A friend that is good with word games shared with me that the word Valentine has lent in it. Her observation seems all the more meaningful this year as Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s Day are on the same date.
Further, it seems especially appropriate that a day dedicated to remembering those that we love also calls us to remember Christ’s love for his father and our own love for God. Being drawn out into the desert with Christ, as Lent invites, is more than just a time of sacrifice and fasting, it is also a time for us to grow in Love.
St. Teresa of Jesus stated that, “the important thing is not to think much but to love much.” “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with your entire mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” Luke 10:27 Jesus further explains who our neighbor is and how we are called to show mercy to others.
Valentine’s Day helps us to focus not so much upon ourselves, but upon others. Lent also helps us to focus upon living in the presence of Love and to rejoice in all that we have been called to celebrate, walking with Christ into the desert of life today.
Finally a brief quote from the book Transformed By Love by Shirley Darcus Sullivan:
You have given me
Silence to seek you,
Solitude to find you,
A heart to beat for you,
And a will to surrender in peace
To your infinite love.
Wishing you a Blessed Lenten Season!
Miriam Hogan, O.C.D.
photos by John Hazelbaker
The Holy Night of Christmas
Soon, the Holy Night of Christmas will be upon us. It will bring a night, bearing light and warmth. Truly, this Holy Night wants to find a home within us.
Karl Rahner, S.J., tells us that there exists in our heart an inner land where, often enough, we go alone and where only God can find a way. Although Christmas is certainly a time for going out to others, it is also a time for entering that sacred sanctuary deep within us. Rahner even encourages us to sing our own song to God, and to believe that God hears us.
In the depth of that Holy Night, we will hear a gentle word of love telling us not to be worried about the future, but to trust the God who is making a path before us.
Inspired by K. Rahner, Everyday Faith, Holy Night
From the writings of:
Mary Jo Loebig, O.C.D
Thanksgiving - 2017
Much has changed in our country since the Pilgrims celebrated the first Thanksgiving in 1609. In reading Sr. Margaret Dorgan’s article*, I was struck by the fact that this Joyful celebration followed so close timewise to such tremendous suffering and loss. Sister reminds us, “A chilling winter with exceptional onslaughts of sleet and snow reduces the 110 Pilgrims and crew to less than 50.” There had to be a lot of tears and a lot of funerals.
This year we also bring to mind the people in the present time that were in the hurricanes (Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico) the fires in California and the numerous shootings that took place in Sutherland Springs, Texas and elsewhere in our country.
Yet, we give thanks and join in prayer with our brothers and sisters acknowledging God’s presence and grace. Like our forefathers and foremothers we rejoice in God’s goodness and love celebrating his presence and peace in the midst of what may be otherwise difficult life circumstances.
Perhaps it is also good to note that Christ appeared to the apostles after His own death and Resurrection and invited them to share a meal of bread and fish. (Jn 21)
Now as we share in this traditional Holiday meal of turkey and the fixings, we give thanks and praise to God in the presence of our families and friends, both those among us and those that have gone before us into the kingdom of heaven.
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever. Ps 107
*Thanksgiving Day by Sr. Margaret Dorgan
photo taken at Kahl Home
Miriam Hogan, O.C.D.
St. Teresa of Jesus
Let nothing disturb you,
Let nothing frighten you,
All things are passing away:
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things
Whoever has God lacks nothing;
God alone suffices.
Thank you dear St. Teresa of Jesus for this powerful reminder of what is most important in our lives. May we hold fast to your special prayer and secure it deep in our hearts, as we weather the changing circumstances of our modern world. We ask God's special blessing on all people and especially those that are recently afflicted and suffering from both natural and human made disasters. We further ask that those that are trying to help others know the gentle peace of God's presence and love. Truly we embrace you as our sister and St. Teresa of Jesus. Pray for us in our struggles and nudge us ever closer to Jesus.
picture of painting by Sally Koehn
Miriam Hogan, O.C.D.