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Wheeee! Some thoughts on the Trinity

PlaylandParkway 136x93When I was a little girl, my father, loved to take us to a local amusement park, Playland. This old fashioned park was shown to the world in the Tom Hanks movie, Big. I can easily recall the excitement of seeing the Playland Parkway sign, letting us know that we were almost there! Wheeee! Let the fun begin!

When I was about 11 years old we headed there one day, to meet up with another family who had a daughter about my age. She wanted to go on a ride that terrified me. And no – I had never been on it, but just the thought of it sent me reeling! It was called the Round Up at that time. It iis the one where you stand up and hold on, but when the ride gets going, centrifugal force holds you in place. My dad liked this ride, but I would never go on it with him. However, not wanting to act like a baby in front of another kid, I Continue reading

Pentecost

I blogged about Pentecost at my personal blog today20120513144615!Icon-Pentecost. It felt so personal that I am leaving it there, but inviting you to come over if you wish!

Blessings of Pentecost to one and all! God has done great things!

Unexpected Inspiration by Christine Goss

Pavement heartThis is the walkway to the door of my office at the Youth Center – after every rainfall a perfect heart forms in the same spot on the path. When it is not raining there is no noticeable difference in the paved walkaway. I have wondered on other occasions what causes the heart to form… but in the rush to get on with my work day and with many things on my mind, I never really let the gift of the puddle heart sink in, until this morning.

Today, in the warmth of the glorious sun, I stopped and appreciated the puddle heart. I felt an overwhelming sense of love, purpose, direction. I felt unexpected inspiration.

My puddle encounter immediately called to mind the times in my life that I have been accused of “wearing my heart on my sleeve”. I always found that to be a strange thing to be “accused” of. I never understood why it would be perceived as a bad thing to be: loving, open to others, compassionate, willing to risk a bit of damage to my exposed self if that was what another person needed of me. I know how that my heart on my sleeve is part of who I am, and in many ways what called me into Ministry with the Church.

I like being available and honest with the teens I minister to and with. I like them to see me in my authentic, Catholic truth… tears, frustration, anger, love, joy… all of it. As I have gotten older, I have come to realize that much of “accusation” is based in fear – fear of being hurt, fear of being wronged, fear of being alone. I believe that being in true relationship with others, with yourself, with God requires the risk of putting your heart out there front and center and right in the middle of the path. Just like the puddle heart.

I peaked back out at the walkway, just a little while later and the puddle heart was completely gone. No sign of it at all, just a normal blacktop path between the driveway and the steps and God’s message was clear. Every day we have a choice. I have a choice. I can choose to be Christ’s love in the paths of those that I encounter or I can choose to be an ordinary concrete path. It doesn’t matter if most days people step around love, ignore love, are blind to love, because if I continue to be love, I am doing all that God has called me to do.

I know it is not easy. Some days are hard, miserable, really. But today, my prayer for you is that you are unexpectedly inspired to be LOVE.  (This piece was written by our Youth Minister and Young Adult leader, Christine Goss.)

Holy Spirit Novena

248We have entered a powerful time of prayer. For nearly 20 years I have taken this time between Ascension and Pentecost to make a novena to the Holy Spirit.

There is no formula to follow, this is your prayer, your conversation with God. What do you need to pray for? This is a time to ask for wisdom, courage, grace, consolation, and healing from the Holy Spirit, but once again, this is your conversation with God, so what do you need to seek from the coming of of Holy Spirit?

Every year, I like to make my daily novena and to listen to Veni Sancte Spiritus from Taize, which I include here. I love the repetitive chant, seeking the coming of the Holy Spirit, the sound of which typically brings me to a place of silence and peace.

Whatever your prayer to the coming of the Holy Spirit might be, find the words of your heart, which may simply be silent waiting, and offer them to God these nine days. Come Holy Spirit, come.

Ascension Thursday

ascension-of-christ-large“Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”

This is Jesus’ command in today’s Gospel for Ascension Thursday. For some of us, this is a Holy Day; other dioceses have moved the feast to Sunday.

Whether or not this is a Holy Day depending on our address, Jesus’ words are an imperative. GO! How do we make disciples? It starts by how we live. As Pope Francis has indicated over and over again, in the model of Christ, we must evangelize with our lives. GO!

This past Sunday I was out of town and attended a particularly joyless Continue reading

Who will you meet today?

During a particularly broken period of my life, I did not think that God had left me, but I felt very hopeless. In that state, I tried to focus on God alone, pushing others away. A week in a monastery was booked – the only place I believed I would find God.

The chill of the chapel and its silence caused me to either shiver or sleep, neither way seemed an effective way of talking to God. Mistakes were being made by the minute – thinking that God was only in the monastery and that I needed to do all the talking. (A problem that continues to dog me!) I felt more angry and frustrated than ever.

The next day, another guest showed up in the visitors quarters, a lovely woman, whose face I can’t quite remember. She was 50? 60? 40? Honestly, I can’t recall; it is all so fuzzy. We ate our meal in relative silence, but as we prepared after-dinner tea, she asked what brought me to the monastery.

blahDid I let her know! A massive flow of words and tears followed. Everything from my return to the church a few years earlier, my mother’s death, my search for God in the monastery, and my possible vocation to said monastery. How I went on for hour or more! Her presence, her compassion, her listening heart remain in my memory while all else has faded.

For the next day or two, she and I spent a lot of time talking. OK, I talked a lot, but she listened well, and when she did talk, I felt my heart burning within me.

Sound familiar? We have all been on that road, the road to Emmaus. That particular path is a path where, Continue reading

The Church of Mercy – a book by Pope Francis

church-of-mercy-bookcover“Let us ask ourselves today: are we open to God’s surprises”? Pope Francis, The Church of Mercy

Pope Francis’ name seems to be on the lips of many people. There are so many Catholics who are invigorated by his words and way of life. One of the things that is most surprising is the number of non-Catholic friends who bring him up, and generally with great regard. As I have said in other posts, he has not changed on iota, not one element of doctrine, but he has changed the way that people see the Church, and how people see the papacy.

The Church of Mercy, A Vision for the Church, by Pope Francis (Loyola Press, $16.95, 150pp.) brings together homilies, papers, and audiences from our beloved “Bishop of Rome.” This treasure trove of communiques from the first year of his papacy offers readers a chance to truly spend time with Francis’ as he presses on Continue reading

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