Monday, May 25, 2015

The Peace of Christ completest the Paschal Mystery

I go to Mass everyday so I was interested to read an article on BBC News bbc.com/news/magazine-32849125, called "What I learned from 46 consecutive days in Church". While he had a very good experience, one thing he mentioned was that about a third of the homilies were very good, another third were so-so and the rest;  not so good. I found this to be true so I often supplement  by listening or reading to really good homilies online.

Listening to the Sunday homily on Wordonfire.org with Fr. Robert Barron is always excellent.
Another good source is this site of the Dominican Friars of Englan & Scotland.  torch.op.org. These Dominicans really live their name "Order of Preachers".

The homily for Pentecost Sunday is a wonderful example of how powerful and inspiring these homilies are.
http://torch.op.org/torch/the-peace-of-christ-completest-the-paschal-mystery

Monday, November 24, 2014

What if we did?


All Christians and “not just the few” are called to intensify their missionary spirit and go out to proclaim the joy of the Gospel, said Pope Francis this past weekend in an address to Italy’s National Missionary Congress .
http://www.news.va/en/news/pope-all-christians-called-to-be-missionaries-not

Pope Francis reminds us of the call to be missionary which is the responsibility of every baptized christian. 
Our founder Fr. Judge was of the same mindset as Pope Francis. In the original 1930 draft of the MSBT Constitution he said, "Missionary Servants should be so filled with the holy fire that they will communicate it to all those who come in contact with them. Their wish and prayer should be that these (people) become a power for good. To encourage this zeal let them realize that the greatest help a Missionary Servant can offer (to the Church) is the help of spiritually trained Lay Apostles. They will try to realize the power of the faithful for good."
To effect this, Missionary Servants will induce those coming under their influence to pray to the Holy Spirit for His Gifts and Fruits, Wisdom and Fortitude especially, and encourage them to some work of charity or zeal. 
 There is so much need for people to be apostles in their daily life. The good news of the Lord Jesus Christ need to be shared through the lives of those who live vibrantly the call of the Gospel.

What if we did intensify our missionary spirit and proclaim the joy of the Gospel?
What would it look like if we put into regular practice the call laid out in yesterday's reading from the Gospel of Matthew: 

Come, you who are blessed by my Father. 
Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 
For I was hungry and you gave me food,
I was thirsty and you gave me drink,
a stranger and you welcomed me,
naked and you clothed me,
ill and you cared for me,

in prison and you visited me.
            

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Back to Work

So I had most off the past year off. I went on Sabbatical for 10 months! One month was spent in moving and spending some time with family. For three months I lived in a cabin on top of a mountain in Spencer, West Virginia at Franciscan Appalachian Hermitage. Solitude, access to a lovely chapel and daily Mass. Thanks to Sr. Jeanne,  Cathy and the wonderful people of Holy Redeemer Catholic Church, Spencer I had an unforgettable experience of prayer, peace and rest.
Walking along Colt Run

November Scene

The cabin at the top of the mountain.



The second part of the sabbatical I spend in San Jose Costa Rica at the Trinity Missions Seminary with the Seminarians and the staff of Fathers Edgar Solano, ST, Fr. Carlos Zacharias, ST, Martha Vega, MCA and Cecila and Sandra. Again I was the happy recepient of generous hospitality. 
I was most fortunate in attending a program in Spanish at a great school called Intensa.
My Profesora Mireya Castro was excellent. She tortured me daily with verb tenses and direct and indirect pronouns. Now that I am in Mexico City I realize what a fantastic teacher she is! The staff at the school too, were most helpful. I would recommend this program to anyone wishing to study Spanish at whatever level.







Above are three photos from Costa Rica, the first of some of the Missionary Cenacle Apostlate members, the seminarians and one of the ST priests Fr. Jaime Serrano. Second is the view from the third floor porch where my room was located. And the third a beach scene at Puerto Jimenez.
As I begin my new mission in Mexico City on the MSBT Vocation Formation Team I know I have so much for which to be grateful to the Triune God!


Saturday, June 29, 2013

Stuff

I'm moving soon. After 10 years of serving on the MSBT General Council I'm in transition towards a new ministry. But first I have to pack.

I have accumulated a lot of stuff. I commented to some sisters the other day that when I entered I had one suitcase and one garment bag! Actually most of my stuff isn't clothes. It's stuff like books, knickknacks, cds, religious pictures and statues and souvenirs given to me from various places. I'm not taking it all with me! I sure don't need it. So I'm doing the three pile decision process: a pile for giving away, a pile for trash and a pile to keep. The last will be the smallest.

Having to move every so often is a gift. I have only one room to keep stuff, a vow of poverty and a low personal budget. These are great helps in keeping the amount of stuff I have low. It's good to think and pray about material things now and then.
Living in a first world country with a first class education chances are good that I'll have what I need; in fact more than I need. I came across this website which is another good reason to live more simply.

http://www.storyofstuff.org/movies-all/story-of-stuff/





Saturday, May 11, 2013

Go Out and Tell the Good News

My or our community evolved from a group of laity, who were gathered together by Fr. Thomas Judge CM.
His big concern was the people who were Catholic, but were in the pews on Sunday, who weren't receiving the Sacraments, who were losing the faith.
So no matter what we do, be it social worker, pastoral ministry, religious education or retreat work, that concern for those, at risk of losing their faith, is of great concern.
So the Church's thrust for New Evangelization dovetails with our charism to work for the preservation of the faith.

Pope Francis' recent themes on Missionary Spirit and Evangelization say more clearly than I can, the path we Catholics need to follow in the work of sharing the good news of Jesus Christ. Here's a couple of link's to the Pope's recent words that I find very inspiring; on evangelization:
http://www.news.va/en/news/pope-francis-at-wednesday-mass-build-bridges-not-w
and on being a missionary:
http://www.news.va/en/news/pope-francis-homily-be-filled-with-an-evangelical

We are in the time of the Novena to the Holy Spirit as Pentecost is May 19th.
Here's our Novena: http://msbt.org/pages/aboutus/pdf/HolySpiritNovenas.pdf


Sunday, April 7, 2013

Betrayal


One of the Twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, “What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?” They paid him thirty pieces of silver, and from that time on he looked for an opportunity to hand him over. Matt. 26:14

I'm so used to the Readings of Holy Week, but this year the theme of betrayal leapt out at me. Jesus was betrayed by Judas, by Peter and the other Apostles who took off, who left Him to face His accusers alone.  Only John and the ever faithful women stood by Him. 

Jesus was able to forgive. Perhaps even Judas was forgiven. Our God is a God of mercy.

Most of us have experienced betrayal of some sort. In my very blessed life I have not experienced too much of it.

But I know that I have been betrayed by the action or inaction those within the Church ; Bishops, Priests, Cardinals who took the easy road in response to knowledge of the abuse of children. We the people of the Church have been betrayed.
I was not abused. But sadly members of my family were. My innocent, trusting attitude towards the hierarchy was destroyed.

I've worked with survivors of incest and I know well how very difficult the road to healing can be. It's amazing that some can even forgive. Recovering trust is so very difficult. The effects of being abused are widespread. Relationships are  particularly impacted by the struggle to trust. 

I believe the effects of the abuse scandal on the Church is like that. The betrayal of trust is hard to overcome. Some people have left the Church as they cannot reconcile the behavior of some priests and bishops with the practice of faith. One man I know cannot get over the fact that the same man who consecrated the host would molest and rape a child. For me the choice of bishops to act with expedience over the choice to protect children is horrifying.
Certain experiences, that may seem unrelated can bring back the feelings of hurt, anger and humiliation. 

I wonder about those who have left the Church, who no longer show up for Mass nor participate in their parishes. Has anyone bothered to notice that they are gone? I know people (family members) who were in Church every Sunday, who financially supported the Parish and participated as teachers of Religious Education. When people like this leave and there's no response and seemingly no care to even ask why, then there is something wrong with that Parish and others like it. This is a big flaw with the Church; that people can leave and no one cares enough to go after them. 


There has got to be a better way to be Church.


I pray that we of the Church can heal, can reconcile and reach out to those who are betrayed. I pray that somehow our new Pope Francis can lead us & renew our Church. 


Sunday, February 3, 2013

Love

Today the readings for Mass include the Letter to the Corinthians with the beautiful reading on love, 1 Cor 12: 31 - 1 Cor 4:13.

If you've ever been to a Christian wedding you've probably heard it. It reads beautifully. It is very hard to live out.

Today as I read it my mind kept going to the recent disillusioning story of Cardinal Mahoney and his role in keeping secret the actions of some abusive priests in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

I know that God is love and the life of Jesus was an outpouring of this love. I know to that we must not judge. But  the actions of some Church authorities in relation to the sexual abuse and rape of children are so contrary to the teachings and actions of Jesus that I have to express my sadness and disappointment.

My heart is broken again. My first realization of this type of approach to the abuse of children by priests was in 1995. The experience was like the death of a loved one. But you don't stop loving even when betrayed. One can work against this evil while within the Church. The most incredible witness I've experienced to an active love of Christ and the Church is among parents of abused children who continue to be practicing Catholics in spite of such a horrible experience. They are able to separate out the evil actions of flawed, sick people from what is essential to their faith. They have even gotten involved in helping others to heal from such experiences and in challenging Church authorities to act with integrity and to afford no tolerance to such behavior.

I listened this morning to Fr. Robert Barron sermon on Corinthians (Word on Fire). He says, quoting Thomas Aquinas "to love is to will the good of the other".

Living as a Catholic Sister means that my life needs to be centered in Christ and in the Catholic Church.  

":It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things."
I hope and pray that we in the Church can continue to struggle against the evil and expedient actions of some in the Church. May the Blessed Trinity help us.





Brothers and sisters: Strive eagerly for the greatest spiritual gifts.
But I shall show you a still more excellent way.
If I speak in human and angelic tongues, but do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal. And if I have the gift of prophecy, and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge;
if I have all faith so as to move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away everything I own, and if I hand my body over so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, it is not pompous, It is not inflated, it is not rude,
it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails. If there are prophecies, they will be brought to nothing; if tongues, they will cease; if knowledge, it will be brought to nothing.
For we know partially and we prophesy partially, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away.
When I was a child, I used to talk as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man, I put aside childish things. At present we see indistinctly, as in a mirror, but then face to face.
At present I know partially; then I shall know fully, as I am fully known. So faith, hope, love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love.