The Son (Sun) of God shines upon us and through us. The evidence that God is shining upon us is our shadow. We would have no shadow without God’s radiating benevolence. “Shadow” is not used here as a Jungian term, the repressed side of us. No, “shadow” is the residue of God, the stuff of God that “happens” when we are at one with God. Just as Jesus’ shadow fell upon the sick, we cannot prevent our shadows from falling upon the ground on a sunny day. And who would want to prevent our spiritual shadows from falling upon the ground when God is shining upon us?
I’m never so full that I can’t enjoy blueberry pie, coconut candy, lemon meringue, berries and ice cream, or anything else that’s sweet. While some have a sweet tooth, I boast a whole mouthful of sweet teeth. There’s always room for dessert.
In my life of prayer, too, I long for the sweets, and God may set before me dainties. For example, the time of prayer goes quickly, I am moved by a religious song, I feel very loved by God, and I may even hear the voice of God. These mystical experiences are the desserts in our Christian diet. Such spiritual “highs” are God’s way of drawing us closer. Once we experience them, we want more. There’s always room for such spiritual “desserts.”
This morning at Mass, I had one of those “These Scripture readings were chosen just for me” moments. The Gospel from Matthew reminds us:
“Do not worry about how to speak or what to say; what you are to say will be given to you when the time comes; because it isnot you who will be speaking; the Spirit of your Father will be speaking in you.”
As we begin our three days of Province meetings today, I’m hoping I can keep this counsel in mind. How different all of our conversations would be each day if I would only trust God to speak in and through me AND trust that God is speaking in and through everyone else.
How will you allow God to speak in you today?
Today we celebrate St. Benedict. He reformed the way monks–and we–pray the Liturgy of the Hours (Divine Office). He chose the “Lite Psalter” method of fewer psalms and shorter hours (prayers prayed periodically throughout the day). Before his reform some monks would claim “One for the strong!” meaning they would allow themselves only one hour of sleep, giving 23 hours to prayer. In this way they felt they followed Jesus’ dictum to “pray always.” To stay awake they prayed 150 psalms, the whole Psalter.
Another interpretation of “pray always” is to punctuate our day with prayer. I’d much rather do that! Today be like Benedict. Pray fewer prayers, but fully engage in prayer. Also try saying a short prayer before beginning the next activity, or use down times like waiting on the computer or emptying the dishwasher as times of prayer.
17 Sisters of Notre Dame … 955 years of service to God’s people … one tremendous celebration of God’s faithful love and our Sisters’ faith-filled response! If anyone would ask me what is my favorite day in community life, I would have to say it is definitely community jubilee day. Generosity abounds in the preparations. Joy is contagious; laughter echoes everywhere. It’s a day to give thanks for the gift of one another in our community. When I was a young Sister, I was awed by the many years my Sisters had spent in serving God. I wondered if I would ever arrive at such a day. Now that I’m years beyond my silver jubilee, I am even more awed by God’s faithful love. When we renew our vows, we trust in Our Lady’s help and the prayers and support of our Sisters to sustain us. Today we celebrate that gift in 17 wonderful women of God. Thank you, Sisters, for blessing us with your lives! Bring on the celebration!
We had a great time yesterday with many of our Sisters coming together for our annual Fourth of July picnic at Lial. While the heat kept most people indoors (except for those who couldn’t resist the pool!), a few did venture out to do the grilling for our evening meal. We’re grateful they were willing to “take the heat” for our benefit!
I sometimes wonder about how much I take for granted when it comes to freedom and democracy, standard of living, and the many blessings that I experience each day. Even in the midst of the aftermath of the storms this past week, I was blessed to have a home, electricity, food and a place to cool off in the excessive heat. Days like this when we celebrate these many gifts call me to a twofold action: 1) I, like Mary, acknowledge that all I have received is because of God’s goodness and love, and 2) I renew my commitment to prayer and action for those who are subject to the effects of poverty and injustice.
A Happy and Grateful Fourth of July to all!
I leave in a couple of hours for our first week of migrant ministry in Leipsic/Miller City, Ohio. Sister Susan Marie and I have ten high school volunteers who will be joining us for this week of service. This program has been in place for years and is a wonderful way for us to help make a difference in the lives of these migrant children and families. Even greater than what we provide for them is what they provide for us! It’s a great joy for us to be able to spend a week learning a bit of the migrant culture and experiencing their simple, strong love for life!
Pray for us this week and check back for pictures early next week!
Today’s Gospel reading from Matthew takes us back to the basics of prayer as Jesus teaches His followers the “Our Father.” This is certainly not new to any of us, and yet I find myself wondering how much I really think about the words I pray. The line that jumps out for me today is “May your name be held holy.” What does it look like to hold someone’s name as holy? I picture holding something very precious and sacred, cradling it in the palm of myhand, and guarding it with my life. It certainly has my undivided attention.
I also wonder how Mary must have prayed to the Father, the Father of her Son Jesus, who has given her life and placed the life of Jesus within her? Certainly, she knows a unique intimacy with God. I could envy her relationship with the Father, but then I recall that God has also given me life and I have the privilege of daily receiving the life of Jesus in Eucharist.
Perhaps we relate to God under the title “Father” or perhaps we have another name for God. The important piece is the depth of our relationship of love and that we daily call God by name.
What is your favorite name/title for God?
If it’s true that the heart holds the essence of a person, then I, for one, certainly want to know the heart of Mary. If anyone is in tune with Jesus, the Father and the Spirit, it’s Mary. As we celebrate today the feast of her Immaculate Heart, let us pray for the grace to be truly generous in offering our hearts to God at all times and in all the events of our lives.
Special prayers today for our Immaculate Heart of Mary Province in Covington, KY!