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Thursday, October 31, 2019

Happy All Hallows Eve

Since we had our Halloween party last Saturday, today will be quiet, I think. Westwood did win prize this year and we are all enjoying a big jar full for miniature candy bars. 
I want to use the day to prepare for All Saints. I have been so in touch with the Communion of Saints these past five or six years.
We have so many friends in heaven and I include many who are in my own family. It is good to converse with our heavenly friends!

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Preach by your example

I have been reading the two volumes of the complete works of Philippine Duchesne and it has been wonderful to read all her letters in chronological order. I also use the calendar with quotes from her. Tomorrow's quote is from a letter to a pupil of Sainte-Marie in 1810 and I am copying it here:

"Preach by the example of your fervor rather than by words. Example is the very best sermon."

My student comes today and it is cold outside so I may take her to the Chapel at 12:30 as both dining rooms will still be occupied and there is a retreat in the Gathering Room. We will all be so happy when the construction going on in the front of Oakwood will be finished. I think the second date given was November 1, but that is now pushed off for a few more weeks, I think. We have the offices now using the Fireside Room and that must be difficult for all involved as that is where the reception desk is and all the students must go there to sign in and get their name tags! Maybe Philippine will help the workmen to finish soon! 

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Vacation Day

Today I took a vacation from writing this blog. I suggest that whenever anyone can take a day off from what they have been doing for years, you should do it. Actually, I sprained my knee on Sunday and that has slowed me down. It is good to slow down and I have written about 4,100 blogs and so you can always go read the archives.
I will, I hope be back for Halloween and the Feast of All Saints!

Monday, October 28, 2019

My Sacred Space

This picture was taken at Villa Maria del Mar, on of my favorite places as I have made so many retreats here on the Pacific ocean. God always speaks to me in the beauty of the ocean. He spoke to me in a different way this morning. I was looking at notes I had kept from a 30-day retreat I made in the retreat house built over the cave where St. Ignatius wrote the Spiritual Exercises and I found a poem by Catherine Maguire, RSCJ written in 1940 and given to me by Sister Madeleine Desloge in 1944 when I was discerning my own vocation. I am going to share it with you today.

Regina Virginum

The night you held a child against your breast

And fed Him so, you had your full reward

For what must have been real, perhaps confessed

Reluctance in your yet complete accord.

To that decree of God’s to play the part

Of childless virgin, which your race had cursed,

To live our life with empty arms and heart,

And never hold a child your breasts had nursed.

So exquisitely formed, so poised, so whole,

So utterly a woman, beg for me

That Christ, your Child, who now but lately stole

My heart to chastity, may make me see

With what delights beyond all human cost

He shall repay the little I have lost.


Read it twice! C. Maguire, August, 1940

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

The entrance antiphon I love so I am copying it here: 
"Let the hearts that seek the Lord rejoice; turn to the Lord and his strength; constantly seek his face."

Then, in the Book of Sirach we have such consolation: God does not have favorites, He hears the cry of the oppressed. "The one who serves God willingly is heard; his petition reaches the heavens. The prayer of the lowly pierces the clouds; it does not rest till it reaches its goal, nor will it withdraw till the Most High responds, judges justly and affirms the right, and the Lord will not delay." 

The Gospel is one of my favorites: Luke 18:9-14

"Two people went up to the temple area to pray; one was a Pharisee and the other was a tax collector." We all know this parable where the one exalts himself and the other stays at a distance and prays to God, "God, be merciful to me a sinner."
Then Jesus says that the tax collector went home justified for "whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted."

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Big Halloween Party today

The staff always carve pumpkins and we vote on the best. There is one that is carved and decorated as Cinderella'a coach that is really good. They are all very creative.
Now, to return to the Chapter in Experiencing the Trinity that is called "Joining the Trinity", here is a quote that helps me: et this: I was brought into being, and you were brought into being by the Trinity to be a co-lover within the Trinity!" He goes on to explain that because of the fact that God is love, the very reason for my existence is to be a co-lover with God. It is the reason I exist.

Friday, October 25, 2019

Joining the Trinity

Yesterday I did not get to my computer at all. I am still recovering from my cold, but also preparing for the Halloween Party that is tomorrow at 2:00. I always get the entire community at Westwood to dress up and perform for the community, staff, and their families. We have won first prize for the past three years, but this time I am not sure. We are only going to be seven this year; I thought of the seven days of the week and so we are going to sing and act out the old nursery song and then have an encore prepared that I think will be well received. We are dressing as pumpkins!

Well, for something a bit more spiritual, I have been using a book called Experiencing the Trinity by Darrell W. Johnson. It is an old book but I just discovered it. Johnson is or was at the time he wrote the book, an Associate Professor of Pastoral Theology at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The Third Chapter is "Joining the Trinity: Becoming Co-Lovers of God." I keep going back to some thoughts from that idea of being a "co-lover of God." More on this tomorrow, I hope. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Payer without ceasing

We are expecting some eighty degree weather over the next few days. This picture might help me feel cooler. Actually, the climate here is so wonderful. We have cool nights and lovely days. I think California is a beautiful state and it is a grace to live here. I missed the hills and mountains in South Florida - we did not have even a tiny hill!

Since my head is just getting back to normal, I have not much to say. I am thinking of how much our country and the world need prayer and think that God is waiting for us to pray to make things better. Let us offer all we do today for the righting of so many wrongs both at our borders and all over the world.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Grace comes to us in many ways

Having spent last week in isolation with a cold, I was just feeling rather miserable when I suddenly realized that these days of silence were a gift. I have had time to pray and, in a sense, it has been a week of retreat. I do not pray well when I am ill, but it was a grace to recognize that this time could be pure gift and Jesus does not need me to do more than just be here with Him and ask Him to take care of the many things wrong with our world.
I also am catching up on reading, but mostly I am doing nothing!

Monday, October 21, 2019

The need for prayer

California does not have a real autumn when the air is crisp, the leaves turn and then fall. Still, some of our trees are turning color and it is getting dark earlier and our nights are colder. I love this time of the year. 

I have been having some serious conversations with Jesus about the state of the world. I can only pray, but there is so much that needs to change in our own country. I feel helpless but that is when Jesus comes and He knows what is going on and perhaps all the messiness is a sign that we need to pray more and try to really work for change. I would like to change the way we are treating our climate, the immigrants, the refugees, and cannot understand how we continue to allow guns to be sold so freely.  I think we have forgotten the common good. All of this is a call to prayer, 

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Although it is Sunday, October 20th has always been a special day because it was Mater's feast. From the days when we had pink gouter (when in boarding school that meant pink lemonade and pink icing on the cupcakes), until I was Sacristan at Mater's Chapel in Rome with the original Mater bestowing so many graces on all who came to visit, this day is one of sitting with Mater in silence and listening to her when she shares some of her intimacy with God. God prepared her to be the mother of His Son and of all of us.

I wonder what she thought when Jesus told the parable of the unjust judge found in today's Gospel (Luke 18: 1-8). Jesus was trying to make his listeners aware that they needed to pray without ceasing. God really hears our prayers and answers them when we do not grow weary and give up.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Picture Mary laughing

Is it hard for you to picture Mary laughing? Think of any mother when her baby begins to discover his toes with delight. Babies make us laugh, but we continue to laugh at any age when we have a good sense of humor. I am sure that Jesus and Mary often had a good laugh together. 
I have spent the week fighting a bad cold. I hope I am saying a long farewell to it today. 

Friday, October 18, 2019

What is joy?

David Richo continues to tell us that "Mary is a personification of a sanctity that may happen in us in a variety of ways. Sanctity is in an unencumbered single-heartedness. That is joy. We embody in daily life the abiding powers in the divine Self, love, wisdom, and healing influence--the same qualities we have revered in Christ and the saints. That is joy. It is in receiving with gratitude the graces that make all this possible. That is joy."

Thursday, October 17, 2019

The Shadow Side of Joy

David Richo tells us that "the shadow side of joy is in the opposite of acceptance of change. It is in believing that joy will last forever, a denial of the condition of nature that all is transient. To say yes to the givens of life is devotion to her. That yes helps us since by it, we let go of our ego clinging, the most inveterate obstacle to authentic joy. This is the joy of equanimity in the midst of shifting predicaments and shifting feelings in a shifting world--what is meant by joy in any circumstance. We then not only accept things as they are; we savor them. The shadow proves to be our ally once we befriend it."
I am not sure this is easy for me - the joy in any circumstance; and I am sure Our Lady of Sorrows was not feeling joy while following Jesus on the way to Calvary. Four years ago one of my community whom I loved dearly, went to God quite suddenly. Carrollton is having a Mass for Marge Seitz today. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

More on the title of Our Lady of Joy

I am still using David Richo's book: When Mary Becomes Cosmic.
He says that joy can be a quality of any experience. He then gives an example: "Speaking metaphorically, we can say that a rose faces autumn with a joy equal to that felt in spring. She knows she will be reborn though not as this same individual rose. Her joy is precisely in the fact that she is not attached to an identity in any limited or literal way. She has let go of attachment to a separate identity in favor of everlasting oneness. Such letting go is the essence of jubilation." That is enough for reflection today.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Feast of St. Teresa of Avila

Just last week I copied this quote from Teresa of Avila:

"The important thing is not to think much, but to love much and so do what most stirs you to love."

What most stirs me to love? Sitting in the Chapel and letting the Lord love me seems the best way for me to answer that question, but I think it is one that we all need to ask ourselves and then go do something about it.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Maater's Feast is near

October 20th is the Feast of Mater. Since it falls on a Sunday this year, we are celebrating the Mass on Saturday. As this is such a beautiful feast for all the Sacred Heart family, I want to give you time to prepare - maybe a special practice in her honor this week.

I had the group of five women who are making the 19th Annotation retreat with me from September to mid May, here for our weekly meeting this morning. I realize that I am late with my blog, but the week end was too busy to even sit at the computer. I loved the day of retreat with a Guided Imagery at the Dominicans in San Rafael on Saturday, but it was a long day and I went to bed early. On Sunday, we spent the morning seeing the movie we had missed on Saturday and then we had a long vidyo conference with the Central Team. I did manage to do some reading and had my hour of prayer and prepared a bit for today as I had two meetings to prepare for this morning. I really think I need to try to be more contemplative this week. We are to have flu shots tomorrow!

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Twenty-Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time

All week I have been thinking about Jonah and his running away from what God called him to do. God did not let him get away. Perhaps sending the whale to save Jonah was a grace that he would later thank God for, but I do not think it was a pleasant time for him. Imagine what those three days and nights were like for this unwilling prophet. He knew he had run away from God. I guess, in little things, we sometimes try to run away from what God wants of us. He pursues us, too. Maybe we are not thrown into the sea, but sometimes we feel a storm within us. God always gives us calm and peace, so we need to run to God.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

The Gift and Power of the Imagination

I am a firm believer in the gift and the power of our imagination. As Marlene Halpin, in her wonderful little book, Imagine That! Using Phantasy in Spiritual Direction, points out, the imagination does not lie. It helps us in so many ways: to plan ahead, to recall memories, to help us discern choices, etc. I am looking forward to another Guided Imagery with music. I just let my imagination take me along wherever it wants to go while I am listening (this only happens when I am engaged in a Guided Imagery Retreat) and I find it transforming my spiritual life after I have done the work of looking at all the symbols and images and what they might mean in my own life now.
I will count on your prayer for today as it is harder to do a GIM in a group, and I am sure we will be doing it in the group and then sharing perhaps with the person next to us. 

Friday, October 11, 2019

Mary, Cause of our Joy

I was asked to review a book by David Richo: When Mary becomes Cosmic: A Jungian and Mystical Path to the Divine Feminine. I have not had time to do this yet, but did read the four or five pages under the title "Mary, Cause of our Joy". The author, whose books I like, gives several reasons why Mary is the cause of our joy. I will mention here only a few that most appeal to me. I am sure all the reasons are true, but these are most helpful for me at this time:
Mary is the cause of our joy because she brings Jesus into our world and He is our joy. It is impossible to be sad in the presence of Jesus ( I think this is true but maybe hard to believe) The idea comes from a quote from Edward Schillebeeckx"s Jesus: An Experiment in Christology.
Mary is also the cause of our joy because she is full of grace, "the free gift of spiritual energy and momentum that complements us and shows us the divine potential in ourselves. The cause of our joy is in us since wholeness/sanctity is in us, God within us: 'For what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at his coming? Is it not you? (1 Thess 2:19)

That is enough for today. Tomorrow I will spend the day in San Rafael in a day of prayer and reflection with the Dominican Sisters. The day is planned by my spiritual director and the title is "The Gift and Power of the Imagination: A Taste of Guided Imagery and Music as a Spiritual Pathway. I go with three others from here so do pray for us.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Random Thoughts

Today we again have no school as many parts are having the power turned off. No electricity means that many appointments here for doctors, etc. have been cancelled. It means that I am to have a day just to read as the amount of reading material has been piling up in my room. The talent show has been postponed to January so I do not need to work on the skit.

Yesterday and earlier today, I could not get internet access to my computer. Now, I hope, since I was able to get into my blog, I can send and receive. I have no trouble with my I-pad but only my computer. Our receptionist lives in Half Moon Bay and said she has no power and her children's schools are closed. I was supposed to go for my yearly check-up for my eyes, but the office is closed. I am relishing the idea of a quiet day.

I keep thinking about the book of Jonah. He tried to run away from God, but God did not allow him to escape his vocation to be a prophet. First, the storm at sea when he was trying to go the opposite direction, then, realizing that God had sent the storm, he told the sailors to throw him overboard. God again intervened by sending the huge fish to swallow him but not to harm him. After three days and nights, the fish deposits him on a beach and he does go to preach repentance. He succeeds in getting the entire city to repent, but he is angry that God is so merciful and will not punish the inhabitants. God is always merciful and I think Pope Francis is teaching us how to reach out to others in compassion and mercy.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Oakwood Talent Show

I am delighted that I have finished the Artisans of Hope document but thought it important enough to use my blog space to cover it in small sections. Now I am free to talk about our life at Oakwood and what is giving me great joy. 
Yesterday I went with my spirituality group of Mothers for a day of retreat at Villa Maria del Mar. We really enjoy doing this twice a year. Now, I am engaged in writing a script for my Sisters who live in Westwood so we can do something together for the Talent Show which is October 16. I have an idea, but the script is not yet written and I will need to concentrate on it tomorrow.
We do keep busy here and our construction has been a real trial for many. We will eventually have a new front door, a widened street for drop offs, a sidewalk, several new small rooms and three huge bathrooms for handicapped persons as our were too small for wheel chairs. It is still a mess, but hopefully the end is in sight - I think we are hoping for November now.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

There is an urgency ...

I think the last two paragraphs of Being Artisans of Hope in our Blessed and Broken World  are to be read and acted upon and I am copying them here:

"Now, more than ever, we are conscious of the urgency not only to take action where we are, but also to speak our and give witness to JPIC together. As RSCJ and members of the Sacred Heart family,
we commit to taking deliberate steps to collaborate with one another and with other groups that share our vision and values for justice, peace and the integrity of creation.

The International JPIC meeting led to the articulation of the four imperatives...The sense of urgency we feel reminds us of our call to be artisans of hope in our blessed and broken world. It is a call to weave a new social fabric together and with others.... This document, however, does not represent a conclusion, but rather another new beginning where we now give live to the imperatives in the next phase of this JPIC journey: that of living together the call to be artisans of hope in our blessed and broken world. Together, with hope and in Cor Unum, we shall write the next pages of this JPIC story...."

Monday, October 7, 2019

Now what am I to do?

We are to give witness to JPIC as Artisans of Hope.
We find direction and inspiration in these four imperatives:
1. Our awareness of the significant role that POWER plays in our life and our mission in the world.
2. JPIC is also a work of structural and systemic transformation that begins with soul-searching honesty and involves the Spirit. One integrated movement weaves together the contemplative and active aspects of our Sacred Heart charism.
3. We have been called to understand our relationship with the earth and to care for our common home. The cry of our wounded earth demands urgent and deliberate response, and caring for this, our common home, is both a call and a witness to hope.
4. Living our charism and mission in a world marked by conflict and force mobility compels us to walk with and be in solidarity with people on the move.

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Twenty-severnth Sunday in Ordinary Time

I feel that we are in the boat with Jesus and He is showing me how to relax and trust. He is sound asleep!

The responsorial psalm is "If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts." Here are the verses chosen from Psalm 95:
"Come, let us sing joyfully to the Lord,
let us acclaim the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving,
let us joyfully sing praises to him.

Come, let us bow down in worship;
let us kneel before the Lord who made us,
For he is our God,
and we are the people he shepherds, the flock he guides.

Oh, that today you would hear his voice:
Harden not your hearts.....

I love this Psalm and want to be an artisan of hope and this helps.

Saturday, October 5, 2019


We have been on a journey through the important document, 
Being Artisans of Hope in our Blessed and Broken World. 

We acknowledge with gratitude all our desires and efforts to collaborate with God's work of transformation in the world through our service with the heart of an educator....

As we continue the work of JPIC that the Spirit has begun in us, we find direction and inspiration in these four imperatives:

1. Role of power
2. Structural and systemic transformation
3. Relationships and care for our common home - "caring for this, our common home, is both a call and a witness to hope."
4 Compelled to walk with and be in solidarity with people on the move.  
"Now, more than ever, we re conscious of the urgency not only to take action where we are, but also to speak out and give witness to JPIC together. As RSCJ and members of the Sacred Heart Family, we commit to taking deliberate steps to collaborate with one another and with other groups that share our vision and values for justice, peace and integrity of creation.

...This Document, however, "does not represent a conclusion, but rather another new beginning where we now give life to the imperatives in the next phase of this JPI journey: that of living together the call to be artisans of hope in our blessed and broken world...."

Friday, October 4, 2019

Feast of St. Francis of Assisi

It seems fitting that on the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi we have reached the last page before the conclusion of Being Artisans of Hope in our Blessed and Broken World and it is entitled: 
Giving Witness to JPIC as Artisans of Hope.

Here I will try to summarize for we were mandated by our General Chapter "to be One Body which loves, practices and gives witness to justice, peace and integrity of creation at all levels of our life and mission."
We express that more precisely as "being artisans of hope in our blessed and broken world."

While we act at the local level, we commit ourselves to do the following at the international level:
1. Coordinate JPIC efforts with regional concerns and international commissions and networks of the Society of the Sacred Heart.

2. Strengthen advocacy efforts and consolidate on-the-ground educative efforts into a more global response through the UN-NGO Office.

3. Create a 'JPIC Resource Center' to facilitate communication, networking, and exchange of resources.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

More questions seeking answers

At the end of the 4th imperative in Being artisans of Hope in Our Blessed and Broken World, we are asked how do we:
1. Employ different platforms to raise awareness and educate ourselves and others about the plight of people on the move in our different countries and contexts (e.g. international meetings and fora, web resources and printed materials)?

2. Exert greater effort to appreciate diversity, grow in the attitudes and skills of interculturality, and allow ourselves to be transformed by relationships and encounters with people on the move?

3. Tap the potential of our internationality so that we can share the resources needed to sustain programs and activities that accompany migrants and refugees, and help them to rebuild their lives?

4. Open communities, whenever and wherever possible, or initiate opportunities for volunteer work at the borders and margins where migrants and/or refugees live?

Through our myriad efforts, whether in action, reflection, or prayer, how do we provide concrete expression to Jesus' invitation to those who are weary and overburdened to come, find rest, and learn from His Heart (Matthew 11:28-30)?

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Feasr of the Guardian Angels

I suspect that my mother is celebrating her birthday today in Heaven with all the Angels. I so often feel her presence in my life and feel that she is watching over me with my Guardian Angel. Now to return to the last questions given in the 4th Imperative of "Welcoming People on the Move":

Do we care and allow the cry and anguish of earth and people to touch us?

 Do we care and bring these to prayer, conversations, and ministries? 

Do we care and take concrete steps to welcome people on the move, to help the afflicted, and to contribute to the rebuilding of their lives? 

Do we care and analyze the situation in order to take action to systematically prevent or at least contribute to the lessening of the impact of these forms of suffering?

Impelled by our charism and mission as Sacred Heart educators to vivify hope in this, our wounded world, we are called to be in solidarity with 'people on the move."

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Welcoming People on the Move continued

Countless people risk their lives to escape war, persecution, poverty and natural disasters. "Our commitment to JPIC compels us to re-examine how we stand in solidarity with those who are at these "frontiers". In light of an ethic of caring, we ask ourselves:
--Do we care about the people, displaced by war and other forms of conflict?
Do we care about those who are forced to migrate in order to escape poverty and violence?
Do we care about the people affected by destruction cause by extreme natural disasters? 
Do we care about our earth and its creatures as they (and we) suffer from the impact of climate change and environmental degradation? 

Do we care, or have we become numbed by the bombardment of images in mass media and social media? Are we moved to acts of care or are we overwhelmed by feelings of helplessness,
paralyzed by fear, or occupied by ….
Do we care, or have we inadvertently fallen into the trap of what Pope Francis calls the "globalization of indifference"?

Please take time to reflect on these questions and our attitudes toward all suffering displacement for whatever reason.