Saturday, January 30, 2010

Social Communication Charism

Just wanted to share a website which features (embedded) the video John filmed in Malta during the year of St. Paul when I interviewed the (now retired) pastor of the Greek Catholic Church called Our Lady of Damascus. The short article seems to highlight the work of the interviewee Papas Vito Borgia in evangelizing to the world. It’s great that people are getting the message from a different part or end or point of the world. It is a welcome sign for the social communication charism. So let us continue with the work ahead for Jesus, Master, Way, Truth and Light, as be inspired by the missionary spirit of St. Paul.

Margie (New York)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Paul's Ongoing Conversion

Today is the feast traditionally refered to as the Conversion of St. Paul. Paul would be the first to tell us that it happened all at once and over a lifetime. We can refer to this feast as the feast of the Transformation of St. Paul or we can, in the words so "charismatic" in Pauline Spirituality, call this feast the "Ongoing Conversion" of St. Paul.

It is interesting to note the readings you can choose from for today's Mass. One reading (Acts 22:3-16) is Pauls' description of his conversion. The other (Acts 9:1-22) is Luke's description. Paul relates that he could not see because of the brilliance of the light eminating from Christ. His companions saw the light but could not hear the voice of Jesus. In Luke's account Paul's companions could hear the voice but could not see. Paul reminds his readers that Aninias was a devout observer of the law and delivered a special message regarding Paul's unique mission. Luke, instead, tells us more about Aninias dialogue with the Lord about Paul and has Jesus telling Aninias Paul's mission. In Paul's account Aninias tells Paul not to delay, to be baptised. This leads us to beleive Paul just walked over to the baptismal waters. Luke's account adds reminds the reader that this was a community effort. Paul got up and was baptised and after taking food received his strength back. If his strength didn't return until after a meal you can imagine a group of Christians standing around to prop him up a bit as he was baptised.

As I read and reflect on these passages I find wonderful signs that Paul told one version of what happened - colorful and more Paul oriented. Luke had another recollection - Christ and Spirit centered. Yet both originate with Paul. The only explaination is Paul's continual spiritual growth in the Spirit until his "Christ lives in me" (Gal.2:20) which continually renewed his understanding that his vocation was pure gift - since birth.

Today, as we celebrate Paul's conversion we remember that his was a constant turning toward God throughout life from his childhood faith, his teen faith, his young adult experience, and finally his recognition of the darkness that blinded him on the road to Damacus, as a "bright light." He lived in continual conversions by the grace of God in Christ through the Spirit. This is also our journey and our prayer.

Friday, January 22, 2010

A Cry, dedicated to the unborn

Aloha, dear Sr. Margaret Kerry and Pauline Cooperators! I thought I'd share with you a poem I wrote three years ago that was published in the Hawaii Catholic Herald in October of 2008. October is Respect Life Month.

Reflecting on Life and keeping in mind that today is the day many of us are rallying and walking for life, I am thankful that my earthly mother is pro-life. I am alive! And happy to be! I am thankful that God is pro-life, he, being Life and the creator of life. I am thankful for St. Paul who lived life to the full by proclaiming and living the gospel of life. I am thankful for Blessed Alberione and Mother Thecla for having shown us the way to a life of holiness, truth and passion and how to proclaim that magnificent and all-powerful Life through the media of today.

I will be attending the Pro-life Rally and March at the State Capitol in Honolulu today. God bless you all.

A Cry

Moved by the dedicated efforts of those who joined March for Life three years ago outside of the State Capitol here in Honolulu, I was greatly inspired to write this poem that very day. Let us be the voice of the helpless unborn as they are speechless in tongue. Let us vote for Life, bearing in mind Jesus who is Life!

Mother! O sweet Mother!

I hear laughter melodious as music
I hear cries thundering like drums in beat
These sounds I shall come to know
With ears that my Creator has formed for me

Trees and hills you speak of I shall climb
Rivers and oceans I shall swim and explore
My little feet will make sure to run and walk
The earth my God has made for me

I cannot wait to see the sun you wake up to
And the moon so round you say?
My eyes will make sure to see the wonders
My King has prepared for me

The food you give me is delightfully sweet
My taste buds cannot wait to savor
A variety of foods you shall prepare for me
For which I shall thank our Provider so graciously

But wait now … the cries are getting louder
The beats have lost their rhythm
And the music their melody
The thundering of sounds are deafening

My legs and my arms are in pain
My surrounding is the color of my walls
Red is it? It is more dense now …
The sounds fading …

MOTHER! Oh Sweet MOTHER, help me!

Where are you, MOTher r r r r r ... ? ? ? ? …

Easter Almuena

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Keep in touch with Dr Ed Gamboa

He is arriving in Haiti today. I will try to post notices here. Keep in touch through Facebook Ed Gamboa.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Helping Haiti Prayers and Offerings  Special Issues and Events response blogsite:
The occassion of this new blog is the needs in Haiti - on this first post the Apostolic Delegate (Nuncio) is requesting assistance and has given information for direct funding assistance. 

Catholic Relief Services (CRS) is also requesting direct assistance: CatholicRelief If you have a cell phone and you want to help survivors of the earthquake in Haiti, text RELIEF to 30644 and follow the instructions.

and this secure site for donations:

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Avatar and Alter-Ego

I just saw the film Avatar - go here for the plot summary:

The film takes you into a 3-D virtual world. The film presents this world as the planet, Pandora, inhabited by the Na'vi, a humanoid race with their own language and culture. Humans enter this world in two ways: 1. under the guise of science as Avatars and 2. under no guise at all but with guns blazing. There is a precious stone on this planet that can give earthlings all the energy they need to keep our machines (spaceships) going. Here think "Lord of the Rings" and the ring of power. The "scientist" cum "avatars" have surpassed the enlightenment era - science also considers that there may be mysteries on the planet that surpass scientific measurement (just maybe). They are not sure enough to stop taking samples of everything. The planet's people, rightly refer to themselves as the people or Na'vi,  just as America's first inhabitants called themselves. The Na'vi are living in a semi-paradise. (I thought of the film "Dances with Wolves.") Semi because there are a lot of dangerous animals. At least the humans find them dangerous.  Other than that it is beautiful and all connected through the webs of intricate threads held together by "Mother Pandora."

This film is a parable of us. Yes, you could get caught up in the virtual beauty, the dream world, the escape until the humans pursue. The humans must have original sin to be so downright disturbing. Hm, maybe the Na'vi also sin? There are hints of jealously and anger - even a rebellious daughter. It is hard for us to create worlds that don't hold up a mirror to us. After discussing the film with another sister I realized that what stood out for me was that it calls for integration of the two sides of our egos - which side is represented by the Na'vi and which by the greedy war-mongering humans? To be honest I am not sure.

We are moving into a post-modern era. This film reflects our dichotomous approach to this "new world." We are really at war seeking the precious stone (oil, money, goods). There are cultures we condemn without getting to know them (as Jake Sully eventually does in the movie). We believe that when we take care of mother Earth - mother Earth (you think of Gaia as the film progresses - more of a goddess earth) will take care of us. We dream of Eden - paradise - Pandora. We want to get back in - and when we do we won't be like the humans who devastate Pandora. We will understand that all is to be cared for, shared with others, taking only what we need (not want) and all will be provided for us.

Will our "original sin" reenter Eden with us? The tree of life was planted outside of the garden so we could reach its fruits this time. This tree is the cross of Christ. We can live in paradise - we are able to care for our planet and its inhabitants. Why don't we?  Because first we must realize that we are the humans and we are the Na'vi - we are the war-mongers and we are the innocents. As Christians we pray with St Paul "Who will save me from doing what I don't want?" and with Paul we believe "It is no longer I who live, Christ lives in me."

Avatar is about our great desires for connection with each other, with our home-planet - with our primal and original beauty. Avatar is also about our inability to realize this holiness on our own. The good news is when we accept reality, stepping back from the virtual, then we find that the goodness, truth and beauty we seek is what has left us with great desire. We know that it exists, we know it is gift. As humans we are able to seek freedom. As Christians we are able to live in Jesus who said "I am the way" to paradise, "I am the truth" that you know is real, "I am the life" that bears the fruit from the tree of life that is within your reach. Jake Sully becomes the hero in the movie - the one who moves toward saving the Na'vi and becomes one of them. Our God has become one of us but not as we ever imagined - in Kenosis -emptying. Jake switched sides. He didn't integrate his ego. The world was still black and while. Our Christian invitation is to know our God as unknowable and yet very near to us. It is our vocation (call) to admit our sin and to acknowledge our lovableness. It is, in summary, the call to respond to the greatest love by loving in return.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Pauline magazine first edition in 2010

This is the evangelization issue. If you are not receiving the magazine and would like to subscribe please send your address to

Issue 10 (English edition founded in 2000)

- Hope Does Not Disappoint (the Spirit and laity in evangelization).
- Just How Good is the Good News? (Sr Mary Lea)
- Mistica: Evangelization and the Media (Lectio on the Internet).
- Msgr. Antonini (a new Pauline for Beatification?)
- Fishing in the Deep (Sr Rose Pacatte on the New Evangelization and Media)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A Pathless Path or Do you return from a retreat?

I am back from my desert retreat. Do you really return from a retreat or does the retreat return you to yourself? The retreat I attended was called a Contemplative Intensive Retreat. It is rightly named "The Pathless Path." St. Paul went to the desert of Tarsus once he encountered Jesus as the Path or Way. John of the Cross would be hanging out at this place. Teresa of Avila would visit often as would all Christians on the mystical path. Mystic simply means "With eyes open." We are all called to contemplation. Fr. Alberione invited us to this prayer which is the "path" to Paul's "knowing Christ." "It is no longer I who live, Christ lives in me" (Gal. 2:20).
The schedule included rising at 6 A.M. and entering in contemplation fro 25 minutes with a 5 minute meditative walk in between three (25 min) contemplative moments. Morning prayer was followed by breakfast. At 9:30 A.M. returning to contemplation with the eighteen others on retreat - in silence, sitting/kneeling. Meditation by Fr. Pat at 10 A.M. with wonderful reflections to deepen contemplation. Interviews with Fr. Pat (Redemptorist) after this - at least once a day (option except for the first and last day of the 5 full day retreat). Contemplation continued throughout the day. At 4 P.M. we walked on our own on desert paths. At 5 P.M. we celebrated Liturgy. After supper (everyone had some work to carry out in silence - ora et labora) we would return to contemplation until 8:30 P.M. retiring at 9 P.M. What is contemplation? It is being in the presence of God. It is similar to Centering Prayer. Contemplative prayer: Fr. Pat said it so well ... keeping your "hands off of your soul." Letting God be God.
Sr Margaret