Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Monsignor Thomas Anamooh and Father Vincent Burke SVD

Father Vincent Burke, a Divine Word Missionary (aka SVD), was scheduled to say Mass at the Monastery on Tuesday and invited Monsignor Thomas to concelebrate the Eucharist with him.
Monsignor Thomas is from Ghana and was Vicar General of a Diocese there.  Since than Monsignor Thomas has been on a sabbatical at St. Paul Minnesota. Monsignor found the weather cold, colder and coldest in this midwest city very unlike the weather in Africa.
May God bless his ministry as he returns after the year.

Monday, July 22, 2013

July 22, Continuation of Pope Francis' Letter"Light of Faith"

Picture of our woods
Faith is like a path in the woods and obstacles have to be removed by love.

Can Christian Faith provide a service to the common good and to understanding of Truth?

Paul says, "One believes with the heart."
In the bible the heart is the core of the human person.

Faith transforms in the extent that we are open to love.

Faith knows because it is tied to love.

Only to the extent that love is grounded in truth can it endure over time.

If love is not tied to truth it falls prey to fickle emotions and cannot stand the test of time.

If love needs truth, truth also needs love.

Without love truth becomes cold.
Love is an experience of truth.

Knowledge lights up path in history.  In the Bible truth and fidelity go together.
The true God is the God of fidelity who keeps His promises and in time reveals His plan. 

Faith is a form of hearing as St. Paul says,"Faith comes from hearing.

Hearing God's word is accompanied with the desire to see His face.

Friday, July 19, 2013

July 19 Continuation of Pope Francis' letter on "The Light of Faith'"

Connie Walker's photo
Christians are one but still individuals, in service to others.

Faith is necessarily ecclesial professed from within the Body of Christ as a concrete communion of believers.
St. Paul says,"One believes with the heart and confesses with the lips."
 Faith is not a private matter and "unless you believe you will not understand,"  Isaiah says to King Ahaz according to the Greek version of the bible- but the Hebrew version has Isaiah say to the King, "If you will not believe, you shall not be established."
This moves toward more trust in God where as the Greek has the notion of intellectual understanding.

The prophet challenges the king and us to understand the Lord's ways, seeing God's plan as wise which governs the ages.

Augustine tells us God is trustworthy, He is faithful throughout history . He holds together times and ages and gathers into one the scattered strands of our lives.
We need knowledge.
We need truth because without these we cannot move forward.
Faith without truth does not save-
no sure footing just a beautiful story.
As such Ahaz would be right not to stake his life and the security of his kingdom on such feelings.
Today we need the bond between faith and truth given the crises of truth in our age.
Today we consider the only real truth is technology. Truth to the modern world is what we suceed  in building and measuring by our scientific know-how. 
Truth is  what makes life easier and more comfortable.
But truth itself which would explain our life as individuals and in society is regarded with suspicion.
Ultimately this means the question of God is no longer relevant.
The question of truth is really a question of deep memory for it deals with something prior to ourselves.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

July 16 The Light of Faith Continued -Letter of Pope Francis

We trust others who know no more than we do.
St. John gives u s various forms of the verb"to believe"
1) believing what Jesus tells us
2) Believing in Jesus
We believe in Jesus when we accept Him into our personal lives.
Faith does not divorce us from reality.
Faith helps us grasp reality's deepest meaning  i.e.
God loves the world and God guides it toward Himself.
Paul tells us that our life of Faith becomes a new creation.;
A new being as God's Children-Children in the Son."
The core of the Christian life is we can call God, "Abba, Father."
St. Paul asks us "What have you that you have not received."
People even when they obey the commandments do good works are centered on themselves.
We fail to see that all goodness comes from God.
We cannot be the source of our own righteousness because we will become depleted and not even able to keep the law.
Once I think that by turning away from God I will find myself, my life begins to fall apart.
St. Paul says,"By grace you have been saved, through Faith, and it is not your own doing, it is the gift of God."
Faith makes a difference.
We are transformed by the love which we have opened our hearts to in faith.
The Holy Spirit works on us and we have a new vision.
The life of the believer is a live lived in the Church-we are one body in Christ.
Posted by S Florence

Feast of our Lady of Mt. Carmel -And to all the Carmelites a Happy Feast Day

  In Carmelite tradition, Mt. Carmel had been a place devoted to monastic-style prayer since the time of Elijah. They built a monastery and it was dedicated to the Virgin Mary, as she was “Star of the Sea” – a medieval title describing the mother of Christ as the cloud of life that dwells over the sea promising rain and fertility [1 Kings 18:41-45.] (Remember that the Mediterranean is seen from Mt. Carmel and is a garden of life.) Throughout the monastery’s long history, there were periods of sadness, especially when it fell under Islamic control, becoming a mosque known as El-Maharrakah (the place of burning, referring to Elijah’s challenge to the pagan prophets.) In the 18th century, Napoleon established the location as a hospital, but this was destroyed in 1821. Funds were collected by the Carmelites, an order worldwide by this time, and they restored the monastery.

Continuing the story, we come to the scapular of Mt. Carmel. According to Carmelite tradition, this scapular – a small piece of rough wool cloth – was given in a vision by Virgin Mary to the monastic Simon Stock, living in England in the 13th century. On July 16, 1251, he prayed to Mary that his order could be saved from its oppression. She appeared with the scapular in hand, and told him: "Take, beloved son this scapular of thy order as a badge of my confraternity and for thee and all Carmelites a special sign of grace; whoever dies in this garment, will not suffer everlasting fire. It is the sign of salvation, a safeguard in dangers, a pledge of peace and of the covenant." Promises associated with the scapular are: Mary’s protection of the Carmelite order and all those who wear the scapular (including laymen of its Third Order); special help at one’s hour of death for all who wear the habit (or scapular) in Mary’s name; and the so-called “Sabbatine Privelege” which Pope John XXII declared in 1322 meant early release from Purgatory for those who died in Mary’s care.

The history of the Carmelite order is itself long and full of blessings. Monasteries were built throughout Europe and other parts of the world throughout the ages. Both nuns and monks often received special visions from Mary and Jesus. Until this day, it seems that Mary shines like a star over the sea leading the faithful to her Son and to the fruit-bearing life God provides now and eternally.

Prayer to Our Lady of Mount Carmel

O, most beautiful flower of Mount Carmel,
fruitful vine, splendor of heaven,
blessed mother of the Son of God, immaculate virgin,
assist me in my necessity.

O, star of the sea,
help me and show me herein,
you are my mother.

Mary conceived without sin,
pray for us who turn to you.

Elijah on Mt. Carmel.

Monday, July 15, 2013

July 15 Feast of Saint Bonaventure and continuing the Letter of Pope Francis- The Light of Faith

The Tree of Life
As St. John has Jesus say"Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day; he saw it and was glad. "Jn 8 v56

According to these words of Jesus, Abraham's faith pointed to Him.  The patriarchs were saved by faith not in faith in Christ who had come but Christ who was yet to come.  Christian faith is centered in Christ.  It is the confession that Jesus is LORD and that He has risen from the dead. 

Christ is the "Yes" to all the promises and  the ultimate basis of our Amen to God.
Jesus manifests God's reality.
The word which God speaks to us in Jesus is not simply one word among many but His eternal WORD.

Christian Faith is Faith in a perfect love in a power that is able to transform us and the world.
God's love revealed in Jesus makes faith the foundation on which all reality and its final destiny rest.
Th clearest roof of God's love for us is His dying for us, for enemies to transform heart.

In the hour of Jesus' death the depth and breath of God's love shone forth.
St. John's testimony:" He who saw this has borne witness so that you may believe and his testimony is true.
Christ's total self-gift, his terrible crucifixion overcame every doubt and enables me to entrust myself to Him completely.

Christ's death discloses God's love above all in the light of His resurrection.

As the Risen Christ He is the trustworthy witness deserving of Faith and a solid support for our Faith.
Had the Father's love not caused Jesus to rise, had he not been able to restore His body to life then it is not a reliable love.

Our culture has lost its sense of God's presence and action in our world. We think that God is in the beyond and on another level of reality whereas God is found in our everyday relationships and events.
If so God would not be powerful, real and thus not able to deliver what He promises making no difference if we believe or didn't.

Faith does not just gaze at Jesus but comes to see things like Jesus seems them.
Posted by S florence

Friday, July 12, 2013

Pope Francis' Letter on The Light of Faith- Continuation Friday July 12

The opposite of Faith is idolatry.

Martin Buber cited a definition of idolatry proposed by the Rabbi of Kock:

Idolatry is when a face addresses a face which is not a face.  It is worshipping the work of our own hands.
An idol does not ask us to risk our security.  Idols set us up as the center of reality worshiping the work of our doing.  Our life story disintegrates into many unconnected instants.  It is a path leading no where.  If we do not put our trust in God we hear all
the idols crying out "Put your trust in me:"

(Car commercials: Put your trust in a car you can believe in)

Believing means entrusting yourself to a merciful love which always accepts and pardons, sustains and direct our lives.
By constantly turning toward the Lord we have a sure path which liberates us from dissolution of idols.

In the Faith of Israel we encounter Moses, the mediator.
With Moses in its midst Israel learns to journey together in unity.
Our act of Faith finds its place in community within the common "we" of the people who in faith are a single person"my first-born son."As God would describe all of Israel.
Faith, then, is God's free gift which calls for HUMILITY, the courage to trust and entrust.  It enables us to see God's path and ours.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Continuing Pope Francis' Letter as a Cheat Sheet

Quick quotes according to an in house Reader: 

Faith can be associated with darkness.
Light  autonomous reason is not enough to illumine the future.
Yet in the absence of light everything becomes confused: it is impossible to tell good from evil.

Faith is born from an encounter with the living God who reveals His love.
A love which we can trust for building our lives.
That love changes us and gives us a fresh vision
This light is built on from the past, from the foundation which is the memory of the life of Jesus.
His love overcame death, His and in the end ours-and that is the future light.

That light is a spark which becomes a burning flame.
Faith is a star to brighten the horizon of our life at a time when all of us need this light.
To follow the route of Faith we have Abraham , our Father in Faith, as an example.
Faith is a call and a promise.
Abraham took the step when he was called and God promised Abraham and his descendant that he would be the Father of a great nation. Faith lives in hope of this future.
St. Agustine says:
We are faithful when we believe in God and His promises- and God is faithful when He grants to us what He promised.
As Abraham did, so we all recognize a profound call which was always present at the core of our being.
God sheds light on Abraham's Faith-he realizes that his life is not the product of chance-but the fruit of a personal call.

The history of the people of Israel as found  in the book of Exodus helps us follow Abraham and Israel's trust in God's promise to set His people free.
God's light shines for Israel remembering God's mighty deed, recalled, celebrated, passed down from parents to children.  See how the light of Faith is liked to concrete life stories.
In great Cathedral windows the light coming from heaven and  passing through the windows shows the story of salvation.
Israel's story also shows us the temptation to unbelief.

To be Continued
 Posted by Sister Florence

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Cheat Sheet of the Encyclical -Encyclical Letter of Pope Francis with Benedict XVI -Light of Faith

A Cheat Sheet of the Encyclical
God who said "Let light shine out of darkness has shone in our hearts." 2Cor v4-6
The pagan world had seen the cult of the sun god invoked each day at sunrise. Yet though the sun was born a new each morning it is incapable of casting light on all o human existence.
"No one ",says St. Justin the martyr ," has ever been ready to die for its faith in the sun."
Christians invoke Jesus as the true Sun.
Faith for the modern person thinks  that the light of faith was suffiecent for socities of old but no use for new times.
Nietzache says,"If you want peace of soul and happiness then believe but if you want to be a follower of truth then seek. For Nietzache belief would be incompatabile with seeking.
S Florence Vales

Christmas Newsletter 2018