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Friday, November 2, 2018

Those Who Have Gone Before Us


All Souls’ Day is a day of remembrance of those who have gone before us; a day to pray and to remember.

Cemeteries have always been special places for me. I love walking around and getting lost as I read the names and dates and little inscriptions on the aged headstones~ imagining what their lives were like, who they loved, how their lives impacted others, and what their descendants are doing today.

I have not been to too many cemeteries where I actually know the people who are buried there, but there is one where I do, and that is the cemetery for the Daughters of Charity at the Seton Shrine in Emmitsburg, MD. I lived there when I was in high school, and I used to visit the retired Sisters who lived on the skilled care unit. I really think the seeds of my discernment with the Daughters were planted there with the Sisters I visited: Srs. Angela Cool, Anne Black, Frances Marie Lanasa, James Regina, and many more. I have been back to Emmitsburg three times since I’ve moved away, and have made time to go and visit these Sisters who are no longer on the skilled care unit, but out back behind the Shrine near the little patch of trees separating the church grounds from the fire academy.

Some of the people who I volunteered with at the nursing home have told me that these Sisters prayed often that I would discover my vocation and discern (God-willing!) with the Daughters! I know their prayers and example have had an impact on my life’s journey as I move into the fourth month of my postulancy year with the Sisters.

There is a cemetery here in the St. Louis area that I have found is a good place to go~ winding paths, old trees with branches that go on forever and ever, even a marsh full of frogs! And among all the nature are peoples’ lives and stories.

Who in your life has passed but left an impact on your soul? How has your life’s journey been changed because of the people you have encountered?

This All Souls’ Day, thank God for these people, these souls who have gone before us to eternal life. Also, try to visit a cemetery, even if you don’t know anyone there; who knows who you might meet and who you may be inspired to pray for, and who may be praying for you.

Written by: Josephine Lomasney, Postulant






Thursday, November 1, 2018

Striving for Sainthood


Today we celebrate the feast of All Saints Day, a day when we remember all of the saints in our Church. The saints are our friends and ancestors who, in their lives, accepted God in their own lives and brought him to others on Earth and who continue to do so in Heaven. On this feast day, we especially ask them to intercede for us as we continue to strive for sainthood here on Earth.

As a young Catholic in college I always would hear the phrase “Striving for Sainthood,” but what does this really mean? How do we strive for sainthood with all the distractions and temptations that exist in our world?

A person doesn’t have to live a perfect life to become a saint. Just look at some of the lives of the saints that we have in the Catholic Church today.

St. Augustine of Hippo lived a life that included parties, entertainment, and worldly ambitions. Many young people, especially those in the college scene get caught up in the temptations of partying and excessive drinking.

 Through the prayers of his mother, St. Monica, and the preaching of St. Ambrose, he was convinced that Christianity was the one true religion. Augustine did not become a Christian right away, but after crying out to God in a garden, Augustine heard a child say “Take up and read.” He then picked up the Letters of St. Paul where Paul said “to put away all impurity and to live in imitation of Jesus.” After reading this Augustine began a new life and was baptized. He became a priest and eventually a bishop who founded an order of religious priests while living a life of poverty and giving to the poor.

St. Paul, originally known as Saul, was a Pharisee and presided over the persecutions of the early Christians. After a powerful vision, he converted to Christianity while on the road to Damascus. When he was baptized, he took the name Paul. For many years, he was a follower of Christ and he was eventually persecuted and was imprisoned himself for his beliefs.

In his Angelus address on All Saints Day in 2017, Pope Francis gave us some insights of how to view our many saints. He said “Saints are not perfect models, but are people whose lives God has crossed,” and can be compared with the stained-glass windows of a church, “which allow light to enter in different shades of color.”

 Pope Francis had many quotes from this address, I chose this one because it shows us that any person, no matter what culture or ethnic background they come from, can become saints. We just have to let God touch our lives and help us to live a life that is striving for sainthood.  

On this feast of All Saints Day I want to challenge everyone to take some time and pray for the intercession of all of our saints to help you to live a life that is striving for sainthood.


Written by Carissa Kulpa, Prepostulant

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

International Day for the Eradication of Poverty




October 17 marks the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. This year’s theme is: “Coming together with those furthest behind to build an inclusive world of universal respect for human rights and dignity.” As we gather today, let us pray for the day when human rights take top priority in global dynamics; when charity is no longer needed because justice prevails; and when inequality and poverty exist no longer. Let us pray for action plans to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 1, which are achieved in partnership with persons living in poverty. Grant us strength and courage in this endeavor, Oh God, Amen.

READING: Today, poverty prevails as the gravest human rights challenge in the world. Combating poverty, deprivation and exclusion is not a matter of charity, and it does not depend on how rich a country is …….By tackling poverty as a matter of human rights obligation, the world will have a better chance of abolishing this scourge in our lifetime......Poverty eradication is an achievable goal. (Louise Arbour, former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights)

PRAYER FOR THE ERADICATION OF POVERTY (Adapted by the prayer of the same name by Joseph Wresinski)

For the millions of children twisted by the pain of hunger, no longer able to smile, yet still yearning to love. For the millions of young people, who have no reason to believe, and question the meaning of existence, and who vainly search for a future in this senseless world, God of compassion and justice hear us .

For the millions of men, women and children, whose hearts are still pounding strong to the beat of struggle, whose minds rise in revolt against the unjust fate imposed upon them, whose courage demands the right to priceless dignity. God of compassion and justice hear us .

For the millions of children, women and men who do not want to condemn, but to love, to pray, to work and to unite, so that a world of solidarity may be born. A world, our world, in which all people would have given the best of themselves before dying. God of compassion and justice hear us .

We pray for a world where people no longer live in hunger; where they are free from HIV AIDS; where mothers no longer die in childbirth; where children no longer die of preventable diseases; where every child has the right to quality education; where poverty and inequality have been overcome. God of compassion and justice hear us.


Written by Sister Theresa Sullivan, D.C.

 

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Our Lady of the Rosary


On October 7, the Roman Catholic Church celebrates the yearly feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. It is a very special feast, sacred to all those who have special devotion to Our Blessed Mother.

In the Constitutions of the Daughters of Charity, it says: "By daily meditation of the Rosary, the prayer of those who are poor and the contemplation of the miseries of Christ, they express their love and gratitude to Mary."

Here are a few other quotes about the importance of saying the Rosary:

"Continue to pray the Rosary every day." - Our Lady of Fatima to Sister Lucia

"You shall obtain all you ask of me by the recitation of the Rosary." - Our Lady to Blessed Alan de la Roche

"The greatest method of praying is to pray the Rosary." - St. Francis de Sales

"'Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee!' No creature has ever said anything that was more pleasing to me, nor will anyone ever be able to find or say to me anything that pleases me more." - Our Lady to St. Mechtilde

Hopefully, during this month dedicated to our Blessed Mother, the Rosary will become more a part of your everyday prayer life.

Written by Sister Regina Hlavac, D.C.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

The Story of the Feast of the Guardian Angels

Perhaps no aspect of Catholic piety is as comforting to parents as the belief that an angel protects their little ones from dangers real and imagined. Yet guardian angels are not only for children. Their role is to represent individuals before God, to watch over them always, to aid their prayer, and to present their souls to God at death.

The concept of an angel assigned to guide and nurture each human being is a development of Catholic doctrine and piety based on Scripture, but not directly drawn from it. Jesus' words in Matthew 8:10 best support the belief: "See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my Heavenly Father."

Devotion to the angels began to develop with the birth of the monastic tradition. St. Benedict gave it impetus and St. Bernard of Clairvaux, the great 12th century reformer, was such an eloquent spokesman for the guardian angels that angelic devotion assumed its current form in his day.

A feast in honor of the guardian angels was first observed in the 16th century. In 1615, Pope Paul V added it to the Roman calendar.

How many times do you pray to your guardian angel(s)?

Reflection:

Devotion to the angels is, at base, an expression of faith in God's enduring love and providential care extended to each person day in and day out. (Adapted from the Franciscan Media)

Written by Sister Regina Hlavac, D.C.