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Saturday, June 25, 2022

Vacation Time


 Yesterday was the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and today is the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. I am praying for all my readers and for so many other intentions. I have also decided to take a month of vacation beginning now! I leave Saturday for St. Louis where I will be with my brother until our Special Provincial Assembly begins on July 7. I will stop in Arizona to see my sister and brother-in-law and my niece but only for two nights as I return on the afternoon of July 12 and we go into retreat from the 13-21 so expect me back blogging only by July 25. I think I need to take this month off as I am finding that I have too many emails to read and I am going to try to cut back. Some I have tried to unsubcribe to, but they seem to keep coming; others have good articles, etc. but I do not need to read everything. Perhaps you are being overwhelmed, too, with emails. At any rate, I think a month of vacation seems to be good for everyone.

Let us take time to ponder in our hearts as Mary did.

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

In praise of her love


                                                Her Love

Bring comfort to my heart I pray,

I've lost a dear, dear friend.

She understood and loved me,

with a love that will not end.

I'll carry it within me, and give it all away.

To each of my own children,

as I live with them each day.

And when my years have been fulfilled,

my time on Earth is gone,

the love she richly gave to me

will still be living on. 

This is one of four prayers or poems for the mother. None are signed, but they are so beautiful that I want to share them.

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Remembering Mothers


 Last week I went to the wake for the mother of one of our male nurses and met his family - his Dad, his wife, his daughters, etc. It was held in a beautiful mission chapel and there was a prayer service with all of us saying the rosary and singing between each decade. Flowers kept arriving. There were portraits of the mother on each side of the casket and there were also at least four television screens that did show some smaller pictures. Each of the family went to the mike to speak about the mother, (or wife, or sister, grandmother, etc.) Every speaker shed many tears. However, at the end, a guitar was given to the sond and he played a cheerful song that had many of the girls joining the choir of men and almost dancing. I must add that all the women wore white and the men had on white shirts and black pants.

Now, as I am late today, you will need to wait until tomorrow's blog for me to copy a beautiful poem from the program. 

Monday, June 20, 2022

The Eucharist emboldens us...


 Today I have a quote to share. Itis connected with the Feast of Christ's Body and Blood and is from St. John Chrysostom, an early Father of the Church. He is speaking of the Eucharist and says:

"This food strenthens us; it emboldens us to speak freely to our God; it is our hope, our salvation, our light, and our life. If we go to the next world fortified by this sacrifice, we shall enter its sacred portals with perfect confidence, as though protected all over by an armour of gold."

That is very consoling to me.

Sunday, June 19, 2022

Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ


 I love this feast and remember how we used to prepare the grounds for a procession in honor of the Blessed Sacrament. In Chile, we would decorate the path with flower petals and spend time setting up the entire route where Christ would be carried throughout the village or grounds. One summer when I was teaching in Spain, I participated in two lovely processions. The first was with my students in Toledo in the morning and then we had one in El Escorial in the late afternoon. Now, I think we no longer celebrate with processions, but this feast is one of the few that has a sequence.

Collect: "O God, who in this wonderful Sacrament have left us a memorial of your Passion, grant us, we pray, so to revere the sacred mysteries of your Body and Blood that we may always experience in ourselves the fruits of your redemption."

The first reading is from the Book of Genesis 14:18-20

The Responsorial Psalm is "You are a priest forever, in the line of Melchizedek." 

The second reading is from Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians: 11:23-26

Then the Sequence which is long but has a shorter form using only the last four verses. There are 24 short verses and the earlier ones are only three lines to a verse. It is worth praying over.

The Gospel is Luke: 9:11b-17
Jesus feeds the multitude with only five loaves and two fish.

Saturday, June 18, 2022

Finding God in the Ocean


 I love any picture with the ocean. I am so blessed in being able to get to the ocean and even spend a few days near it each year. I find God so easily in contemplating the ocean. I wonder now why I did not spend more time in Miami at the ocean. Of course, the Pacific is more beautiful, at least in my opinion. The best swimming is in the Atalantic because, it least in Florida, it is much warmer. I found both here and in Chile that I could swim in the icy Pacific because by the time who got through the waves, you were warm enough to swim. God seems so close when I am near the ocean.

Here is another quote from Mother Stuart:

"Insight into spiritual things is in proportion to our desires. God heas not only our formal prayers but also our unuttered desires. As they are satisfied, they grow..The more we desire and attain, the more we shall attain. That is why our life is so immense."

Friday, June 17, 2022

Living in the Presence of God


 As a Religious of the Sacred Heart, I am called to live in union and conformity with the Heart of Jesus. I am struggling still to remember that we all live in the presence of God; we are never alone. I have all Three Persons of the Blessed Trinity dwelling in me. I am the one who is not present to this Divine Life in me. One of the blessings of these years here at Oakwood is that we do have time to seek silence and solitude just to be with God. I am sure this must be easy for some, but I am usually preoccupied with something I need to do or think that I need to do and forget about this constant presence of the Holy Trinity in me. I am now reflecting on this quote from Mother Stuart:

"Thinking of Our Lady's interior life, it is difficult to put it to ourselves in any other form than that she lived in the presence of God. That was the atmosphere that surrounded everything she did, every word she uttered and her every thought."

Thursday, June 16, 2022

Entering the Society of the Sacred Heart


 Seventy-two years ago, soon after my 19th birthday, I entered the Society of the Sacred Heart. I had to travel to Kenwood in Albany, New York overnight to enter for the Feast of the Sacred Heart. I had finished two years of college, but others were older. In the East, most of the novices had finished college before being allowed to enter. I have never regretted that I entered young, but I would now hesitate to encourage others to enter before finishing college or having done some sort of work. I will be celebrating next December 15 seventy years from my first Vows; one other Sister from my vow ceremony is still alive, but has spent her religious life in Taipei. I should try to contact her.

Now, for another good quote from Mother Stuart that brings peace:

"In trouble or perplexity Mary is the home of peace to the soul, and rules her whole household in peace. What is contrary to peace is contrary to her, and must give way before her."

I count on Mary to bring peace in the Ukraine without having to give up land to Russia.

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Water is so precious


 How often I take the gift of clean water for granted! California is suffering a severe shortage of water since we had very little rain and little snow; this is causing farmers to not plant some of the food we need. It is also causing the State to place restrictions on the use of water. I think we will not see any lawns beign watered nor cars washed, etc. Here at Oakwood, we began waterless days with paper plates and some sort of dinnerware that is just to be thrown away so I guess it is not plastic. This saves us all the water the dishwater uses. We also have ways of using a bucket in the shower when you first turn it on as that water can be used for the plants. The point I want to make is that we have this gift and we have taken it for granted. Other countries do not have clean water and often need to go a distance to get water. I do remember visiting a farmhouse when I was a child and they only had a pump for water. In Chile, I visited two of our communities who had no water. One was very poor and had to go to a common lavatory about a block away and carry a pitcher of water home. The other had rain water collected in barrels. That was outside of Concepcion where there was plenty of rain. Niether place had electricity. 

I did not expect to write about water today. Instead, I have another quote from Mother Stuart.

"When Our Lady goes with us all is well; she never leads us to defeat or discomfiture. There are no dangers so threatening, no difficulties so great, that she cannot and will not find the way for us to escape and to conquer them."

I am asking Our Lady to be with the people in the Ukraine at this time. I cannot believe that the war there is no longer on the front page of our newspapers.  We cannot forget that country that is fighting for its freedom. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

What happens when we contemplate Mary?


 Perhaps each of us could answer the question, "What happens when we contemplate Mary?" i many different ways. I am sharing here a quote from Mother Stuart that I find very true in my own life.

"Grace and virtue come out from Our Lady as we meditate upon her. What is rough and hard in us is softened by the thought of here; what is selfish is widened and sweetened; what is hasty is restrained and controlled; what is sad is filled with her own joy. It is true of her, as was said in prophecy both of her and Holy Wisdom, 'her company hath no bitterness, nor any tediousness, but joy and gladness.' "

Monday, June 13, 2022

A way to give joy to the Blessed Trinity


 Since May got away from me, I want to share a few quotes this week about Our Lady from Mother Stuart as i think Mary plays an important part in each of our spiritual lives. Here is on I love because it is giving joy to God:

"Our admiration of Our Lady, silent or expressed, is a great joy to the Heart of Our Lord, to God the Father, and to the Holy Ghost, each person of the Blessed Trinity having, as it were, a special joy in her."

Sunday, June 12, 2022

Feast of the Most Holy Trinity


 The Collect seems to sum up this feast:

"God our Father, who by sending into the world the Word of Truth, and the Spirit of sanctification made known to the human race your wondrous mystery, grant us, we pray, that in professing the true faith, we may acknowledge the Trinity of eternal glory and adore your Unity, powerful in majesty."

The first reading is from the Book of Poverbs and explains how before the earth was made, Wisdom was conceived. 

Responsorial Psalm: O Lord, our God, how wonderful your name in all the earth!

The second reading is from Paul's Letter to the Romans 5:1-5 

It is worth meditating and ends with "because the love of God has been poured out into out hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us."

The Gospel is from John 16:12-15 when Jesus tells his disciples: "I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now. But when he comes, the Spirit of Truth, he will guide you to all truth...."

The Trinity is a mystery so we can only adore and take time to thank each Divine Person for all that is and all that will be.

Saturday, June 11, 2022

Writing a Review of the Month



Usually I try to write my monthly review at the end of the month or at least during the first days of the new month. I must confess that this month is flying by so fast that I still have not written a review for May. The month certainly started on a high and ended on a high. Now I need to go back and review the time in between. I know that I returned from the wonderful week end away on May 1st full of joyful memories of Yosemite! I ended the month with a marvelous birthday and the decorations are still on the door of my room! And I still have not thanked everyone who wrote to me for my birthday, but I am working at that.

One of the nice things about being 91 is that it is quite acceptable to slow down. Sometimes  I find myself just sitting and doing nothing and I do not feel guilty about this. I still do not turn on my TV, but last night watched the news with the community in Westwood and decided it was much better to just get the news on my I-pad as there were so many commercials. Today, I will be writing a review of May and, I hope, finish my thank you notes to so many dear friends.

I will end with one of my favorite quotes from Mother Stuart for you to have something to reflect on:

"Yes, do be a saint; why not? What else is worth living for, caring about; and every little thing in the day may help you on towards it, if you will look at it on the right side as coming to you from God."
 

Friday, June 10, 2022

Happy Friday!

The picture is not from Rockaway Beach!
 Yesterday's outing to Rockaway Beach was a grace for me. After the beautiful drive there, we were asked to go right to lunch and I will still be eating half of mine today. As soon as lunch finished, I walked all the way to the end of the dirt path to find my rock and sat there for a good half hour of prayer. It was while sitting on that same rock a few years ago that I had a deep experience of God. Just to be there again brought back memories of not only that experience of God, but a very grace-filled moment in Chile when I felt the three Persons of the Blessed Trinity with me. Looking down the ocean at Rockaway Beach there are three huge rocks jutting out of the water. The tallest is almost the size of house in height; these great boulders remind me of the Trinity. 

I came home very tired and did not write anything yesterday so I am late posting today. Happy Friday!

Thursday, June 9, 2022

First Summer Outing


 Today we are going to one of my favorite spots, Rockaway Beach with Nick's Cafe. We are a group of eight RSCJs signed up with our driver and the Director of Life Enrichment. We leave at 10:45 so we just get there in time to eat lunch in the restaurant, but we have time to be outside after lunch and watch the waves come in and spray salt water as there are many rocks. I have a favorite place where I like to go sit on the rock and contemplate - God is very present. It is a grace to be able to go.

I am also grateful for the birthday checks that are allowing me to plan another three days at Villa Maria, hopefully in August. The ocean helps me to be present to God who is so present to each of us at every moment. 

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Something to reflect on today





Here is a great quote from Mother Stuart to ponder today"

"You cannot think how much our soul depends on what we say to it in our thoughts. Try always to say hopeful and encouraging things, for it is a true princilple that at the bottom of every discouraging thought there is an untruth and at the bottom of every helpful thought of God and of our soul there is a truth."


 

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Life faces us with courageous challenges


 I am going to use a quote from Mother Stuart today that helps me to live in the present moment with apostolic courage. She wrote:

"Life faces you with courageous challenges at every step of the way. You are on the path, exactly where you are neamt to be right now,...and from here, you can only go forward, shaping your life story into a magnificent tale of triumph, of healing, of courage, of beauty, of wisdom, of power, of dignity, of love."

I, of course, would add joy and peace. I find a deep inner peace and joy when I just sit in front of the Blessed Sacrament in our Chapel. 

Monday, June 6, 2022

Joy brings God near


 I took this picture of one of the coolest spots on the school campus. It is next to the main building and some of our Religious used to have spiritual reading together here. There is always an atmosphere of peace. 

I am still finding inspiration in Mother Stuart. She talks about the responsibility we have to use the gifts that God gives us. 

Here is a quote I love: "The special grace of spiritual joy is that it tends to diffuse itself; disposition of soul are easily communicated. The most blessed thing is to be an active element of jouy. Joy brings God Himself near." That is a special quote for me as I really do believe that God wants us to live in joy. His joy exists always. Yes, we have much to mourn at this time: war, children being killed, sickness, the many refugees forced to leave their countries, etc., but God is all powerful and all-loving and if we realize that He loves each of us, we will experience the joy of knowing that "All shall be well, and all shall be well..." as Julian of Norwich said.

Sunday, June 5, 2022

Pentecost


 This is a big feast and one we should all celebrate as the Holy Spirit is very active in our lives. The Liturgy for Pentecost Sunday is worth praying over so I will give some excerpts.

Entrance Antiphon: "The Spirit of the Lord has filled the whole world and that which contains all things understands what is said, alleluia" or  "The love of God has been poured into our hearts through the Spirit of God dwelling within us, alleluia.

Collect: "O God, who by the mystery of today's great feast sanctify your whole Church in every people and nation, pour our, we pray, the gifts of the Holy Spirit across the face of the earth and, with divine grace that was at work when the Gospel was first proclaimed, fill now once more the hearts of believers."

First Reading from the Acts of the Apostles: 2: 1-11

"When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled, they were all in one place together. And suddenly there came from the sky a noise like a strong driving windk and it filled the entire house in which the were. Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire, which parted adn came to rest on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim. ..."

Responsorial Psalm: "Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth."

The second reading is from the First Letter of Paul to the Corinthians 12: 3-7, 12-13

Paul tells us that no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit. Then he talks about different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit...

There is a Sequence for Pentecost that is very beautiful, but too long to copy here. 

The Gospel is John 20:19-23 when Jesus appears to his Apostles on the first Easter night and breathed on the them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit. ..."



Saturday, June 4, 2022

First Saturday

 


I am trying to honor Our Lady everyday in June aa the month of May went by so fast that I really did not spend much time with Mary. I do try to pray to her the last think at night, but need to return to saying the rosary. Perhaps the Holy Spirit is inspiring me to take a walk with Mary each day and say the rosary for peace. 

I love the feast of Pentecost and feel the Holy Spirit is very present in all of our lives and we need to cultivate our relationship with the Spirit. 





Friday, June 3, 2022

First Friday of June


 Sunday is the Feast of Pentecost and today is a First Friday dedicated to the Heart of Jesus - I think Jesus is happy to have us prepare for the Feast of the Holy Spirit by considering the seven gifts of the Spirit. Which one do you feel you need most at this time in your life? 

I think preparing for the Feast of Pentecost is one way to honor the Holy Spirit who is always with us and inspires us to do good. I need all the gifts and fruits of the Spirit so it is good to begin preparing for Pentecost today! 

Thursday, June 2, 2022

I have all the time there is: 24 hours a day!


 Today I had hoped to read all my emails and begin to thank for the many birthday cards that made Tuesday so special. It is now getting late on Wednesday and I have not done much that I had planned, but that is the way it is. I had an unexpected visitor, we had a fire drill, I found that I needed to talk with several people, etc. I will get to all that I planned, but just a bit later. I think I always think I can do more than I can. Then I need to tell myself to slow down and take a walk.

I have a copy of the Tree of Contemplation in front of me. One suggestion is the Walking Meditation so I am going outside to try it. 

As the fire alarm calls Westwood to show up in the Chapel, I did have time to savor this quote of Mother Stuart:

"In prayer it is often the very best just to leave yourself face to face with God without saying anything."


Wednesday, June 1, 2022

June means Summer Holidays


Please help me to thank for a marvelous birthday! Oakwood is a beautiful place to live once we are retired from a more active life. 

As I really am wanting to continue to copy some quotes from Mother Stuart, here is one for today:

"Do not give up any high aspirations, aim at the very highest and the best, but understanding that to get this is a life's work; not the work of a day, so never let failure cast down or disappoint you, but always begin again with great courage and especially great confidence."

So, let us begin. I am going to tackle some disorder that creeps periodically into my top drawer. It is where I put things that I intend to do something about and have not time at the moment. It means that I need to clear out the papers that I could not decide to throw away or to file. Then, I am constantly needing to clear out old files, emails, etc. on my laptop. I think Mother Stuart was speaking about our "high aspirations" but sometimes I need to start with something tangible that I know I can tackle now.

Let us begin with courage and confidence all that the Lord shows us today!
 

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Gratitude for 91 years of life


 I have so much to be grateful for during these 91 years! First of all, I am grateful that I was born into a wonderful, loving, Catholic family. No one could have had more loving parents and relatives than I have had. unless they were from really large families. Growing up, I had my Dad's mother and his five sisters all living in St. Louis and all showing up every Sunday for dinner at my Grandmother's until the Second World War made that impossible. Then, I had my maternal Grandfather and great uncles and aunts, all in St. Louis. All surrounded me with love and I am so grateful.

Then, I am grateful for some wonderful years at four different schools before I entered the Society of the Sacred Heart just after my 19th birthday. If I begin to name all the Religious of the Sacred Heart that have influenced me, I will not have room for some of the experiences that I am most grateful to have had. I guess the grace of a missionary vocation and twenty years in Chile must be one of the most varied times of my life. I just want to spend time thanking for the many graces I have been given during all the years of my life! Thank you, God!

Monday, May 30, 2022

Memorial Day


 We have invited the Religious of the Sacred Heat in the area for a Memorial Day Picnic. I think this is a tradition and we look forward to seeing our RSCJ Sisters from at least several of the communities in the area. 

I think that the war is coloring all we do - our prayer for peace is intense. We need to continue to pray for those suffering from the war but also for the many refugees who need to find new homes. I pray for those at our border. 

Here is a prayer for Memorial Day found on page 12 of Give Us This Day and taken from the Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers:

"God of power and mercy, you destroy war and put down earthly pride.

Banish violence from our midst and wipe away our tears, that we may all deserve to be called your sons and daughters.

Keep in your mercy those men and women who have died in the cause of freedom and bring them safely into your kingdom of justice and peace.

We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord." Amen.

Sunday, May 29, 2022

Ascension Sunday


 The Ascension is a very important feast. Jesus ascends into heaven to take His place as King. He often spoke of the Kingdom of God. This feast ends the Easter Season and prepares for Pentecost. Here are the readings for this Sunday when we are celebrating the Ascension:

Entrance Antiphon: "Men of Galilee, why gaze in wonder at the heavens? This Jesus whom you saw ascending into heaven will return as you saw him go, alleluia."

Collect: "Gladden us with holy joys, almighty God, and make us rejoice with devout thanksgiving, for the Ascension of Christ your Son is our exaltation, and where the Head has gone before in glory, the Body is called to follow in hope."

First Reading is from the Acts of the Apostles: 1: 1-11
"In the first book, Theophilus, I dealt with all that Jesus did and taught until the day he was taken up, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen...."
Luke describes how Jesus was lifted up and a cloud took him from their sight.

Responsorial Psalm: "God mounts his throne to shouts of joy: a blare of trumpets for the Lord."

The Second Reading is from Paul's Letter to the Ephesians: 1: 17-23

The Gospel is Luke 24:46-53

Saturday, May 28, 2022

A Free Saturday


 After a very busy week (and I am retired!), it is nice to have a free Saturday and I intend to go to the movie this afternoon. It is the one time in the week when I do attend the movie and I am so glad we are again having a comedy. At least I hope this one is - it is "Mermaids."

Here is another quote from St. Madeleine Sophie: "Put all your trust in God and all you Love. God will uphold you and will supply for all you lack."

I have so much to be grateful for and when I think of all the families who have lost children by shootings (not only the horrible mass shootings in schools but Miami had "drive-by" shootings that would kill whoever was out playing on just sitting on their porch). I think of all the refugees who have been separated from their children, those who are still in the midst of a country at war, etc. 

We need to pray that this long week end will be peaceful and no one gets hurt. 

Friday, May 27, 2022

Graduation is This Evening for Sacred Heart Prep


 St. Madeleine Sophie said that 'the way to do much in a short time is to love much. People will do great things if they are stirred with enthusiasm and love." Actually, that is a quote from Mother Stuart, but I think it fits both of them. I really like the quote and hope to be stirred by enthusiasm and love. 


Yesterday we had a great homily for the feast of St. Philip Neri. I cannot remember all of it, but the idea is that we are called to lighten up and spread joy. I love the idea of spreading joy to all we meet.

I am not fond of going to graduations, but I know it is good for our students to find us there. I must admit that I enjoy high school graduations more than the countless University graduations that I was required to participate in, wearing cap and gown. I do pray for all the graduates as it is a new beginning as they leave the familiar places and go forth to make new friends.

Thursday, May 26, 2022

St. Madeleine Sophie's Daily Prayer

I found this in my mailbox on Sophie's feast yesterday and it is one of my favorite prayers so I am copying it here for you. I suspect that I may have put this in a blog years ago, but here it is:

Sacred Heart of Jesus
Give me a heart that is one with your own;
A humble heart that knows and loves its nothingness;
A gentle heart that holds and calms its own anxiety;
A loving heart that has compassion for the suffering of others;
A pure heart that recoils even at the appearance of evil;
A detached heart that longs for nothing other than the goodness of heaven;
A heart detached from self-love and embraced by the love of God, 
Its attention focused on God, its goodness the only treasure in time and eternity.


Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Feast of St. Madeleine Sophie


 I love this feast of our Mother Foundress. We have her banner in the Chapel and when I looked at it last evening, she seemed to be stepping out of the banner and beckoning to me. Maybe I will try tomorrow to take a picture and see if it shows her arm reaching out. Of course, it might just have been the light and the angle, but it gave me consolation.

Now to share a few of her sayings: "Try always harder to let yourself be led by the Spirit of God; with this divine leader you will have all spiritual gifts for yourself and for others."

"Open your soul to the Spirit, call the Spirit who wants to be desired, call the Spirit so that she will fill you with her gifts."

"Let us pray insistently to the divine Spirit to come to renew our hearts and make us understand Jesus Christ and the way to go to him...Convinced of our need for the help of the Spirit, let us not cease asking for it with 'sighs too deep for words' as St. Paul says."

"Let your heart be more attentive than your head, for the Holy Spirit is love, and to take hold of her, it is more important to love than to understand. We do everything at top speed, and I am not sure the Holy Spirit can act at that pace."

So, let us slow down and welcome the Holy Spirit into each moment of our lives - a good way to spend the feast. A few are going to a baseball game, but the rest of us will enjoy the feast here.

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Such need of prayer


 Here is a quote I just read and liked"

 Booker T. Washington said: "A lie doesn't become truth, wrong doesn't become right and evil doesn't become good just because it's accepted by a majority.

I am praying much for the changes needed to make Jesus happy with the Catholic Church today. I think the effort everywhere for synodality can change the way clerics have not listened to the laity. I feel strongly that women have been kept from influencing the way parishes are run. How many parishes have parish councils that have an equal number of women on them? How many pastors really listen and implement what the parish council suggests? I just think we are at a turning point in the history of the church and should be praying for the success of the synod while trying to influence our local church so that we are really able to make changes. Jesus did not write canon law and I think he would be glad to have a complete revision after we listen to the entire Church. The Holy Spirit is active and we need to pray that our hierarchy are listening to the Spirit who speaks through each of us.

If this sounds crazy, know that I am late and should be somewhere else even as I write this, I am just really concerned to have us all embrace synodality and pray for the process of the worldwide synod.

Monday, May 23, 2022

Great definition of Contemplation


Contemplation is a wordless resting in the presence of God beyond all thoughts and images. So, in contemplation, we’re not thinking of anything. We’re not thinking of anything, but we’re wordlessly resting in a presence beyond thought that’s intimately accessing our heart as we intimately access it, and we rest in the oneness. —James Finley

The above was quoted by Richard Rohr. I have been thinking about this way of describing contemplation. I love the idea of resting in the oneness of our united hearts.

Sunday, May 22, 2022

Sixth Sunday of Easter

 

Since most parishes now celebrate the Ascension of the Lord on next Sunday instead of Thursday, the second reading and the Gospel from the Seventh Sunday after Easter may be used today. I am using the readings for the Sixth Sunday.

The Entrance Antiphon tells us, "Proclain a joyful sound and let it be heard; proclaim to the ends of the earth: The Lord has freed his people, alleluia."

The Collect also is joyful: "Grant, almighty God, that we may celebrate with heartfelt devotion these days of joy, which we keep in honor of the risen Lord, and that what we relive in remembrance we may always hold to in what we do."

A Reading from the Acts of the Apostles 15: 1-2, 22-29 

Responsorial Psalm 67:2-8 "O God, let all the nations praise you!"

Second Reading from the Book of Revelation 21: 10=-14, 22-23

The Gospel is John 14:23-29

"Jesus said to his disciples: 'Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him...."

I think the risen Jesus is still wanting us to live in joy and peace. The news we receive each day does not help us to do this. We need to realize that God made the world and all in it and God is present in all that is happening. We need to keep praying and trust in God's care for His creation. We are, perhaps, terrified about what might happen that could begin another world war; we need to pray and trust.

Saturday, May 21, 2022

Love much

This is a picture that makes me feel peaceful.
Today, we had 43 Kindergarten children come over to sing for us in our Chapel. They were so well-behaved and we enjoyed seeing them very much. I am sorry that we did not have something to give them as they gave us joy. We also had some of ours go to the school Mass this morning that was in honor of St. Madeleine Sophie. They said that the students were all very prayerful and the choir and orchestra was excellent. My student told me that the Middle and Lower School had an earlier Mass. 


I do have another quote from Mother Stuart for today.

"The way to do much in a short time is to love much. People will do great things if they are stirred with enthusiasm and love." 

I am preparing for the Feast of St. Madeleine Sophie, our Mother Foundress, which is May 25. She loved much and did great things.
 

Friday, May 20, 2022

The Presence of God

 


God is, of course, everywhere. However, God is present in a special way in the Eucharist. I just read that on Corpus Christi, the Church in the United States is beginning a time of preparation for the Eucharistic Congress planned for 2024l. There is so much need today of so many things, but the Bishops feel the need for more instruction on the Eucharist. I hope this also leads us to see the need to take Christ to the needy, the poor, the homeless. 

Here is a quote from Mother Stuart: "To go into the Presence of God is like going out into the freshness of the morning air. God is always new and His Presence gives new life."

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Sing every way you can!


 Another one of my favorite quotes from Mother Stuart is all about singing every way we can.

"It is an arduous journey, a great undertaking, not a little or easy thing... sing every way you can. God gave song to give heart and courage and joy in life...if not with the voice, sing with the spirit and understanding: sing by works of courage and hope, praise and thanksgiving. Call out to one another by high thought and spirited ambitions; these are the songs of our country."

We are having the funeral of one of our Sisters this morning who really did end her last months singing. She sang during breakfast, she sang when she saw you, she sang when she was alone. She was happy singing away and could not remember present day things, but still could sing!

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Sharing a Guided Imagery

 Last Wednesday morning and today I was on a zoom with a group for first taking time to have a Guided Imagery experience and then to deepen it during the week and share it today. We had members of the GIM team with us and it is always a deep and rich experience. I am going to try to share mine with you today. I was in Yosemite sitting alone in front of two waterfalls. I am in the middle canvas armchair and my two companions have each gone off to explore. Jesus comes and sits down beside me. I think I begin telling Jesus all the concerns I have: the war, the plight of refugees, the migrant workers, the number of abortions and suicides, the draught in California, etc. Jesus tells me that those are His concerns also; I do not need to spell them all out. He has them all in His Heart. He wants me just to sit in silence with Him and be aware of God's love. The powerful waterfall in front of me reminds me of God's love pouring forth - tons of water and tons of love coming down to be carried by the river....I think I heard the words, "Remain in my love" and it was a very moving experience. 

Sorry that I cannot get my pictures into this blog yet. And I am late posting today!

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

What is the central fact in your life?


 The following quote from Mother Stuart has made me ponder. I hope it helps you, too.

"May God's presence be ever your living joy and the central fact in your life, from which will flow patience, calmness, and unquenchable joy; with that in your soul you can meet anything."

I pray that I realize that God's presence in the central fact in your life and that it fills me with joy even in the midst of the problems of our world. Mother Stuart had an enormous sense of joy. I believe that joy is essential for all members of the Society of the Sacred Heart and for the entire family of the Sacred Heart. We need to trust God and serve Him in joy!

Monday, May 16, 2022

Put your trust in the Lord


 One year when I was a young Sister teaching first grade at Clifton, the theme for the year was the little hymn, "Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, I trust in Thee; most Sacred Heart of Jesus, I believe in Thy Love for me; Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, may Thy Kingdom come!"

Well, we concentrated the first semester on placing our trust in the Heart of Jesus. I had the entire primary school convinced that if they trusted in the Heart of Jesus, He would take care of whatever they were asking or needed. We even found a diamond ring that had been lost in the snow!

It was a wonderful lesson for me and I have always been able to place my trust in the Heart of Jesus. All this is leading up to a quote from Mother Stuart for today's reflection.

"After all nothing matters except that you should be united with God in living trust and conformity of will. He can only do what is best for every one of us. So we will trust Him in everything from the greatest to the least."

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Fifth Sunday of Easter


 The Liturgy today is very consoling in many ways. The Collect is worth copying as we seldom are ready to really listen to it at the beginning of the Liturgy.

"Almighty and ever-living God, constantly accomplish the Paschal Mystery within us, that those you were pleases to make new in Holy Baptism may, under your protective care, bear much fruit and come to the joys of life eternal. We ask this through Our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever."

The first reading is from the Acts of the Apostles 14: 21-27. It tells us how Paul and Barnabas were able to proclaim the good news to other cities and open the door of faith to the Gentiles.

Responsorial Psalm: "I will praise your name for ever, my king and my God."

The second reading is from the Book of Revelation 21:1-5

The Gospel is John 13: 31-35

In the Gospel, Jesus is telling his apostles that he will be with them only a little while. He gives us the new commandment: "Love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another. This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."

Saturday, May 14, 2022

Courageous challenges


 We all face challenges. My group for our final profession was given the name "Apostolic Courage"; I have found it very helpful all through the years. Just now, in my life at Oakwood, there are fewer challenges, but all of us grow by being challenged!

Here is the quote today from Mother Stuart:

"Life faces you with courageous challenges at every step of the way. You are on the path, exactly where you are meant to be right now...and from here, you can only go forward, shaping your life story into a magnificent tale of triumph, of healing, of courage, of beauty, of wisdom, of power, of dignity, of love."

May we all have the courage to face the many challenges of life in the world today!

Friday, May 13, 2022

All will be well if we trust God


 Today is Friday the 13th of May and only good things are going to happen to each of us. 

"Remember that whatever happens...you must say to yourself, according to circumstances, joyfully and thankfully or humbly and suvmissively or bravely or if need be, defiantly to the troubles within, this is part of the story and the story of God's love for you and yours for Him." Mother Stuart

I think that I have shared this quote before, but it is so true. God is present in all that happens and we need to just trust Him. 

I had a Guided Imagery this week and need to spend time with it, but it was very consoling. I was sitting in front of the two waterfalls in Yosemite National Park and Jesus came and sat with me. We watched the water pour forth and then shared our mutual concerns about the war, the plight of the refugees, the preparation for the Synod, the number of abortions, the whole political scene, etc. Jesus told me that prayer is very important. To sit in silence before God is a gift for the world and all the things that need prayer. God does not need words to know what we want to change, etc. Just sit in silence and let God love us.

Thursday, May 12, 2022

God loves each one of us


 Our roses are in full bloom all over our patio. Today I was thinking of how much God loves us and here is an apt quote from Mother Stuart:

"Above all remember that you are the cherished object of our Lord's most tender love. May He convince you of this." 

Another quote tells us that "of all the virtues that we can least afford to lose hold of in our time that of HOPE seems to be the most needed."

I think this fits for our time, too. We all need to cultivate hope; we have faith, hope, and love in each of us; it is time to nourish and practice hope. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

The quality of our joy


 Here is another quote from Mother Stuart to ponder today.

"The quality of our joy depends on the spring from which it is drawn. Where do we seek our joy? How does it come and go Watch its flight as of birds...Does it soar or flutter? Is it steadfast or changeable?

Does is go by days, by moods, by self-love, by the adventure of circumstances?"

God calls each of us to live in joy. The joy comes from knowing that we are loved by God. Each of us is a gift from God and that gives us joy.

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

What are your sources of joy?


 "The sources of joy are deeper than the sources of sorrow. The joy follows the sorrow...as the flower breaks from the thorny branch, not the thorny branch from the flower." Mother Stuart

And here is another quote from Mother Stuart to ponder today: "We are all God's property; and our life must be one wild bird's song of praise, one wild flower's face looking up to God."

Monday, May 9, 2022

Trust the Lord


 We are all in a boat and I like to think that Jesus is the one guiding the boat and He knows our final destination. We need just to trust Him.

Here is another quote from Reverend Mother Stuart:

"Remember that whatever happens...you must say, according to circumstances, joyfully and thankfully or humble and submissively or bravely or if need be, defiantly to the troubles within, 'This is part of the story and the story of God's love for you and yours for Him."

Sunday, May 8, 2022

Fourth Sunday of Easter


 The Collect for today's Liturgy" "Almighty ever-living God, led us to a share in the joys of heaven, so that the humble flock may reach where the brave Shepherd has gone before. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever."

The first reading is from the Acts of the Apostles 13:14, 43-52

Responsorial Psalm 100 - "We are his people, the sheep of his flock."

Second Reading is from the Book of Revelation 7:9, 14b-17

"For the Lamb who is in the center of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to springs of life-giving water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."

Gospel is John 10:27-30

"Jesus said, "My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish. No one can take them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one can take them out of the Father's hand. The Father and I are one."

We used to have "Good Shepherd Sunday" right after Easter. The readings are very consoling and I love the image of the Good Shepherd who cares for his sheep.

Saturday, May 7, 2022

Some words of wisdom


 When I want to find an uplifting quote, I go to Reverend Mother Stuart. She said, "Above all remember that you are the most cherished object of the Lord's most tender love. May He convince you of that."

Here is one that is a challenge to me: "The higher we want to fly, the greater the risk; but that is the glorious part of it. The great uncertainties in which we trust God, the breathless risks we run, with no assurance but out great trust in God, that seems to me to be of the essence of our life and its beauty. This will grow upon you, you will get your balance in the risk and get to love it."

Friday, May 6, 2022

First Friday of May


 My laptop is acting up again as I need to erase many pictures, etc.  

The new pictures of Yosemite are going to arrive in this blog only next week as I need to figure out how to get them into my files to be able to post them here. 

Now, I am still finding quotes from Reverend Mother Stuart helpful and so will share with you.

"You begin every day, just where you are, no matter where. It is always here and now."

And here is one of my favorites: "To be a Joy-Bearer and a Joy-Giver says everything; it means that one is faithfully living for God and that nothing else counts; and if one gives joy to others we are doing God's work." 

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Cinco de Mayo

Today we celebrate as many of our caregivers here are from Mexico. They love to dance and sing for us. I am still preparing pictures to send of the great day in Yosemite. My laptop seems to be overloaded and froze on me. Patience is needed and I am trying to delete many files.

I have found that Mother Stuart's quote: "One day of fervor is worth more than a thousand days."

I also think that happiness is contagious and we are a happy bunch.