Alleluia: God’s Child!

Thursday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time
June 16, 2022

Today’s Readings:

https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/061622.cfm

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, our verse affirms the wonder of our spiritual bloodline:

Alleluia, alleluia.
You have received a spirit of adoption
as God’s children
through which we cry:
Abba! Father!


Elijah

After the Biblical theatrics of our first reading about Elijah and Elisha, our heads might be full of fiery miracles and restorations to life!  Perhaps our Alleluia Verse seems mild by comparison. But it is not!


Think of it! You are God’s child! You are made of Divinity!

Oh, if we only fully believed this about ourselves, what would our lives be like?

Instead, we sometimes behave like lonely orphans in this world, making choices that alienate us from our true nature.


Today as we pray this verse from Romans, and relish the beautiful Gospel which gives us the Our Father, let’s rekindle our sacred heritage as God’s beloved child.

We can speak to God in greatest security and confidence about all that is most central in our lives. Let God hold you and hum to you, a loving Parent Who cherishes your nearness and your trust.

Letting God listen to us, we also listen to ourselves. We may be surprised at what we learn.


Poetry: The Creation (closing stanzas) – James Weldon Johnson

Then God walked around,
And God looked around
On all that he had made.
He looked at his sun,
And he looked at his moon,
And he looked at his little stars;
He looked on his world
With all its living things,
And God said: I’m lonely still.

Then God sat down—
On the side of a hill where he could think;
By a deep, wide river he sat down;
With his head in his hands,
God thought and thought,
Till he thought: I’ll make me a man!

Up from the bed of the river
God scooped the clay;
And by the bank of the river
He kneeled him down;
And there the great God Almighty
Who lit the sun and fixed it in the sky,
Who flung the stars to the most far corner of the night,
Who rounded the earth in the middle of his hand;
This great God,
Like a mammy bending over her baby,
Kneeled down in the dust
Toiling over a lump of clay
Till he shaped it in is his own image;

Then into it he blew the breath of life,
And man became a living soul.
Amen.      Amen.


Music: from Songs for the Inner Child – Shaina Noll

Peace be with you, oh my dear one

Peace be with you, precious child.

Peace be with you, oh my dear one

Peace be with you precious child.

Angels hover all about you

They protect you night and day

Angels hover all about you

They will guide you on your way.

God is with you, oh my dear one

God is with you, precious child.

God is with you, oh my dear one

God is with you, precious child.

You are blessed and you are holy

Precious gift god gave to me

You are blessed and you are holy

You’re an angel I can see.

Peace be with you, oh my dear one

Peace be with you, precious child.

Peace be with you, oh my dear one

Peace be with you precious child.

Alleluia: Love’s Silent Unity

Wednesday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time
June 15, 2022

Today’s Readings:

https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/061522.cfm

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we listen to Jesus’s instruction and promise about how to live at one with God.

Alleluia, alleluia.
If you love me and will keep my word,
and my Father will love you
and we will come to you.

What wonderful assurance! We don’t have to labor to find God, or worry about searching for God. 

God will come to us – will blossom in our hearts like a sacred flower, – if we love Jesus and keep his Word.


In the opening sentence of her book “Too Deep for Words”, Thelma Hall, r.c. says this:

There is an inner dynamic in the evolution of all true love that leads to a communication too deep for words.  There the lover becomes inarticulate, falls silent, and the beloved receives the silence as eloquence.

Our verse today carries
that same, exquisite mystery,
the silent and complete unity
that comes from mutual love. 

Our Gospel elaborates on the invitation. 

But when you pray, go to your inner room, close the door,
and pray to your Father in secret.
And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

Matthew 6:6

Let us savor these promises in our prayer today.


Poetry: in the silence – Rumi

In the silence 
between your heartbeat 
bides a summons
from Love.
Do you hear it? 
Name it if you must, 
or leave it forever nameless, 
but why pretend it is not there?

Music: The God of Silence – Bukas Palau

Awash in Mercy

Tuesday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time
June 14, 2022

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we pray with a very diverse set of readings.

The current passages from 1 Kings probably aren’t doing a lot to enhance your spiritual life right now. Life in Elijah’s times was pretty harsh, and applying its harsh descriptions to our own life may take a real stretch.


But our verse for the day and the Gospel to which it leads, offer an easier path to prayer.

This verse opens our Responsorial Psalm, the ardent “Miserere” which begs God for mercy. (I chose it because we prayed with the Alleluia Verse just the other day.)

It may be rare for us to feel such an impassioned need for mercy. Hopefully our lives are not as fraught with angst as were Ahab’s and Jezebel’s. But, let’s face it, neither our lives, nor the way we live them, is perfect.


Those of you who know me won’t need this disclaimer because you know better. But for other readers who don’t know me personally, let me tell you this. Despite my mother’s belief and constant proclamation, I am not perfect either. 

I have hard edges, ingrained meannesses, and unacknowledged shadows that thirst for God’s Mercy and Light. 

I think it’s safe to say that we all do. No canonized saints are reading this blog!


Today’s verse and entire psalm help us to open our hearts to any harbored sinfulness and to receive the transforming grace of insight, forgiveness, and intention to change.

May we pray our plea for mercy
with sincerity and hope.
May God’s response lead us closer
to the perfect compassion
described in today’s Gospel.

Poetry: To Live in the Mercy of God – Denise Levertov

To lie back under the tallest
oldest trees. How far the stems
rise, rise
               before ribs of shelter
                                           open!

To live in the mercy of God. The complete
sentence too adequate, has no give.

Awe, not comfort. Stone, elbows of
stony wood beneath lenient
moss bed.

And awe suddenly
passing beyond itself. Becomes
a form of comfort.
                      Becomes the steady
air you glide on, arms
stretched like the wings of flying foxes.

To hear the multiple silence
of trees, the rainy
forest depths of their listening.

To float, upheld,
                as salt water
                would hold you,
                                        once you dared.

                  To live in the mercy of God.

To feel vibrate the enraptured
waterfall flinging itself
unabating down and down
                              to clenched fists of rock.
Swiftness of plunge,
hour after year after century,

                                                   O or Ah
uninterrupted, voice
many-stranded.
                              To breathe
spray. The smoke of it.

                              Arcs
of steelwhite foam, glissades
of fugitive jade barely perceptible. Such passion—
rage or joy?

                              Thus, not mild, not temperate,
God’s love for the world. Vast
flood of mercy
                      flung on resistance.


Music: Miserere – Gregorio Allegri 

Alleluia: Glory to God, True, Good and Beautiful

My links have not been working properly for earlier readings and reflections . So please go to USCCB.org for readings until I figure this out.❤️

The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity
June 12, 2022

Andrei Rublev’s Holy Trinity

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we pray within the awesome Mystery of the Triune God.

Alleluia. Alleluia.
Glory to the Creator, to the Redeemer, to the Sanctifier,
our God Who is, Who was, and Who will always be.


This is the greatest Mystery of our faith. We kneel in awe before it dazed by its Infinity, shadowed by our uncomprehending creaturehood.

Today’s prayer may remind us that our faith frees us from the struggle to comprehend.

We are not meant to understand Mystery.
Instead, slowly to absorb It,
ultimately to be absorbed by It.
With each encounter, 
Mystery changes us
by Itself never-changing
yet ever revealing 
the More, 
the Greater, 
the Deeper, 
the One.

Poetry: After Rublev’s Trinity by Carrie Purcell Kahler

Each face turned toward
a face at table leaving
always a space for
one more. An open
door to run through when someone
can’t quite make it home
on their own. Though the
wings work, humans haven’t got
them, and it’s hard to
converse from heights so,
in one hand a staff to lean
on. The other hand
ever reaches down.

Music: O God of Lovliness

Alleluia: Lean into God!

Memorial of Saint Barnabas, Apostle
Saturday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time
June 11, 2022

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we ask God to help us set our hearts in the right direction — toward God in all things.

And we express the blessed insight that to live within God’s Law is to be favored.

Alleluia, alleluia.
Incline my heart, O God, to your decrees;
and favor me with your law.


Here’s the way I picture this prayer.

Life is like a rip tide. It can capture us and pull us under its breakers when we least expect it. But as any good ocean swimmer knows, when we are caught in a rip tide, we must relax, lean into it, and swim perpendicular to its force.


Our Alleluia Verse today is kind of a “rip-tide prayer”. We ask for the courage to lean into God’s power in our lives, to trust it, and to swim with it even though it contradicts a godless culture.


God promises that there is always a current of grace to carry us to the Divine Heart, but our efforts alone cannot sustain us. As in Psalm 86, we can ask God to do a little leaning toward us to help us out in a tough sea! 🙂

May we ever incline our hearts to God’s Love already leaning over us in Mercy.


Poetry: You are so weak – Rumi

You are so weak.
Give up to grace.
The ocean takes care of each wave ’til it gets to shore.
You need more help than you know.

Music: Oceans – Hillsong

Alleluia: Just Shine

Friday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time
June 10, 2022

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, our Alleluia Verse gives us a powerful encouragement– “Shine”. That’s it – just shine because the Word of God has charged you with Light and Life.

Alleluia, alleluia.
Shine like lights in the world,
as you hold on to the word of life. ( Phil. 2:15-16)

As our verse so clearly indicates, the more we absorb the beauty of the scriptures into our hearts, the more we shine.

And it’s not just about reading the Bible. It’s about sitting down with the Word just like we would with an old and dear friend. It’s listening, not only to what is said, but the immensity that is unsaid or whispered – both by the scriptures and by our own self-examination.

It is taking what our heart hears and letting it change or deepen our lives. It is letting go of so much that doesn’t matter in order to hold on the the Word that does matter.

It is becoming a sanctuary where others see that Word shining and are strengthened.

May we shine with a Holy Light that draws others to God’s Brilliant Love.

Poetry: I found this little poem on the internet, author unknown. I think it works for today’s meditation.

You don’t have to tell how you live each day;
You don’t have to tell if you work or play;
A tried and true barometer stands in its place—
You don’t have to tell, it will shine in your face. …
If you live close to God and God’s infinite grace—
You won’t have to tell, it will shine in your face.

Music: Walk in the Beautiful Light

I think this video is amazing. The hymn is being sung by a German speaking choir!

(Lyrics below — I especially like those “dewdrops of mercy”)

Walk in the light, beautiful light,
come where the dewdrops of mercy shine bright.
Oh shine all around us by day and by night,
Jesus is, Jesus is the light of the world;

Oh we shall walk in the light, beautiful light,
come where the dewdrops of mercy shine bright.
Oh shine all around us by day and by night,
Jesus is, Jesus is the light of the world;

No need to worry, no need to fret,
all of my needs, the man named Jesus has met.
His love protects me from hurt and from harm,
Jesus is, Jesus is the light of the world.

If the gospel be hid, it’s hid from the lost,
my Jesus is waiting to look past your faults.
Arise and shine, your light has come,
Jesus is, I know that He is the only light of this world.

Jesus is the light,
light of the world.

Jesus is the light,
light of the world.

Jesus is the light,
light of the world.

He’s ever shining in my soul.

Alleluia: Be Love!

June 9, 2022
Thursday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, our Alleluia Verse holds the complete essence of Jesus’s life. If there ever was glorious “nutshell”, this is it:

Alleluia, alleluia.
I give you a new commandment:
love one another as I have loved you. (Jn. 13:34)

Our motherhouse chapel is breathtakingly beautiful. Thinking of it as a “chapel”, people who first walk through its doors are astounded at itscathedral-like dimensions. I know I certainly was as a wonder-struck eighteen-year-old on my first visit.

Our Chapel in the 1950s

For the next almost three years, I often sat in my little pew pondering the chapel’s central mural — and especially the words framing it.

The words are an invitation and a command. The painting beneath is the whole instruction on Love… “…love as I have loved you.”

After those initial years, I chose those precious words for the motto to be engraved on my ring. I have prayed ever since that it might someday be engraved on my heart. In a culture that can so misunderstand the nature of love, I always appreciate the chance to visit that altar or to look at that ring.

May we have the courage to be
“Alleluia Lovers”
in this love-hungry world!

Poetry: from one of the greatest poets, Paul in his letter to the Corinthians

If I speak in the tongues in human or angelic tongue 
but have not love,
I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge,
and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains,
but have not love,
I am nothing.
If I give away all I have,
and if I deliver up my body to be burned,
but have not love,
I gain nothing.
Love is patient and kind; 
love does not envy or boast;
it is not arrogant or rude.
It does not insist on its own way;
it is not irritable or resentful;
it does not rejoice at wrongdoing,
but rejoices with the truth.
Love bears all things,
believes all things,
hopes all things,
endures all things.
Love never ends. 
As for prophecies, they will pass away;
as for tongues, they will cease;
as for knowledge, it will pass away.
For we know in part and we prophesy in part,
but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away.
When I was a child, I spoke like a child,
I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child.
When I grew up, I gave up childish ways.
For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face.
Now I know in part; then I shall know fully,
even as I have been fully known.
So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; 
but the greatest of these is love.

Music: Love Never Ends – by The Corner Room

Alleluia: Be Light!

June 7, 2022
Tuesday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we come back to the shore of Ordinary Time. Fresh off the glorious voyage with Jesus through Lent, Holy Week, Eastertide and Pentecost, we arrive grace-filled for the ordinary days of our lives.

( During this next Liturgical Season, I would like to focus us on our Alleluia Verse each day.  This short snippet of scripture serves like a doorman opening the way into our Gospel for the day. It helps us to focus on a truth that might be most meaningful in the sacred Word awaiting us. It alerts us that Jesus wants to speak to us, and it gives us a hint of what He might want to say.

Of course, we do not read the Alleluia Verse in isolation, but rather in the context of the lessons of our first reading and the reinforcements of our daily psalm. But it still might help us to take the small gem of the Alleluia Verse and hold it up to a longer, more reflective light.

For those who wish to meditate further on the readings or Psalm, I will try each day to give you links to earlier reflections on these readings, as you see with the buttons above.)


Today’s verse is an invitation to the light and energy of the Holy Spirit.
It is a call to be like suns and stars in the world’s shadows.
It is a reminder that we are satellites circling God’s Brillance …
that the brightness we reflect is a sprinkling of Divinity…
that no shadow can withstand our “Alleluia ”.

So if we are brave, let’s look in the mirror each morning,
maybe after a cold splash and a sip of coffee
and let’s tell ourselves the amazing truth:
“You are called to be Light in the darkness.”

That darkness takes the form of the obvious evils of our times:
war, violence, hatred, rampant militarism
and all other forms of contempt for another’s life.

But it comes in subtler patterns as well
that may be harder to discern in ourselves.

To name just a few – the infamous “ins” such as:

  • Intemperance
  • Ingratitude
  • Insincerity
  • Injustice
  • inaction
  • and I think, worst of all, Indifference

May we invite and welcome the
“Alleluia Light”
into our every darkness.
Amen.


Poetry: Bearing the Light – Denise Levertov

Rain-diamonds, this winter morning, 
embellish the tangle of unpruned pear-tree twigs; 
each solitaire, placed, it appears, with considered judgement, 
bears the light beneath the rifted clouds - 
the indivisible shared out in endless abundance.

Music: Be a Light – Thomas Rhett

Mary, Mother of the Church

June 6, 2022

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we celebrate the Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church.


web3-the-annunciation-by-henry-ossawa-tanner
Annunciation by Henry Ossawa Tanner

It is a day to honor Mary for giving life to Jesus
for the sake of all humanity.

It is day to beg her intercession
for a world so desperately in need of
Christ’s continued revelation.

door of Mercy

Mary is the Door through which
Heaven visited earth
to heal it from sinful fragmentation.


 

Ave

May Mary continue to carry her beautiful grace
to broken hearts and even
to the twisted souls who broke them. 

Through her, may we all find healing.

Mary, Mother of Mercy, intercede for all Creation
that we may embrace the Love your Son taught us.


Poetry: How Do I See Her – by Judith Evans

How do I see her?
Blessed Mother, Queen of Heaven, Virgin Mary:
these are names that people have given her.
But who is she?

When I see the mother of our Savior,
I see the courage of women:

She said “yes” and stepped into the never-before,
the great unknown,
unfairly judged by neighbors,
nearly losing her betrothed at a time when “unmarried” and “pregnant” meant banishment or death by stoning.

I see the strength of women:

A pregnant teenage girl,
she rode 100 miles on a donkey,
sleeping on the ground,
surrounded by Roman oppression.

I see the wisdom of women:

It was time.
She knew that her son was ready before he knew it.
“Do as he tells you,” she told the servants at the wedding. And then there was wine,
and the greatest ministry of all time began.

I see the anguish of women:

She visualized her son’s destiny as she nursed him,
cleaned him,
baked bread for him.
Her heart nearly stopped when she couldn’t find him,
and then rejoiced when he turned up
discussing theology with scholars:
a prelude to a future loss,
that horrific afternoon at the foot of the cross.

I see women celebrating:

Beyond all human-sized hope,
her son conquered death.
She had dared to believe in hope,
and when hope’s light seemed extinguished,
she hoped one more time.

Who is she?
She is each and every one of us.
Whole, messy, wounded, blessed.

Bewildered by the mystery of it all,
yet willing to try one more time
to comprehend God’s purpose.

Learning to receive God’s mercy and grace,
realizing that we are seen and loved
beyond our understanding.


Music: Ave Maria – Michael Hoppé

Pentecost Sunday

June 5, 2022

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we celebrate the great Feast of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit descended to eternally enliven the Church.

We are that Church, living today in a world that sorely needs God’s renewing breath of life!


For today’s Responsorial Psalm, we pray with Psalm 104 – a fitting plea for this glorious Feast of Pentecost.

Lord, send out your Spirit, 
and renew the face of the earth.

It is a bold prayer, an extravagant request. It asks for everything – a Fire of Love so complete that the whole earth is remade in its Divine Power.

It is a prayer based in mutual invitation as, in the Sequence, we invite the Holy Spirit to renew us:

Come, Holy Spirit, come!
And from your celestial home
Shed a ray of light divine!

Pentecost Sequence

And, as in any true relationship, the Spirit invites us too – to open our hearts to the infinite grace of this feast. The Book of Revelation describes this reciprocity in this profound passage:

“ I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.”

The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.

Revelation 22: 16-17

On this Birthday of the Church, we pray not only for our own soul’s kindling, but for the whole People of God. May the Grace of Pentecost ignite a new fire of charity over all the earth. May that fire clear the way for the Spirit’s gifts to flower, for Her fruits to blossom, for Her power to surprise us as it bursts forth in our hearts!


Poetry: The Golden Sequence

Veni Sancte Spiritus, sometimes called the Golden Sequence, is a sequence prescribed in the Roman Liturgy for the Masses of Pentecost and its octave. It is usually attributed to either the thirteenth-century Pope Innocent III or to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Cardinal Stephen Langton, although it has been attributed to others as well.

“Veni Sancte Spiritus” is one of only four medieval Sequences which were preserved in the Roman Missal published in 1570 following the Council of Trent (1545–63).

The other three occasions when we hear these beautiful ancient hymns are Easter Sunday (“Victimae Paschali Laudes”), Corpus Christi (“Lauda Sion Salvatorem”) and Our Lady of Sorrows (“Stabat Mater Dolorosa”). On Easter Sunday and Pentecost, the sequence must be sung, whereas on Corpus Christi and Our Lady of Sorrows, the sequence is optional.

Wikipedia

Come, Holy Spirit, come!
And from your celestial home
    Shed a ray of light divine!

Come, Father of the poor!
Come, source of all our store!
    Come, within our bosoms shine.

You, of comforters the best;
You, the soul’s most welcome guest;
    Sweet refreshment here below;

In our labor, rest most sweet;
Grateful coolness in the heat;
    Solace in the midst of woe.

O most blessed Light divine,
Shine within these hearts of yours,
    And our inmost being fill!

Where you are not, we have naught,
Nothing good in deed or thought,
    Nothing free from taint of ill.

Heal our wounds, our strength renew;
On our dryness pour your dew;
    Wash the stains of guilt away:

Bend the stubborn heart and will;
Melt the frozen, warm the chill;
    Guide the steps that go astray.

On the faithful, who adore
And confess you, evermore
    In your sevenfold gift descend;

Give them virtue’s sure reward;
Give them your salvation, Lord;
    Give them joys that never end. Amen.
    Alleluia.

Music: Veni Santé Spiritus – Chant of the Mystics