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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


 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!