Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The Last to Leave

This is my third attempt.  The first was Abandoned.  The second was Abandoned Again.  And this is my last attempt; I've rewritten this to death.
The Last to Leave

The caller ID on my phone read, “Jill Byron.”  I had just been to a meeting with Jill, a couple of hours ago.  I quickly picked up the phone.  “Hello.”

Shocked!  I heard crying.  “You left me alone!  I was alone.  It was dark.  I was scared—all alone!”

I-I-I didn’t know what to respond.  I thought back. 

Jill was traveling from Medfield to Holliston’s Community Center.  She didn’t know the way.  We made arrangements to meet at a shopping plaza on Rte. 109, in Medway.  The actual directions were simple.  I’m sure she could have found the Holliston Community Center on Rte. 126, herself.  All you do is take Rte. 109 until it intersects with Rte. 126.  Then you take Rte. 126 towards Holliston, until you come to your destination. 

And we did meet at the plaza and she followed me to the meeting, which wasn’t long.   It just ended a little while ago.

But here is Jill sobbing.

 “I’m sorry.  I thought you were following me.  Everyone left the meeting at the same time.  I thought you were behind me.”  I did remember thinking that I hoped she was in one of the cars behind me.  I was first, and everyone else poured out of the parking lot, one right after the other.  I don’t know how that happened.  So what did happen?
Jill seemed collected now as she told me her story.  First, she couldn’t believe that I, and everyone else, were gone.  She was hurt and bewildered to find herself so suddenly in this situation.  We were all together laughing and talking and then suddenly it was dark; it was quiet; she was alone.  She felt intense fear.

She bowed her head in prayer.  The limbs and leaves of the nearby trees also bowed, as the energy in the air condensed and collected itself into a whisper of a breeze that grew and grew into a powerful wind.  Wispy shadows reached and stretched towards her.  Jill sensed an evil engulfing the car in its shadows.

She looked around for a person?  An explanation?  Her only answer was the shaking of leaves and …and a murmuring.  A sound that grew louder.  A chanting that grew vulgar with throaty moans creeping out of the woods.

The wind gave a howl and suddenly Jill saw a group of people—weird people.  Some had arms and legs missing.  Their walk was a heavy stagger.  Their eyes were all wide, wide open, with blank stares.  Yikes, some had no lips.

She made sure the doors were locked. Jill was shaking as she dumped her pocketbook out looking for her keys.

Where were they?

She started to cry.  “Help.”  She couldn’t think.

They had reached her car and started to shake it.  They were trying to get in.  Jill was paralyzed. 

Her eyes mirrored terror.  Her screams were frozen in her mouth.  Her heart stopped.


"Are you OK, Miss?"  

Jill blinked.  Knocking on her window were some people.  They were carrying brooms, vacuum cleaners, and other assorted cleaning supplies.  A radio played in the background. The cleaners, they were the cleaning people, of course.

"Do you need help?"

"No, no, I'm fine," she said, as she inserted the key in the ignition and drove off like she was being chased by zombies.










Monday, January 30, 2017

Coloring the Book of Kells

Since hubby and I are visiting Ireland in the spring, we have put seeing the Book of Kells on our itinerary.  The book dates circa 800 A.D.  It was made by monks, stolen a few times but still is a beautiful example of art and history.  To get the most out of our experience, I am reading up on the Book of Kells.  I also bought a coloring book on the Book of Kells and I'm surprised by two things.  One, I'm learning more about the book from the coloring book, than the nonfiction book.  The coloring book explains what you are looking at; the book--not so much.  Compare the coloring book explaining that the design is the beatitudes to the colored page in the nonfiction book.  These are the four evangelists.  If I didn't know that, how would I know what I was looking at.  Even so, I still can never remember who is who.

The second revelation that I am surprised at is that when I am coloring, I find myself praying.  I caught myself praying the Jesus prayer.  After the initial surprise, I continued praying and coloring.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Disc Golf

Hubby is teaching me to play disc golf.  Here's a photo essay on the lesson.  Pictures from Dacey Field Disc Golf Course.

There are shovels to shovel off the snow.

Teacher Extraordinaire    
Whew!  It didn't land in the water.
Hubby has a lot of patience.  But if I can't see the basket how can I throw the frisbee disc?  "Throw it!  Throw it!"  He yells.
I just knew my disc was going to land in the water.





Do you see the basket?  Neither do I.
Hooray!  He did it!

This is my disc in the basket.  

We only played about half an hour.  It's a good exercise because the discs don't go straight into the baskets.  They hit trees, they hook right or left, or even boomerang back to you.  And that means that you have to walk around to look for your disc.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Help Given, Help Sought


Announcing a great way to help out returning residents from prison.
A Stitch in Time Textiles
Dear Friends of Bethany House,
We are so excited to share with you our new joint venture with our good friend Guido Jacques, Vice President of Operations at A &M Tool and Design Company in Southbridge, MA.
For the past year we have been working with Guido who has begun a program to give employment to folks being released from prison. He has given our brothers a job opportunity with a future....it has been a positive experience for all.
And now Bethany House Ministries is entering into a joint venture with Guido in a business that is more geared to women. Two members of our Bethany family, Joli and Lisa have begun "A Stitch in Time Textiles" company on the 4th floor of the mill of Guido's business in Southbridge, MA.
Our mission is to build a profitable business that serves both its customers and its employees. "A Stitch in Time Textiles" was formed to provide employment with a living wage to folks who have been released from prison. The skill acquired by the greatest number of incarcerated people in the Massachusetts Department of Corrections is sewing and embroidery.
Joli spent 8 years of her incarceration working in Prison Industries and has 5 years of direct experience running a Tajima machine head embroidery machine. Lisa, prior to her incarceration spent 12 years working as a manufacturing engineer. In addition,she was instrumental in the establishment of two engineering consulting businesses primarily serving the medical device industry. Their combined experience is invaluable.
As we move forward with this venture, we are asking for your support. First and foremost for your prayers...this is a huge undertaking for all of us.
If anyone knows of a good corporate lawyer who works with non profits please let us know. In the future we are looking for investors.
If you are able to help us with start up costs we would be so grateful.
Finally, Joli and Lisa, in the near future will be taking new embroidery orders. If you have or know of any organization that would have embroidery needs, tshirts, sweatshirts, hats,etc. let us know. When Joli and Lisa are ready to fulfill these orders I will have them get in touch with you.
With much gratitude,
Sr. Kathleen, Ruth and all of us at Bethany House Ministries 
P.S. We would be so grateful if you would share this post on social media!
508-376-9923
Bethanyosfop@aol.com

Friday, January 27, 2017

Friends from the Magic Mountain

Monastery of Lunden in Oslo
Friends from the Magic Mountain  is an interesting story about a Lay Dominican.  Marie Knudtzon certainly under the influence of the Holy Spirit converted to Catholicism, became a Lay Dominican and helped found a monastery.  


Her story will make you feel helpless, if not a downright failure.  

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Patron Saint of Confessors

Martyrdom of St. John Nepomuk by Szymon CzechowiczNational Museum in Warsaw.

 St. John Nepomucene (1340-93), was the vicar general to the Archbishop of Prague.  King Wenceslaus IV, was a vicious, young man who easily succumbed to rage and caprice, was highly suspicious of his wife, the Queen.  St. John happened to be the Queen’s confessor.  Although the king himself was unfaithful, he became increasingly jealous and suspicious of his wife, who was irreproachable in her conduct.  Although Wenceslaus tortured St. John to force him to reveal the Queen’s confessions, he would not.  In the end, St. John was thrown into the River Moldau and drowned on March 20, 1393.  He would not break the Seal of Confession.

Hear O Dubia


This morning's Gospel for the Memorial of Sts. Timothy and Titus, was Mark 4: 21-25.  Jesus is speaking in parables because people like stories and they can relate even though they may not understand.

 I will add another reason.  People remember them.  People aren't sure they understand so they discuss them.  And today's Lectio Divina is an attempt to unwrap Mark v. 21-25.

There is one line that makes the people in the pew eyebrows go up: Mark 4: 25, To the one who has, more will be given; from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.

Harsh?

Think deeper.

Lectio: Mark 4: 25

 To the one who has, more will be given; from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.

Studium:

This saying is an adaption of a popular proverb.  Jesus is speaking to his apostles and those disciples who are learning from him.   Remember the apostles asking Jesus in Matthew 13:10 why He spoke in parables?  His answer is in the next v. 11: Because knowledge of the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven has been granted to you, but to them it has not been granted.  Understanding the parables is a gift.  It was given to the apostles because they wanted it.  The others not only didn't want to understand, they rejected the option.  They didn't even want to try.  This situation is predicted in Isaiah 6:9.
                                        You shall indeed hear but not understand
                                        You shall indeed look but never see,...

Meditatio:

Who knows but God how people think?  Jesus speaks Truth right in front of everyone but some reject Him before He has even opened His mouth.  They have closed their hearts and minds.  Then leave them be.  Only those who have accepted Jesus as God, the apostles, and other disciples will understand.  They will be given the gift of understanding.
     I can't help but think of a student I once had.  He was a bit of a troublemaker.  He was gifted intellectually but if he continued in his juvenile punk behavior, he was destined to waste and ruin his natural gifts.  I specifically picked out a book I thought (everyone thought) would be entertaining and perhaps hopefully, seduce him to like reading.  It was always the favorite of those who read it.  I only had one copy.  I saved it just for him.
     He never read it.  Everyone else was clamoring to read it and I had saved it just for him--to encourage him to read.  He wasted that opportunity.
     I never bothered with him, again.   from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.

Oratio:

Lord, I pray to be Your disciple.  I long to hear, understand and love Your Word.  I pray that others will hear and understand, also.  Your teaching Lord is in our magisterium.  Our Pope is a "disciple heavy-weight".  He is Your choice as our Father.  His teachings make Your teachings present for us today.  Let those who have eyes see that.

Contemplatio:

Beloved, I wish to have eyes to see and ears to hear You, My Lord, only You, My Lord.


Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Wisdom of Kings

Cardinal Timothy Dolan
At Donald Trump's inauguration, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the Archbishop of New York read from the book of Wisdom.  I didn't pay much attention to the prayer, then, at the inauguration; I thought it a lazy prayer; he's just quoting scripture.  But this morning as I read Christianity Today's article on Trump's Inaugural Bible Reading Is Not Your Bible, I've been meditating on Dolan's prayer.

I've spent most of the time trying to find the verse.  CT said it was 1 Kings 3.  No way.  Then upon googling I read it was chapter 9.  That was an even more remote parallel.  Finally, it occurred to me to search for Dolan's prayer and came to the USCCB website.  It's Wisdom Chapter 9.

This is a famous prayer.  It's known as Solomon's prayer.  I was confused by the Protestant reference to 1 Kings.  I was wrong.  It is a very appropriate prayer to pray for our president.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Faithful Discipleship

Lectio:  Zephaniah 2:3; 3:12-13

Seek the Lord, all you humble of the earth, who have observed his law; seek justice, seek humility; perhaps yu may be sheltered on the day of the Lord's anger.

But I will leave as a remnant in your midst a people humble and lowly, who shall take refuge in the name of the Lord: the remnant of Israel. They shall do no wrong and speak no lies; nor shall there be found in their mouth a deceitful tongue; they shall pasture and couch their flocks with none to disturb them.

Studium:

Zephaniah was a prophet during the reign of King Josiah of Judah (640-609) B.C.  Josiah was a good servant to God.  He tried to change his people's idolatry habits.  Zephaniah reproaches the people but also gives them promise.

This particular reading is taken from two different chapters; one is about the faithful in Judah, while the other is admonishment upon the idolators.  God will judge them.

 Meditatio:

The reading begins in exhortation.  There are those who are not acting in accordance with God's will.  They do wrong.  They lie.  They worship idols and not the true God.  They put their trust and faith in people and not God.

Zephaniah warns the people that the Day of the Lord is pending.  It will be a day of judgment and desolation.  But there will remain a remnant of the faithful.  They will remain true to the Lord.  They will be humble and guileless.  Their trust will be on the Lord and so they will enjoy His protection and love.

Oratio:

Lord help me to be worthy to be included in Your remnant.  I am Your humble servant.  I only want to do Your will.  I trust only in You, my Lord.  Protect me from the wickedness and snares of the world.  I ask this in Jesus' name.

Contemplatio:

Jesus, I trust in You.




Monday, January 23, 2017

God's forgiveness is call to sin no more, pope says

God's forgiveness is call to sin no more, pope says: VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- God forgives sinners unless they keep reminding him of their errors by pretending they have no need to change, Pope Francis said.  Of course, the Holy Father is correct, but  how to do what we know we should?

Pope Francis makes a strong call for better marriage prep

Pope Francis makes a strong call for better marriage prep: Vatican City, Jan 21, 2017 CNA/EWTN News.- In his annual speech to the Holy See's main court on Saturday, Pope Francis stressed the pressing need for effective education and preparation for the sacrament of matrimony.

    For sure!  I've heard of couples leading marriage prep that are in their early twenties and have been married a couple of years.  Their class is all older than they and many have been cohabitating for years and even have children together.  Isn't that a joke?  Would you want to be taught by a younger couple who have only been together a few years?

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Criminal Justice Reform Event

Greater Boston Interfaith Organization
Save the Date-GBIO ACTION
February 2, 2017
Arrive 6:30pm, Sharp start 7-9pm
Bethel AME Church 40 Walk Hill St Jamaica Plain/Forest Hills T
Join us as we come together to address, with key elected officials and stakeholders, the critical issues facing us around:
      Criminal Justice--Passage of true Criminal Justice Reform:
o    Ending Mandatory Minimums for drug offences
o    Pre-trial and Bail Reform
o    Ending Long Term Solitary Confinement
o    Eliminate excessive probation and parole fees and fines
    Affordable Housing--The post election implementation of the Boston Community Preservation Act (CPA)
    Healthcare--The post election effect on our Massachusetts Universal Healthcare System (MassHealth)
    Gun Safety--Update on the “Do Not Stand Idly By” Campaign
The purpose is to continue building power relationships to keep GBIO’s recent work and platforms in the forefront and moving towards winning on our issues.
RSVP today with your GBIO liaison/leader to reserve a seat!
Follow GBIO:
Description: 423617_265196126892961_793327277_n.jpg  www.GBIO.org

@gbinterfaith       www.facebook.com/GBinterfaithorganization  

Friday, January 20, 2017

Would somebody please turn on the lights!

Would somebody please turn on the lights!: Is our human compassion being hoodwinked by the promoters of assisted suicide? Last October a Boston newspaper highlighted the issue with a front page story of Dr. Roger Kligler. Dr. Kligler had brought suit against the Commonwealth of Massachusetts because the state makes it illegal to end his life.



Assisted suicide is not the subject of my post.  That's a separate issue altogether.  What pisses me off is the Globe's manipulation.  The author states that in October's Globe, an article got front page coverage.  The article was about a man who wanted to end his life.  The author sent a letter in response.  It was never published.  OK, but recently a letter supporting the man's suicide was published.  AGAIN the author wrote a letter offering the opposite view.  AGAIN it was ignored.



Do you think the Globe has an agenda?



Do you think the Globe spins the news?



Do you think?

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Abandoned Again

The caller ID on my phone read, “Jill Byron.”  I had just been to a meeting with Jill, a couple of hours ago.  I quickly picked up the phone.  “Hello.”

Shocked!  I heard crying.  “You left me alone!  I was alone.  It was dark.  I was scared—all alone!”

I-I-I didn’t know what to respond.  I thought back.
 
Jill was traveling from Medfield to Holliston’s Community Center.  She didn’t know the way.  We made arrangements to meet at a shopping plaza on Rte. 109, in Medway.  The actual directions were simple.  I’m sure she could have found the Holliston Community Center on Rte. 126, herself.  All you do is take Rte. 109 until it intersects with Rte. 126.  Then you take Rte. 126 towards Holliston, until you come to your destination. 

And we did meet at the plaza and she followed me to the meeting, which wasn’t long.   It just ended a little while ago.

But here is Jill sobbing.

 “I’m sorry.  I thought you were following me.  Everyone left the meeting at the same time.  I thought you were behind me.”  I did remember thinking that I hoped she was in one of the cars behind me.  I was first, and everyone else poured out of the parking lot, one right after the other.  I don’t know how that happened.  So what did happen?

Jill seemed collected now as she told me her story.  First, she couldn’t believe that I, and everyone else, were gone.  She was hurt and bewildered to find herself so suddenly in this situation.  We were all together laughing and talking and then suddenly it was dark; it was quiet; she was alone.  She felt intense fear.

She prayed.

Breaking the quiet, she was startled by a knock on her passenger window.  It was a strange man.  He was motioning her to open the window.

No way.

“C’mon lady.  Let me in.  It’s cold out here.”

Is he crazy?  Jill was fumbling with the keys trying to start the car. 
She dropped the keys.

He was rattling the door handle.  Thank God it was locked.  She was too shaky to fit the key in the ignition.

“C’mon, lady.  Open the door.  Let’s have some fun.”

Finally, the starter turned over.  She put the car in reverse and backed out of the parking spot.  He stood watching her.  He was staggering.  He must be drunk.

But Jill could care less.  She bolted out of that parking lot like a cat stuck in a sack. She automatically turned right and found herself passing familiar landmarks.  Then she sighed with relief when she recognized the big green sign directing her to Rte. 109 towards home.


What a relief!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Abandoned

Da Vinci  Angel Raphael guiding Tobit.

The caller ID on my phone read, “Jill Byron.”  I had just been to a meeting with Jill, a couple of hours ago.  I quickly picked up the phone.  “Hello.”

Shocked!  I heard crying.  “You left me alone!  I was alone.  It was dark.  I was scared—all alone!”

I-I-I didn’t know what to respond.  I thought back. 

Jill was traveling from Medfield to Holliston’s Community Center.  She didn’t know the way.  We made arrangements to meet at a shopping plaza on Rte. 109, in Medway.  The actual directions were simple.  I’m sure she could have found the Holliston Community Center on Rte. 126, herself.  All you do is take Rte. 109 until it intersects with Rte. 126.  Then you take Rte. 126 towards Holliston, until you come to your destination.

But here is Jill sobbing.

 “I’m sorry.  I thought you were following me.  Everyone left at the same time.  I thought you were behind me.”  I did remember thinking that I hoped she was in one of the cars behind me.  I was first, and everyone else poured out of the parking lot, one right after the other.  I don’t know how that happened.  So what did happen?

Jill seemed collected now as she told me her story.  First, she couldn’t believe that I, and everyone else, were gone.  She was hurt and bewildered to find herself so suddenly in this situation.  We were all together laughing and talking and then suddenly it was dark; it was quiet; she was alone.  She felt intense fear.

She prayed.

Then a small flickering light caught her eye.  There was someone walking on the sidewalk.  A lady was walking with a flashlight, towards the parking lot.  Jill started the car and drove to the parking lot exit which blocked the sidewalk, and waited for the lady to come up to her.  Rolling down her window, Jill asked, “Hello there.  Can you give me directions?” 

“Yes, where are you going?”

“To Medfield.”

“That’s easy.  I can take you to Rte. 109, will that help?” 

Jill eagerly responded “yes” and pushed the passenger door open.  After a few minutes, Jill realized that she didn’t know where this lady was going, so she asked, “Where should I let you off?”

“At the Dunkin Donuts.”

Dunkin Donuts was up ahead.  So wasn’t a sign announcing that Rte. 109 was on the left.  Jill turned into the Dunk and said, “Thank you.”

The lady said, “Thank you.  You saved me a walk.”

Just as the lady turned away, Jill called out, “Oh wait, what’s your name?”


“Angela.”

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Batten Down the Hatches

The Ship of Brides by Jojo Moyes is fantastic.  I keep calling it Ship of Fools, by mistake.  Freudian slip?  No, because Ship of Fools is a book by Katherine Ann Porter and also an award winning movie.  So it's just unthinking slip of the tongue.

However, the plot is the same but different.  Both take place entirely on board ships.  But that's it.  The passengers drive the story line and there's the difference.

You know how I'm usually reading several books at a time.  Once I got into The Ship of Brides, everything else was put on hold.  That's all I wanted to do was to read the book.

The time is after WWII, 1946.  The ship is the aircraft carried, Victoria.  The passengers are Australian brides going to England.  One cabin has four passengers that will pull you into their lives.  You'll be the fifth passenger.

"
Batten down the hatches", you're in for the duration of the voyage.

Monday, January 16, 2017

LWOP


 
Pope Francis has branded life-long prison terms "a hidden death sentence" in an attack on "penal populism" that included severe criticism of countries that facilitate torture.  He said that believers should oppose life-long incarceration as strongly as the use of capital punishment.
 
Below please find a Petition to the General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to replace all current laws imposing lifelong prison sentences offering no possibility of parole with legislation providing for parole reviews at 25 years.
 
We hope that you will sign this petition and send it to the Criminal Justice Policy Coalition at the address provided. 
So many of us know men and women who are doing 1st degree life sentences, many of who were sentenced at a young age who would be an asset to society.  They would pose no threat to public safety and would significantly save the Commonwealth money .
 
Thank you all for your love and support to our sisters and brothers both in and out of prison.


Sunday, January 15, 2017

Anacleto Gonzalez Flores

I was reading about Anacleto Gonzalez Flores in Aleteia, this morning and was poignantly moved.  Here is a saint after my own heart.

He didn't grow up in a particularly devout household--his father barely tolerated the mother's religiosity.  


He was studious and religious.

He was a lawyer and went to daily Mass.

He was married and had two children.

He visited prisoners and taught religion.

He was a writer and published a magazine.

At that time, the Mexican government became very anti-religion.  The government purposely aimed to rid the country of Catholicism.  Anacleto Gonzalez Flores worked to defeat the government's policies.  Eventually, he was martyred for his activities.

May he rest in peace and may we all be as steadfast in faith as he.  Lord Jesus in Your Name I pray.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Thinking Our Loud

So to speak...the word "suss" is new to me.  I googled it and learned that it means to figure out. Using my frame of reference then does "suss" mean the same as "discern."  Do you suss out a vocation?

Looking further I found out that the word "suss" comes from "suspect."  Oh!  There you go.  Suss does not mean the same as discern.  But I can suss that you are thinking of a religious vocation.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Called by Name

S. Zdislavae de Moravia
S. Zdislavae de Moravia (O.P.)
More details
Called by name
Lectio
John was standing with two of his disciples, and as he watched Jesus walk by, he said, "Behold, the Lamb of God." The two disciples heard what he said and followed Jesus. Jesus turned and saw them following him and said to them, "What are you looking for?" They said to him, "Rabbi" (which translated means Teacher), "where are you staying?" He said to them, "Come, and you will see." So they went and saw where he was staying, and they stayed with him that day. It was about four in the afternoon. Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, was one of the two who heard John and followed Jesus. He first found his own brother Simon and told him, "We have found the Messiah," which is translated Christ. Then he brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, "You are Simon the son of John; you will be called Cephas," which is translated Peter.(JN 1:35-42)
HideStudium
John tells us who’s coming. Ver. 29. Behold the Lamb of God. John the Baptist let the Jews know who Jesus was. He’s the sacrifice who comes to redeem them. And that He is greater than he, (John) and greater than any man before and after him. Ver. 32. John saw the Holy Spirit descent upon Jesus and baptize Him. Finally, in Ver. 34. John announces that this is the Son of God.

To be called by a Rabbi was no small thing. It was an honor, which explains why these chosen men left their jobs to follow this Lamb of God, the Son of God. Ver. 37-38. So these two follow Jesus. He takes notice of them and asks what they want Ver. 38. They don’t answer directly but humbly, implying that they want to learn more from him. They want more than a conversation. They want to be His students. Ver. 39. Where dwellest thou? Jesus understands and invites them to come and see.

Andrew was one of these followers. Ver. 40. After spending the day with Jesus, Andrew finds his brother, Simon Peter. Simon goes to see himself because Andrew tells him that this Man is the Messiah. Ver. 42. When Jesus meets Simon, He changes Simon’s name to Cephas (Peter). Note that giving someone a new name signifies dignity.

This day, January 4, also celebrates two memorials. Elizabeth Ann Seton, August 28, 1774 – January 4, 1821, was the first native-born citizen of the United States to be canonized by the Church (September 14, 1975). She established the first Catholic girls' school in the nation in Maryland, where she also founded the first American congregation of religious sisters, the Sisters of Charity. Also on this day is the memorial of Blessed Zedislava Berkiana. Bl. Zedislava, 1220-1251, was a Lay Dominican. She was a married woman who was known for her piety and generosity.
HideMeditatio
John the Baptist’s role is the same as ours—to point Jesus out to others. Then we let them go in their own journey. Jesus’ question at that time is the same question to us in our time, “What are you looking for?” We’re looking for a relationship with Jesus. “Come, and you will see” (John 1:39). If you are sincere then commit yourself. Will you accept Jesus, like our two holy women (ST. Elizabeth Ann Seton and Bl. Zedislava Berkiana)? Are you ready to go on an unexpected journey? This might involve change. Are you OK with that?

The Documents of Vatican II spell out a vocational call just like Jesus does in this Lectio. Our vocational call, begun at Baptism and affirmed in Confirmation, is our promise to enter into a relationship with Jesus. You are called to holiness, to be perfect like your Heavenly Father. This call may ask you to convert like Elizabeth Ann Seton and start initiatives. It may call you to uphold your family and support them with prayer. Are you being called to grow deeper in your commitment by becoming a Lay Dominican like Zedislava Berkiana? It will be a communal call to relationship with Jesus, carried out in various lifestyles, depending on what we are attracted to and for what we discern we have as gifts.
HideOratio
Lord, Our God, thank you for the insights we have received, for desires awakened and thoughts clarified, for the gifts of sensitivity and understanding. Thank you especially for the gift of your Son, Jesus. Grant us the power of the Spirit to discern the best way to respond to Your invitations. Give us the determination and perseverance to continentally respond as Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton and Bl. Zedislava Berkiana. We ask this in the name of Jesus.
Contemplatio: 
Lord, thank you for my many gifts.  May I delight You with my efforts to live up to Your expectations. Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton and Blessed Zedislave Berkiana pray for us.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Additions to the Experiment

A couple of days ago, I blogged "The Experiment" where I posted an activity aimed at putting God in the forefront of your mind.  Additionally, I was hoping that you would see a difference in how people treated you.  Your behavior made them better persons.  Following, you became a better person.  It was an experiment.

I can tell you that humming "He ain't heavy, he's my brother," brought smiles to everyone.  I hope it also brought some to reflexion.

Here are some additions to the experiment.

15.  Improve today--read, learn, exercise, etc.

16.  Be cheerful all day.

17.  Praise someone's success.

18.  Telephone someone you haven't heard from in awhile.

19.  Pay it forward.  Coffee would be nice.

20.  Treat yourself.

At the end of each of these don't forget to take an assessment.  The assessment will be how others reacted and then assess how you feel.  Do this each day for 20 days.  What do you think?

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Love is Evident

Since I'm the lector for the Second Sunday in Ordinary Time, I will be proclaiming the Responsorial Psalm.  To understand it the best that I am able, I am doing a Lectio Divina on it. This is the selection:

Lectio: Psalm 40: 2, 4, 7-8, 8-9, 10.

R.     Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.       


I have waited, waited for the Lord,
and he stooped toward me and heard my cry.
And he put a new song into my mouth,
a hymn to our God.

Sacrifice or offering you wished not
but ears open to obedience you gave me.
Holocausts or sin-offerings you sought not;
then said I, "Behold I come."

"In the written scroll it is prescribed for me,
to do your will, O my God, is my delight,
and your law is within my heart!"

I announced your justice in the vast assembly;
I did not restrain my lips, as you,
O Lord, know.

Studium:

These verses are only selections from Psalm 40.  The psalm in its entirety sings of the experiences of being exiled.  Temple sacrifices are helpful but the worship of God needs expressions of love.  Psalm 40 also has supplication and thanksgiving.  These expressions speak of interior postures for the type of worship God wants.

The beginning has the psalmist listening to God.  His prayers are being answered.  He is learning the type of worship God desires.  Praise and glory to God, express the correct thanksgiving and love.  Obedience to God's commandments is his due.  The psalmist delights in pleasing God.

Meditatio

Everything I have is given by the Lord.  All my talents, gifts, family, etc. are freely given and due through the grace of God.  Of course, I owe Him everything; it's His to begin with.  And what does He want in return?  He asks for obedience to His Will.  Following His way with love of Him is the best I can do.

Oratio:

Lord, Jesus Christ, I owe you everything I am.  I give you thanks and praise.  The least I can do for you is obey your commandments and teachings.  Help me hear Your voice, O Lord.  I come to do Your will.

Contemplatio:

Glory and praise to You, O Lord.  Pleasing You is all I desire.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The Experiment


1  1.   Look for something good in everybody you meet.
2  2.   Try to make everyone you meet feel better about themselves.

3  3.    Pray for everyone you meet.
4  4.   Hum a hymn all day.
5  5.   Every time you  enter a room, pray “Thank you, Jesus.”
6  6.   Read something religious today.
7  7.  Carry a cross in your pocket.
8  8.   Do something nice for someone without them knowing it.
9  9.   Fast from TV today.
1  10. Sit and meditate for awhile, today.
    11. Help someone.
1  12. Smile all day.
1  13. Pray for the dead.
1  14. Go for a walk and look for God in nature.


At the end of each of these 14 days take an assessment.  The assessment will be how other reacted and then assess how you feel.  Do this each day for two weeks.  What do you think?