Going Gratitudinal. That’s the theme of this week’s Busy Person’s Retreat at Dominican University in San Rafael. Our sisters meet with students, faculty, and staff members this week, to pray and share reflections on a selection of readings. We thought that focusing on gratitude would be helpful during this latter part of the Lenten season.
Please feel free to join us online at our Dominican Sisters’ website. And over the next few days I will post a “gratitudinal” thought for the readers of this blog. After all, the Dominican mystic Meister Eckart said, “If the only prayer you say is thank you, that is enough.” I’m sure the same thing goes for preaching as for praying.
Please share something for which you are grateful.
From today’s Responsorial Psalm 46:
There is a stream whose runlets gladden the city of God,
the holy dwelling of the Most High.
God is in its midst; it shall not be disturbed;
God will help it at the break of dawn.
The City of God is often called Zion. I am sure that those who named the National Park we know as Zion here in the US, could only imagine that such beauty had to be worthy of being called Zion, the City of God. Let us remember that wherever we are, God is, and that it, too, is the City of God, and therefore beautiful.
Surely this doesn’t happen to you.
Imagine being in the middle of an engrossing project, one that needs to be finished within the hour/day/week. And along comes a person/phone call/incident that interrupts this all-important (truly) task. It’s not hard for me to imagine myself grumbling and complaining at that point about the interruption, whether it’s a thing or a person. Probably that’s never happened to you.
A friend of mine (Kathleen Bryant, RSC) sent me this quote today. I think I’ll post it everywhere I can see it, so that the next time the interruptions come along I can receive them with grace. They probably wear the face of God.
If you haven’t already adopted a Lenten practice by now (we’re in the 3rd week of Lent), this would be a good one. I think I’ll add it for the remaining 3 weeks.
Even though you have a lot of work to do
If you think of it as wonderful
And if you feel it as wonderful
It will transform into energy of
Joy and fire
Instead of becoming a burden.
– Tulku Thondup Rinpoche
Today I share a few words from the Dominican scholar St. Thomas Aquinas.
Today I am sharing Sister Gervaise Valpey’s reflection on tomorrow’s reading for the 3rd Wednesday in Lent.
Tuesday, Third Week of Lent
March 13, 2012
Daniel 3: 25, 34-43; Matthew 1: 21-35
The reading from Daniel 3:25, 34-43 encourages us to delve deeper into our hearts to find the humility that will release God’s generous mercy to us. It may have taken the raging furnace for Azariah and his companions to acknowledge their God, but once they recognized their sinfulness and their immense losses they could see a way to
find favor with their God. With “contrite hearts and humble spirit” they sought forgiveness – for themselves and their nation – from the “God of kindness and great mercy.” Once they sought forgiveness, they could “follow God unreservedly . . . with their whole heart.”
What does it take for me – for us – to reach that point of humility, that moment of letting go so we can speak honestly before our gracious God? What do e need so we can go forth giving our all? I have found that taking time to reflect on the experiences
when I have felt most lost and not in connection ith God, enables me to pray humbly with the Responsorial Psalm, “Your ways, O Lord, make known to me teach me your paths.”
One such challenging experience, when I felt most bereft, as the time when my mother lived in a full care unit of a retirement residence. My mother as suffering from dementia. I felt I as indeed being “tried by fire,” as I visited her each day. I looked for answers and searched for words to say. I felt deeply saddened by her condition and that of the residents around her. When I could pray with humility, letting myself move out of the way, before entering the facility, I could be at peace because it as only then
that I truly could be present to my mother. Turning over those moments to God, I could learn from my mother – her sense of gratitude, her peace, her need only for presence.
I believe God responds generously when we are honest with ourselves, and when we can really see hat God has done for us. Let us pray today to recognize God’s abundant grace and presence in our lives, especially at the most challenging moments. “Guide me in your truth and teach me.”
The above can also be found at http://www.opwest.us/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/00-2012-FINAL-Lenten-Reflection-Booklet-271.
Certainly we proclaim the Risen Christ. And we remember, especially during Lent, the road that Jesus walked prior to His resurrection. And so, with the Apostle Paul,
We proclaim Christ crucified.
We read from the Prophet Micah how God is like a shepherd.
Shepherd your people with your staff, the flock of your inheritance,
That dwells apart in a woodland, in the midst of Carmel.
Let them feed in Bashan and Gilead, as in the days of old;
As in the days when you came from the land of Egypt,
show us wonderful signs.