Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Jubilee Event

Prayer vigil to "Dry the tears" is a Jubilee event to be held on May 5 at the Vatican.  The prayer vigil is for all those in need of consolation and will be presided over by Pope Francis in Saint Peter's Basilica.  Here I've posted some readings, in conjunction with "Dry the tears."

John 14   In Sorrow                                When loved ones fail you    Psalm 27

Psalm 51  When you have sinned           When you worry    Matthew 6: 19-34

Psalm 91  When you are in danger          When you have the blues   Psalm 34

Isaiah 40 When you are discouraged       When God seems far away  Psalm 139

Psalm 23  When you are lonely               When you feel down   Romans 8: 39

Matt 11: 25-30  When traveling              When you need courage   Joshua 1

1 Cor 13  When I'm critical                     When I need help   Isaiah 55

Monday, May 2, 2016

Missed Invitation

Because we never listened to talking voices, we missed the biggest event of our lives.  I’m talking about Woodstock.  Every time the DJ’s voice came on, we’d press the button to change the radio station.  We were only interested in music, not advertisements and certainly not the news.  But once in a while, we were slow in hitting the button.  One time we caught something about Santana and others, playing in a concert.  So? Days turned into weeks and maybe even a couple of months came and went, along with snatches of announcements:
Credence Clearwater
New York
 Joan Baez
Jimi Hendrix
Janis Joplin
Jefferson Airplane
free concert

The words “free concert” stopped our index finger from pressing the “change the station” button.  “What do you think they’re talking about?” Suddenly, “what they were talking about,” became the topic of conversation among my friends and me.  We pieced together that a huge music festival was going to be held during the weekend of August 14-18, 1969, in the town of Woodstock, NY and it was free.  Of course, we had to go.  Could we?  Realistically, very few of us could get the time off from work or other responsibilities.  I was one of them.  I needed the money for school and other bills and I knew this adventure would cost me money. Sadly we waved goodbye to our carload of friends as they set off on their great Woodstock adventure.  We were sad but they drove off singing deliriously.   They set off on Thursday and came back Friday night. What!! They never got to the New York thruway.  They were stuck in a traffic jam for half a day when they heard that the New York thruway was closed, so they turned around and came home.  Their mood matched the weather; it was raining in sheets of water like the rain in the tropics.  At first we hoped that the event would be washed out and have to be rescheduled.  That proved to be wishful thinking.  Woodstock carried on in spite of the rain, heat, mud and humidity.  And we missed it.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Prayer as a Foundation for Mercy

Peter Schmidt, ocso

The Cistercian monk, Father Peter Schmidt gave a talk today at Fatima Shrine, on prayer.  For the year of Mercy, that Pope France proclaimed, the Xaverians who minister at the shrine, are offering monthly presentations.  Today's was "Prayer as a foundation for Mercy."

Father Peter began by referencing the beatitude, "Blessed are the pure of heart."  We had a hard time pinning down exactly who would qualify as "pure of heart."  The best definition boiled down to "deep humility."

The questions were mostly about distractions during prayer.  And I learned something new in this particular discussion.  I knew that when distractions came, you ignore them.  I also knew that sometimes you can use the distractions in your prayer.  But I never thought that maybe God was trying to tell me something in the distraction.  I will have to discern my distractions.  They just may be important and not just nonsense.  

We discussed centering prayer, the difference between meditation and contemplation.  We did a Lectio Divina on Mark 10: 46-52 and we surprised Father Peter with our choices of Meditatio.  We learned that prayer leads to compassionate mercy.  Prayer is the foundation for mercy.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Lessons in Swimming Lessons

My youngest grandchild is 20 months.  I take her to swimming lessons.  Adults are in the water with their little ones.  Today was the first session.  While paddling around teaching my little one to reach and scoop with her hands, I overheard a dad coaxing his daughter.  She was frightened and didn't want to take her hands off him.  She had him in a choke hold.

"Let go."

"NO, no, no..."

Then the dad said something that caught my attention and made me smile.

"I will never let go of you.  You will let go of me, but I will never let go of you."

Isn't this exactly like our relationship with God?
 He never lets go of us.  It's we who let go of Him.

Friday, April 29, 2016


I love John Allen.  I loved him more when he was with the Globe, but I love him still.  I was reading Crux, the Knights of Columbus' independent Catholic news site, where John Allen is editor and read his article, http://www.cruxnow.com/church/2016/04/17/in-italy-goliard-style-blasphemy-rides-again/   where I learned that goliards were bum clergy who mocked the church and went around holding blasphemous ceremonies.  Their lifestyle was sheer depravity and they reveled in it.

They were around in the medieval era.  It seems that some men of noble families, who weren't first born were sent off to be priests when they really didn't have a vocation.  They had nothing else to do.  They must have thought they were pretty smart and showed off their knowledge and humor and mocked what the populace considered sacred.  They must have thought they were above all that.

Anyway, it's back.  It seems that in Italy, as many as 60 people have been holding parodies of religious ceremonies.  The police have arrested them for offenses against religious laws.  The accused did it out in the open.  It was even advertised on facebook.

Why do people mock what others consider sacred?  Do they think that proves that they're smarter?  Do they think it's funny?

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Jesus Walk With Me

Yesterday's experiment failed.  Bert said that when he asked God, "Jesus walk with me," his head involuntarily popped up.  He couldn't put it back down.  And he challenged me to ask Jesus to walk with me.

I did.

Nothing happened.  My head stayed down and I continued walking with my head down.  I was trying to think if I had said the wrong thing, done it wrong, etc.  Then I thought how silly it all was.  Jesus doesn't come when magic words are spoken.  He's here, all the time.  He doesn't obey us; we obey Him.  We don't command Him--WALK.  So I walked and prayed, meditating upon these thoughts.  So Bert's head popped up involuntarily.  Maybe God was showing him the way.  Maybe Bert should look ahead.  Whatever!  Whatever God is doing with Bert is his business.  And I trust God to show me my way.

Jesus walk with me.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

An Experiment

Last night, my friend Bert, gave me an experiment to try.  He said that his customary way of walking
was plodding along with his head down.  He was praying and the thought came to him to ask Jesus to accompany him.  So he said, "Jesus walk with me."

The minute he said that his head popped up, involuntarily.  He was surprised.  So he did it again.  And again.  He could not put his head back down after he asked Jesus to walk with him.

He challenged me to do the same.  I will.  Do you want to try it?