Wednesday, December 3, 2014

A New Day is Dawning

Wake up the world with good tidings of great joy!
How often have we joined with others in singing:
" Let us build the the City of God… may our tears be turned into dancing"
with conviction in our hearts that we are in this great work together!  When we sing our song in communion with others, it seems to break forth into an Act of Hope, as we proclaim:
"A New Day is dawning for all those who weep."

As we enter into a New Year in the cycle of our lives within the Church this Advent, Pope Francis invites the whole Church to see the light that religious life has been, continues to be and will be in this Christed world which is breaking through as this New Day is Dawning.

Pope Francis has written a letter to all members of religious communities inviting deep reflection on the prophetic role religious life will play in waking up the whole Church, as we move forward 50 years after the second Vatican Council.

"Dear Brothers and Sisters in Consecrated Life.
I am writing to you as the Successor of Peter, to whom the Lord entrusted the task of confirming his brothers and sisters in faith (Luke 22:32). But I am also writing to you as a brother who, like yourselves, is consecrated to God. 
Together let us thank the Father, who called us to follow Jesus by fully embracing the Gospel and serving the Church, and poured into our hearts the Holy Spirit, the source of our joy and our witness to God's love and mercy before the world".

Throughout the coming year we will reflect with you on the challenges of this letter.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Wisps of Glory

"I believe that each of us comes from the creator trailing wisps of glory"
Maya Angelou
Today is the feast of the Ascension. We celebrate the completion of Jesus' Resurrection appearances to those who came to know him during his human life on this earth. They had some graced time after Jesus' death. They experienced more about living on in his love by letting God's Love live on in them. It was time for Jesus to leave again. He gave his life away, returning to the glory of God, leaving us the capacity for sacred communion with him. He offered us the gift of community and commissioned us to be love to one another

In the next ten days we focus on the in-between time of opening ourselves to recognizing the presence  of the Holy Spirit in our lives, in our world.  Our vocation is to love.  This is every one's vocation.

We live in a world that has been impregnated through the centuries with compassion, creativity, renewal, and love ever ancient, ever new. Our capacity to love one another shows up in so many ways. We too are agents of the love which Jesus manifested and passed on to us.

"Live on on my love. As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you."

Today we are hearing about the passing of Maya Angelou, a woman whose life embraced and empowered so many through her presence and her writing. Her last words to us are a great message as we await another Pentecost.

"Listen to yourself and in that quietude you might hear the voice of God" 

May we all have the courage to listen and to follow the guidance of the Spirit of Love.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Dare to Doubt

During this Easter season our scripture readings
tell of the resurrection appearances of Jesus. After spending time with Doubting Thomas, I offer the following reflection.

Dear Thomas,
How grateful we are to you for your gift of doubt;
         for questioning appearances;
         for taking the time you needed with your grief.
Grief at the great disruption
            of your heart’s desire to be moving forward in life with your friend, Jesus.
Grief at his disappearance in such a bloody and brutal manner.

It appears that as you were longing for belonging,
Separated from the experience of your companions;
So was your Beloved One,
            The One you knew,
            Who knew you knew… knew you,
            Longing for you to know
            You were still known
And so a new invitation came to you:

Come, draw near, touch the place of my wounds.
Let go of anything that keeps you afraid.
Place your hand in my side and
Know me from the inside out, as I know you, still.

In to me, see.
Nothing has changed, except  everything.

As I have been transformed, so have you.

Believe in yourself.
Believe in me.
Believe in life.

I have known you from of old.
I know you now, and
I hold with you a future memory.

My life flows into you and through you
And through you into all you desire to be part of with me.

Dear Thomas,
Thank you for letting your doubt out.



Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Joseph Our Brother

Be transparent to others so they can see through you, the qualities of God.

Joseph, Our Brother

Joseph our brother, friend of the night,
In the midst of darkness, you lived from the light.
You journeyed within to uncover insight,
Trusting God and the angels to guide you in flight.
Today in the darkness throughout much of our land,
As we journey with neighbors, please take our hand.
May we recognize Christ within each person we meet,
Be it in newspaper, house or out on the street.
Break open our hearts to see and bring light,
Dear Joseph our brother, friend of the night.

This image of Joseph the Carpenter is from the artist Georges de La Tours and is displayed in the Louvre Museum in Paris. It reflects the light of God coming through the Christ Child reflecting on Joseph. 

I am the Light of the World.

You are the Light of the World.

We are the Light o the World.

We offer a Maxim for the Community of St. Joseph:

Be transparent to others so they can see through you, the qualities of God.

We offer a poem prayer to Joseph our Brother.

On this St. Joseph's Day, we celebrate with the Universal Church the first year anniversary of Pope Francis. 

May each of us shine our light this day and every day on our world so much in need of our lives.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Mysticism of Relationship

Mysticism of Relationship

Today is Valentine’s Day.  It is the heart of February.  Snow blankets much of our country. Our attention is focused on the young athletes of the world gathered in Sochi, Russia for the winter Olympics. Our hearts are broken open at the same time, as we witness the unimaginable suffering of millions of our brothers and sisters caught in the crossfires of war. Love is seeking us in every direction.
Speak to me of God
The mysticism inherent in our vocation continually presents us with the reality of God speaking to us through all things. The silent tree, the open sky and the moonlight are there to commune with everyone. These elements engage me in this mysticism of relationship. When I stop and enter the silence, I become aware of the love of brother tree, sister moon and beloved sky and their care for each and all of us.  In this presence I awaken to the expansion of the heart of compassion.

Last week, in the midst of a snowfall at Mont Marie, I went out at dusk to take in the beauty of the fresh fallen snow on the trees. It spoke to me of peace and shelter.

The Hearth of Community

After supper that evening I enjoyed the presence of a small group of us gathered around the table.  Maddie came up to share her plum pudding. In the shelter and comfort of community, conversation led to lingering.  The mysticism of relationship moves beyond time and space. So much journeying brings us back in close communion with one another. We become aware of the treasure we hold in these earthen vessels.

I left to visit the night sky and was gifted with a surprise. 
In the silence of winter's mystery, be still.
The gazebo in the courtyard glowed with the light from the sky, the color of which I know not the name. Perhaps the red has something to say of the suffering as well as the joy of knowing we are all connected in this mysticism of relationship.

Maxim 88 says: Be careful about the good use of time which is so precious, not losing a minute of it, devoting and offering it to God unreservedly with very pure and noble intentions.

Silent reflection is a good use of time. May we all find time to let God speak to us of ways to appreciate the pure and noble intentions of one another in this communion of life.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

We Journey

We are on our 2014 journey in time. It is January and we are in the bleak mid-winter. And what a winter it is. Temperatures dip below zero and rise the next day to 50 degrees. Snow, sleet, rain, wind, sunshine…white sky, gray sky, blue sky, fog and blinding light… black ice, pot holes, ruts and beauty galore… These elements accompany us on our journey. Or, do we accompany them?

Our maxim 63 counsels us:
Do not consider unfortunate events as obstacles but as aids, and cherish them, whatever they may be, as effects of the gentle and loving Providence of God. 

This maxim is part of grouping which counsel us to stop and notice our relationship with ourselves. It takes courage to notice our personal response to the unexpected. It takes patience to adjust to adaptations. Often it is only in retrospect that we are able to see the divine design in the events of our lives.

Today we are ever more conscious of how quickly things are changing. Nature seems to be affirming this for us. She is inviting us to see in new ways and to be in new ways. The unexpected seems to be the new normal. What grace do we need to ask for these days in order to move with the unexpected?

May each of us be open to receiving the effects of God’s gentle and loving providence in our lives each day.  May we share our stories as we accompany one another on this winter journey.