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-Shared by Sr. Marie Paul Grech, SND

-Shared by Sr. Marie Paul Grech, SND

Photo by Tairon Fernandez on Pexels.com

What does it mean to remember? As we approach the 4th of July this year, it is perhaps timely to look at the word REMEMBER with new eyes….

RE  – MEMBER

Could it possibly mean “To bring back into membership, to embrace as a member of a group once again….”?  If so, then we are invited to honor our veterans as family, once again looked upon as those who deserve our recognition, not just because of what they have done, but because they are truly part of us!  This is truly a Christian perspective!  St. Paul calls us the Body of Christ, with Christ as the head and we as his “members”!  As such, we rejoice with those who rejoice, cry with those who cry, suffer with those who suffer, mourn with those who mourn—not because it is the easiest thing to do, but because it is the right thing to do. 

We have been given the gift of memory and we experience the sadness of those whose memories have been dimmed.  Sometimes we use the negative “don’t forget” instead of the positive “remember”; we use “to do” lists to assist our memory.  We know it is not enough to memorize with a rote memory unless the memorization is accompanied by understanding.  Therefore, it stands to reason that simply remembering is not sufficient.  We need to understand, appreciate, cherish that which is remembered.  Jesus asks us to remember:  “Do this in memory of me” and “As I have done, so must you do too.”

So, on this 4th of July, let us re-member those who have gone before us in service.  Let us remember the many reasons we have to be grateful.  Let us remember that we are the Body of Christ, called to live for others.  Let us remember that we are truly loved by a God who never forgets us!

-Sr. Marie Paul Grech, SND

Photo by Viktor Mogilat on Pexels.com

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….”

– Sr. Marie Paul Grech, SND

Photo by Sharefaith on Pexels.com

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!  Also on June 14 we celebrate the feast of Corpus Christi:  On this feast, 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….

  • Sr. Marie Paul Grech, SND

“A little girl sat on her grandmother’s lap to listen to the creation account from the book of Genesis.  As the creation story unfolded, the kind woman, noticing that the child was unusually attentive, asked, ‘What do you think of it, dear?’  ‘Oh, I think it’s great,’ replied the child, ‘You never know what God is going to do next!’”  Like the child in the story, we can never imagine what God might do next, but we know that, when we live in a spirit of faith and confidence in our God who loves us so much, God will always take care of us!  If we look at life with the wonder of a child, we see so much that is wonder-ful:  God creates anew each day—are we seeing and appreciating his wonders?

In this time of Covid-19, we are called to find the wonders of God in our everyday, even mundane life!  God is HERE:  let’s continue to find God alive in our midst!

-Sr. Marie Paul Grech, SND

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 earth includes 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.

-Sr. Marie Paul Grech, SND

As we enjoy the month of May we look to Mary–we recognize that she gives us the example of how to put our gifts at the service of others:

First we see her as a young woman, using her gift of a listening heart as she hears the call of God to give of herself so that God’s love for humankind could be expressed in a remarkable way.  We then see her as a mother-to-be who could rightly have been focused on herself and her unborn child, sharing instead her gift of helpfulness as she hurries to visit her cousin Elizabeth.

We see her later, giving her gift of compassion as she notices the potential embarrassment at the wedding feast; and we see her gift of motherly insight as she tells the waiters to do whatever her son would tell them.  Throughout her son’s public life, we see her quietly living her gift of self-sacrifice, willingly letting go of her son, empowering him to go about his father’s business.

At the cross, she again shares one of her gifts–the gift of quiet suffering but she doesn’t stop there– from the foot of the cross she makes yet another commitment to give of herself–as our mother.  Mary wasn’t given every gift possible–we don’t hear that she was a good artist, or math scholar, or even a good housekeeper.  What we hear about are the gifts of the heart–one or more of her gifts may be ours as well–or we may have different ones–it doesn’t matter.  What does matter is that the gifts we have, we share.  Whatever light God has put into our hearts, we let shine.  Whatever it is that makes us “tick”, we know who our creator is–and we thank him for the gifts he has given us. 

-Sr. Marie Paul Grech, SND

The Annunciation by Henry Ossawa Tanner