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.