Saturday, August 24, 2019

Come Rest by the Water


For the last few days there have been frequent posts about the last days of summer.  People are sad to see the hazy, hot days disappear yet are anticipating the cool, colorful days of fall.  Today I took a few hours to go over to the beach and sit by the water.  Someone posted on social media how the “beach is one place you can go and have your blood pressure drop even though there is salt.”  The beach is a place of beauty and calm for me.  I saw several butterflies, families enjoying time together, students worrying about their schedules, and those trying to stay out of the sun.  It was a beautiful day and a pure gift for me.  I was one of the first people to arrive and when I left the beach was mobbed with people.  It was so nice to be able to have some quiet time at the beach as it is one of my most favorite places to pray.  I find the image of the vast ocean a tremendous reminder of our God’s abundant love for each one of us.  At first the water looked like clear glass and the waves picked up later.  It was very relaxing and calm.  May these last lazy days of summer be filled with many blessings and much peace for all.



Thursday, August 22, 2019

Queenship of Mary


Today we celebrate the memorial of the Queenship of Mary.  This memorial has its roots in Scripture for at the Annunciation, the angel Gabriel announced that Mary’s Son would receive David’s throne and rule forever.  At her visitation to her cousin Elizabeth, Mary is called the “mother of my Lord.”  Her queenship is closely aligned to Jesus’ kingship.

Throughout history we have all sung songs in honor of Mary.  We have sung:  Hail Holy Queen, Lady of Knock, the Ave Maria and the Salve Regina, as well as many others.  Each of these hymns point to Mary’s place of honor in our lives.  Mary is the Mother of Jesus and is to be revered that way.  She is our advocate with Jesus in a very real way.  Mary has been called our Mediatrix with Jesus assuring us that she is always there for us.  May we take time today to spend some time with Mary, our Mother, who has always promised to be with us.




Monday, August 19, 2019

A Loving Invitation


A young man approached Jesus and said, "Teacher, what good must I do to gain eternal life?"  He answered him, "Why do you ask me about the good?  There is only One who is good.  If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments."  He asked him, "Which ones?"  And Jesus replied, "You shall not kill; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness; honor your father and your mother; and you shall love your neighbor as yourself."  The young man said to him, "All of these I have observed. What do I still lack?" Jesus said to him, "If you wish to be perfect, go, and sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven.  Then come, follow me."  When the young man heard this statement, he went away sad, for he had many possessions.  Matthew 16: 19 – 22

There are times when I find this Gospel passage very perplexing.  They young many rather innocently approaches Jesus and asks Him a question.  The answer he received was not the one I think he was expecting.  I think he expected Jesus to congratulate him on keeping the law and doing everything right.  But there was still more that Jesus was requiring.  I believe if Jesus were to come today and have this conversation with any of us I think He would ask us to put down our cell phones and listen with our hearts, put away our computers and focus on those we are with and to reach out and help those in need no matter who they are.  Jesus calls us to surrender all the things which block us from having a deeper relationship with Him.  In this deeper relationship all things will be taken care of.  The less we carry and cling to the easier it is to receive His invitation of unconditional love and grace.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Senseless Violence


In the last week we, as a nation, have heard the reports of 4 mass shootings.  The scenes were:

• El Paso, Texas

• Dayton, Ohio

• Southaven, Mississippi

• Gilroy, California

In these mass shootings some 34 people lost their lives and more than 50 were wounded.  These are men, women and children, our brothers and sisters who have been injured or murdered.  There is no common source other than the ability to purchase guns is too easy.  
A week bookended by violence has left residents shaken, frustrated and grieving.

These shootings took place at a festival in Northern California, a neighborhood Walmart in Mississippi, another Walmart on the border of Texas, New Mexico and Mexico, and a popular entertainment district in Dayton.  There have been 251 shootings this year alone.  Where will it end?  Innocent people are being killed or injured.

Pope Francis offered his condolences Sunday to the victims of the multiple mass shootings in the US.

At the Angelus noon prayer in Italy, Francis said the attacks affected “defenseless people,” and also extended his “spiritual closeness,” to the victims of the California attack that happened earlier this week.

I express my spiritual closeness to the victims of the episodes of violence that these days have bloodied Texas, California and Ohio, in the United States, affecting defenseless people,” he said. “I invite you to join in my prayer for those who have lost their lives, for the wounded and their families.”

Let us join in prayer for the victims of these shootings and help to make the changes necessary to stop the senseless violence.  Gun control is a Pro-Life issue. 

Saturday, August 3, 2019

40 Years of Music


Today I had the privilege of attending the closing concert of the Songcatchers Choir Camp Concert.  It was a wonderful celebration of the past forty years.  Some 40 years ago, Sr. Beth Dowd, had a dream of having a week long experience for her then children’s choir.  She believed that if they could go away for an intense program of music, arts & crafts, drama, sports and swimming they would learn music that they could use all year long.  The choir began with 33 campers and a staff of 15, today the choir and staff number well over 100 people.  Many of the first campers are counselors today.  It is a tribute to a dream that began some 40 years ago.  Today’s performance included songs and plays from the past camps.  It was very cleverly done and the overarching theme was that music unites all people.  The mission of Songcatchers remains “reaching for peace through music.”  Today’s performance mirrored that reality.  These talented young people will continue to make the world a better place by their presence and love for one another.  May we take every opportunity to be a force for unity, kindness, concern and peace.  It is by living this way that we continue to touch hearts and minds.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Convocation 2019


Today we await the arrival of the participants in the North American Ursuline Convocation entitled, “Angela’s Family:  Celebrating, Converging, Expanding.”  Ursuline Sisters, Ursuline Associates, Members of the Company and Colleagues will gather to explore and celebrate the special way of life that St. Angela has given to us.  We all know that God has blessed each one of us through the life and works of our beloved foundress.  St. Angela promised to, “Remain in our midst and encourage us to steadfastly continue the work we have begun.”  Surely Angela will be with us in St. Louis.

As we gather these days we will look at:  What does Angela’s charism mean to you personally?  How do you see Angela’s charism spreading in the next 10 years?  What would our planning process look like if Angela were sitting at this table with us?  These questions will be explored over the course of the next 4 days. 

When Angela’s family gathers together it is very much like a big family reunion.  Each time we gather there are new faces and a certain sadness about those who can no longer be with us.  The faces may have changed but the reality is we are still family we are there for one another and look forward to catching up with one another.  May these days of Convocation be richly blessed and may Angela be in our midst lending aid to our prayer.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Martha and Mary


Jesus entered a village where a woman whose name was Martha welcomed him.  She had a sister named Mary who sat beside the Lord at his feet listening to him speak. Martha, burdened with much serving, came to him and said, "Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving?  Tell her to help me."   The Lord said to her in reply, "Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things.  There is need of only one thing.   Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her."  Matthew 10:  38 – 42

In today’s Gospel we meet up with Martha and Mary, the sisters of Jesus’ friend Lazarus. This story always reminds me of the virtue of hospitality.  Mary sat at Jesus’ feet listening to every word He said.  Martha was busy with many things and was upset with her sister for not helping.  In this passage, Jesus tells Martha that Mary had chosen the better part.
As we live our daily lives how often do we take the stance of Mary?  How often do we respond like Martha?   

Living our lives calls for a certain balance between the reactions of Martha and the actions of Mary.  Our lives are often very busy and we need to take the time to respond like Mary.  We need to consciously set aside a certain amount of time to dedicate to our relationship with Jesus.  It is important to take time and allow Jesus to fill our hearts with His love.  Take time today to spend time with Jesus and have a conversation with Him.