Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Joyful Saint

"Believe me, there are no more
powerful means  to obtain
God's grace than to employ
the intercession of the
Holy Virgin"
(St. Philip Neri)
This coming Tuesday, May 26, we celebrate the 500th birthday of St. Philip Neri, the patron saint of Joy!  Our Sisters are very much aware of St. Philip because we worship and serve in a parish staffed by priests of the Congregation of the Oratory which was founded by St. Philip.  The Oratorians have helped us get to know St. Philip; together parishioners pray a Novena prayer once a month before the relic of the beloved saint.  St. Philip had great devotion to our Blessed Mother whom we honor during this month of May. How special that he was born during Mary’s month! 

If you don’t already know St. Philip here are two links that will introduce you to the great saint. http://www.ewtn.com/library/MARY/PHILIP.htm

Novena Prayer to St. Philip Neri

O holy St. Philip Neri, patron saint of joy, you who trusted Scripture's promise that the Lord is always at hand and that we need not have anxiety about anything, in your compassion heal our worries and sorrows and lift the burdens from our hearts. We come to you as one whose heart swells with abundant love for God and all creation. Bear us, we pray, especially in this need (make your request here). Keep us safe through your loving intercession, and may the joy of the Holy Spirit which filled your heart, St. Philip, transform our lives and bring us peace. Amen.
"Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say rejoice!" (Phil. 4:4)

Thursday, May 14, 2015

God mounts his throne to shouts of joy: a blare of trumpets for the Lord!

Men of Galilee, why are you standing there
looking at the sky?  
Today is the feast of hope!  It is one of the special feast days of our Community. Why hope?  Because today the Church celebrates the moment when Jesus, in his resurrected body, ascended into the realms of Heaven and is now "seated at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty".**  From there He intercedes for us with the Father.  For this reason we have great hope!

When they had gathered together they asked him: “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?  ”He answered them, “It is not for you to know the times or seasons that the Father has established by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”When he had said this, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him from their sight. While they were looking intently at the sky as he was going, suddenly two men dressed in white garments stood beside them. They said, “Men of Galilee, why are you standing there looking at the sky? This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven will return in the same way as you have seen him going into heaven.”  (Acts 1:1-11)


What is it today that you would like Jesus to tell the Father?  What is it that you need?  Jesus has the Father's ear.  And the Father loves us with a love that cannot be measured.  So, don't hesitate to ask. Jesus is seated by the Father's side and that gives us great hope! 

**Apostle's Creed

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

God's immeasurable gift

Peace be with you!  In today’s Gospel Jesus tells us that He has given us His peace. (John 14:27-31A)  We don’t live in a very peaceful time – there are so many pressures, so much noise!  But Jesus says that the peace He gives us is not the kind of peace that the world gives.  His peace is an interior peace that is with us even in the midst of turmoil.  “Do not let your hearts be troubled,” He says.

This is the month of May, the month when we traditionally honor our Blessed Mother.  She was a woman filled with the peace of the Lord.  Her Son was the source of her peace.  Her Son can be the source of our peace as well.  At Mass the priest prays that the peace of the Lord would be with us and as we turn to those around us we pray for the gift of peace for them as well.  Let us pray for a deepening of the gift and grace of peace for ourselves and for one another. 

“Dearest Blessed Mother, open my heart to receive the peace of the Lord.  Let it remain with me as I go through this day.  Ask Jesus to fill me with joy and enable me to be a bearer of peace to my family and to all those I meet today.”

 (Instead of saying “have a good day” to others why not try saying “Peace be with you”!)

Sunday, May 3, 2015

How does your garden grow?

This week the weather has been nice enough to get out into the garden.  We have a laurel hedge that is looking pretty weather-beaten and from googling the internet I think the laurels have a fungus.  We need to prune the dead and/or spotted leaves and expose the shrubs to the light.  It is a tedious job but well worth it. 

I was thinking of all this as I prayed with the Gospel
today (Jn 15:1-8).  In it Jesus tells us that He is the vine and God the Father is the vine grower.  Because of our Baptism we are connected to the Lord – we are the branches.  In order for us to bear good fruit sometimes we need to be pruned, we need to get rid of our sin.  When we go to the Sacrament of Reconciliation and receive Jesus in the Eucharist, God’s life flows into us and through us because then our branch is spiritually healthy. 

What touched me most about the Gospel is that Jesus tells us that just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own unless it remains on the vine, so neither can we bear good fruit unless we remain in Him. As I read the Gospel I had this thought: sometimes I don’t feel as if I am bearing good fruit.  Sometimes I feel like the laurel, not looking very good (mostly to myself).  But, I know I am remaining in the Lord; I know that I am attached to the Vine so how can I not bear good fruit?!  Sometimes as women we have a poor self image. How can we not be beautiful if we stay connected to the Vine – to the Lord - to His love?    So, if you are feeling a little down about yourself today, check to see if you are connected to Jesus.  Is His life - His love-  flowing into you?  If not, perhaps you could try a little spiritual gardening.  

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Again let us pray

I am sure most of you have been reading and hearing about the terrible riots that are taking place in Baltimore, MD.  In a very frank and impassioned interview today Archbishop William  Lori, the Archbishop of the Baltimore Archdiocese is calling upon all Catholics in our country to pray the Rosary for peace and justice in that city.  Here is a link to an article containing the interview with the Archbishop:

Dear brothers and sisters there is lots to pray for.  Let us ask our blessed Mother to help our brothers and sisters in Baltimore.  The Rosary is a very, very powerful prayer.  Let us respond to Archbishop Lori's plea.  

(see:  http://www.usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/prayers-and-devotions/rosaries/how-to-pray-the-rosary.cfm)

Monday, April 27, 2015

An urgent request

May the peace of the Lord be with you!

Tomorrow, Tuesday, April 28, the United States Supreme Court  will  hear oral arguments about the nature of marriage, which will challenge bans on same-sex “marriage” on the grounds of the 14th Amendment, claiming that respecting the traditional definition of marriage violates civil rights. A ruling is expected in June.

I encourage each one of us to pray that God's will be done in this matter.   And continue to pray during these coming months until June that, as the Supreme Court Justices deliberate about the issue, they will have their minds and hearts open to know the Truth about the sacredness of marriage.  

Thursday, April 23, 2015

A sign of hope

Let us continue to wish one another a Happy Easter!  The Easter season continues until the solemnity of Pentecost!

The information gave me great hope.  Perhaps we could respond with the Rosary.  God is working in powerful ways in our midst and He continues to point us to the Blessed Mother, the Mother of Divine Hope.