One of the best things in the use of social media for the sharing of information, ideas and other kinds of communication is the Facebook account that Mary Cabrini set up. I have been so happy to find such a wealth of information that is up to date and relevant for the promotion of the Company of St Ursula. I really thank God for the gift of our sisters in the U.S. and in other Companies in the world.
This morning I saw that some new photos had been added. When I looked at the above, three words came to my mind almost at once. Unable to resist the ability to connect with Mary Cabrini, I wrote:
Elegance – Eloquence – Excellence – All for the glory of God!
And in less than five minutes, she was able to respond to my comment. Amazing!
You will agree with me that Mary Cabrini looks so elegant most of the time, and being the proficient writer that she is, words come easily to her, so she is certainly an eloquent speaker. All these are excellent in spreading the message of our Company and of evangelising all who have need of a larger dose of passion and enthusiasm in living as authentic disciples of the Lord.
There has been such a lot of talk about creating disciples intentionally, and in the country where I am, the Archbishop is promoting also intercession as a ministry in our 31 parishes. Personally I would say that this is an essential move and one that will help many of us to be more focussed and mindful of our identity as children of God. For us, we are not only the daughters of God but we are all sisters in the Company. So, this post is just an affirmation of the good work that the Federation with Mary Cabrini and all the council members is doing. To God be the glory!
Another creation of God, another marvel in my eyes. . . Captivated, I kept watch over the cocoon for several days, never failing to stop, to gaze and then to pray. Two weeks later, when I came back from my retreat, a friend of mine was going to Seven Fountains. I asked her to look out for the cocoon and to make some observations. She reported to me that the cocoon was still there. However, I could see from her photos that the cocoon had grown in size. She came back. Then yet another two friends went and one of them told me that she could no longer see the cocoon. It had flown away.
What interests me is that I was told of the spiritual significance in Carmelite Spirituality. St Teresa of Avila is always fond of using analogies to help in her explanations of spiritual things. She has used the analogy of the silkworm to explain the death to self and the new life in Christ. This is achieved when one achieves the prayer of union. In this prayer, God becomes the cocoon in which the person dies. Once the soul has purged itself of earthly attachments and died to the world in the cocoon, that is, died in Christ, the silkworm, transformed within Christ, emerges as a little white butterfly.
In the beginning, not knowing about the spiritual significance, I had thought mostly on the stillness and the solitude. A time of waiting. It seemed like a long time, and whether it rained or not, the little cocoon remained where it was. It moved not. It remained completely still. Surrendered.
I had also been totally fascinated by the construction of the hair like structure. I could hear myself with all the exclamations! How had it been done? Such painstaking work! Consider this and then consider the human person!
Years ago, in Kenya, I had helped in a retreat and in the hour long session that I had conducted, I remember having made reference to Psalm 139. It had touched one of the friends who was also helping out. He had told me that he really liked the idea of God having taken time to knit him together in the womb of his mother. Such intricate work! Such a marvel!
And such a thought is enough to keep one focussed on the wonder of our being. Praise God!
As busy as bees – How often have we heard this? I had the chance to see them at Seven Fountains in the block where I stayed, and it was such a delight. There are so many plants and many of them do need these insects around to make the scene complete, so to speak.
As busy as bees – The Word of God exhorts us not to be idle. Still…..there are times when one can feel like doing nothing.
As busy as bees – I am happy to be gainfully employed and to be able to use the gifts God has given me. Praise Him! Jesus says clearly in the Gospel today – as you have freely received, freely give!
And so the conclusion one can draw is that one has to plod on. . . Oh yes, to serve the Lord with joy! Praise God!
In a recent meeting with a priest, I heard how much he liked praying the rosary. Then he shared with me the image of our Lady and her cousin Elizabeth in the second Joyful Mystery, the Visitation. Two beautiful mothers meet. These two women will bring to the world two important persons – the precursor of the Saviour and the Redeemer himself. With such thoughts as these, surely it is apt to be sitting down in conversation with our Blessed Mother, and to turn to St Joseph every now and then.
What must it have been like when our Lady held the Baby Jesus in her arms? What must it have been like for her to call his Name and to see him smile. Yes, babies love to smile and they smile so sweetly and so often.
Our Blessed Mother was the first to live Advent, and St Joseph was there too. . . . One has to simply imagine what it was like for Mary, who held within her the very One Whom the heavens cannot contain! She was a contemplative soul, with her attention ever turning toward the baby, her God, within her womb. Her thoughts were always focussed on Him, her heart anticipating the moment when she could see His face, hold Him in her arms, kiss His cheek, embrace Him with all the love of a mother’s heart.
How blessed we all are! It seems apt to try and enter into such personal moments and share the feelings of our Blessed Mother. Who could have seen that joy on her face? What about St Joseph? We can never dismiss the love of this Holy Family of God. Could anyone be closer to Jesus than both our Lady and St Joseph? This Advent, let us invite the Holy Family into our hearts and as we ponder and meditate once more the Coming of Christ Jesus, Emmanuel ‘God with us’ may peace fill us to the full. Praise the Lord!
Come, Lord Jesus!
Thomas Merton, contemplative par excellence, tells us that there is a hidden wholeness at the heart of things and that hidden wholeness can only be discovered if we get to the deepest level of things. The language we need to get there is the language of silence – the language of God and the language of intimacy.
With such thoughts as these, Thomas Merton has left us a legacy of what it means to stay a contemplative. He speaks a language of simplicity, of perfection in God. The drawing above could have only come from a heart that is still and no longer distracted by the noises within. In learning to write Chinese calligraphy which is akin to making a Chinese ink painting, I have come to understand that control of thoughts and feelings are important. The best results come from a surrendered spirit, a spirit not bent on results, but on just allowing the free flow of thoughts that are peaceful and that can find comfort in letting God take control.
I no longer paint with Chinese ink but when I see the work of Thomas Merton, I am thrilled. The lessons for me have been slow in coming, but it is never too late to learn. Praise God!