Monday, October 20, 2014

Getting ready

Recently we learned about a young mother who was taken home to the Lord as a result of a very tragic accident. As Scripture often tells us, we do not know the hour or the day when God will call us back to himself. I thought of this as I prayed with the Gospel for today. 

It is the story of the rich man who built bigger and better barns in order to store the grain from his bountiful harvest. With such a harvest he thought he could relax and not worry about the future. What he did not know was that his life was very quickly coming to an end.

Thinking about death is not pleasant but it will come some day and I know I want to be ready. For just today I asked God to show me ways I should change or things I should let go of in order to be ready. “Lord, if you should come for me today how should I live this day?” Praying this way every now and then can help us see in a new light all the things we are worrying about today. 

A priest once encouraged me to see things “in light of eternity”. So if we are anxious and fearful over many things today, try to see if, in light of eternity, they are as important as we are making them out to be. Bring them to the Lord and ask him to help us see life from an eternal perspective.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

A Prayer of Hope

Through the ministry of EWTN so many of us were able to watch and take part in the funeral services for the late Father Benedict Groeschel, CFR. During the prayer service on Friday evening in Sacred Heart Basilica in Newark, NJ, the Franciscan Sisters of the Renewal who led the Rosary, read excerpts from a book on the Rosary written by Father Benedict. I was very touched by those meditations and I found the book in our community library.

As we continue in this month of October dedicated to our Blessed Mother and her Rosary, I invite you to discover this gem of a book and allow Father Benedict, through his meditations, reflections and comments, help you pray this powerful prayer. The book, “The Rosary: Chain of Hope” is published by Ignatius Press. This special volume includes the full text of Pope Saint John Paul II’s apostolic letter on the Rosary (Rosarium Virginis).

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Our Lady's Gift

Each year the Church sets aside the month of October for special devotion to our Blessed Mother and to her Rosary.  In fact today is the memorial feast of "Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary."

Millions of words have been written about the Rosary and its importance in our lives.  But trying to find time to pray this magnificent prayer is often challenging.  However, finding time is not as difficult as it might seem.  You know, we can say the Rosary one decade at a time.  Focusing on the mysteries, one at a time, can help take our minds off all those situations in our life that are robbing us of our peace and our joy.  

Saint John Paul II wrote in his encyclical on the Rosary (Rosarium Virginis Mariae) that "The Rosary is my favorite prayer.  A marvelous prayer!  Marvelous in its simplicity and its depth...How many graces have I received in these years from the Blessed Virgin through the Rosary!" 

The Rosary is a powerhouse of prayer.  Blessed Pope Pius IX said "I could conquer the world if I had an army to say the Rosary." 

If the Rosary is not now a part of your life ask our Lady to help you find the time and the desire to join her in meditating on these events in her life and in the life of her Son.  "Our Lady, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, pray for us."

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.