Thursday, May 21, 2015
When I first discovered the Irish Jesuits' on-line daily prayer space, Sacred Space, they provided an awareness prayer. The prayer asked God to make me more atune to what he, the Lord, was doing around me. It asked that I be more aware of his presence in those with whom I live. Our daily sanctification is the work of the Holy Spirit. As we pray the Novena of Pentecost, asking the Holy Spirit to come to us in an abundance of graces, we can ask for the seven gifts of the Spirit and the 12 fruits of the Spirit. One of the fruits of the Spirit is true peace. .
Tuesday, May 19, 2015
When Jesus ascended into heaven he promised to send his Advocate. He told the dismayed disciples: "...John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now." He also said, "You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Juseaand...to the ends of the earth." (Acts 1:4,8) While they waited for the arrival of the Advocate and the power he would bring, the Apostles and disciples gathered in the Upper Room for prayer. The Acts of the Apostles tells us, "All these (Apostles and disciples) were constantly devoting themselves to prayer, together with certain women, including Mary the mother of Jesus...". After the nine days, a "Novena," of prayer from seemingly orphaned or abandoned friends of Jesus, the promise Jesus gave was fulfilled: "And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit...". We know how with a new vigor, love and courage the Apostles and disciples immerged from the Upper Room to start the fire of evangelization which still burns today.
In the United States Catholic Catechism for Adults the Glossary (page 521) states: Novena: Nine days of prayer, usually invoking the intercession of the Virgin Mary or a saint. The novena traces its development to the scriptural nine days of prayer by Mary, the Apostles, and disciples asking for the gift of the Holy Spirit after the Ascension of Jesus Christ into heaven.
Tuesday, May 12, 2015
Mary, the Blessed Virgin Mary, is alive and active. As Jesus made it clear that those who have gone before us are still alive in eternity, so Mary lives today. In our Pauline communities we honor Mary as "Queen of Apostles." The pictures or statutes depict Mary holding the little boy Jesus out, extending her arms so we can reach out to him. An apostle's mission is the same as Mary's: to give Jesus to the world. When I first visited a Daughters of St. Paul convent, I was attracted by the statue of Mary as Queen of Apostles. The Sister who explained why Mary is holding Jesus out to us rather than hugging him tight emphasized "That's what an apostle does...give Jesus." What we write, film, broadcast and speak about are to be channels where people can find out about Jesus, Mary's Son, and Son of God. St. Peter Julian Eymard was ready to give up his dream to become a priest when he found out that a letter supposed to be a recommendation for his entrance to a seminary was, instead, a vote against him. In the city where he was to present himself to the seminary authorities for admission he found a church where he resorted to prayer. He laid his problems at the feet of Our Lady, asking her to help him in his hopeless looking situation. As he came out of the church, he met Bishop de Mezenod, founder of the Oblate Missionaries of Mary Immaculate. "How are you doing?" the cordial Bishop asked. Bishop de Mezenod remembered Peter Julian from his days as a young teenager whose poor ill forced Eymard to leave the Oblate seminary. The young man poured out his heart and his good intentions to the Bishop. "Don't you worry about anything," the Bishop reassured him. "I'll take care of this for you." Mary had intervened once again in the life of Eymard. Have you turned to Mary in a time of difficulty? I am moved when I see film clips or photos of Iraqi and Syrian Christians, especially women rosaries in hand , praying for Mary's intercession. Both my grandmother and my mother prayed the rosary very often. I can still see their large blue crystal beads glinting in the sunlight. Our Founder, Blessed James Alberione, had a mother who took her little son to the Shrine of Our Lady of the Flowers in Northern Italy. There she dedicated the boy with very fragile health to the protection of Our Lady. Alberione confided that he never did anything, written or verbal, that was not preceeded with rosaries or at least Hail Mary's. Sister Marianne Lorraine Truve' put together a lovely book called "Mary Help in Hard Times." You can find that at www.pauline.org.\It's been 100 years since Father Alberione started the Daughters of St. Paul. Here's a link to an on-line magazine about us. God bless you! 100 Years of Hope: Stories Celebrating the Centenary of the Daughters of St. Paul
Friday, May 08, 2015
May in Boston is one of the most beautiful month of the year. Almost overnight trees that were gray and barren sport lovely new leaves in all shades of green. Tulips, daffodils and Tulip Trees are blooming. I think I can finally clean my boots and box them away until winter comes again. After one of the longest, snowiest winters on record it is so refreshing to look out the window and seen green, yellow and all sorts of colors.