Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Wisdom of G. K. Chesterton

This is one of the most recent reflections I have used this Advent Season and I want to share it with you.   It comes from the book, Advent and Christmas, Wisdom from G. K. Chesterton edited by The Center for the Study of . S. Lewis and Friends.

It is commonly in a somewhat cynical sense that Men have said, "Blessed is she that expecteth nothing, for he shall not be disappointed."  It was in a wholly happy and enthusiastic sense that Saint Francis said, "Blessed is he that expecteth nothing, for he shall enjoy everything."  It was by this deliberate idea of starting from zero, from the dark of nothingness of his own deserts, that he did come to enjoy them.  

The Gift of God

This is what I have seen to be good.  It is fitting to eat and drink and find enjoyment in all the tois with which one toils under the sun the few days of the life God gives us; for this is ou lot.  Like wise all to whom God give wealth and possessions and whom he enables to enjoy them, and to accept their lot and find enjoyment in their toil--this is the gift of God.  For they will scarcely brood over the days of their lives,because God keeps them occupied with the joy of their hearts.
Ecclesiastes 5:18-20


Lord, our days are short, but we have done nothing to deserve even the few years of live that you give us.  Teach is to be grateful for small things--food and drink and work--by remembering you servant Saint Francis, who truly expected nothing and enjoyed everything he had.

Advent Action

Each time you sit down to eat today, pause a little long than you normally do.  Meditate on the words from Ecclesiastes,  "it is fitting to eat and drink and find enjoyment."  allow yourself to fill with thanks, to be thank-full.

May you all continue to enjoy this  Holy Season and may your Christmas be one of happiness and thanksgiving to our Creator who loves us without end!

Thanks be to God!

This and other books in this series Advent and Lent are published by Liguori.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Simply Profound!

 Saint Meinrad Archabbey
February, 2010

Simple, yet profound.

A single opinion cannot overturn the unanimous tradition of the
whole Church, which has spread to the ends of the earth.
~Saint John of Damascus~

This is the Church that has the Wisdom of the Holy Spirit as its guide!

Thanks be to God!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Advent Offering Today

Winter, 2009

I want to share with you this Christmas Novena sent to me by the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology.

It is said that this novena was traditionally prayed 15 times a day from the Feast of Saint Andrew, the
Apostle, November 30, until Christmas.  Praying it along with my other prayers seems a reasonable way to incorporate this into my Advent devotions.  And as it was offered to me so I offer it to you.

Hail and blessed be
The hour and moment 
In which the Son of God
was born of the
Most pure Virgin Mary,
At midnight, in Bethlehem,
In the piercing cold.
I beseech Thee, 
O my God, 
To hear my prayers and
grant my desires,
[there mention your request]
Through the merits of 
Our Savior Jesus Christ,
and of His Blessed Mother.

Wishing you all a grand day and may all your prayers be fulfilled in their asking!

Thanks be to God!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Advent, the Journey

The Journey Begins on Page ONE

It is a grand time of the year.  Again I am offered a chance to reflect on the past and pursue the future in the celebration of Advent.  One of the books I like to use during this season is Advent and Christmas ~Wisdom from G. K. Chesterton, edited by the Center for the Study of C. S. Lewis and Friends.

It is currently said that hope goes with youth, and lends to your its wings of a butterfly; but I fancy that hope is the last gift given to man, and the only gift not given to youth...But the power of hoping through everything, the knowledge that the soul survives its adventures, that great inspiration comes to the middle-aged; God has kept that good wine until now.  IT is from the backs of the elderly gentlemen that the wings of the butterfly should burst.
Charles Dickens: Last of the Great Men
G. K. Chesterton

It is a great source of inspiration and it challenges me to actively enter into the season.  This is a season of hope and that is what I have found to be most important to me of late.  And so it is that I look to  Advent seeing it as a season full of Hope.

Thanks be to God!

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Rosary

The rosary is my favorite prayer.  A marvelous prayer!  Marvelous in its simplicity and in its depth.  In the prayer we repeat many times the words that the Virgin Mary heard from the Archangel, and from her kinswoman Elizabeth.  (Address, Rome, 1978) ~~Pope John Paul II, His Essential Wisdom, Edited by Carol Kelly-Gangi
My favorite prayer too.  
Thanks be to God!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

True Value!

So valuable to heaven is the dignity of the human soul

that every member of the human race has a guardian

angel from the moment the person begins to be.

~Saint Jerome~

The question I ask myself today is what value do I place on my life.  Do I even understand that I have worth?  Do I ever consider that I am a treasure and that the way I live my life either corrodes  or polishes this treasure?

Consider that silver teapot you were given by your grandmother.  It is beautiful.  But the trouble is it requires diligence to take care of it.  If it sits too long in the air without use it tarnishes.  So, you have to get the silver polish and clean it until it sparkles.  You are the one given the responsibility to oversee and protect it since your grandmother  loved you.

You see I am a treasure.  I am that teapot.  When I neglect to follow the ways of God, I become tarnished.  I forget that I have value and worth.  In order to repair any damage or to remove the tarnish that I have acquired through the neglect of my soul I must take out that "polish" and restore the shine I once had.

How do I do that?  I know what it is that causes the problem.  I avoid it.  If because of circumstance beyond my control I cannot avoid it, I must apply a thick coat of prayer that will be a buffer.  Then in order to repair what has been broken I ask for forgiveness through the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  

I see that my guardian angel is at all times my "buffer."  She often, without my realizing it, diminishes the tarnish by guiding me past difficulty.  I truly believe this and as I reflect on who I am and where I have been I see that this gift from God for my journey here on earth is part of my treasury.  I know that I am responsible for who I am and who I am becoming, but it is good to know that I have partner that will help me reduce the tarnish and renew the luster of this life I have been given.

Thanks be to God!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Cleaning Out Small Spaces...

Is it as hard for you as it is for me to part with things?  I love a good mystery.  Any book really but mysteries in particular.  I love Agatha Christi, Mary Higgins Clark, and Anne Perry.  I am especially fond of Diane Mott Davidson who writes delicious mysteries set in my native Colorado.  She takes me home as I sit in my chair here in Indiana.

Giving up or parting with things I find dear is challenging.  The excuse I'll read it again is just that, an excuse.  Indeed, I've had all these books for years and I've not returned to any of them.  I simply buy the next.  So why save them.?

I read the verse offered by Saint Francis de Sales and find myself asking,  "How do I bring forth good fruit when I do not share what I have to offer?"  So if I hoard these books and no one has the opportunity to avail themselves of them then what good are they?  So I intend to take them to the library.

The same could be true of my soul.  If I simply do nothing, if I hoard my talent, time, or treasure what good are they to me.  If I never intend to use them they become worthless and a terrible waste.   So clean out the small spaces I will.  I will share what I have with others as Providence guides.  I will not hoard those things he has provided but share them so that I can "bring forth good works seasonalby and with discretion."

Wishing all a grand weekend 
Thanks be to God!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Words of Saint Mother Theodore

Besides the admirable union that exists between
persons of different nationalities, of dispositions so
opposite, some well informed, others without
education, there is also among the Sisters a great
spirit of faith, of piety and a confidence in God
which goes as far, I believe, as it an go.
~Saint Mother Theodore Guerin~

In these words I find encouragement, even hope that as a nation we can still be that melting pot of nationalities that can come together in union.  Yes, as one so that we will continue to grow as a nation that learns from those who come to share this land with us.  We are privileged to be a country that has evolved because of the beauty of individual cultures woven into this tapestry we call home.  We become a people of understanding and compassion when we allow ourselves to learn from others who seem different that we are. 

Thanks be to God!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Generosity of Providence

I can say that when reflecting on these words of Saint Mother Theodore I find no flaw in them.  For I have found, in my Journey of Providence, what she has said is true..  On the days most gray and bleak I can look back and see the hand of Providence as my guide.

Thanks be to God!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

On Holy Ground

I had the opportunity again to spend time at The Woods, that is Saint Mary-of-the Woods.  And there to tread on holy ground.  Yes, we followed the path of Saint Mother Theodore Guerin upon her arrival there nearly 160 years ago.  Having read about her journey in Mother Theodore Guerin, Journals and Letters, it was a wonderful experience to share it with others on this Providence Journey.  Sharing with the Sisters of Providence who live Saint Mother Theodore's mission and those of us who are learning to live it as Associates I was emboldened and excited to have been on Holy Ground.  The story of Mother Theodore is a true adventure!  An adventure worth sharing! 

Thanks be to God!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Providential Joy

The Sacredness of God's Handiwork

How do we live in creation?  Do we relate to it as a place full of "things" we can use for whatever need we want to fulfill and whatever goal we wish to accomplish?  Or do we see creation first of all as a sacramental reality, a sacred space where God reveals to us the immense beauty of the Divine? 

As long as we only use creation, we cannot recognize its sacredness because we are approaching it as if we were its owners.  But when we relate to all that surrounds us as created by the same God who created us and as the place where God appears to us and calls us to worship and adoration, then we are able to recognize the sacredness of all God's handiwork.
Henri J. M. Nouwen
Bread For the Journey

As I read these words of Henri Nouwen and listened to the words sung by Michael Card I was reminded how much I take this glorious world for granted.  Instead of expecting the roses to bloom and spread their beautiful petals, I should be in awe of the beauty!!!  It's the glory of God in our midst!  I should be jubilant in this garden.  I should be singing joyfully!!!  And so I will!!!

Thanks be to God!

Saturday, August 7, 2010


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When I hear the phrase, “Jesus saves,” I think of poorly lettered billboards on many a country road. I also remember an unpleasant incident when I was buttonholed by a street evangelist who asked: “Are you saved, brother?” But these unhappy experiences of insensitivity cannot change what is central for me, as for every Christian: Jesus does save. (Francis McNutt, The Word Among Us)

This article, Savior and Healer, is wonderful and I ask you all to visit The Word Among Us and read it.  I can personally attest the work of healing in my own family, spiritual and physical. 

The most dramatic case of physical healing came after Ron suffered from severe back pain for 18 months.  During that time he also underwent two upper endoscopy procedures, one to diagnose an ulcer and to rule out pancreatic cancer, the other to check the healing process of the ulcer.  It was finally determined that he should undergo a discectomy to remove the cause of the nerve impingement caused by the bulging disc.  For months friends and family had prayed for Ron.  After Mass the morning of the surgery,  Fr. Joe administered the Anointing of the Sick to Ron, while friends, Margaret and Bill, and I  laid hand on him.  That in itself is a moving and spiritual experience.

 While preparations were being made to begin the surgery, the surgeon came in to do the obligatory history and physical.  During the physical the Dr. tried to elicit pain from Ron.  He did all the neurological testing.  When all was done he said. "I can't do the surgery."  (I thought that was a poor joke to say to someone about to have major surgery!)  He indeed was serious!  He told us that since he couldn't cause Ron to have pain he couldn't in good conscience do the surgery because he could do more harm that good, should he have the surgery anyway.  He told Ron to call again when he was having the pain and he would reschedule the surgery.

To date, 3 years later, Ron as had no more pain or even slight discomfort.  Needless to say there was jubilation and exultation among family and friends as well as Ron himself.  There is healing!!!  It is here everyday and everywhere!!!

Thanks be to God!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Vanity of Vanities

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If you reflected at all on this reading from the Book of Ecclesiastes it had to have been and eyeopening event.  I have listened to this reading, as you have, for  many years, yet today is the day of wonder for me.  I was taught as a child that vanity is a sin.  In fact it is listed as one of the Seven Deadly Sins along with gluttony, covetousness, lust, anger, envy, and sloth.  A good explanation of vanity can be found at Catholic Culture. org.

Most of all I was struck by these words, "For what profit comes to man from all the toils and anxiety of heart with which he has labored under the sun?  All his days sorrow and grief are his occupation; even at night his mind is not at rest.  This also is vanity." (Ecclesiastes 2: 22-23)

Our world is full of vanity.  Why else would we be in a constant state of anxious labor?  Vanity tells us we can do it on our own.  So instead of trusting in Providence we lose sleep at night.  We over compensate, worry and find our only satisfaction in successes that are short lived, instead of relying on the source of all creation.  Yes, vanity!!!!  There this is the word for it and today I came to realize it.  Yes, and something else.  "[C]hrist is all and in all (Colossians 3: 11)! 

Thanks be to God!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

"What does it mean to be a good Catholic?"

Church of the Immaculate Conception
Saint Mary-of-the-Woods

For a long time now...I can't put it into hours, days, or months...I have been searching, wondering. It's one of those times of life when the soul is dry, arid and it needs nourishment and I don't seem to know where to find it. Perhaps, I'm looking in the wrong places. I do know I need some guidance.

In reflection today I picked up Mornings with Thomas Merton, 120 Daily Readings and came upon #62.

Another one of those times that turned out to be historical, as far as my own soul is concerned was when Lax and I were walking down Sixth Avenue, one night in the spring. The street was all torn up and trenched and banked high with dirt and marked out with red lanterns where they were digging the subway, and we picked our way along the fronts of the dark little stores, going downtown to Greenwich Village. I forget what we were arguing about, but in the end Lax suddenly turned around and asked me the question:

"What do you want to be, anyway?"

I could not say, "I want to be Thomas Merton the well-known writer of all those book review in the back pages of the Time Book Review," or "Thomas Merton the assistant instructor of Freshman English at the New Life Social Institute for Progress and Culture," so P put the thing on the spiritual plane, where I knew It belonged, and said:

"I don' know. I guess what I want it to be a good Catholic."

"What do you mean, you want to be a good Catholic?"

So I guess that I what I am trying to discern. You see I don't know what that means either.
Who determines what a good Catholic is. It is a fearful thing to feel unsure. I can only hope that that because I have not heard the Spirit speak to me yet, that He will see fit to clear my ears and head so that His words of wisdom will come through loud and clear.

For this time of discernment I say a hearty,
"Thanks be to God!"

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Christian song - Yahweh I Know You Are Near

I would simply ask you to listen and to reflect on the words. These are words of comfort. I know that for certain. at a time when I was in most need of comfort and release from anxiety these are the words that were sent to me.

Indeed, O Lord, I know your are near! This, to me, is the most reassuring part of my existence.

Thanks be to God!

Please join in this Music Monday by visiting Shawntele's lovely blog Saved By Grace each Monday for a musical and inspiring start to your week. She hosts Music Monday where we are invited to post a song or video. This is an opportunity to share the music that lift your soul and enlightens your life.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Failure of Conquest and It's Only Success

Archbishop Fulton Sheen wrote the book The Cross And The Beatitudes, Lessons on Love and Forgiveness. In it he offers us a poem by Harry Kemp. I was so taken by it this morning that I decided I would share it with you.

I saw the Conquerors riding by
With cruel lip and faces wan:
Musing on kingdoms sacked and burned
There rode the Mongol Genghis Khan;

And Alexander, like a God,
Who sought to weld the world in one;
And Caesar with his laurel wreath;

And leading, like a star the van,
Heedless of upstretched arm and groan,
Inscrutable Napoleon went
Dreaming of empire and alone...

Then all perished from the earth
As fleeting shadows from the glass,
And, conquering down the centuries,
Came Christ, the Swordless, on an ass.
~Harry Kemp~

The truth is there is no unity or empires, no success or wealth without Christ. There is no happiness in the pain of others. It cannot be found except in the salvation delivered to us on the Cross.
Thanks be to God!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Provident Celebration

Cross made from Lindon tree Mother Theodore planted on arrival to this area.

"What does it matter what becomes of us, provided God's work be accomplished?"
~Saint Mother Theodore Guerin

Today I privileged to attend the 50th Jubilee of Sister Mary Moloney. She has been a long time friend since our days in Oklahoma. The Sisters of Providence have been part of our family from that time. Because of these sisters I have been called to reflect on the on the effect of Providence in my/our life. It has been extraordinary! It has been quite a ride. Yes, and so it goes.

Also, as Providence would have it the Meditation for the Day in Magnificat calls us to a reflection on That very Providence again.

The Power of Faith

We must, then, have faith and not be dispirited. We must not be stopped by any kind of human calculation. To overcome the obstacles we have to throw ourselves into the task so that the very effort we make will open up new paths. Personal holiness, giving oneself to God, is the one cure which overcomes any difficulty.

Being holy means living exactly as our Father in heaven wants us to live. You will say that it is difficult. It is. The ideal is a very high one. And yet it is also easy. It is withing our reach. When a person becomes ill there may be not appropriate medicine. But in supernatural affairs, it is not like that. The medicine is always at hand. It is Jesus Christ, present, in the Holy Eucharist, and he also gives us his grace in the other sacraments which he established.

Let us say again in word and in action: "Lord I trust in you; your ordinary providence, your help each day, is all I need." We do no have to ask God to perform great miracles. Rater, we have to beg him to increase our faith, to enlighten our intellect, and strengthen our will. Jesus always stays by our side and is always himself. ~Saint Josemaria Excriva

To have experienced this joyous day is just another one of those memories that will remind me that this is where I supposed to be today!

Thanks be to God!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Gift of Assertion

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Those who, to please their listeners, avoid giving a forthright declaration of the will of God become the slaves of those they would please, and abandon
the service of God." ~Saint Basil, the Great

I'm wondering if Saint Basil is asking, "Are you a wishy-washy Catholic? Do you fear rejection by others because of your stance in defense of the Faith?"

It occurred to me that if that is the case I really need to call upon the Holy Spirit to fill me with the gift of fortitude so I can carry on. For if it is true that I would rather please my peers than please my Creator, I need to step back and consider what rejection of God might mean to me. It asks, "Do you fear rejection today or should you fear rejection for eternity?"

I really need to think about it! How about you?

Thanks be to God!

Sunday, June 6, 2010


I have been a long time in offering the wisdom of others. I kept waiting for someone else to contribute and was reminded that perhaps others are looking to me for that. So here is one i found most recently...

"The first end I propose in our daily work is to do the will of God; secondly, to do it in the manner he wills it; and thirdly, to do it because it is his will. ~~Saint Elizabeth Ann

A lesson that I personally need to learn.

Thanks be to God!!!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Music Monday~~Everyday God

This song calls me to my center, My God. I am called to the comfort, the love, to the one who is my salvation, my all!!!
Thanks be go God!

Please join in this Music Monday by visiting Shawntele's lovely blog Saved By Grace each Monday for a musical and inspiring start to your week. She hosts Music Monday where we are invited to post a song or video. This is an opportunity to share the music that lift your soul and enlightens your life.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Seeds of Sin

Do you know that often a root has split a rock
when allowed to remain in it?
Give no place to the seed of evil, seeing that it
break up your faith.
~Saint Cyril of Jerusalem~

This is a wonderful analogy. Read it again. I have considered my soul a garden. Yes, and have even compared the Sacrament of Reconciliation as the pruning hook. At the same time I have only considered the visible results of my weeds and flowers. I haven't considered the roots. In order for the garden to flourish it needs to be tended in other ways that by pruning. It needs to be cultivated and fed. I overlook that at times and like today I am reminded again. There is a lot of work to do in the garden if it is to flower in grace to avoid a "break up in [my] faith."

Thanks be to God!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Anger Management

I tried to post this yesterday on Kind Conversation under Words of Wisdom but somehow I managed to send it into cyberspace and there it may remain for ever. I will try again here today.

It struck me when I read this quote how very much anger does impact our lives and I could only imagine how much we would gain by "tempering" it.

Imagine your anger to be a kind of wild beast, because it too has ferocious teeth and claws. And if you don't tame it, it will devastate all things. It not only hurts the body; it even corrupts the health of the soul, devouring, rending, tearing to pieces all its strength, and making it useless for everything. ~Saint John Chrysostom

Truly Words of Wisdom to ponder.

Wishing all a grand weekend of peace and quiet!!!

Thanks be to God!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Music Monday~~Still Singing the Song

What a grand weekend!!! There was family and family to entertain. The musical was great fun as high school musical always are. And I'm so glad there is always a TOMORROW! Really, a song of hope to lift those Monday Spirits!

Thanks be to God!

Please join in this Music Monday by visiting Shawntele's lovely blog Saved By Grace each Monday for a musical and inspiring start to your week. She hosts Music Monday where we are invited to post a song or video. This is an opportunity to share the music that lift your soul and enlightens your life.