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Half empty? Half full? What do you see when you look at the sky…? At a stranger on the street?  At your children? At your elderly parent? At your backyard? What do you see?  Do you see what is wrong or what is right? Do you see what needs “fixin’”? or what has potential…?

A friend of mine shared a picture taken by her granddaughter….a picture of wispy clouds…where some of us may see only clouds….she saw angels…and so did I!  Did her vision plant the idea in my head?  I really don’t know, and it doesn’t matter because I did see the angels! It is much like other things in life.  If we have the Spirit’s guidance planting ideas in our heads, we do see things differently. Are we able somehow to look at a friend and not be conscious of his/her faults but to see through them to the innermost heart? Will we be able to look at our child (even if he/she is in a naughty mood) and see the beautiful gift from God who lightens our life? Will we look at a weed-laden yard and see the possibilities? Can we walk with an elderly friend and experience the wisdom — and forget the slow steps?

So many things make a lasting impression on us….what we see, what we hear, what we hear about…opinions shape our thinking, our prejudices (yes, we all have them!), our ways of responding to people, situations, uncertainties. We are bombarded from all sides….and we seem to never be able to “get away.” We get emails, phone calls, text messages, snail mail. To whom are we most open? Who influences us most? Are we guided by the bold headlines in the newspaper, the news flashes we receive as text messages, the consumerism of advertising? Sometimes we are just not sure where we are going, in which direction we find our real peace. What role does our God play in our personal and family decision-making? Do I pray in a spirit of openness to whatever God’s answer may be? Do I believe that God always answers prayer…even when the answer is NO or NOT YET? Who is my compass….?  Where is my true north?

During these “lazy,  hazy days” of summer, may I be open to the Spirit so that I may be open to the good things God has in store for me!

– Sr. Marie Paul Grech

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In the final hours of Jesus’ life, the question of his identity is central to the events of Good Friday. From Peter’s denial, “I do not know him.” (Lk. 22:57) To the Sanhedrin’s question, “So you are the Son of God?” (Lk. 22:70) and to Pilate’s question, “Are you the King of the Jews?” We move to Herod’s desire to meet Jesus based on stories that Jesus worked miracles, and Herod wanted to see one. And finally, the unrepentant thief hanging in crucifixion was looking for a quick fix when he sneered, “Aren’t you the Messiah? Then save yourself and us.” (Lk. 23:39). Was Jesus a king; was he divine; was he a miracle worker, was he Peter’s Master?

The events of Good Friday are passed, but the question of who Jesus is and what difference he makes in our lives remains because Jesus lives. For his disciples that reality is critical to our outlook on life, to our priorities and to our choices. Good Friday invites us not only to recall the story of Jesus’ passion and death, but also to contemplate the love he offers  us now and our response.

Last May I was on pilgrimage to Rome.  While there I had a deep experience of Jesus’ presence in my life. Overcome by stories of the early Christians who gave their lives because of their faith in Jesus, I was drawn to renew my own commitment to discipleship. That experience prompts these questions as a means of reflecting on who Jesus is for each one of us:

  • Recall ways you have met Jesus in your life.
  • What impressions and feelings fill you as you recall those meetings?
  • How are you moved to respond? Ask for the grace you need.

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VATICAN CITY, 1 SEP 2010 (VIS) – Pope Benedict’s general prayer intention for September is: “That in less developed parts of the world the proclamation of the Word of God may renew people’s hearts, encouraging them to work actively toward authentic social progress”.

His mission intention is: “That by opening our hearts to love we may put an end to the numerous wars and conflicts which continue to bloody our world”.

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JUNE:

Respect for Human Life
General: That every national and transnational institution may strive to guarantee respect for human life from conception to natural death.

The Churches in Asia
Missionary: That the Churches in Asia, which constitute a “little flock” among non-Christian populations, may know how to communicate the Gospel and give joyful witness to their adherence to Christ.

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VATICAN CITY, 1 MAR 2010 (VIS) – Pope Benedict’s general prayer intention for March is: “That the world economy may be managed according to the principles of justice and equity, taking account of the real needs of peoples, especially the poorest”.

His mission intention is: “That the Churches in Africa may be signs and instruments of reconciliation and justice in every part of that continent”.

Let us pray together with our Holy Father and the universal church!

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