Sunday, November 18, 2012

Thanksgiving Prayer After Holy Mass


Lord, Father all-powerful and ever-living God, I thank You for even though I am a sinner, your unprofitable servant, not because of my worth but in the kindness of your mercy, You have fed me with the Precious Body & Blood of Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ

I pray that this Holy Communion may not bring me condemnation and punishment but forgiveness and salvation.


May it be a helmet of faith and a shield of good will. May it purify me from evil ways and put an end to my evil passions.

May it bring me charity and patience, humility and obedience, and growth in the power to do good.

May it be my strong defense against all my enemies, visible and invisible, and the perfect calming of all my evil impulses, bodily and spiritual.

May it unite me more closely to you, the One true God, and lead me safely through death to everlasting happiness with You.

And I pray that You will lead me, a sinner, to the banquet where you, with Your Son and Holy Spirit, are true and perfect light, total fulfillment, everlasting joy, without end, and perfect happiness to your saints.

Grant this through Christ our Lord, AMEN.

written by St. Thomas Aquinas






Read more: http://www.ewtn.com/devotionals/prayers/AQUINAS.htm#ixzz2CLUlMFLI

Sunday, October 28, 2012

On Silence

I have known silence since my early 20's which has been several decades now. Silence has been my friend. She is like Sophia--Lady Wisdom--to me and I love and long to spend time with her.

I had a profound experience of silence which happened last May in the midst of my father's final days here on earth. Only a few weeks before he passed away, I was showered with grace-filled moments of silence where the Divine Physician spoke from his heart and whispered secrets to mine. And the story goes like this...

He ambled feebly down the hallway,
I turned and to my surprise he was by my side.
I had come to be with Kathryn, my mother,
his beloved spouse of nearly 61 years.

Together we slowly walked down another hall toward her room--
He pushing his walker, me--slightly touching his shoulder.

She, Kathryn, lie waiting in her bed, unaware of the great communion about to happen.
He was now ambling over to her bedside,
Reaching out to take her hand.
I, standing on the other side of the bed, watching...
All done in silence.

He had no need to utter a word, yet
the words were written for me in invisible script.
In silence I strangely understood
This would be the last time I would witness their profound love--
Of the two being together on this earth.

Silently, I weep, as I thought of that reality which became true.
The beauty of what I was beholding between them
felt like more than I could bear.

For almost half an hour, he stood silently.
I asked him if he wanted a seat.
He wanted only--
only to be hovering over her was enough--
holding her hand without words, and yet,
a hundred "I love yous" he communicated.

When he was ready to go, I walked with him, quite silently,
back down the hallway to his room.
We had been lifted to a realm where language was transcended.
I knew the true love I had witnessed.
He knew too!
That was enough.

Only two and a half days later,
after falling and breaking his hip,
his final journey of passing into eternal silence began.

One week later,
yet another trauma--a major brain bleed,
He could never utter a word distinctly again.

And yet, that same hand held mine now--
Our hands--those of all my siblings--in that hospital room,
And it communicated a depth of words
No language could adequately do justice.

His eyes as they gazed deeply into ours,
Spoke every unspoken word to his children,
of the last sixty years that he and our mother's love
had generated.

In that silence we found grace, we found gift,
And we were able to love him
More than ever before.
Each stroke of his face, each touch of his body,
Reassured him and us of a love that will never die--
A love that will be forever!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Ear of My Heart

In the Prologue of his Rule,
St. Benedict speaks of this.
I have read and reread it,
pondering, ruminating over it,
and asking for an understanding heart
of what it means in my life.

How do I listen with the ear of my heart?

Have you ever noticed when you pray for another
person how helpful it is to look at their face
because you can read what's in their heart better?
That's the same with the Lord.

Somehow we need to come face to face with Christ.
I once heard this: "Face means person. We need His Face
with our face because His face opens us to understand
His heart." I thought "Wow!" and did some more ruminating.

What I have heard time and time again
before the Eucharistic Face of Jesus
are the two great commandments:

"You shall love the Lord your God
with your whole heart,
with your whole soul,
and with all your mind." Mt 22: 37  Mk 12:30

"You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Mt 22: 38

Our hearts are a place of love,
and when we are asked to listen
with the "ear of our hearts" we are being asked
to have a heart of self-giving love. 

"One can not find God
through the senses or intelligence,"
said a wise priest to me once;...
"even Moses in taking off his sandals
represented the taking off of
his senses and intelligence"
...and he continued,
"Joseph after hearing that Mary was with child
suspended these qualities as well."

"If we follow this instruction of St. Benedict,"
the wise one continued--
listening with the ear of the heart,
"we will be configured to the heart of Christ."

O glory, isn't that what we want?

image by Wes Allen

I will hear what the Lord God has to say,
a voice that speaks of peace,
peace for his people and his friends
and those who turn to him in their hearts.  Ps 85: 8

Lord, teach me to listen with the ear of my heart.*

*image found on: www.TheEarsofYourHeart,com 

Friday, April 6, 2012

Pregnant Pause

I have taken a pregnant pause.

It has been Holy Week and such a perfect time to pause in silence anyway.

My beloved and precious sister, Linda--my younger Irish twin (eleven months apart)--passed away last Friday morning in her sleep as she desired. She had been terminally ill for a long while.

Even though we, her family, (she was one of eight siblings) knew her death was imminent, we're still experiencing a profound sense of loss.

Linda in the middle. I'm on the right. My older Irish twin, Cathy, on the left.

The good news is that God's promises are true. His peace is flowing like a river and He is flooding us with His love. Our hearts are wide open to receive all that He wants to bestow in this very holy time.

God bless all of you with His peace too.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Wowed!

I was "wowed" by a man in the Dollar Tree store this morning.

First he said, "You go ahead of me." Then when I handed the clerk my money he said, "I'm paying for hers (me) and for hers"--pointing to the lady behind him.

I said, "You're amazing! I'll have to do the same for someone."

And he said, "That's the point!"

I walked away with goose bumps. :-)

I always like starting the day with, "Speak, Lord, I'm listening."

Now to obey!!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

My Dearest Child

I hear the cry of your heart,
and I long to reassure you.
I am with you always.

Your heart purely longs for me,
for the courts of my house,
and I welcome you in.

You are my eternal guest.

I have found you worthy
through the blood of the Lamb,
my son, your Lord,
the Prince of Peace.

He who comforts hearts,
who loves beyond measure,
who stands firm, and causes you to stand firm.
He who is relentless in His love and mercy,
who looks kindly upon you.

Rejoice and be glad this day,
O daughter of Zion,
for your Lord stands near,
as your sword and shield
to defend you in these evil days
when Satan has been loosed upon the earth.

You are my anointed daughter
to whom I give the well-springs of water,
whose breath I sustain,
whose mouth I open,
whose voice I bless,
whose feet I keep,
whose hand I touch,
whose heart I love,
whose mind I know,
whose desire is mine,
whose faith is strong,
whose courage endures,
who is favored.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Faithful Remember This:

Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intention for March 2012

General Intention: Contribution of Women
That the whole world may recognize the contribution of women to the development of society.

Amen to that!

Friday, March 16, 2012

No Greater Love

What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
Oh, precious is the flow,
that makes me white as snow.
No other fount I know,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

This is all my hope and peace,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
This is all my righteousness
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.    R. Lowry, 1876

Celebration of Holy Mass at Immaculate Conception Church in  Ireland

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Giver

O Lord, you mete out peace to us, for it is you who have accomplished all we have done.  Is 26: 12

I had to stop and ponder this word from Isaiah recently. Ruminate like the cow rechews the cud. In my mind I went back over the things I have accomplished in my life. Now I am seeing them more in the light of Him having done them through me and I have rediscovered them with a new beauty.

It is God who is active within us, giving us both the will and the achievement, in accordance with his good purpose. St. Basil

Well, not only the achievement but even the will is his doing, not mine. A greater sense of awe has dawned.

St. Paul said, "I have toiled harder than all the others, but it is not I but the grace of God, which is with me." 1 Cor 15: 10

So the will, the grace, the accomplishments are all received as gift. Obviously, i am nothing without the Giver.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Childlike Trust

T ruly I have set my soul in silence and peace;
as a child has rest in its mother's arms,

My daughter and I decades ago.

even so my soul."  Ps 131: 2

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Revive Us!

For this is what the high and lofty One says--
he who lives forever, whose name is holy: ...
says the Lord, "And I will heal them." Isaiah 57: 19

Father, I thank you for speaking to the spirit of the lowly and the heart of the contrite. Even though you have seen all of our sinful ways, you promise to not only heal us, but guide and restore comfort to us. 

Revive us, O Lord!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Thy Word

"As the rain and the snow come down from heaven,
and do not return to it without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower
and bread for the eater,
so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it."   Isaiah 55: 11

Father,
You amaze me how you give a word in due season
that not only cheers my heart, affirms my identity,
reiterates your promises, heals my soul, lifts me up,
gives me courage, instructs my mind,
sets my feet on steady ground,
but so much more!

You send that word as gift
making sure your heart's desire
and holy purpose are established forever.
How can I thank you enough?
You, who alone can do such great and marvelous deeds!

I love you, Lord,
and I lift my voice.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Isaiah 57:19

How comforting is it to remember the words of the Lord?


May He guide you and restore comfort to you and yours!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Fire of Love

"The man (or woman)
who burns with the fire of divine love
is a son (or daughter)
of the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
and wherever he goes,
he enkindles that flame;
he desires and works
with all his strength
to inflame all men
with the fire of God's love.

Nothing deters him:
he rejoices in poverty;
he labours strenuously;
he welcomes hardships;
he laughs off false accusations;
he rejoices in anguish.

He thinks only of how
he might follow Jesus Christ
and imitate him by his prayers,
his labours, his sufferings,
and by caring always and only
for the glory of God
and the salvation of souls."
-- St Anthony Mary Claret--

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Melt Me

My honey ran off to the store to satisfy our sweet tooth and brought back cinnamon rolls.
And as if it wasn't rich enough I melted some butter to pour over the top.

In the Eucharistic chapel the next morning, it seemed a stereo was silently playing in my mind. I could hear a Welsh folk tune--the familiar children's lullaby "Sleep, my child, and peace attend thee, All through the night; Guardian angels God will send thee, All through the night."

Why the lullaby? Remembrances of rocking my own children with hopes of them sleeping in peace fleeted through the archives of my mind.

The songs faded and now words silent, just spoken interiorly, proposed this sweet invitation: "I want to hold you, rock you, comfort you as a mother does her child. I want to transport you  to a place of deeper rest in me."

"Why is that so important? Why such deep rest?" I questioned.

"Resting, not sleeping," I understood Him say. "It is a holy relaxation. Melt into Me. Out of this deep rest in me, I want you to live your life." I repeated this with whispering lips.

My mind responded, "Then I need to enter into the rest each morning...I need to listen, to hear what You say, otherwise there'll be no deep rest in You."

The image of butter on the cinnamon roll came back and how I melted it to pour over the top. If I had stuck a little slab of cold butter on, it wouldn't have been as delicious. It was the melting that enabled me to pour out the liquid over the top. And that made it so good.

What happens when something melts? Molecules are moving--fast! When they're heated they absorb the thermal energy and start to vibrate. Energy increases when something melts.

Oh, wow! Do I start to vibrate when I melt into the Lord...when I sit in the heat of His presence? Isn't that the same thing that happens in His presence--the heat, the melting, the transforming, the enlightening, the energizing, the liquifying for the pouring out?


Look at the radiant light!

Draw me into your presence, O Lord, where I am melted so that I can be poured out for others. Amen!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Our Lady

Our Lady is calling us to make a decision for God. Because in Him is our peace. This world is not able to give us peace. That peace which the world offers us will very quickly disappoint us. That is why we must make a decision for God. That is why we must accept these treasures which are eternal. He alone is not temporary. Everything else is passing. We are on this earth only as pilgrims. We are on a journey. That is why we must make a decision. We must decide to walk the right way.”   Ivan Dragicevic

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Anxiety

"Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, but only empties today of its strength."  Charles Spurgeon

Dear friends,

Let us remember that we can be protected from anxiety and receive God's peace, but we must be transformed by the renewing of our minds. Rm 12: 2

We can not entertain thoughts that make us anxious, but rather we need to resist them. We must, instead, think on these things... "whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy..." Phil 4: 8.

And we need to enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Ps 100: 4

With a renewed mind, a heart of thanksgiving, and a mouth filled with praise we will be protected from anxiety and live each day in His peace.

Anxiety is a subtle, or not so subtle, tactic of the enemy. It leads us into sorrow, and we know better-- it's the joy of the Lord that gives us strength. Neh 8: 10

Grace & peace be with you,

Sheila

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Pope Benedict's January Missionary Intention

That the dedication of Christians to peace may bear witness to the name of Christ before all men and women of good will.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Grace is Enough

In today's reading from 1 Samuel 16 1: 13 we hear the story about David being chosen from all of Jesse's sons and anointed as king. It was not Jesse's firstborn son as some might have expected; it was his youngest, David, so it took many by surprise since he was simply "tending the sheep."

How consoling to understand through this story that God's order of grace transcends all political, social and financial orders of society. God will choose whomever He wants "for the Lord sees not as man sees; man looks on the outward appearance but the Lord looks on the heart."

His grace is enough. 2 Cor 12: 9

May the Spirit of the Lord come mightily upon you as "upon David from that day forward."

Monday, January 16, 2012

Bamboozled

As I awoke one morning I had a vivid image of bamboo.
You might say I was bamboozled in the sense of being mystified, 
and I wondered what the Spirit of the Lord
might be saying...
my image looked something like this--five short pieces of bamboo;
five in scripture refers to God's grace 
so I googled the question: What does bamboo mean?
I clicked on this link on wiki.answers.com: 
"What does bamboo symbolize in Japanese culture?"

                 The answer: Strength of character

I cut bamboo at my parent's house that day and made a floral arrangement 

Wiki explanation:
     "Whenever there is a storm,
     trees are broken, destroyed,
     no matter how big they are,
     they cannot resist the force of the wind.
     Even the strongest trees are like a toy for strong winds.
     The bamboo isn't. Bamboo bends,
     it flexes, nearly touches the floor, but never breaks.
     It resists the storms, the strongest winds.    
  Yet, it keeps its delicate structure.  
 Like the bamboo is a good man's character.
A man can undergo hard, difficult, tough times,
for which he must adapt, but must never break,
never lose his sense of self.
A man must keep his essence
now matter how bad the world is treating him."
  
That's how a woman of peace needs to be--
bending, flexing, resisting, never breaking,
yet keeping her delicate and true femininity.

Grace & peace be with you,

Sheila



Sunday, January 15, 2012

Confidence

The Prayer of Abandonment
of Blessed Charles of Jesus
has helped souls the world over
to walk in the path of confidence
and spiritual childhood:

Father,
I abandon myself into your hands;
do with me what you will.
Whatever you may do, I thank you:
I am ready for all, I accept all.
Let only your will be done in me,
and in all your creatures -
I wish no more than this, O Lord.
Into your hands I commend my soul:
I offer it to you with all the love of my heart,
for I love you, Lord, and so need to give myself,
to surrender myself into your hands without reserve,
and with boundless confidence,
for you are my Father.

For more on abandonment go to this link: http://www.becomingwomenofpeace.com/2011/07/holy-abandonment.html

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Ordinary Time

Today, according to the liturgical calendar, was the first day back to Ordinary Time. The extraordinary season of Christmas just passed.

The priest at Mass this morning reminded us that "in the ordinary of today, it is right and proper that we recall the extraordinary that we just celebrated: God with us, Immanuel. Can we recognize God with us? Can we see how He is calling us to minister to the broken-hearted, to speak with authority, or perhaps to drop something that currently absorbs us to more freely follow Him?" he challenged.

A prayer he thought would be right and proper for today is Psalm 116: 12: How shall I make a return to the Lord for all the good He has done for me?

"Offer everything," he wisely advised, "and expect the extraordinary!"

Monday, January 9, 2012

Epiphany Inscription

On the feast of the Epiphany of the Lord, my husband wrote with blessed chalk 20 + C + M + B + 12 above our front door. These are the initials of the Three Magi: Casper, Melchior and Balthasar. CMB is also an abbreviation for Christus mansionem benedicat, "May Christ bless the house."

According to the explanation given to us by the Benedictine monks at Monastery of Our Lady of the Cenacle here in Tulsa, Oklahoma, U.S.A., "the letters recall the day on which the inscription is made, as well as the purpose of blessing. The crosses represent the protection of the Precious Blood of Christ, Whose Sacred Name we invoke, and also the holiness of the Three Magi sanctified by their adoration of the Infant Christ."

Further, "the inscription is made above the front door, so that all who enter and depart this year may enjoy God's blessing...The inscription is made of chalk, a product of clay, which recalls the human nature taken by the Adorable and Eternal Word of God in the womb of the Virgin Mary, by the power of the Holy Spirit."

As instructed, we read the Prologue of Saint John's Gospel (1: 1-14), followed by the Our Father, and the following prayer:
   
  OGod, who by the leading of a star didst manifest thy only begotten Son to the Gentiles: mercifully grant that we who know thee now by faith may be admitted to the vision of thy majesty. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

In 2012..I Will Delve

In 2012, "Into the heart of the home I will delve." My hubby and I love having yearly themes. We've done that just about every year since we've been married. Well, that's been thirty-two years now. Last year was "On earth as it is in heaven in 2011" and one of the most memorable "Trust and believe in the Lord as never before in '84."

What led us to this new theme was an inspirational quote by St. Therese of Lisieux. She said something to the effect, "I'll be love in the world."

Love, after all, is the only thing that works. And love is in the present; it is in the moment. It is now!

If we love in the present, the end will take care of itself. What end you might ask. It's the dreams, visions and desires each one of us has for the future. They're as different as people are different. What's important to remember is when we have the end in view, it causes not loving in the present. If we just reverse it and focus on love, the rest will unfold.

So when there are interruptions at home, I will drop everything and focus on and be present to another. Will I succeed? That's up to God and the grace He bestows on me. I know the flesh and the enemy will rebel. (It just did a few moments ago). Satan will be subtle; otherwise, I'll recognize him easily.

If I fail, my response to circumstances will show me where I'm really at. As long as I need patience, I'm not loving. So I'll be mindful, ever mindful, and strive to become who I am. I am love in the heart of the home.

Happy New Year!