Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Testimony

My precious mother, Kathryn Grant, striken with Alzheimer's disease and unable to write, walk, speak coherently, or feed herself any longer wrote this beautiful passage in 2003 on the tragedy of 9/11 two years after the horrific event. I am led to share it with you today because the call remains to 'take up arms' and to be hope bearers in this world and I, her daughter, will issue it again now a decade later and together we will pass it on from generation to generation.

     "The heart of our nation has not fully healed since the tragedy of 9/11. The grief of the victims' families has not been assuaged, nor has the magnitude of their loss been minimized by the passage of time. Indeed, the intervening months have brought more violence and death around the globe, in spite of enormous outlays of money and arms at the disposal of those who seek peace and do not find it. Meanwhile, there is an opportunity that begs the attention of we older citizens to 'take up arms'-, our own -, that is, to put our arms around the children and young people of this nation. We have lived through a succession of wars and civil upheavals; we have seen the fall of Communism and Fascism; we have seen an earlier culture turned upside down by radical changes of every kind. We have lost loved ones, family and peers. By virtue of age and experience, we are singularly qualified to be hope bearers. Like the canaries sent down into the mine shafts to test for any toxicity, we bring good news that all is well. Not even the monstrous blow of 9/11 can bring us to our knees, except in prayer.
     So, my, dear brothers and sisters of faith, we are called to a challenging "war effort." Our weapons are our collective voices of reassurance to our children, grandchildren, all who have lost hope for the future of our beloved country which we have historically called 'invincible.' One of us repeating Jesus' words, 'Be not afraid' is good, but when we collaborate, the collective power of our voices can turn the tide of events as they unfold. We are people of prayer. How else does one survive what we have been through in our long lives? And prayer will be our greatest weapon in bringing hope to the hopeless. The dues in our organization will be steep! requiring millions of prayers for the balance of our lives for our loved ones, and others all over the world who yearn for peace and security. We will be one voice for one people!"     Kathryn Grant

My mother's (Kathryn) testimony continues to touch me powerfully and I hope it does you. Let us continue to "bring good news that all is well."

Love & peace be with you & yours from generation to generation.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

"The Miracle"

Vatican Insider Staff
Rome

Muslims and Christians came together in St. Peter’s Square today and prayed using words from their own religions. Many described this as “the miracle” of Pope Francis’ ecumenical appeal during today’s fast and four-hour long vigil of prayer which broke the barriers of faith in an attempt to stop the war in Syria. 100,000 came to St. Peter’s Square in the late afternoon to join the Pope in his appeal for peace.
 
A silent ceremony, with flags from countries all over the world lining the sides of the square: from the Syrian flag to the Chinese and Argentinean one and the one depicting the rainbow of peace. The atmosphere was meditative and almost surreal given the presence of Syrians and Muslims in the square: according to Italy’s Arab community there were several hundred who attended.  Some of them recited verses from the Koran as the sound of the Ave Maria rose from the lips of Catholics standing just metres away. A fusion of faiths and prayers in the spirit of peace.
 
But a wind of division blew across the Syrian community attending the vigil in St. Peter’s Square. A group which supports the ideology of the “rebels” moved away from the so-called “pro-Syrian people” group, and went to the other side of the square. “We fear infiltrators from the Syrian embassy, it’s best if we keep away,” they said. But for many others it was simply a moment of peace. Many Catholics called it “a sort of miracle performed by St. Francis.”

Peace Vigil


VATICAN CITY (AP) -- Tens of thousands of people filled St. Peter's Square for a four-hour Syria peace vigil late Saturday, answering Pope Francis' call for a grassroots cry for peace that was echoed by Christians and non-Christians alike in Syria and in vigils around the world.

The Vatican estimated about 100,000 took part in the Rome event, making it one of the largest rallies in the West against proposed U.S.-led military action against the Syrian regime following the Aug. 21 chemical weapons attack near Damascus.

Francis spent most of the vigil in silent prayer, but during his speech he issued a heartfelt plea for peace, denouncing those who are "captivated by the idols of dominion and power" and destroy God's creation through war:

     "This evening, I ask the Lord that we Christians, and our brothers and sisters of other religions and    every man and woman of good will, cry out forcefully: Violence and war are never the way to peace!" he said. "May the noise of weapons cease!" he said. "War always marks the failure of peace, it is always a defeat for humanity."

Monday, September 2, 2013

Pope Francis' Cry for Peace

"Today, dear brothers and sisters, I wish to add my voice to the cry which rises up with increasing anguish from every part of the world, from every people, from the heart of each person, from the one great family which is humanity: it is the cry for peace! It is a cry which declares with force: we want a peaceful world, we want to be men and women of peace, and we want in our society, torn apart by divisions and conflict, that peace break out! War, never again! Never again, war! Peace is a precious gift, which must be promoted and protected. There are so many conflicts in this world which cause me great suffering and worry, but in these days my heart is deeply wounded in particular by what is happening in Syria, and anguished by the dramatic developments which are looming.

I appeal strongly for peace, an appeal which arises from the deep within me. How much suffering, how much devastation, how much pain has the use of arms carried in its wake in that martyred country, especially among civilians and the unarmed! I think of many children will not see the light of the future! With utmost firmness I condemn the use of chemical weapons: I tell you that those terrible images from recent days are burned into my mind and heart. There is a judgment of God and of history upon our actions which are inescapable! Never has the use of violence brought peace in its wake. War begets war, violence begets violence.

With all my strength, I ask each party in this conflict to listen to the voice of their own conscience, not to close themselves in solely on their own interests, but rather to look at each other as brothers and, decisively and courageously, to follow the path of encounter and negotiation, and so overcome blind conflict. With similar vigour I exhort the international community to make every effort to promote clear proposals for peace in that country without further delay, a peace based on dialogue and negotiation, for the good of the entire Syrian people.

May no effort be spared in guaranteeing humanitarian assistance to those wounded by this terrible conflict, in particular those forced to flee and the many refugees in nearby countries. May humanitarian workers, charged with the task of alleviating the sufferings of these people, be granted access so as to provide the necessary aid.

What can we do to make peace in the world? As Pope John said, it pertains to each individual to establish new relationships in human society under the mastery and guidance of justice and love
(cf. John XXIII, Pacem in Terris, [11 April 1963]: AAS 55, [1963], 301-302).

All men and women of good will are bound by the task of pursuing peace. I make a forceful and urgent call to the entire Catholic Church, and also to every Christian of other confessions, as well as to followers of every religion and to those brothers and sisters who do not believe: peace is a good which overcomes every barrier, because it belongs all of humanity!

I repeat forcefully: it is neither a culture of confrontation nor a culture of conflict which builds harmony within and between peoples, but rather a culture of encounter and a culture of dialogue; this is the only way to peace.

May the plea for peace rise up and touch the heart of everyone so that they may lay down their weapons and let themselves be led by the desire for peace.

To this end, brothers and sisters, I have decided to proclaim for the whole Church on 7 September next, the vigil of the birth of Mary, Queen of Peace, a day of fasting and prayer for peace in Syria, the Middle East, and throughout the world, and I also invite each person, including our fellow Christians, followers of other religions and all men of good will, to participate, in whatever way they can, in this initiative.

On 7 September, in Saint Peter’s Square, here, from 19:00 until 24:00, we will gather in prayer and in a spirit of penance, invoking God’s great gift of peace upon the beloved nation of Syria and upon each situation of conflict and violence around the world. Humanity needs to see these gestures of peace and to hear words of hope and peace! I ask all the local churches, in addition to fasting, that they gather to pray for this intention.

Let us ask Mary to help us to respond to violence, to conflict and to war, with the power of dialogue, reconciliation and love. She is our Mother: may she help us to find peace; all of us are her children! Help us, Mary, to overcome this most difficult moment and to dedicate ourselves each day to building in every situation an authentic culture of encounter and peace. Mary, Queen of Peace, pray for us!"

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Philippians 1: 3-4

It is good to sit in your presence,
to sigh a breath of relief,
to hear the birds chirping
above the sound of the traffic,
to sense your nearness,
to have the edginess within touched and softened,
to listen for your voice
speaking deep within my soul,
longing to give direction to this new day--
if only a word.

Every muscle relaxes as I sit still in this chair,
the tension in my hands seeps out through my fingertips,
the tightness in my shoulders releases
as my head bows.
I look like I'm praying or sleeping
as I am soaking You in.

The Word has been planted today--
the universal Word--from the Mass readings.
You shall reap what you sow, and
God longs to supply plenty. 2 Cor 9: 6-10
The psalm response proclaims,
Blessed are those who lend to those in need. Ps 112
Plenty are they in our lives.
And the Gospel--the Good News--says,
We must die to self to have eternal life. Jn 12: 24-26

Speak, O Lord, your servant and friend is listening.
I am so excited to be with you,
so excited to wait for you to speak.
What will you say today?
One word--one song--from you--Eternal One--
will satisfy me,
and I will run and skip and jump for joy!

O, Divine Musician, how you love to drop songs
into my heart,
and I hear it now from Philippians 1.
"I thank my God each time I think of you,
and when I pray for you, I pray with joy."

So for all who have asked for prayer,
and all who need prayer,
I thank my God as I remember you and pray with joy.

Love & prayers,

Sheila

Monday, March 4, 2013

Repentance

Yesterday at Sunday's Mass, our Pastor at Christ the King Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, U.S.A., Rev. Msgr. Daniel Mueggenborg, gave an excellent homily. He explained the true meaning of repentance which I am sharing here with you. May it bless you as it has me.

http://christthekingtulsa.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Download-Homily-3rd-Sunday-of-Lent-Year-C.pdf

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Just For Today

My dear friends,

One of my dearest heavenly friends is St. Therese of Lisieux. She inspires me day after day, especially with her simple desire to love.

She speaks of a profound truth in the following poem. If I can "just for today"...LOVE...both the receiving and the giving of...because she understood by divine grace, that is who she is and that is who we are...LOVE. And love is present...it is now, not tomorrow.

"My Song for Today" by St. Therese:

My life is but an instant, a passing hour.
My life is but a day that escapes and flies away.
O my God! You know that to love you on earth,
I only have today!

Oh, I love you, Jesus! My soul yearns for you.
For just one day remain my sweet support.
Come reign in my heart, give me your smile,
Just for today!

Lord, what does it matter if the future is gloomy?
To pray for tomorrow, oh no, I cannot!...
Keep my heart pure, cover me with your shadow,
Just for today.

If I think about tomorrow, I fear my fickleness.
I feel sadness and worry rising up in my heart.
But I'm willing, my God, to accept trial and suffering,
Just for today.

O Divine Pilot! whose hand guides me.
I'm soon to see you on the eternal shore.
Guide my little boat over the stormy waves in peace,
Just for today.

Ah! Lord, let me hide in your Face.
There I'll no longer hear the world's vain noise.
Give me your love, keep me in your grace,
Just for today.

Near your divine Heart, I forget all passing things.
I no longer dread the fears of the night.
Ah! Jesus, give me a place in your Heart,
Just for today.

Deign to unite me to you, Holy and sacred Vine,
And my weak branch will give you its fruit,
And I'll be able to offer you a cluster of golden grapes,
Lord, from today on.

I've just this fleeting day to form
This cluster of love, whose seeds are souls.
Ah! give me, Jesus, the fire of an Apostle,
Just for today.

O Immaculate Virgin! You are my Sweet Star
Giving Jesus to me and uniting me to Him.
O Mother! Let me rest under your veil,
Just for today.

My Holy Guardian Angel, cover me with your wing.
With your fire light the road that I'm taking.
Come direct my steps... help me, I call upon you,
Just for today.

Lord, I want to see you without veils, without clouds,
But still exiled, far from you, I languish.
May your lovable face not be hidden from me,
Just for today.

Soon I'll fly away to speak your praises
When the day without sunset will dawn on my soul.
Then I'll sing on the Angels' lyre,
The Eternal Today!...

And so I say "just for today," my friends, love,

Sheila

Firm Purpose

A nation of firm purpose
you keep in peace;
in peace, for its trust in you.   Is 26: 3
Let us be a people, O Lord, who seek your promise to Solomon:
a people who humble themselves and pray,
a people who seek your presence,
a people who turn from our evil ways,
that You may hear us from heaven,
and pardon our sins,
and revive our land. 2 Chron 7: 14

Let this be our firm purpose that we may inherit your promise of peace.

Friday, February 1, 2013

I am blessed in the city.
I am blessed in the field.
I am blessed in my down sitting.
I am blessed in my uprising.

I am blessed socially, physically, mentally, psychologically.
I am blessed relationally, interpersonally and physiologically.
I am blessed. Every part of my life is blessed.

I speak to my government that they would come into divine alignment 
and that they would lead morally and ethically.

I speak that our business is successful,
that we are increasing and there is no decrease.
I speak into my day and I download prosperity into my day,
success into my day.

I speak over those that I love - I speak prosperity and success.

I speak into my home, that my home is a haven of shalom.

I speak into my loved ones. I speak that their lives will come back into alignment.

I decree and declare that wealth and riches are in our home.
I speak into my mind peace, into my heart courage;
I speak into my feet that there are paths I can walk on
to overcome every obstacle.

I am the head and not the tail.
I am first and not last. I am above and not beneath.
I am loved by God, I am chosen by God, I am protected by God.

Today shall come into direct alignment with the plans and purposes of God.
Every good and every perfect gift is of God.
TODAY is my gift, therefore it will begin perfectly and it will end well.

In the name of Jesus, Amen.

based on Deuteronomy Chapter 28
Thank you, precious Erin, for sharing this with me.