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On the feast of Corpus Christi, we reflect on how grateful we are (or should be!) for the gift of Jesus in the Eucharist.  Jesus’ presence in our life does make a difference.  His promise to be with us always helps us deal with the many challenges that come our way….

A story to make us think….

 

A lecturer was giving a talk to his students on stress management.  He raised a glass of water and asked the audience, “How heavy do you think this glass of water is?”  The students’ answers ranged from 20g to 500g.

The teacher responded, “It does not matter on the absolute weight.  It depends on how long you hold it.

If I hold it for a minute, it is ok.

If I hold it for an hour, I will have an ache in my arm.

If I hold it for a day, you will have to call an ambulance.

It is exactly the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.

If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later, we will not be able to carry on, the burden becoming increasingly heavier.  What we have to do is put the glass down, rest for a while before hold it up again. We have to put down the burden periodically, so that we can be refreshed and are able to carry on.”

 

Whatever burdens you are having now, let them down for a moment.  Ask Jesus to help you carry the load when you pick it up again.  It is not intended that we do it alone…Jesus has promised:  “I am with you always….”

 

Written by: Sr. Marie Paul Grech S.N.D.

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Did you know?  

The 21 days from Flag Day (June 14) through Independence Day is designated as a period to honor America. We celebrate all the good that Americans have accomplished at home and abroad, recognize that we are not perfect, and are grateful for the many blessings we experience each day.  Let us pray for all those who serve in the Armed Forces and for their families, as well as for those who serve us as fire fighters, law enforcement, in the medical profession, etc.  As summer begins, let us not forget our teachers, catechists, and school personnel, these dedicated people who form the minds and hearts of our children!

 

Written by: Sr. Marie Paul Grech S.N.D.

 

Each Sunday in the Creed we proclaim our belief:  “We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son.  With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified.”  We probably have trouble visualizing the Holy Spirit…perhaps thinking of the Spirit in terms of a dove, fire, wind, wings.  Regardless of our image, we believe that the Spirit is living and active within us…strengthening us, enlightening us, inspiring us.

 

“There was a little fish who swam up to his mother one day and said, ‘Mom, what is this water that I hear so much about?’  Laughing, she responded, ‘You silly little fish!  Why, it’s all around you and within you and gives you life.  Just swim to the top of the pond and lie there for a while; then you will find out what water is.’  Another time, there was a little fawn who walked up to her mother and said, ‘Mommy, what is this air that I hear so much about?’  Smiling, she answered, ‘Why, air is within you and around you.  Air gives you life.  If you want to know what air is, stick your head in the stream and you’ll find out.’ Finally, there was a certain young man who was beginning his spiritual journey.  Experiencing some difficulty, he asked a holy woman, ‘What is this Spirit I hear so much about?”

 

Written by: Sr. Marie Paul Grech S.N.D.

In this month of May, our thoughts have turned to Mary for many reasons: May processions and crownings, Mother’s Day, feasts of Our Lady of Fatima, the Queenship of Mary—in fact, there is a feastday of Mary celebrated somewhere in the world on every single day of the month of May according to the Roman Calendar of Marian feasts.  What can we learn from Mary?  Just think about her words:  “I am the handmaid of the Lord” (Annunciation); “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord” (Visitation); “Do whatever he tells you”; (wedding at Cana); and what she doesn’t say because she “treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart” (Lk 2:20).  At the Cross, Jesus gave us the precious gift of his mother, and we know that she continues to embrace us lovingly as she points the way to her Son!  She has special “bragging rights” and we can imagine that if she walked with us today, she would be tweeting and texting in praise of her Son.  She wants us to love him as she does.  She wants us to follow him and listen to his words (in a way, if we read the Gospels regularly, isn’t this similar to reading a personal blog from Jesus?) What might Jesus be saying to us today? Do we hear his voice assuring us, “Do not be afraid”?  Can we hear the gentleness in his voice as he reminds us, “love one another as I have loved you!”  And as the early Church gathered in anticipation of the coming of the Holy Spirit as promised by Jesus, the Acts of the Apostles recount that “All joined in continuous prayer, together with several women, including Mary the mother of Jesus.”  Mary teaches us to be PRESENT in the community!  Perhaps as May ends on the calendar—but continues to live in our hearts– we can try to be more present, more attentive to the words of Jesus, more loving , more faithful and more faith-filled, as we strive to follow Mary’s example in embracing her Son and her Son’s beloved people.

 

Written by: Sr. Marie Paul Grech S.N.D.

 

The last Monday of May marks the celebration of Memorial Day. Originally, it honored people killed during the American Civil War. But, now it has become a day when people honor the dead of all wars and generally all people that families have lost. A lot of special services and ceremonies are held in churches, cemeteries and other public places this day. Increasingly, this day has become ever more important as war and sacrifice continues.

 

Memorial Day is not just a time for grief; it is a time to celebrate peace and sacrifice.  It is a time to be grateful for our freedom and to pray for peace throughout our world.  The familiar song Let there be peace on earthincludes the important phrase:  “and let it begin with me….” St. Francis’s prayer reminds us that WE are called to be peacemakers in our personal worlds as well as in our larger society…and the prayer tells us HOW to do it.

 

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.

Where there is hatred, let me sow love;

where there is injury, pardon;

where there is doubt, faith;

where there is despair, hope;

where there is darkness, light;

and where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek

to be consoled as to console;

to be understood as to understand;

to be loved as to love. 

For it is in giving that we receive;

it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;

and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.  Amen.

 

Written by: Sr. Marie Paul Grech S.N.D.

 

“The mission entrusted to the Catholics of every era is to transform the world they live, work, and play in.  Transforming these various arenas of life is a constant challenge.  Every environment you and I touch should be better because we were there” (Matthew Kelly).  Are we leaving our world a better place?  Are the people that we meet each day better off because of our words, our actions, our caring, our example?  If not, we have some soul-searching to do!  Each night should find us asking ourselves the thought-provoking questions: How did I do good today?  How can I do better tomorrow?  What is God calling me to be, to do?  In this way, we will rediscover ourselves, and we will be better disciples of Jesus, better evangelists to our world, the best-version-of-ourselves!

 

 

Written by: Sr. Marie Paul Grech S.N.D.

 

Dear God,

Thank you for our Mothers! You have given mothers hearts of unending, inexhaustible love, from the time she awakens at her baby’s first cries to the time she falls asleep after her last child finally comes home! Thank you for our mothers who care for us when we struggle, comfort us when we suffer, and celebrate with us when we succeed. Thank you for their hugs, their encouragement, and their faithful love. Whether now living or deceased, our mothers have been a treasure in our lives…and we thank you for the goodness you have shown us through them.  And if for some reason, one mother or another has not had the strength to respond to your graces, we pray for them too…that you may touch their heart with newfound understanding of your unconditional love for them.

Thank you, Father, for Mary, our heavenly Mother, who supported your Son in his hopes and dreams, stayed by his side in his devastating death, and rejoiced with him in his triumphant Resurrection! She will not rest until all of us, her children, are safely home forever. Through her intercession, please protect and bless our mothers with your strength, your joy, and your undying love. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

 

The heart of a mother is a deep abyss
at the bottom of which you will always find forgiveness.
~Honoré de Balzac

 

Written by: Sr. Marie Paul Grech S.N.D.