Saturday, December 12, 2009


Okay I started this at the time of Thanksgivining week and never did post it. It's never too late to say thanks.

Thanks be to Thee, O God, that I have risen today,To the rising of this life itself;May it be to Thine own glory, O God of every gift and to the glory of my soul likewise.
Celtic prayer 

When I give thanks to God it's usually for the good people, events and things of my life. I know I have a superabundance in my life. My list for thanksgiving is a mile long.

The truth is that I have likely profited as much or more from the events and things in my life that I may have viewed as negative or at least not what I would have chosen. 
The tough things; times of grief, loneliness, pain and ill health have opened me up to God's love and helped me to be more compassionate towards others.
I don't know that I can greet every circumstance with faith, trust and acceptance like Job.

         "The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away.
         Blessed be the name of the LORD." 

But I do know my life is not mine but a gift from God. I hope for the grace to always know this.


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Missionary Zeal

I'm really happy at the news of Fr. Damien now St. Damien. As a little girl I read biographies about anyone and everyone and I remember being so impressed by the life of sacrifice and zeal led by Fr. Damien. I had little knowledge of what leprosy or Hansen's disease was about but it was not something I would want to mess with and I thought he was a true follower of Jesus.

In preparing prayers for some meetings later this month I've came across this writing of Fr. Judge,

What are we going to do this coming year... to show a good and thankful heart to Him whence every good gift comes? The answer must be individual and personal. It may work around our practice, it may bring us out of bed more promptly in the morning. It may make us more zealous in our morning prayer and meditation, it may make us more alert and Eucharistic in the chapel and at the altar... It may increase fraternal charity in our relations with one another. It may show us more zealous and urge us to strive for a better knowledge of the value of the human soul and make us forget ourselves that we may think more of God and do more for His honor and glory.

I was thinking about St. Damien and the North American martyrs, Jesuits who flung their lives into the mission to the Native Americans & Canadians. Their lives were full of missionary zeal and it it makes me wonder about following Christ as a missionary today, am I flinging my life gladly into the service of God and the Church?

In visiting our Sisters I see ample evidence of the virtue of missionary zeal. I'm visiting one of our Cenacles now where four sisters live a life which may not seem as romantic and cool as going off to wild, dangerous place but in fact they steadily follow a pattern of daily service and prayer in order to build up the faith of the people they serve. Each one serves in a different ministry from adult faith formation to social service ministry to the Latino population but in each I see a spending of self in the service of God.

Their generous service and joyful attitude gives glory to the Triune God and surely is a spur to my living of our life as a Missionary Servant of the Most Blessed Trinity.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

A good missionary = a good listener.

“The Missionary is one who goes out-“Go into the whole world “ That going out, that gathering, is the work of the missionary and that is the difficult part. It is not difficult to get teachers, but it is difficult to get missionaries. Why? Because there is the exhaust of self, because there must be more sacrifice of self. Our spirit demands a spirit of charity, and you understand what charity is-love of God and your neighbor.” Thomas A. Judge, CM

A missionary died this past week. Sr. Andrea Marie Stim of the Incarnation went home to God after a life spent for others.

I love our MSBT wakes as one hears a much fuller story of the person's life. At her wake I heard some of the following about Andrea:
Her father was a Byzantine priest
She met our Community when she, a Marywood college student, volunteered on the MSBT North Alabama missions during the summers.
She felt so called to become a missionary sister that she went through the rough process of transfering from the Byzantine Catholic rite to the Latin rite.
She was a good listener.
She loved her family and they loved her.
She was a social worker that through most of her life taught religion and did home visiting after hours.
She was a generous listener.
She had several bouts with serious illness and a near terminal accident in which she had her legs crushed between two trucks in NYC. She recovered from them all until the last bout with cancer.
She studied Spanish while at Catholic Charities in NYC and had a special love for the mostly Puerto Rican families she served.
She was a good listener who would not so much give you advice as to affirm your better thoughts and ideas, thus gently leading you in the better direction.
She always missed the ritual of the Byzantine rite and when she could often attended Mass in Byzantine Catholic Churches like St. Mary Catholic Church of the Byzantine Rite in NYC.

Hers was a life of going out for God to others. At one point someone made the comment "she was a good missionary but she was also a good listener too."
I wanted to get up and say, Hey! a good missionary = a good listener. Being able to be present to people and really, really listen to them in a way that lets them know they count, that they are children of God to whom its a privilege to listen, that is the key ingredient. In my humble opinion.
So Andrea, thanks for your patient, gentle listening and keep praying for us now that you're with the One who made you and loved you into being.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

A wise Latina

I'm really glad that the Senate has confirmed Sonia Sotomayor as a Supreme Court Justice. God bless her and may she be guided by the Holy Spirit as she uses her knowledge, education and experience to make decisions, write opinions and carry out all the other tasks of a Supreme Court Justice.

I don't know the new Justice Sotomayor except through the media, so I can't say if she is wise or not, but I have known quite a few "wise" Latinas. The phrase brings to mind my old friend Doña Juana. This wise woman lived in lower east side Manhattan. She survived on under $450.00 a month of Social Security. After years of poor factory pay this was her retirement fund. She considered herself blessed to have faith in God, family and friends and a project apartment.

She was a client of Catholic Charities mainly because she could not read or write much and needed a little help with forms from time to time. Compassionate and caring, She sent many people to Catholic Charities who needed our services. But for lack of education, Doña Juana would have made a fine Supreme Court Justice.
A few times I had the pleasure of accompanying her to appointments. As we walked through the streets Doña Juana would stop to greet many along the way. She seemed to be friends with people of a variety of backgrounds, colors and languages. At the same time she knew the parts of the neighborhood where one did not linger and knew the individuals who were violent of into dealing drugs. She was pretty shrewd.

Doña Juana is in heaven now. I'm sure she is proud that a Latina from NYC is a Supreme Court Justice. I'm just as proud of Doña Juana who despite her lack of advantage was a wise, caring
woman, rooted in her faith in God and love for her neighbor. Perhaps you can keep Justice Sotomayor in your prayers Doña Juana.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Michael Jackson, self acceptance and God's forgiving love

Last night at supper at our Motherhouse dining room I sat with a group of sisters who were wondering about all the Michael Jackson hype. It is a little much but his music did accompany us for four decades. I recall all the kids with whom I worked in the 80's moonwalking and wearing those red Michael Jackson jackets and skinny black pants.

I admit I watched one of the many programs about his life and all I can think of is the poor thing! He was proof that all the money, talent and fame in the world does not make one happy.
The semi-news program I watched detailed the number of plastic surgeries the guy had and I couldn't help thinking, what a waste of money, time and energy! To be so focused on yourself, your looks, your needs and wants makes you a prisoner of yourself. Too bad.

Well all that is over for him and now he is in the hands of our God who fills all our needs.
Now he knows that true beauty has nothing to do with looks, money, fame etc.
I hope he's at peace. Thanks for the music.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Blessed Trinity

When I entered the Missionary Servants of the Most Blessed Trinity I was most interested in the part of our Community name that spoke of being a Missionary and a Servant. The Most Blessed Trinity ... not so much.
In 12 years of Catholic school I learned the basics and more, so of course I knew about the Trinity. Catholics begin and end prayers with the sign of the Cross and the words,"In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
I also had to memorize the Baltimore Catechism which had this to say about the Trinity:
"In God there are three Divine Persons, really distinct, and equal in all things-the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. The Father is God and the first Person of the Blessed Trinity. The Son is God and the second Person of the Blessed Trinity. The Holy Ghost is God and the third Person of the Blessed Trinity.
The Blessed Trinity is one God in three Divine Persons. The three Divine Persons are one and the same God, having one and the same Divine nature.
All very true today and always but what difference does it make?

For me the Trinity is at the center of all good actions of all that is good in humans today.
Pope Benedict XVI sums it up:
Thus we see the "God of relation", thus in the final instance we see "creative Love. Everything comes from love, tends towards love and moves impelled by love, though naturally with differing degrees of awareness and

"The strongest proof that we are made in the image and likeness of the Trinity is this: only love can make us happy, because we live in relation to others, we live to love and to be loved. Using an analogy taken from biology
we could say that the human beings carry in heir 'genomes' the profound traces of the Trinity, of God-Love", the Holy Father concluded.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Come Holy Spirit

In 1913 our religious family, the Missionary Cenacle Family, began a perpetual novena to the Holy Spirit. To this day there are always two or three groups of our sisters, our lay groups, or brothers and priests praying the Novena. During the nine days before Pentacost Sunday we all pray the Novena.

We offer the Novena for the following intentions:
  • for the spread of devotion to the Most Blessed Trinity, in a particular way to the Holy Spirit
  • for the spread of the knowledge of and devotion to the mystery of the Incarnation and all the mysteries of our Lord Jesus
  • to exalt in the holy name of Jesus
  • to console the heart of Jesus
  • for priests
  • for the success of the Ecumenical movement and for the coming of the reign of God among all God's people.
Here's a link to the Novena prayers:

Monday, April 13, 2009


Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went away quickly from the tomb,
fearful yet overjoyed,
and ran to announce the news to his disciples.
And behold, Jesus met them on their way and greeted them.
They approached, embraced his feet, and did him homage.
Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid.
Go tell my brothers to go to Galilee,
and there they will see me."

While they were going, some of the guard went into the city
and told the chief priests all that had happened.
The chief priests assembled with the elders and took counsel;
then they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers,
telling them, "You are to say,
'His disciples came by night and stole him while we were asleep.'
And if this gets to the ears of the governor,
we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble."
The soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed.
And this story has circulated among the Jews to the present day. Mt 28:8-15

If you were not risen,
Lord Christ, to whom would we go
to discover a radiance
of the face of God?

If you were not risen,
we would not be together
seeking your communion.
We would not find in your presence
wellspring of a new beginning.

If you were not risen,
where would we draw the energy
for following you
right to the end of our existence,
for choosing you again and anew?

Brother Roger of Taize

Friday, February 27, 2009

Lent, fasting and my neighbor

Here it is Lent; a time to deepen in our relationship with God.

I'm thinking more prayer, more quiet time to read scripture and meditate on it. Great!
Of course when you meditate on a passage like that of today's reading from Isaiah
it kind of ruins the concept of a nice, peaceful, meditative Lent that in which I can focus on me and God. Once again God pulls me out of myself.

Lo, on your fast day you carry out your own pursuits, and drive all your laborers.
Yes, your fast ends in quarreling and fighting, striking with wicked claw.
Would that today you might fast so as to make your voice heard on high!
Is this the manner of fasting I wish, of keeping a day of penance:
That a man bow his head like a reed and lie in sackcloth and ashes?

Do you call this a fast, a day acceptable to the LORD?
This, rather, is the fasting that I wish: releasing those bound unjustly,
untying the thongs of the yoke;
Setting free the oppressed,
breaking every yoke;
Sharing your bread with the hungry, sheltering the oppressed and the homeless;
Clothing the naked when you see them, and not turning your back on your own.
Then your light shall break forth like the dawn, and your wound shall quickly be healed;
Your vindication shall go before you, and the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard.
Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer, you shall cry for help, and he will say: Here I am! Isaiah 58