Friday, July 11, 2014

Time with the Lord

Well, I have moved and am settled peacefully and happily into my new environment. God is good! Today we begin our annual spiritual retreat. Our Sisters work very hard in our various apostolates during the year. This week the Lord will call each one of us to stop, be silent and enter into a time of spiritual and physical refreshment.

A spiritual retreat is not something just for priests and Sisters. Each one of us is called to holiness whether we are husbands, wives, children, grandparents, aunts and uncles, students. Each one of us is called to spend time with the Lord and in this very busy and noisy culture, to come into a time of quiet so that we can talk with the Lord and hear him speak to us.

There are many planned retreats for lay people – mostly on weekends which for most is a manageable period of time. College students have Awakening weekends. There are Cursillo weekends. One of our Sisters is a chaplain at the Catholic Center at one of our Universities. The students there have weekend retreats two times a year. Nearly 200 students take part because they are eager to deepen their relationship with God , to spend time in Eucharistic Adoration. You might say that you are too busy. Take a look at that excuse and ask God to help you find a way to be alone with him.

Pray for us this week that our hearts will be open to the Lord and His word for us.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Movin' On

Some days ago the Gospel for the day was taken from St. Matthew 19-20:

'Do not store up treasures for yourselves on earth... For wherever your treasure is, there will your heart be..."

I am very much aware of this passage these days as I prepare to move!  I have been in this convent for 9 years and I have carried out my apostolate from here.  So, I have many things to pack and to purge!  It is not easy.  I am so surprised at myself because I am very teary-eyed as I say so long to people I have known in our area – the pharmacist, people in our local parishes etc.  This is the time of year for transition – for moving around to serve in our various apostolates.  One of our Sisters said she broke down and cried the other day as she discovered a “going-away” note from one of the students she served this year.  I guess you call the tears "mourning."  Because of our vow of obedience we agree to go where the Lord wants us.  And we fully choose to live our lives that way.  I am happy when I think about settling into a new environment  and into a new apostolate.  But we carry in our hearts the people we serve and those who serve us.  Moving along and leaving them behind is painful. So pray for us this week.  Our treasure is in the will of God. 

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Let's get to know them

Today the Church celebrates the solemn feast of Saints Peter and Paul.  They are so important that their feast day takes precedence over the Sunday readings.  Father Robert Barron sheds light on our understanding of these two great
Painting by El Greco
pillars of the Church.  I encourage all of us to listen to what he has to say today. 

Saints Peter and Paul pray for us.  Give us the courage to stand up for our faith at a time in history when our beloved Church and her teachings are under great attack. 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Way of the Lord

Today the Church celebrates the solemn feast of the Birth of St. John the Baptist. I have often wondered why the occasion of his birth was  designated a solemnity.  The Church celebrates only three birthdays, that of Jesus on December 25, our Blessed Mother on September 8, and today John, June 24. 

John told his followers that he must decrease and the One who was to come after him would increase.  Father told us at Mass today that after the first day of summer, June 21, the days start to become shorter (the light decreasing) and beginning December 21, the days start to become longer (the light increasing)!  The Church is a wonderful Mother and teacher!

John is a great patron of the unborn because the Scripture accounts reveal that he leaped in his mother’s womb when he encountered Jesus in the womb of Mary at the time of her visitation to Elizabeth.  John was alive and active and through the power of the Holy Spirit had an awareness that he was in the presence of His Lord.

John is also a great model for the New Evangelization.  He went ahead of Jesus and called the Jewish people to repent of their sins and to open their hearts in new ways to God.  We are called to be like John, to go to those people we know who do not have a relationship with the Lord or whose relationship is lukewarm or uninformed.  We are called to evangelize our brothers and sisters in the Catholic Church, those who have not been properly or adequately catechized.  Help them to open their hearts to the Presence of the Lord. 

St. John the Baptist, pray for us.  

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Let us bow before the Mystery

Today the Church celebrates the great mystery of the Holy Trinity.  So many will say “ho hum”; it is just another Sunday.  The Holy Trinity – the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit – they are the Source of our life!  Yes, it is difficult to plumb the depths of this great mystery.  I find this famous prayer of Carmelite St. Elizabeth of the Trinity, an appropriate way to show our love for the blessed Three-in-One. 

O my God, Trinity whom I adore, let me entirely forget myself that I may abide in you, still and peaceful as if my soul were already in eternity; let nothing disturb my peace nor separate me from you, O my unchanging God, but that each moment may take me further into the depths of your mystery ! Pacify my soul! Make it your heaven, your beloved home and place of your repose; let me never leave you there alone, but may I be ever attentive, ever alert in my faith, ever adoring and all given up to your creative action. 
O my beloved Christ, crucified for love, would that I might be for you a spouse of your heart! I would anoint you with glory, I would love you - even unto death! Yet I sense my frailty and ask you to adorn me with yourself; identify my soul with all the movements of your soul, submerge me, overwhelm. me, substitute yourself in me that my life may become but a reflection of your life. Come into me as Adorer, Redeemer and Saviour. 

O Eternal Word, Word of my God, would that I might spend my life listening to you, would that I might be fully receptive to learn all from you; in all darkness, all loneliness, all weakness, may I ever keep my eyes fixed on you and abide under your great light; O my Beloved Star, fascinate me so that I may never be able to leave your radiance.

O Consuming Fire, Spirit of Love, descend into my soul and make all in me as an incarnation of the Word, that I may be to him a super-added humanity wherein he renews his mystery; and you O Father, bestow yourself and bend down to your little creature, seeing in her only your beloved Son in whom you are well pleased.

O my `Three', my All, my Beatitude, infinite Solitude, Immensity in whom I lose myself, I give myself to you as a prey to be consumed; enclose yourself in me that I may be absorbed in you so as to contemplate in your light the abyss of your Splendour.

Perhaps we could also slowly and meditatively pray the Apostles Creed. As we begin let us make the Sign of the Cross -both prayers are the profound expression of our belief in the Holy Triune God.  

Also, see The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) - #249 - #258.  

Sunday, June 8, 2014

The Fire in our hearts

Today is the solemn feast  of Pentecost when we celebrate the great outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles.  The Holy Spirit delivered them from their fear and loosened their tongues so they could proclaim Jesus Christ and all that he did to save us.  We all received the same Holy Spirit when we were Baptized and Confirmed.  We too received a great outpouring of the Holy Spirit through those sacraments.  However, probably when we were confirmed, for example, we did not have the same powerful experience that the Apostles had. 

A number of years ago I realized that and through the Charismatic Renewal movement I prayed for a deeper release of the Holy Spirit in my life. And as an adult I soon experienced the results of that prayer.  It led to a deeper spiritual conversion in my life, a conversion that led to my being able to say “yes” to God and to my vocation to Religious Life.

In those early years of the Renewal a friend likened life without reliance on the Holy Spirit to driving a car with four flat tires.  We can drive the car but the ride will be bumpy and we probably won’t go very far.  The Holy Spirit is “the air in the tires” that enables us to maneuver the car for a smooth ride. Another analogy is the wind in the sails of a ship. Without the wind the ship would be dead in the water.

The Holy Spirit is the third Person of the Blessed Trinity, the spirit of love between the Father and the Son.  Today read and ponder the words of Sacred Scripture that the Church has chosen for this solemnity.  The outpouring of the Holy Spirit on that first Pentecost really happened and it can happen for each one of us.  We can begin our day with a brief prayer to the Holy Spirit asking him to pour out the love of God into our hearts and to lead and guide us according to God’s perfect will

Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of us, your faithful, with the fire of your love, pour out your spirit upon us and renew the face of the earth.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Let us pray!

Today, Friday, we begin the Novena to the Holy Spirit in preparation for Pentecost.  I invite you to pray the Novena (saying the prayer for nine days) alone or with your family, gathered together to await a fresh outpouring of the Divine Advocate.  

The novena in honor of the Holy Spirit is the oldest of all novenas since it was first made at the direction of Our Lord Himself when He sent His apostles back to Jerusalem to await the coming of the Holy Spirit on the first Pentecost. It is still the only novena officially prescribed by the Church. Addressed to the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity, it is a powerful plea for the light and strength and love so sorely needed by every Christian.

Holy Spirit Novena
Dearest Holy Spirit, confiding in Your deep, personal love for me, I am making this novena for the following request, if it be Your Holy Will to grant it: (mention your request).

Teach me, Divine Spirit, to know and seek my last end; grant me the holy fear of God; grant me true contrition and patience. Do not let me fall into sin. Give me an increase of faith, hope and charity, and bring forth in my soul all the virtues proper to my state in life. Make me a faithful disciple of Jesus and an obedient child of the Church. Give me efficacious grace sufficient to keep the Commandments and to receive the Sacraments worthily.  Give me the four Cardinal Virtues, Your Seven Gifts, Your Twelve Fruits.  Raise me to perfection in the state of life to which You have called me and lead me through a happy death to everlasting life.  I ask this through Christ our Lord, Amen.


Breathe in me, O Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy. Act in me, O Holy Spirit, that my work, too, may be holy. Draw my heart, O Holy Spirit, that I love but what is holy. Strengthen me, O Holy Spirit, to defend all that is holy. Guard me, then, O Holy Spirit, that I always may be holy. Amen.  (St. Augustine)