Monday, May 30, 2011

Inheritance

My child, do not let your heart be troubled,
rather trust in me.
I am the salvation of your soul.
I am the Divine Physician--
"the way and the truth and the life." Jn 14: 6

Come my child, and stay with me.
Let us sup together
the chalice of your salvation.
"Taste and see that the Lord is good," Ps 34: 8
and my promises remain true forever.

Rejoice that you have been found worthy
to receive the inheritance. Col 1: 12
From long ago,
I had my plan of salvation
for you.

Come to me all who are weary...,
and I will give you rest. Mt 11: 28
Deep, deep rest.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Pax

"If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always, the Spirit of truth, which the world cannot accept, because it neither sees nor knows it. But you know it, because it remains with you, and will be in you." Jn 14: 15-17

Friday, May 27, 2011

HALT

Here's a quick self-examination acronym. Four things to check out on yourself when you're feeling impatient, grumpy, irritable...Ask yourself these questions:
  • H--Am I hungry?
  • A--Am I angry?
  • L--Am I lonely?
  • T--Am I tired?
If you are experiencing two or more of these conditions, it's time to halt and give yourself a break. Drink some cold water, eat a nutritious snack, take a power nap or a walk, call a friend, journal, stretch, take some deep breaths--whatever suits your fancy. You'll be feeling more peace in no time.

Be kind and good to yourself and stay mindful of your own needs.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Magnolia

We were strolling down the street last night--my honey lamb and I. A strong whiff of sweet perfume filled our nostrils. He bent over to pick up the magnolia petal laying on the ground and handed it to me.


If only we could exude that "fragment aroma" as others pass by--be that sweet fragrance that rises to the nostrils of the Most High.  An acceptable sacrifice that is pleasing to Him. Phil 4:18

I picked a blossom off the magnolia tree at my parents' house today...
and placed it in a bowl on our dining room table.

One petal's power to capture our attention was amazing. Its intoxicating odor filling the atmosphere with the pervasive scent of magnolia making me desire the whole blossom.


Oh, women of peace, the power of one person to become that sweet fragrance to the world and to the Most High!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Two to Tango

"Peace is my farewell to you, my peace is my gift to you; I do not give it to you as the world gives peace. Do not be distressed or fearful." Jn 14: 27 This is part of today's gospel reading. Jesus is speaking to his disciples in his last discourse before his death on the cross.

"When we read or listen to Sacred Scripture God speaks to us. And when we pray we reply to Him. It's a two-way street. It takes two to tango. It's called a dialogue."

The priest at Mass this morning reminded us that this peace of which Jesus speaks is the "gift of salvation that comes from Jesus, the Messiah and Savior of us all." Fr. said Jesus' gift of peace is "not the peace of the Palestinians/Israel conflict or the uprising in the Arab countries. It is not the peace of Washington D.C. between the Democrats and Republicans."

Rather, "His peace is the place of 'sheer goodness' where he has created us to make us share in His own blessed life--Christ Jesus. He draws us into this goodness. He calls us to Him--to seek him with all our heart."

In the gospel reading Jesus is telling his disciples not to be troubled or afraid. How many times do we feel that way? Many times we do and for many reasons. Fr. suggested we make a list of all our troubles "that keep us from Him and his gift."

Here are a few you might relate to:
  • relationship with family member
  • relationship with employer--employees
  • relationship with the church
  • health issues
  • overweight
  • recovery from surgeries
  • fear of tornadoes, floods, earthquakes
  • financial troubles
  • losses to 401-K retirement 
  • threats to Medicare or Medicaid 

Present your personal list to the Lord. Let Him speak to your heart. Believe in Him. By his suffering and death he has shared with us all the evils we are troubled about. He gives the last discourse to assure his disciples that in Him we may find peace. "Take courage," Jesus says. "I have overcome the world."

Dialogue with Him. Speak your heart to Him and listen as He speaks his heart to you. It takes "two to tango." And in the "tango" we receive the gift that the world can not give.

Excerpts from homily by Fr. John Wade

Monday, May 23, 2011

Pacem in Terris

"Pacem in Terris (Peace on Earth) was a papal encyclical issued by Pope John XXIII in 1963. It remains one of the most famous of 20th century encyclicals and established principles that featured in some of the documents of the Second Vatican Council and of later popes.

Pacem in terris was the first encyclical that the Pope did not address to the Catholic faithful only, but also to "all men of good will".

In this work, John XXIII reacted to the then political situation in the middle of the Cold War. The "peace encyclical" was issued only two years after the erection of the Berlin Wall and only a few months after the Cuban Missile Crisis.

The Pope explains in this encyclical that conflicts "should not be resolved by recourse to arms, but rather by negotiation." He further emphasizes the importance of respect of  human rights as an essential consequence of the Christian understanding of men. He clearly establishes, ...'That every man has the right to life, to bodily integrity, and to the means which are suitable for the proper development of life'..."

"The true and solid peace of nations consists not in equality of arms but in mutual trust alone."

Pope John XXIII (1881-1963). Pacem in Terris (On Establishing Universal Peace in Truth, Justice, Charity and Liberty), 113, 11 April 1963

Peace to all nations!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Give Thanks


Give thanks with grateful heart.
Give thanks to the Holy One,
Give thanks because He's given Jesus Christ His son.

And now let the weak say, "I am strong,"
let the poor say, "I am rich,"
because of what the Lord has done for us.

Give thanks!

Lyrics by Henry Smith

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Furnace of Love

"Jesus has chosen to show me the only way which leads to the Divine Furnace of love; it is the way of childlike self-surrender, the way of a child who sleeps, afraid of nothing, in its father's arms."       St. Therese of Lisieux

Friday, May 20, 2011

Promptings

Recently my husband went to Morocco (northwestern Africa) on a mission to provide educational seminars promoting socio-economic development.

The second day after he arrived in Casablanca a bombing occurred in the country killing sixteen foreigners in a popular cafe. Feeling disturbed, my husband had a nightmare three nights later and was awakened with a sense of profound dread that disaster was imminent. He could not sleep trying to discern whether this was a warning from God or an effort by the enemy to plant fear and derail.

Only minutes after my husband had awakened he was prompted to pick up his cell phone finding a text message I had just sent.  Back in the U.S.A I had also been feeling a deep sense of anguish in my spirit and since six hours earlier than his time zone, I was still up and prompted to send him this scripture verse: "And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance, and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us."      Rm 5: 3-5

Unknown to me, this exact same scripture had been given him the day before by a mission team member and had strengthened him with faith.  Through the remainder of the night, my husband turned to prayer and further scripture, ultimately resolving he would remain with the team and move on in mission to the next city -- which proved to be a most rewarding and fruitful decision.

I was unaware as to the perfect timing of that Word until he returned home and shared the full story with me.

It's amazing how the Spirit prompts us beyond space and time.  And when we respond accordingly the divine orchestration of God unfolds.

Come, Holy Spirit, lead us!


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Silence

Pope Benedict XVI gave a homily about the life of St. Peter Celestine last year. He was sharing "some teachings that are also valid for our days." They regard silence.

He spoke about this Peter as a " 'seeker of God' from his youth, a man who was desirous to find the answers to the great questions of our existence: Who am I? Where do I come from? Why am I alive? For whom do I live? He went in search of truth and happiness, he went in search of God and, to hear his voice, decided to separate himself from the world and to live as a hermit.

Silence thus became the element that characterized his daily life. And it is precisely in external silence, but above all in internal silence, that he succeeded in perceiving God's voice, a voice that was able to guide his life.

...that is important for us: We live in a society in which it seems that every space, every moment must be "filled" with initiatives, activity, sound; often there is not even time to listen and dialogue.

Dear brothers and sisters! Let us not be afraid to be silent outside and inside ourselves, so that we are able not only to perceive God's voice, but also the voice of the person next to us, the voices of others."

My own anecdote to this teaching happened yesterday just before dinner. I sat in a few minutes of silence to seek a word from God. I wrote in my journal, "I will heal you." Not long after dinner my husband suggested we go to a perpetual adoration chapel. As I sat in the silence of the chapel with him an hour or so later, my eyes riveted to the words on the chapel's stone wall "I will indeed heal." 

Lord, you are so good to grace us with the gift of perceiving your voice and then confirming it with us to assure us we indeed heard You.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I will heal

Peace, peace to him who is far off [both Jew and Gentile], and to him that is near! says the Lord; I create the fruit of his lips and I will heal him--make his lips blossom anew with speech [in thankful praise]. Isaiah 57: 19 Amplified

Monday, May 16, 2011

Joyful Mysteries

This morning I was out for a brisk walk while praying the joyful mysteries of the rosary. I never grow tired of contemplating these mysteries of the life of Christ and their application to my life.

1st Joyful mystery--The Annunciation


  • I remember the angel Gabriel coming to Mary to announce she would be the Mother of God
  • I pray for the grace of joyful surrender
  • I say, "Thy will be done this day."
  • I say, "Totus Tuus!" ...totally yours


2nd Joyful Mystery--The Visitation


  • I remember when Mary went to visit Elizabeth
  • I pray for the grace of charity in my heart
  • I think of all I may visit today and pray I may go in charity


3rd Joyful Mystery--The Nativity


  • I remember when Jesus was born in the stable at Bethlehem
  • I pray for the grace for Jesus to be born in my heart anew this day
  • I pray that I may receive him, conceive him and bear fruit in this world


4th Joyful Mystery--The Presentation


  • I remember when Joseph & Mary presented Jesus in the temple
  • I pray for the grace of obedience to the commands of God
  • I pray for the grace of following the inspirations of the Holy Spirit
  • I present myself to the Lord--I give Him my gift of self


5th Joyful Mystery-The Finding of Jesus in the Temple


  • I remember when Joseph & Mary found Jesus after he was lost in the temple
  • I pray for the grace of perseverance
  • I give thanks for the desire to continue to seek His face 


Praying the rosary is a sure way to find interior peace of heart and mind.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Doves

 Dear friends,

We have some new friends at our house. Every year birds come to nest on top of the pillars on our front porch. In the past we've had blue jays and sparrows. This year it's doves. Do you think they heard the peace talks going on inside the house?

mama sitting on her nest

they look like they're kissing

Shalom,
    Sheila

Friday, May 13, 2011

Fatima moon

Happy Feast of Our Lady of Fatima!

I want to share with you our special moon photo from our Fatima pilgrimage. We were enjoying the extraordinary beauty of the night which happened to be Sunday, August 13, 2000–the 13th being the most important day of the month in Fatima. That is the day when hundreds of thousands of pilgrims come into the city since Our Lady originally appeared to the three shepherd children on May 13, 1917.

After praying the rosary together on the basilica steps that evening we began to walk over to the adoration chapel. Passing through the gorgeous colonnade we were mesmerized by the stunning light of the full moon.

As my husband prepared to take a photo of the moon, our Pastor who was with us, Fr. Tim, mentioned to me that Mary is called "luna" because she is a perfect reflection of the sun. The conversation went on about how Mary is a perfect reflection of her divine son, Jesus, and so her Immaculate Heart is a perfect reflection of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It was a poignant moment.

When we got our photographs back, we were amazed to see a heart‑shaped moon encircled in red.






            Bishop Sheen said in his book, The World's First Love, "As our love does not start with Mary so neither does it stop with Mary. Mary is a window through which our humanity first catches a glimpse of Divinity on earth. Or perhaps she is more like a magnifying glass that intensifies our love of her Son, and makes our prayers more bright and burning. 

            God, Who made the sun, also made the moon. The moon does not take away from the brilliance of the sun. The moon would be only a burnt-out cinder floating in the immensity of space, were it not for the sun. All its light is reflected from the sun. The Blessed Mother reflects her Divine Son; without Him, she is nothing. With Him, she is the Mother of Men. On dark nights we are grateful for the moon; when  we see it shining, we know there must be a sun. So in this dark night of the world when men turn their backs on Him Who is the Light of the World, we look to Mary to guide their feet while we await the sunrise.”

Grace & peace,
    Sheila

p.s. you might also like this story from Fatima

Monday, May 9, 2011

Peaceful Spirit

"Acquire a peaceful spirit, and around you thousands will be saved." St. Seraphin of Sarov



Saturday, May 7, 2011

Peace Prayer

I received a publication entitled "Preaching with a New Fire" from the Dominican Sisters of Peace. Their mission, to preach God's Word of Unending Peace--Jesus--and to be peace, is carried on in 37 states in America and six countries. The following prose was on the front cover of their newsletter:

"Ever creating God,
Still Point of Eternal Peace,
stir up within us
your dream that all may be one.
Free us to be instruments of your peace.

Jesus, Word birthed from creative love,
Word spoken and broken,
Unending Word of Peace,
enable us to be preachers of that Word,
bearers of the message of your peace.

Holy Spirit of Unfolding Peace,
Breath of God's Love,
enkindle in us the desire to be
embers of your peace
with a passion
that will set the world on fire."

Amen.

Prayer by Sr. Teresa Tuite, OP
Dominican Sister of Peace

To find out more about their congregation to go: http://oppeace.org/

“I have come to bring fire to the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!” Luke 12:49

Friday, May 6, 2011

Peacejam

Good day dear friends around the world,

How edifying today to learn more about PeaceJam. A program that has youth and Nobel Peace Laureates working together to change the world.

"The mission of the PeaceJam Foundation is to create young leaders committed to positive change in themselves, their communities and the world through the inspiration of Nobel Peace Laureates who pass on the spirit, skills, and wisdom they embody."

"What vision of heartbreaking misery, what manner of dire poverty, what degradation of the human spirit must we all see before we stand up and actually commit to doing something about it," they ask?

Go to this website: http://www.peacejam.org/  to find out more about these exciting youth movements of our time: PeaceJam and The Global Call to Action. PeaceJam together with Nobel Peace Laureates tackle the toughest issues facing our planet. These issues range from "basic needs, such as access to water, to basic rights, such as social justice and human security."

Wouldn't it be wonderful to see this spread throughout the world?

Peace to our youth and young adults who are our hope for building the Kingdom of God on earth,
Sheila

Thursday, May 5, 2011

True sanctity

"To humble ourselves, to suffer our imperfections with patience, this is true sanctity, the source of peace."   St. Therese of Lisieux

My dear friends,
Good morning!

A woman of peace knows she is not perfect and prays for the grace to accept her shortcomings.

I have suffered my own imperfections over and over, sometimes saying like St. Paul, "For what I want to do I do not do but what I hate to do." Rm 7:15 but, with His grace, I still cry out to the Lord to deliver me. I keep giving him my "yes" in my anguish and tears trusting him to the best of my ability, and before long peace rises within me again to replace my troubled soul. The rising that is the same power that rose Jesus from the dead. The power of God--the power of love. The Paschal mystery.*

When I turn to God in my need and ask for him to hear me, he faithfully pours out his love because the Lord hears the cry of the poor and delivers them from all distress, Ps 34: 6, and as I respond by receiving his love I am changed. The storm calms and I can walk peacefully. And I have been reminded I am a human being in need of my God. And what a gift that is!

You might also like this link:
*http://www.becomingwomenofpeace.com/2011/03/paschal-mystery.html

Grace and peace,
Sheila

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Christian conduct

A wise woman shared with me yesterday 1Thessalonians 5: 12-22. She served as my spiritual director during Retreat in Daily Life over the past six months and since it was our last meeting she wanted to leave me with these scriptures given as instructions by St. Paul for Christian conduct. The advice is very practical and I wanted to share it with you.

  • respect those among you whose task it is to exercise authority in the Lord and admonish you
  • esteem them with the greatest love because of their work
  • remain at peace with one another
  • admonish the unruly
  • cheer the fainthearted
  • support the weak
  • be patient toward all
  • see that no one returns evil to any other
  • always seek one another's good...and good of all
  • rejoice always
  • never cease praying
  • render constant thanks
  • do not stifle the Spirit
  • do not despise prophecies
  • test everything
  • retain what is good
  • avoid any semblance of evil

"May the God of peace make you perfect in holiness. May he preserve you whole and entire, spirit, soul, and body, irreproachable at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." 1 Thes 5:23

Love in Christ Jesus, our Risen Lord,
Sheila

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

DeDe Set Free


Dear friends,

Good afternoon and welcome to Women of Peace blog site.

I have exciting news today and I want to share it with you in the form it came to me. I received a letter from my friend, DeDe, who was in the same Retreat in Daily Life (RIDL) group that I was for the past six months and also participated in the Women of Peace Retreat Day in March.


She's the “woman of peace” for today. I witnessed her transformation that she describes below and it was awesome to behold. DeDe was set free through RIDL and the Women of Peace retreat by the power of the Holy Spirit. 

Here’s what she wrote this morning:

"Good Morning my precious Sister in Christ!!

I tell you the truth, after last night, I feel like a bird that has been set free to soar the heights of heaven. HALLELUJAH.

The “Harbor of Peace” posting on your blog site was such a tremendous anchor for me yesterday.  Work has been extremely upsetting for me since last week and this helped me to focus on what is necessary.

Another interesting thing that God is doing concerns the material I brought home from the retreat with you.  Sunday, as I was thinking about RIDL coming to an end, I was drawn to go back through the booklet and review my notes.  As I did, God stirred my heart to use it as a study and led me specifically to the "ATTRIBUTES of a Woman of Peace."
http://www.becomingwomenofpeace.com/2011/02/attributes-of-peace.html


I slowly drank in each one listed, thinking to myself that certain ones would be good to focus on.  The one that I wanted to skip over is the attribute that the Holy Spirit would not let my eyes discard.  And this is it – DRINKING NEW WINE.

The Holy Spirit instructed me to be quiet and meditate on that phrase – “do not try to figure out what it means or what God might be wanting to say to you…forget everything you were taught, every scene you are recalling, and be quiet.  When I told him I was a bit afraid and apprehensive-afraid of the unknown- he said it was unknown to me, but it is not  “unknown to God, now, is it?”  

As I sat quietly this came to me:

Open wide your mouth,
Lift high your arms,
I am doing a new thing in you. 
I have spoken it,
And it will come to pass.

You will go out with joy.
The mountains and the hills shall
Clap their hands;
The birds shall sing for joy.

For the Lord has made something old
New again.
The Lord will allow his glory to shine;
The Lord has done it.
Blessed be the name of the Lord.
There is none like Him in all the earth.

Then when I asked the Lord how long I was to meditate on this phrase, He told me until he tells me the next step. What a humbling experience for me.

I pray your day is penetrated with the peace of God that passes all understanding.

Always,
DeDe"


My spontaneous response to DeDe:

Wow! First of all, I mean it—I rejoice that you have been set free! The glory of God is all over you. And it’s so exciting for me to witness. God wants that for all his people.

Now you can go forth, DeDe, with new gifts for others because you have gained the victory. Like a marathon runner you ran the race and came to the finish line—at least for that marathon. J

God, our Father, draws all of us because he wants to touch us and make us whole. Give glory to Him!