Be Still My Soul

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I was sitting on the beach watching the waves violently crash against the shore.  The blue tranquil appearance of yesterday was but a peaceful memory. Today gray swells of varying degrees broke down, curling white, then collapsing in a rumble of turbulent foam.  There was a storm approaching us from the sea, and it was as if it was reaching out to prepare us for its power,  but still yet on the horizon.  My head phones were lauding me with gentle tones, calling me to a spirit of calm, contradicting what my eyes could see and ears still heard…the impact of each wave.  Even so the mantra, “Be still my soul” was providing me with peace

It made me think of St Peter on the boat, when Jesus came to him on the water. When Peter went, and noticed the rough water, he began to sink.

“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” 

 Jesus is certainly capable of calming the seas, whether a body of water, or life’s circumstances.  When we see God’s will for us, and the water is turbulent, it can get scary. Even when I ask Jesus to call me, to His will on the water, I can lose faith, when the water gets choppy. I think today, I just need to challenge myself to call out to Jesus, when I begin to falter, so He can calm the seas.DSC_0862_2

But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

 

Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

Be still my soul….in Your will Lord…be still my soul

A Week of Saints (October 28- November 3)

 

A little late and a little short…the result of a weekend away.

Sunday, October 28

St’s Simon and Jude, Apostles, Martyrs (time of Christ)

St. Jude, was named by Luke and in Acts, but Matthew and Mark call him Thaddeus. He is listed among all the Apostles. Scholars hold that he is not the author of the Letter of Jude. He is brother of James the Less and son of Clopas and Mary, who was the cousin of the Blessed Mother. He preached the Gospel in 

Judea, Samaria, Idumaea, Syria, Mesopotamia, and Lybia. according to ancient writers.

Patron:  Desperate causes, desperate situations, lost causes

St. Simon, sometimes called the Zealot, was son of Cleophas, St. Joseph’s brother, and his mother was possibly Our Lady’s sister. He was successor to St James as  Bishop of Jerusalem,  The Christians fled the city with Simon to Pella on the other side of the Jordan, eventually returning to Jerusalem.  The church here flourished greatly, and that many Jews were converted by the miracles by the saints. He was thought to be 120 yrs old and was put to death by crucifixion.

Monday, October. 29

St. Narcissus of Jerusalem, Bishop (d. 215)

St. Narcissus managed to live well beyond 100. Some even speculate he lived to 160. Details of his life are uncertain, but there are reports of his many miracles. He is most remembered for turning water into oil for use in the church lamps on Holy Saturday.  He was bishop of Jerusalem in the late second century. When he retired as Bishop he went into isolation. Upon returning to Jerusalem he resumed his role as Bishop.

Tuesday, October 30

St. Alphonsus Rodriguez , Lay Brother(1533-1617)

Alphonsus Rodriguez found happiness and contentment through simple service and prayer.Born in Spain, at 23 he inherited the family textile business. He lost his wife and daughter, sold his business that wasn’t doing well, and moved with his son to live with his sister..prayer and meditation. He joined the Jesuits, and served as doorkeeper.  His prayerfulness and holiness was noticed in his humble position

“You must strive with all possible care to please God in such a manner as neither to do nor behold anything, without first consulting Him, and in everything to seek Him alone and His glory.”

Wednesday, October 31

St. Wolfgang of Regensburg, Priest (924-994)

Wolfgang was born in Germany, taught in a cathedral school and supported efforts to reform the clergy.  He became a Benedictine monk, was ordained a priest and was made head of the monastery school.  He later went to Hungary as a  missionary. He was appointed Bishop of Regensburg, where he was an effective preacher, initiated clergy reform and had special concern for the poor.

Patron:  apoplexy, Carpenters, paralysis, stomach disease, strokes

Thursday, November 1

All Saints

The feast where the Catholic Church honors its Saints.  

 

Friday, November 2

All Souls

On this day the Church remembers and prays for the dead.

Saturday, November 3

St Martin de Porres, Priest (1579-1639)

It was said that even as a child St Martin de Porres gave his heart and his goods to the poor..

He was the illegitimate son of a freed woman of Panama, and inherited the features and dark complexion of his mother. Martin was reared in poverty, and locked into a low level of society.  He applied to the Dominicans to be a “lay helper” His example of prayer and penance, charity and humility led the community to request him to make full religious profession. He treated the sick. all people, regardless of their color, race or status. When his priory was in debt, he said, “I am only a poor mulatto. Sell me. I am the property of the order. Sell me.”Martin’s life reflected God’s extraordinary gifts: ecstasies that lifted him into the air, light filling the room where he prayed, bilocation, miraculous knowledge, instantaneous cures and a remarkable rapport with animals. Many of his fellow religious took him as their spiritual director.

“Everything, even sweeping, scraping vegetables, weeding a garden and waiting on the sick could be a prayer, if it were offered to God.

Patron: people of mixed race, innkeepers, barbers, public health workers

Whom Shall I Fear?

 

He was sitting alone in the night. No friends or family, they were all very faraway.  The illuminated images in front of him were bright and vivid, because the night was an intense darkness.  In the distance he could hear rapid gunfire, evidence of the war around him in Vietnam. Yet, none of these remnants of war were frightening him.  What was terrifying him this night was the Hollywood portrayal of satanic possession and exorcism on a movie screen. One may think, how could a fictional production cause more intense fear than war? 

Maybe because we know, in reality, death is temporal, and possession can be eternal. He knew that the movie was a different kind of battle, but every bit as real, as the distant sound of machine guns, and as close as an invitation from evil.

AAF933F5-5F8B-4811-8D00-0289875965D9So many people seem to really like Halloween.  I can appreciate the fun of dressing up, and having neighbors handing you candy, at the shout of “trick or treat”.  I think though, we have to be careful, where our thoughts go, and especially what our children are exposed to and learn; from our celebration of the macabre that can be elevated in movies, costumes and images.  There is an epic war happening in our midst, this war between what is holy and what is evil.

I think we need to pray for  wisdom, in our Halloween activities, and be careful what ideas we are exposing these little ones to. What are we teaching them about life after death, and do they understand Who the Victor is…He who has the power to give life, and take it away, for eternity.

 

A Week of Saints (October 21-27, 2018)

Sunday, October 21

St Gasper, Priest (1786-1837)

St Gasper was born the son of a chef, in Rome.   Shortly after his ordination, Rome was taken by Napoleon’s army,  Because of his refusals to conform, like many other Priests, he was exiled.    Gaspar founded the Congregation of the most Precious Blood. The houses were opened to young clergy who wished to be trained specially as missionaries in the most neglected areas.. One of his principles was that everybody should be made to work. Many miracles were worked by St. Gaspar during his lifetime, and after many graces obtained by his intercession. 

“I exhort you to speak little and to pray very much.”

Monday, October 22 

St John Paul II, Pope (1920-2005)

Born Karol Jozef Wojtyla in Poland. He enrolled in an “underground” seminary in Kraków. Thought an intellectual and harmless the post WWII Communist Poland government allowed him to become auxiliary Bishop of Krakow. He was later to become archbishop and in three years Cardinal.

Elected pope, he took the name John Paul II.  In time, he made pastoral visits to 124 countries. John Paul II promoted ecumenical and interfaith initiatives, relations between the Holy See and Israel, and improved relations with  Catholic-Muslim , and the Orthodox Churches. He encouraged the solidarity movement and the collapse of communism. John Paul II began World Youth Day. In his 27 years of papal ministry, He wrote 14 encyclicals and five books, canonized 482 saints and beatified 1,338 people. He survived an assassination attempt, and taught the world that suffering had dignity, while living publicly in the last stages of Parkinsons 

“A person’s rightful due is to be treated as an object of love, not as an object for use.“

Patron: families, young people

Tuesday, October 23

John of Capistrano, Priest (1386-1456)

St. John was born in Italy, the son of a former German knight.  He was a lawyer and became governor of governor of Perugia. He was inspired to institute the devotion to the holy Name of Jesus and His Mother. He traveled throughout Italy, Germany, Bohemia, Austria, Hungary, Poland, and Russia preaching penance and establishing numerous communities of Franciscan renewal. At seventy years old, he Jedda victorious crusade against the threatening Turks.

“Now a light does not shine for itself, but it spreads its rays and shines upon everything that comes into its view. So it is with the glowing lives of upright and holy clerics…they must bring light to all who see them”.

Patron: of Jurists

Wednesday, October 24

St Anthony Mary Claret, Bishop  (1807-1870)

Anthony was born in Spain, in 1807, the son of a weaver. He founded the Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, known today as the Claretians, and the Apostolic Training Institute of the Immaculate Conception.nuns. Anthony Mary Claret had the gift of prophecy and performed many miracles..

“Lord, by the words of consecration the substance of the bread and wine is converted into the substance of your Body and Blood. All powerful Lord, say over me the word which will change me into You.”

Patron: Textile Merchants, Weavers,  Catholic press, Technical and Vocational Educators

Thursday, October 25

St Boniface, Pope (- 422)

Though few details are known of Boniface’s early life, he was elected Pope in 418. Boniface was highly esteemed for his charitable  personality, When. Pope Zosimus died, two Popes were elected, Boniface and Eulalius.  Boniface was recognized as the legitimate Pope.  He worked to reform corrupt practices and the privileges granted to certain bishops.  He ardently supported St. Augustine in his fight against Pelagianism, and Augustine devoted several works to him.

Patron: brewers, Germany

Friday, October 26

St Alfred the Great, King (848-899)

He was King of Wessex,  a scholar, and renowned Christian monarch. He was a godson of Pope Leo IV . He was a great scholar, and translated classics for his people.  He was a patron of the arts and literature. 

“I desired to live worthily as long as I lived”

Saturday, October 27

St Odhran Of Iona, abbot (-563)

Odhran (also known as Otteran and Oran) was an Irish abbot. After serving as abbot of Meath, he went to Scotland with St. Columba to spread and teach the faith, then died at Iona. Odhran was the first Irish monk to die at Iona. He may have founded Latteragh Abbey in Tipperary 

Patron: Waterford, Ireland

Groanings

E0C2762B-992E-45E1-A29E-1C425314FC5EI was driving a preschool boy, Michael. one day, and we passed an empty overgrown lot.  He said to me, “My mother lives there.”  I replied, “Oh sweetie your mother doesn’t live there.  There isn’t even a house or anything.”  He looked at me, and said, “I know, but you understand don’t you?”  Michael needed to think his mother was somewhere.  His mother had abandoned him. His need for his mother, generated a child’s solution, for where she was, and why she wasn’t with him.  I could see his pain, and it was breaking my heart.  So, I talked with him a little bit about his mother.

I wonder if this same thing occurs to us.  We know we have a need, but we’re incapable of coming up with the right solution.  We petition God, for what we perceive as our need. He alone knows what our souls require. “The Spirit itself intercedes with inexpressible groaning.”  The Spirit expresses our hearts and souls in a way that we can’t articulate, or possibly aren’t even conscious of.  It can seem that God isn’t responding to our prayers.  He won’t give us a bandaid, like I wouldn’t let Michael think his mother was in an empty lot.  He wants instead to heal our soul.  He wants to address the need that our limitations can’t remedy. Our Savior wants us restored for eternity.

In the same way, the Spirit too comes to the aid of our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit itself intercedes with inexpressible groanings

And the one who searches hearts knows what is the intention of the Spirit, because it intercedes for the holy ones according to God’s will.

Rm 8:26-27