Saturday, December 28, 2013

Flight into Eygpt- So many exiles

 and refugees today.  May the Holy Family intercede for them and may we reach out with prayers and support for our brothers and sisters who are suffering in this way.
May God give them courage and the help they need.

The figure is from the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

O Antiphon Reflection -

O Adonai (O Antiphons) December 18

O Sapientia The first antiphon for December 17th

The first O Antiphon for December 17th asks for Wisdom as did the Isalites from of Old.
O Wisdom, proceeding from the mouth of the Most High, come and save us.
so needed in our world of violence and selfishness. Time for me to check my room of things I do not need and give them to the Veterans of America.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Proclamation of the Gospel in Today's World - Pope Francis


  Some of the quotes from the Exhortation


Whenever our interior life becomes caught up in our own concerns there is no room for others.


God never tires of forgiving us - we tire of seeking His mercy.


No one can strip us of the dignity bestowed upon us by this unfailing love


The Gospel, radiant with the glory of Christ’s cross, constantly invites us to rejoice.


Joy adapts and changes, but it always endures – for when all is said and done we are infinitely loved.


Benedict XVI said “Being a Christian is not the result of an ethical or lofty choice- but the encounter with a person.”


To this encounter with God we are liberated from our narrowness or self-absorption.


If we have received God’s love how can we fail to share that love with others?


If we wish to live a dignified and fulfilling life, we have to reach out to others.


The Gospel offers us the chance to live life on a higher plane.


Life grows by being given away, and it weakens in isolation and comfort.


An evangelizer must never look like someone who has just come back from a funeral.


To make the effort and to recover the original freshness of the Gospel is our goal.


The joy of evangelizing always arises from grateful remembrance.


What counts above all else is “Faith working through love.”


Works of love directed to one’s neighbor are the most perfect external manifestation of the interior grace of the spirit.


In itself mercy is the greatest of the virtues since all others revolve around it.


There is an imbalance when we talk more about

·        Law than about grace

·        More about the Church than about Christ

·        More about the Pope than about God’s word.



Each truth is better understood when related to the harmonious totality of the Christian message.


All of the truths are important and illume one another.


Christian morality is not a form of

·        Stoicism

·        Self-denial

·        Practical philosophy

·        Or a catalog of faults and sins.


The Gospel invites us to respond to the God who loves us and saves us.


The deposit of faith is one thing –the way it is expressed is another.


Faith always remains something of a cross


All religious teaching has to be reflected in the teacher’s way of life.


The precepts which Christ and the apostles gave to the people of God are very few. St. Thomas Aquinas


God’s mercy has willed that we should be free.


Everyone needs to be touched by the comfort and attraction of

God’s saving love.


A Church which “goes forth” is a Church whose doors are open.


Often it is better to slow down.



It is better to put aside our eagerness in order to see and listen to others.


It is better to stop rushing from one thing to another and to remain with someone who has fallen along the way.


The Church is called to be the house of the Father with doors always wide open.


The Church must first, go to the poor and the sick, the despised and overlooked, “Those who cannot repay you.”


I prefer a Church bruised and dirty because it has been out in the streets.


In our time it is a turning point in history.


Lack of respect for others and violence is on the rise.


We also have to say, “Thou shalt not” to an economy of exclusion and inequality.


We have created a disposable culture which is now spreading.


The culture of prosperity deadens us.


The worship of the ancient golden calf has returned in a new and ruthless guise in the idolatry of money.


Man is reduced to one of his needs alone: Consumption.


We need to look at our city with a contemplative gaze.


The pain and the shame we feel at the sins of some members of the Church and at our own must never make us forget how many Christians are giving their lives in love.


I am aware that we need to crate spaces where pastoral workers can be helped and healed.


Three evils which fuel each other

1.   A heightened individualism

2.   A crisis in identity

3.   A cooling of fervor.


We are falling into seeking to avoid any responsibility that may take away from our free time.


A tomb psycho9logy develops and slowly transforms Christians into mummies in a museum.


The evils of the world and those of the Church must not be excuses for diminishing our commitment and our fervor.


One of the more serious temptations is defeatism which turns us into “sourpusses.”


The Christian ideal is

·        To overcome suspicion

·        Habitual mistrust

·        Fear of losing our privacy

·        Defensive attitudes which today’s world imposes on us.


Spiritual worldliness hides behind the appearance of piety.


Evils of Spiritual worldliness

1.   Ostentatious preoccupation for the liturgy

2.   For doctrine

3.   For the church’s prestige


There should be no warring among ourselves because of envy or jealousy.


Radiate a witness of fraternal communion/


Let everyone admire how you care for one another.


Let us ask the Lord to help us understand the law of love.


The reservation to males, as a sign of Christ the spouse who gives himself in the Eucharist is not a question open to discussion.


Indeed, a woman, Mary, is more important than a Bishop.


The Church is a mystery rooted in the Trinity, yet she exists in History for us as a model.


The Church’s ultimate foundation is found in the free and gracious initiative of God.


The salvation which God has wrought and the Church joyfully proclaims is for everyone.


We have to bring the Gospel to the people we meet.


The biblical text is the basis of our preaching.


The Church, guided by the Gospel of mercy and love for us, hears the cry for justice and intends to respond to it with all its might.


Sadly, human rights can be used as a justification for an inordinate defense of individual rights or the rights of the richer people.


We incarnate the duty of hearing the cry of the poor when we are deeply moved by the suffering of others.


St. Paul was approached by the apostles- the key criterion of authenticity which they presented was that “he should not forget the poor.”


God’s heart has a special place for the poor.


For the Church, the option for the poor is primarily a theological one rather than cultural, sociological or a political one.


God shows the poor, “His first mercy.”


Our commitment does not consist exclusively in activities etc. but above all in an attentiveness which considers the other as one with ourselves.


The poor person, when loved, “is esteemed as of great value.


Any Church community without helping the poor to live with dignity will drift into a spiritual worldliness camouflaged by religious practices, unproductive meetings and empty talks.


Among the vulnerable for whom the Church wishes to care with particular love and concern are unborn children.


The Church cannot be expected to change her position on the abortion question


We are also steward of creation as a whole.


Let us not leave in our wake a swath of destruction and death which will affect our lives and those of future generations.


Small yet strong in the love of God, like Saint Francis of Assisi, all of us as Christians are called to watch over and protect the fragile world in which we live and all its peoples.


It is the willingness to face conflict head on, to resolve it and to make it a link in the chain of a new process, “Blessed are the peacemaker.”


Our ethnic diversity is our wealth.


Realities are greater than ideas.


This rejects the various means of making reality.


We have politicians and religious leaders who wonder why people do not understand them and follow them because they are stuck in the realm of pure ideas and reducing faith or politics to rhetoric.


The global need not stifle nor the particular local prove barren.


The Church calls every baptized person to be a peacemaker


Through an exchange of gifts with other Christians the Spirit can lead us more fully into truth and goodness.


The Church which shares with Jews an important part of the
Sacred Scripture looks upon the people of the covenant and their Faith as one of the sacred roots of our own Christian identity.


Interreligious dialogue is a necessary condition for peace in the world.


The respect due to the agnostic or non-believing minority should not be arbitrary imposed in a way that silences the convictions of the believing majority.


We need to recover a contemplative spirit to realize that we have been entrusted with a treasure which makes us more human and helps us to lead a new life.


A person who is not convinced of their faith is enthusiastic, certain, an in love, will convince nobody.


Intercessory prayer does not divert us from true contemplation since authentic contemplation always has a place for others.


Intercessory prayer becomes a prayer of gratitude to God for others.  It is constant thankfulness.


The great men and women of God were great intercessors.


Intercession is like a leaven in the heart of the Trinity.


God’s heart is touched by out intercession, yet in reality He is always there first.


Isaac of Stella says.” In the inspired scriptures, what is said in a universal sense of the virgin mother, the Church, is understood in an individual sense of the Virgin Mary….In a way every Christian is also believed to be a bride of God’s word, a mother of Christ.”






Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Advent-Christmas Time 2013

O Come, O Come Emmanuel

Christmas 2013   (For Mary Lou Russ- died December 2, 2012) `
In the quiet of this morning
In this Advent time of year
The world and all its people
In my heart are settled there.
We yearn for peace in every corner
For freedom, food enough for all,
An end to violence and injustice
 and gangs in every street.
As hecklers sneered at the psalmist
“Where is your God?”they asked.
We stand as people on the edge
And answer,” Our God is here.”
In the bustle of the shopping malls,
In the work place, big and small.
In the smile of a person,or a courtesy
We find our God is there.
Just the recognition of His presence -
God is here and everywhere
Right there, right next to me,
God is very near.
This year, 2013, is ending
And finds us praying
Holding those we loved and lost,
 Who Intercede for us now in Heaven.  
We thank this God of Eternal Hope
For all the gifts we’re given.
Recalling now with great rejoicing
Emmanuel,  God with us.
We go to the highest mountain
The holy city, God’s holy house
  Gloriously for us this today -
           a Babe is born to share our way.    
FV (edited by Sr. Donna)
Posted by Sister Florence Vales OSC


Friday, November 1, 2013

All Saints Day



by achristianpilgrim
From the very beginning, the Church has honored and revered its martyrs and heroes. What began on a popular and local level gradually became woven into the liturgy, beginning around the fourth century in the Eucharistic Prayer. In the fifth century, a feast honoring all the saints was declared in some Eastern churches, and from there the celebration was taken up in Rome. In 835 A.D., Pope Gregory IV declared All Saints Day a feast for the entire Church.
A day commemorating the saints is actually a day of rejoicing in the greatness of the Lord and hoping in His love. The victory that we see in the saints testifies to the Lord Himself. It was not just their own efforts that produced such holiness, but the work of the Lord, who wants to pour the fullness of the life of Jesus into our hearts. This has been the hope and joy of all holy women and men always and everywhere, and it is our hope and joy as well.
The Book of Revelation contains a vision of the redeemed of the Lord, gathered around the throne of God. “They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (Revelation 7:14 RSV). The victory of the redeemed came through the blood of Jesus, which washed them, purified them, and sealed them with the promise of eternal life.
The power of this precious blood of Christ is available to us every day by faith. We can turn to Jesus at any moment and ask for His blood to cover our sins and cleanse us. We can call on Jesus at any moment for Him to pour out the power of His death and resurrection to strengthen us and enable us to live as God’s children. “What love the Father has given us that we should be called children of God” (1John 3:1). We are His children; He has adopted us as His very own! Every day, our Father’s hand is extended to us and we have the great privilege to take hold of Him.
Let us fix our eyes on the Lamb at the center of the throne who has promised to be our Shepherd and to lead us to “springs of living water” (Revelation 7:17). The Lord, who has worked in the lives of the saints, is ready to work in us if we will turn to Him. Our God – who has chosen us to be His very own – is faithful!
Jakarta, 1st of November 2013
A Christian Pilgrim

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Thoughts on Saint Francis of Assisi

Today we are celebrating the Transitus of St. Francis of Assisi . . . his passage from earthly life into eternal life. This is not only a remembrance of one who has preceded us, but it is also a celebration . . . a celebration of St. Francis with us today. Take a moment to reflect upon how you can carry the light of St. Francis into the world around you.
Francis reflected the image of Christ by his
life of prayer.
his poverty
and his humility.
We can follow Jesus with the help of His grace after the example of Francis by loving all people and creation with joyful hearts.
Even in the dark times we can be stouthearted and courageous because we know God will show us the path of life to Him
and the fulfillment of all joys in His presence.
We ask ourselves, "And where is His presence?"
His presence is
in His Holy Word, the Scriptures
In His Eucharist
And in all of God's people, our brothers and sisters.
As the apostle Paul says in his letter to the Galatians :
"All that matters is that one is created anew. Peace and mercy on all who follow this rule of life and on the Israel of God."
And here is my favorite line in this letter to the Galatians:
"Henceforth, let no one trouble me, for I bear the brand marks of Jesus in my body."
What are the brand marks of Jesus?
Pope Francis in his interview with the Jesuits said that
Sanctity is patience.
There the brand marks of poverty, humility and love grow
with patience and we become holy by the grace of God.
Francis' rule of life was the Holy gospel.
His love was Lady Poverty which in some ways resembles the Church-the Bride of Christ.
As Francis loved the battered Lady Poverty
so Jesus Christ loves His battered Bride, the Church
and the church is all of us battered and worn.
Francis found his source of strength and nourishment in the Scriptures.
And Francis found his form of life in the simple words of Matthew 11 verse 28
there you have it in a nutshell.
Learn from Me
As Francis said on his death bed
"Let us begin for up  to now we have done nothing."

Christmas Newsletter 2018