Friday, August 26, 2016

Prayer for Discerning a Vocation

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Prayer for Discerning a Vocation

My Lord God,
I have no idea where I am going.

I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.

Nor do I really know my self,
and the fact that I think am following your will
does not mean that I am actually doing so.

But I believe that the desire to please you
does in fact please you.
And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing.
I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.

And I know that, if I do this,you will lead me by the right road,
though I may know nothing about it.

Therefore I will trust you always
though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death.

I will not fear, for you are ever with me,
and you will not leave me to face my perils alone.
-Thomas Merton

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Papal Thoughts

Pope Francis waves to pilgrims at the Angelus on Sunday August 21, 2016 - AFP(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Sunday said “life is not a video game or a soap opera; our life is serious and the goal to achieve is important: eternal salvation.” Speaking to pilgrims gathered for the Angelus prayer in St. Peter's Square, the Pope focused on the theme of eternal salvation and referred to the day’s Gospel reading in which a man asks Jesus how many people will be saved. “It doesn’t matter how many,” the Pope noted, “but it is important that everyone knows which is the path that leads to salvation.” And the door to salvation lies in Jesus, he said, and we can cross the threshold of God's mercy through love, and by overcoming pride, arrogance and sin.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Create a Sharing society

There are countless blessings to those who give of themselves wholeheartedly without any cost. God's grace and power are the unexpected benefits with one that is truly giving -- offering gifts of time and talent along with money.

Throughout history, Christians have worked to create a sharing society. In such a community, Christians share because they want to share, not because they are forced to share. They are active in the marketplace, working hard and always looking for what they can do next. They put people ahead of profits, and they try to avoid the worship of money. They discover that giving has unexpected benefits, including powerful testimonies and experiences of the grace of God.

But since we Christians were among the first to pool our resources in Jerusalem, we should always be on the lookout for ways to build a sharing society in new and even more powerful ways.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

People first

Christians put people at the top of our lists. We place people ahead of profits. Christians today work to alleviate the diseases of poverty -- AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis. They fight human trafficking. They feed the hungry and house the homeless. They work to teach English to immigrants and math to low-income schoolchildren. They fight to preserve affordable housing and provide dental care for the poor. 

This focus on people does not mean that Christians have lost the desire to make a profit. But it does suggest that we're becoming suspicious of money as the key to happiness. Wealth, by itself, usually promises more than it can deliver. Young adults are certainly moving in this direction, as they turn away from buying houses and cars. And so is Pope Francis, who warns about "the idolatry of money" and calls on politicians to provide people with "dignified work, education and healthcare."

Monday, August 22, 2016

What can I do next?

I heard a quote the other day that got me thinking. The quote, "Christians are active in the marketplace."

Since the first-century Christians have been active in the marketplace. They have been active wherever God has called them. The church was full of people who worked hard in a variety of professions, and some accumulated land and houses as a result of their efforts. They turned over their property to the church, but then continued to work together and to help the Christian community to thrive. They discovered the truth, then they start to think, 'What can I do next?'"

The members of the early church were always asking, "What can I do next?" A man named Joseph sold a field and gave the money to the apostles, and they gave him the name Barnabas, which means "son of encouragement." The apostles did signs and wonders among the people. Seven church members were selected to wait on tables and provide for the hungry.

As we work hard, share our resources and help the Christian community to thrive, we should also be asking the question, "What can I do next?" Like Barnabas, we can be sons (and daughters) of encouragement.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

The Sunday Word

Today's Gospel text begins with one of Luke's periodic signposts, set up to remind us that this episode is still a part of a large travel narrative in Luke. This crazy-quilt of stories, parables and incidents stands apart from the rest of Luke's tightly woven, thematically skeined text. 

Saint Luke stockpiles a series of texts that could easily stand independently.The opening scene today, then, serves as another Lukan reminder to us that this journey is still underway, with Jesus going "through one town and village after another, teaching as he made his way to Jerusalem." In fact, this pericope begins a sort of travelogue section. The general theme behind this Lukan section, explicitly stated in this today's text, is that "the last shall be first."

Saint Luke's verbal picture here is of a teaching Jesus, lecturing in the streets, surrounded by a milling crowd of believers, doubters, disciples and curious hangers-on. From this mixed crowd comes the question from "someone" about "who will be saved." We do not know whether this questioner was a devoted disciple or a troublemaker trying to get Jesus into a tight spot. However, Jesus' response makes it quite clear that the wrong question has been asked, and that he will only address the appropriate issue. Jesus ignores the "how many" question of a sensationalist who hopes to discover some horrifyingly juicy tidbit of information. Instead he chooses to address the question of "who" will be saved and why. Thus he shifts the focus to each individual's expression of faithfulness.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Marianist Jubilarians

On behalf of our Province and the world-wide Society of Mary, we would like to thank and congratulate all of our Jubilarians this year for the generous and faith-filled lives of service they have offered to the Church and the Society over many years.

When these men entered the Society of Mary, they may never have imagined the various ways that the Lord would call on their talents, gifts, and generosity in the service of Mary. We are grateful to the Lord for calling these men into our Community, and we thank them for their generous and courageous response to His call.

May their example inspire us to offer ourselves more completely to the mission of the Society that in all things we may know, love and serve Mary and the Church.

Fr. Philip celebrates 50 years of Ordination
Fr. Ernest celebrates 60 years of  Marianist religious profession
Bro. Robert celebrates 50 years of Marianist religious profession