Author Archives: Sr. Mary Teresita Richards

Make room for changes

April 3rd, 2014 | Posted by Sr. Mary Teresita Richards in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

“How can you believe what I say?”

John 5:47

Leo Buscaglia claims that “you can’t learn anything without having to readjust everything that you are around the new things that Culinary_exchangeyou’ve learned.” The Jews to whom Jesus speaks in today’s gospel are unwilling to readjust. They accepted the testimony of Moses, but not that of Jesus and his Father. They could have searched the scriptures to determine Jesus’ authenticity, but their minds were closed. They accepted someone who comes in his own name but did not accept someone who came in his Father’s name. They relished praise from one another, “yet [did] not seek the glory that comes from the One God.”

 How willing are we to learn new things and readjust the old? Do we allow people to change? When we hear good things about someone we dislike, do we rearrange our resentments to let in the good news, or do we say “it can’t be true”? When we receive affirmation, do we accept it or deny our gifts? When new people or circumstances come into our lives, do we make room? Are we willing to change when change deepens our life of faith? If we’re unwilling to change, will we have the capacity to believe the new things God wishes to tell us?

Lord, help me to readjust.

 

March for Life 2014 – Adoption is an option!

January 24th, 2014 | Posted by Sr. Mary Teresita Richards in Uncategorized - (2 Comments)

As I sat on the bus waiting for my fingers and toes to warm up after 3 ½ hours of standing and walking outside on the streets of Washington D.C., I reflected on what an amazing experience the March for Life was for me.

Bundled under 5 layers of clothing and equipped with toe warmers in our boots and hand warmers in our mittens, we were ready.

Our first stop was the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception to join thousands of others for Mass.  The Mass at this location and all the others taking place that morning was akin to the largest 40 Days for Life event in the USA.  Just having that many people joined in prayer for one specific need is effective.  Prayer changes hearts, first our own.

photowithHeidiThe crowd was predominantly teenagers and young adults.  They were cold, but joyful, positive and focused.

The speakers added a new emphasis this year – help others to consider the option of adoption.  A  member of the House  shared the joy of being able to adopt a child, a woman who had an abortion as a college student and was left sterile by it shared her deep gratitude for the sacrifice and courage of the woman who allowed her to adopt her child.  A young man shared his gratitude for his birth mother for choosing life and to his adoptive parents for choosing and loving him.

This new focus is something the participants could take home with them.  The front lines of the fight against abortion are now in college dorm rooms and in the homes of their friends.  A simple home pregnancy test and the morning after pill are obtainable over-the-counter.  Friends who are fearful might turn to them for advice.  Here is their chance to give witness to what they have learned.  Along with scientific evidence of how destructive this choice is to the child and the mother, they can offer them hope and an alternative, adoption.

While we marched youth joyfully sang Christian songs or ProLife parodies or chanted cheers:  “♪Go tell it to the Congress, Senate and House and everywhere.  Go tell it to the Congress that babies must be born! ♪”  “We love babies, yes we do, we love babies how ‘bout you!”  (This chant was echoed at one point by a group standing on a balcony of a federal building.)

The older gentleman who was our bus driver was also deeply moved by the youth on our bus.  He said he noticed their prayerful spirit and was moved by the powerful reflections they shared about their experience over the speaker system on the bus after the March.  He also affirmed the power of youth to speak out on behalf of noble causes like this.  “Never say you are too young to make a difference!”

Just before we got off the bus one college student said that she hoped to see us next year, IF it is necessary.

So, IF it is necessary, who wants to march with me next year? Circle the date: January 22, 2015.  If you’ll walk with me, I’ll bring the toe warmers for your boots!

FIAT! Let it be!

December 19th, 2013 | Posted by Sr. Mary Teresita Richards in Uncategorized - (1 Comments)

pray_skyMary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord, may it be done to me according to your word.”      Luke 1:38

IN LATIN, this response of Mary was “FIAT!”  That tiny word holds lots of meaning.  Literally it means “Let it be.”  Perhaps we could also translate it as – Lord, I want what you want.  What desires does God have for your life?  What wild, amazing adventures does the Good God want to invite you on?  Are you brave enough to ask?

Here’s a first step:  simply open up your hands as you pray.  Try it during the Our Father as you pray “Thy kingdom come, they will be done.”   Pray for the grace to desire what God desires.  Or try opening up your hands when you sing the Great Amen at the end of the consecration of the Mass.  Let that gesture be your way of praying Whatever you want God that is what I want — help me to desire it.”  

Don’t limit God by telling Him what you think you need.  At times we don’t even know what the best thing is for us.  We dream too small at times.  So go ahead and try it.  Open your hands and your heart and dare to say “FIAT!”

 

Teach us, God

December 13th, 2013 | Posted by Sr. Mary Teresita Richards in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

“Thus says the Lord, your redeemer….I, the Lord, your God, teach you what is for your good.”    Isaiah 48:17

 handheld_device_4686147794HAVE YOU EVER BOUGHT a new gadget or piece of technology and then struggled to learn how to use it? Perhaps you worked some time at it before giving in and consulting the owner’s manual.  Maybe even after reading it the directions remained elusive.  Why can’t we just sit down with the designer and ask him or her to teach us how to use it.

Today in our first reading God is offering to sit down with us and teach us.  He knows our capabilities and our immense capacities because he created us.  He holds the blueprints for humanity because he is our designer.  He handcrafted all of us and each of us individually.  Additionally his very breath animates us with life.  It is this God that is offering to tutor us, to mentor us.  What an offer!  And he promises to reveal what is for our good.

Amazingly people find God’s teaching restrictive, and instead choose what is ultimately so un-life-giving.  By comparison you CAN take your IPhone into the pool with you when you swim or you CAN use it in the shower, but you CAN’T then expect it to keep working well.  It just wasn’t designed for prolonged exposure to water.  You are free to use it in ways it was never intended for, just don’t turn and blame the designer.

God’s teachings do make sense if you try to see them from His point of view. Talk to the Lord, your redeemer today and ask Him to teach you what is for your good.

On Our Way to God

December 10th, 2013 | Posted by Sr. Mary Teresita Richards in Uncategorized - (1 Comments)

“Make straight in the wasteland a highway for our God! 

Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill shall be made low.”    Isaiah 40:3-4

MY PARENTS HAVE LIVED for many years in North Carolina.  It is a constant source of consternation to my father how easily a red hillside of North Carolina clay is removed and used to fill in a gully so that level ground is created.  In a few weeks’ time a hillside and a valley are transformed into a flat piece of ground and on it are a building with a grand opening sign and a parking lot full of new customers.

So, what mountains need to be leveled off in your life so that you can better see where God in leading you?  What valleys, sink holes, or potholes in the road are keeping you down from getting to the Lord?valley2

Identify these obstacles.  Name them.  Claim them!  This will rob them of any power they have over you.  Then ask the Lord to send the Holy Spirit into your life as a road construction crew to do whatever major earthmoving job that needs to be done on your faith highway—so that you can speed your way closer to the Lord.

Come into my life, O Holy Spirit, and take away any obstacle that keeps me from following Christ in my life.  Amen.

Giving Thanks

November 26th, 2013 | Posted by Sr. Mary Teresita Richards in Uncategorized - (1 Comments)

Thanksgiving isn’t just a holiday, but a way of life.  There are so many reasons to pause everyday and give thanks for the everyday blessings in our lives.  Have you seen the website Posters for Good?  Here is one from the site to get your litany of gratitude going today.?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

If you have food in your fridge, clothes on your back, a roof over your head and a place to sleep you are richer than 75% of the world.

If you have money in the bank, your wallet, and some spare change you are among the top 8% of the world’s wealthy.

If you woke up this morning with more health than illness you are more blessed than the million people who will not survive this week.

If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the agony of imprisonment or torture, or the horrible pangs of starvation you are luckier than 500 million people alive and suffering.

If you can read this message you are more fortunate than 3 billion people in the world who cannot read it at all.