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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Silence and Stillness are a new language

 "Habitual stillness and silence require deeper and deeper levels of surrender on our part. To let go of all agendas and settle into a deep silence is perhaps the most countercultural thing we can do. It requires trust that silence and stillness are indeed God's first language and when we meet God on God's terms amazing things happen. What happens will not be by our design. We will not shape the experiences. This unfolding will not be according to our agenda. Silence and stillness are a new language that takes a long time to learn, and even longer to learn if we hope to become fluent." Amos Smith

Let us try this Advent to take some time each day just to be still and listen to the silence we are able to create in our own hearts and minds. Jesus was silent in the womb of Mary. 

Silence and Stillness

 Here is a quote from St. Madeleine Sophie in 1855:

"Prepare for His coming into your hearts, for that is why He came on earth: to be born, to develop in your souls, and when the beautiful day of Christmas arrives you will taste that peace the angels announced to persons of good will." Suzanne Cooke quoted this and added: "In her conference, Sophie has provided us with a simple and profound observation. Advent reminds us that the self-discipline of stopping, breathing and praying is a simple practice, but there is no better preparation for Christmas. More important, this practice is the ideal way to live fully and to be ready to leave this life for the next."

"Silence and stillness are infinitely simple disciplines. They are also infinitely difficult, especially in the context of our bombarded twenty-first-century minds." - More on silence and stillness from Amos Smith tomorrow - actually, I found this Advent prayer service in my file and thought the quotes worth copying into my blog.

Monday, November 29, 2021

Beginning Advent with great desire

 Let us begin this time of preparation for the coming of Jesus in a deeper way into our hearts by great desire and a longing that will make us aware of Him, who dwells in us but longs for us to increase our capacity to receive Him. I love the image of clearing out the clutter and housecleaning our hearts to receive Jesus again in a special way this Christmas.

Do prepare by deciding on some Advent practice that the Holy Spirit inspires. I have decided on three things and probably will fail to keep all of them. The most important is to take time for exercise; it is true that I am 90 years old and have less energy, but I know that I need to exercise and hopefully will do so during Advent. The second, is to read a page of Luke's Gospel everyday and really let it penetrate with the help of the Holy Spirit. The third is to cut back on the time I am spending on my I-pad. I play games, read many articles, get my news chiefly on my I-pad and read and answer many emails daily; I need to find a way to cut back as I am averaging three hours a day just on the I-pad. Hopefully, Advent will make a difference in my life and in yours. I also intend to write something in my new Journal each day. It is a large book with this quote from Psalm 37 written on the cover: "Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart."

We had a lovely Advent Mass Sunday morning, but no Advent wreath in the Chapel today. I hope we will be having one; I know we will have one in Westwood for our evening prayer.

Sunday, November 28, 2021

First Sunday of Advent

 Today we light the first candle on our Advent wreath. I will also be praying with the Advent Liturgy.

For this First Sunday of Advent, the Collect is:

"Grant your faithful, we pray, almighty God, the resolve to run forth to meet your Christ with righteous deeds at his cominig, so that, gathered at his right hand, they may be worthy to possess the heavenly Kingdom."

The First Reading is from the Prophet Jeremiah 33:14-16

"The days are coming, says the Lord, when I will fulful the promise I made to the house of Israel and Judah...."

Responsorial Psalm: "To you, O Lord, I lift my soul."

Second Reading is from the first Letter of St. Paul to the Thessalonians 3:12-4:2

"Brothers and Sisters: May the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, just as we have for you, so as to strengthen your hearts, to be blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his holy ones. Amen.,,,,

The Gospel is according to Luke 21:25-28, 34-36

Jesus speaks of the signs in the sun, moon, and the stars, and on earth.... It is not a consoling Gospel, bu one to prepare us for the final coming of the Son of Man, Jeus Christ.

Saturday, November 27, 2021

Last Day of the Liturgical Year

 Today we prepare the Advent wreath and prepare our own loves to close another liturgical year and begin Advent tomorrow. Let us take time to discern what God may be asking of us this Advent.

Our Special Chapter which has been held on zoom for the delegates from all over the world, ends on December 2. We are all praying for the Holy Spirit to help us make the right decisions about how we should organize ourselves and share resources as we are diminishing and have fewer Religious who are under sixty. We do have vocations in Indonesia and Africa but many provinces have few younger Reigious and so we really need to think of how we are going to organize ourselves for the future. 

Let us pray for one another during Advent. I hope we find this season of Advent a time of desire, a longing for Jesus to come into our hearts and into our world in a deeper way because of our longing.

Friday, November 26, 2021

Thanksgiving is not just for one day

 The turkey dinner was wonderful, but now we continue to be thankful for all the graces of this liturgical year. Try to take some time for this and to prepare ourselves for the first Sunday of Advent. I usually try to at least address Christmas cards before Advent, but I am not sure I will get this done before Sunday. 

We used this prayer and said it together at the end of our Thanksgiving meal. It was sent to us by our Provincial and was composed by John O'Donohue.

Grace After Meals

We end this meal with grace for the joy and nourishment of food,

The slowed time away from the world to come into the presence of each other

And sense the subtle lives behind faces, the different colors of our voices,

The edges of humgers we keep provate, the circle of love that unites us

To change the structures that make others hunger and that after suce grace we might now go forth

And impart dignity where we partake.

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Happy Thanksgiving!

 We are having a Mass at 10:00 and all the Religious of the Sacred Heart in the entire area are invited for both the Mass and for Thanksgiving Dinner. I suspect we will be around 70 as we have not been able to invite the other communities to come because of COVID. Now we are still being careful, but it will be good to see all the RSCJs. The cooks here do a fabulous job every year to give us a delicious dinner with all the trimmings.

I am just thankful for my family, my vocation, the many friends I have made through the years, my missionary years, my different communities, for the challenges and opportunities that have been part of my life. I could make a long list of all I want to thank for today. Some of those I am so grateful for having in my life are now in heaven,

I wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving and let us remember those who are less fortunate, especially all the homeless, the refugees, and the sick and suffering.

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Eve of Thanksgiving

 It is good to have a national holiday to give thanks, but it is something that many of us do every day!

We learn as children to say thank you for whatever is done for us and to thank God for the food we eat, the people we love and who love us, and for feeling safe for "God is in his heaven and all is right with the world." I try to remember to thank my Guardian Angel who is such a gift from God. 

As I look back over the years, Thanksgiving at my paternal grandmother's home was always the highlight of the day. The Thanksgiving I most remember was also on November 25 that year and my baby brother was born. We had all eaten a fabulous dinner when my mother said that she thought she might need to go to the hospital, but she wanted my father to take the three of us home with my grandmother; she thought that would be best as my other brother had been born on Christmas less than two years before and needed to go to bed. Two of my aunts were the ones chosen to drive my mother to the hospital and stay until my Dad would be there. For years they would remember to tell the story of that Thanksgiving; these two aunts had no children and were a bit nervous about driving my mother to the hospital. They were even more nervous when my mother told them that she wanted them to stop at the ice cream shop and get her a marshmellow sundae with chocolate ice cream! They did stop and my mother did eat that sundae and gave birth to my brother withing a few hours. 

This Thanksgiving, my brother will be spending time in the same hospital with his wife who is very ill and needs our prayers. 

Do take time to count your blessings and thank God for all He gives each of us daily!

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Keeping A Journal

 Advent is coming and it is the beginning of a new Liturgical Year. It is a good time to start a new Journal. The first thing I do is find a picture to paste into the front cover, write my title page being sure to note that this is a private journal belonging to me and the date I am beginning it. Sometime it may be helpful to add your phone and email, just in case you were to lose it when away from home.

At the beginning of the Journal, I like to list my goals for the year. These really do not change, but I may want to add under some of them how I plan to be more definite about keeping them.

Since I am just finishing up my old journal this week, I am writing mostly about what I am grateful for in looking back over the past year, or just saying what I am grateful for today. The point is to write something! Soon you will get the habit of jotting down daily thoughts and feelings and maybe you will end up talking to God in your Journal. There is no one way to keep a Journal. Do whatever feels right for you, but do try to keep one during this new Liturgical Year!

Monday, November 22, 2021

Choir Memories

 I do not know much about St. Cecila, but she is patroness of music and choirs and so I think she did have an influence on me when I joined the choir. I really do not think I can carry a tune by myself, but I have enjoyed singing in several choirs. In seventh and eighth grade we sang the High Mass in our parish church, mostly in Latin at that time.  We wore black choir gowns with stiffly starched white collors and felt very proud of ourselves. We used to go early to school for choir practice and to learn how to pronounce the Latin words.

When I went to the Convent of the Sacred Heart for high school, choir was important. I loved singing in the Chapel and also preparing the operetta we gave each year. The first year I was just a member of the choir. The operetta was Hansel and Gretal and our stage was outside among the huge trees with the audience sitting on the hillside in chairs. We, the choir, all wore long formal gowns and were standing on wooder tiers; in the midst of one of the first songs, the tiers collapsed. Our training was such that we just sunk gently down without missing a note! Maybe that was a little miracle of St. Cecelia.

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe

 Today is the last Sunday of the Liturgical Year. We celebrate Jesus Christ as King of the Universe. Sometimes we begin to think that God is just looking after our world. The truth is that He is caring for the entire universe. This truth came to me in a very vivid way when doing a Guided Imagery Exercise. We really are still learning about the Universe as it is so vast and so ancient.

To look at the First Reading from the Book of the Prophet Daniel, 7: 13-14, we see that "the one like a Son of man received dominion, glory, and kingship; all peoples, nations, and languages serve him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that shall not be taken away, his kingship shall not be destroyed.:

Responsorial Psalm: The Lord is king; he is robed in majesty."

Second Reading is from the Book of Revelation: 1:5-8

"Jesus Christ is the faithful witness, the first born of the dead and ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, who has made us into a kingdom, priests for his God and Father, to him be glory and power forever and ever. Amen.

Behold, he is coming amid the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him. All the peoples of the earth will lament him. Yes, Amen.

'I am the Alpha and the Omega', says the Lord God, 'the one who is and who was and who is to come, the almighty.'"

The Gospel is from John 18: 33-37 where Pilate asks Jesus, "Are you King of the Jews?

I think that this last Sunday of our Liturgical Year wants to remind us that Jesus is King and will come again. Next Sunday,  is the First Sunday of Advent and we will soon be contemplating Jesus as a helpless, newborn baby. I love Advent and the weeks preparing for the birth with Mary.

Today is also the birthday of the Society of the Sacred Heart founded on the Feast of the Presentation of Mary in the Temple, November 21, 1800.

Saturday, November 20, 2021

Prayer is a free gift from God

 Today let us reflect on this quote from Henri Nouwen:

"We cannot force God into a relationship. God comes to us on his own initiative, and no discipline, effort, or ascetic practice can make him come. All mystics stress with an impressive unanimity that prayer is "grace" - that is, a free gift from God, to which we can only respond with gratitude. But they hasten to add that this precious gift indeed is within our reach. In Jesus Christ, God has entered into our lives in the most intimate way, so that we could enter into his life through the Spirit."

I know that God is in each of us in a special way; sometimes God makes us very aware of His presence, His love and care. At other times, God does seem to be hiding so that we seek Him. A normal prayer life will have ups and downs as we also experience in other relationships. The important thing is to always know that God is present and loving us no matter what!

Friday, November 19, 2021

Keeping a Journal

 I really do encourage each of my friends, students, directees, to keep a journal. It can be a gratitude journal and it is easy to take a moment each day to jot down something you want to thank God for and sometimes you have many things to thank for. You will be filling your soul with gratitude and that will give you joy. Try it now as preparation for Thanksgiving. You may find that it will make a good Advent practice and you can feel free to write whatever you want in your journal.

I kept this from a Journal wrapping from DaySpring as I thought it might be helpful for those just beginning to Journal or anyone. It has in large letters: Pray -Think-Dream-Write. Then is says:

"Just as the Bible is a written record of the activities of many faithful men and women, a journal is a   record of your journey through life. It can be a spiritual diary where you can record your interactions with God. Use a journal to reflect upon your daily walk, record God's power and creativity, keep track of prayer requests and answered prayers, and to provide a written testimony and legacy of God's goodness in your life. Journals are a wonderful way to improve your walk with the Lord."

I am starting a new Journal for Advent and looking forward to it. In the meantime, I am filling my old Journal with expressions of gratitude for so many friends and writing some "to do" lists so I can have the joy of crossing out the things as I do them. Sometimes looking at a picture will trigger a Journal entry! The above picture always helps me to reflect and then write.

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Feast of St. Philippine Duchesne


I do not like this face but the picture of Philippine has a map, a pen for the many letters she wrote at night whenever there was an opportunity, and image of the Sacred Heart. I thought I would just share today the question Father Gavan Duffy asked and then answered it himself in 1940.

We have learned the value of a steadfast purpose; the sucess of failure and the unimportance of our standards of success; the power of grace released by deep, divine desires and simple duty daily done."

What have we learned from her?

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Heart to Heart for Hearts

Today I am using a reflection from the same book as yesterday but this is written by Elizabeth Kasyoka of the Province of Uganda-Kenya.

"Ever since I have come to know Saint Philippine , she has become my friend and companion on my spiritual journey. Philippine's voyage to the New World resulted from a profound conversation and call from the Heart to her heart for all hearts. God beckoned her to let go, take action and move, to trust in the winds that would pelt the sails of her Recca, and to hold onto the rudder tightly and courageously on the high seas.

Philippine faced many setbacks, though they did not alter her dream of reaching the hearts she longed to touch. She was an educator and loved children. Not able to speak the language of the people, she spoke with her heart more than her words. Indeed, she left an indelible mark in their lives. Not doubt, the Potawatomi children appreciated her compassion, and those who watched her praying silently were deeply moved by her communion with God.

Today God's voice is calling us deep in our hearts to rise up against all odds. The assurance that all depends on God, not our own effort, gives us courage and opens our eyes to see everywhere opportunities that are opening up as an invitation to move towards a new world, to walk the unfmiliar plains, rocky grounds, mountains and jungles to meet so many hearts that are waiting to be touched and loved."

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

A Prayer to Philippine


This prayer is from one of our Sisters in Brazil, Maria Cecilia Amarante, RSCJ. It was published in the book, Philippine Duchesne: A Global View, edited by Kathleen Hughes, RSCJ, 2019.

Full of courage in the face of sufferings and misunderstandings, obtain moral strength for us.

Humble, zealous, and unpossessive in friendship, teach us to love with the Heart of Jesus Christ.

'Tireless in the struggle for the Reign of Christ, communicate your eagerness to us.

Living lesson on prayer, help us to live our spirituality of incarnation and paschal mystery.

Inspirer of missionary love towards the poorest, obtain for us zeal for the Kingdom. 

Patient is awaiting the Lord's time, teach us hope.

Persevering in the engagement of causes for the indigenous, open our hearts to all our sisters and brothers.

Inimitable adorer of the Eucharistic Jesus, communicate to us your desire for a total gift of ourselves.

Our herald to the Southern Hemisphere, obtain for us the grace of a genuine option for the poor.

Example of poverty and total emptying of self, teach us forgetfulness of self.

Saint Philippine, pray for us to the Heart of Jesus, the one to whom you gave your life without reserve.

Monday, November 15, 2021

Preparing for the Feast of Philippine Duchesne

This week we will be celebrating the feast of St. Philippine Duchesne on Thursday. As she is very dear to me, I think I shall be writing a bit about her each day this week. Actually, I am going to use my memories of learning to know and love her and then share some of what others have written about her.

I went to the Academy of the Sacred Heart in St. Charles, the first convent of the Sacred Heart in America, founded in 1818. My grandmother and great aunts had gone there to school and I was thrilled to win a partial scholarship, half tuition and half board for my four years of high school. I had read so many books about boarding schools and was certain that I would love being a weekly boarder. I got to know Philippine my first year. I was only thirteen and fascinated with the story of how Philippine had left France to come to America and the hardships she suffered when she did arrive. The first year at St. Charles was very hard. It was only a log cabin with more doors than windows and it was very cold. That year, 1818, the Missouri river in front of the convent was frozen over and they had to pay to have someone go break the ice to bring water. Philippine loved St. Charles in spite of the poverty and hardships of the first year. 

Sunday, November 14, 2021

Thirty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time


We are nearing the end of the Liturgical year and we see some signs of urgency in the Gospel. Next Sunday is the Feast of Christ the King and then we begin the new liturgical year November 29 with the First Sunda of Advent. I think I will begin a new Journal in Advent.

The Reading for this Sunday are: Book of Daniel 12:1-3; Letter to the Hebrews 10:11-14, 18 and the Gospel is Mark 13: 24-32.

The Gospel tells us to learn from the fig tree. When its branch becomes tender and sprouts leaves, you know that summer is near. Then, Jesus tells us that in the same way "when you see these things happening, know that he is near, at the gates."These things refer to the sun being darkened, the moon not giving light, stars falling from the sky, etc. But what Jesus really is saying is that no one knows the day or the hour, "neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father."
It is not an easy Gospel but the point Jesus is making, I think, is that we must be ready as we really do not know the day or the hour.

Saturday, November 13, 2021

God is always present

 Today I read this quote from someone I never have heard of before, but it was in the Tablet and I think it is worth sharing. It is Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh and is from the book of Living Prayer, 1988.

"We must not come to God in order to go through a range of emotions, nor to have any mystical experience. We must just come to God in order to be in his presence, and if he chooses to make us aware of it, blessed be God, but if he chooses to make us experience his real absence, blessed be God again, because as we have seen he is free to come near or not."

I think God is certainly free to allow us sometimes to experience his presence or not; however, I firmly believe that God is never absent. He is in us and we are in Him!

Friday, November 12, 2021

Friday freedom

I seem to have forgotten that yesterday was a holiday. There was an outing for brunch in Redwood City, but I did not sign up for it until I was asked to do so as there were still two places. It is always good to go out with a group and then I am happy to come home. 

Sister Rose Chen went to God early yesterday morning. She was professed with me in 1960. Some family arrived the afternoon before she went to God. I think the funeral will be after Thanksgiving. 

I wonder if everyone loves the feeling that comes when it is Friday. Here, the week end  is not really different as far as our schedule, but there is the sense that the next two days are special. No school, more time to catch up with correspondance, the feeling of peace that each Sunday brings, etc.


Thursday, November 11, 2021

A Present Concern

 Pope Francis has called the entire Church to hold synods so as to develop synodality. Every parish, every diocese, is asked to encounter the people within and without the parish, listen to each, and then discern what the Holy Spirit is calling us to do. This is really important and I feel that many Bishops in our country are not giving this a priority and some may not even be willing to listen to the people. The time line was to be October to April, but now has been extended to August 15, 2022 for the Bishops to learn from the diocesan synods and then the Bishops will meet and continue to discern together and finally there will be a Synod in Rome to discern decisions for the entire Church. The Holy Father wants us to learn how to listen to one another and then discern with the Holy Spirit. 

Some Bishops have written to all in the diocese and have started the process, but others seem to be lagging and I wonder if it is because they do not really want to listen to all the people. In some countries where the synods are being held, the question of woman's participation in the Church is one that needs to be addressed; another question is how the laity are involved in safeguarding children and not allowing any abuse; other concerns are with evangelization, the poor, the right to life, etc. 

Let us pray for our Bishops and for the process of the synods all over the world.

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Sometimes a poem is needed

 When I sat down to write my blog, something kept telling me to go look at my book of the poems of Jessica Powers and this is what I want to share with you today: 

I Hold My Heart As A Gourd

"I hold my heart as a gourd filled with love,

ready to pour upon humanity,.....

I hold my heart as a gourd ready to pour

upon all those who live.

Not that I see each one as come from God 

and to my soul His representative,

but that God inhavits what He loves

and what His love sustains, and hence I see

in each soul that may brush against my soul

God Who looks out at me."

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Let us pray

 Our Special Chapter has begun, but the opening Mass will be tomorrow. We are praying much for this Special Chapter and I think there will be real changes in the way we organize ourselves. When I see how few Religious are left in some of the Provinces, it makes sense to maybe go with the idea of just the four regions and some international networking for mission. I am sure our prayer will help the Special Chapter discern what is best for us to try now in these three years before the General Chapter.

We also need to discern how to share resources as some Provinces have real needs.

I shared an adaptation of the Chapter prayer in an earlier blog, but will do it again here as I love the prayer and we say it every day. 

Spirit Creator, You make all things new. You go ahead of us on the way. Light up the way we look at things, make us able to see the ways you are acting in us, in others and in the world.

Spirit of Discernment, guide us. Inspire our thoughts, our words, and the way we speak them. Guide our conversation in our common search to serve you.

Spirit of Light, dwell in each of us so that your priorities become ours. May your inspiration enlighten us. May your power enable us to act.

Monday, November 8, 2021

Concern and Gratitude

 I am very concerned about the situtation of the homeless everywhere, but especially right here in Oakland and San Francisco. We have thousands of homeless and now it is beginning to get cold at night and so many are sleeping on the streets still. California is a rich state so why cannot we solve the problem of having so many without shelter? And I am also aware of so many in the world who suffer from hunger, who do not have clean water, who have no homes....and then there are all those who now are in refugee camps...I do not want to sound sad or discouraged, but we have so much and I am very grateful for all I have, but what about those who do not have even the basic necessities to live? 

I am going to return to keeping a gratitude journal to prepare for Thanksgiving. I find it is so helpful and makes me so grateful to God for all He has given me and is giving me.

Sunday, November 7, 2021

Thirty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

 I am sorry that I am late in posting this. However, now I can share a thought from the homily today that I keep thinking about as it is helpful. After speaking about the generosity of the poor widow who gave all, Father spoke about how we never want for anything and that should make us so grateful. We have no right ever to complain as we lack for nothing. I was impressed with the idea that we should be thanking God constantly for the security we have because the Society of the Sacred Heart takes care of us when we are at the age of needing to slow down; he said the same is true for the Jesuits and he need not work once he and his provincial decide the time has come for retirement. How many people can retire without worrying about the future? We have so much to thank God for and I am spending time today just feeling grateful!

Saturday, November 6, 2021

What fills your mind today?

 Our Special Chapter begins on November 8 and we are all invited to be on zoom for the Mass on November 10, and also the Masses on November 21, the birthday of our Society on the Feast of the Presentation of Our Lady in the Temple, and the closing of the Special Chapter on December 2.

I am writing about the Chapter today as it is filling my mind and heart as we enter into the entire preparation. We have a special website and I have spent several hours reading all that has been posted. I am using material sent for prayer, discussing some of the exciting ideas for how we might be organizing ourselves for the future, etc. I guess this Special Chapter is filling my thoughts and permeating my entire day, and I am not even a delegate. We do have our Provincial and two elected delegates from the United States/Canada Province plus our former Superior General taking part with others from all over the world. I am feeling more than ever that we are one body.

Friday, November 5, 2021

First Friday

 Today is First Friday, a day dedicated to the Heart of Jesus. It is also the anniversary of the death of a Jesuit I knew and loved at St. Louis University. He died in 2012 but had taught Philosophy at the University for thirty-six years. He is known as the author of Christ in a Consumer Society. 

I try to review the previous month at least by the first Friday of the next month. This has been very helpful and, for those of you who are keeping Journals, it is a good way to look back and see what God may have been doing in your life during the past month and how you have responded to the many graces He gives each of us, if we just stop to reflect.

Thursday, November 4, 2021

St. Charles Borromeo


Today is the feast of St. Charles Borromeo. I knew nothing about him until we read his life during meals when I was a novice. He was born into a rather famous Italian family. His uncle became Pope Pius IV and immediately appointed young Charles as a cardinal and then the administrator of the see of Milan. Then he became papal secretary of state and had to live in Rome. He was not yet twenty-two and not yet ordained. He assisted at the Council of Trent where he helped draft the Catechism. Finally, in 1563, he was ordained a priest and then consecrated a bishop. When his uncle died, the new Pope let him return to Milan and take charge of his diocese which was in a deplorable state. He died on November 4, 1584 at the age of 46. He told others to be sure to first preach by the way you live. He would be good to pray to for the Synods that are being held in all parts of the world. Maybe he will give a push to some of the dioceses in our country where consultation for the synod seems to be lagging.

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Some Statistics

 I never liked studying statistics, but sometimes I do find it helpful to look at the statistics Google keeps for my blog. I have posted more than 4,650 and have had 531,012 hits; it is usually around a hundred a day and most months have about 3,600 or more hits so I guess I do have more readers than I know about. I am very bad about looking at stats and so forget that some readers do post comments. It would be better to email me as I seldom remember to look to see if there are comments waiting to be posted. 

One of my friends who has died recently was a faithful reader of the blog and sent me many emails commenting on whatever I had posted. I miss her. 

I think the one message I would like us to have for this month of November is that was are all here, loved by God, and preparing to spend all eternity with God. He just wants to love us but we need to allow God to love us and learn to recognize the many ways He comes to us each day.

I hope that when I feel I have nothing to say the picture will be enough for you to find something to nourish your soul. I only need to look at water - ocean, lake, pond - and I feel the presence of God. I love the idea of being in a boat with Jesus and sailing to my final destination.

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed

 Today we celebrate all who have died and gone before us. The feast of All Saints makes us feel joyful when we think of all those who have gone before us and are now with God. Still, we often need to let ourselves grieve for those who have left us and we want to pray especially for them so we have a day to pray and reflect on our union with all the departed.

I find myself thinking more and more of my own parents. I know that they are watching over me from heaven, but I miss them. I want to tell them now how grateful I am for all the love and care they gave me. I guess I am looking forward to seeing them and so many friends and relatives when I get to heaven. Today we remember all of those who have died more recently and we pray for them. Here, in the month of November, we pray for all those who have died at Oakwood, naming them during the Liturgy each morning by dates so we have about fifteen names read each day in November. 

Monday, November 1, 2021

Feast of All Saints

 The Entrance Antiphon for today's feast sets the mood: "Let us all rejoice in the Lord as we celebrate the feast day in honor of all the Saints, at whose festival the Angels rejoice and praise the Son of God."

The Collect is a prayer that we could use often: "Almighty and ever-living God, by whose gift we venerate in one celebration the merits of all the Saints, bestow on us, we pray, through the prayers of so many intercessors, an abundance of reconciliation with you for which we earnestly long."

The first reading is from the Book of Revelation: 7: 2-4, 9-14        

Responsorial Psalm: "Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face."

The second reading is from the First Letter of Saint John 3:1-3 This is a very consoling reading as John says: "Beloved: See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God. Yet, so we are."

Today's Gospel is from Matthew: 5:1-12a  Jesus teaches the crowds by telling them the Beatitudes: 

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theires is the Kingdom of heaven, Blessed are they who mourn, for they shall be comforted, Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land, Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied, Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy, Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God, Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God, Blesses are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven, Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me, Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven."

I copied the entire Gospel as this is an important one and the Beatitudes are for all of us to try to live in our daily lives