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Happy Easter!

May the joy of Christ fill your heart!

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This weekend we celebrate Palm Sunday…we are in the company of  Jesus on this most triumphant day!  Are we among his disciples, or are we bystanders in the crowd, or are we suspicious observers, wondering who this Jesus is? This week is a most important one in the life of Jesus…we need to consider how we will spend it? We need to plan our week so that it is just not one more ordinary week….what opportunities are being offered in our parishes?  Is there a celebration of Tenebrae?  Are morning prayers/liturgy of the hours offered during the Sacred Triduum?  Do I plan to participate in the Holy Thursday liturgy, the Good Friday services, the Holy Saturday liturgy?  Does my parish have catechumens preparing for Baptism on Holy Saturday night?  Can I pray for these men and women intentionally as part of my gift to them?

How will celebrate (in a spiritual way) the Resurrection?

 

Written by: Sr. Marie Paul Grech SND

 

 

 

 

The time of Lent calls us to renewal and transformation.   C.S. Lewis, in his book Mere Christianity, uses a surprising analogy when speaking of transformation:

Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what he is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on: you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised.

But presently he starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make sense. What on earth is he up to? The explanation is that he is building quite a different house from the one you thought of — throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards.

You thought you were going to be made into a decent little cottage: but he is building up a palace. He intends to come and live in it himself.

During the season of Lent, we are supposed to long for transformation!   We know that change is often painful…yet we know it is for our own good.  During these days let us aim to accept the changes and the challenges asked of us…with a joyful heart and a willing spirit!

 

Written By: Sr. Marie Paul Grech SND

An old bumper sticker reads: “Stop the world, I want to get off!”

It echoes the feelings of many people when faced with all the anxieties, troubles, bad news, and exploitation of the poor and vulnerable.  In our life of faith, however, we know that our God is still in control.  In a spirit of hope, we trust that God will take care of us.  In our commitment to love one another, we know that we are God’s voice, and hands, and heart in our sometimes frightening world.  While there are many needs in our global society, there are also many in my neighborhood, in my parish, among my friends and acquaintances.  During these days of Lent, how can I alleviate the pain and worry that another person in my little world experiences?  What am I doing?

 

 

Written By: Sr. Marie Paul Grech SND

 

 

 

I’m not sure where I found this story, but I really like it—

 

Two Horses

There is a field with two horses in it. From a distance, each horse looks like any other horse. But if you stop your car, or are walking by, you will notice something quite amazing…

Looking into the eyes of one horse will disclose that he is blind. His owner has chosen not to have him put down but has made a good home for him. This alone is amazing.
If you stand nearby and listen, you will hear the sound of a bell.  Looking around for the source of the sound, you will see that it comes from the smaller horse in the field.

Attached to the horse’s halter is a small bell. It lets the blind friend know where the other horse is, so he can follow.

As you stand and watch these two friends, you’ll see that the horse with the bell is always checking on the blind horse and that the blind horse will listen for the bell and then slowly walk to where the other horse is, trusting that he will not be led astray.

When the horse with the bell returns to the shelter of the barn each evening, it stops occasionally and looks back, making sure that the blind friend isn’t too far behind to hear the bell.

Like the owners of these two horses, God does not throw us away just because we are not perfect or because we have problems or challenges. He watches over us and even brings others into our lives to help us when we are in need.

Sometimes we are the blind horse
Being guided by the little ringing bell of those who God places in our lives.
Other times we are the guide horse, helping others to find their way…
Good friends are like that… You may not always see them, but you know they are always there.

Be kinder than necessary- 
Everyone you meet is fighting 
Some kind of battle
.

Live simply,
Love generously,
Care deeply,
Speak kindly……
                          

Leave the rest to God. 

 

 

 

 

“There was a young book salesman who was assigned to a rural area.  Seeing a farmer seated in a rocking chair on his front porch, the young man approached him with all the zeal of a newly trained salesman. ‘Sir,’ he said, ‘I have here a book that will tell you how to farm ten times better than you are doing now.’  The farmer continued to rock.  After a few moments he stopped, looked at the young man, and said, ‘Son, I don’t need your book.  I already know how to farm ten times better than I am doing now.’”

 

During this time of Lent, we are given many opportunities to put what we know into practice.  We know we are called to be self-sacrificing, loving, charitable, just, prayerful people, followers of Jesus, committed to integrity and compassion.  Let us DO what we KNOW and LIVE what we BELIEVE.

 

Written by: Sr. Marie Paul Grech SND

 

 

 

A farmer awoke one morning and looked out his window only to find that overnight a field of daffodils had sprung up about his home.  “How beautiful!” he exclaimed, “I should like to stay and wander among the flowers, but I have to plow the north field today.”  When he returned that evening, the daffodils had withered.  The next day, the farmer saw two small birds perched on the branch outside his window.  Their feathers were smooth and their song soared joyfully.  “What beautiful music!” he sighed.  I will come and listen after I have milked the cows.  But when he returned, the birds had flown away.  Each morning for many years, the farmer witnessed some new wonder outside his window.  But there was a farm to care for and he never found time to stop and share in these miracles of life.

 

Are we so busy that we miss the miracles in our lives?  We are not expected to stop working, serving, doing what we need to do…but we do need to be open to the miracles that God sends our way.  Prayer is openness.  In the midst of our activity, necessary as most of it is, we are challenged to find God.  St. Julie Billiart, canonized in 1969, spoke frequently of what she called “rapture in action.”  Julie was not talking about mystical experiences.  She was instead calling attention to the delight we can find in doing the ordinary things when we look for and find God there!  Often busy people like all of us might say that we have no time for prayer, no time to do “one more thing” for God or others in our life.  We feel overwhelmed by our responsibilities, our worries, our fears.  This is exactly the time we need to try to practice “rapture in action” by looking for the goodness in the people we meet, by turning over our fears and anxieties to the loving God who wants to help us, by living in an attitude of prayerful gratitude for the little miracles of life.  Our work, our responsibilities will not magically disappear!  But they will be graced by our awareness of God’s loving presence….May our busy-ness become God’s business!

 

Written by: Sr. Marie Paul Grech SND