Tuesday, May 27, 2014
This morning we had a visiting priest offer Mass in our Boston chapel. Father recounted an incident which was a turning point in his priestly life. It involved a 94 year old widow whom he visited each week. Since the lady usually detained the priest for a long time, Father never looked forward to his weekly sick call to her tiny apartment. One day when she asked him just to look up, he paused and then decided "Why not?" It was a moment that changed his attitude forever. He realized that he was loved by God and the blessed Virgin Mary, and that the lady did appreciate his visits. In her long life she had suffered the loss of her husband and two sons. All three were policemen who had died in the line of duty. That tiny moment of giving in the the woman's request changed the priest's heart. There are times in life when one has to make a decision--even in what seems to be small things--which steers us toward God and our neighbor or points us toward ourselves and our comfort. In today's gospel (John 16:5--11) Jesus said he was going away, but he would send the Holy Spirit the Advocate. The closing days of May and the beginning of June bring many events that mark life passages: ordinations to the priesthood and diaconate, graduations and weddings. May the Holy Spirit guide all the newly ordained, the graduates, and the newly wedded to see that Jesus is at the heart of everything that happens in our lives! Have a beautiful and blessed May Day!
Monday, May 26, 2014
I am back to the Blog World. I was away on an 8 day retreat followed by days of updating. We in our congregation call those days Encounters. Since Sisters from our various convents throughout the USA and English speaking Canada join together, we really do encounter one another.
Sunday, May 11, 2014
As you know I was assigned to our Philadelphia convent for a few years. During my last year there, I had the privilege of being present when Archbishop Charles Chaput was installed as Archbishop of Philadelphia. We can call Philadelphia the Cradle of American Liberty, since it was there that the Declaration of Independence was signed in July of 1776. On this Good shepherd Sunday, when we celebrate vocations and we pray for the shepherds of our Church, that we read from one of the nation's Shepherds who clearly states the role of religion in our American Society. The article is in the May issue of the magazine "First Things." Archbishop Chaput quotes Benjamin Franklin, ardent patriot as well as a wise man. Enjoy this article and remember to use it when you can. Otherwise we Catholic Christians may feel intimidated by outspoken critics of religion in our Western society. As St. Paul says, we need to evangelize whether it is "in season or out of season"--whether it pleases some or not.
In 1787, at the age of eighty-one, Benjamin Franklin addressed the Constitutional Convention: “I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth: that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings, that ‘except the Lord build the House, they labor in vain that build it.’ I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without his concurring aid, we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel: We shall be divided by our little, partial, local interests, our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall become a reproach and byword down to future ages.”
Happy Mothers' Day to all the women who read this post: mothers of families, spiritual mothers, God Mothers and those women who spend their lives giving new life to others as consecrated women in religious life or in secular institutes.In our chapel this morning we welcomed a good number of young families to our 9:30 Mass. Father Michael Harrington preached a homily geared to the children who sat on the floor in front of the altar. He touched the adults who listened by explaining how we can gift our mothers who are still with us. He had the kids list what would be a good thing to give Mom on her day: a nice card, and he held up some nice cards from the local CVS store; a box of candy; chores well done; a hug. Father then explained the significance of the statue of the Queen of Apostles which is now next to the Paschal Candle in our sanctuary. Since it is still the Easter season, a replica of an Empty Tomb is on the other side of the sanctuary for now. Father Mike pointed out that Mary is holding Baby Jesus tightly. Yet, she is holding him out to us, offering him to us, so we may take him into our arms too. That is her purpose: to give Jesus to each and every one of us. Before Mass was over we held a May crowing. Young people crowned Jesus and Mary with floral crowns. Each woman in the church, including us Sisters was given a flower as we entered. At the May Crowning we each brought a rose or a carnation and placed it in a vase in front of Mary. Two of the Sisters played Schubert's Ave Maria with flute and piano as a post-Communion meditation. It was a nice way to precede the Marian event.