Sunday, April 19, 2015

Light the lamp each day

In today’s Gospel we continue to read about the various Resurrection appearances of our Lord to His disciples.  He took time to help them understand how his life, death and Resurrection were the fulfillment of the Scriptures.  He said to them,These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the law of Moses and in the prophets and psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures...  (Luke 24:35-48) 

The Lord wants to open our minds and hearts, as well, so that we too can understand the Scriptures.  But how can He do that unless we read and pray with the Scriptures?   I have mentioned in a number of previous posts that I practice Lectio Divina in my daily prayer.  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lectio_Divina)  Lectio Divina is prayerful meditation on a passage of Scripture and I can assure you that if we make our time available to the Lord and open our hearts to listen, He will speak to us through His Word.

 I wish I could tell you how many times during these past weeks that the Lord has spoken to my heart when I most needed to hear Him.  I circle or underline words or phrases that jump out at me from the page and I mull them over and over again, sometimes writing them on a 3 x 5 card so I can stick the card in my pocket or have it handy for a later time.  Scripture is alive because the Holy Spirit speaks to us through its pages!

Perhaps, in your busy schedule you would be able to keep a leaflet missal near your bed and at the beginning of each day, read just the Gospel or the Epistle.  Ask God to reveal Himself to you and speak the word that He wants you to have as you go into the day.  There are probably many other “words” competing for your attention but give the Lord a block of time to get in His word too!  Maybe later, in the car or on the train or at work that word will come back to you and refresh you. 

Here are links to some resources for your bedside or morning coffee reading:  (Getting a subscription is well worth it).   https://wau.org/ or https://www.magnificat.net/english/index.asp, or read on-line:  http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/041915.cfm

And if you have time, here is Father Barron’s reflection on today’s readings:

May His Word be a lamp unto our feet!  (Psalm 119:105)



Sunday, April 12, 2015

Hope for our great needs

Today is the Feast of Divine Mercy – the central feast of the growing and spreading devotion to God’s Divine Mercy.  It is a devotion for our time because our world needs to discover the reality of God’s great gift to us – His merciful love. 
If all of this is new to you, you might want to spend some time with EWTN’s page focusing on this devotion.  Here is the link:  http://www.ewtn.com/Devotionals/mercy/  

While the Devotion to Divine Mercy has been with us for many years, it was St. John Paul II who brought it into sharp focus, introducing the Church to the depth of its meaning.  It was St. John Paul who canonized St. Faustina Kowalska, known as the Apostle of Divine Mercy.  It was to St. Faustina that the Lord appeared and revealed Himself as the God of Mercy.  
At the Easter Vigil that I attended Father told us in his homily that he had prayed for God’s word for the feast.  The only word that kept coming to his mind was “mercy”. So he preached a very powerful homily about God’s merciful love and challenged each one of us to kneel before the Lord and open our hearts to receive that love.

Pope Francis has just declared a Year of Divine Mercy to begin on December 8.  Here is a link to a news item regarding his proclamation:  http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2015/04/11/pope_francis_presents_bull_of_indiction_of_jubilee_of_mercy/1136108

And finally, during this week you might want to read and reflect on Pope Francis’ homily at today’s Mass.    http://www.news.va/en/news/pope-francis-divine-mercy-sunday-homily

As Sisters of Jesus Our Hope we believe that “all our hope is in your mercy, O Lord.”  Hope in God’s mercy is at the heart of our life, our charism, our apostolate. 




Saturday, April 4, 2015

Alleluia!


The tomb is empty!
He is risen!

Let us rejoice and
be happy because
He is alive! 
 Because He is here with us 
and dwells among us,
 we have hope!  


May you have a blessed and joyful Easter!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

This solemn week

At Mass today Father reminded us that today is the last day of Lent.  Tomorrow, Thursday, we begin the sacred Triduum - one day divided into three parts that prepare our hearts for the great miracle of Easter!  Lent is over.  Perhaps we have had a good Lent, perhaps not, or perhaps a mediocre Lent.  It doesn't matter.  We move on now and enter into that solemn time when we reflect and meditate on the events of  the Last Supper (Holy Thursday) on the Passion and death of our Lord (Good Friday), in the quiet stillness of (Holy Saturday) until we rejoice at His glorious Resurrection from the dead on Easter Sunday!   

Father Charles Pope of the Archdiocese of Washington, DC  has posted a leaflet on his blog  http://blog.adw.org/2015/03/spend-this-week-with-jesus-a-daily-chronology-of-jesus-last-week/  about Holy Week and the Sacred Triduum.  I encourage you to print it out and read it through the remainder of this week.  It might be helpful. 
  http://blog.adw.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/walking-with-jesus-in-holy-week.pdf

May the Lord walk with each one of us as we following Him on this journey.  


Saturday, March 28, 2015

Prepare your heart

Life these past few days has moved along so quickly.  In the midst of them our house was devastated by the flu!  All four of us went down like dominoes and thank God we are now pretty much back on our feet.  Just in time for Holy Week!

I just finished listening to Father Robert Barron's homilies on the readings for Palm Sunday.  I greatly encourage you to listen to them too.  Each of the two homilies is about 15 minutes long.  Father Barron unpacks, as they say, the Scripture readings for the Mass, giving us a deeper understanding of all that is going on in the events of Holy Week.  It is a wonderful way to prepare, if you have time.  http://www.wordonfire.org/resources/blog/fr-robert-barron-on-palm-sunday/4704/





Tuesday, March 17, 2015

A taste of the Irish

Happy St. Patrick's Day.  My ancestors on my mother's side are from Germany and I grew up in Pennsylvania Dutch (Deutsch) country.  When it came to St. Patrick's Day I never considered myself Irish and I sort of felt left out!  But then my sister received a subscription to Ancestry.com and we discovered there are lots of Irish in my family!  Praise God!

Now when I make Irish Soda Bread I feel part of the dough!  I did make it yesterday and we are enjoying it today.  So, I decided to share my recipe.  I had lunch with an Irish friend several years ago and she served warm Irish Soda Bread. I asked for the recipe and here it is:

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.  Plump 3/4 cup raisins (toss them into boiling water for 1 minute. 

2 1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar or 2 tbsp.
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt (optional)

Cut in 1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick) with pastry blender.
Blend in drained raisins
1 tbs.  caraway (optional)
Add 1 cup buttermilk.

Turn onto well-floured board and knead (coat your hands with flour as batter will be sticky).  Shape into loaf in greased 8" layer cake pan or on cookie sheet.  Cut cross on top.  Brush top of loaf with remnants of buttermilk.   Bake 30-35 minutes.  

A wonderful way to celebrate the feast of this great Irish Bishop is to take time to read the Confession of St. Patrick (in his own words) http://www.confessio.ie/etexts/confessio_english#01

St. Patrick pray for us.  Pray for our country.  Pray that our Holy Triune God will become the center of our lives.  






Monday, March 9, 2015

Spotlight on Women

Our 15th annual Lenten Retreat for Women is being held this coming Saturday, March 14, at St. Magdalen de Pazzi parish in Flemington, NJ.  Our keynote speaker is Mary Beth Newkumet and her topic is "When I found Him Whom my heart loves (Song of Songs 3:4) - A Woman's Encounter with Christ Today."

If you live nearby and are interested in coming, the retreat begins with the parish 8:30 a.m. Mass and ends at 1:15 p.m. Workshops will be given by the Sisters.  They are: 

a.  Mary at Cana:  Women caring for the family
b.  Saints in the family: Holy women who have 
     gone before us
c. Grandmas! God's special gift within the family

May Beth is a wife, mother and active member of St. John the Evangelist Parish in Silver Spring, MD.  She is vice-president of Lumen Catechetical Consultants Inc., a not-for-profit religious educational consulting firm that helps Catholic organizations communicate a life with Christ lived fully through His Church.  She is a founder and the editor of the Lumen Publication, Life After Sunday, a small group discussion tool for parish life.

The weather forecast says something like "snow"!!  So if you cannot attend the retreat (or if you can!)  please pray that the Lord will send us a sunny day!  God bless you!