Creation Gives Thanks

Deer on bluff at Bolinas
We will find this truth naturally inheres in all creatures who, even though unable to speak, offer better thanks to their benefactors through action than we humans do in word

 

It is so thoughtful and commendable to thank those who do us favors that if we glance around, we see that when earth is regaled by heaven’s waters and sunlight, it sends forth grass and flowers in grateful payment for the gift. Very tenderly the gardener cares for the trees so that, having grown quite tall, they bend down their fruit…to pick, almost as if to say: “Take this fruit in return for your kind care.”

– Reading from Tuesday’s Psalter: Francisco de Osuna, The Third Spiritual Alphabet

Bent Over with a Burden

In today’s Gospel reading (Lk 13:10-17), Jesus heals a woman whose back is so bent and deformed, she cannot stand. There are many today who have burdens that keep them from standing and walking freely. How are we working to free and heal them?

woman, el salvador, cane
This woman is not bent over, but her poverty is truly a burden that keeps her from standing and walking as freely as we do.

God’s Viewpoint on Immigration

From today’s first reading:

Thus says the LORD:
“You shall not molest or oppress an alien,
for you were once aliens yourselves in the land of Egypt.
You shall not wrong any widow or orphan.
If ever you wrong them and they cry out to me,
I will surely hear their cry.

Exodus 22:21-23

Santo Torribio, Saint Torribio, patron of immigrants, Juarez, Mexico
Children place banner of Santo Torribio Romo on the back of a truck at prayer service for justice in immigration law. Picture by Lyn Kirkconnell.

The Bible states it very clearly in Exodus and elsewhere that we are to be just with those who cross our borders, because once we were aliens in the land. And with the exception of our Native People, all of us are either immigrants or children of immigrants. Let us be just.

Surely God does hear the cry of the immigrant as they are misused at job sites, deported before they receive their paychecks, and separated from their families. Santo Toribio Romo has been known to appear to immigrants crossing the hot, barren, dry Sonoran desert, and lead them to safety. We can pray for the intercession of Santo Toribio on behalf on immigrants who are in danger at this moment.

Please join the Dominican Sisters of San Rafael in working for just immigration reform. Our corporate stance can be found on our website.

Contemplation of Creation

 poppy, santa cruz

. . . their answer was their beauty.

 From today’s reading in the Psalter

I asked the earth, the sea and the deeps, heaven, the sun, the moon and the stars….My questioning of them was my contemplation , and their answer was their beauty.

From The Confessions of St. Augustine

For the Beauty of the Earth

Our hymn at morning prayer today was “For the Beauty of the Earth.”

half dome, sunset, yosemite
Half Dome at Sunset

 For the beauty of the earth,
For the glory of the skies;
For the love which from our birth,
Over and around us lies;
Lord of all, to Thee we raise
This, our hymn of grateful praise.

For the wonder of each hour,
Of the day and of the night;
Hill and vale and tree and flow’r,
Sun and moon, and stars of light;
Lord of all, to Thee we raise
This, our hymn of grateful praise.

For the joy of ear and eye,
For the heart and mind’s delight;
For the mystic harmony,
Linking sense to sound and sight;
Lord of all, to Thee we raise
This, our hymn of grateful praise.

by Folliott S. Pierpoint, 1864

Wisdom from Gertrude the Great

This morning’s reading (below) from the Psalter was from Spiritual Exercises by Gertrud the Great of Helfta.

Sunrise at Lake Tahoe
"You glow altogether red in the spring-like loveliness of the festival of your love."

“My God, you are my hope; you the glory; you the joy; you my blessedness. You are the thirst of my spirit; you the life of my soul, you the jubilation of my heart. Where above you could my wonder lead me, my God? You are the praise in my heart and mouth. You glow altogether red in the spring-like loveliness of the festival of your love. May your most outstanding divinity magnify and glorify you because you are the source of light and the fountain of life forever.”

Walk this Way

Today is the Feast of Saint Luke; the Gospel of Luke is attributed to him.  We read today from that Gospel:

"walkway in Toulouse"
St. Dominic may have walked this way through the streets of Toulouse

Jesus said to them, “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the mast of the harvest to send out laborers for the harvest.”

So today we pray for vocations to the service of God’s people. We Dominican Sisters pray especially for vocations to Dominican Life. We invite you to Walk this Way.

Gratefulness

Every morning I receive a daily quote from Gratefulness.org(it’s easy to subscribe). The quotes are always inspiring and uplifting. I look forward to them. This was yesterday’s:

beauty in a weed,
Why don't we expect beauty in a weed?
Talk about the joys of the unexpected,
can they compare with the joys of the expected,
of finding everything delightfully and completely
what you knew it was going to be?
Elizabeth Bibesco

Sometimes Watercolor is Preaching

This watercolor painting of Mount Shasta was created by Sister Joanne Cullimore, OP.  Mt. Shasta is a majestic snow covered mountain that is part of the Cascades in California. It is one of the state’s 14ers, and stands 14,161 feet high.

Cullimore painting of Mt. Shasta, Sr. Joanne Cullimore, OP
Watercolor of Mount Shasta

 Truly, this painting of Sister Joanne Cullimore does all the preaching that is necessary.
God is revealed in creation.

St. Teresa of Avila

Today is the Feast of St. Teresa of Avila (1515-1582). She was a Doctor of the Church, also a mystic and writer – and truly a practical, down-to-earth woman who saw into the heart of God, and truly made a difference in her world. Teresa reformed the Carmelite Order during the very difficult pass in the Catholic Church of the Spanish Inquisition.

Through it all, she kept her marvelous sense of humor. Once, after being thrown from a carriage into the mud, she said to God, “If this is how you treat your friends, it’s no wonder you have so few of them.” She was serious about her spiritual practices and being observant to, what we would call, strict religious practices. Nonetheless, she enjoyed life to the fullest, and  encouraged her sisters to do the same. One wonderful story tells how Teresa danced on the table during recreation!

Perhaps it was the beauty of the Spanish countryside that gave her such a sense of passion and the joy of God.

Field of poppies in Spain. Might Teresa have feasted her eyes on these?

Teresa wrote:

Let nothing trouble you, let nothing frighten you.
 All things are passing; God never changes.
 Patience obtains all things.
 The one who possesses God lacks nothing:
 God alone suffices.

Did she learn this from the poppies?