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Sunday, October 31, 2021

Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time

Entrance Antiphon: ? Forsake me not, O Lord, my God; be not far from me! Make haste and come to my help, O Lord, my strong salvation!"

Collect: Today we are asking that we may hasten without stumbling to receive the things God has promised.

Reading from Deuteronomy: 6:2-6 In this reading, Moses tells the people to keep the comandments and then "Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone! Therefore, you shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strengths. Take to heart thsese words which I enjoin on you today."

Responsorial Psalm: "I love you, Lord, my strength." Psalm 18 selected verses.

Letter to the Hebrews: 7: 23-28 This reading speaks of the priesthood of Jesus.

Gospel is from Mark 12: 28b-34. Jesus tells the scibe who asked him which of the commandments is first of all: "Jesus replied, 'The first is this, Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is Lord alone! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these."

The following is a quote I took from Sister Carol Dempsey from her Sunday reflection in the NCR:

The Gospel reading focuses on love: love of God, love of self and love of neighbor. But what is love? And who is our neighbor? Love is more than feelings and good deeds. Love involves justice, ethical praxis and practice, willing the good for the other, and taking concrete steps to put words into actions. Love calls us to work toward self-knowledge, self-reflection, healing and wholeness in our lives for the sake of holistic, nonviolent and respectful engagement with life.

Saturday, October 30, 2021

Happy Halloween

 Since tomorrow is Sunday, I am writing about Halloween now on Friday morning before our big party begins at 2:00. It is going to be great as we have some staff dresssed as nuns who will dance; the cardio drummers will drum, and my Westwood community is performing first. As we are eight this year in our house and we had our annual retreat last June on the Eight Beatitudes. we are doing our own eight beatitudes but using the approved translation of Happy instead of Blessed. So we will all say the chorus for each ends with "for we are at Oakwood". Here is a sample: "Happy are we for Mass withoiut masks, for we are at Oakwood". Happy are we for wheelchairs, walkers, canes and scooters, for,,,, Happy are we now four at a table,,,,

This year, each of us has a costume so we do not need to dress alike. I am going as an alien from outer space with a gorgeous silver cape. 

The bay cruise yesterday was wonderful and we had perfect weather. The boat at 11:40 sailing time, had few passengers and the crew helped us all down and up the ramps to board first and then we waited until the end and had the same help. They even brought a wheel chair to help one as we had three with walkers and one cannot use a walker on the ramps. The sun was out, the water beautiful, several sailboats were in the bay, etc. Afterwards we had lunch across from the boat adjacent to Fisherman's Wharf and we brought back an alligater made out of sourdough bread over a foot long. 

Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life.


Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Excuses - and coming events

I did not write yesterday.

I did go to a meeting of some of the mothers in the school in the morning and then we had reunion in the afternoon with Sister B Mardel who is 103 years old and is still so sharp and so holy. She lived for 22 years at our school in San Francisco, Broadway, which is in the historic Flood Mansion. She showed us a video of the house and told us how it had been given to us. I think this was in 1915 but you can find more with pictures on Google. 

Today I have the Book Club and hope to finish writing a chapter for our memoir writing. I actually have not begun it yet. On Thursday, some of us are going on a Bay Cruise as the outing of the month! We are paying our own ticket but will take lunch from here and we leave right after Mass. Then, on Friday, we have our big Halloween party. All of this is fun but takes time and we are having problems with the Internet, too, so I may not be writing every day this week. We also have had a leak discovered in the roof and the men have had to tear an entire bathroom apart. Since there are eight of us in Westwood, this is causing a bit of confusion. I hope the men can rebuild the bathroom as fast as they have been able to demolish it!

Sunday, October 24, 2021

Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time


Entrance Antiphon: Let the hearts that seek the Lord rejoice; turn to the Lord and his strength, constantly seek his face.

Collect: "Almighty ever-living God, increase our faith, hope, and charity, and make us love what you command, so that we may merit what you promise..."

First Reading from Jeremiah 31:7-9 where the Lord says that he has delivered his people; he will bring them back and console them, with the blind and the lame,,,,"

Reponsorial Psalm: "The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy."

Second Reading: Letter of the Hebews 5:1-6

Gospel is from Mark 10:46-52 and a favorite of mine as Jesus is passing by and Bartimaeus, a blind man begins to cry out and say, "Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me." He kept calling out until Jesus stopped and said to call him. Then Jesus asks him, "What do you want me to do for you?" And the answer, "Master, I want to see." And Jesus tells him that his faith has saved him and immediately he recovered his sight and followed Jesus.

Saturday, October 23, 2021

Prayer for the Spirit of Mary

 I am using, with her permission, some of the prayers in Jan Connell's new book: Christ Through Mary. The prayer today is for the Spirit of Mary:

My powerful Queen Mother, you are all mine through your mercy, and I am all yours.

Take away from me all that may displease God and cultivate in me all that is pleasing to Him.

May the light of your faith dispel the darkness of my mind, your deep humility take the place of my pride, your continual sight of God fill my memory with His Presence.

May the fire of the charity of your heart inflame the luke warmness of my own heart."

Friday, October 22, 2021


 Every evening nine of us gather in the Westwood living room to say Compline and Night Prayer together. We usually just use the forms of the Office found in our Missalette, "Living This Day". We do take a few minutes to look back over the day in silence but any sharing is done after our prayer or during the time for petitions. This nightly gathering has really helped us form community. I am praying every night for the synod and for "synodality" to really happen in each parish. It begins by simple encounter with all who belong to the parish and even those who do not; then the idea is to really listen to each one as they talk about what kind of a church they want, what can be done to include all, what issues need to be addressed, etc. Then the parish discerns what to send to the diocesan synod. This is the first part and we have from now until April - I read the letter from the Archbishop in Miami and he mentioned until Pentecost. Let us all pray for the entire process and do what we can to excite people to want to participate.

Tonught I am copying Emily Dickinson's poem on Compline;


Thursday, October 21, 2021

I am only going to give a thought for the day.


You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.


Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Feast of Mater

 Today we are celebrating in all the schools and communities of the Sacred Heart our very own feast of Mater Admirabilis. Every school has its shrine to Mater. Usually it is a life-size statue and children leave notes in her lap or the basketball before a game, etc. 

I cannot find the prayer I want at this moment, but I have one to share today from Henri Nouwen. The title is "With Open Hands" and it is one I often pray over:

To pray means to open your hands before God.

It means slowly relaxing the tension which squeezes your hands together

and accept your existence with an increasing readiness....

This acceptance not only means that you are ready to look at your own limitations,

but that you expect the coming of something new."

I still remember the thrill of going down to our dining room at boarding school in mid-afternoon and finding a "pink gouter" - pink lemonade, pink cupcakes, and even pink paper napkins!

Having been Sacristan at the Trinita dei Monti in Rome for the original Mater, has marked the rest of my life. She is so serene, so gentle, and so lost in God - a real example for me and for you!

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Memorable Monday

 I should have a picture of Half Moon Bay as I went there for lunch with the five wonderful women who are such good friends. We had lunch at a table in a corner overlooking the ocean. It was a beautiful day, the sun came out, the ocean was deep blue, the rocks and beach lovely. Before going to lunch we had a time for prayer and reflection sitting looking at the ocean. The entire day was lovely and we returned in time for me to have my hour of prayer in the Chapel and then go to reunion at 3:30. 

One of our Korean Sisters spoke to us today about the history of Korea and about her own vocation. She was the first Korean Religious of the Sacred Heart and had to go to Japan to make her novitiate.

Then, I found a mystery book in my mailbox which I want to read. It was a very good day beginning with Mass this morning. It is a grace to have daily Mass again and I try to be wide awake and really participate. I hope all are getting interested and even enthused about the synods being prepared by reaching out to everyone in each parish and others who are not in the parish. The Church wants to listen to each one as the Holy Spirit is opening us up to really listen and discern what God wants from the Church now. We are still trying to live what Vatican II gave us to renew the faith of all today. Let us pray for the success of the synods in every diocese.

Monday, October 18, 2021

Monday and a new week


I find the week goes by so quickly. Monday is fun here because we have a reunion at 3:30. I shall be out this Monday with my spirituality group of mothers. We will go to Half Moon Bay and have lunch there and then come home. It is a lovely drive and we will be at the ocean. However, I shall be back in time for reunion probably. I am looking forward to seeing these wonderful women in person and together as we have been meeting on zoom. 

I am pondering something I read from Richard Rohr. He says that our simple breathing models our entire vocation as a human being. "You are an incarnation, like Christ, of matter and spirit operating as one. This, more than anything we believe or accomplish, is how all of us continue the mstery of incarnation in space and time--either knowingly and joyfully- or not."

I hope we all have a week full of joy!

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Twenty-Ninth Sundah in Ordinary Time

The entrance antiphon for today's Mass makes a good prayer:

"To you I call; for you will surely heed me, O God; turn your ear to me, hear my words. Guard me as the apple of your eye; in the shadow of your wings protect me."

The Collect asks that "we may always conform our will to yours and serve your majesty in sincerity of heart." 

The first reading is from Isaiah 53: 10-11

"The Lord was pleased to crush him in infirmity.....Because of his affliction he shall see the light in fullness of days; through his suffering, my servant shall justify many, and their guilt he shall bear."

Responsorial Psalm: "Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you."

The second reading is from the Letter to the Hebrews 4: 14-16

The Gospel is Mark 10: 35-45 where James and John come to Jesus and have the audacity to ask him to do for them whatever they ask of him. Jesus uses the opportunity to later tell all that "whoever wishes to be great among you will be the slave of all. For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many."

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

 The other day I bought a book that I intend sending to my niece, but first I am at least looking through it. The title is "What your soul needs for stressful times: 60 Powerful Truths to Protect Your Peace." It is by Holley Gerth and was published this year. I cannot copy anything, but just reading the titles of the 60 entries makes me want to read it. The fact is the past year has been stressful and we all need to take time to relax and let God take care of us.

I am copying something from the back cover's description of the book:

"This encouraging devotional from bestselling author, counselor, and life coach Holley Gerth offers spiritual truth to soothe your soul and practical tools to apply that will truly make a difference. Each day, Holley offers Scripture, a prayer, questions for reflection, and inspirational quotes to help you learn to live with more peace and less pressure, ore calm and less chaos, more worship and less worry."

Monday, October 11, 2021

Written long ago

 I came across a torn out page with some verses that I wrote years ago - June 22, 1986. I thought I would copy them here:

I have my own pool within me

It is deep and still and is "to be"

When I surface "to do" I am full of peace

While I am away the water does not cease;

It calls me back to relax and float

Jesus dwells in the depths, not in a boat.

To find him I plunge within my pool

He is in the water and leads me to the rock

There the cleft is open for me to dock

This is my home and comes to be 

Even nicer than sailing the sea.

The pool is small; the world is wide.

Soon I venture forth, Jesus at my side.

Rivers, lakes, oceans all to be won

There is always more when one;s done

For the Lord must reign in everyone.

The pool will wait while I battle waves

I'm not afraid; it is Jesus who saves.

Onward, together, He leads the way.

Swim, float, enjoy each day

This is how I want you to pray.

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Twenty-Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time

 Pray for wisdom. I am not going to write my blog for this Sunday as it is late and I have only the thoughts that I have read about this Sunday. What strikes me is that Jesus says, "Go sell what you have, and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaen; then come, follow me."

Saturday, October 9, 2021

New Writing Seminar at Oakwood

 Our new activity director has initiated many things to keep us busy. I feel that I am too busy, but I have joined a seminar for writing our memoirs. I actually did do mine up to 2003, I think, but will be glad to add to it. So far we have done several exercises in writing: Describe a room; invent a word, write a description of a person you know. I wrote about my maternal grandfather who was the perfect gentleman, always well groomed and correct. Given a beer, he would sing us all the Irish songs. Now we are to write something we want to share with others about our own life and we can send it around for comments and suggestions.

I also go to the Saturday afternoon movie. I do not have time for the other morning activities: movies and documentaries weekdays- my morning is busy without those activities. I also have not been going to the different games and exercises that are offered every afternoon, Monday to Friday. 

I have two or three zooms with groups weekly and sometimes an individual meeting by zoom or in the parlor. Then, I do write notes and keep up with emails, or at least try to keep up. All of this will help you to see why I find it very important to listen to the Spirit and discern my daily schedule. 

I did enjoy going to San Rafael on Wednesday to see my Spiritual Director. We had lunch outside and then I had a good visit and we are planning a zoom for Mater's Feast on October 20. We now can have RSCJ come for Mass, but they are to wear a mask. 

The homecoming football game is tomorrow and I hope it is late enough so I can go to the 2:00 movie. I heard that we can go to the football game if we sit away from the crowd and wear masks. The students worked on floats last Sunday for the parade at half-time. 

This is not the blog I thought I was going to write; it is what is going through my head today. One thing I learned in writing in yesterday's seminar is to never apologize. No "buts" and I think I was just about to use one!

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Read a page of Scripture every day

 I am behind in everything this week so will just say that I am aware of falling behind with my blog and will catch up and share more by the end of the week. I am going to see my spiritual director tomorrow and it is about an hour and 40 minute drive but may take longer as I am going with someone who says she drives slowly and I am not to say one word on the way to San Rafael or the way back. She says she gets easily distracted so I will be praying and let her drive. We will have lunch and then each of us can have a visit and we will leave by 2:30 to return.

I am going to try to see why my spiritual director is not getting my emails and the zoom link. It is frustrating so I will be there tomorrow in person. 

I love the idea that our Dominican priest gave us to read one page of scripture each day. I intend to do this as I am doing so much reading and need to return to the Bible. 

Sunday, October 3, 2021

Twenty-Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time


The Gospel today is from Mark and the longer form is 10:2-16 and I am just going to take the last part where Mark tells us: "And the people were bringing children to him that he might touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this he became indignant and said to them, 'Let the children come to me; do not prevent them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Amen I say to you, whoever does not accept the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it.' Then he embraced them, and blessed them, placing his hands on them."

I think that when children are abused, it must be a great sorrow for all of us. Innocent children are so often sexuall abused. I am worried about the children who are in the refugee camps, children that have been seprated from their parents who are hoping for a better life for them, but the children often are part of this human trafficing that has grown to be an industry and causes so much misery for children who may never recover from the experience, even if they get free.

Saturday, October 2, 2021

The Holy Guardian Angels

 Do you realize that each of us has a guardian angel who watches over us and tries to help us do the right thing? I have great devotion to my angel, but I must admit that I often forget about my angel. My mother's birthday was October 2; when I was in Chile, I remember sending my guarian angel to be with her since I could not be there. I need to renew my reliance on my angel as I have been neglectful lately. 

Let us all take time today to thank our angel for watching over us.

Friday, October 1, 2021

First Friday & Feast of St. Therese of the Child Jesus

 St. Therese is loved by many for her spirituality of "the little way." It consisted in performing her daily duties in the presence of God and for love of God accepting all the suffering and inconveniences of the day. She had permission to enter Carmel at fifteen and died nine years later. She said that she would spend her time in heaven in doing good on earth and many miracles are attributed to her. In 1997 she was declared a Doctor of the Church!

I found some verses that I must have written years ago and I will copy them for you next week. I see there is a date at the top of the verses, June 22, 1986. I was in Miami from 1985 to 2016 - over thirty years and in three community houses in Miami. We outgrew the first by 1988 so we bought an apartment hourse and then had a community nine to twelve for several years; then we were three. After that we became larger but the decision was made to look for two houses. The first was quickly found and bought; the second took month so looking until we finally found a great house for five of us with a wonderful swimming pool in the screened patio. We move into it in 1999 and I was there until 2016. I loved that pool and my large bedroom. I found the pool so relaxing and still miss it.