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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 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 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 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.

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Something to think about


I found this helpful.

It’s not how long the rain falls or how hard the wind blows
Or how deep is the snow in the road
Nor the balance we fake when we feel the ground shake
And we think that our world will explode
It’s the help that we give.
It’s the love that we live
It’s our pride in the friendships we form
It’s the courage we show facing things we don’t know
It’s the way that we weather the storm.
shared by Kelly in New Hampshire
I copied this and I thought I could share it with you. It just spoke to me.
I intend to write more about the wonderful experience of the whole day in
Yosemite, but I am waiting to be able to share pictures. There are some things that should be easy for me to do, but sometimes I think I have saved a picture and sent it to one of my photo files, but then I cannot find it. Maybe tomorrow as I am still catching up with many things after being away.

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Wonderful Week

I cannot begin to write about the beauty of Yosemite, but I can try to tell you what a gift this past week has been for me. First, I had three days of retreat on the ocean, a gift from my Spirituality Group last Christmas; then, I returned to Oakwood for one night and took off on Friday afternoon for the five- hour drive to Yosemite National Park. It is something I have been wanting to see and it turned out to be on our Life Enrichment Director's "bucket list" and so she suggested that we go some weekend. She made the reservations in February, so we were in a lodge with a room on the first floor that had a porch right next to the river that flowed over large boulders and the weather was so perfect that we could eat breakfast out there and even had supper there on Saturday night. All of Saturday was spent exploring Yosemite. The other Life Enrichment person who is also our driver had asked to come with us and she did all the driving and both treated me with such care. They actually carried canvas folding chairs so we could sit facing two waterfalls while we ate our lunch. Tons of water keep flowing from the rocks. It is really impressive. Well, that gives you some idea of the graces of the past week. I think my days of prayer on the ocean prepared me for the deep sense of God with us all weekend. I am just full of gratitude.

Monday, May 2, 2022

Sunday, May 1, 2022

Third Sunday of Easter

 I love this Gospel, the last Chapter of John's Gospel. I wonder how often Jesus had started a fire on the shore. And how had he caught the fish he had on the fire? And did His mother give Him the loaves of bread that He had ready to give His seven disciples? He knew they had toiled all night and caught nothing. They are tired, cold and hungry. Jesus calls to them. John realizes that it is Jesus on the shore and says, "It is the Lord'! Peter cannot wait and jumps into the sea and swims to greet Jesus. Jesus sends him back to help the others who are dragging the net as it is so heavy. There are 153 fish in the net and Jesus says to bring some of them to put on the fire while they eat the fish he has cooked for them. Jesus serves them. He breaks bread and gives it to them and then the fish. I am sitting there with them and listening to Jesus. Then Peter is asked three times the same question by Jesus: "Do you love me?" And Jesus asks the same question of us. May we reply as Peter did, "Lord, you know all things, you know that I love you!"