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Friday, July 31, 2020

Feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola

Today I am sharing a few of Ignatian Prayer Practices just to remind us of what treasures we have from Ignatian Spirituality. This brief overview of Ignatian prayer practices is from The Inner Chapel by Becky Eldredge:

Reviewing prayer and experience - to better understand God's work        in our lives

The Examen - helps us to pray our life
Praying with Scripture - Lectio Divina and Imaginative Prayer                Contemplation

The Colloquy - intimate conversations with Mary, Jesus, God...

Principles of Discernment - to know and respond to God's invitations

Thursday, July 30, 2020

July seems to be ending

In case you are hot!
This is under the picture and I am thinking that it will be the way to go. I am really still learning this update to my blog. Maybe I just need to caption the picture.
 I am thinking that tomorrow is the feast of St. Ignatius and so many of us have made Ignatian retreats, learned how to discern from Ignatius, and have a debt of gratitude to him and to all the Jesuits. 
How will I spend his feast?

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

My gratitude box

I was given a wonderful gift of a gratitude box! It is a white wooden box with a decorated top that says "Gratitude Box" and inside the lid in gold is "Gratitude unlocks the beauty of your life". Then there are these lovely cards that say at the top: "Today I am thankful for..."  Now isn't that a perfect gift to keep me full of joy during this time of so much illness and death? 
I am not yet sure how I will use my gratitude box, but love the idea of writing the one thing that I am most thankful for each day. It will be hard to decide as I often have a whole list in my daily journal. I suggest everyone needs to keep a gratitude box!


Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Musing over Mental Immunity

I want to go back to the idea of mental immunity that the Dalai Lama spoke about in the Book of Joy. "Mental immunity is just learning to avoid the destructive emotions and to develop the positive ones." To do that, we need to understand that we all have different states of mind as we go through our day: some of our thoughts and emotions are healthy and healing; others are harmful.  Mental immunity helps us create a healthy disposition of mind so that it will be less susceptible to negative thoughts and feelings. I think that cultivating gratitude is the best way for me to both seek mental immunity and to experience joy.

Whale's Tail

Monday, July 27, 2020

Monday Morning Musing

I believe I have mentioned that I am now using Becky Eldredge's The Inner Chapel: Embracing the Promises of God for prayer or at least I read a bit each day. I am finding it helpful. Becky is a spiritual director steeped in Ignatian spirituality. It is an easy book to use and I think it would be helpful to all. I love the idea of going into our inner chapel each day and Becky has some great reflection questions and some of my favorite passages of scripture suggested for further prayer. The book was published by Loyola Press, 2020.

Am I being too brief in these summer blogs?
I had a great thought from our prayer this morning. It comes from the Jesuit meditation that we have been using since we do not have Mass.
"We are in relationship. God's love flows only from the love that we receive from God first. And then only can it flow to everyone we encounter. It cannot be contained."
Before that we heard that the challenge of a loving relationship is to allow yourself to be loved.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Today's Liturgy has a great deal to pray over. I shall begin by saying that in the Collect we ask God to bestow His mercy on us in abundance. We also ask that with His guidance, we may "use the good things that pass in such a way as to hold fast..."  I guess we all need God to bestow His mercy on us at this time when the entire world is in such need of prayer.

In the second reading, Paul tells us that "all things work for good for those who love God..."

In the Gospel,  Matthew13:44-52) Jesus tells His disciples that the Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure buried in a field, "which a person finds and hides again, and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant searching for fine pearls. when he finds a pearl of great price, he goes and sells all that he has and buys it...."

Jesus asks His disciples if they understand what He has said and they answer "yes". But do I really understand? 

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Feast of St. James the Great

Here we go again.   I am still trying to write under this picture.    Today is my niece's birthday!     She is still, as head of St. Vincent del Paul, feeding about 150 each day and sheltering more at night to keep them off the streets in Oakland. My brother-in-law is also celebrating a birthday this week end in Scottsdale. 
                                                                                                                                                                   St. James was the brother of John, the sons of Zebedee who left their boats and the miraculous catch of fish to follow Jesus. James, John, and Peter are the three friends that Jesus would both take up the mountain to pray with Him and witness His Transfiguration and also these three were invited to pray with Jesus when He was in the garden in agony before being betrayed and taken away; then all His apostles fled. James, however, later was among the first of the apostles to follow Jesus in death. He was beheaded by Herod. 

We are now required to wear masks when together in the house as well as outside. Since I depend on lipreading, I will need to carry my phone with "Live Transcribe" in order to hear. So many are dying in so many places and we are being taken good care of and locked down until, I think, many weeks more. 

Friday, July 24, 2020

Relaxing in this time of stress

Today I just offer a scene of beauty. We are living in a time of stress. People are getting sick and many are dying. We are staying home and praying for all. We also need to think beautiful thoughts and be peaceful. While we are sheltering in place, let us build balance into our lives. Let us both pray and play. I am reading, others here are watching television, going to the operas and ballet being shown about five days each week, or maybe just sitting in our patio and playing games on their phones or I-pads. What are you doing to relax?

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Praying for all who are hungry

I love looking at this picture, even if I cannot write under it.

 As you know by now, and picture with water is very helpful for me to enter prayer. Today I am sharing one of the Daily Prayers for an end to Hunger published by "Bread for the World". 

"O God, I pray for all those around the world who struggle with hunger and suffer from malnutrition. Grant them strength and courage as they work to create a better life for themselves and their communities. May conflicts cease, crops flourish, and good governance grow. In the name of Jesus, who is the Bread of Life for the world. Amen."

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Feast of Mary Magdalene

We know that Mary Magdalene had a special relationship with Jesus. He appeared to her on the morning of that first Easter Sunday. She had run to the tomb with other women to anoint the body of Jesus. They did not think of how that would even be possible because of the large stone blocking the entrance and the guards. However, they found the stone had been rolled back and Jesus was not in the tomb. Mary was desolate. She was weeping. It was only when Jesus said her name that she recognized Him. He sent her to tell the Apostles that He had indeed risen as He had said. She was, then, an apostle to the Apostles!

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Prayer is putting oneself in the hands of God...

"Prayer is not asking. Prayer is putting oneself in the hands of God, at His disposition, and listening to His voice in the depths of our hearts." Mother Teresa

The Update for this blog has me so frustrated that I am going to be very brief. I cannot find a way to make this publish as it looks in the preview. I cannot control the spacing; I also cannot seem to be able to write under the picture. 

"The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness."
Lamentations 3: 22-23

Monday, July 20, 2020

We are called...

Today I only have this to say, quoting from the Prophet Micah:

"Act justly, love tenderly, serve others and walk humbly with God."

If we all do this, the world will be a better place! And, we are all 
called to do this!

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

The Collect for this Sunday: "Show favor, O Lord, to your servants
and mercifully increase the gifts of your grace, that, made fervent in hope, faith and charity, they may be ever watchful in keeping your commands...."

The first reading is from the Book of Wisdom 12: 13, 16-19

The second reading is from Paul's Letter to the Romans 8:26-27 and worth quoting here:

"The Spirit comes to the aid of our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes with inexpressible groanings. And the one who searches hearts know what is the intention of the Spirit, because he intercedes for the holy ones according to God's will."

The Gospel is from Matthew 13:24-43 but there is also a shorter form 13: 24-30
Jesus proposes three parables. The one is the man who sowed good seed and the enemy came while he was asleep and sowed weeds....
The next is "The Kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed that a person took and sowed in a field. It is the smallest of all the seeds, yet when full-grown it is the largest of plants. It becomes a large bush, and the birds of the sky come and dwell in its branches."
The third is the kingdom of heaven is "like yeast that a woman took and mixed with three measures of wheat flour until the whole batch was leavened."

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Resurrection and the Life of the Spirit

Sister Kathy Conan gave us the afternoon on Day 7 on the 

Resurrection and then closed the retreat on

the 8th day with "The Life of the Spirit."  I love all that we were 

given, but will talk now about the last day with the Holy Spirit.

"Aware that it is always the Spirit who transforms us, we take

seriously the responsibility of collaborating with the work of God

throughout our lives." (Constitutions #73)

And this is one of my favorite quotes from our Constitutions #$21:

"The Spirit dwelling within us gradually transforms us, enabling us

through His power to remove whatever hinders His action. The Spirit

unites and conforms us to Jesus and makes us sensitive to His 

presence within ourselves, in others and in all that happens."

I think that is enough to reflect on now for the retreat. I hope to 

be living my life a bit differently after making this retreat. I am 

really more aware of the Holy Spirit working in me.

Friday, July 17, 2020

Returning to the 7th Day of our Zoom Retreat

This is a gorgeous picture of Lake Tahoe. One of my former students
is in the canoe. My senior from last year just returned from Tahoe and told me that the lake was still very cold and only comfortable in a wet suit. I may be up there again next February and that is something to look forward to as I miss being able to go to the ocean this summer.

Now I am under the picture and will continue with the end of our wonderful zoom retreat.

The 7th Day was on the Passion and praying with the pierced 

Heart of Christ. St. Madeleine Sophie spoke constantly of the power 

of Christ's death and resurrection as the source of inner peace and 

transformation if we have the courage to go into the depths.

I think I spent the day more on my own reflection and started with 

the Agony in the Garden. That is where the struggle took place for 

Jesus to accept His suffering and death for love of us. He showed

Himself so fully human and wanted his three chosen ones to stay 

awake and pray with him, but they kept falling asleep!

Thursday, July 16, 2020

"We are both a humble and important part of creation."

There is no way that I can figure out this Updated Blog to write under the picture.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

We are sent to the world....

I was sharing from our retreat before the Chapter and left off on the 6th Day. Now to finish up.

This is still quoting from the Eucharistic Dimension of our Spirituality from the Chapter of 1994:

"Hope impels us to try to make of our world a great banquet, an open table, where both bread and word are 

shared, where Christ wipes away the tears of so much oppression, injustice, violence, division.... 

We have a deep conviction that our spirituality does not belong only to us. It is a gift to be shared,

a treasure others help us to discover. With them, we want to continue to search how to live and express 

it for today, how to proclaim with hearts burning within us that we have recognized the Risen Christ in 

the breaking of the bread."

Since we are deprived of daily Eucharist, I think it helps to go over some of these quotes that I did not 

really have time to pray over during the retreat.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Great gratitude for our Special Provincial Chapter

This morning I woke up and was delighted with
the thought of Villa Maria del Mar, the sacred place 
for me in Santa Cruz. The retreat house is not
open because of the virus, but I miss it. The statue below is of the Holy Family and is in the little meditation room looking out on the Pacific Ocean. Not a good picture, but with this Updated blog, not
going to try to change anything this morning.

 I need to tell you about our Special Provincial Chapter that has taken my time and prayer but finished yesterday. It was the first time we have used Zoom and it really worked very well. I had a wonderful home group of six and a wonderful consensus group with six more and we really were able to work together and it was a discernment Chapter. I was no doubt the oldest there, but I had spent time preparing and praying for it and I feel it was a great experience for all. Those who worked so hard to get us all able to use Zoom for all the different groups, those who prepared the daily prayers, those who spent time writing up the results, all are in my prayer of gratitude today.

Monday, July 13, 2020


Now that the Chapter has finished, I am sinking into stillness. We still need to vote on the delegates to the special Chapter that will take place in Spain in November 2021. That will be next Saturday. I have put a picture in this blog twice, but when I try to type under the picture, it vanishes as I need to search for it again. I really am frustrated with the Update to this blog!

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

The Gospel is about the Sower who went out to sow....

I love this Sunday's liturgy. In the collect, we ask God, who shows the light of truth to those who go astray, so that they may return to the right path, give all "who are accounted Christians the grace to reject whatever is contrary to the name of Christ and to strive after all that does it honor." 
The first reading is from Isaiah 55:10-11 when the Lord tells us that "just from the heavens the rain and the snow come down and do not return there till they have watered the earth, making it fertile and fruitful, giving seed to the one who sows and bread to the one who eats, so shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; my word shall not return to me void, but shall do my will, achieving the end for which I sent it."
I am double spacing as I noticed that the lines are very close when I publish it, even if I have set them for one and a half space - again, I am just trying to understand the Update for this blog which is so different!
The Gospel is from Matthew 13: 1-23 and has the Sower's seed fall on different ground - some on the path, some on rocky ground, some among thorns, and some on rich soil. Let us hope that we are rich soil for the word of God.

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Eucharistic Dimension of our Spirituality

"I have compassion on these people...give them something to eat.                                                                                                 Mark 5: 37

I am sharing today some thoughts on the Eucharist from our General Chapter of 1994 that were given on the handout for the 6th Day of our retreat as I think these are worth praying over.

The compassionate gaze of Jesus directs our eyes and our hearts towards a world where many are like 'sheep without a shepherd'
and brings to birth in us the desire to give our lives as women of compassion and communion to nourish life, to help life grow, to defend life.

"We make our own the passionate desire of Jesus
"I have come that they may have life and have it in abundance" Jn 10

But we feel powerless and helpless, the task seems beyond our capacities. We feel ourselves called to a rebirth, to welcome once again the grace of our vocation."

Friday, July 10, 2020

Still sharing on the 6th day of my retreat

This was the day on the Eucharist and I still want to share some of the quotes that mean much to me.

In our Constitutions of 1982, we speak of the Eucharist as really transforming us. "By receiving the Body of Christ, we unite ourselves to His prayer of thanksgiving and to His offering of Himself to the Father for the life of the world. 
Gradually, the Eucharist makes us become more truly Body of Christ, broken to give birth to a new humanity."

And in #37 we speak of the Eucharistic presence in our communities as a "constant reminder that Christ is the center of our life, inviting us to adore Him individually and in community. Through the Eucharist we are committed to live united among ourselves, to build communion in a divided and unjust world, and to give ourselves wholeheartedly to others."

Thursday, July 9, 2020


I have been thinking about solidarity and then found this that I would like to share:

I no longer think of our work as service, but as an act of solidarity, of becoming one with our neighbors. Service implies a vertical relationship, one above another. Solidarity calls for a horizontal, two-way relationship between equals, one to one. Of course, God is at the center of it all. —Tom M.

Today is the first day of our Provincial Chapter and we are meeting by zoom to discern questions concerning the future of the Society. I suspect that I am the oldest one among the 96 voting members; I will not be alive in 15 years, but I love imagining what the future of our Society will be like. Do pray for these next four days; we will be working in home tables on the zoom and then consensus tables of six. I think it was a tremendous amount of work to organize all of this and on Sunday we will be nominating some for our Special Chapter which will be held in Spain in 2021.

I am going to continue the retreat sharing during the Chapter as I am scheduling ahead for my blog.

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

The Eucharist continued

Our Constitutions have several passages about the Eucharist in our daily life. 
"Through the Eucharist we enter into the mystery of the open side of Jesus. In our daily life, the Eucharist celebrates His death and resurrection, the reality which lies at the heart of the sufferings and hopes of the human family.
Through the Eucharist we are drawn into the gift of Jesus to His Father for the life of the world, and in His Body we are gathered into one.

That is enough to reflect on today. Do pray for our Provincial Chapter which begins tomorrow and lasts four days. It is a new experience to have a Chapter on Zoom. We are 96 voting delegates working in 16 tables with six at each table. All is based on discernment to answer the questions preparing for the Special Chapter in 2021; we are trying to plan for fifteen years from now and I will not even be alive then!

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Continuing the theme of the 6th day of retreat

To continue with our retreat on the 6th day with the Eucharist, I began to remember how much I loved a little booklet on how to just go to Jesus and talk to Him and just be with Him. I think the Eucharist is such a tremendous gift and, now that the Churches have been closed, many are realizing what it means to receive Jesus in the Eucharist.

Some are taking part in the televised Mass by also having a moment in their own home to break bread together. Some add a glass of wine. 
I think we all are feeling great gratitude for the gift of the Eucharist.

Monday, July 6, 2020

Our Experience of Eucharist in this time of Covid-19

The Sixth Day of our Retreat began with our praying about the Paschal Mystery - Eucharist- and our Experience of Eucharist. We looked at the dimensions of our experience of Eucharist. 
This is the third time I have tried to put this picture into the blog. It seems to work if I begin to write and then insert a picture. I am learning but this update is still frustrating for me.

I spent time thinking about this question on our handout for Day 6:
"What aspect of Eucharist is drawing me, inviting me at this time in my life? Is there a dimension of Eucharist that I am particularly called to receive or live now?

I really am drawn to the Presence of the Blessed Sacrament and feel called to spend an hour with Jesus in the Chapel each afternoon. I think this is a grace of retirement to be able to do this. 

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Here is the Collect for this Sunday:
O God, who in the abasement of your Son have raised up a fallen world, fill your faithful with holy joy, for on those you have rescued from slavery to sin you bestow eternal gladness...

I think it should be "from slavery from sin" but sometimes we have translations that are hard to follow - perhaps it does mean that we have been freed from slavery to sin - I guess I will just be asking in this Liturgy for all of us to be filled with holy joy.

The first reading is from Zechariah 9:9-10 and begins: "Rejoice heartily, O daughter Zion, shout for joy, O daughter Jerusalem!! See, your king shall come to you; a just savior is he...

The responsorial Psalm is "I will praise your name forever, my king and my God."
The second reading is from Paul's Letter to the Romans (8: 9, 11-13 and is telling us that whoever does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.

The Gospel is worth praying over and is a favorite of mine, Matthew 11:25-30

I cannot copy all of it, but I love "Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light."

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Happy 4th of July

We may all be celebrating this 4th of July differently, but it is an opportunity to rejoice in the beginning of our country's freedom and pray that we may learn to make all the people free in our country. We have looked too long only at white supremacy; all in this country are free and have the same rights. Let us pray for change. Black lives do matter; immigrants (we all came from immigrants ), those seeking refuge among us, all should be welcome, free, and treated the same.

The question asked in our retreat on the afternoon of the 5th day is:
"What does living the love of Jesus and choosing to be his follower ask of me and of us in the world today?"

Friday, July 3, 2020

First Friday - Jesus's Mission of Love in our World

The fifth day of our retreat had us looking at our part in the mission of Jesus. The handout began with one of my favorite quotes:
"This is what Yahweh asks of you, only this. That you act justly, that you love tenderly, that you walk humbly with your God." Micah 6:8

Also suggested for prayer were some scenes from the Gospels: Jesus showing compassion on the crowd, the Good Samaritan, ...

Then, I prayed over this quote from our Constitutions of 1982:

"Wherever we are sent, whatever our work may be,
our lives will be inspired by the love of the Heart of Jesus
and the desire of making Him known, expressed in:
- a concern for the growth of the whole person
- a thirst for working towards justice and peace 
  in the world in response to the cry of the poor
- a passion to proclaim the Gospel." #13

On this First Friday, let us contemplate Jesus living his mission of love and let Him lead you into living His Love.

Thursday, July 2, 2020

What attitude, disposition, or "state of Jesus attracts me now?

One thing that perhaps was new for me in this retreat was to think of "states" of Jesus. The moment of the Incarnation appeals me as Jesus became fully human "like us in all things, except sin" as Paul tells us.
He came as a helpless baby and had to learn to turn over, sit up, walk, talk, eat when he had his baby teeth, etc. I find this state of the vulnerability of Jesus brings Him so close to me. We have a call from our 2016 General Chapter to become "more fully human". Jesus shows us how to reach out to others, to have compassion, to seek out those who are in need, etc.

The rest of day 4 was spent, at least by me, in going over our formation booklet again. I love the title: "Life Unfolding - Offering the Gift Received"! This time, I was looking at it from where I am now that I have advanced in age. I feel offered, loved, and still on the way to live all that our vocation calls us to live with joy and peace.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Our Lady of the Rosary

To continue sharing my retreat, I am still on the fourth day. I will share the paragraph 8 from our 1982 Constitutions that I often pray over. the theme for this day was Attitudes of the Heart.

"The pierced heart of Jesus opens our being to the depths of God and to the anguish of human kind.
Jesus draws us into his movement of adoration of the Father and love for all, especially those who are poor.
We keep returning to this word of Jesus, as to a light,
which gradually transfigures us in His image:
'Learn of Me, because I am gentle and humble of heart."

Our Lady was not mentioned but I find that it is Mary who teaches me the interior dispositions, feelings, and preferences of the Heart of Jesus. She seems to be very present even when meditating on the Gospels.

The fruit of this day is to unite ourselves to the Heart of Jesus in everything we do, not just in prayer.