Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Seven Last Words of Jesus - Part VII

Seventh Word

Father, into your hands
I commend my spirit.

Like Christ, some day I will need to say these words.  Death is the envitable part of every life.  I cannot remember the source, however the saying sticks in my mind, "We are all born to die." 

Yet, we are called to die each day -- to our sinfulness, to our pride, to all those things that separate us from union with God.  Each "death" is a handing over of ourselves to a loving and merciful God.  And yes, each death can be scary.  It's entering into the unknown.  Yet, we have a wonderful example in Jesus.  We can try to mirror his love when we die to ourselves and our sinfulness.

Lord Jesus, help us to learn how to die to our sinful tendencies so that we can live a new life in union with You always.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Seven Last Words of Jesus - Part VI

Sixth Word

It is finished.

Of all the words one would "expect" to hear, these don't seem to fit.  Yet, they do.  What is finished?  Christ's work of redeeming sinful man given to him by his Father. 

Being no Latin scholar, I am always grateful when the text in Latin is easily "see-able" in the English.  The Latin text reads, Consummatum est (all is consummated).  Christ's death on the cross completes the Father's plan for our forgiveness and reconciliation.  The love so great that it could not be satisfied until humankind was once again in union with God.  A gift so priceless, that we could never do anything so as to deserve it. 

May we ever be mindful of this tremendous gift that our loving God has bestowed upon us.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Seven Last Words of Jesus - Part V

Fifth Word

I thirst.

Jesus' thirst could very well have been extreme.  He had suffered in the Garden of Gesthemene while he prayed.  He had been arrested, condemned to death, mercilessly scourged, and made to carry a heavy cross before he had been crucified.  It doesn't seem very likely that He would have been given much in the way of food and water during those times.  The loss of blood alone would have caused dehydration to his body.

Yes, Jesus’ real thirst is for souls.  St. Thomas Aquinas says this thirst expresses Christ’s “ardent desire for the salvation of the human race.”  Jesus is thirsting for our souls to be in union with Him.  Let us pray to Him for the grace to open our hearts and souls to Him so that we each may in a small, yet wonderful way, help satisfy His thirst for us - and more especially the thirst we have for Him.

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Seven Last Words of Jesus - Part IV

Fourth Word

Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?
(My God, my God,
why have you forsaken me?)

At first glance, these words seem so totally out of place coming from the lips of Jesus.  Yet, upon further reflection, one begins to realize, that it was in His humanity that Christ suffered this abandonment.  His divine union with the Father never ceased.  It remained firm, constant.  We proclaim this mystery at every Mass:  May we come to share in the divinity of Christ, who humbled himself to share in our humanity

On the cross, Christ embraced his own sufferings.  St. Robert Bellarmine opined that Christ gave witness to his feelings of abandonment "so that all might understand the great price of our Redemption."   The price Christ paid for our redemption was indeed costly.  It shows the depth of his great love for each of us. 

I can remember someone once saying, "How much does Jesus love us?  He stretched out his arms on the cross, and died for you and me." 

May we be aware of this great love Jesus has for us -- and pass this love on to those we encounter each day.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Come, let us sing joyfully to the LORD...

The verses from today's responsorial psalm is one well known -- and well loved by us here at the monastery.  We hear these words each day for the Invitatory Psalm at Vigils.  While the antiphon changes according to liturgical season or feast, the words of the psalm are part of our daily prayer and help form and shape the beginning of our day.

Let us pray these words of Psalm 95 together, and listen with the ear of our heart to hear God's voice speaking to us today and let our hearts be turned to the Lord.

Come, ring out our joy to the Lord;
hail the rock who saves us.
Let us come before him, giving thanks,
with songs let us hail the Lord.

A mighty God is the Lord,
a great king above all gods.
In his hands are the depths of the earth,
the heights of the mountains are his.
To him belongs the sea, for he made it,
and the dry land shaped by his hands.

Come in; let us bow and bend low;
let us kneel before the God who made us.
For he is our God,
and we, the people who belong to his pasture,
the flock that is led by his hand.

Oh, that today you would listen to his voice!
Harden not your hearts as at Meribah;
as on the day at Massah in the desert;
when your fathers put me to the test;
when they tried me, though they saw my work.

 For forty years I was wearied of these people,
and I said:  “Their hearts are astray,
these people do not know my ways.”
Then I took an oath in my anger:
“Never shall they enter my rest.”

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Seven Last Words of Jesus - Part III

Third Word

Woman, behold, your son.
Behold, your mother.

I cannot even begin to imagine what must have run through Mary and John's minds when they heard these words from Jesus.  From a practical point of view, it would seem that Jesus was taking care that Mary was provided for.  Yet, it goes beyond that. 

John receives Mary for each and every one of us.  John represents each of us to Mary to be taken into her motherly care.  

The woman who as a young maiden had the grace and wisdom to say fiat to the Lord's invitation to be the mother of the Savior, again says fiat in accepting us as her very dear children.  Mary, the new Eve, truly is the mother of all humankind.

Let us pray to Mary and John to accompany us on our Lenten journey so that we who seek to be open to Christ's working in our hearts may be attentive to His word sounding in our ears.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Annunciation of the Lord

From a sermon by Blessed Guerric of Igny
The solemnity of the Lord's annunciation providentially interrupts the days of our Lenten observance, so that we are able to refresh ourselves with spiritual joy in the midst of the physical austerities which weigh so heavily on us.  Having been humbled by penitential sorrow, we are now encouraged by the announcement of the one who takes away the sins of the world.  This is just what scripture says:  Grief makes the heart heavy, but a kind word makes it glad.
It is indeed a kind word, a reliable word in which you can believe, this gospel of our salvation which the angel sent by God announced to Mary on this day.  Itis a joyful word which day utters to day, the angel to the Virgin, concerning the incarnation of the Word.  It promises a son to the Virgin, and at the same time pardon to sinners, redemption to captives, release to the imprisoned, life to those in the grave.  In foretelling the Son's kingdom and announcing the glory of the righteous it makes hell fearful and gives joy to heaven.  By the revelation of these mysteries and by the new joys it brings them, it seems to have increased the perfection of the angels.
Is there an afflicted person who would not be cheered by this kind word, or anyone whose lowliness it would not console?  Remember your word to your servant by which you gave me hope, sang David.  It was this which consoled me when I was brought low.  He received only a promis, a word which did not show any sign of coming true.  The delay in the fulfillment of his desire distressed him, but he took comfort by hoping firmly in the good faith of the one who had made the promise.  If David could sustain his spirit with just the hope of the salvation which was being kept for us, with what joy and delight ought we not to greet its realization?
Blessed are the mourners because they shall be comforted; blessed those whose hearts are afflicted by a holy grief because they shall be gladdened by a kind word.  Clearly the kind word which consoles is your all-powerful Word, O Lord, which came today from the heavenly throne into the womb of a virgin.  There, too, he made a royal throne, and thence he consoles those who mourn on earth even while he sits as king surrounded by the host of angels in heaven.
From A Word in Season
Monastic Lectionary for the Divine Office
IV, Sanctoral

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Seven Last Words of Jesus - Part II

Second Word

Amen, I say to you,
today you will be with me
in Paradise.

Tradition has given the name Dismas to the man who rebukes his fellow criminal who reviles Jesus while hanging on the cross and requests from Jesus a remembrance when He comes into his kingdom.  I can remember hearing as a child that in life Dismas stole as a means of supporting himself and in death he stole heaven as well.

While yesterday's word made me uncomfortable, today's word is very consoling.  Jesus knew what type of life Dismas lead up until that point.  Yet, Jesus also knew Dismas' heart. 

By acknowledging that he was receiving a just punishment for his actions and by standing up to his companion in crime when he reviles Jesus, Dismas showed that there was another Dismas inside who wanted to begin to live anew.  One that was done with his old way of life and ready to being a life of faith.  In other words, Dismas had a real conversion of heart.

That's what Lent is meant to do.  It's a time for us to turn our hearts back to Jesus.  To allow Him access to our lives and allow Him to live and work in us.  During these days of Lent, let us pray to Dismas to help us to have that same conversion of heart that he did so that we can live a fuller life in and through Christ.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Seven Last Words of Jesus - Part I

The Seven Last Words of Jesus are a powerful way of meditating on our Lord's Passion.  Based on my own experience of praying these "words", I would like to share with you during the next days on how my own thoughts and prayer have questioned, looked at and deepened based on my own growing understanding of my faith.

Father, forgive them,
they know not what they do.

Of all the words spoken by Christ during his Passion, this one probably makes me the most uncomfortable.  It's a challenge.  It's a radical call to imitate my Lord in a way that on a lot of days I wish I didn't have to.  I might even venture to say that it's even worse than the words we pray in the Our Father.  There at least we pray forgive us as we forgive.

St. Thomas Aquinas explains this first word this way:  "To show the abundance of the love which led him to suffer, Christ on the cross sought pardon for his persecutors.  He wished to suffer at the hands of both Jews and gentiles so that the fruit of his petition might reach them both."  Looked at this way, then Christ's first word is a plea to His Father for forgiveness for me, for you.  That is a consolation.

Let us pray to Christ for the grace and the courage to be able to pray this first word of His as our own, so that we, too, are able to love everyone with that same love with which He loves us.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Lent Fasting and Feasting

Fast from judging others; feast on the Christ dwelling within them.
Fast from emphasis on differences; feast on the unity of all life.
Fast from apparent darkness; feast on the reality of light.
Fast from words that pollute; feast on phrases that purify.
Fast from discontent; feast on gratitude.
Fast from anger; feast on patience.
Fast from pessimism; feast on optimism.
Fast from worry; feast on trust.
Fast from complaining; feast on appreciation.
Fast from negatives; feast on affirmatives.
Fast from unrelenting pressures; feast on unceasing prayer.
Fast from hostility; feast on nonviolence.
Fast from bitterness; feast on forgiveness.
Fast from self-concern; feast on compassion for others.
Fast from personal anxiety; feast on eternal truth.
Fast from discouragement; feast on hope.
Fast from facts that depress; feast on truths that uplift.
Fast from lethargy; feast on enthusiasm.
Fast from suspicion; feast on truth.
Fast from thoughts that weaken; feast on promises that inspire.
Fast from idle gossip; feast on purposeful silence.

--David Warkentein

Monday, March 21, 2011

Passing of Our Holy Father St. Benedict, March 21

We Benedictines enjoy a two feasts each year in honor of our Holy Founder.  The Transitus, or commemoration of the death of St. Benedict, is celebrated today, March 21.  Since this feast fall in Lent, the universal Church celebrates the feast of St. Benedict on July 11, recognizing him as the Father of Western Monasticism (and in Europe, also as Patron of Europe). 

For the feast day, we thought you might enjoy this novena prayer:

Novena to St. Benedict

Glorious St. Benedict who taught us the way to religious perfection by the practice of self-conquest, mortification, humility, obedience, prayer, silence, retirement and detachment from the world, I kneel at your feet and humbly beg you to take my present need under your special protection (mention here).  Vouchsafe to recommend it to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and lay it before the throne of Jesus.  Cease not to intercede for me until my request is granted. Above all, obtain for me the grace to one day meet God face to face, and with you and Mary and all the angels and saints to praise Him through all eternity.  O most powerful Saint Benedict, do not let me lose my soul, but obtain for me the grace of winning my way to heaven, there to worship and enjoy the most holy and adorable Trinity forever and ever.  Amen.

Pray 1 Our Father, 1 Hail Mary, and 1 Glory Be.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Transfiguration and The Second Sunday of Lent

Today's Gospel account from St. Matthew is one of those well known stories.  Jesus takes Peter, James and John up a high mountain and is transfigured before them.  In all three of the Synoptic Gospels, this takes place after Jesus' first prediction of his Passion, Death and Resurrection.  Only St. Luke, records that the three had fallen asleep and "becoming fully awake, they saw his glory and the two men standing with him." 

When reading this text, I often wonder what my response would have been.  Would I have been like Peter and wanted to stay there?  Would I have even believed what I was seeing?  What would my response have been?  And more importantly, how would I have reacted to hearing the Father's voice proclaiming Jesus as His beloved Son?  Did Peter, James or John know about the Father's voice at his Baptism  in the Jordan?  Did they connect the two? 

These and similar questions help us to make the Scripture more a part of our lives and help us to grow in our dialog with God.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Feast of St. Joseph, March 19

Litany of St. Joseph
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God, have mercy on us.
Holy Mary, pray for us.
St. Joseph, pray for us.
Renowned offspring of David, pray for us.
Light of Patriarchs, pray for us.
Spouse of the Mother of God, pray for us.
Chaste guardian of the Virgin, pray for us.
Foster father of the Son of God, pray for us.
Diligent protector of Christ, pray for us.
Head of the Holy Family, pray for us.
Joseph most just, pray for us.
Joseph most chaste, pray for us.
Joseph most prudent, pray for us.
Joseph most strong, pray for us.
Joseph most obedient, pray for us.
Joseph most faithful, pray for us.
Mirror of patience, pray for us.
Lover of poverty, pray for us.
Model of artisans, pray for us.
Glory of home life, pray for us.
Guardian of virgins, pray for us.
Pillar of families, pray for us.
Solace of the wretched, pray for us.
Hope of the sick, pray for us.
Patron of the dying, pray for us.
Terror of demons, pray for us.
Protector of Holy Church, pray for us.

Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world,
spare us, O Lord!
Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world,
graciously hear us, O Lord!
Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world,
have mercy on us.

V. He made him the lord of his household.
R. And prince over all his possessions.

Let us pray.
O God, in your ineffable providence you were pleased to choose Blessed Joseph to be the spouse of your most holy Mother; grant, we beg you, that we may be worthy to have him for our intercessor in heaven whom on earth we venerate as our Protector: You who live and reign forever and ever.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Listening Amid the Din

Prayer is the discipline of listening to that voice of love.  Jesus spent many nights in prayer listening to the voice that had spoken to him at the Jordan River.  We too must pray.  Without prayer, we become deaf to the voice of love and become confusted by the many competing voices asking for our attention.  How difficult this is!  When we sit down for a half an hour -- without talking to someone, listening to music, watching television or reading a book -- and try to become very still, we often find ourselves so overwhelmed by our noisy inner voices that we can hardly wait to get busy and distracted again.  Our inner life often looks like a banana tree full of jumping monkeys!  But when we decide not to run away and stay focused, these monkeys may gradually go away because of lack of attention, and the soft gengle voice calling us the beloved may gradually make itself heard.
-- Henri J.M. Nouwen
in Christ Our Hope
Daily Lenten Devotions

Thursday, March 17, 2011

St. Patrick's Breastplate

I bind unto myself today
The strong Name of the Trinity,
By invocation of the same,
The Three in One
and One in Three.
I bind this day to me for ever.
By power of faith, Christ's incarnation;
His baptism in the Jordan river;
His death on Cross for my salvation;
His bursting from the spicèd tomb;
His riding up the heavenly way;
His coming at the day of doom;*
I bind unto myself today.
I bind unto myself the power
Of the great love of the cherubim;
The sweet 'well done' in judgment hour,
The service of the seraphim,
Confessors' faith, Apostles' word,
The Patriarchs' prayers, the Prophets' scrolls,
All good deeds done unto the Lord,
And purity of virgin souls.
I bind unto myself today
The virtues of the starlit heaven,
The glorious sun's life-giving ray,
The whiteness of the moon at even,
The flashing of the lightning free,
The whirling wind's tempestuous shocks,
The stable earth, the deep salt sea,
Around the old eternal rocks.
I bind unto myself today
The power of God to hold and lead,
His eye to watch, His might to stay,
His ear to hearken to my need.
The wisdom of my God to teach,
His hand to guide, His shield to ward,
The word of God to give me speech,
His heavenly host to be my guard.
Against the demon snares of sin,
The vice that gives temptation force,
The natural lusts that war within,
The hostile men that mar my course;
Or few or many, far or nigh,
In every place and in all hours,
Against their fierce hostility,
I bind to me these holy powers.
Against all Satan's spells and wiles,
Against false words of heresy,
Against the knowledge that defiles,
Against the heart's idolatry,
Against the wizard's evil craft,
Against the death wound and the burning,
The choking wave and the poisoned shaft,
Protect me, Christ, till Thy returning.
Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me.
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.
I bind unto myself the Name,
The strong Name of the Trinity;
By invocation of the same.
The Three in One, and One in Three.

Of Whom all nature hath creation,
Eternal Father, Spirit, Word:
Praise to the Lord of my salvation,
Salvation is of Christ the Lord.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

If you want God to hear your prayer...

Abba Zeno told us, "If you want God to hear your prayer when you stand, stretching out your hand toward God, you must sincerely begin by praying for your enemies.  When you do this, God will respect all you request."

From:  By Way of the Desert, 365 Daily Readings
compiled and modernized by Bernard Bangley

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Prayer of Abandonment

I abandon myself into Your hands;
do with me whatever You will.
Whatever You may do, I thank you.

I am ready for all, I accept all.
Let only Your will be done in me,
and in all Your creatures
I wish no more than this, O Lord.

Into Your hands I commend my soul;
I offer it to You
with all the love of my heart,
for I love You, Lord,
and so,
I need to give myself,
to surrender myself,
into Your hands
without reserve
and with boundless confidence,
for You are my Father.

-- Brother Charles of Jesus

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Observance of Lent

In our monastery, we follow the practice St. Benedict puts forth in Chapter 49 of his Holy Rule.  He tells the monk that whatever he desires to "add to the usual manner of service" during the season of Lent should only be undertaken with the permission and approval of the abbot.  On Ash Wednesday, each nun individually submits her Lenten resolutions to our Prioress, Mother Mary Anne for her blessing and approval.  Our Lenten resolutions include prayer, renunciation, and reading. 

Our resolutions are not common knowledge, but rather kept private following Christ's teaching in Matthew 6:16-18 (your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you.) 

The reading that are part of our resolutions comes from the Chapter 48 of the Holy Rule where St. Benedict states "During this time of Lent each one is to receive a book from the library, and is to read the whole of it straight through."  While for St. Benedict's monks, this often was a book of scripture, today it encompasses a wide range of books on monasticism and spirituality.

Yes, there are things that we do for Lent as a community, probably the one that we all gain the most from is our weekly sharing on scripture.  Not only does it allow for sharing but also many times gives us a different insight both of the Sister and of the scripture itself.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Be Merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned...

Today's Responsorial Psalm from Mass is likely the most famous of the penitenial psalms and is attributed to King David.  This was his prayer of  repentance after the prophet Nathan came to him after his affair with Bathsheba. 

Today, it's a wonderful prayer of us.  One wherein we both admit our sinfulness, yet proclaim God's great mercy and compassion.  Let's pray it today with a fresh understanding of our tremendous relationship with God, our loving Father.

R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.

Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness;
in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense.
Thoroughly wash me from my guilt
and of my sin cleanse me.
R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.
For I acknowledge my offense,
and my sin is before me always:
“Against you only have I sinned,
and done what is evil in your sight.”
R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.
A clean heart create for me, O God,
and a steadfast spirit renew within me.
Cast me not out from your presence,
and your Holy Spirit take not from me.
R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.
Give me back the joy of your salvation,
and a willing spirit sustain in me.
O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth shall proclaim your praise.
R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

with Brother Lawrence...

...we ought to give ourselves up to God, with regard both to things temporal and spiritual, and seek our satisfaction only in the fullment of His will, whether He lead us by suffering or by consolation, for all would be equal to a soul truly resigned.
- The Practice of the Presence of God
by Brother Lawrence

Friday, March 11, 2011

The Paradox of Hospitality

Hospitality is a special part of our charism here at St. Emma's, so when I came across the above title in a booklet of Lenten reflections from the writings of Henri J. M. Nouwen, it "piqued " my curiosity.

It certainly is a different point of view, but one well worth considering:
Hospitality is not to change people, but to offer them space where change can take place.  It is not to bring men and women over to our side, but to offer freedom not disturbed by dividing lines.  It is not to lead our neighbor into a corner where there are no alternatives left, but to open a wide spectrum of options for choice and commitment.  It is not an educated intimidation with good books, good stories and good works, but the liberation of fearful hearts so that words can find roots and bear ample fruit.  It is not a method of making our God and our way into the criteria of happiness, but the opening on an opportunity to others to find their God and their way.  The paradox of hospitality is that it wants to create emptiness, not a fearful emptiness, but a friendly emptiness where strangers can enter and discover themselves as created free; free to sing their own songs, speak their own languages, dance their own dances; free also to leave and follow their own vocations.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

...and my hope shall not be disappointed

O my Jesus, nothing can lower my ideals; that is, the love which I have for You.  Although every path is very thorny, I do not fear to go ahead.  Even if a hailstorm of persecutions covers me; even if my friends forsake me, even if all things conspire against me, and the horizon grows dark; even if a raging storm breaks out, and I feel I am quite alone and must brave it all; still, fully at peace, I will trust in Your mercy, O my God, and my hope will not be disappointed.

Diary, Divine Mercy in My Soul
St. M. Faustina Kowalska

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

We rise again from ashes...

We rise again from ashes,
from the good we've failed to do.
We rise again from ashes,
to create ourselves anew.
If all our world is ashes,
then must our lives be true,
an offering of ashes, an offering to you.

Ashes, by Tom Conry

Even though Lent starts later this year than ususal, it's still a surprise that it begins today.  Growing up and attending Catholic school, I can remember how some of my classmates would try to "out do" each other in what all they were giving up.  But what were we giving up?  Big things:  candy, chocolate, chewing gum, television, fighting with siblings.  I don't know if anyone ever succeeded on that last one!

Lent is not about what things we "give up" as much as what we do that will make us a better person at the end of Lent.  Perhaps it's reading and praying with scripture every day not just when I can find time or praying the rosary.  Perhaps it's attending daily Mass or praying part of The Liturgy of the Hours.  It's activities such as this that help us to grow and develop our relationship with Christ. 

And the best part is that at the end of Lent, these activities will be so much a part of our daily routine that we will carry them into our daily life after Easter morning dawns (and we begin endulging our sweet tooth again!).

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Mardi Gras!

No matter what you all it:  Mardi Gras, Fasching, Fat Tuesday or whatever, it all boils down to the same thing.  The day before Ash Wednesday is one last chance to "indulge" a little before the fasting and abstinance of Lent begins. 

In our monastery, it is no different.  And we also enjoy "dressing up" a little as part of the fun.  Can you guess the names of each of the Sisters behind the "mask" or "costume"? 

We hope you enjoy the photos and our captions!

Does this pin go with my outfit?

Sister, I never knew you were a cowgirl!

Those feathers become you!

Do you think I have a chance of getting a part in the Gone with the Wind remake?

Sister, where's your feather boa?

A monastic punk rocker?

You're dressed perfectly for an English tea!

And everyone said you were a brunette!

Whatever happens has a cause...

Quidquid fit, causam habet
(Whatever happens has a cause)

When something takes place, there is something or someone behind it. 

The person of strong faith is able to see that God is behind whatever happens.  Nothing occurs except for a reason.

If we believe that God is behind the events of our day we will not take lightly what seem to be unbeliever accidents.  Everything has a purpose.  Reflection with the eyes of faith searches for the meaning, confident that it can be found.

If God is the cause of every event in our lives, then nothing that happens to us is without meaning.  There are no distractions, no intrusions in my day.  Rather there are visitations and moments of encounter to be experienced.

If we believe, we will never be tempted to use the excuse of those who say, "Lord, when did we see thee...?" (Matt 25:44).

Latin Sayings for Spiritual Growth
by Archabbot Lambert Reilly, OSB

Monday, March 7, 2011


Life is this simple:  We are living in a world that is albsolutely transparent, and God is shining through it all the time.  This is not just a fable or a nice story.  It is true.  If we abandone ourselves to God and forget ourselves, we see it sometimes, and we see it maybe frequently.  God shows Himself everywhere, in everything -- in people and in things and in nature and in events...we cannot be without Him.  It's impossible.  The only thingis, we don't see it.

- Thomas Merton

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Lord, I believe in you; give me firmer faith.
I hope in you; give me surer hope.
I love you; make me love you more and more.

I adore you as my first Beginning,
and long for you as my last End.
I praise you as my constant Benefactor,
and call upon you as my gracious Protector.

Guide me in your wisdom,
restrain me by your justice,
comfort me by your mercy,
defend me by your power.

I offer you my thoughts, to be fixed on you;
my words, to have you as their theme;
my actions, to be done according to your will.

- Pope Clement XI

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Thoughts from a "childhood friend"...

When we love a person,
we accept him or her
exactly as is:
the lovely with the unlovely,
the strong with the fearful,
the true mixed in with the facade,
and of course,
the only way we can do it
is by accepting ourselves
that way.

-- Fred Rogers

Friday, March 4, 2011

The Calling

With our talents God calls us
not to compete with one another
but to complete one another. 
Rev. Jeff Bayhi

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Heart of Love

O Heart of Love,
I put all my trust in thee.
For I fear all things
from my own weakness,
but I hope for all things
from thy goodness.

St. Margaret Mary

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

On Being Open to Spiritual Guidance

When you have found a guide, do not regard him as an ordinary man, nor trust in him as such, nor in his human knowledge, but in God, who will himself guide you through his appointed channel, prompting him to do and say what you most require.

Have towards him an open heart in all faithfulness and sincerity, laying bare to him evil and good in yourself without pretense or dissimulation.  By this means, what is good in you will be examined and established, what is evil remedied and corrected; you will be relieved and comforted in your sorrows, and moderated and restrained in your prosperity.  

Place entire confidence in him, mingled with reverence, so that reverance does not hinder confidence, nor confidence lessen your reverance.  Trust him with the love of a daughter to a father, esteem him with the confidence of a son towards his mother.

Let this friendship be loving and firm, spiritual and holy.

Source:  Athirst for God, Daily Readings with St. Francis de Sales

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Holy Father's Intentions for March

Photo:  Pressestelle Erzbischöfliches Ordinariat München

March's Intentions:

Latin American Nations:  That the nations of Latin America may walk in fidelity tothe Gospel and progress in justice and peace.

Persecuted Christians:  That the Holy Spirit may give light and strength to those in many regions of the world who are persecuted and discriminated against because of the Gospel.

For more information about the Apostlship of Prayer, visit: