Thursday, December 15, 2011

Still Anticipating at 65

Advent is such a beautiful season.  It is time for renewal, it is especially a time for forgiveness, because brings this forgiveness o us in the shape of his Son.  ~~Catherine de Hueck Doherty

On this the occasion of my 65th birthday, I just want to say that Advent is a wonderful time to be born.  My whole life has been one of anticipation.  And no season says it better than Advent!!!

Thanks be to God!!!


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Thank You!!

"Prayer is an uplifting of the heart, a cry of gratitude and love."~~Saint Therese of Lisieux

During this Advent Season I don't think I take enough time to to this.  But it's not too late!!!  Relax and say, "Thank you!"

Thanks be to God!


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A Word To The Wise

Make Christ more visible than ourselves.
~Blessed Maria Karlowska~

Thanks be to God!


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Savior Within

He wants to be in you; he wants his breath to be your breath, his heart in your heart, and his soul  in your soul. 
~Saint John Eudes~~

This is my fervent desire.  That I carry his Spirit with me always.

Thanks be to God!


Monday, October 3, 2011

Words of Encouragement

"When I am incapable of praying, I want to keep telling Jesus that I love him. It's not difficult, and it keeps the fire burning"
~~Saint Therese of Lisieux~~

On this the feast day of dear Saint Therese I find these words most encouraging!!!

Thanks be to God!

Catherine Therese

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Lesson Learned

Try, my daughter, never to perform your actions with crooked intentions. What would it avail you to do better than someone else.  If it is from the motive of being admired? ~~Saint Mother Theodore Guerin~~
Indeed what would it avail me.  I need to remind myself that the only one I must please in this life is Almighty God and the praise and glory of  others mean nothing in the end.


Thanks be to God!


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Words of Encouragement!

Let your heart delight in the love your God has for you, personally, individually.
~Saint Katherine Drexel~


Personally and individually he LOVES me!
Thanks be to God!!!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Simple Justice

It is necessary to be just, that is to say, to have no preference for [anyone], nor show disgust for any of them. ~Saint Mother Theodore Guerin~

Thanks be to God!!!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Keep Silence With God

In order to hear the voice of God, one has to have silence in one's soul and to keep silence;not a gloomy silence, but an interior silence; that is to say, recollection in God.  One can speak a great deal without breaking silence; and, on the contrary, one can speak little and be constantly breaking silence. 

~Saint Faustina Kawalska~


A call to silence.  Hmmm, this is something I have not been able to achieve.  I think I love to hear the sound of my own voice.  I have so much to say, and I have to admit, little of it is of value.  I think I must be that gong that makes no music in the midst of the music made by the glorious voice of God.  And perhaps I have this need to avoid silence because I fear God's voice.  What will he ask me to do!?!  And again, working to achieve silence requires effort.  I am LAZY!  I do need help and the assistance can only come from God in whom I MUST rely!  I must rely on the Holy Spirit to achieve this and again I must practice it.  It seems in this quote by Saint Faustina I have found another call to try again!

Thanks be to God!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Padre Pio

Padre Pio by uCatholic
No pilgrim soul can worthily love God. But when a Soul does everything possible and trust in divine mercy, why would Jesus reject such a spirit? Has he not commanded us to love God according to our strength? If you have given and consecrated everything to God, why be afraid? ~Saint Padre Pio~

Padre Pio, a photo by uCatholic on Flickr.

Knowing this and having it reaffirmed I say,
Thanks be to God!!!


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

What Else Is Left But HOPE!

There are times when the events of the world, though not directly impacting my life, seem to be overwhelming.  There is the riot and looting in London, the death of 31 in the helicopter crash, an economy and nation in flux and teenagers on the lam from a shooting.  Oh my goodness, it could cause one to despair!  And then I read this:

But our hope is in the Providence of God, which has protected us until the present, and which will provide, somehow, for our future needs.  ~Saint Mother Theodore Guerin~

Again Hope should reign in our hearts.  For God will not desert us!  I can attest to that for in my life he has rescued me innumerable time.

And too Pope John XXIII tell us:

Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do.  

If I turn to my favorite Psalm I hear this:

LORD, you have probed me, you know me:
2you know when I sit and stand;
you understand my thoughts from afar.
3You sift through my travels and my rest;
with all my ways you are familiar.
4Even before a word is on my tongue,
LORD, you know it all.
5Behind and before you encircle me
and rest your hand upon me.
6Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
far too lofty for me to reach.
7Where can I go from your spirit?
From your presence, where can I flee?
8If I ascend to the heavens, you are there;
if I lie down in Sheol, there you are.
9If I take the wings of dawn
and dwell beyond the sea,
10Even there your hand guides me,
your right hand holds me fast.
11If I say, “Surely darkness shall hide me,
and night shall be my light”—
12Darkness is not dark for you,
and night shines as the day.
Darkness and light are but one.
~Psalm 139~

Finally,  if I would just listen more intently to the teaching of our Savior, I would hear loudly and clearly, "BE NOT AFRAID!"

And so it is today, I will leave the house and venture into a world that seem so out of control and journey with the Master.  For He is the one who is really in control!

Thanks be to God!


Friday, August 5, 2011

St. Thomas More

St. Thomas More by Fr. Peter  
St. Thomas More, a photo by Fr. Peter on Flickr.
A simple prayer offered today by St. Thomas More:

Give me, good Lord, such a love for you that I will love nothing in a way that displeases you, and I will love everything for your sake.

To that I say a sincere, "Amen."
Thanks be to God!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Sunrise Reflection

Why have you brought us up out of Egypt, to bring us to this wretched place?  It is no place for grain, or figs, or vines, or pomegranates; and there is no water to drink.
~~Numbers 20:5~~
Isn' it odd how sometimes the place we absolutely knew was the place for us--where God wants us to be--ends up being a little more complicated?  We wonder, has God changed his mind, or does he want us to be miserable?
It's a difficult situation to be in, as the Israelites discovered in the desert.  With patience and an open heart--to the needs of others, not just our own--God's will can become clear again.
Until the next time, at least.
Lord, when I begin to feel burned-out, help me seek your loving presence wherever I am.

A Catholic Woman's Book of Days
Amy Weborn

And so this is where I find myself today.  It's been many months since I have visited Amy and her words in this treasure she has written.  Lead by Providence I am sure, I  returned here today found these words were speaking to me.  Though certainly not miserable, I am facing decisions that are most uncertain.  As I enter the stage of life when there are few who require my daily nurturing and instruction, I am faced with the reality that now I really do have to take care of myself.  

I don't even know where to begin.   So I will seek guidance from others so that decisions can be made with  good judgement.  I will trust that my wellbeing is in the hands of the Almighty.  And again that I will continue this journey with my constant companion, Providence.

Thanks be to God!


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Catherine of Siena

Catherine of Siena by saints_c
Catherine of Siena, a photo by saints_c on Flickr.
Jesus, every day you give u this food, showing us yourself in the sacrament of the altar...And what has done this? Your mercy.  ~~ St. Catherine of Siena~~

I saw the living body of Christ last night as we gathered for the healing Mass.  It was compassion, caring, generosity, courage and love at its best.  The church was full.  As we continue to pray for "H" and the healing of this tumor, it is good to know that there are those who see the value of the healing power of the Holy Spirit.  As "H" allowed several hundred persons, family and friends, to lay on hands on him my own faith allowed me to believe that healing was moving in the midst of all of us.  

My fervent prayer is  that the Holy Spirit bless "H" abundantly and heal him completely.  Will you join me in that prayer?  Not just for "H" but for us all.  Indeed, that the mercy of our Savior may be on all of us.

God is GOOD!  All the time!!!

Thanks be to God!!


Tuesday, July 26, 2011


"ANY ONE who likes, therefore, may call my belief in God merely mystical; the phrase is not worth fighting about. But my belief that miracles have happened in human history is not a mystical belief at all; I believe in them upon human evidences as I do in the discovery of America. Upon this point there is a simple logical fact that only requires to be stated and cleared up. Somehow or other an extraordinary idea has arisen that the disbelievers in miracles consider them coldly and fairly, while believers in miracles accept them only in connection with some dogma. The fact is quite the other way. The believers in miracles accept them (rightly or wrongly) because they have evidence for them. The disbelievers in miracles deny them (rightly or wrongly) because they have a doctrine against them." ~GKC: 'Orthodoxy,' IX.

As I was considering this morning how I should proceed today I was guided to the words of G.K. Chesterton on Facebook.  It's marvelous how the hand of God inserts into our lives just what we need when we need it.  

For today I am praying for a miracle.  There are hundreds today who will be praying for a specific miracle. 

I believe in miracles!!!  They happen everyday to everyone.  Just a short 5 years ago Ron was to have surgery on his back for a herniated disc with nerve impingement.  He suffered severe pain for nearly 18 months and though not looking forward to the surgery he was anticipating it with hope.  The morning of the surgery, after Mass, Father anointed him while family and friends laid hands on him.  Surgery was to be at 9:00 a.m.  The Dr. came in to see Ron before surgery and do what Dr.s do.   He looked at Ron and said, "I can't do the surgery today."  

I said, "I that's not a funny joke."

He said, "It's not.  I can't do the surgery, because I cannot illicit pain.  If he no longer has the pain and I do the surgery I could cause even more injury and pain that he would have the rest of his life."

Yes, that's what he said.  He told Ron that if he found that the condition returned he should call and he would make arrangements for the surgery.  Since that day Ron has had no pain in his back.  Yes, it was a miracle.

 So now I'm hoping you will join us in the prayer.

H is a young man in our parish who will be going yet again to Memphis for treatment of brain cancer.  He and his family have made the trips before and will again as long as they can.    Chris has touched the lives of many.  He is the son, grandson, brother, nephew, cousin, friend, student, former student, athlete, artist.  He is "everyman."  

A Mass for healing will be said in his honor tonight at 6:30 p.m. CDT at Saint John the Baptist Church here in Newburgh.  If you cannot join us physically please stop and pray for the healing of this young man an all who suffer and need a miracle.  

May God bless you all today with a miracle.  Yes, a miracle!

Thanks be to God!!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Sir Thomas More

Sir Thomas More by XhowidisappearX

Sir Thomas More, a photo by XhowidisappearX on Flickr.

Whatever our bodies may be doing, we should a the same time continually life up our minds to God which is the most acceptable form of prayer.  For no matter which way we may turn our steps, as long as our minds are turned to God, we clearly are not turned away from him who is present everywhere.  ~~Saint Thomas More~~

I find these words comforting today.  I often find myself busy and don't have or take the time for quiet reflection.  But reading these words of Saint Thomas More bring me consolation.  If the purpose of my action is done in conjunction with the love of God it is a prayer.  If anxiety or worry cause me discomfort, I can find consolation in the action of offering it to God in prayer.  Oh my, what treasure this is!

Thanks be to God!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day

Remember, Lord, the fallen
Who died in fields of war, 
In flaming clouds, in screaming crowds,
On streets that are no more,
That we today might waken
And greet this day in peace
With grateful prayer for those who bear
The storms that never cease.

Remember friends and stranger, 
And those forgotten now,
Who names are known to you alone, 
Before whose love we bow
And ask that you surround them
With mercy's endless light
That they may live, and we forgive
The foe they went to fight

Remember, Lord, the living,
Who bear the pain of loss
A death she died who stood beside
Her Son upon the cross.

Remember all your children
The dead and those who weep,
And make us one beneath the sun
Where love will ever sleep.

Thanks be to God!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

May the Month of Mary

A wonderful quote by Saint Augustine

Christ's mother carried  him in her womb; may we carry him in our hearts.  The Virgin became pregnant with the Incarnation of Christ; may our hearts become pregnant with faith in Christ.  She brought forth the Savior; may our souls bring forth salvation and praise.

Thanks be to God!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Thanks be to God!

My reflection today is one suggested at Woodlands Home.  God's Providence as witnessed through the eyes of those around us.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Blessings From Above!

The wonders of God's power.
South Dakota, 2010

"Christ's mother carried him in her womb; may we carry him in our hearts The Virgin became pregnant with the incarnation of Christ; may our hearts become pregnant with faith in Christ. She brought forth the Savior; my our souls bring forth salvation and praise. ~Saint Augustine~

My initiation into motherhood happened 42 years ago today!  Our oldest was born.  She has been a delight and a joy!  Her gifts and enthusiasm for life have given me cause to thank God heartily endlessly for her and all her brothers and sister.  Treasures all!!!

Thanks be to God!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Sunday of Celebrations!

Pope John Paul II by Loci Lenar

Pope John Paul II, a photo by Loci Lenar on Flickr.

In light of Mary, the Church sees in the face of women the reflection of a beauty which mirrors the loftiest sentiments of which the human heart is capable; the self-offering totality of love; the strength that is capable of bearing the great sorrows; limitless fidelity and tireless devotion to work; the ability to combine penetrating intuition with words of support and encouragement.
Pope John Paul II
Redemptoris Mater, 1987

Celebration of many celebrations.  May begins with the month dedicated to the Mother of God.  It's Divine Mercy Sunday.   And finally, it is the dain in which Pope John Paul II is beatified.  
Thanks be to God!!!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Truth That Sets Us Free

This reflection was offered yesterday in the Magnificat.  To me it is a treasure.  It's here because I don't want to lose it.

Saint Catherine of Siena says:

It is easy to see Christ's patient the face of our sins, how he seems to pretend not to see...  What great patience, that he disregards the wrong done him!  On the cross he hears the clamor of those who first shouted, "Crucify him!" and now challenge him to come down from the cross.  And he cries, "Father, forgive them!"  He does not move when they shout that he should come down, but stays there till the end.

Then he joyously shouts, "It is finished!"  Yes, those seem to be sorrowful words, but they were words of joy to that soul aflame and consumed in the fire of divine charity, the soul of the incarnate Word, God's Son.   It is as if the gentle Jesus  wanted to say, "I have completely fulfilled what was written of me.  Fulfilled too is my painful desire to redeem the human race.  I am happy, exultant, that I have finished this suffering.  I have fulfilled the commission given me by my father, a commission I so longed to accomplish..."

Shame, shame on our human pride, our self complacency, our self-centeredness, when we see how good God has been to us, how many gifts and graces he had given us--and not because he has to but because he wants to.  Obtuse as we are, we seem not to see or feel this love so hot that, if we were made of stone, it would long ago have burst us open!...  Unhappy me!  I can see no other reason except that the eye of our understanding is not focused on the tree of the cross.  For there is revealed such warm love, such gently persuasive teaching has torn open his very body, has shed his life's blood and with that blood has baptized and bathed us.  We can and should make use of the baptism every day with continual remembrance and great love.  ~~Saint Catherin of Siena~~

Saint Catherine of Siena (+1380), Doctor of the Church, was a Dominican, stigmatist, and papal counselor.

Most eye-opening.  A lesson here to be learned by all, especially me!
Thanks be to God!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Finding Ourselves in Public Worship

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

In the book Lent and Easter, Wisdom from Thomas Merton, I was called to reflect on this subject, Finding Ourselves in Public Worship.  He says,

Now it is precisely in the liturgy, the public prayer of the Christian Assembly, that the Christian discovers the secret of his own inviolable solitude, and learns to respect the solitude of his brother and sister while at the same time sharing it...

Christian persons find themselves and their brothers and sisters in the communal celebration of the mystery of Christ.  But what is manifested, proclaimed, celebrated and and consummated in the liturgy is not my personality or your personality; it is the personality of Christ the Lord, who when two or three are gathered together in His Name, is present in the midst of us.  This presence of Christ in the liturgical celebration leads to our discovery and declaration of our own sacred and spiritual self.

It struck me as I read this that, indeed, I gather with my Family in Christ as a community.  And though we are all there with the purpose of praising the glory of God through Jesus Christ and the guidance of the Holy Spirit,  only I know and understand who I am in relation to my Savior.  Though we celebrate together our redemption in the saving act of the Eucharist, I am still truly alone with my Savior in prayer and celebration.   I cannot truly understand someone else and their relationship with the Almighty.  And yet we are called to communion one with another because we do share the same belief in the Risen Lord.  Yes, I am alone with Christ in the midst of others!  

To paraphrase Scott Hahn in his book, The Lamb's Supper, at the consecration it truly is when heaven comes to earth!  Jesus, our Lord and Savior is truly in our midst and again he offers himself to me as always in love.  
Thanks be to God!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Gathering Together To Meet Christ

The topic of this reflection in Lent and Easter , Wisdom from Thomas Merton is  sacred liturgy.

"Liturgy is a work in which the Church collaborates with the divine Redeemer, renewing on her altars the sacred mysteries which are the life and salvation of mankind, uttering again the life-giving words that are capable of saving and transforming our souls., blessing again the sick and the possessed, and preaching His Gospel to the poor." (page 24)

The question I am asked to reflect upon is, "What do you love about celebrating the liturgy with your faith community?:

My faith community is "family."  We gather to share our life experience.  We offer each other support.  We are on the Journey and we know it.  It is one of life's treasures given and accepted as reality!  For me it is affirming my belief that I have been redeemed, once for all by our Savior Jesus Christ.  It is a celebration of life and eternal life.  I have a "genealogy" that takes me to the root of salvation and I am privileged to share that with other believers in praising God.

Thanks be to God!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Peter's Denial

The reflection today comes from The Women of the Passion by Kathleen Murphy. She invites me to enter the courtyard where Peter is asked to affirm his loyalty to Jesus and instead denies him three times. 

All Matthew's Jewish listeners and readers would have understood the deep significance of the fact that the denial was threefold, that it became more adamant each time, and that the final witness to it was a man.  Having been brought up in the Jewish culture, they would have known that the testimony of a woman would have been viewed as implausible.  The word of a man posed no problems.  One man's evidence was believed to be more trustworthy than that of a multitude of women (page 10).

I have chosen to reflect on this short passage not so much because of Peter's denial but because it depicts a reality that even today is true.  It suggests that the marginalized, women, children and even men, have no voice.  And then I am asked, "[Am I] genuinely committed to living the gospel  consciously, not just during the few weeks of Lent but holistically and through the whole  of life's journey?" (page 13)  Am I willing to leave my comfort zone and take a stand for these children of God?

I want to say that I am consciously living the Gospel every day of the year.  I hope that I can continue to be a witness to the values Christ has instilled in me.  I am like Peter though.  I have failed on many levels.  I do enjoy my comfort zone!  It is hard for me to take risks.  I am frightened!  But you know, when I least expect it the Holy Spirit does guide me in the right direction.  There is still a lot of Peter in me.  But, through the grace of God and the guidance of the Holy Spirit I am able to reflect on the failure and find solace in the fact that I am love by God as one of his creations and am forgiven.  And being forgiven I will again step forward and do God's will.

Thanks be to God!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A Penitent Heart

I read and was amazed by the clarity with which I was able to understand today's reflection. I've been struggling with the reflections until today.

Thomas Merton says in Lent and Easter Wisdom from Thomas Merton :
"The Call to 'do penance' is based not on the fact that penance will keep us trim, but on the fact that 'the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.' Our penance--metanoia--is our response to the proclamation of the Gospel; message, the Kerygma which announces our salvation if we will hear God and harden not our hearts. The function of penance and self-denial is then contrition, or the 'breaking up' of that hardness of heart which prevents us from understanding God's command to love and from obeying it effectively."
I have known that penance is a reparation for my sins...but somehow three Our Fathers and three Hail Marys and a good Act of Contrition just seemed too easy, simple, not quite as demanding as I considered it should be. And then I read, "The function of penance and self-denial is then contrition, or the 'breaking up' of that hardness of heart which prevents us from understanding God's command to love and from obeying it effectively." God's command to me is to love and obey the Gospel. That is not simple, easy and it is demanding.

So when I write about the Journal question today I do so in humility. For God is good and has shown me the true meaning of penance through Thomas Merton. I've been asked, as part of the Journey today, to share my last act of "charity" and why I did it.

Yesterday one of our patients, an elderly lady, arrived to see the doctor in a state of weakness caused by several days of epistaxis (bleeding from the nose). She had been to the emergency room twice for it, the most recent visit that morning. She was exhausted and very anxious. For the first time in 12 years I met her husband. She always came alone for she drove herself. Yesterday she could not. This lady who was always neatly dressed came in her nightgown and robe. Laying her head on the table she looked weary and exhausted. She was frightened and when the bleeding hadn't stopped she took out the packing. It was annoying and she didn't think it was working. When she went back to the ER they put in a drain and made an appointment for her to see a specialist, but not until today. After seeing the doctor, who consulted with another doctor who was the otolaryngologist (ENT) she will be seeing today, he was able to reassure her that with the treatment the other doctor would provide the bleeding would soon stop. Be assured that the patient was not hemorrhaging or having frank bleeding. She was frightened because she was so weak.

As she was getting into the wheelchair, she said, "Cathy, pray for me." A assured her I would. But what she said after that made me thank God for her and her presence in my life. She said, "Thank you. You always offer me such consolation when I come here."

Praying for others is an act of charity. I often forget that because it is an easy way to "care" for others. There is no monetary value. There is no physical labor required no special equipment. But is is the most powerful tool I own! And I did it out of love and concern for this dear lady. It became a time for me when my hardened heart became softer and more tender because of this encounter with Christ. (Matthew 25: 31-40)


Thanks be to God!

Sunday, March 13, 2011


Thomas Merton by jimforest

Thomas Merton a photo by jimforest on Flickr.

I've been reflecting on the medication from Thursday now for three days.  First, I haven't heard the word "compunction" for years!!!  And then I tried to remember how it was that I had learned about it.  Well, I can't remember.  So, I'm thinking this is a new lesson I need to learn.  

According to Thomas Merton...

Compunction is a baptism of sorrow, in which the tears of the penitent are a psychological but also deeply religious purification, preparing  and disposing him for the sacramental waters of baptism or for the sacrament of penance.   

He goes on to say...

The acceptance of reality is always a liberation from the burden of illusion that we strive to justify by our errors and our sins.  Compunction is a necessary sorrow, but it is followed by joy and relief because it wins for us one of the greatest blessing: the light of truth and grace of  humility.

The question posed for the reflection asks, "What are the illusions in my life that I accept as my reality?"

I tried considering things in my life that I see as reality that are just illusions.   An analogy came to mind this morning.  I was reminded of the time I had a facial.  My goodness it was wonderful and relaxing.  It lasted an hour and I really felt better afterward.  The illusion, to me, is that I really look so much better and that I might indeed just look a few years younger.  The reality is I am still 64 and younger I am not.  The reality too is that I did feel better.

So compunction is the facial.  Time must be taken to cleanse and refresh.  This may not be as pleasant as the facial had been but it is required of me if I am to experience the joy of true penance for my sins.  This means I must be serious about my sins...Yes, admit it you SIN, Cathy.  You are not so holy!  In many ways I am the Pharisee  In the front of church thanking God for my "holiness," when I should be the sinner in the back asking for forgiveness.   

I'm still sure I understand it completely but at least I've spent time seriously reflection on it.  More time in reflection might just bring about even more understanding!

Thanks be to God! 

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Unnamed Woman

Today one of my reflections has come to me from The Women of the Passion by Kathleen M. Murphy. The first chapter of the book relates to Matthew's Gospel about the "Unnamed Woman Who Anointed Jesus at Bethany" (Matthew 26: 10-11)  It places me in the house of Simon the Leper.  I can witness the entire event.  Jesus is anointed by a woman who is obviously an outsider and worse yet a sinner.  She enters without invitation and then to the shock and dismay of the other guests bathes Jesus in beautifully aromatic oil.  It's expensive and even to the Apostles it seems to have been wasted for it could have been sold and the money used for the "cause."

But Jesus aware of this, said to them, "Why do you trouble the woman?  For she has done a beautiful thing to me.  For you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me. (Mt 26:10-11)

The illustration here is meant, I think, to cause reflection on how, in my life, I have cared for the poor, neglected, or marginalized.   Do I spend more time in acquiring my "wants" and fail to consider the "needs" of others?

I am often saddened by the tragedies in this world.  Though I contribute regularly to causes for the poor and marginalized and pray for them, is that all I can do.  I guess what I need is guidance from the Holy Spirit to lead me to better see the road I must take in becoming more sensitive to the needs of others personally.

Thanks be to God! 

Thursday, March 10, 2011

My Journey with Thomas Merton

Thomas Merton by jimforest
Thomas Merton a photo by jimforest on Flickr.

This Lent I am spending time daily with Lent and Easter, Wisdom from Thomas Merton, compiled by Montaldo at the Merton Institute for Contemplative Living and published by Ligori Press.  There are a number of texts in this series and all are good.  But I chose to start here.  The source of the reflections come form his book of essays Seasons of Celebrations.

Lent is our "Holy Spring" as Catholics and as part of the journey I have been asked to keep a Lenten Journal.  This is the beginning.  Thomas Merton says, "...Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the Lenten fast, is a day of happiness, a Christian feast.   It cannot be otherwise, as if forms part of the great Easter cycle...Lent is not a season of punishment so much as one of healing." (pg. 2)

And so I am asked:  "In what ways do you consider Lent to be a 'a season of celebration?'"

As I thought about this I remember my childhood and the Lenten practices we share as family.  There was of course the standard "offering up" of CANDY.  Now we seldom got candy at my house except at Christmas or Easter, but know that I could not have it still instilled in me the focus on what is important in our lives.   OH!  Don't forget, no ice cream.  Yes, ice cream was always in the freezer!  It was and is a celebration!  I celebrated then as now how we did more things as family.  There was evening Bible reading.  Wednesday night was benediction with a short homily and Friday night was the Stations of the Cross.  I really never felt punished during this season, but I was challenged more to behave in a manner that was more charitable.

Today, that challenge to celebrate is considerably more difficult for me.  I don't have Mom and Dad to monitor my journey.  They aren't here to nudge me in the right direction.  I have to rely on my own will to "celebrate" the journey and traditions that bring us to ultimate celebration, the triumph of the cross! I am guided through Holy scripture, taken by the hand and lead to the ultimate celebration at the Resurrection, the Day that saved the world and gained for us all Eternal Salvation!

Thanks be to God!