Experiencing God

A Reflection by Sister Donna Fannon, MHSH

Evry Creature Reflct God Pope

Isn’t this a wonderful statement from Pope Francis’ Encyclical “Laudato Si”?  When I came upon it I was struck by the many wonderful ways God uses to communicate to us, and how God uses all of creation as a revelation of Godself.

The Pope’s statement remind me of some of my favorite passages that have led me to ponder the care, love and largess of God’s involvement in the universe:

          “The world is charged with the grandeur of God…” [Gerard Manley Hopkins]
“The heavens proclaim the glory of God…” [Ps 18]

          “Seas and rivers, bless the Lord.
          You dolphins and all water creatures, bless the Lord.
          All you birds of the air, bless the Lord.
          All you beasts, wild and tame, bless the Lord…” [Daniel, chap. 3]

Grandeur of GOD 4What is the message that God is conveying to us? How do we avail ourselves to listen to that message? And how do we respond to what we hear?

Ernesto Cardenal, a Nicaraguan priest, poet and politician put it this way:

God communicates with us by way of all things. They are messages of love.

Grandeur of GOD 3How have you experienced God’s love recently?

  • Taking a moment to wonder at your capacity to love and be loved…
  • Gazing at the stars and experiencing a sense of awe at the vastness of the universe and, despite the minuteness of yourself, become aware of your capacity to appreciate your place in God’s grand design.
  • Experiencing a sense of gratitude and awe at being a part of this grand design 

God's love 3So, the next time you try to skip a rock on the surface of a pond, pet your cat, play with your dog, ponder the miracle or your spouse, children and friends, take a moment to thank God for revealing and sharing Love in such accessible ways…and share that love with another—any other on the face of the earth.

Pope Francis Encyclical 2015

“Laudato Si”

This video was released on YouTube by the Vatican on June 18, 2015, the date that the Encyclical on the Environment was issued.
 
The captions are in Italian, English and Spanish.

Este video fue publicado en YouTube por el Vaticano el 18 de junio de 2015, la fecha en que se emitió la encíclica sobre el Medio Ambiente. Los subtítulos están en Italiano, Inglés y Español .

Is There a Cost to Us at Pentecost?

A Reflection by Sister Barbara Baker, MHSH

This weekend we celebrate the major feast of Pentecost. Just 10 days ago we celebrated the feast of the Ascension.  Now we all know how nervous the apostles of Jesus were that he was leaving them to do what He had prepared them to do—that is, to go forth and make disciples of all nations.  That’s a pretty tall order to fulfill.  However, we also know that Jesus was telling them for a long time that when He returned to His Father He would not leave them orphans.  He would give them someone to advocate for them—namely, the Holy Spirit.  I can only imagine how fearful they must have been when this moment actually arrived.

They gathered one more time in their comfort zone—the same Upper Room where they had shared in the Last Supper with Jesus, gathered after the resurrection to experience Jesus’ presence anew and now to find support and solace once more where so much had taken place.  They must have wondered, “What will happen to us next?”

holy-spiritThey got their answer very soon when a great wind blew in on them and the Holy Spirit settled upon them and filled them with His energy and new life.  It is the birthday of a new entity—the church.  Jesus fulfills His promise not to leave them orphaned.  They spoke in their native tongues and all at the same time.  It must have been a time of great emotion and perhaps confusion.  But, I believe that in a very short time they experienced a great peace come over them to reassure them that indeed God was with them.

teach all nationsWhat was and still is the cost for each of us to go forth to make disciples of all nations?  Since Pope Paul VI issued an encyclical about the New Evangelization around 40 years ago, the Church has put before us the need for each and every one of us to do something to initiate and/or deepen one’s connection to Jesus Christ.  In recent days everyone is talking about evangelization and our need to go forth and build our Church on relationships to one another and ultimately to Jesus Christ.  To carry it one step further, Pope Francis is calling our attention to this responsibility by his own actions and words.  Are we listening and watching?

Let’s Think About:

  1.  Do I listen to the Spirit in reaching out to family, friends, co-workers or neighbors to introduce or continue a conversation about Jesus and how He invites all to befriend him?
  2. Are we ready to have a new fire lit within us with the coming once again of this Holy Spirit who will breathe new life into us?
  3. What real difference does the coming of the Holy Spirit mean in our own life?