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Monday, October 31, 2022

Happy Halloween

 We are having a Murder Mystery Party this afternoon with a prize for the table that guesses the murderer! This should be fun and is a break from all our Haloween Costume Parades and Parties. Before Covid, we used to celebrate on a Saturday so the staff could bring their children and that was fun. 

It is important to remember that tomorrow is All Saints day and that is why we celebrate the all Hallow's Eve. 

Sunday, October 30, 2022

Thirty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time

 Entrance Antiphon: "Forsake me not, O Lord, my God; be not far from me! Make haste and come to my help, O Lord, my starong salvation."

Collect: Almighty and merciful God, by whose gift your faithful offer you right and praiseworthy service, grant, we pray, that we may hasten without stumbling to receive the things you have promised."

First Reading from the Book of Wisdom: 11:22-12:2 This well worth reading and begins "Before the Lord the whole universe is a grain from a balance or a drop of morning dew...."

Reponsorial Psalm: "I will praise your name forever, my king and my God." 

Second Reading is from the second Letter of Saint Paul to the Thessalonians 1:11-2:2

Gospel is from Luke 19:1-10. 

I love this Gospel where Zacchaeus, wanting to see Jesus, climbs a sycamore tree. Jesus looks up and sees him and says, "Zaccheus, come down quickly, for today I must stay at your house." And we know that Zaccheus received him with joy. And he is converted because he immediately says that he will give away half of his possessions and if he has extorted anything from anyone he shall repay it four times over,

Saturday, October 29, 2022

In the secret place of the heart

 I was reading something on contemplation that I had kept and now no longer know where it is from or the author, but I am only sharing one paragraph today. It makes me slow down and contemplate the Heart of Christ.

"We recognise that activism and dispersion diminish the quality of our life. Instead we are called to stop, to choose silence and to open and let ourselves be opened to our inner depths where the Spirit of God allows us to feel, see and understand life and reality with God's heart. When we allow our bodies to be silent, our senses awaken and we are able to hear the voice of the Spirit within us. Then in the secret place of the the heart the Spirit gradually transforms our feelings and responses, and draws us into an intimate relationship with God. The Spirit attunes us to the heartbeat of our people to discover the presence and the love of God in everyday life. When we contemplate the heart of Christ we enter into the movement of the Spirit who develops in us a listening heart, bringing us closer to God's reality, with the desire to promote justice, peace and the care of creation."

Friday, October 28, 2022

Autumn Beauty


I miss the season on Autumn. We do have a Japanese Maple in our patio with red leaves, but I miss the many coloered leaves that fall and need to be raked. I miss the rainy days and the smell of the bonfires on cool, crisp days where the sun manages to peek through the trees and make the fallen leaves glow. 

It is nearly Halloween; I have sent cards and now look forward to our Murder Mystery Party on Halloween. I am delighted that we are not having our usual costume party, but hope the staff are still going to carve and create wonderful things with large pumpkins. I think the Feast of All Saints and then All Souls mean more to me now than Halloween, but I will never forget the Haloween Party my mother had me give for some of my friends in seventh grade. It was really fun and they were delighted to meet my mother and my baby brother. We decorated the entire third floor where we had a playroom in the front and plenty of room in the back for games and, I think we bobbed for apples in the bathtub!

Thursday, October 27, 2022

When God is most present

 This is another quote that I find worth sharing from the prayer service sent to me by my friend; this one is from Madeleine L'Engle.

"It is when things go wrong, when good things do not happen, when our prayers seem to have been lost, then God is most present. We do not need the sheltering wings when things go smoothly. We are closest to God in the darkness, stumbling along blindly."

I was struck by the sharing of my spirituality group last week, They went from God leading His people into the wilderness to sharing on the positive experience that the last two years of having to stay home or wear masks, etc. has been for each. I think we have all had to slow down and have had more time for prayer, for reading and for reflection.

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

"In the remembrance of God, our hearts are comforted." Quaran

 I would like to continue with Joyce Rupp's "A Psalm of Compassion" that was sent to me in a prayer service. I used the first two verses in yesterday's blog and now will give the last three. I think it is good to reflect on and I love the last verse especially.

"You bid me come to you, to release my fears and allow you to anoint my worries with trust, to let you lead me to your resting place where I can listen to your calm, assuring voice.

No matter how dard the valley of tears, no matter how unending the turbulence, you are there with your embracing love. You are forever a reliant, caring presence.

You breathe your strength into my weakness, you promise to be a peaceful haven. You are the home where I can always dwell in your abiding goodness and compasion.

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

A psalm of compassion

 Joyce Rupp has a lovely rendering of Psalm 23 as a Psalm of Compassion. I will quote only the beginning.

"Caring Shepherd and Guide of my soul, many things I want- for self and others;                                         Freedom from worry, healing from hurts, financial security, health of body and spirit, sturdy relationships, lasting happiness, an end of needless suffering and sorrow, a peaceful planet, where everyting thrives.

You assure me that I do not have to want; you will lead me to an inner core of peace and guide me to ways that restore my spirit. Suffering will serve as a profound teacher, a catalyst of empathy and understanding that unites all who sit at the table of life."

I am in admiration because I read Psalm 23 often and this opens new ideas about what may be found there.

Monday, October 24, 2022

The time for healing has come

 This is a quote from Nelson Mandela that was sent to me by a friend who creates prayer services that are very original and thought-provoking. This quote was used for an opening prayer and has stayed with me so I pass it on to you.

"The time for the healing of the wounds has come. The time to build is upon us...

We pledge ourselves to liberate all our people from the continuing bondage of poverty, deprivation, suffering, gender and other discrimination...

There is no easy road to freedom... None of us acting alone can achieve success.

We muct therefore act together, as a united people, for reconciliation...and for the birth of a new world."

Sunday, October 23, 2022

Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

 The entrance antiphon is "Let the hearts that seek the Lord rejoice; turn to the Lord and his strength; constantly seek his face."

In the Collect we ask God to increase our faith, hope, and charity, and make us love what God commands.

The first reading is from the Book of Sirach 35:12-14, 15-18 in which we are told that "the prayer of the lowly pierces the clouds; it does not rest till it reaches its goal, nor will it withdraw till the Most High responds, judges justly and affirms the right, and the Lord will not delay."

Responsorial Psalm is "The Lord hears the cry of the poor."

The second reading is from Paul's second Letter to Timothy 4: 6-8, 16-18

The Gospel is Luke 18:9-14 and worth praying over as we need the humility of the publican.

Saturday, October 22, 2022

Each of us is "Somebody"

 I am copying this thought because I think it important for all of us to realize that we are "somebody" and precious in the eyes of God.

"Ruby Sales: The theology and pedagogy of somebodiness—that I might be enslaved, I might be small within the state, but I’m somebody, not only with God, but with each other, and about myself. And so the pedagogy and theology of somebodiness. I’m a child of God, and being a child of God, I’m essential, and no one has the right to limit, or the power to limit, my ability to be somebody. So I grew up in a society where that theology was so powerful. . . . The white view of Black children as being inferior never penetrated my being because I was surrounded with the possibility that I could live into my highest capacity and to love myself."

We all have the possibility to live into our highest capacity, to love and be loved. God made each of us so that God could love us! Let us rejoice and be glad! And be grateful for the power of love that makes each of us a great "somebody" full of potential!

Friday, October 21, 2022

A Blessing

 Connie Popp sent me this and it is by Jan Richardson in Circle of Grace - I like it enough to copy it here for you just the way I received it. I do not think I have shared it before and it is a blessing that stays with me and really helps when we think we are doing too much....

This blessing keeps nothing for itself. You can find it by following the path of what it has let go, of what it has learned it can live without.

Say this blessing our loud a few times and you will hear the hollow places within it, how it echoes in a way that gives your voice back to you as if you had never heard it before.

Yet this blessing would not be mistaken for any other, as if, in emptying, it had lost what makes it most itself. It simply desires to have room enough to welcome what comes.

Today, it's you.

So come and sit in this place made holy by its hollows. You think you have too much to do, too little time, too great a weight of responsibility that none but you can carry.

I tell you, lay it down. Just for a moment, if that's what you can manage at first. Five minutes.                  Lift up you voice- in laughter, in weeping, it does not matter - and let it ring against these spacious walls.

Do this until you can hear the spaces within your own breathing. Do this until you can feel the hollow in your heart where something is letting go, where something is making way.

Thursday, October 20, 2022

Feast of Mater, a special title for Our Lady

 Every school of the Sacred Heart in all parts of the world has a statue, or picture of Mater. Many have a special chapel dedicated to Mater. The original Mater was painted by Pauline Perdrau, RSCJ in 1844 at the Trinita dei Monti, in Rome. Our former Mother General, Marie-Therese de Lescure, RSCJ composed a beautiful prayer to her and I am copying it here.

Mother, most admirable, guardian of the interior life, we ask you to loosen our grasp on visible things and help us to see the invisible which your eyes behold; the invisible life, the invisable action, the invisible love, all those realities of faith that are for us eternal values. When we get lost in the devouring activity of the visible and often not so important things, keep us in the light of the unseen and make us strong as though we beheld the invisible. Above and beyond accessory trifles that concern and carry us away, that burden our minds and hearts and distort our scale of values, give us, we ask you, a hunger and thirst for the essential: the wish of the Lord and the work of his love to which he has called each of us. Amen.

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Mother Stuart's Prayer

 This is a prayer that I did not realize was from Mother Stuart but it is published in "A Treasury of Prayers", a little book that my mother used every morning,

"Keep us, O God, from all pettiness.

Let us be large in thought, in word, in deed.

Let us be done with fault-finding and leave off all self-seeking.

May we put away all pretense and meet each other face to face, without self pity and without prejudice.

May we never be hasty in judgment, and always be generous.

Let us always take time for all things and make us to grow calm, serene, and gentle.

Teach us to put into action our better impulses, to be straightforward and unafraid.

Grant that we may realize that it is the little things of life that create differences, that in the big things of life, we are as one.

And, O Lord God, let us not forget to be kind!

Friday, October 14, 2022

O simplicity

 It is after our evening prayer and my head is full of the funeral today, but I am too tired to write what I feel. I do have a good quote from Mother Stuart that I do not think I have shared. She said:

"Supernatural simplicity belongs to those who are not only one with themselves but one with God. It is more than the 'simple life,' it is the life of union.

God is simplicity itself - one act; the nearer we come to God, the less complicated we become."

I am going to be simple and take time away from this blog for the next four days; by then, I should have caught up on all the things waiting for me to do.

Thursday, October 13, 2022

Take time to enjoy the beauty around us

 On Saturday I went to the beach for a picnic with two lovely women and enjoyed the day so much.

I came home very tired, but it is somethimes good just to get away for a day and do nothing except enjoy the scenery and the company. It was a bit chilly and cloudy, but I love the ocean in all of its moods. 

I have been thinking of how synodality is helping the Church. I really hope you have read the letter of Pope Francis on Formation for the Liturgy that he wrote for June 29 this year.

More tomorrow as I am catching up with myself this week. I had my Bible Group in Mountain View yesterday and will tell you about it tomorrow as it is quite an experience.

Today we are having a funeral for one of our Sisters who was 104 years old and lucid until the end. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

A picture is better than words

 You can choose the one you want to reflect on - my computer was so slow I thought I could not find a picture and then have several. More tomorrow.

Monday, October 10, 2022


 Again, I turn to Mother Stuart who reminds us that "God is simplicity itself- one act; the nearer we come to God, the less complicated we become."

She said the "supernatural simplicity belons to those who are not only one with themselves but one with God. It is more that the 'simple life', it is the life of union."

Union with God is what we all strive for and certainly cultivating simplicity in all aspects of our life is helpful for it makes room for God to act in us and He wants us to live in union with Jesus now, today!

Sunday, October 9, 2022

Twenty-Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time

 In today's Gospel, Jesus heals the ten lepers, but only one returns to thank Him. This has always touched me deeply. Jesus waits for us to return and thank Him. Gratitude is important and how many of us receive favors from Jesus daily and forget to thank for them.

I have a gratitude box on my desk. It is a daily reminder to spend some time thanking Jesus for all He does for each of us! I am not filling out the cards in the box, it is just enough to see the box on my desk to make me grateful and to pray for the one who gave it to me and for her family.

Saturday, October 8, 2022

Rendering service to others

Today is Saturday and I look forward to a quiet weekend with time to read and pray.

Here is some good advice from Mother Stuart: "Try to render all possible service to others, not talking of the thing, but doing it. If you are known to be a person who loves to serve, many opportunities will come in your way, to your great inconvenience perhaps, but to your far greater profit and instruction."

I find Mother Sturart's quotations helpful and hope my readers do, too.

Friday, October 7, 2022

Our Lady of the Rosary and First Friday

 This Feast dates from the 16th century and used to be on October 6, or so I remember it. The Dominicans made the rosary popular and Our Lady has given many favors and special protection to those who say the rosary. My mother used to say the Rosary novena when there was something special to pray for and Our Lady always answered her by granting what she was praying for when it was something she was asking for herself, but she made it once for my grandfather and he did not get his desire to have his oil wells produce more or something like that. I just remember that my mother always got what she asked for but she spent 27 days asking and 27 days thanking by saying her rosary each night during this novena.

It is also First Friday and a special day to honor the Heart of Jesus so full of love for each of us!

Thursday, October 6, 2022

Flu shots and boosters


Today we are going to get both our flu shots and our third booster shot. I will be happy to have both. It is amazing how we have been protected from sickness these last two years. We have had many deaths, but they were mostly because of old age. Our staff has not been seriously ill and are good about always wearing masks. This is hard for me as I need to read lips to understand.

Here is another quote from Mother Stuart: "Only one who is constantly growing in grace and love and knowledge can give the true appreciation of what that grace adn love and knowledge are in their bearing on human life: To be rather than to know is therefore a primary qualification."

To be rather than to know is important. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

My dialogue with the boat

 After my Guided Imagery began with me in a boat and Jesus came and sat with me, I thought I would have a conversation with the boat as I seem to often meet Jesus in a boat or I am out at sea by myself...

Me: Good morning, Boat.

Boat: Good morning, but come get in and let's go.

Me: Where are we going? 

Boat: Don't know. I'm not the Captain.

Me: How do you know when to pick me up?

Boat: That's easy. You need to get away when you are tense or too busy to see what is importat or when you begin to feel impatient, have critical thoughts, or just lose some of your joy.

Me: Oh, thank you. I do need to get away and relax and sometimes we just do that.

Boat: Yes, and sometimes the Captain joins us and that gives you deep peace and joy, even when you just sit in silence.

Me: Will Jesus join us today? Your Captain is Jesus, I think.

Boat: Yes, I just call Him my Captain. I do not know if He will come - I rather think that depends on you.

Me: What do you mean? I don't even know when you will show up.

Boat: Well, He is really always present, but is inclined to show Himself only when there is great desire for Him or urgent need of His bodily presence.

Me: I still do not know who you are! Have you a name besides "Boat"?

Boat: Oh, Helen, I am your Guardian Angel. I just appear as a boat now that you need me in these final years when you have the time to come apart and rest awhile.

Me: Wow! This is October 2nd, the Feast of the Guardian Angels and you are here with me. It is also my mother's birthday and I am sure she is listening to our conversation from heaven.

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Feast of St. Francis of Assisi


I just realized that I have now published 4, 943 posts and my blog has had over 570,849 hits since Google started keeping statistics on this blog.

Now, I want to share my Guided Imagery Retreat a bit with you today. It is the first time that I have gone for just Friday afternoon until Sunday noon and there were only six of us and two guides. Three of us were RSCJs and the other three were all nurses! One just teaches nurses now, but it was a good group as we shared both nights and kept silence until Sunday lunch. My guided imagery on Saturday morning began with me in a boat with one of the RSCJs here who is 104 years old and asked to be annointed on Friday morning, so she was on my mind as I love her dearly. We are sitting facing one another in the boat our on the water and it is a beautiful day. There are some lovely white clouds over us and heavenly music suddenly seems to come our to the clouds. Both of us want to go up through the clouds to see where the music is coming from, but I say that I cannot abandon the boat. So Be goes up and I watch her enter the clouds. Then I see that Jesus is sitting in her place in the boat. He is content to be with me in silence. I am feeling His love being poured into me. 

Well, that was just the first part of the guided imagery; then the music took me to a Cathedral; later I was in the Oakwood Chapel sitting in my chair and Jesus was celebrating Mass in a red vestment. He told me that He is glad to see me there.

There was more, but one needs to keep deepening the whole experience. One way is to dialogue with some of the images. I took the image of the boat and wrote my conversation with the boat and will copy it for tomorrow's blog. I also shared it with the Westwood community after prayer last night.

Monday, October 3, 2022

Come, Holy Spirit

 I will share my week end retreat tomorrow, but today I have another great quote from Mother Stuart.

"Let us pray to the Holy Spirit to guide us; then we will act on the Spirit's gentle inspiration. Let us accustom ourselves to walking in these divine paths, following grace and not human nature. When we go too fast it is easy to be influenced by the second. Ah! It is a great art to act only by the Spirit of God."

I firmly believe that a Guided Imagery retreat allows the Holy Spirit freedom to act in us, to show us new ways to love God and let God love us!

Sunday, October 2, 2022

This Sunday is also the Feast of the Guardian Angels

 I think this may have been the very picture that we were shown in my First Communion class at the Academy of the Visitation back in 1937! It certainly made an impression on me and gave me great devotion to my Guardian Angel. Today was also my mother's birthday and when I was in Chile, I sent my angel to be with her on her birthday and I guess I am going to do it again this year. I will be in the Guided Imagery retreat this week end so I am scheduling ahead.

I do have devotion to the angels. I think they are still acting as God's messengers and they watch over us and protect us.

Saturday, October 1, 2022

October has arrived

 A new month in which we can all love and serve the Lord is a reason for joy. We are alive and are grateful to be able to enjoy life! I still have my gratitude box on my desk and fill it with the many joys of each day. I think God waits to be thanked for all He gives us each day. How often we forget to take time just to say thank you to God!

I recently bought several boxes of cards from DaySpring. One box says: Encourage; another says: Encouragement. I have not looked inside yet, but I am delighted to have cards that encourage. I also bought Thanksgiving cards, Christmas, and Valentine cards plus one box of birthday cards. Then, I could not resist buying another Journal. The cover says "Count it All Joy" and I will be glad to use it when I finish the one I have been keeping faithfully every single day (maybe missed twice). It is helpful to write about the day with the Lord. He likes me to reflect back and talk to Him about the day by writing in my journal. I have often urged others to keep a journal because I find it so helpful, Maybe you only want to review your week and so make your journal a weekly one, unless something special happens. I am happy to know that my students from the past couple of years are keeping journals now at college because they began in high school. It is never too late to begin.

I am away today in the Guided Imagery Retreat.