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Saturday, April 30, 2022

Last day of April

 I am having a wonderful weekend away and will write more about this next week. I am just feeling gratitude to God for all the beauty of creation. I am also conscious that we are not taking care of our world. This war is destroying more lives, more land that was growing food and helping to feed so many. I pray for an end of war in all parts of the world. I pray for refugees and hope we are going to stop the way we separate children at the border, how we are slow to admit those coming from Ukraine. There is much to pray for in our troubled world. And I am praying while also enjoying the spectacular scenes that make me feel close to God.

Here is a quote on prayer from Catherine deHueck Doherty:
"How can you define prayer, except by saying that it is love? It is love expressed in speech, and love expressed in silence. To put it another way, prayer is the meeting of two loves: the love of God and our love."

Friday, April 29, 2022

God is love...


I found this from Ephesians 3: 17,19 which I had saved to share as a prayer:

May your roots go down deep into the soil of God's marvelous love

And may you be able to feel and understand how long, how wide, how deep and how high

God's love really is and to experience this love for yourselves.

Though it is so great that you will never see the end of it or fully know or understand it,

And so, at last you will be filled with all the fullness of God.

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Praying with Jesus on the shore

 I wonder if Jesus takes me apart after breakfast and we walk further down the shore. What does Jesus ask me? How do I respond? Perhaps we walk for a time in silence and then Jesus tells me why He wants to talk to me away from anyone else. What does Jesus tell me? How do I feel? How do I respond? 

Just take time to imagine yourself there on the shore with Jesus. This can be a great prayer time if you just let your imagination take you wherever the Spirit leads.

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Praying near the ocean

 Since I am just spending time with Jesus, I thought I would be with Him when he prepares breakfast for his disciples. They have fished all night and caught nothing, but Jesus rewards them with a huge catch of fish. But before this, Jesus and I have been working to prepare a fire and broil some fish ahead to feed his hungry friends. We have been on the shore waiting for the sun to rise so Jesus could call out to them. Of course, John is the first to recognize that it is Jesus on the shore and He has made the nets full of fish, but it is Peter who leaps from the boat to reach Jesus first. I am just sitting and observing how this group of friends acts with the Risen Jesus. I know that I feel more comfortable in His Presence.

I watch and listen and hear Jesus ask Peter if he loves him. He asks him three times! Of course, he is letting Peter make up for his denials when Peter was so afraid, but perhaps Jesus also is asking me to profess my love for Him. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Three days for a mini retreat

 When you read this, I shall be in Santa Cruz for a blessed three days on the ocean in the retreathouse of the Sisters of the Holy Name. It is a favorite spot and one that I have been returning to now for over thirty years. I still remember how it was subsidized for Sisters and it was only $25 a day and that included three meals as well as a comfortable room. Most of those years I have had an ocean view from my room. Actually, I have probably lived in at least a dozen different rooms. Now, I always ask for the room on the East that has a double bed and a desk at the window. I have had that room several times and find it helps me to pray. I also spend time in the small meditation room that overlooks the ocean at the western corner of the second floor. 

Please pray for me during these days when I just want to be with the Lord.

Monday, April 25, 2022

God loves us first

 God has loved us even before we existed. He continues to love us and give us life. He has given us Himself in the Eucharist.

Henri Nouwan said that it took him a long time to realize that God loves us and we are just to let Him love us. Here is a quote from Henri:

"Now I wonder whether I have sufficiently realized that during all this time God has been trying to find me, to know me, and to love me. The question is not “How am I to find God?” but “How am I to let myself be found by him?” The question is not “How am I to know God?” but “How am I to let myself be known by God?” And, finally, the question is not “How am I to love God?” but “How am I to let myself be loved by God?” God is looking into the distance for me, trying to find me, and longing to bring me home.”

I firmly believe that Jesus goes around after Easter bringing consolation and joy to us in so many ways. Yes, the war is terrible, the plight of the refugees horrible, the scenes of destruction, the loss of human life, all heartbreaking, but still "God is in His heaven and all will be well, and all shall be well." That is how I quote Julian of Norwich.

Sunday, April 24, 2022

Sunday of Divine Mercy

 On this Second Sunday after Easter, we have Jesus returning to be with his apostles and now Thomas is also present. Jesus knew that Thomas had said, "Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into his side, I will not believe."

Now, a week later, Jesus came again, although the doors were still locked. He said to them, "Peace be with you." Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe. Thomas answered him, "My Lord and my God."

Then Jesus says that "blessed are those who have not seen and have believed." That is very consoling. I am blessed because I believe even if I have not seen. And, because of Thomas, I know that Jesus had kept the marks where the nails were in his hands and that his side is open for us to enter into his heart.

Saturday, April 23, 2022

Nature feeds our souls


I am always struck by how a picture is able to lead us into contemplation. I no longer can walk in the woods, nor even go walking on the beach, but I can imagine how it is - part is memory, but often it is putting myself into a picture, hearing the water, feeling the breeze, etc. I am sure most of us are able to do this and it is a help for prayer. God is everywhere, but nature leads us to Him in a special way.

Perhaps you have a special place where you have found God, or rather, God has found you. Recall it now and perhaps it is also a resurrection story for you. Take time to remember, to thank, and to keep that special place in mind today.

Friday, April 22, 2022

Many joys of each day

 We have so much to be grateful for and each day I thank God for the care and attention we get at Oakwood. This week had been a happy one with a special party on Easter Tuesday, a welcome for two new residents who arrived from St. Louis yesterday, and my own plans to be away most of next week. I will be putting something from Mother Stuart on my blog, which I am hoping to write before Monday. I was given a Christmas gift of three days at my sacred place, Villa Maria, in Santa Cruz. I will be there until Thursday and just plan to relax and spend time contemplating the ocean. 

Today I have something from David Richo's The Power of Grace - I may have shared this years ago, but I like it and it is worth repeating:

"I say Yes to everything that happens to me today as an opportunity to give and receive love without reserve. I am thankful for the enduring capacity to love that has come to me from the Sacred heart of the universe. May everything that happens to me today open my hert more and more. May all that I think, say, feel, and do express loving-kindness toward myself, those close to me, and all beings. May love be my life purpose, my bliss, my destiny, my calling, the richest grace I can receive or give."

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Tender, loving care

 We all need some Easter hugs. It has been a very different time for all of us, but now we are in the Easter season, and I firmly believe that Jesus goes around consoling each of us.

I had fun on Easter Monday. I had received a gift of a wonderful box of candy and asked permission to keep it until Easter and then to share it with whomever I found by walking around and visiting those who had not gone to the movie. I was happy to share with Oakwood residents, staff, and anyone I found on my rounds. I will share with Westwood tonight and think I still will have some left for our housekeepers as I did not meet any on my rounds. As you can tell, I am writing this on Easter Monday afternoon, but posting only on Thursday. Sorry if I am confusing you but I did want to share this.

As I went on my rounds on Easter Monday, I began to have ideas that might help some who were in their rooms but seemed so glad to have someone come to see them. I usually do not visit, but did before Covid, but I always have plenty to do and forget that others no longer use computers or get email, etc. Now that we can go without masks, I will suggest a few things to our Life Enrichment director who has planned a movie for every weekday morning and afternoons on the weekend. The problem is that some do not want to go to the movies. There are many activities, but I think some are needed for those who just enjoy a visit. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

The Easter Season

 I think of the Easter Season as forty days in which the Risen Lord went around consoling his friends. I think the season closes with Ascension Thursday, but some now say it only ends with Pentecost when the Holy Spirit comes to enlighten and console us.

I found this bookmark prayer that I want to share today but have no idea who the author might be.

"O God, create in me a Still Point... where I might take refuge from the busyness of this world, where I might find the stillness just to be who I am in your Sacred Presence."

Next week, I am to have three days near the ocean and hope to be still and just rest in the presence of God. These days were a Christmas gift from my Spirituality Group, and they will come to pray with me the third day and bring me home.

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Easter Tuesday

 I read a quote from Reverend Mother Stuart each day and sometimes want to share these quotes in my blog. I am using "The Life Lived: Janet Erskine Stuart 1857-1914" which has a quote for every day of the year.

"Life faces you with courageous challenges at every step of the way. You are on a 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."

That is very consoling. We are all on the right path and the Risen Jesus is leading us, walking with us, and He is shaping our life story..

Monday, April 18, 2022

Easter Monday

 Let us rejoice for the Lord is truly risen! I love the forty days after Easter for I firmly believe the the Risen Lord still goes about consoling us and giving us His joy.

Here is a prayer sent to me by a Dominican but composes by Pat Bergen, CSJ:

"Gracious God, thank you for the gift of today. Refresh me. Invite me to discover your presence in each person that I meet and every event that I encounter. Teach me when to speak and when to slisten., when to ponder and when to share. In moments of challenge and decision attune my heart to the whisperings of your Wisdom. As I undertake ordinary and unnoticed tasks, gift me with simple joy. When my day goes well, may I rejoice. When it grows difficult, surprise me with new possibilities. When life is overwhelming, call me to Sabbath memories to restore your Peace and Harmony. May my living today reveal your Goodness. Amen. 

Sunday, April 17, 2022

Easter Sunday

 Christ has risen, Alleluia, Alleluia! This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad.

Collect: O God, who on this day, through your Only Begotten Son, have conquered death and unlocked for us the path to eternity, grant, we pray, that we who keep the solemnity of the Lord's Resurrection may, through the renewal brought by your Spirit, rise up in the light of life. 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.

Let us pray for peace and sing our Alleluias with strong voices!

God does not hold back and wait until we get things right; rather, God loves us where we are and as we are. In the Incarnation, divine love has found us and has surrendered to us. —Ilia Delio 

Saturday, April 16, 2022

Holy Saturday

 How did Mary spend this day? She had held her dead Son in her arms and helped prepare His bloody and torn body after He was taken down from the cross. She left her dead Son in the tomb and must have been grieving for she was present until the Heart of Jesus was pierced, and blood and water flowed out. Mary must have spent the next day in deep mourning. We spend it also in mourning for all those who have died, are dying, and will die from war, sickness, drugs, and random gun fire. Our world needs a Savior and we wait for the Risen Christ to come to be with us in a world so in need of peace and justice.

Let us take time to talk to Mary today. Let us ask her intercession to end the way. Let us ask her to be with the millions of refugees all over the world, to comfort them. Let us ask Mary to help the children who have been separated from their families, for those who have been forced into prostitution. 

Friday, April 15, 2022

Good Friday

 Jesus dies on the Cross for love of each of us. The following is an excerpt from Dorothy Day's Selected Writings: "Christ did not come down from the Cross. He drank to the last drop the agony of His suffering, and was not part of the agony, the hopelessness, the unbelief, of His own disciples."

Christ is being crucified today, every day. Shall we ask Him with the unbelieving world to come down from the Cross? Or shall we joyfully, as His brothers, "complete the sufferings of Christ?"

Our world needs us to continue the work Redemption.

Thursday, April 14, 2022

Holy Thursday 2022

 We remember the first Holy Thursday each year when Jesus gave us the great gift of the Eucharist. He knows He is going to die, but He has created a way to still be present to us in the Eucharist. We have God with us because of this great gift.

The prayer over the Offerings says:

Grant us, O Lord, we pray, that we may participate worthily in these mysteries, for whenever the memorial of this sacrifice is celebrated the work of our redemption is accomplished.

and the Communion Antiphon is: 

"This is the Body that will be given up for you; this is the Chalice of the new covenant in my Blood, says the Lord; do this, whenever you receive it, in memory of me."

and the prayer after Communion is: 

"Grant, almighty God, that, just as we are renewed by the Supper of your Son in this present age, so me may enjoy his banquet for all eternity. Who lives and reigns for ever and ever."

Then we have the transfer of the Holy Eucharist and the faithful are invited to continue adoration before the Blessed Sacrament for a suitable length of time during the night.

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Spy Wednesday

 Today we have Matthew's Gospel: 26:14-25 where Judas Iscariot went to the chief priests and agreed to hand Jesus over for thirty pieces of silver. When eating the Passover meal with the Twelve, Jesus tells them that one of them will betray him. They are deeply distressed at this, but finally Judas "his betrayer, said in reply, "Surely it is not I, Rabbi? He answered, 'You have said so.'"

The Responsorial Psalm is from Psalm 69 and I quote just a few lines:

Lord, in your great love, answer me is the response.

"For your sake I bear insult, and shame covers my face... 

Insult has broken my heart, and I am weak,

I looked for sympathy, but there was none;

for consolers, not one could I find...."

Let us try to console Jesus this week by our love.

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Make me meek and humble of heart

Jesus often spoke of humility and it is a virtue we all need to have today.

We often pray, "Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make my heart like unto Thine."

God loves a humble heart. We will learn humility if we steadily examine our thoughts, words, and deeds. We learn more deeply that Jesus Christ is the eternal center of our lives. Everything orbits around Him. Praise Him.
From Jim Tetlow S.J.

All of us need to examine each day how we are being humble. The humble are grateful; they do not complain, but seek to serve.

Jesus certainly gave us an example of what it means to be humble. He actually stooped to wash the feet of His apostles before the Last Supper when He gave us the gift of Himself.

Monday, April 11, 2022

Praying during Holy Week

 We all need the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit. I would like to share a prayer taken from Healthy Spirituality by Jean Wise that seems to cover all I am praying for and I find helpful:

O God, as war between Russia and Ukraine rages, we pray:

  • For all in hiding, searching for safety…
  • For those forced to take up arms…
  • For all journeying to new lands, leaving behind homes and loved ones…
  • For children surrounded by confusion and chaos…
  • For those in Russia who bravely advocate for peace…
  • For journalists risking safety to report the truth about daily events…
  • For those consumed by the power to dominate and control, that they are filled with compassion for all people…
  • For the difficult work of diplomats, world leaders, and international organizations …
  • For all providing welcome, protection, and sustenance to those who have fled…
  • For medical workers as they attend to the injured…
  • For all grieving those who have died…

In your mercy, receive our prayer.

Let us intensify our prayers for peace during this Holy Week. 

Sunday, April 10, 2022

Palm Sunday

Today we begin Holy Week. Jesus will enter Jerusalem with crowds acclaiming Him; later that week, crowds will condemn Him.

As we follow Jesus, let us enter into the feelings and desires of His Heart. 

This is a special week in which we unite ourselves with Jesus. Let us find some time for silence and solitude to enter into the mystery of His Passion, Death, and then we will celebrate His Resurrection with joy on Easter Sunday. 

Saturday, April 9, 2022

Hunger for Communion

 Catholics hunger for communion and Holy Communion. When we receive Holy Communion, we know by faith that we are receiving Christ and being made more like Him. It is a great gift and one that all Catholics are called to take part in the Eucharistic celebration by reverently receiving Communion. Then we are to go forth and strive to create communion among all. As we approach Holy Week, let us thank God for the gift of the Eucharist. 

"Do whatever He tells you." John 2:5

Friday, April 8, 2022

Jesus feeds the hungry

 We read in the Gospels how Jesus fed the multitude; now, Jesus wants us to have compassion on those who are suffering from hunger. 

"O God, may the Spirit of the Risen Chrise inspire me to rededicate myself to ending hunger in the world you created for us. Grant us boldness and courage to persuade our nation's leaders to change the conditions and policies that allow hunger to persist."

Thursday, April 7, 2022

No one should suffer from hunger here

 "O God, look with compassion on the one in nine Americans who face hunger in this country. Preserve their dignity as they struggle to get enough to eat. May those looking for jobs find new opportunities to earn a living. May those who are unable to work be supported and sustained by their communities."

"Happy are those....whose hope is in the Lord their God, who made heaven and earth...who keeps faith forever; who executes justice for the oppressed; who gives food to the hungry." -Psalm 146:5-7

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

"They will hunger no more" -Rev 7:16

 Lord God, let us pray for our president, members of Congress, and other elected leaders. May they be moved to make ending hunger in our own country and around the world - especially now for refugees- a priority for our nation. Grant our leaders clear minds and generous hearts to sustain and improve those programs that provide help and opportunity for so many people. We ask this in the name of Christ, who came not to be served but to serve. Amen.

"For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call on you. Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer; listen to the cry of my supplication." - Psalm 86:5-6

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Give Us Today Our Daily Bread

 This is a prayer from a booklet with daily prayers to end hunger and it is published by bread for the world, - if you visit this site you receive prayers and other resources for fulfulling God's vision of a world without hunger.

I thought this fifth week of Lent would be a good time to pray for those who do suffer from hunger.

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

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

Monday, April 4, 2022

Even though I walk in the dark valley, I fear no evil; for you are at my side

Today the responsorial Psalm is from Psalm 23, mostly 1-6. (It is one of my favorite psalms.)

Even though I walk in the dark valley I fear no evil; for you are at my side.

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want, in verdant pastures he gives me repose.

Beside restful waters he leads me; he refreshes my soul.

He guides me in right paths for his name's sake.

Even though I walk in the dark valley I fear no evil; for you are at my side

With your rod and your staff that give me courage.

You spread the table before me in the sight of my foes;

You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

Only goodness and kindness follow me all the days of my life;

And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord for years to come.

Sunday, April 3, 2022

Fifth Sunday of Lent

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

I hope we can all say that we are filled with joy because we are truly aware that the Lord has done great things for us. If we are not filled with that joy, perhaps we should be reflecting on all the graces and gifts that the Lord has given to each of us.

The Gospel is from John 8: 1-11 and is the story of the woman caught in adultery. The Gospel does not mention the man; the scribes and Pharisees only brought the woman and made her stand in the middle while they tell Jesus that they caught her in the very act of committing adultery. According to the law, they are to stone such women. To test Jesus, they ask him what he thinks. Jesus just bends down and begins to write on the ground with his finger. He tells them, "Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her." Again, he bent down and wrote on the ground. They went away one by one, beginning with the elders. When he was left alone with the woman, Jesus said to her, "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?' Then Jesus says, "Neither do I condemn you. Go and from now on do not sin any more."

Saturday, April 2, 2022

I Dream A World

 I came across this is clearing out old files and thought I should share it today, but I do not know the author.

                             I Dream A World

I dream a world where men no other men will scorn,

Where love will bless the earth and peace its paths adorn.

I dream a world where all will know sweet freedom's way,

Where greed no longer saps the soul, nor avarice blights our day.

A world I dream where black or white, whatever race you be,

Will share the bounties of the earth and every man is free,

Where wretchedness will hang its head, and joy, like a pearl,

Attends the needs of all mankind- of such I dream, my world!

Friday, April 1, 2022

First Friday and April Fool's Day


I am not sure what mischief will be around today, but it is good to remember that it is April Fool's Day.

It is also the First Friday and I have been reading the life of Pedro Arrupe. I think I mentioned before that the title of this book is Pedro Arrupe: Witness of the Twentieth Century, Prophet of the Twenty-First, by Pedro Miguel Lamet. I is almost 500 pages, but I am loving it. He had great devotion to the Heart of Jesus and helped others to have it also.

I have just finished another book that I loved and read in just a few days this week. It is the life of Mother Xavier Murphy, RSCJ, who came to America in 1822 and spent the years until her death at Grand Coteau, Louisiana. Most of that time she was superior and had a great influence on that part of Louisiana. The title of the book is Anna Xavier Murphy, RSCJ: (1793-1836) Missionary to Louisiana and the authors are Mary Blish, RSCJ and Carolyn Osiek, RSCJ. It was published for the bicentennial of our school in Grand Coteau, but we did not have any copies here until I asked and received this one from Sister Osiek. I am most grateful and it has now been given to our library so others may enjoy it.

Xavier Murphy was a holy Religious of the Sacred Heart that worked tirelessly to spread the faith in Louisiana. The boarding school flourished under her direction and she had a very small community. She was able to receive 100 boarders when she built the rest of the beautiful building that one can see today.