Sharing

Dear Friends,

For these last nine days of Advent waiting, here are Sr. Joan Chittister’s reflections–enjoy! She does a wonderful job of connecting these ancient reflections to the times in which we live.  –Pastor Kathy

For whom we wait
The O AntiphonsDecember 16: Tomorrow at Vespers the monastic community begins to sing the “O Antiphons,” ancient chants that mark the final days of the last week of Advent. The “O Antiphons” remind us for whom we wait: the Key of David, the Root of Jesse, Radiant Dawn, and more. When you think of Jesus, for whom do you wait: savior, magic-maker, brother? It is an important question. The way we think of Jesus is the way we think of religion. What is religion to you: a guide to life, a pseudo-supernatural trick, or an entree to the spiritual side of life?December 17:  “Come, O Wisdom from above.” Wisdom is the ability to see the world as God sees it. Try reading the newspaper today through the eyes of a God who was born in a stable, counted to be of no account, hounded by society from one place to another.

December 18:  “Come, O Sacred One of Israel.” It’s a shame that we limit the sacred to religious objects or special places. Here we are reminded that the Sacred One is becoming human and, in so doing, breathes sacredness into every human life. Make an inward bow to each person you meet today.

December 19:  “Come, O Flower of Jesse’s Stem.” Jesse is the unknown one, the ancestor of David, from whose line would come the messiah. Jesse is the one who began a great work but did not live to see its end. Jesse is the one who was able to believe and to wait. Point: We must plant seeds of truth, beauty, and peace even though we won’t see the flower.

December 20: “Come, O Key of David.” This antiphon is a searing cry for the kind of Christian commitment that opens doors and breaks down barriers between peoples. It calls us to devote ourselves to bringing unity to a divided world. Try to unlock one door that is keeping someone locked out of your heart.

December 21:  “Come, O Radiant Dawn.” But dawn will not come for most of the people of the world until we ourselves become the kind of people whose lives bring light to the poorest of the poor wherever we go, in whatever we do.

December 22:  “Come, O God of All the Earth.” We wait for the one who will end the anguished waiting for peace by people everywhere. To celebrate Christmas and at the same time to see certain countries or peoples as “enemy” is a contradiction in terms.

December 23:  “Come, O Come Emmanuel.” This evening the monastic community sings the church’s long, last wail of desire that, this time, the Christ will finally be born in us. Pray this antiphon today.

 —from The Monastery Almanac by Joan Chittister

Sharing–A Blessed Thanksgiving–2018

Good Morning Friends, 

Happy Thanksgiving to each of you! Certainly you all know of my gratitude to everyone of you for the part you play in the life of the All Are One Catholic community–we all together make our community of faith a vibrant place to be; a place where we can discover the love of our bounteous God. Wherever you are today, near or far, with family or friends; Robert and I wish you peace, love and joy, within which our good God resides! 

I have included below, Sr. Joan Chittister’s reflection for this week of giving thanks–enjoy! Pastor Kathy

Celebrate the good things in life
Life is not meant to be a burden. Life is not a problem to be solved. It is a blessing to be celebrated.Every dimension of life, its gains and its losses, is reason for celebration because each of them brings us closer to wisdom and fullness of understanding.Loss and loneliness, darkness and depression all sear the soul and cleanse it of its sense of self-sufficiency. Suffering directs it to the God of life.

But so do bounty and beauty and abundance. These give us a foretaste of wholeness. These are the palpable manifestations of the goodness of God in our lives. All of these things come unbidden. They are not signs of either our sin or our sinlessness. They are simply signs that the God of life is a living, loving God.

Breath of the Soul by Joan ChittisterLearning to celebrate joy is one of the great practices of the spiritual life. It confirms our trust in God. It affirms the greatness of creation. It seals our dependence on God. It attests to the beauty of the present and asserts our confidence in the beauty of the future. It recognizes the mercy and love of God.

When we celebrate the good things in life, we trace them to the Creator who gives without merit, openhandedly, out of the very goodness of community, love, and support that are by nature at the base of the human condition.

—from The Breath of the Soul: Reflections on Prayer by Joan Chittister (Twenty-Third Publications)

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! What a wonderful time to celebrate the good things in life given by a God who gives openhandedly.
Love,


Sharing –a couple of things

Hello Friends,

I am writing from Utah tonight as we travel to the more southern parts of our country to take in some of the wonderful beauty of fall here and other places before we settle into winter in Minnesota. Today the weather was beautiful getting to 61 degrees after beginning  our day in Colorado at 27 degrees and snow in the mountains. I think we have left the snow now and are looking forward to more sun in the days ahead–tomorrow we will hike around Arches National Park–should be great! One can hardly take in the grandeur of this place–the high red rock peaks, the brilliant yellow Aspens–it’s too much!

Today is All Saint’s Day and I had hoped to get this off to you sooner, but the internet isn’t always available. On this day we usually think of holy people who have lived outstanding lives and that is good to emulate some of them as we are able. But I am here to say that each of you is a “saint” in your own rite.  That is because we have the possibility of living a good and holy life as our God intended. Being a saint is really about God loving us and we loving God in return, trying to do our best to be the best that we are capable of. If we strive each day to do that, we don’t need to be canonized, we simply need to live fully each day! So……

Finally, just a gentle reminder to all that this weekend we need to set our clocks back one  hour to get wherever you/ me may be going on Sunday!  Enjoy!

Pastor Kathy

 

Advent Sharing

Dear Friends, 

I have shared with you in the past that I am part of the Water Working Group as a Cojourner with the Rochester Franciscan Sisters.  The following is an initiative of this group–an Advent challenge that we put out to the Sisters and Cojourners and I thought perhaps some of you might wish to participate in as we move into the Advent Season beginning tomorrow. You don’t need to do everything listed, perhaps choose one thing to do or simply become more aware! Blessings on you during this holy season of Advent. –Pastor Kathy


 

An Advent Challenge

From the Water Working Group

We, the members of the Water Working Group, Sisters Betty Kenny, Iria Miller, Joy Barth, Lorraine Doherty, Loretta Gerk, Glennie Jeanne Pogue, along with Cojourners, Mary Huettl and Kathy Redig decided at our most recent meeting that we wanted to reach out to more of you and share our work.

The Water Working Group is one of several social-justice groups that originate out of our Rochester Franciscan community of Sisters and Cojourners and its purpose is to first and foremost show gratitude to our God for the wonderful gift of water.  Our second purpose or goal is to be aware of how this precious gift, that we all need each and every day, is many times wasted or harmed through pollution—the dumping of chemicals and other waste by-products into our rivers and streams.

Being that Advent will soon be upon us, we are challenging ourselves and you to perhaps choose to do one thing each day to preserve and  protect our water supply as well as give gratitude to God for this vital gift.

Some things that we can do are included below—perhaps you can think of others. Caring for the earth’s oceans, rivers, lakes and streams can be very complicated and we have to try to see the big picture. Chemicals and by-products from manufacturing can often end up in our waterways and not only affect the water and creatures that live in our streams, but humanity—we only have to recall Flint, Michigan and the near disaster that occurred there, when lead was leached into the drinking water.

So friends, here are some ideas to try during Advent to make us all more aware and more grateful:

  • Be aware of how long you may be running the water when washing your hands, doing household tasks—could you use less?
  • Look for other ways around your homes that water may be wasted and rectify the situation. Suggestion: for those who grow vegetables—when washing them off, use a bucket and the used water can also water your flowers!
  • Notice articles in magazines and newspapers or on-line that mentions a threat to our waterways—call or write your members of Congress and ask them to support legislation that protects our water.
  • Be aware of who your legislators are and the issues they support—through the voting process, do your part to elect people concerned for caring for the earth, its land, creatures and water.

If you would like to know more about water and how you can help, here are some resources to check out during Advent:

http://water.epa.gov/drink/local/index.cfm

https://water.org   www.greenfacts.org/en/water-resources

https://water.usgs.gov

sourceprotection.net

https://www.wef.org/resources/for-the-public/value-of-water/

https://www.awwa.org/resources-tools/water-knowledge/source-water-protection.aspx

https://www.littletongov.org/city-services/city-departments/public-works/sewer-and-storm-drainage/storm-water-quality

http://www.cwi.colostate.edu/

https://www.denverwater.org/education/educational-articles

http://worldwater.org/

https://www.water-ed.org/

 

 

–The Water Working Group

 

Sharing

Dear Friends, 

Today is All Saints Day! Below is a piece by Sr. Joan Chittister on Saints that I wanted to share with all of you–enjoy! Pastor Kathy


In need of heroes
“Saints”—spiritual heroes of character and courage—are very elusive figures and not always all too comfortable ones either: They carry with them the ideals of ages often quite remote from our own, even, in some cases, psychologically suspect now. They seem to uphold a standard of perfection either unattainable to most or, at least in this day and age, undesirable to many. Their lives are often overwritten, their struggles underestimated and their natural impulses underrated. They have become a rather quaint anachronism of an earlier church full of simpler people far more unsophisticated, we think, than ourselves and whom we think ought to be quietly ignored in these more enlightened times. I disagree.

“Unhappy the land that is in need of heroes,” wrote Bertolt Brecht. And every day the crime sections of our newspapers prove the point. We could use a saint or two, perhaps, to raise our sights again to the heights of human possibility and the depths of the human soul. It might not even hurt to pass one or two of them on to children who are otherwise left with little to choose from as personal idols than what Hollywood, TV, and the music industry have already given them, of course.

Here are five saints to tell your children about.

•Julian of Norwich, a 15th century anchorite who was devoted only to God, gave the world three learnings that would change the very things we call holy: that God is mother; that fear of God is not humility, and that even though we sin all will be well. Those are brave, heroic concepts in a world where God who is all spirit had been reduced to the notion of a male judge.

•The Baal Shem Tov was a man with an eye for the spiritual and a song in the heart. Nothing clearly authentic is known about him but nothing much less has been forgotten about the man either. The Baal Shem Tov insisted that the presence of God lurked in life as it was, that it was there for the seeing, that to live life joyfully was itself the real task of life.

•”The purpose of prayer, my daughters,” Teresa of Avila wrote, “is always good works, good works, good works.” Given her heroic and unending attempts to make religion spiritual and the church holy, she of all people had the right to say so. She did not use prayer as a refuge; she used it as a beacon. Learning to persist in the pursuit of good should make saints of us all.

• John XXIII is really remembered for making the political, the scholarly, the efficient, the clerical and the papal, human. What stands as a monument to his heroism is the indictment of ageism by an old man who turned a system upside down to make it new again. Now, thanks to him, age is no excuse for doing nothing.

• Joan of Arc’s heroic commitment to conscience over authority is a mighty one. There are some things in life that belong to God alone, Joan implies: human life, human responsibility, and human will. Joan of Arc is patron of those who hear the voice of God calling them beyond present impossibilities to the fullness of conscience everywhere.

HAPPY ALL SAINTS DAY, EVERYONE.
—from The Monastic Way by Joan Chittister