Thursday, February 25, 2010

Who Do YOU Say I Am?

I have today been challenged to consider who I SAY Jesus is. A daunting task. For every time I think I have a conception that is clear, I again realize that he cannot be explained in human terms.

The reflection I offer is from A Catholic Woman's Book of Days by Amy Welborn.

Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages
of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way he asked
his disciples, "Who do people say that I am?"
~Mark 8:17
Who is Jesus? If we look around, we see lots of different variations on the theme of Jesus. Lots of options.

I often find that the more intense and wild the speculation, the less interest the speculator has in the most reliable sources we have when it comes to the question of who Jesus is: the Scriptures and the life of his church.

Who do I say that he is? An I just curious--or does the answer really matter? Where do I go to get to know the One who love me so?
Jesus, May I know who you are as I meet you in word and sacrament.


And so I leave you to speculate, reflect, ponder, pray. Commune with Him who loves you so much! For only you can answer this question satisfactorily for yourself. Only you can know who Jesus is to you. It's personal. It's without definition. It's only me and Jesus and you and Jesus. The glory in this is that the time spent with Him will give us a new perspective each and every time we have this time alone with Him.

Thanks be to God!!!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Wisdom from St. Francis and St. Clare of Assisi

Today I find that the offering from Lent and Easter, Wisdom from Saint Francis and Saint Clare of Assisi brings me comfort and encouragement. Offering you the same.

Burning with Love for Christ

...[M]ay you, therefore, be inflamed ever more strongly with the fire of love! As you further contemplate His ineffable delights, riches, and perpetual honors, and, sighing, may you cry out from the great desire and love of your heart:

"Draw me after you,
let us run in the fragrance of your perfumes,
O heavenly Spouse!
I will run and not tire,
until You bring me into the wine-cellar,
until Your left hand is under my head
and your right hand will embrace me happily,
You will kiss me with the happiest kiss of Your mouth."
Saint Clare of Assisi,
"The Fourth Letter to Agnes of Prague." 57

Let Your Flame Shine

You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is throw out and tramples under foot.

You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be his. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under a bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, lit your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.
Matthew 5:13-16


Lord Jesus, the love I share with others in this world is only a small refection of your love for me. It is a spark compared with the light of the sun. This Lenten season, enkindle my heart so that the fire of my own love for you might grow in intensity and better resemble your love for me. May my life itself be a flame that makes your own light present in the world.

Lenten Action

Use a candle during prayer this Lenten season as a reminder of the love of Christ that burns withing your. Be an agent for light in the world that often seems overcome by darkness; be a positive and uplifting presence to those around you.

I think the kindest message for me here today is that I should make a conscious effort to offer true and honest, loving and compassionate assistance to those with whom I meet each day. This is not an easy task as there are those I meet who seem to dare me to be nice to them. I am grateful for this encouragement.
Thanks be to God!
Lent and Easter, Wisdom from St. Frances and St. Clare of Assisi is compiled by John V. Kruse

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Wisdom from Pope John Paul II

You know, I really don't like to consider my flaws, my weaknesses. I'd prefer to think of myself as a good person who makes mistakes because of weakness. What I fail to consider sometimes is that those mistakes, if done often enough, soon are not mistakes but choices made freely and they then become sin. So while reflecting on today's offering in Lent and Easter Wisdom from Pope John Paul II, compiled by John V Kruse, I realized that I have a lot of work to do. I should acknowledge the weakness, accept the weakness, and allow myself to grow because of this weakness through the grace of God. Even more difficult is the Lenten Action offered here.

Finding Christ In Our Own Shortcomings

True disciples of Christ are conscious of their own weakness. For this reason they put all their trust in the grace of God and they accept it with undivided hearts, convinced that without Him they can do nothing (see John 15:5). What characterizes them and distinguishes them from others is not their talents or natural gifts. It is their firm determination to proceed as followers of Jesus. May you be imitators of them as they were of Christ!
Message for the 18th World Youth Day (April 13, 2003)
From the Vatican, March 8, 2003

Christ's Strength Revealed in Human Weakness

Therefore, to keep me from being too elated, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me, to keep me from being too elated. Three times I appealed to the Lord about this, that it would leave me, but he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness." Si, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities for the sake of Christ; for whenever I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Corinthians 12:7-10


Lord, there is no hiding it: I am far from perfect. I have many weaknesses. I fall many times on my spiritual journey. I praise you as you use my neediness and weakness to demonstrate your own strength and glory. Help Me to remember that you can work great things through me--warts and all. I need only to follow you.

Lenten Action

Identify one of your weaknesses. Place that weakness in God's hands. Think of a way that God may have used that weakness to demonstrate his own strength and glory.

Thanks be to God!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Wisdom from G. K. Chesterton

Criticism Like God's

A Good Critic should be like God in the great saying of a Scottish mystic. George MacDonald said that God was easy to please and hart to satisfy. That paradox is the poise of all good artistic appreciation.

Fancies Versus Fads


Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.
Hebrews 13:16

Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Matthew 5:48


Heavenly Father, we know we can always do more to please you. Help us to see this fact as a cause for celebration, a reason to delight in the work you give us; may we not be pressed down by our responsibilities but be lifed up by them, for in doin your will we draw closer to you, close to joy.


Are you familiar with George MacDonald, the writer mentioned in today's passage by Chesterton? MacDonald was a great influence on Chesterton and many other Christian writers, including C. L. Lewis and J. R.R. Tolkien. If you are on the Internet today, look up a brief biography of George MacDonald. If your interest is Piqued, but or borrow one of his many books.

(Lent and Easter, Wisdom from G. K. Chesterton, Compilation, Prayers and Actions by Thom Satterlee and Robert Moore-Jumonville)

Today, as I leave on retreat, I pray that I may discern more fully the path I will continue to trod through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the love of God and the gentle teachings of Jesus.

Thanks be to God!!!
Art by In Toon With The World

Thursday, February 18, 2010

God's Providence...

St. Ignatius of Loyola
by Peter Paul Rubens

Today I offer this reflection from Lent and Easter Wisdom from St. Ignatius of Loyola compiled by James L. Connor, SJ

God's Providence in Life Experiences

The Power of Vanity

When the bones knit, one below the knee remained astride another, which caused a shortening of the leg. The bones so raised cause a protuberance that was not pleasant to the sight. The sick man was not able to put up with this, because he had made up his mind to seek his fortune in the world. He...asked the surgeon whether it could not be cut away. They told him that it could be cut away, but that the pain would be greater than all he had already suffered...He determined, nevertheless, to undergo this martyrdom to gratify his own inclination. ~St. Ignatius' Own Story, 8

The Power of Service

"A certain Ananias, who was a devout man according to the low and well spoken of by all the Jew living there, came to me; and standing beside me, he said, 'Brother Saul, regain your sight!' In that very hour I regained my sight and saw him. Then he said, 'The God of our ancestors has chosen you to know his will, to see the Righteous One and to hear his own voice; for you will be his witness to all the world of what you have seen and heart'" ~Acts 22: 12-15


Dear Lord, as I embark on the Lenten and Easter journey, free me from the vanity that imprisoned the your Ignatius Loyola. Fill me with the Holy Spirit that empowered Paul of Tarsus to travel the known world in service of others and call of the Gospel. This I ask in the name of Jesus our Lord. Amen.

Lenten Action

Look for the opportunity through the day to congratulate at least two people for something they have done well. Nothing builds trust and confidence more that affirmation like that.

Thanks be to God!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Lenten Reflection With Thomas Merton

Photo by Jim Forest

Please continue to journey with me this Lent as we are taught by those who have lessons to teach. So it is that today we are visited by Thomas Merton in the book Lent and Easter Wisdom from Thomas Merton from The Thomas Merton Institute for Contemplative Living. Let us stop and listen.

Lent Is Our "Holy Spring"

Even the darkest moments of the liturgy are filled with joy and Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the Lenten fast, is a day of happiness, a Christian feast. It cannot be otherwise, as it forms part of the great Easter cycle.

The Paschal Mystery is above all the mystery of life in which the Church, by celebrating the death and resurrection of Christ , enters into the Kingdom of Life which He has established once for all by His definitive victory over sin and death. We must remember the original meaning of Lent, as the ver sacrum, the Church's "holy spring" i n which the catechumens were prepared for their baptism, and public penitents were made ready by penance for their restoration to the sacramental life in a communion with the rest of the Church. Lent is then not a season of punishment so much as one of healing. ~Thomas Merton, Seasons of Celebration, 113
A Season of Celebration

So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself...So we are ambassadors for Christ...we entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who know no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

As we work together with him, we urge you also not to accept the grace of God in vain. For he says

"At an acceptable time I have listened to yo, and on a day of salvation I have helped you."

See now is the acceptable time; see now is the day of salvation!
2 Corinthians 5:17-6:2


With faith in your resurrection, with hope in your power that undoes every death, I lift up my heart with love for you. She for your Holy Spirit who makes me more deeply your disciple. Crossing the threshold of this holy season, I renew my gratitude for the gift of being alive. On this Holy Wednesday, my forehead smeared with ashes, I accept my own death as holy: you have sanctified it. I offer my life and my death in thanksgiving to you, Jesus, the Christ, my Savior and my God.

Lenten Journal

However you write in your Lent and Easter Journal, be truthful to your own experience. The question proposed for each day is only suggestive. Give your heart and mind free range. First question: In what ways do you consider Lent to be a :season of celebration"?


May God in all his Mercy bless us all as we journey together this wonderful Season of Lent and Easter!
Thanks be to God!!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Wisdom from G. K. Chesterton

I will try during this Season of Holiness to offer reflections from those far more wise than me. I rely on these to offer me guidance and instruction, consolation and comfort. Hoping these will offer you all the same.

My first offering comes from Lent and Easter, Wisdom from G. K. Chesterton offered by The Center for the Study of C. S. Lewis and Friends. Published by Ligouri Press

Frenzied Asceticism

The essential difference between Christian and Pagan asceticism lies in the fact that Paganism in renouncing pleasure gives up something which it does not think desirable; whereas Christianity in giving up pleasure gives up something it thinks very desirable indeed. Thus there is a frenzy in Christian asceticism; its follies and renunciation are like those of first love. ~G. F. Watts

Spiritual Worship

I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. ~Romans 12:1.


Father, we offer in you only what we have been given from you; our bodies and our selves. Show us how we can worship you through the use of our bodies and the giving of ourselves. We want to live for others, as your Son has taught us.

Lenten Action

It seems odd that we should give up pleasures that we consider good. but perhaps Chesterton's point in the quotation above is that we are always free to give up these pleasure and at times are drawn to do so out of love for others. As you go through your day today, think of pleasures you would like to give up for the sake of another. Would you miss an hour of sleep to speak with someone who needs your attention? Its there something else that you love but are willing to give up because you love some other person even more?

Thanks be to God!!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Music Monday~~Amazing Grace

One of my favorite hymns sung by three angelic voices!!! Let the words and music settle deep inside you! God be praised!!!


Thanks be to God!

If you wish to join in this Music Monday visit 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.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Family ties
Common ground for living
Compassion, sharing, nurturing love

Today is my scheduled day for Spiritual Direction with Sister Dorothy. As part of my Reflections for the Journey, I have been asked to reflect on kinship and those who nurture that kinship.

Family can comes in many forms. There is my biological family. I have a work family. There is my cherished church family. And then there is my dedicated and diligent prayer family. And now as an Associate of the Sisters of Providence, I find I have another family in which I can rely for support and to which I can offer support. In other words, I see kinship as an extension of who I am. I am part of the whole that has many parts.

Along the way there are those who have guided, formed and gently "tweaked" me into being, a progress that continues until I am called home to the Father. I have had loving and assertive mentors who sometimes found my laziness and diligence lacking in zeal and have nudged me firmly along the way. There are those at times who had to temper the zeal because it was out of control. I am a person of two extremes with the middle road sometimes less worn than the gullies on both sides of the road.

To those who have tried to keep me from the ditches I am eternally grateful for without you I would have long ago failed to get up and try again.

Saint Mother Theodore Guerin said:

To write requires time; but to love, to cherish, to pray for, through that desire we have for the happiness of our friends, time is not needed.

Thanks be to God!!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Touched by the Word

Posted by Picasa

I was invited by Valerie at Intelligent Expressions to share in picture, scripture and word project. It is meant to bolster and encourage us every day. Because I cannot make a commitment to do this daily I will try to share with you words through pictures that have touched me. I think this is wonderful idea. Please visit Valerie and share in her daily reflections. They are beautifully done and will draw you back daily. Offer your own!

So today is my first offering. May God bless you all abundantly this day!

Thanks be to God!

(Just as with all posts...there are some rough edges. This one has some really rough edges, including the lack of a good editor!!! The zeal is there to share however!)