Sunday, July 3, 2022

July 4th

Tomorrow we celebrate the 4th of July.  For many this means barbecues, getting together, and being with family and friends.  Let us pray for our nation this day and every day.

God, source of all freedom,

this day is bright with the memory

of those who declared that life and liberty

are your gift to every human being.

Help us to continue a good work begun long ago.

Make our vision clear and our will strong:

that only in human solidarity will we find liberty,

and justice only in the honor that belongs

to every life on earth.

Turn our hearts toward the family of nations:

to understand the ways of others,

to offer friendship,

and to find safety only in the common good of all.

We ask this through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 

Prayer taken from the Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers, Revised Edition, copyright © 2007, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. 



Sunday, June 26, 2022

Summer Time

 

On June 21st we celebrated the summer solstice.  In honor of this day let us reflect on how to enjoy these summer days.

In Summer Time  Paul Laurence Dunbar - 1872-1906

When summer time has come, and all

The world is in the magic thrall

Of perfumed airs that lull each sense

To fits of drowsy indolence;

When skies are deepest blue above,

And flow'rs aflush,—then most I love

To start, while early dews are damp,

And wend my way in woodland tramp

Where forests rustle, tree on tree,

And sing their silent songs to me;

Where pathways meet and pathways part,—

To walk with Nature heart by heart,

Till wearied out at last I lie

Where some sweet stream steals singing by

A mossy bank; where violets vie

In color with the summer sky,—

Or take my rod and line and hook,

And wander to some darkling brook,

Where all day long the willows dream,

And idly droop to kiss the stream,

And there to loll from morn till night—

Unheeding nibble, run, or bite—

Just for the joy of being there

And drinking in the summer air,

The summer sounds, and summer sights,

That set a restless mind to rights

When grief and pain and raging doubt

Of men and creeds have worn it out;

The birds' song and the water's drone,

The humming bee's low monotone,

The murmur of the passing breeze,

And all the sounds akin to these,

That make a man in summertime

Feel only fit for rest and rhyme.

Joy springs all radiant in my breast;

Though pauper poor, than king more blest,

The tide beats in my soul so strong

That happiness breaks forth in song,

And rings aloud the welkin blue

With all the songs I ever knew.

O time of rapture! time of song!

How swiftly glide thy days along

Adown the current of the years,

Above the rocks of grief and tears!

'Tis wealth enough of joy for me

In summertime to simply be.

 

This poem is in the public domain


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Sunday, June 19, 2022

Feast of Corpus Christi

 

 

Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of the Lord, also known as Corpus Christi, marking the commemoration of the Real Presence of the Lord in the Eucharist. Today we commemorate the Lord truly present in the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, which we partake and consume during every celebration of the Holy Mass. As Christians, we all firmly believe that the Eucharist we partake and receive in the Holy Mass is none other than the Most Holy and Precious Body and Blood of Our Lord Himself.

Our readings from today’s Liturgy show us how present our Lord is to us. In the first reading we hear about the priest Melchizedek blessing Abram. The psalm also sings “You are a priest forever, in the line of Melchizedek.”. In the second reading, Paul reminds us of the words of institution of the Eucharist from the Last Supper. In the gospel, Jesus feeds the five thousand after breaking the bread and blessing it.

As we reflect on the readings of this day let us take time to reflect on what the Eucharist means?




Sunday, June 12, 2022

Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity

 

Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity.  This feast invites us to consider what we believe about God, who has revealed himself to us in the Trinity—one God in three persons.  I remember when I first learned about the Trinity, my teacher used the image of the shamrock to explain it to our class.  It is said Saint Patrick used the three leaved Shamrock to explain the concept of the Holy Trinity, (the Father, Son and Holy Spirit), to the pagan Irish during the 5th Century.  Years later I used the same image to teach my students the same concept.  Somehow it seemed so much easier using the shamrock to teach the doctrine of the Trinity.

One of my favorite icons is that of Rublev.  This icon takes as its subject the mysterious story where Abraham receives three visitors as he camps by the oak of Mamre. He serves them a meal. As the conversation progresses, he seems to be talking straight to God, as if these 'angels' were in some way a metaphor for the three persons of the Trinity. In Rublev's representation of the scene, the three gold-winged figures are seated around a white table on which a golden, chalice-like bowl contains a roasted lamb.  In the background of the picture, a house can be seen at the top left and a tree in the center. Less distinctly, a rocky hill lies in the upper right corner. The composition is a great circle around the table, focusing the attention on the chalice bowl at the center, which reminds the viewer inescapably of an altar at Communion.

Let us take some time today to reflect on how we first learned about the Trinity.  Whether it was using a shamrock, a song, or even an icon let us embrace the Trinity and remember that we are invited to celebrate and believe.




Sunday, June 5, 2022

Pentecost Sunday

 

This Sunday we celebrate the feast of Pentecost. On Pentecost, we celebrate the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles gathered full of fear in the upper room in Jerusalem. This marks the beginning of the Church. 

“Peace be with you,” is the greeting Jesus had for the disciples.  Fifty days after Passover, the disciples are gathered in the upper room.  They believed in Jesus’ promise to always be with them and had faith that Jesus would send the Holy Spirit.  In all that they believed they trusted in Jesus’ ways.  God claims us as His own.  The Holy Spirit is our helper, our guide, our advocate, and we will not face this life alone.  We are called to go forth and witness to what God has called us to.  Called to carry the Holy Spirit’s flame be that fire of God’s love.

One of my favorite songs this day is Dan Schutte’s "Send Us Your Spirit."  The words of this song speak deeply to my heart.  I share them here for your reflection as well as a link to a YouTube for your listening pleasure.  May this Pentecost fill our hearts with love, peace, and hope.

Send Us Your Spirit

Send us your Spirit, O Lord

Evening enfolds us and holds us too near

Wake the morning light; make our living bright

Shine on our darkness, O Lord

 

Teach us your wisdom, O Lord

Shadows have clouded, have crowded our sight

Give us hearts that see. Set our loving free

Hear us and help us, O Lord

 

Send us good summer, O Lord

Winters have chilled us, have stilled us too long

Give us love’s own fire. Be our true desire

Send us your Spirit, O Lord.



Monday, May 30, 2022

Memorial Day

Today we commemorate Memorial Day. Memorial Day is an American holiday, observed on the last Monday of May, honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Let us pray this day for all who paid the ultimate price for our freedom.

With Gratitude and Honor

Gracious God, on this Memorial Day weekend, we remember and give thanks for those who have given their lives in the service of our country. When the need was greatest, they stepped forward and did their duty to defend the freedoms that we enjoy, and to win the same for others. O God, you yourself have taught us that no love is greater than that which gives itself for another. These honored dead gave the most precious gift they had, life itself, for loved ones and neighbors, for comrades and country – and for us. 

Help us to honor their memory by caring for the family members they have left behind, by ensuring that their wounded comrades are properly cared for, by being watchful caretakers of the freedoms for which they gave their lives, and by demanding that no other young men and women follow them to a soldier’s grave unless the reason is worthy, and the cause is just. Holy One, help us to remember that freedom is not free. There are times when its cost is, indeed, dear. Never let us forget those who paid so terrible a price to ensure that freedom would be our legacy. Though their names may fade with the passing of generations, may we never forget what they have done. Help us to be worthy of their sacrifice, O God, help us to be worthy. J. Veltri, SJ











Sunday, May 29, 2022

Hymn for the Hurting

 

Hymn for the Hurting

Credit...Angie Wang

Ms. Gorman is a poet and the author of “The Hill We Climb,” “Call Us What We Carry” and “Change Sings.


Everything hurts,

Our hearts shadowed and strange,

Minds made muddied and mute.

We carry tragedy, terrifying and true.

And yet none of it is new;

We knew it as home,

As horror,

As heritage.

Even our children

Cannot be children,

Cannot be.

Everything hurts.

It’s a hard time to be alive,

And even harder to stay that way.

We’re burdened to live out these days,

While at the same time, blessed to outlive them.

This alarm is how we know

We must be altered —

That we must differ or die,

That we must triumph or try.

Thus while hate cannot be terminated,

It can be transformed

Into a love that lets us live.

May we not just grieve, but give:

May we not just ache, but act;

May our signed right to bear arms

Never blind our sight from shared harm;

May we choose our children over chaos.

May another innocent never be lost.

Maybe everything hurts,

Our hearts shadowed & strange.

But only when everything hurts

May everything change.