Saturday, November 11, 2017

Veteran's Day

Oh beautiful, for spacious skies, For amber waves of grain, For purple mountain majesties Above the fruited plain! America! America! God shed his grace on thee and crown thy good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea!

Oh beautiful, for pilgrim feet Whose stern impassioned stress A thoroughfare of freedom beat Across the wilderness!  America! America! God mend thine every flaw, Confirm thy soul in self-control, Thy liberty in law!

Oh beautiful, for heroes proved in liberating strife. Who more than self their country loved and mercy more than life! America! America! May God thy gold refine ‘Till all success be nobleness and every gain divine!

Oh beautiful, for patriot dream That sees beyond the years Thine alabaster cities gleam Undimmed by human tears!  America! America!  God shed his grace on thee and crown thy good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea!  -- Katharine Lee Bates


Today we celebrate Veteran’s Day when we honor all the men and women who have served or are serving our country.  Each year there are parades, special discounts in stores and restaurants for vets and people expressing their gratitude for all who served.  As I prayed today I found myself expressing gratitude for the men and women in my own family who have served.  I was thinking about the many songs associated with veteran’s.  The song that came to mind was America the Beautiful.  As I reflected on the words of the song I was struck with the overwhelming sentiment in it.  May we take time today to thank all of those who have served and pray for the families of those who did not return and those still unaccounted for.  Let us always be grateful and may God bless the United States of America.

Pat Schifini, OSU

Monday, November 6, 2017

Kindness

On a Sabbath Jesus went to dine at the home of one of the leading Pharisees.  He said to the host who invited him, "When you hold a lunch or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or sisters or your relatives or your wealthy neighbors, in case they may invite you back and you have repayment.  Rather, when you hold a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind; blessed indeed will you be because of their inability to repay you.  For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous."  Luke 14: 12 - 14


This reading always reminds me of how we should act toward one another.  We so often rush through the day busily anticipating the next activity or call that needs to be returned and we forget those little acts of kindness that we are called to do.  It is the seemingly simple things life holding the door for someone to walk through, letting a car pull out in front of us, saying hello to someone passing by or giving someone a dollar to put toward a meal or coffee.  Whatever the action isn’t it better to try to be kind than to get caught up in the competition of our world.  Jesus says that we will find our reward at the end of time, but I believe we find our reward each and every day by practicing random acts of kindness.  If we all try to do the little things with great love then the big things won’t bother us so much will they.

Pat Schifini, OSU

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Mindfulness

On a Sabbath Jesus went to dine at the home of one of the leading Pharisees, and the people there were observing him carefully. He told a parable to those who had been invited, noticing how they were choosing the places of honor at the table.  "When you are invited by someone to a wedding banquet, do not recline at table in the place of honor.  A more distinguished guest than you may have been invited by him, and the host who invited both of you may approach you and say, 'Give your place to this man,' and then you would proceed with embarrassment to take the lowest place.  Rather, when you are invited, go and take the lowest place so that when the host comes to you he may say, 'My friend, move up to a higher position.' Then you will enjoy the esteem of your companions at the table.  For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted."  Luke 14: 1, 7 – 11


When I prayed using this Gospel passage I was struck by the image of the exalted place at the table.  As I pondered the image of the last time I was at a celebratory dinner I was replaying in my mind how I chose my seat.  In choosing my seat I was conscious of trying not to have my back to anyone when the host would be speaking.  It struck me that this Gospel is less about choosing a seat than mindfulness.  We are called to be mindful of others in all areas of our lives.  When we are mindful we act out of a disposition of thoughtfulness rather than self-centeredness.  We think about others more than we think about ourselves and our own comfort level.  As we go through our day today let us try to be mindful of one another and put the needs of others before our own.  Happy Saturday!

Pat Schifini, OSU

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Feast of St. Ursula

On October 21st we celebrate the feast day of St. Ursula, a holy woman and venerated martyr shrouded in mystery. According to legend she was a 4th century princess from Britain who wanted to dedicate her life to God.  She did not want to embrace the arranged marriage that her father had arranged.  Ursula pleaded with him to make a pilgrimage, she set off and was martyred by the Huns in Cologne, Germany.   St. Angela chose Ursula to be the patroness of the Ursuline Order as she was one of her favorite saints.  Ursula’s life is shrouded in legend and it is uncertain if she truly existed.  Whether she is a myth or real we honor her this day as we pray…


Good and gracious God, you have given us Ursula and her Companions, women whose firm belief in Jesus Christ led them to a martyr’s death.  In remembering them may we be empowered by your Spirit to live with singleness of mind and heart as we strive to witness to your presence in our world today.  We ask this through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.  Happy Feast of St. Ursula to all!

Pat Schifini, OSU



Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Feast of St. Luke

The Lord Jesus appointed seventy-two disciples whom he sent ahead of him in pairs
to every town and place he intended to visit.  He said to them, "The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few;
so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.  Go on your way; behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves.  Carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals; and greet no one along the way.  Into whatever house you enter, first say, 'Peace to this household.'  If a peaceful person lives there, your peace will rest on him; but if not, it will return to you.  Stay in the same house and eat and drink what is offered to you, for the laborer deserves payment.  Do not move about from one house to another.  Whatever town you enter and they welcome you, eat what is set before you, cure the sick in it and say to them, 'The Kingdom of God is at hand for you.”  Luke 10: 1 – 9


Today we celebrate the Feast of St. Luke.  Luke was one of the four evangelists and wrote the Acts of the Apostles.  In these two books, he shows the parallel between the life of Christ and that of the Church.  He was a Gentile Christian and was said to be a physician.  Luke was a companion of St. Paul and had a unique writing style.  He frequently wrote about mercy, the poor, women, justice and compassion.  Luke had a warmth in his writings which set him apart from the other synoptic Gospels.  St. Luke is the patron Saint of:  Artists/Painters, Brewers, Butchers, Notaries, Physicians/Surgeons.  St. Luke has so much to offer us.  As we pray this day may we pray for the gift of peace and the ability to share that gift with others.

Pat Schifini, OSU

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Be At Peace

Brothers and sisters:  Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God.  Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.  Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.  Keep on doing what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me.  Then the God of peace will be with you.  (Philippians 4: 4-6)


Today’s second reading invites us to embrace the peace of God.  We are called to be at peace.  When we are at peace the ordinary problems of life don’t impact us the same way.  We are calmer, less anxious and ready to take on anything that comes our way.  Each morning many of us take vitamins to keep our bodies healthy.  Perhaps today is a good day to take an extra dose of Scripture.  Take some time with the above reading and allow you mind and heart to be filled with the love and peace of our God.   Remember God’s abundant love for you as you give your soul some rest.  Our loving God is always with you for God loves you more than you can ask for or imagine.  Let the peace of God dwell in your heart and let go of all anxiety, fear and concern!

Pat Schifini, OSU

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Seeing is Believing

Herod the tetrarch heard about all that was happening, and he was greatly perplexed because some were saying, "John has been raised from the dead"; others were saying, "Elijah has appeared"; still others, "One of the ancient prophets has arisen."  But Herod said, "John I beheaded.  Who then is this about whom I hear such things?"  And he kept trying to see him.  Luke 9:7-9


In today’s Gospel, we read the story of Herod who wanted to see Jesus.  He kept looking for him not to get rid of him but to understand him better.  Many times, in life we are faced with the same issues.  We want to see Jesus but are not always sure of how to find him.  When I was in the sixth grade I remember getting glasses for the very first time and did not realize how much I had been missing until I put them on.  After wearing them for a short time I could see with a new perspective.  When we are searching for Jesus we need to be open to seeing him in all places and in all people.  Jesus promises to be with us always.  This does not mean only on the good days or when I am in a good mood.  Each day we are called on to put on Christ and to remember that he will always guide us along the journey of life.

Pat Schifini, OSU