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“A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.”(Joseph Campbell).  As we celebrate Memorial Day weekend, we celebrate the heroes of our country.  These countless men and women dedicated themselves to important values…but they are not alone in this.  Let us not forget the other heroes in our lives…those people who have given themselves “to something bigger” than themselves…these heroes may be those within our own families, in our neighborhoods, in our parish, at our workplace…who do the MORE for others, who serve and do not count the cost?  May we on this Memorial Day remember to pray for those who have lost their lives in times of war and conflict as well as those who are currently serving in the armed forces at home and abroad.  May Our Lady, Queen of Peace, guide and protect them!

 

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

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“A working man was strongly drawn toward a beautiful vase that he saw in the town market.  He bought the vase and brought it home.  The vase was so beautiful that it made his living room look drab, dull and indeed, plain ugly.  So he got bright paints, and transformed the whole room.  He got colorful curtains to match the paint, a brightly patterned carpet, and he even stripped down and varnished the furniture.  Because of the beauty of the vase, the whole room was totally transformed.”

Each of us is like the drab room…longing for transformation!   Each of us can also be like the vase…so beautiful in God’s grace that we help the transform the world!  On this feast of Pentecost, we are invited to let God’s light (the fire of his love) and the wind of the Spirit  (his breath of new life) so transform us that we will make a difference in our world this week.  What can I do this week…to be an agent of transformation for others?  Can I give a little time to a lonely neighbor?  Can I spend a little more time in prayer for those in need?  Can I give of myself in kindness and tolerance and patience to those who cross my path at work, in the neighborhood, in my family?  This is what Pentecost transformation is all about…living what I believe as a follower of Jesus, giving the Holy Spirit room to act through me, being open to the will of the Father!  May the rooms of our heart be transformed this week as we welcome in a new way the beauty of God’s gift of the Spirit!

 

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

 

 

Happy Mother’s Day to all of our moms, grandmothers, mothers-to-be, and all those women who treat everyone they meet with motherly love and compassion!

I encourage all of us on this special day to take a few minutes away from the normal hustle and bustle of life to thank in word or thought our moms and/or women who have been like moms to us, living and deceased, for all that has been possible in our lives because of them.  How much laughter has been shared?  How many tears wiped away?  How many school projects cheered on?  How often did mom “save the day” when all looked dark and grim?  How much time did mom give me, time that could have been spent in so many other ways?  In his book, The Little Prince, Saint Exupery writes: “It’s the time you’ve wasted on your rose that makes your rose so important.”  In one way or another, our moms gave us time, love, and nurturing, treating us as beautiful roses in their personal gardens.  This is important to remember and celebrate.  Even if we do not have a close relationship with our biological moms, Jesus gave us His from the cross:  “Behold your Mother.”  This is perhaps one of the greatest signs of God’s love for us!  Let us ask Mary, our Mother, to guide and protect all mothers on the continuing journey!

 

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

 

 

 

There is a story about a man who was bedridden for years.  He was a deeply religious man, and prayer was his lifeline to sanity, as well as with God.  After many years confined to bed, the man began to find it more difficult to pray.  This worried and depressed him greatly.  It was as if God had abandoned him as if he had lost contact with God.  One day a friend came to visit him and heard of his problem.  The friend suggested something very simple.  He got an empty chair and put it by the bed.  He told the man to imagine that Jesus was sitting in the chair, and he was to talk to Jesus just as he had been talking to his visitor.  When the visitor left, the man in the bed began to talk to Jesus in the chair, and in no time at all he had made contact with God again.  He knew that Jesus was really present with him.  Prayer is a simple conversation between friends.  I chat away, then I listen, and when I listen, he speaks.

 

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

 

 

 

 

A young man was walking with an older, more seasoned friend in the garden one day.  Feeling a bit insecure about what God had for him to do, he was asking the older man for some advice.  The older man walked up to a rose bush and handed the younger man a rosebud and told him to open it without tearing any petals.  The younger man looked in disbelief at his friend and was trying to figure out what a rosebud could possibly have to do with his wanting to know the will of God for his life.  But because of his great respect for the older man, he proceeded to try to unfold the rose, while keeping every petal intact.  It wasn’t long before he realized how impossible this was to do….

 

Noticing the younger man’s inability to unfold the rosebud without tearing it, the older man began to recite the following poem…………

It is only a tiny rosebud, 

A flower of God’s design;

But I cannot unfold the petals

With these clumsy hands of mine.

The secret of unfolding flowers

Is not known to such as I.

GOD opens this flower so easily,

But in my hands, they die.

If I cannot unfold a rosebud,

This flower of God’s design,

Then how can I have the wisdom,

To unfold this life of mine?

So I’ll trust in God for leading

Each moment of my day;

I will look to God for guidance,

In each step along the way. 
The path that lies before me,

Only my Lord knows.

I’ll trust God to unfold the moments,

Just as HE unfolds the rose.

 

Remember to let go and let God unfold your life.

 

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

 

 

 

As we continue to celebrate the Easter season, we are reminded that as disciples of Jesus we are commissioned to do as he did.  We are to “go and do likewise” in washing one another’s feet, to “do this in memory” of him as we celebrate Eucharist, to forgive as he has forgiven us, to do to the “least of his brothers and sisters” what we would do for him. Let us pray for the gift of compassion so that we might truly be Jesus in our world.  A story illustrates this:

 

“A little girl was sent to the store with specific instructions from her mother to come directly home after her purchases.  She was more than two hours coming home, much to the distress of her anxious mother.  ‘Where have you been?’ scolded the mother.  ‘I’m sorry, mommy.  I know I am late, but Jane broke her doll and I had to stop and help her.’ ‘And how could you help her fix that broken doll?’  In her precious, childlike manner, the girl responded, ‘I really couldn’t, but I sat down with her and helped her cry.’”

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

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I am sure most of us could identify all or most of the Ten Commandments without a problem…but sometimes we need to consider additional rules that should help shape our life and our decisions….

 

A new kind of “ten commandments” to follow in life all the time:

1)  Prayer is not a “spare wheel” that you pull out when in trouble, but it is a “steering wheel”  that directs the right path throughout.
2)  Why is a Car’s WINDSHIELD is so large & the Rear view Mirror is so small? Because our PAST is not as important as our FUTURE. So, Look Ahead and Move on.
3)  Friendship is like a BOOK. It takes few seconds to burn, but it takes years to write.
4) All things in life are temporary.  If going well, enjoy it, they will not last forever. If going wrong, don’t worry, they can’t last long either.
5) Old Friends are Gold! New Friends are Diamond! If you get a Diamond, don’t forget the Gold! Because to hold a Diamond, you always need a Base of Gold!
6)  Often when we lose hope and think this is the end, GOD smiles from above and says, “Relax, sweetheart, it’s just a bend, not the end!
7)  When GOD solves your problems, you have faith in HIS abilities; when GOD doesn’t solve your problems HE has faith in your abilities.
8)  A blind person asked St. Anthony: “Can there be anything  worse than losing eye sight?” He replied: “Yes, losing your vision!”
9) When you pray for others, God listens to you and blesses them, and sometimes, when you are safe and happy, remember that someone has prayed for you.
10) WORRYING does not take away tomorrow’s TROUBLES, it takes away today’s PEACE.
Written by: Sr. Marie Paul Grech S.N.D.