Saturday, November 21, 2015

He reigns over all

Tomorrow, Sunday, is the solemn feast of Christ the King and it is the last Sunday in the Church's liturgical year.  Bishop Robert Barron has a powerful homily about the feast.  I encourage you to listen to it - it is only 15 minutes.  I am still pondering his words and will listen to the homily often.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

What is your destination?

Today is the last Sunday in Ordinary time; next Sunday the Church celebrates the solemn feast of Jesus Christ the King.  The following is the First Sunday of Advent.  Does it seem like time is going along too fast?  That’s what the Church wants us to think about today.  

The Mass readings urge us to be alert, to be prepared for the coming of the Lord. (Daniel 12:1-3, Mark 13:24-32)  Perhaps we don’t want to think about that too often.  But we must.  This morning I couldn’t help but think about the people in Paris who were killed in the terrorist attacks.  Were they prepared?  We never know when the Lord is going to take us. 

At Mass this morning Father said this is the time in the year when the Church calls us very strongly to think of our destiny.  From the time we were formed in the womb we were destined to live for all eternity with God.  Perhaps I have mentioned this before but philosopher Peter Kreeft says life on this earth is like staying in a motel on our way home to Heaven.  Our destiny is not a place but a Person!  Do we want to live forever with this Person – this Person who created us and who loves us more than we can imagine?  I know I do and I want to get ready.  As we approach the season of Advent, a time to prepare for the coming of the Lord, don’t put off thinking and praying about your destiny.  It is a time, not so much to focus on death but what comes after death. It is a time to ask the Lord to fill out hearts with all the graces we need to put our lives and relationships in order, to turn away from our sin, to be holy!   


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

The needs of others

One of our Sisters is undergoing chemotherapy today.  It is hard to know how to help when someone is facing such a scary, challenging time.  It is obvious that we pray for them but the Lord has led me recently to offer up my day for some special intention.  When I prayed my Morning Offering this morning I did that.  “Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer you all my prayers, works, joys and sufferings of this day for Sister ____  and in atonement for my sins and for the sins of the whole word.”  We can do that each day and insert the intention we want to pray for. 

During the day, from time to time when I think of it, I repeat the intention using the Chaplet of Divine Mercy prayer:  “Father, for the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on ________ and on the whole world.”  My own younger sister was in the hospital yesterday for a possible heart attack.  I prayed like this for her as well.  Thank God, it was a false alarm and she is home.  God is good!   Sometimes we feel helpless, not knowing what to do for our loved ones in need.  But the Holy Spirit has given us ways to pray that are very effective and easy to insert into our busy schedules.  “Jesus, I place my trust in you for ___________.”  

Sunday, November 1, 2015

My personal litany of the saints

Today is a solemn feast day.  As well as being Sunday it is also the Solemnity of All Saints.  As Father said in his homily this morning – we get two solemnities for the price of one!  

As I was praying about the feast today I remembered that when our Sisters taught kindergarten they would tell the children that a saint “was someone who made it to Heaven.”  You know, we might focus on all the men and women who are famous saints but in the reading from the Book of Revelation in the Mass today it says “…I (John) had a vision of a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation, race, people and tongue.”  That means that there are so many saints in Heaven their number cannot be counted! 

I thought of a picture I have in my family album, that of my great grandparents and their 11 children.  Theirs was a family of deep devotion and faith and it was from these roots that my own Catholic faith was received.  I want to share that picture with you today because I believe it is a picture of my family saints.  
Great grandpa and grandma Smith with my  great aunts and uncles
Maggie, Annie, Leo, Cleophas, Veronica, Gregory, Rebecca, Fabian, Bertha, Linus and John
You know, I pray to my deceased relatives,  asking for their intercession for my many needs.  I met only three of them but I know the names of the others and I feel very close to them.  I am sure you have your own family saints who are among that great number, standing before the throne of the Lamb.  Let’s honor them today and throughout this month!  What a great promise the Lord has given to us that we too, someday, may be counted among their number.  I know, for me, I want “to make it to Heaven.”  

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Let's read and remember!

I am sure that if you watched all the media coverage of Pope Francis' visit to Cuba and the United States you are overwhelmed with all the wonderful images of his time with the people and with the messages he left with us.  If you are like me, you need time to process, to absorb all that he had to say.  Well, I discovered a wonderful web site with the texts of all of his talks and homilies so I am happy to share it with you (if you do not already have it.)  It is offered by Aleteia, a wonderful web site for Catholic news.  

Here is the link: 

The home page is

I have printed out a few of the homilies so far and am reading them slowly, underlining things I particularly want to remember and pray about.  

In response to our Holy Father's plea, let us pray for him each day that God will guide and strengthen him. Let us pray especially for the Synod on the Family which opens on Sunday in Rome.  

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Simon and me

Today’s Gospel (Lk 7:36-50) is about the woman who approached Jesus at a banquet and washed his feet with her tears and dried them with her hair.  It was an act of deep repentance and humility and although she was a sinner, Jesus recognized her sincerity and her deep sorrow for her sins.  

Many times when we reflect on this story, we think about the woman and her generosity of spirit and we pray to be like her in our own lives.  However, today I was taken by Simon, the Pharisee, who hosted the banquet.  He was very critical of the woman and saw only her sin.  Jesus, however, saw into her heart.  I am sometimes like Simon; I have a tendency to be judgmental.  Today I was convicted of my own sin, asking the Lord for the grace to really “see” others as He sees them.  

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

A daily brief reflection

Our Lady of Sorrows - the Pieta
Living close to the city of New York we are often in touch with what is happening there in the Archdiocese.  The head of the Archdiocese, Cardinal Timothy Dolan is very well known, not only in New York but throughout our country as well.  The former president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Cardinal Dolan is very articulate and knowledgeable about many issues and most importantly, he is a holy man - a holy priest.  I recently discovered that the Cardinal has a daily two-minute reflection on the readings and feasts of the day.  His reflection today on the Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows is very gripping. Cardinal Dolan has been using Pope Francis as an example to all of us as you will see in this daily reflection.  Here is the link:

I have bookmarked this site and when time permits, I check in to hear what Cardinal Dolan has for me to think about at the time.