of the Sacred Heart.