Monday, June 25, 2018
I once met an enthusiastic 6th grade religion teacher who prayed regularly to St. Paul. "Sister," she declared as she bought herself a new copy of her beloved Novena to St. Paul, "I taught religion to sixth graders for all my life. With St. Paul's help I was able to succeed!" I was delighted to see someone who was not in the Pauline Family so devoted to our Patron and spiritual Father.
Monday, April 23, 2018
In the USA I have not seen very many sheep mainly because I have not been to "sheep country." A yearly event where I come from is called the Canfield Fair which features farm animals,including lots of sheep and goats. Once when traveling from a diocesan event in San Angelo, Texas we stopped the car to take a closer look at a large flock of sheep. Something about our appearance spooked the animals. All of them began a mass movement away from us except for one curious lamb. Several months ago I was gifted with a trip to Ireland. Sheep are everywhere in the countryside. Our tour included a visit to a sheep farm with a demonstration of how a shepherd dog on his own could round up a flock and move them up a steep hill, and then back to their original corral. It was amusing to see how there was always one sheep sticking its head out of the mass of wooly neighbors to see what was going on. We ended our sheep farm tour with a sheep hearing demonstration. With a strong shepherd brandishing an electric shaver, two sheep lost their thick wool in five minutes! The sheep put up little resistance, partly due to the size of the burly fellow who sheared them. Now when the gospel of John mentions Jesus as Shepherd, I can picture a large sheepfold with several gates to keep to the sheep safe from marauders. Jesus called himself the Good Shepherd, and the gate which protects his sheep. "I know my sheep and mine know me," Jesus tells us. When I was in Italy for a course of study in 2003--2004 every school day we would pass a real shepherd with real sheep. The road we took was one of the boundaries of Rome, large power lines bordered the western side of the road we traveled. Even though we were still in the city, there was plenty of grass available. The flock of about a dozen sheep gathered around their shepherd. Sometimes they would be to our right near the powerlines, or they would be on a little hillside, or grazing close to large super market. Although he was part of a profession dating back millenia, our shepherd carried a cell phone and on rainy days he sported rubber boots and toted a huge black umbrella. Even in the 21st Century shepherds still keep watch over their flocks, and their sheep know the voice of their shepherd. How do we know the voice of our Shepherd? We can "hear" his voice when we listen to his gospel proclaimed in church, or over the media. When our universal Shepherd, the Pope, speaks, we can hear the advice of Jesus being filtered for our 21st century ears. When we read the Scripture, the Shepherd is speaking.
Thursday, April 12, 2018
Evangelization in the Modern World, reminded us that the driving force behind our evangelization efforts is the Holy Spirit. Anyone who wants to grow deeper in his or her faith will do so with the help of the Holy Spirit. Why not chose one per day of the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit to meditate on and ask the grace to practice that gift?
Tuesday, April 03, 2018
Happy Easter! Jesus Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Just as the Jews celebrate Passover for a week or 8 days, so we can say "Happy Easter" for seven weeks! The resurrection of Jesus is the pivotal truth of the Christian faith, As Saint Paul attested, "Our faith is vain, if Christ is not risen!" Since he is risen, he was seen by many after his resurrection, we have reason to hope in life everlasting. In the new movie, "Paul, Apostle of Christ", the Saint Luke character played by Jim Caviezel, gathers a group of imprisoned Christians around him to calm them as they face death by wild beasts. "You will feel pain, but it will not last." He continues, "Then you will see Christ face-to-face." He begins the Lord's Prayer with them and all accept their martyrdom peacefully. Paul who saw the Risen Jesus on his way into Damascus was so convinced that from then on, Christ, Crucified and Risen, was the Center of his life. Try to see this movie to help relate the Letters of St. Paul to our everyday life. Another good movie for the Easter Season is called Risen. It should be on Netflicks and be available at Pauline Books 7 media Centers.
Wednesday, March 28, 2018
The Holy Week liturgies have been building a sort of momentum to the final days of Jesus' life. Today is called "Spy Wednesday", since the gospel of today tells of Judas' plan to literally "sell out" Jesus--the Master whom Judas has followed for three years. Why did Judas turn traitor? One indicator is the remark in John's gospel that Judas would steal from the common money bag. Another indicator was that he seemed to have sympathies for the Zealot Party, anarchists set on a violent overthrow of Rome's hold on Israel. Jesus had talked about a kingdom "not being of this world." Judas apparently wanted the Kingdom right here, right now! Matthew's gospel says, Judas left and it was night. Judas chose the dark side, the night to do his evil deed. He walked away from the Light which he had been delighting in for three years. How many times do we walk "into the night"?
Friday, February 23, 2018
Today is Friday of the First Week of Lent. This date, February 23, the Church commemorates one of the Saints of the Early Christian Church, St. Polycarp of Smyrna (now in Turkey). Polycarp could be invoked as a Patron Saint of the Senior Citizen. He was 86 years old when a persecution against Christian broke out. Polycarp had grown up knowing the Apostle John. Because this stawart Christian leader lived in the first century of Christianity, he is considered a "Father of the Church." Clement of Alexandria, Polycarp of Smyrna, and Ignatius of Antioch are considered "Apostolic Fathers" because they either knew one of the Apostles or were influenced by those who had heard the Apostles.
Friday, February 16, 2018
As we continue the Lenten Season, we pray for those who lost their lives in the tragic school shooting in Parkland, Florida. And we entrust the grieving parents, spouses, siblings, classmates, and family members to the intercession of the loving heart of Mary, Mother of Sorrows. I read an article that gave 15 ways to "Keep Lent" by doing something, or by avoiding certain foods or activities. One suggestion was for those who spend a lot of time in the gym. The author suggested cutting back on the treadmill and putting in more time in reading the Bible, or books on the spiritual life. Listening to CD's or podcasts on our Faith and spiritual lives are other ways to get in some spiritual life training.
- I am a Catholic Sister, a Daughter of St. Paul. I grew up in the USA Midwest. I have lived in several states--from Boston to Hawaii, to Alaska, to Texas. I was blessed to have studied in Rome, Italy for almost a year. I have been several times to Guam, once to Samoa, once to the island of Chuk, which was once called Truk. I was stationed in Toronto, Canada. Now I am in the USA. For now I am assigned to Boston. I work in our Pauline Books and Media sales dept. and I write regularly for our digital, on-line newsletters. I also serve in our Dedham, Mass. Pauline Book and Media Center.I am also available for retreats and public speaking.