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Friday, June 8, 2018

"TO SAVE WHAT WAS LOST"...A REFLECTION by FATHER BEDE JARRETT, O.P.


I am always amazed at God's timing and
 how He puts the answers to unasked questions into view.
Here is what was found (but not lost,) until the exact moment it was needed!
Another part of the picture presents itself for future teaching.

This following reflection seemed to speak to me of a great change that will come 
according to what the next lesson may be.!

Fr. Jarrett(+ 1934) was a Dominican priest from England known
 for his preaching,lectures and his many books
 on theology and spirituality.


TO SAVE WHAT WAS LOST
                 Father Bede Jarrett, O.P.

It is perfectly obvious that if I am so blessed by the gifts of the Spirit, that I find my reason, will, and emotions made increasedly perceptive of divine currents previously lost to me, I can hardly help acting in a new way.
I now discover the view about me, and, consequently, my manner of life must in some ways be different from before. 
The vision has come; it cannot simply open my eyes to new things in life without
thereby altering that very life itself. 
Not only shall I find that what seemed to me before to be evil now appears to me to be a blessing;
but on that very account, what before I tried to avoid, or, having got,tried to be rid of, I shall
now accept, perhaps even seek. Similarly, whereas then I was weak, now I am strong;
 and increase of strength means new activities,  new energy put into the old work and
 finding its way into works altogether new.
My emotions, finally, which imperiled and dominated my life, slip now into a subordinate position and, 
while thereby as actively employed as before, are held under discipline.
It is clear, therefore, that the gifts will not leave me where I was before,
but will influence my actions as well as alter my vision. I find, then,
 that these new habits will develop into new activities. But this means also that I have
 a new idea as to the means of achieving the full happiness of life. 
Once upon a time I thought happiness meant comfort; now I see that it means something quite different.
 My view of happiness has changed. I am therefore obliged to change also my idea 
as to the means and conditions whereby, and in which, happiness can be found.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

WHAT A DIFFERENCE A DAY MAKES ! ! !

THE JOURNEY

Many years ago, never would I have imagined that I would be sitting at a computer...
or writing about the stretch of road that led me here.
The cover of  my little book, inspired and actually written and gifted
by God, in the Person of the Holy Spirit, is titled "The Journey".
This Gift given, was both poetic and prophetic.

In the midst of a very busy family life, after a time of listening prayer,
words began to flood through my mind without stopping...as if a dam had burst!
They were not my thoughts and came so fast that I thought,
" maybe I should write this down!"
As an unexpected  Summer rain shower in the late afternoon, they came. And so it was!
After a few years, there were pools of paper pieces collecting in various
 areas of the desk and sitting room.

My friend and helper, Ben Gordon, offered me many of his Saturdays engineering
page by page,  helping to create the book by his skills on the computer.
The written pages are only bits and pieces,rising from the deep recesses,
opening  them into the Light of day.
The real story began to emerge with the idea of putting these thoughts all together
as a legacy for my family.As it was taking form, it named as
the Woman At The Well.
 I had met Jesus years before, and seen Him active in the persons of an Al-Anon group.
Jesus then, became active and alive to me through the power of the Holy Spirit.



WHAT A DIFFERENCE A DAY MAKES
 
I am trying to live according to what the moment gives...
accepting the invitation that the moment offers...
trusting that Jesus will carry me wherever He decides.
That means, making very few plans in order to let the Spirit lead, and
trying to say "Yes" to each moment as it shows itself  and
staying open.
That's not an easy task for me, as I want to be in control
and make my own decisions.

So, I saw that Fr. Donato was giving us an opportunity for a retreat day on a Saturday.
A one day retreat to soak up all that was being offered, sounded perfect to me!
The presentations were so inviting...and I was so ready to learn from such
knowledgeable priests!
"Better enroll quickly, the space will fill up in no time!"...thought I!
 So I did!... and I looked forward to going on that day.

THEN....
my friend Anne called and INVITED me  to a gathering of
Women of Faith, spiritually guided by the Sisters of Saint Anne.
They were presenting "A walk with Mary" as a Saturday retreat!
Yes! That same Saturday as Fr's retreat day!

 "Well my resolve to, "live in the moment and go where I am invited"
hadn't lasted or taken root for very long, had it?"
Now I knew where
God was calling me!
An invitation,.. at the last moment,..   and not of my doing 
or my plan,...and 
I felt drawn to be there when it was offered to me!
I gave my "yes!"


THE MAGNIFICAT  TODAY

My soul glorifies the Lord !
My spirit rejoices in God my Saviour!
For God has blessed me lavishly and makes me ready to respond.
God shatters my little world and lets me be poor.
God takes from me all my plans and gives me more
than I can hope or ask.

God gives me opportunities;
the ability to become free;
to burst through my boundaries.
God gives me strength to be daring,
to build on God alone, for God
is the ever greater One in my life.
God has made known to me this: it is in my being servant that it becomes
possible for God's kingdom to break through here and now.

Translated from German by Olga Vamke, IBVM


YES!...BUT WHAT WAS HE CALLING ME TO...



Wednesday, June 6, 2018

REFLECTION QUESTIONS: what is GOD trying to announce to me, to you?


What Was GOD trying to ANNOUNCE to me?

NO WIND AT THE WINDOW
                       John Bell
No wind at the window, no knock at the door
No light from the lamp stand, no foot on the floor
No dream born of tiredness, no ghost raised by fear
Just an angel and a woman and a voice in her ear

Oh, Mary Oh, Mary don"t hide from my face
Be glad that you're favored and filled with God's grace
The time for redeeming the world has begun
And you are requested to mother God's son

The child must be born that the Kingdom might come
Salvation for many, destruction for some
Both end and beginning, both message and sign
Both victor and victim, both yours and divine

No payment was promised, no promises made
No wedding was dated, no blue print displayed
Yet Mary, consenting to what none could guess
Replied with conviction,"tell God I say yes."
__________________________________________________

What was being asked of me?
There was so much beauty in the words of the call...
so many thoughts and feelings surrounding them...
too much to understand ...
Then Sister said we could take a break! There was coffee and fruit and food
on the welcoming table...
but I was in need of "silence" and
listening into that silence
  for the still ,small Voice to make
sense and put the pieces of the
calling together.Within my spirit I heard the
invitation to "Go to the chapel"
YES! I was in the right place...
As I began to pray...
"O' my GOD, I am heartily sorry- for all my offenses,
thank You for Love and your Mercy-"

the Words were coming and heard... gently..
"All is well! And all is well and all will be well!"
"In all these things, get Understanding!"
"You are getting Understanding!"
Let ME love you!
Be still!-
Stop running-
There is nothing you need to do-or
can do!
Let Me Love you!"
______________
"Forget the others-
Just be loved-
absorb the love
don't push others away
let Me love you through them- their love for
 you comes through Me alone
or they, the other, would not
even approach you!
So be not afraid-
It is I,your Savior,
who has every moment
measured toward you!
Receive--Me
in that communion!"

______________________

"I leave this altar in peace
May I return in peace...
I leave an altar of suffering
for a journey of Transformation...
A stone remains;
in it's place
a heart of flesh and compassion
 moves onward"
                  Anonymous
_________________________________________


THE STORY IN LUKE'S GOSPEL

A message is given to the woman.
Something stirs deep within her being...a truth she has always known
but neither heard nor expressed...
Something happens which is utterly new but very familiar.
She comes to a place where she has always wanted to be.

What happens to this virgin of Nazareth in an announcement
     is not a singular event, a once-and-only.
It is an announcement for now and forever.
God is with us.
Women and men are called to"give birth,
called to be "Mothers of God"

                                           Meister   Eckhart


Monday, April 30, 2018

A MYSTERY...the question of the day...Updated



A DAILY MEDITATION

WHEN have I experienced the life of the RISEN CHRIST ?

What an Awesome God we have!!! 
If only I am patient enough... 
He does connect the pieces.and finishes the puzzle 
when it pleases Him and everything is in His order.
Let me try to explain...
During our Lenten Novena, which was a special time of daily prayer,
Mass and homilies to Saint Francis Xavier, there was,
 as I now see it, an experience of  the Risen Life in Christ! 
I had hoped to be able to put that experience into words to share with you, 
yet it didn't come into it's own  complete life until today, six weeks after the novena ended!

Our Father,God, Yahweh, is always at work...quietly moving behind the scenes.
Today, while tidying up the clutter on the desk, I decided to put aside one 
of the folders that contained some old poetry, notes and other papers...but... 
I couldn't resist taking one more look at what was therein.
Some thing caught my eye and I will share it here, because it seemed to be a
piece of the 'unfinished picture!"



So here is the article written on Aug. 12,2010 from the Center for Action and Contemplation;

THE MYSTERY OF SUFFERING
                                                                   When have I experienced the life of the Risen Christ?
Our usual definitions of God depict him as omnipotent, infinite, perfect in every way.
Yet if the suffering Jesus is the image and revelation of the invisible God ,(Col. 1:15),
this is totally at odds with all the other philosophical and theological definitions of a supreme
being.
Jesus doesn't fit.Even after two thousand years, it is hard to realize
 what a revolutionary symbol Jesus is. He basically turned theology upside down.
 He said,in effect: "Who you think God is, God isn't"
You can't know this merely by study or theology or religion, but only through painful encounters with the living God where you feel like you are dying, and yet you do not die. Then you experience another kind of life, another kind of freedom.
Christians call this new home "the shared life of the risen Christ".


Here is my  lived experience.

 I have experienced most of my freedom through suffering!
Letting the suffering arise and accepting suffering, is never an easy task.
I spent most of my years suppressing hurt, running busily away from facing the hurt, fear
 and anxiety that was hidden within...
 not even knowing what it was I was running from.
Like Lazarus, wrapped and decayed, dead for days,Jesus patiently kept calling me forward
from the tomb I had built around myself.
Through the years, guided by faith and a loving family, friends, and a loving prayerful
community, Jesus began and continued to unwrap the bindings.
I really don't need to go into many details,we all have our inner sufferings.
What we do for ourselves to heal them is the important story.
Much of my story is in the early writings of these pages.
The bottom line is staying the course...persevering; and that is a Grace, a gift given
as an answer to prayer. Much prayer, many years of  receiving the daily Eucharist,
and the quiet prayer of sitting in the Presence of God, allowing Him to sift out
the chaff from the wheat, so to speak.
It is all His work!

As the Novena to St. Francis Xavier continued through the nine days of mass, homilies
and prayer, the sacrament of Confession and Reconciliation was also offered on each day.
The Holy Spirit never rests!...(thank God),  and I was in need of forgiveness and took
advantage of the opportunity. One of our former priests was there and I felt comfortable
to see him.
Well! Great novena, wonderful homilies, the Eucharist AND confession !
Wow! what a terrific few days!
My friend and I went out to eat lunch .
We even had dessert!
All was well!!!

The Holy Spirit NEVER rests!
God is always desiring my healing, which will bring me closer to Him and bring
me more Freedom to love God and neighbor and self !

At home in the quiet spaces, again, something began to stir deep within me.
 In the deepest part of my being... pushed way down in the dark place, hidden under years of debris
arose the big "sunami" of a wave, rising to the surface!
I had come face to face, unexpectedly, with a dark side of self...like looking in a mirror.
Oh! How could I ever tell anyone about that? I felt as if I would die, just to acknowledge it.
I couldn't! It would have to be someone I didn't know or who didn't know me...
and on and on!
Finally, giving it over to Our Lady and every saint I had ever prayed to, I
did SURRENDER and yield, agreeing to let it go!
It was the right time!

At that precious moment , when the priest said those words of  forgiveness,
"Jean! YOU ARE FORGIVEN  OF ALL YOUR SINS!"...those words echoed within,
reverberating into every fiber of my being!
JESUS was washing and cleansing every cell in my body!
I was being washed clean and given a new Life!
I had received a new Life!
A very alive sense of being!
"Transformed into a new dimension of living!"
I thought that I would die and
GOD gave me new LIFE IN JESUS!

ALLELUIA!
HE IS RISEN!







Monday, April 16, 2018

THE UNKNOWN...and... THE KNOWN...

THE UNKNOWN

Step by step You lead me...
Knowing not what lies ahead;
To see, is denied me;
Yet a plan You construct.

As puzzle pieces interlock
a gesture am I in the picture...
A link, a breeze, unseen, unnoticed
to bridge a gap!

Life within me is You!
You, Jesus, in my soul, are Guide.

Speak, Lord! Your servant listens...
To be transformed, I come...
Evolving endlessly into YOU.


VICTORY
Lord, share with us
the Fruits of
Your Victory!!!
Make us witnesses of
Your Risen Life...
"The Body of Christ"
Amen.


THE WELL
You   are    the   Well,
   JESUS..
You - the Water!
You are the Bread...JESUS
          You - the Wine;
You are the Altar...JESUS
              You, the Sacrifice!
You are Priest...JESUS
      You,   the  Word!
You open the Heavens...JESUS
               You lead us through,
    You,our Hope...JESUS
                     our  SAVIOR  true !
                 




Saturday, April 7, 2018

DIVINE MERCY SUNDAY: Come !

 DIVINE MERCY SUNDAY

Today your gate stands open,
And all who enter in
Shall find a Father's welcome
And pardon for their sin.
The past shall be forgotten,
A present Joy be given,
A future home be promised,
A glorious crown in Heav'n

O' all embracing MERCY,
O'ever open Door,
What would I do without you
Who lead the way before?
When joy seems all too distant,
And all too near, despair,
I know one Gate is open,
One ear will hear my prayer.
           anonymous


"You were once a slave
now you are freed
Free to worship in Spirit and Truth
COME!...once again receive My Spirit...
a deepening of Truth, Wisdom,
 Knowledge and Understanding-

Be not afraid!
You are Mine now
within the Trinity is your being-
My child, My body; My home!
We are One!"



LISTENING TO THE RADIO...Emmanuel 1230

A MOVIE CONVERSATION

As children in Grammar School, my brother and I would walk home from school at lunchtime
and then back to school for the afternoon. So there was time  for me to turn on the radio in the kitchen
and tune in for those 15 minutes. This was a treat to have these moments
 to listen to music or hear the Boston Braves when they had a ball game.

Today the radio is turned on to a local station for a  Catholic viewpoint on
just about everything, from a news perspective to advice for parents and help with relationships,
including a local interest in our Diocese  and a daily mass each morning at 8 a.m.
Jerry and Debbie were hosting TAKE 2 on Emmanuel radio at 970 AM or 1230 AM coming
from our diocese in Worcester,MA.

As I listened, there was an open line discussion on religious themed movies.
 Questions about the messages put forth and what effect the movies may
 have made on those who saw them.Were they well made and understood,
were they well attended, well produced, did they get a message across,or
even were they entertaining and enjoyable, or did they make any profit?...
 ...in particular, "PAUL THE APOSTLE".
 That grabbed my attention!

 I was trying to clear off the desk where the radio sits.So I sat down to listen.
There had been a question brewing in my mind after seeing that movie...
 about the last scene. Exactly what was the take-away message for me?
It was not quite formed in my mind.
Maybe this would help me see it clearly.

 What did others  see and think?
What was their impressions of the message?
How did the intense brutality of the Christians affect them?
Does anyone see a resemblance in today's treatment of the Christian
 communities in the Eastern Nations?
Could we, today,as Christians, be living parts of the Acts of the Apostles?
What is our responsibility as brothers and sisters in Christ?

Of course, each individual had their own way of absorbing the movie, it's
message and how the scenes affected them, personally. This was
clearly an interesting conversation on many levels.
As I listened, within, something was forming!

Time was passing quickly and the end of the program was near!
 Do I make a call? Am I prepared? "
Knowing that  for me "words and thoughts are formed easier when writing,
and these newly formed thoughts coming into my mind are coming
so quickly that ...ugh!!!...
Jerry and Debbie just finished their time on the air!!!

My answer was "SEND AN E-MAIL!"
"Yes! Our Pope Francis asked us to use every form of media
to get the message of Jesus Christ out there into the Universe!"
The following message is what was sent as the e-mail. Not even knowing
whether it would be received after the program ended,at least
there was more clarity in my mind...to a degree.
 Oh! before it was sent,the word "Martyr"was investigated .
The info on it is in the book of the Catholic Catechism.
MARTYR: A witness to the truth of the faith, in which the martyr
endures even death to be faithful to Christ.

TAKE2@EWTN.COM
To: Jerry and Debbie

Thank you for the conversations about movies!
I came back to the movie theaters only because there are religious-themed stories
and something to be learned or gleaned from what they have to offer.
My approach begins with prayer to the Holy Spirit,  asking what He may
teach me, in order to bring me closer to my faith in God.
What was my "take-away" from this movie? It had to do with"martyrdom"!
It took much  time and space pondering on my part AND listening to your program today!
The message of the movie was very subtle within the strong message and actions of the sufferings
and brutality put upon the Christian community! Only at the ending scene did
a glimmer of what was to become a teaching come to me .
The "instant" of Paul's beheading brought him into ETERNITY, where he beheld
all the faces of the souls he had persecuted...the souls that he saw and agonized over...
the souls that brought him so much pain and anguish in life... they were there with him in ETERNITY!
Were they "the martyrs" that gave their lives so Paul would be converted?
... they were welcoming, smiling happily to see him...
and he was forgiven ,by and in the Blood of Christ !!!

We don't always get the happy ending the way we think it may be...could
the answer be something we needed to understand...something that would "enlighten" us
to a new reality?!
Jerry was so right in saying not "to over estimate or spiritualize the devil"s work...
our own humanity, the flesh, is what may need a transformation...and we,
our ego self, cannot stand to take a look at our selves!
JESUS has a way of healing our blindness,and we need to ask to be open to
the healing and pray to accept however He chooses to apply the healing.
Prayer is an essential element in growth!
Blessings to you and your ministry ,
Jean in Charlton, MA
Listening from: radio Emmanuel (ewtn),1230 and 970 am
 in Worcester, MA