The present moment is never unbearable if you live in it fully.What is unbearable is to have your body here at 10 A.M. and your mind at 6 P.M.
- Anthony deMello in The Heart of the Enlightened
O Divine Giver of every good gift, as we stand beneath the waterfall of Your abundant generosity,We thank You for the blessings of life and loveand for all the good and generous people You have sent onto our path.We thank You for the joys of family and friends, the common life that gives us a sense of purpose and the work that enables us to serve.We thank You as well for the sufferings and trials that are part of life's journey and which together with our mistakes are among our most important teachers.Grant that we may never greet a new day without the awareness of some gift for which to give You thanks.And may words of gratitude always comprise our song of praise to You.
- Prayer Composed by Edward Hayes, from PLANETARY PILGRIM
We pray for the community of the College of Saint Elizabeth, and all who suffer in mind, body or spirit.We pray in a special way for the continued healing of Lovette Calloway, '15, &Rich Siebels.We pray also for the repose of Bill Gerrish, brother of Jim GerrishWe stand in solidarity with Jim and his wife Debbie, and Bill's wife and children as they walk this difficult journey.May Bill's soul and all the souls of the faithful departed, rest in peace.Amen.
In her book on spiritual discernment, "I'd Say "Yes God" If I Knew What You Wanted", Nancy Reed comments on the abundance of grace at our disposal and our inadequacy in being able to acquire it through our spiritual labors:
As we walk our spiritual path, evidence of God's lavish love for us becomes more and more evident. This awareness often results in the realization of our unworthiness to receive such a gift. This is true, and if God's love depended on our worthiness, no one would receive it.
We are cherished for who we are, with all our shortcomings. This is Grace. We are not used to free gifts, with no strings attached. It can produce anxiety to know that we can't control God's grace. Even though we are repeatedly told that divine grace and love will never be taken away from us, we would feel more comfortable if we could ensure its continuation.Let us be reminded of that lavish love and grace as
We pray this day for the community of the College of Saint Elizabeth, and all who suffer in mind, body, or spirit.We pray in a special way in thanksgiving for the birth of Fausto Campos Alvis, newest member of Chantal Berthet's family, for the healing of Mary Gordon Hutchinson, '41, and for the repose of the soul of Frederic I. Rowe, Jr., father of Beth Groothius.Amen.
Lest we forget - enjoy and give thanks!
Typhoon Haiyan approaching Philippines: Japan Meteorological AgencyA prayer for the people of the Philippines
we pray for those who have been devastated
by the typhoon in the Philippines.
We remember those who have lost their lives so suddenly.
We hold in our hearts the families changed forever by grief and loss.
Bring them consolation and comfort.
Surround them with our prayers for strength.
Bless those who have survived
and heal their memories of trauma and devastation.
May they find courage to face the long road of rebuilding ahead.
We ask your blessing on all those who have lost their homes,
their livelihoods, their security and their hope.
Bless the work of relief agencies
and all those providing emergency assistance.
May their work be guided by the grace and strength
that comes from you alone.
Help us to respond generously, Lord,
in prayer, in assistance, in aid to the best of our abilities.
Keep our hearts focused on the needs of those affected,
even after the crisis is over.
We pray in Jesus' name.
- Adapted from a prayer at The Cathedral College
We pray this day for the community of the College of Saint Elizabeth, and all who suffer in mind, body or spirit.
Take time to pray for all those who have generously served their country.
We ask for blessings on all those who have served their country in the armed forces.
We ask for healing for the veterans who have been wounded, in body and soul, in conflicts around the globe.
We pray especially for the young men and women, in the thousands,
Who have come home from Iraq or Afghanistan with injured bodies and traumatized spirits.
Bring solace to them, O Lord; may we pray for them when they cannot pray.
We ask for an end to wars and the dawning of a new era of peace,
As a way to honor all the veterans of past wars.
Have mercy on all our veterans from World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan.
Bring peace to their hearts and peace to the regions they fought in.
Bless all the soldiers who served in non-combative posts;
May their calling to service continue in their lives in many positive ways.
Give us all the creative vision to see a world which, grown weary with fighting,
Moves to affirming the life of every human being and so moves beyond war.
Hear our prayer, O Prince of Peace, hear our prayer.
- Jane Deren
We pray this day for the community of the College of Saint Elizabeth,and all who suffer in body, mind or spirit.
As we look forward to Election Day, November 5, 2013, let us be reminded of the words from Call to Faithful Citizenship, USCCB:
For Catholics, public virtue is as important as private virtue in building the common good.
In the Catholic tradition, responsible citizenship is a virtue; participation in the political process is a moral obligation.
Every believer is called to faithful citizenship, to become an informed, active and responsible participant in the political process…
Every voice matters in the public forum. Every vote counts.
Every act of responsible citizenship is an exercise of significant power.
And so we pray
Loving and gracious God, we remember that your plan for us is fullness of life, lived with love, justice and mercy.
Be with us and our whole nation in these days as we elect our political leaders at all levels of government.
Help us keep the Common Good before us.
Strengthen our gifts of wisdom, courage and respect for the views of others.
Deepen in us the willingness to act in solidarity with people who are economically poor, with people immigrating to our country, and with women seeking fullness of life in society.
Help us to support one another in exercising our precious responsibilities as citizens of this country.
After the elections, strengthen us to continue to work with our leaders, seeking an ever more just society that acts in harmony and interdependence with all creation.
Geddes MacGregor in The Rhythm of God tells of a priest, who, when asked, "How many people were at the early celebration of the Eucharist last Wednesday morning?", replied, "There were three old ladies, the janitor, several thousand archangels, a large number of seraphim, and several million of the triumphant saints of God." Such a 'cloud of witnesses' answers a deep human urge to be a part of something larger, to not stand alone, to give our little lives meaning. One drop of water, left alone, evaporates quickly. But one drop of water in the immense sea endures."
On all Saints Day, during worship, prayer or meditation, acknowledge all the saints that are present with you.
We pray this day for the community of the College of Saint Elizabeth, and all who suffer in mind, body, or spirit.Let us remember in a special way all the Saints and Souls in our lives, those living and those who have gone home to God.
We pray this day for the community of the College of Saint Elizabeth, and all who suffer in mind, body, or spirit.We pray in a special way for the repose of the soul of Anne Kassie, grandmother of Cristina Szelingowski, an HCM student.May Anne's soul and all the souls of the faithful departed, rest in peace.
In the beginning of our development we were given a vocabulary to construct the story line that would direct the flow of our life's events. In the beginning others were writing our life's book for us. Eventually there comes a moment in every life where received words get scrambled, the plot hits a major crossroad, and we reach out for a new vocabulary that allows us to choose who we are destined to become. We begin to author our own lives.We become our own fathers and mothers and give birth to our truest selves, which are always more spiritual - for good or evil - and transcend our original circumstances.Our destiny is to write the book of our unique lives into which "everything is allowed to go." Our vocations are to consciously form the meaning of our lives as unique "testimonies of love. These autobiographies we write are laced through with all the persons who have formed us in one way or another and helped us create our destiny. No person's life is a one-character story.What does God want from you? God wills that you write your own life's book --- your own fascinatingly complex "testimony of love".
- from Bridges to Contemplative Living with Thomas Merton
We pray this day for the community of the College of Saint Elizabeth, and all who suffer in mind, body or spirit.We pray in a special way for the healing of Josie Brandt, mother of Beth Alcamo
Teresa of Avila, founder of the Discalced Carmelites, declared a Doctor of the Church for her writing and teaching on prayer, one of two women to be honored in this way.
May nothing wind you up,
Nothing affright you;
Everything comes and goes
God, still, just there;
All will be achieved.
If you have God,
You lack nothing:
God alone will do.
- Teresa of Avila (trans. James Alison)
We pray this day for the community of the College of Saint Elizabeth, and all who suffer in mind, body or spirit.
Fall is yielding to the winter winds and snows.The earth will sleep for a time only to awaken once more.In a way, it is sabbath for many living things.This is your day of rest; please do so.
- John Gadreau
We pray in a special way today for the repose of the soul of Jenna Magliulo, '16.May her soul and all the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace.Amen.
I must have had a very good summer because I've never mourned a summer's passing as much as I have this one. Over the last couple of years I've noticed I've grown more sensitive to the change of seasons and there's something pleasing about that. Perhaps I'm more attuned to nature and the world around me. Perhaps I'm slowing down enough to notice what I've passed by and rushed through for too many years. Perhaps I'm just getting older and the passing of seasons is more telling than in my youth.
Some warm days are still in store for New England before the trees are fully dressed in their fall finery but cool nights are already upon us and just today I rode an elevator with a man taking a purple chrysanthemum to his mother. Mums are a sure sign of autumn.
I exited the elevator on the fifth floor to visit an older couple whose accumulated seasons are many more than mine. In fact, they were married before I was born. As I calculate it, they've passed through nearly 250 seasons as husband and wife: 62 winters, 62 springs, 62 summers and 62 falls...
Now has come a season for her to care for him in new ways, as old ways slowly slip away. He has become something of a prisoner in his own body and she has become his cell mate. No crime, no wrong doing here: they are but living out the binding sentence they spoke to each other, the words that yoked them as one: for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part...
You would hope and wouldn't you pray that their 62 years of faithful love might end with a glorious spring of warmth and rosebuds and lengthening days... but their days dwindle down in an autumn of bright afternoons, chilled by hints of falling leaves and winter...
Still a summer warmth burned in her eyes as she looked at him and I saw in her gaze the strength of all they have shared and the faith that binds them as one... When I asked him if she were a good nurse, his whole face answered before his lips said yes...
For these two this is a good season, a hard season, yet another season of love...
I must have had a very good summer because I've never mourned a summer's passing as much as I have this one. Perhaps I'm slowing down enough to notice what I've passed by and rushed through for too many years. Perhaps I'm just getting older and the passing seasons is more telling than in my youth. And there's something pleasing about that...
- From Morning Whispers, A Concord Pastor
We remember in a special way to pray for the healing of Jim Begin, husband of Barbara Lee, Hanna Silverman, friend of Kaitlyn Buonocore
"Every time you are tempted to react in the same old way, ask if you want to be a prisoner of the past or a pioneer of the future."
- Dr. Deepak Chopra
We remember this day the community of the College of Saint Elizabeth, and all who suffer in mind, body or spirit.
Lepers and WolvesIsn’t it wonderful news, brothers and sisters, that we come to God not by our perfection but by our imperfection? That gives all of us an equal chance, and utterly levels the human playing field. No pretending or denying is helpful any longer. Deep within each of us lives both a leper and a wolf, both of which we are ashamed and afraid of. In Franciscan lore, they are our inner imperfections.Francis embraced the leper below Assisi and called it his conversion; later Francis tamed the wolf that was ravaging the countryside of Gubbio. The stories did happen historically, but first of all they must have happened in his soul. Our inner life, our emotional life, our prayer life, is where we first do our battles, and then we are prepared for our outer life conflicts.It is on the inside of us that lepers and wolves first live. If we haven’t been able to kiss many lepers, if we haven’t been able to tame many wolves in the outer world, it’s probably because we haven’t first of all made friends with our own leprosy and the ferocious wolf within each of us. They are always there in some form, waiting to be tamed and needing to be forgiven.
- Adapted from Radical Grace: Daily Meditations - Richard Rohr
Plutarch wrote, "Time is the wisest of all counselors."The truth is that time is all we really have to work with in life. It is time that forms us. Time shapes and sears and bends us to the breaking point.Time heals and resolves and forms the scar tissue that makes the defeats of life vague memory and the triumphs of life more possible.Whatever we make of ourselves, we will have made it by the durability we bring to the passage of time.In adulthood the vibrancy of youth must really shine in us if we are to be happy; in middle age the accumulation of love must shine in us if we are to be effective; in old age the residue of experience, the Sabbath heart, must shine in us if we are able to be full of soul and ripe with calm.We must come to understand that God gives over every life to the inexorable refinement of time to see how we shall respond to its elements and what, having borne them, we shall bring to its final form and color in the end.The season is now. The time is ours.
- Sr. Joan Chittister, OSB
We remember in prayer those who were injured or killed in the violence in Washington, DC; we pray for an end to all violence.We continue to pray for healing for Jenna Magliulo, Class of 2016.
There must be a time when we cease speaking to be fully present with ourselves.
There must be a time when we exclude clamor by listening to nothing whatsoever.
There must be a time when we forgo our plans as if we had no plans at all.
There must be a time when we abandon conceits and tap into a deeper wisdom.
There must be a time when we stop striving and find the peace within.
We pray this day for the community of the College of Saint Elizabeth,and all who suffer in mind, body and spirit.We continue to pray for the healing of Jenna Magliulo, Class of 2016andfor the repose of the souls ofFlorence Keating - mother of Eileen KeatingFred Okken - father-in-law of Janet OkkenEstella Abaca - mother of Agnes ManaloDolores Schletter - mother of Debbie CoboRita Tolentino - aunt of Lisette Ragno
Francette Hames, aunt of Gina and AnthonySantamariaMay their souls and all the souls of the faithful departed, rest in peace.Amen.
" May God give you of heaven's dew and of earth's richness-- an abundance of grain and new wine. "
- Genesis 27:28
The richest of blessings come to us daily. Some are obvious and others are more subtle. Don't just look with your eyes,
look with your heart as well.
- Copyright, John Gadreau
We hold especially close to our hearts all of our new students who join the community of the College of Saint Elizabeth - may you keep safe in the gentle, loving arms of God.
Turning to One Another
There is no power greater than a community discovering what it cares about.
Ask "What's possible?" not "What's wrong?" Keep asking.
Notice what you care about. Assume that others may share your dreams.
Talk to people you know. Talk to people you don't know. Talk to people you never talk to.
Be intrigued by differences you hear. Expect to be surprised. Treasure curiosity more than certainty.
Invite in everybody who cares to work on what's possible. Acknowledge that everyone is an expert about something. Know that creative solutions come from new connections.
Remember, you don't fear people whose story you know. Real listening always brings people closer together.
Trust that meaningful conversations can change your world.
Rely on human goodness. Stay together.
– Margaret Wheatley
Live in My Life
I welcome you to live in my life today.
Here is my face – Smile through it.
Here is my mouth – Speak to someone with it.
Here are my ears – Listen to someone with them.
Here is my heart – Love someone with it.
Here are my hands – Touch someone with them.
Here are my arms – Hug someone with them.
Here are my feet – Walk with them this.
Reminder – sometimes you are the only Gospel someone will ever read.
– Margie Rohr
For many of us in the workday world, this may almost be the end of your day job. But more than likely a myriad of other little jobs await you: transporting children to various places, caring for elderly parents, preparing meals ... on and on the list may go.
In monastic life, Vespers comes at the end of this workday – time to put most of our work tools away and turn our thoughts to making peace with the day and one another.
Now that the sun will soon be departing, whether or not we share monastic life, we may be drawn to check the condition of our hearts, so as to let not the sun go down on bitter hearts.
Perhaps these are some questions to ponder on our way home – questions that may serve as a gentle assessment of your day, drawing you into a deep gratitude. The questions that come from your own heart, however, are the essential ones.
What has been the greatest blessing of this day? What one accomplishment can I smile over? Is there an unfinished task that is taking away my sense of fulfillment? (If so, bless it with the promise that you will attend to it tomorrow). Will I choose to relax in some way this evening? Am I able to look with compassion on the faces of those who have been a part of my workday?
John of the Cross says, "In the evening of life we shall be judged by love." How well have I loved this day? Is there anyone I need to make peace with before day's end?
– Adapted, Macrina Wiederkehr, Seven Sacred Pauses
Love After Love
The time will come when, with elation, you will greet yourself arriving at your own door, in your own mirror, and each will smile at the other's welcome, and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self. Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart to itself, to the stranger who has loved you all your life, whom you ignored for another, who knows you by heart. Take down the love letters from the bookshelf, the photographs, the desperate notes, peel your own image from the mirror. Sit. Feast on your life.
– Derek Walcott
The Sufis say that, if we are to speak well, our words must pass three gates.
At the first gate we ask: Are these words true?
At the second: Are they necessary?
At the third: Are they kind?
Silence creates new awareness. It provides a space that allows us to think about what we are saying, to hear our words in the echo chamber of our mind, and to find both our truths and the kindness with which to tell them.
– Adapted from "Listening Below the Noise"
by Anne D. LeClaire
If you want to awaken all of humanity, then awaken all of yourself.
If you want to eliminate the suffering in the world, then eliminate all that is dark and negative in yourself.
Truly, the greatest gift you have to give is that of your own self-transformation.
– Lao Tzu
All we lack, now that life has become so sped up,
is the will to slow it down so that we can live a little while life goes by.
We need to want to be human as well as efficient;
to be loving as well as informed;
to be caring as well as knowledgeable;
to be happy as well as respected.
It's not easy.
– Sister Joan Chittister