Sunday, March 29, 2009

Old Posts are New

Like the scribe that brings forth the old and the new I am leaving up these recent posts for a while. This is not just because I am preparing three papers for three classes as the semester winds down. It is not just because supposedly spring is here (today there is little sign here in Boston! - oh never mind - two robins just landed on the wet, leafless, cold tree I see out of my window). It is because I like these posts and hope everyone gets some time to log on and read them before I move on to the new. Unless of course there is breaking news.

Sr Margaret
PS There are a few updated links you may want to check out. AND don't miss "Meet your sister prayer partners" in the video section Pauline Charism Live!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Found in the story: Sharing the Pauline Charism

Recently I have been inside of the story of James Alberione. If you have read the Ink Heart novels or watched the movie
you will get an idea of what it is like to get lost in the pages of Pauline history - especially when you are doing it to share the charism with others. Tom Groome, Boston College, asked me to write my final paper for this semester (Education of Christians) about Fr. Aberione and the laity. My working title is: Historical notes on the Association of Pauline Cooperators combined with praxis for sharing the Pauline charism with the lay faithful. The hardest part is to "get out of the book" and back onto the computer to write down the marvelous findings. The style I chose is to give important dates in the life of Blessed Alberione, find the documents written on the Pauline Cooperators during those dates and conclude each section with praxis for sharing the charism today. I have so many fantastic resources surrounding me at the moment (on the floor, on the printer, on the desk, on the chair) that I feel like I am orchestrating the scripting of a marvelous movie. The opening of this movie will have a voice over that announces: Even before the starting of his first foundation, Fr. Alberione sought the cooperation of the laity in all his work (AD 26). Even more today the Cooperators are indispensible for the Pauline Family" (General Chapter, 1989).

Monday, March 23, 2009

Decalog of the Pauline Cooperator


l. Attends to his greater sanctification according to his state, as disciple of Jesus, the Divine Master, the Way, the Truth and the Life, under the gaze of Mary, Queen of Apostles and in the spirit of Saint Paul.
2. Reads, meditates, lives and spreads the Gospel.
3. Has the same sentiments of Christ: knows, believes, and loves as He does.
4. Proclaims and gives witness like Saint Paul: “It is not anymore I that lives, but the Christ that is in me”.
5. Lives the Eucharist and pours out the loved received into every form of apostolic activity.
6. Stands out for his deep love for the Church: lives the commitments of his Christian community.
7. He is in union of mind and heart with the Pauline Family, with whom he prays, offers and collaborates.
8. Attentive to the signs of the times, he lets the Word of truth reach everybody, employing the instruments of communication.
9. Like Mary, Queen of the Apostles and first Collaborator of the Redemption, he gives to the world her Son, Jesus Christ, the Way, the Truth and the Life, the Master and Shepherd.
10. In intimate union with Christ, he faces with courage and hope, like Saint Paul, the sacrifices of the mission.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Fr. James Martin S.J. guest on Colbert Report

"Looks like Jesuit Fr. Jim Martin has been upgraded from “friend of the show” to “chaplain.” Fr. Martin’s background in the financial world made him a perfect choice to explain why people seem to be flocking back to church in tough economic times (”and not just because communion counts as a meal”). It was an excellent segment and reminded me why I watch The Report “religiously” and also why I do this blog."
Here’s the clip:
Title: the Colbert Report Chaplain (February 2009)

Friday, March 20, 2009

Mass Media Offers Providential Opportunities

“Catechesis must be accompanied by a wise use of preaching, which in the Church's history has taken on different forms, according to the mentality and pastoral needs of the faithful,” Benedict XVI observes that today, among the various kinds of communication, there is an increased use of telematic instruments: “In fact, the present mass media, while it is a challenge to be met, it also offers Providential opportunities to announce the timeless and immutable Word of Truth that the Divine Master has entrusted to His Church, in new ways which are more closely geared towards modern sensibilities.”

Thursday, March 19, 2009

St Joseph and Market Day

Today I left the house early and went to the market here in Boston with Sr Bridget. This is not the farmers market, it is where food is before it hits the grocery store. It is the place that food is trucked to. It is where very generous people take our list of needed items: oranges, garlic, broccoli, lettuce and potatoes - and fill up our cart and car with these and surprizes such as the strawberries and young asparagus we received today. Going on the Feast of St Joseph had special meaning. Sr Dominca usually goes. She is in her late 70s. This week she was walking with a cane trying to heal a bum knee. Still she usually goes out with another sister and the van to provide for the community here. There are 60 sisters here of all ages. We haven't just started to "beg" for our food. This is something we have done since the sisters found out how generous Americans are. It is a testimony to the virtues of St Joseph - provider for the Holy Family. We pray often: St Joseph, provide for us! Joseph is an icon of the Providence of God.

Monday, March 16, 2009

St Patrick: Evangelizer Extraordinaire

Two traits are patently evident in Patrick’s Confession: his humility and his strength. These characteristics are missing in early biographies and in the legends.
The missionary Patrick who returned to Ireland was a strong and vigorous personality. He was tough and determined. He had to be to pursue the vision that launched him in the evangelization of the pagan island. He was not the least bit reluctant to undertake this mission despite the fact that in 400 years no one had taken the Gospel beyond the bounds of Roman civilization. As each obstacle was encountered, Patrick mustered the strength to overcome it.
With limited education -- he was chiefly self-educated -- but with the grace of the experience of his enslaved exile, Patrick determined to do what no other had done in the previous four centuries of Christian history. He decided to bring the Gospel to the ends of the earth, and he planned wisely a way to do it. Unaided he figured out how to carry Christian values to the barbarians who practiced human sacrifice, who constantly warred with each other, and who were noted slave traders. That was neither simple nor easy to attempt. Most likely he hazarded this challenge of evangelization never before undertaken by the missionaries of the Greco-Roman world because the Christians of the continent did not consider barbarians to be human.
Patrick’s years as a slave had uniquely molded his attitude to mount a heroic effort to reach the minds and hearts of these untamed people. Patrick detested slavery, and may have been the first Christian leader to speak out unequivocally against it. The Church did not formally condemn slavery as immoral until the late nineteenth century. Patrick had experienced this suffering, knew how to suffer with others, and understood the sufferings of others. Compassion was his strong suit.
A more genuine advocate for the disadvantaged and the marginated of society than Patrick would be difficult to find. Without doubt he is one of the great saints of the downtrodden and excluded whom others shun.
In Patrick women too find an advocate. He speaks of them as individual human beings, lauds their strength and courage in the sufferings they endured in slavery, and respects them as handmaids of the Lord. Unlike most of his episcopal contemporaries, he might be the first male Christian since Jesus to speak so positively about women.
Patrick was convinced he had a God-given mission, and that Providence would see him through thick and thin. This gave him the will to return to the barbarians who had mistreated him. Patrick saw God at work in the world as a loving and benevolent Father. (by Brother John M. Samaha, S.M.)

If anyone would like the full article send me a note. Sr Margaret

Saturday, March 14, 2009

From humble video beginnings...

Sr Jane sent me this e-mail regarding her "film" Orissa Burning. We first posted this on our site. Then because John in California sent it all over the web there were many hits and replies. The film was used for prayer in religious house and as an entry to the Sabbaoth Film Festival in Milan. Sr Jane then moved it to YouTube as well.

"I just looked on my YouTube site today after many months away and found that "Orissa Burning" has traveled far and wide! Take a look at these sites. I was very happy to note (even though I couldn't read it) the site of the youth from?????somewhere Eastern Europe that chose to share it with other young people.
I found it on a France based Weblog as well.Travel the world by way of YouTube!

It does work and saves on the pocketbook.....!"

Friday, March 13, 2009

Transforming violence into love, death into life

I have experienced a Eucharistic week. Last evening I attending a presentation at Boston College (C21 program found at - Church of the 21st century). The presenter gave us a terrific historical and spiritual overview of Eucharistic Adoration - from procession to elevation on the altar to the Hour of Adoration. I found out that the "40 hours" devotion begin for devotion on Good Friday to Easter Sunday in Northern Italy during the time of Charles Borromeo. Most of all Father's insights became reflections on the power of transformation as we enter into relationship with the true presence of Jesus. Today I recieved this e-mail from the Vatican news:

"The doctrine of the transubstantiation of the bread and wine, and of the real presence, are a truth of faith, already evident in Holy Scripture and later confirmed by the Fathers of the Church", said Benedict XVI....In the Eucharist, adoration becomes union: union with the living Lord and with His mystical Body....God no longer simply stands before us as the One who is totally Other. He is within us, and we are in Him. His dynamic enters into us and then seeks to spread outwards to others until it fills the world, so that His love can truly become the dominant measure of the world....In the Eucharist we experience the fundamental transformation of violence into love, of death into life. This brings other changes in its wake".

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Instruction Dignitas Personae On Certain Bioethical Questions

From the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

A follow-up to 1987’s Donum Vitae (Respect for Human Life), Dignitas Personae provides further clarification and education on human life issues in light of the progress of new biomedical technologies. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith addresses new questions that have risen from these technologies and focuses, in particular, on the field of embryonic and stem cell research.
Table of Contents:
Part One
Anthropological, Theological, and Ethical Aspects of Human Life and Procreation
Part Two
New Problems Concerning Procreation
Techniques for assisting fertility
In vitro fertilization and the deliberate destruction of embryos
Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI)
Freezing embryos
The freezing of oocytes
The reduction of embryos
Preimplantation diagnosis
New forms of interception and contragestation
Part Three
New Treatments Which Involve the Manipulation of the Embryo or the Human Genetic Patrimony
Gene therapy
Human cloning
The therapeutic use of stem cells
Attempts at hybridization
The use of human “biological material” of illicit origin

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

International Women's Day

International Women's Day (March 8) Thank the women in your life by praying for life issues.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Pauline Cooperator Magazine

It its sixth year, the Pauline Cooperator Magazine is leaving Boston on Friday. Check your mail. If you are not on the mailing list let me know.

Sr Margaret

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Paul's Extraordinary Experience of Grace

“Paul had an extraordinary experience of the power of God's grace, the grace of the Paschal Mystery which gives life to Lent itself.”

Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) – In the commemorative Jubilee Year of the 2,000th anniversary of the birth of Saint Paul, the Holy Father focused on the exhortation in the Second Letter to the Corinthians: “We ask you in Christ's name: be reconciled with God” (5:20). “This invitation of the Apostle resounds as a final petition to take the Lenten call to conversion seriously. Paul had an extraordinary experience of the power of God's grace, the grace of the Paschal Mystery which gives life to Lent itself. He presents himself to us as 'ambassador' of the Lord. Who better than him to help us take full advantage of this path to interior conversion?”“The Apostle is aware of having been chosen as an example. This exemplarity status concerns conversion, the transformation of his life brought about thanks to the merciful love of God...All his preaching, and even more so, his entire missionary existence was sustained by an interior strength that came forth from his fundamental experience of 'grace'...It is an awareness evident in every one of his writings and that has served as an interior 'lever' with God was able to carry him forward, towards new frontiers, not only geographic ones, but also spiritual ones.”

“St. Paul recognized that everything in him was the work of divine grace, yet he did not forget the need to accept freely the gift of new life received at Baptism.” From here, we can see the baptismal vision of Lent: “on the one hand, it affirms the victory of Christ over sin, which was gained once and for all times with his death and resurrection; on the other hand, we are called to not offer our members to sin, that is, not to grant any victory to sin. The disciple should make Christ's victory his own, and this occurs above all with Baptism.”In order to carry out the baptismal vocation, being victorious in the struggle between good and evil, the Holy Father recalled three “useful means” that the Lord indicates in the Gospel passage of Ash Wednesday – prayer, almsgiving, and fasting – of which we find references in the “experience and writings of Saint Paul.”

In the conclusion of his homily, the Pope recalled in what the Christian vocation consists: “risen with Christ, they have passed through death and now their life is hidden with Christ in God. To live this 'new' existence in God, there is a fundamental need to feed off the Word of God. Only in this manner can we really be united to God, live in His presence, if we enter in dialogue with Him...In this as well, the Apostle is above all a witness: his letters are the eloquent proof of the fact that he lived in constant dialogue with the Word of God: in thought, action, prayer, theology, preaching, exhorting, everything in him was fruit of the Word, received when he was a young man in the Jewish faith, fully manifested before his eyes in the encounter with the dead and risen Christ, and which he preached during the rest of his life in his missionary 'career.' He was revealed the fact that God, in Jesus the Word, pronounced His definitive Word, He Himself, the Word of salvation that coincides with the Paschal Mystery, the gift of Himself on the Cross that later becomes resurrection, because love is stronger than death.”

Benedict XVI concluded his homily with this invitation: “May Lent, marked by more frequent contact with the Word of God, by more intense prayer, and by a severe and penitential lifestyle, be a stimulus to convert and to love our brothers and sisters, especially the poor and needy.” (SL) (Agenzia Fides 26/2/2009)