Sunday, March 31, 2013
Saturday, March 30, 2013
Tonight Christians all over the world celebrate the Easter Vigil! It is a solemn Vigil with much ceremony and solemnity. We begin in darkness symbolic of what our life would be like without the presence of Jesus in it and after the readings from the Old Testament we sing the Gloria with bells and great joy. The Gospel for this night comes from St. Luke. It is the story of Easter morning when the women went to the tomb of Jesus to anoint his body. When they arrived at the tomb it was empty and two men in dazzling garments greeted them. They asked, "Why are you seek the living among the dead?"
He is not here he has been raised. The women then carried the message to the disciples who didn't believe them. Peter ran to the tomb to see for himself and was amazed at the sight.
I love the image of the women being the ones to go to the tomb and bring the message to the others. As we rejoice in Jesus' resurrection let us remember to bring the message to all people with great joy.
Sr. Pat Schifini, OSU
Friday, March 29, 2013
Good Friday has always been a perplexing day for me. I always remember asking the question, "Why do we call it "Good?" It became a little clearer for me when I was praying this morning and read the following poem of St. Teresa of Avila, a mystic, religious reformer and the first woman named a Doctor of the Church. In her poem "The Way of the Cross" she writes that "Within the cross is life and consolation. It alone is the road leading to heaven." Her poem goes on but it was this first stanza that struck me. As I prayed with it I was struck by the images that came to mind as I pondered and reflected. I thought of the physical cross which would have begun as a tree and was later fashioned by human hands into a tool to inflict a horrible death. I was also struck by the beauty of this day. The sun was glorious and shining brightly and it was very quiet outdoors. Walking in my favorite park there were many people outside many in a reflective stance. I found this quite to be an important element for today. When I was at our service this afternoon I was asked to be the voice in the reading of the Passion which gave me the sense of greater involvement. Perhaps each of these experiences will help to answer my initial question. In the meantime I wait, ponder and pray over the events of this "Good" Friday.
Sr. Pat Schifini, OSU
Thursday, March 28, 2013
Today we celebrate Holy Thursday the beginning of the sacred Triduum. Christians all around the world today gathered to celebrate the Mass of the Lord's Supper. At this reenactment of the Passover Meal we recall that Jesus washed the feet of his disciples -- his friends. Tonight I participated in the washing of the feet in our local parish. I was one of the twelve people asked to have their foot washed. I was struck by the group eleven women and one man. There was a young couple who will be married in June, a member of the Parish Council, one of the altar servers, her mother and several other women who are active members of the parish and a seven year old girl who will make her first Communion in April. The one who struck me the most was the seven year old, Lacey, whose mother died in January after a battle with cancer. She was so happy to be a part of the foot washing and her family was very proud too. The experience for me was a humbling one and one I will need to keep reflecting on during this sacred time. May this night bring peace and comfort to all!
Sr. Pat Schifini, OSU
Sunday, March 24, 2013
Today is Palm Sunday and let us try to live the following words:
… we too welcomed Jesus; we too expressed our joy at accompanying him, at knowing him to be close, present in us and among us as a friend, a brother, and also as a King: that is, a shining beacon for our lives.
And here the first word that comes to mind is “joy!” Do not be men and women of sadness: a Christian can never be sad! Never give way to discouragement!
Ours is not a joy that comes from having many possessions, but from having encountered a Person: Jesus, from knowing that with him we are never alone, even at difficult moments, even when our life’s journey comes up against problems and obstacles that seem insurmountable, and there are so many of them!
We accompany, we follow Jesus, but above all we know that he accompanies us and carries us on his shoulders. This is our joy, this is the hope that we must bring to this world of ours.
Let us bring the joy of the faith to everyone!
- taken from Pope Francis' Palm Sunday Homily
My new mantras
- Bringing up the joy of the faith to everyone.
- Never give way to discouragement.
Saturday, March 16, 2013
Friday, March 8, 2013
I received the following prayer from one of our sisters, Sr. Maureen Welch, osu who is the Assistant Director for the Partnership for Global Justice at the United Nations.
Today, March 8th is International Women's Day.
Please join us in praying the following:
Praise Women Leaders for International Women’s Day
by Diann L. Neu
Praise to you, women leaders of the seven continents, for your many works of justice.
Praise to you, women leaders of Asia, for confronting trafficking of women.
Praise to you, women leaders of Africa, for raising your voices to stop AIDS.
Praise to you, women leaders of Europe, for your peacekeeping.
Praise to you, women leaders of North America, for confronting economic inequities and racism.
Praise to you, women leaders of South America, for struggling against U.S. domination of your land.
Praise to you, women leaders in Antarctica, for your scientific research.
Praise to you, women leaders of Australia, for supporting indigenous cultures.
© Diann L. Neu, firstname.lastname@example.org,
cofounder and codirector of WATER, the Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual
"There is one universal truth, applicable to all countries, cultures and communities: violence against women is never acceptable, never excusable, never tolerable.
- United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon