Friday, May 27, 2016

Memorial Day

This morning the family went to see my granddaughter's school put on a little show to commemorate Memorial Day.  We walked there since the school isn't far from our house.  On the way, hubby, the history teacher, gave us a history lesson on the origins of Memorial Day.

Of course, throughout history mankind has always felt the need to honor those who have defended their country.  Probably every country has something.  Back in the day, when hubby and I were young our elementary classes had commemorations on flag day--June 14.  Memorial Day was once known as Decoration Day and it was whatever day May 31 fell.

There were holidays for each war, i.e., Armistice Day for World War I.  I guess I'm sorry to say that we have so many wars and military encounters that to honor them all would be too many.  Hence, the one Memorial Day to honor all veterans.

Here is one of America's favorite poets, Henry Wardsworth Longfellow, memorializing the veterans of the Civil War, but it is apropos to all wars.


Decoration Day

Sleep, comrades, sleep and rest
On this Field of the Grounded Arms,
Where foes no more molest,
Nor sentry's shot alarms!

Ye have slept on the ground before,
And started to your feet
At the cannon's sudden roar,
Or the drum's redoubling beat.

But in this camp of Death
No sound your slumber breaks;
Here is no fevered breath,
No wound that bleeds and aches.

All is repose and peace,
Untrampled lies the sod;
The shouts of battle cease,
It is the Truce of God!

Rest, comrades, rest and sleep!
The thoughts of men shall be
As sentinels to keep
Your rest from danger free.

Your silent tents of green
We deck with fragrant flowers
Yours has the suffering been,
The memory shall be ours.

                              -- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Oxymorons

Hell's angels

Loud silence

Found missing

Clearly confused

Act naturally

Small crowd

Silent scream

Awfully nice

Same difference

Good grief

Peace force

Definite maybe

Pretty ugly

Plastic glasses

Big baby

Jumbo shrimp

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Always Putting Me First

So here's what the last few days' obsessive posts have been about.  I was reading Me Before You by Jojo Moyes.  The book is about euthanasia.  I can't give you the end because that would spoil it for you.  But I didn't like the way the author ended the story.

Let me put it this way.  If you're born without money worries; if you can choose whatever schools to go to; if your parents always can afford to let you make your own choices because they can cover the expensives; if you can choose your own career; if you're your own boss; if you make a lot of money; if you can afford to do whatever whim enters your head; then you will find it nigh near impossible to be faced with the fact that you can't do what you want.

Poor baby.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

It Happens!

And another thing (I'm still thinking of my posts for the past two days), if something terrible has happened to you so that you can't do what you used to, or want to, so what?  That would have happened eventually, anyway.  I kind of am leaning towards thinking that one would have to be pretty selfish to just think or himself and not of those who love him.  Let's say the worst happened and you are bedridden for the rest of your life.  I pray that if happened you'd dedicate the rest of your life making those who love you "happy."  Enjoy the sunrise and sunsets.  Compliment people.  Make them laugh and love.  Don't think of yourself.

I know.  It's easy to say and may be nigh near impossible to do.  After all, I do know that you can't make people happy nor love you.

What brought this line of thinking on?  This morning I went hiking.  This picture is of a couple of lady slippers that I saw on the path.  Anyway, I used to fly up this fox trail.  Now I walk up like an old lady.  I am an old lady!

Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go."

Monday, May 23, 2016

Bad = Cursed Abominably

Yesterday's post concerned suicide.  Today I'm still stuck on suicide but I'm reflecting more on the thoughts of people contemplating suicide.  It just so happens that this morning's readings for the Monday after Trinity Sunday are on Job 2: 10. Didn't Job's retort to his wife, "Are even you going to speak as senseless women do?  we accept good things from God: and should we not accept evil?" bring me back to why people contemplate suicide!

IOW, the rain falls on the good and bad.  Life happens.

Still.

It's easy to philosophize and give advice; it's altogether different when it's personally your bad.  I get that.  And I thank God that so far, my bad hasn't been too bad.  However, I see other people's bad and see that some cope even better than ever.

I'm thinking of Andre Dubus II. I think he became a better writer when he became wheelchair bound.  Another acquaintance who had both legs amputated became a better person overall without legs.  Everyone thought and said so.  And he, himself, recognized that he thought and felt more whole when he saw that he wasn't physically whole.


Why do some people rise above their circumstances and others don't?  Counseling?  Acceptance of God's will?

Is it just a matter of attitude?  Can people make themselves accept and rise above the bad, and be happy where they are?

Worse, would be accepting and trying to make the best of it, and you can't.  Trying and failing.

Lord, where are you in all this?  Am I speaking like senseless women do?  Help me understand, Lord, and certainly help all those who are truly living the "bad".  Let them feel Your Love.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Enjoying Life

Ernest Hemingway died when I was in high school.  I remember that he committed suicide.  It was the first time, I think, that I ever heard the word "suicide."  I remember discussing his reasons.  One that I still meditate on is that he lost the ability to write.  Maybe, he lost the ability to do what he usually did.  But he did have more physical  and mental problems than people should have, so I think he could have used help dealing with those.  I don't think he was the type to ask for help.

I still think of his suicide, now and then.  My feelings of abhorrence haven't changed since I've been fourteen.  I still think suicide is ultimate selfishness.  The victim is only thinking of themselves, otherwise, why would they deliberately hurt those who loved them most?  The people left behind are devastated.

Before suicide, I hope people go for counseling.  I have a friend whose boyfriend committed suicide forty years ago.  She still wonders why.  She thought they would have a promising life together.  Another family grieves because their loved one, like Hemingway, believed he had lost his ability
 and killed himself.

.Maybe victims of suicide get too caught up in what they can't do, i.e., write, walk, etc., instead of enjoying what they can.  In other words, one can still enjoy sunrises and sunsets, laughter, music, the feel of the sun, create stories in your head--intangible beauty.

As we age, we won't be able to do what we used to do, anyway.  We cope as best as we can.  I don't jog anymore, I walk.  I can't play softball, I watch.  I don't teach, I play.  There comes a time when we all can't do what we used to do; it's now time to just enjoy and not do.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

The Tyranny of Time


Time is a tyrant.  We cannot escape it.  As children, our parents made sure we kids were where we were supposed to be.  We had no choice!  As teens, we had school time schedules, parental obligatory times, social times and hopefully, some personal time.  As adults, we have all of the above PLUS work schedules, family demands, and religious obligations.  As senior citizens, time still tyrannizes.  We have our immediate personal demands--medical, social, religious, PLUS more family demands than ever,because we may be taking care of a loved one, and attending ALL the grandchildren's sports and other recreational events.

And believe this; it's not important.  The only important time we should be paying attention to is the "hour of our death."

"Oh yeah."  "That."

All in the first paragraph is transitory.  None of it lasts.  The only constant is God.  And there will be a time when we will meet Him.  The author, Alice Camille, in her book, Listening to God's Word, explains that all the Gospel writers try to get across this immediacy of the time we will encounter God:

Mark--uses "immediately", 42 times in his Gospel
Luke--uses "today", Luke 4:21
Mathew--uses "now", Matt. 2:15
John--uses mostly "the hour", "eternal life," and "that day."

Since the concept of time that we live by in the first paragraph will pass, let's adopt the attitude of regarding time as a friend--a constant friend.  Life is a journey and time accompanies us until that very important last hour of our death.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

In the Beginning


Yesterday, I planted for the first time, this season.  I've decided to make a lettuce garden.  This picture is of my lettuce seedlings.

In a sense, a garden is a miracle.  Plants, flowers, and human beings, although not there, will be.  They are enfolded within, waiting to sprout.  Doesn't it touch you?

Each of us is like a plant.  We participate in some way in the plans of God.  There is an identity within us that is continually unfolding.  I watched this begin during my planting, this morning.

Det vitae remedium
Jesus nobis, flos vernalis

May Jesus give us redeeming life
He Who is a spring flower.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Carrying On

Book club was tonight.  We discussed The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien. This type of book is why I belong to a book club.  I would never have picked out this book, were it not assigned to be read.  It's not my type.  I liked it in spite of myself.  It is an excellent depiction of war and all that entails gore-wise.  It was hard to read certain chapters because of the descriptive intensity of the combat.

Two members couldn't read it.  They were too close to the story.  They had lived through it and didn't want to go there again.

It is an important read, however.  I know it is required reading for a few schools around here and I can see why.  It's an era.  It's history.  It's something young people should know.  I pray they never have to experience it.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Only With God

Monday, May 16, 2016
Prayer & Faith
Lectio
As Jesus came down from the mountain with Peter, James, John and approached the other disciples, they saw a large crowd around them and scribes arguing with them. Immediately on seeing him, the whole crowd was utterly amazed. They ran up to him and greeted him.  He asked them, “What are you arguing about with them?” Someone from the crowd answered him, “Teacher, I have brought to you my son possessed by a mute spirit. Wherever it seizes him, it throws him down; he foams at the mouth, grinds his teeth, and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive it out, but they were unable to do so.” He said to them in reply, “O faithless generation, how long will I be with you? How long will I endure you? Bring him to me.”  They brought the boy to him. And when he saw him, the spirit immediately threw the boy into convulsions. As he fell to the ground, he began to roll around and foam at the mouth. Then he questioned his father, “How long has this been happening to him?”  He replied, “Since childhood. It has often thrown him into fire and into water to kill him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” Jesus said to him, “‘If you can!’ Everything is possible to one who has faith.” Then the boy’s father cried out, “I do believe, help my unbelief!” Jesus, on seeing a crowd rapidly gathering, rebuked the unclean spirit and said to it, “Mute and deaf spirit, I command you: come out of him and never enter him again!” Shouting and throwing the boy into convulsions, it came out. He became like a corpse, which caused many to say, “He is dead!” But Jesus took him by the hand, raised him, and he stood up. When he entered the house, his disciples asked him in private, “Why could we not drive the spirit out?” He said to them, “This kind can only come out through prayer.” (Mk 9:14-29)
HideStudium
Ver. 14-16 Jesus had just come down from the mountain of transfiguration into a dispute between some scribes and the disciples. The scribes may have taken advantage of Jesus’ absence and tried to portray the disciples as fools. It seems the topic was casting out devils. Jesus didn’t have time to be dismayed over the disciples’ lack of faith. He tended to the boy.

Ver. 21-23 The boy’s father pleads, “If you can do anything, have compassion…” Jesus responds, “If you can!” Well of course Jesus can. The boy is brought to Jesus. Jesus commands Ver.24 “Mute and deaf spirit, I command you: come out of him and never enter him again!”

The evil spirt departs and everyone is amazed. And the disciples ask, Ver. 27-28 “Why could we not drive the spirit out?” Indeed. Were you thinking of yourself and your ability, or did you pray to God and ask Him to heal the boy and cast out the evil spirit? Ver. 28 “This kind can only come out through prayer.”
HideMeditatio
Do you have faith enough to trust God’s care for you? Do you pray with certainty? St. Augustine reminds us that there is no faith, when there is no prayer. Why and to whom would you pray, if you did not believe? Look at Jesus’ dismay when the disciples falter. Ver 18 “O faithless generation, how long will I be with you? How long will I endure you? ”

Jesus sees the father’s faith is weak, yet He encourages him. Ver. 22 “Everything is possible to one who has faith.” Who doesn’t want their needs met? Lord, help our unbelief as the father cries, v. 23 “Help my unbelief.”

At first the boy convulsed and seemed dead. But Jesus took the boy’s hand and he sat up. Jesus’ disciples wondered why they couldn’t drive out the evil spirit. Jesus simply explained that prayer is needed. Did the disciples think they were the ones doing the healing? Or God? Jesus invites us, as he did the boy’s father, to pray with faith.
HideOratio
Lord I believe, help me to believe wholeheartedly. Help my unbelief. I ask for more faith; I trust in Your providence. May I have perseverance and bring healing and truth to all I may encounter. Amen.
Contemplatio: 
Lord, help my unbelief.  I trust in You.          

Sunday, May 15, 2016

The Real Reason Why May Is Revered

May 13th marked the occasion of Our Blessed Mother's apparition in Fatima, Portugal.  I was reading a homily by Father Leo S. I. Mwenda and he focuses on an important point.  Many people may think that Mary is honored because of her relationship to Jesus.  After all, she is the Mother of God.  But before that, she did something that precludes her pregnancy.  Yes!  She accepted. Think about it.  Before conceiving, she had to say, "yes."  This is the real reason Mary is revered and I may say, emulated.  We should all copy her "yes."  This is called her "fiat."  So be it!

Not only should we trust in God's will for us, we should also copy her behavior and attitude.  We should dress as Mary would.  We should speak what Mary would say.  Better, we should pray as Mary would pray.

And!  Blog like Mary would blog.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Speaking Blonde


This blonde woman was flying from Boston to Toronto.  She paid for an economy class ticket.  But once on the plane, she sat in first class.  The attendant spoke to her.  "Excuse me, you'll have to move to your seat in the back.  This is for first class passengers."  The blonde told the attendant, "I'm flying to Toronto here.  No one is sitting here, so I'm taking this seat."  The attendant spoke to her superior.  The supervisor came over to the blonde and said, "Mam, you can't sit here."  The blonde said, "But I am!"  So the supervising attendant went to the co-pilot and told him the problem.  He came out of the cockpit and spoke to the blonde.  "You don't want to cause any trouble, do you?  Go back to your seat."  The blonde was adamant. "No!"  So the co-pilot went back to the cockpit and told the pilot to have the police stand by to take away this unruly woman.  But the pilot said, "I'm married to a blonde. Let me handle her.  I speak blonde."  So the pilot went to the first class section and whispered in the blonde's ear.  She immediate got up and went back to her assigned seat in economy class.

"What did you say to her?"  Everyone asked.  "I told her that first class wasn't going to Toronto."

Friday, May 13, 2016

Transformation


I'm reading The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien.  It's a hard read--not difficult to read because of it's written expression but because of the subject.  I'm not finished it yet, so I won't review it.  What I want to post about is a scene in the book.  One of the soldiers experienced a horrific death of a friend.  He was hurting badly and wanted to hurt back.  He picked on a young, innocent water buffalo.  He shot off its tail: then its ears: its knee caps, etc.  You get the idea. He didn't want to kill it.  He wanted it to hurt, like he was hurting.

It reminded me of Richard Rohr's "If you don't transform your suffering, you'll transmit it."  You must choose to transform your bad feelings, change your mood, make yourself happy.  Of course, you can't perfectly, but you must force yourself to try.  You have to, if not for yourself, for the sake of others.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Life and Death


Something out of the ordinary happened this morning.  I went to the 9:00 daily Mass and it turned out to be a funeral mass for a 96-year-old woman.  Her daughter gave a remembrance.  I was shocked and so moved by what she said that it's been on my mind all day.  And I've told everybody about it.  Now it's your turn.  When the deceased was in the hospital giving birth, her three year old son died.

There!  You have it.  Now your turn to meditate on it.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

A Card in the Back Pocket



One Christmas season, hubby saw a good sale for a pool table.  He suggested that we purchase the pool table as a duel gift for each other, because not only could we both enjoy playing together, but so could the entire family and even others.  (His altruism convinced me.)  He ordered the pool table.  When it arrived, we realized why the price was such a good deal.  It was unassembled.  Undaunted, we wrapped it in Christmas paper and placed it under the tree.  The gift tag announced, To The Family.  But you know how Christmases are.  There are so many presents that even an unwrapped package with a picture of a pool table soon lost its allure.  The pool table was forgotten and relegated to the basement where it was intended to go, anyway.  Until it was time to think of Christmas again, and the question was asked, “ What ever happened to that pool table? “  We got out the tools and put the table together.  It was beautiful.  Yes, however, it was beautifully inadequate.  The pool table filled the room—there was no room for the pool cues to shoot.  A mammoth mistake!  I didn’t need to say a word.  The horrible revelation of the gross error slowly inched over hubby’s face.  It’s too late to return it, the return policy has passed.  We had no choice but to keep it.  So we use it as another table.  Personally, I use it as a card in the back pocket.  Whatever money I spend on something foolish—it’s not as bad as the money spent on the pool table.  Whatever foolish whim I want to indulge in—it is not as foolish as the pool table.  Yes, we may not be enjoying the game of pool, but I am happy to use that pool table as a card in the back pocket.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

God Positioning System

Father Albert Faretra 
Father Al this morning referred to God as our GPS.  GPS = Global Positioning System.  If we only follow His directions we will reach the destination we were meant to be at.  If we don't follow them, we get lost.  Compare the concepts: both are navigation systems not operating from earth.  They both provide services towards those who enlist their help.  And this help is free to all who want access!







Monday, May 9, 2016

A Day at Salisbury Beach

Yelp Image

We didn’t feel the sun under the faded beach umbrella angled precisely to fend off the vicious rays.  I danced in and out of the waves, adding pretty tiny sea shells and rocks to my growing collection.

  Is it time, yet?

I wanted to go swimming but we had just eaten sandwiches for lunch and I had to wait an hour before I could go into the water, again.  Auntie took my hand to go for a walk.  The water at Salisbury always froze my ankles, but that was just a minor inconvenience for a child.  What bothered me more was Auntie, herself.  Grandma, too, but Auntie was the one holding my hand.  They both looked funny.  They always wore their hair in tight buns.  They wore house dresses and sensible shoes with sturdy heels.  They rolled up their stockings to their knees and everyone could see these rolls when they sat down.  They were so obviously “old country.”  But now Auntie was barefoot so we could wade into the eddies and pick up snails.  My pail was getting heavy with shells. I climbed up the black rocks and looked across the channel to Plum Island.

By the time we walked back to our blanket, the tide was starting to come in.  Dad was asleep after drinking a couple of bottles of Ballentine Ale.  Let him sleep it off.  So we moved the umbrella, blanket, towels and cooler up to higher ground and left dad.  He was asleep with his feet pointing out to sea and his mouth open, snoring away.  Everyone else on the beach moved back like us. 

Beach life continued:
                Mama put sun tan lotion on me.
                My sister buried me in the sand.
                A rogue wave knocked down Auntie.

We watched the waves creep up closer and closer, to dad.  So did everyone else on the beach.
                I rode the waves in.
                We drank lemonade and
                watched the people swim.

We watched the waves creep up closer and closer, to dad.  So did everyone else on the beach.
My sister read her book.
I got sand on the blanket.
My sister gave me her look.
We watched the waves creep up closer and closer, to dad.  So did everyone else on the beach.
Finally, a wave touched dad.
Nothing.
Another wave and another…

Everyone was poised for the entertainment.

He sat up.
He looked around.
He saw everyone laughing.
And he joined in the laughter, too.




Sunday, May 8, 2016

The Tree of Life

First, it was in today's second reading for the Seventh Sunday of Easter, Rev.22: 14.  There was mention of the tree of life. Then in my morning readings there was mention of the tree of life being off limits to the descendants of Adam and Eve (Gen. 3: 22-23.  AND!  Then came Prov. 3:18, where Wisdom herself is a tree of life; while wickedness leads to death, the right path leads to life (Prov. 2:18-19; 4:13; 6:23; 12:28).

What really gives me pause is the fact that the Book of Revelation brings up the tree of life in the very last words of the Bible.  Revelation is the last book in the Bible.  Chapter 22 is the last chapter in Revelation.

You had better pray for me because the fruits of my contemplation yield some irreverent images.  I get that the tree is for all, but not everyone chooses the path to get to the tree.  So just to make sure I won't stray from the path that leads to the tree of life, I picture building a tree house in its branches.  I'm living there--away from everybody and everything that could lead me away from God.  I'll be safe in the branches of the tree of life.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Walking the Race


I love this elk.
My son-in-law left us in his dust.
                                                                                                                                                             It was a good day to run.  The  temperature was about 50 degrees and it was raining so gently that you didn't even feel it.  I didn't run the Elks Care Elks Share 5 K Race; I walked the 5K.  My daughter and son-in-law ran and did well.  Hubby and I walked and had a good time.  We were among a group of teens who played frisbee the entire 5K.  Some younger kids tossed a small football around.  So we all joked, laughed and chatted the entire 5K.  Then the Elks treated us to pancakes.  Yum!

The Elks are a fraternal organization that does proceeds from today's race were the Franklin Food Pantry, The Fisher House Foundation, and our local Wounded Warrior Master Sargeant Joseph Deslauriers.  My community is blessed to have the Elks.
a lot of good.  Today's race is only one example.  The


Friday, May 6, 2016

God is the Complete Treasure

     



When my three children were young, I would sometimes hear this refrain:

First is worst.
Second is best.
Third wins the treasure chest!

Needless to say, the first child did not compose this verse.  However, it brings to mind that human desire to be the first, to be the best, and/or win a treasure chest.  According to Thomas Aquinas, God created us this way, i.e., to always search for happiness.  We find satisfaction in our search, only in God.  God is the treasure chest.  Only in God is perfect happiness.  What happiness we have on earth is imperfect, compared to what God has to offer. 

It is impossible for any created good to constitute man’s happiness. For happiness is that perfect good which entirely satisfies one’s desire; otherwise it would not be the ultimate end, if something yet remained to be desired. Now the object of the will, i.e., of man’s desire, is what is universally good; just as the object of the intellect is what is universally true. Hence it is evident that nothing can satisfy man’s will, except what is universally good. This is to be found, not in any creature, but in God alone, because every creature has only participated goodness. Therefore, God alone can satisfy the will of man, according to the words of the Psalms (102:5): “Who alone satisfies your desire with good things.” Therefore, God alone constitutes man’s happiness.” (Summa Theologica Part 2. Q.1. Article 8)


Don’t waste any time worrying that you don’t have the best of any material wealth or achievement.  “You can’t take it with you”, anyway.  Be satisfied that our good God provides you with what you need.  Trust the Father, as the apostles trusted Jesus.

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:
Sly
Credence Clearwater
New York
 Joan Baez
Jimi Hendrix
Janis Joplin
Woodstock
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.