Jesus, Risen, be our lover
in your Food and in our brother
Lead us home to heaven with you
From the Minister
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
How many Lents and Easters we have celebrated! What goodness is there to be found! Have we changed? How are we with detachment? What is our practice? Francis intimates: “Of the greatest graces God can bestow on us is the grace to overcome ourselves”?
Recently getting ready to leave St. Vincent de Paul by car I was confronted with a mere taste of this in a very simple experience of a man who walked in the middle of the road while I was trying to get through the road. His back was turned and he glanced over his shoulder acknowledging I was behind him but he kept on walking as he was. When he kept in my lane, I wanted to honk for him to let me pass. Something stopped me from making any overtures to get my way. It was a graced moment as I had to fight this bit of frustration, and cede to this man. Instead of the usual narrative going off in my brain about how rude he might be, in slowing down and allowing this to play out, I thanked God for showing me my preponderance for impatience. Impatience often devalues another human being who is in the way of my own agenda. I am grateful to God for revealing this to me.
On the lighter side yet telling, Joyce Rupp, OSM writes in Little Pieces of Light: “Trust in the process of transformation is a giant leap and it takes a lifetime to do. I must be patient with myself and with the process. Some people have learned this lesson of transformation well. I heard someone who’d seen more than his share of life’s adversities remark: ‘Well, what do you expect? You can’t do a long jump and not expect to get some sand in your shorts'” …
Perhaps this is part of the making of a pearl of great price. Some of our members have struggled and are dealing with health issues, especially Glenn and Gloria Ray who are now homebound and Lois McWhorter our Candidate. We look at the struggles of immigrants, victims of prejudice and violence too. We look at the unborn whose very life is precarious, the unemployed and underemployed. Our prayers and small efforts to help seem like a grain of sand, and yet the sand in our shorts of each of our own transformations softens us to help provide the compassionate responses we are able to make. The cross and resurrection; there is no other way through as Jesus’ life tells us.
Because we are all journey people, we have all had times of impatience and times of generosity; times of health and times of illness. May we become more patient and generous in our dealings with ourselves and others as the Good Lord is patient and generous with us. His whole life, passion and resurrection speaks to the benevolence of the Holy Trinity.
May your Holy Week and beyond be very meaningful. May you have a joyous, glorious Easter!
Peace and All Good,
March 18 Fraternity Gathering and Council Meeting
March 25 Palm Sunday
March 29 Holy Thursday
March 30 Good Friday
March 31 Holy Saturday
April 1 The Resurrection of the Lord
April 8 Divine Mercy Sunday
All who are able come to Sacred Heart Church at 3:00
April 22 Earth Day
May 10 The Ascension of the Lord
May 13 Mother’s Day
May 20 Pentecost Sunday
Fraternity Gathering/Chapter of Elections/SA commisioning of Patricia Mihalic Doyle
May 28 Memorial Day
Due to space problems we had to cancel our “Franciscan Tea” until summer. We look forward to that time when we are able to share with our other Third Order brothers and sisters in our area.
In May we will have our Chapter of Elections on the feast of Pentecost as well as the commissioning of our now SA Intern, Patricia Mihalic Doyle as our new Spiritual Assistant. She has worked long (she began with Friar John) and hard for this and we are very excited for her and ourselves for the momentous occasion. Many, many thanks to her for her commitment and meaningful participation with us through the years. We also welcome Lucy Soldan and Sr. Loretta Schaff.and very much look forward to being with them.
We are nearing the end of Eager To Love by Fr. Richard Rohr. From Chapter 10 on Bonaventure:
“It is important to know that the opposite of faith is not doubt, but in fact certitude and the demand for certitude! Bonaventure lived beautifully on the cusp of a broad and deep combination of knowing – along with not knowing, “un-speaking,” and silence. He loved Reality itself first and then garnered fruitful metaphors to point us toward a love affair with that very Reality. Bonaventure invites and inspires with a poetic clarity more than he declares or defines with any demanding certitude. They are two very different styles.”
The JOY of the Resurrection renews the whole world – a phrase that easily comes to my mind at Easter. Our charism calls us to Franciscan JOY.
I came across a look at how we celebrate Easter, and it stirs me to a continued celebration from now on. Here’s what I learned–
The Triduum services are magnificent, after our Lenten days with many communal opportunities to help us with our penitential focus. BUT, on the day after Easter it all drops off.
We are Easter people. We need to recover prolonged Easter JOY. It’s the key to our happiness and also to the new evangelization. Again, for us, it is part of our Franciscan vocation.
How can we prolong Easter JOY? We have to recover the concept of the Easter Octave.
Where does the octave come from? God commanded the Israelites to celebrate the greater feasts for 8 continuous days and have a solemn assembly on the 1st and 8th days. The Book of Exodus. (Tom and I just watched the movie, Exodus. I can’t imagine living in that time. What Moses, the Israelites, and the Egyptians went through! It was, and had to be, a lengthy movie.)
Liturgically, we celebrate Easter at the highest point from Easter Sunday to Divine Mercy Sunday. EVERY DAY of this octave is considered a SOLEMN FEAST in the Roman Calendar.
How do we honor this?
Attend daily Mass. Christ did not intend to keep Resurrection for himself. We can begin to share in this life now, especially through the Eucharist.
Read the daily Mass readings. These are available via APP: Laudate or iMissal.Pray the Marian prayer specific to the Easter Season: Regina Caeli (Queen of Heaven). She is also Queen of our Franciscan Order!
- Queen of Heaven, rejoice, alleluia
- For He whom you did merit to bear, alleluia.
- Has risen, as he said, alleluia.
- Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary, alleluia.
- For the Lord has truly risen, alleluia.
Let us pray. O God, who gave JOY to the world through the resurrection of Thy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, grant we beseech Thee, that through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, His Mother, we may obtain the joys of everlasting life. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.
Maybe our greeting then, could be: Happy Easter Octave!
(Editors Note: A couple of gatherings ago, I received an email which I have gotten permission to share in this news cycle. We were discussing a chapter in on-going formation (Eager to Love by Richard Rohr, OFM) about the only other Franciscan to reach out to the Muslims – Majorcan, Raymond Lull (1236-1315), who taught that “Prayerful transformation – not war would help Muslims and Christians get beyond their “mutual belligerence”….. He realized the folly and yet the sincerity of their patriotism, which led them, however, to be un-patriotic to the much larger kingdom of God where he placed his first and final loyalty”. The discussion was brought into our current cliimate of tensions and I fear that one of our members felt bombarded by our response to his sharings. Everything is O.K., but the thought occured that if we as Franciscan disagreed so vehemently, how DOES world peace happen???? Am sure this is not just our fraternity hurdle and so sharing seems good. May the Holy Spirit teach us how to agree to disagree in love!)
Lois McWhorter, our Candidate shares:
I’ve been thinking about yesterday’s conversation. It was really food for thought. I’m thinking that xxxx did not really mean to sound like he wanted to wipe every Muslim from the face of the earth, but was speaking out of the frustration of how to deal with those who threaten us. I personally don’t think ISIS is true Islam but radicals usurped it somewhat like white supremists usurp Christianity. I’m kinda slow to react and not very good at expressing myself in a group, but I wrote a poem I would like to share with you It’s not really an answer to this complicated problem, but about the feelings that come up.
How do the blind know
the color of their skin?
I try to hate them
the ones who hurt and threaten.
but if I say kill them all,
the children get in the way.
In what language does a baby laugh?
In what nation does a young boy not sigh?
A girl not dream in the sunlight?
I saw a photo once
in Life magazine,
Of a young Somali girl,
Sweet ebony face
cloaked in white cloth.
She was on a swing in a midwestern schoolyard
twisting and twining the ropes, alone,
as, backs to her
the other children
play their foreign games,
Her eyes filled with the agony
only a lonely child knows
Who will she follow when she is called away?
Mothers feed their children
Fathers guard their young,
All over the world.
How do the blind know
the color of their skin?
With Easter and Spring upon us Earth Day also comes to mind. It is on Sunday, April 22, this year (with celebrations usually on a Saturday.) My favorite calendar by Mary Engelbreit always notes the date!
Attending Earth Day celebrations over the years I note they are not spectacular events, but they persist, nonetheless. These annual gatherings shout out to us to be aware and act for the health of our planet, along with ongoing media shouts by those whose ideas differ, and political shouts for and against global warming.
We look to Mother Earth to produce her fabulous display of flowers, trees and grasses, as in no other season. We watch for new life to flourish in her creatures, too, to the tiniest insects.
We respond to beauty.
We must continue to care for our Mother Earth by our personal commitment, so this beauty can continue. This is part of our Franciscan vocation. It is a peace & justice issue. We used to focus separately via Commissions, with Ecology as one. I am sure you know that Ecology is the one closest to my heart.
We willingly pray and act on behalf of poor people. A priest said in a conversation we had, “The Earth is poor, too.” LOOK AND SEE!
I have walked and prayed the Stations of the Cross created for Mother Earth. It can seem overwhelming, but we have FAN, so YOU can join this online Franciscan action group, and add YOUR voice to our larger voice for Mother Earth when issues arise. I hope you will!