Monthly Archives: April 2016

It is the Spirit that gives life, while the flesh is of no avail. The words I have spoken to you are Spirit and life.
(John 6:63)

What is life, Lord? It is not our bodies, but your Spirit which breathes on us. Your words, formed with your breath, create and sustain us. Your “Fiat” is echoed in the words of your Son and it is the life of Christ that saves us. How can I respect and represent your Spirit today?

I will participate in your Sacrifice and receive you in the Eucharist. Prepare me for this, our greatest earthly privilege. Let me carry you in my heart and act through you, sharing your infinite Love with whomever I encounter. When I return home, I am certain to meet people who are in pain, lonely, bitter and critical. How will I respond? Let me not forget that you are within me and can act through me if I get out of your way.

This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever.
(John 6:58)

Our ancestors ate manna, which lasted for only a day. You, my Jesus, give us yourself, not just your human Body, but your very nature, your God-ness. One Eucharist gives us everlasting life, and yet you allow us to partake every day. How can we hold you, absorb you, and be absorbed in you? It is more than we can endure, and yet you strengthen us. Give us just a glimpse of your light, which would blind us if we could fully perceive it. Give us the grace to revere you in what looks like a tiny fragment of bread, a sip of wine. Support me in my goal of bringing you to our group.

I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever, and the bread that I will give is my Flesh for the life of the world.
(John 6:51)

Oh living bread, Body of Christ, nourish us. Make us one in you. I may once again have the privilege of distributing the Eucharist. Please help me to serve you reverently and humbly. Thank you for caring for these sheep who are physically separated from the congregation by age, infirmity and immobility. We are not separated from you, and in you we are joined with all of your flock. Let us remember and rejoice.

For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him may have eternal life, and I shall raise him on the last day.
(John 6:40)

My Jesus, I do not see you as those who walked with you during your time on earth did, but I hear your Word, experience you in the Eucharist, and know you through your Spirit which you sent to us. I believe by your grace. I will see you when you raise me and know you with a knowledge that is beyond my human senses and comprehension. How can I put my faith into action today?

I will be alone for another four hours, enough time to pray and do some kitchen chores. When the family is together, I can listen to them and perhaps amuse them. Please show me how to contribute.

Tomorrow, I will be home again and reconnecting with my neighbors. What can I give to them? We will share our faith in the afternoon, and I will learn from them. Please watch over our deacon and bring him back to us in your time. Meanwhile, help us to pray together and support one another. Now, I will try to be silent in your Presence, with help from the Suscipe, the Carmelite “Daily Disconnect,” and the “Be Silent” poem.

As they were stoning Stephen, he called out, “Lord, Jesus, receive my spirit.” Then he fell to his knees and cried out in a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them;” and when he said this, he fell asleep.
(Acts 7:59-60

Stephen echoed your words on the cross as he was martyred, my Jesus. “Into your hands I commend my spirit,” and “Father, forgive them.”

Please keep my heart ready at all times to offer myself to you and forgive my enemies. When my days are finished, let the same words be on my lips. If I am to die suddenly, I trust that you will give me a moment to dedicate myself and welcome whatever end you have chosen. How many times a day do I pray, “now and at the hour of my death,” and “as we forgive those”? Let me be conscious of the depth of these words. Let now be a preparation for your Eternal Now.

Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him the Father, god, has set his seal.
(John 6:27)

Your Body, Lord, is our food for eternal life. One Eucharist would sustain us; yet you allow us to receive you again and again, constantly renewing us. Give us just a glimpse of your overwhelming Sacrament of love and unity, for that is all we can hold. Prepare us for the day when we will know you in the fullness of your Glory and respond with our whole being, oblivious to anything but you. Increase my reverence and give me time and silence to contemplate your gift.

Jesus said to him a third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was distressed that Simon had said to him a third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.”
(John 21:17)

Three times Peter denied you, my Jesus. Now, three times you invite him to profess his love and three times you direct him to carry on your work. Your trust in him is complete. He will not disappoint you; indeed, he will be crucified for his zeal.

You do not insist on penance, but only love. You ask not for sacrifice but for mercy. You know that I love you. What are you asking from me? How can I help to tend your flock?

Tomorrow I will spend the day with your little lambs. Help me to care for them tenderly. Let me be solicitous, too, of those who have grown. When you called to the disciples, you addressed them as “children.” We are all your children. Please help me to remember that, even among the old and cranky. Remind me that I, too, am old and often cranky, and yet I am still your child.

When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat, and they began to be afraid. But he said to them, “It is I. Do not be afraid.”
(John 6:19-20)

My Jesus, when you say, “It is I,” you are announcing, “I AM.” The disciples fear your divinity, but as one who shares their human nature, you reassure them.
When I see you at the end of time, speak to me. Encourage me. Let me not turn away. With your grace, I will not be afraid. It is you, Yahweh!

One of his disciples, Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, said to him, “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what good are these for so many?
(John 6:8)

Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed them to those who were reclining, and also as much of the fish as they wanted.
(John 6:11)

Andrew, brother of the impetuous Peter, wants to help, but he thinks the boy’s contribution is inadequate. Do we not also doubt the sufficiency of our resources? Why, then, does he even mention the loaves and fishes? Deep inside, he must trust your power, my Jesus. He offers what he has, and you magnify it.

My prayers and actions seem so insignificant, but when you accept them they are multiplied like the loaves and fish. You satisfy not only our physical appetites, but the yearnings of our soul. Only you are enough.

You gave thanks before distributing the gifts. Let me give thanks today for everything you hand to me, and let me see your hand in everything.

For the one whom God sent speaks the words of God. He does not ration his gift of the Spirit.
(John 3:34)

My God, you are lavish in your gifts. You will not withhold your Spirit. Please help me to place myself in your Presence and allow you to bless and nourish me today.

God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but have eternal life.
(John 3:16)

Your love overwhelms and awes me, God. You teach me that love is pure gift, unearned, unrequested, even. Because I am unworthy, I am afraid to ask for your love. Since I don’t expect it, I am always surprised by it. How can I thank you except by acknowledging your boundless love and thanking you for it?

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

There was no needy person among them, for those who owned property or houses would sell them, bring the proceeds of the sale, and put them at the feet of the Apostles, and they were distributed to each according to need.
(Acts 4:34)

This was socialism, perhaps, but by consensus, not handed down by government nor determined by majority vote. Each Christian chose to share material goods in order to focus on your work, Lord. How can we live as Christians in today’s complicated society?

I have no property to sell, but I do have a stable income. What I am not required to pay for necessities like rent and insurance, I can choose to share. There isn’t a lot, but I want to live more simply so that I can concentrate on living more fully in you. Please help me to be more generous and trusting. I want enough and no more. I want to accept my daily bread without storing up for tomorrow. Show me how to place my gifts at your feet.

Mary said, “Behold I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done unto me according to your word.”
(Luke 1:38)

Mary’s “Fiat!” echoed your “Fiat!” of creation. Let it be, Lord. These distractions and irritations that pester me, let them be. The cries of help from my neighbors, let me say yes. My opportunity to participate in your plan, let me welcome it. Today, help me to remember that whatever happens is an invitation to cooperate in your will.

Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit…”
(John 20:21-23)

Lord, I have basked in the peace of this convent for ten days. Now you will send me back to the place you have led me and the people I have met and will meet. Breathe your Spirit into me that I might carry your word and your peace to all.

But later…he appeared to them and rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart because they had not believed those who saw him after he had been raised?
(Mark 16:14-15)

When did I not believe those who professed you, Lord? I, too, want to see with my own eyes and hear with my own ears. If I had been one of your disciples, I might have been envious and hurt if one of my companions had encountered you and I hadn’t. In doubting that person, I would have doubted you.

You rebuked them, but then you sent them out to proclaim the Gospel. No matter how stubborn and incredulous we are, you forgive and empower us. Please help me to be more trusting and accepting.