Wednesday, October 26, 2016


This morning while I was praying I was struck by today's reflection in Daily Word.  It reads:  "My faith in the Higher Power reassures and renews me -- mind, body, and spirit."  I take time each day to renew my spirit, knowing that the benefits will be blessings beyond measure.  I begin in the silence of prayer.  In the silence, I let go of outer distractions and focus on the spirit of God within.  God fills the silence with love and peace and contentment.

As the spirit of God surrounds me I remember that I am God's beloved child.  I welcome God's guidance and inspiration into my life.  Breathing in, breathing out, I concentrate on the beauty of God's spirit in me.  I am renewed in mind and spirit and I thank God for the wisdom and understanding I need to make good and right decisions.

"Be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and clothe yourself with the new self, created according to the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness."  Ephesians 4: 23 - 24.

May we always seek to make good and right decisions.

Pat Schifini, OSU

Friday, October 21, 2016

Feast of St. Ursula

Today we celebrate the Feast of St. Ursula.

The short version of Ursula’s story is that she was the daughter of a 4th century Christian king. At a young age she was drawn to dedicate her life to God and to remain a virgin. Later, a pagan king requested her hand in marriage, promising grave physical and political consequences should she refuse. Ursula came up with an alternate plan.  She made a voyage with her companions and was martyred in Cologne. 

Prayer to St. Ursula…

Woman - hero, we ask you to place before our God, the needs pressing on our spirits at this time.  Ursula, you were a woman of firm dedication, compassionate care, and a model of the search for truth.   We ask your prayers for us so that we are inspired by your courage and guided by your spirit of wise choices, now and always. Amen.

Pat Schifini, OSU

Saturday, October 15, 2016

St.Teresa of Avila

Today we celebrate the feast of St. Teresa of Avila. Teresa of Avila was a 16th century mystic whose life can still speak to us today. She lived during very turbulent times and this impacted her life greatly.

She was a woman of tremendous strength. She lived as a cloistered Carmelite nun, but was known for her outgoing personality, courage, warmth, and spirit as she worked to reform the Carmelite Order.  Teresa was a woman who was focused on God. She devoted much of her life to deep, contemplative prayer. Her book The Interior Castle is a classic that has inspired many to a richer prayer life.  She was a woman for others. She founded monasteries, traveled extensively, and wrote prayerfully.

Teresa’s life was not without struggle.  She lived in a family with a strict father and permissive mother.  At times she was caught in between the two and did not know where to turn.  It is her upbringing that shaped her into the woman we celebrate today.

In many ways we struggle with life issues too.  What is important is to keep trying to find that interior life of prayer which leads to peaceful balance.  May we always follow her example and stay connected to the great source of peace in our lives.

Pat Schifini, OSU

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

St. Francis of Assisi

Today we celebrate the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi.  This is a day when everyone recalls St. Francis’ love of all creation and God’s creatures.  Many places blessed animals over the weekend and some will do so today.  Let us always cherish the prayer that St. Francis left us and become true ambassadors of peace.

Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy.

O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love; For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; it is in dying that we are born again to eternal life.

Pat Schifini, OSU

Saturday, October 1, 2016

St. Therese of Liseux

Today we celebrate St. Thérèse of Lisieux who is one of the best known and best loved saints in the Church.  Her fame comes directly from her spirituality, often described as the little way of love.  She recognized her own weakness and inability to do great things in the world, so she did the greatest thing of all—she loved. St. Thérèse promised that she would spend her time in heaven doing good on earth.

Generations of Catholics have admired this young saint, called her the "Little Flower", and found in her short life more inspiration for their own lives than in volumes by theologians.  She was born in France in 1873 and was the youngest of the Martin daughters.  As a Carmelite she knew the meaning of suffering and sought to make sacrifices.  She died at the young age of 24, but she still inspires us to love in the humble circumstances of our daily lives.  Let us like St. Thérèse always seek to do good things for others.

Pat Schifini, OSU

Friday, September 23, 2016


I read the following when I was praying and it really resonated with me so I thought I would share it. We all need to reflect on peace and seek peace in all we do.  

Peace is not a word to thoughtlessly toss around. No, peace is the fruit of struggle. It is the child of effort and suffering. It springs from a life lived with and for others.

Pope Francis says peace grows out of brotherly and sisterly regard, He sees genuine concern for human well-being as its source.

God of nations, you have promised never to abandon humanity. Help us to see others through your eyes and to listen to the depth of their stories. Help us see the good in every person and to enjoy their gifts.

We want to strive for justice, make the world new and live as brothers and sisters. O God who has put this prayer in the human heart, hear us today, hear us now.

Pat Schifini, OSU

Sunday, September 18, 2016


Sometimes being away is a wonderful break from reality.  I had the pleasure of taking forty five high school juniors and seniors on their overnight retreat training program in Cresco, Pennsylvania.  It was a wonderful experience as the group came together to get to know each other and plan for the school’s retreat program.  They had group activities, individual reflection time, a camp fire, a high ropes course and the opportunity to go on the lake in a kayak or row boat.  To say the least they had a wonderful time and also accomplished a great deal.

Reality set in when I watched the news late last night and again this morning.  The incidents of violence are absolutely incredible.  Bombings, shootings, and stabbings were the lead stories today which lasted for about twenty minutes of the broadcast.  I was away with the students for not even thirty six hours and all that happened.  It leaves me to wonder what kind of world these young women have.  Let us renew our efforts to seek peace in all that we do and say!

Pat Schifini, OSU