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February 09, 2015

Psalm 104

Bless the Lord, O my soul! O Lord, my God, you are great indeed! You are clothed with majesty and glory, robed in light as with a cloak.

R. May the Lord be glad in his works.

You fixed the earth upon its foundation    not to be moved forever; with the ocean, as with a garment, you covered it; above the mountains the waters stood.

R. May the Lord be glad in his works.

You send forth springs into the watercourses that wind among the mountains. Beside them the birds of heaven dwell; from among the branches they send forth their song.

R. May the Lord be glad in his works.

How manifold are your works, O LORD! In wisdom you have wrought them all--the earth is full of your creatures; Bless the Lord, O my soul! Alleluia.

R. May the Lord be glad in his works.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Contemplation

I had never been to Hawaii when a good friend suggested we commemorate our 50th birthdays with a trip to the 50th State. We flew through the night with the vast Pacific ocean below indistinguishable from the star- filled sky above until daylight separated the two on the horizon. Eventually we spied specks of land poking up from the water and landed on Maui.

Through the week we watched a majestic sunrise over Haleakala, hiked among exotic plants serenaded by tropical birds, laughed as humpback whales breached and slapped their fins and tails, climbed down rocky cliffs to splash around in pristine tide pools, snorkeled with sea turtles and fish darting in and out of coral, and braved a rain shower to explore lava flows with tiny plants just starting to get a foothold after the last volcano eruption in the 17th century.

Watching sunset our final night, I felt content, humbled and grateful. Were the earliest days on earth something like this?  Combined with the island people’s most generous hospitality, I was deeply consoled as I recalled the Contemplation to Attain Divine Love. The love we seek to attain in this prayer is not God’s already and constant outpouring of love for us, but our love for God, moving us to a desire to offer of our life in response.

Could I really imagine that the Divine Majesty had been laboring since the first moments of the universe to shower this particular time of grace on me?

The sick and their caretakers in today’s gospel believed they only needed to touch the tassel of Jesus’ cloak to be healed. During my vacation I had been wrapped in the cloak of creation, was restored and ready to continue along my journey into the second half of life.

—Jenéne Francis, is Provincial Assistant for Pastoral Ministries, Chicago-Detroit Province and Wisconsin Province of the Society of Jesus

Prayer

Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding, and my entire will. You have given all to me.  To you, Lord, I return it. All is yours; do with it what you will. Give me only your love and your grace; that is enough for me.

—St. Ignatius Loyola  (Download the prayer card by clicking here.)


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

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February 09, 2015

Psalm 104

Bless the Lord, O my soul! O Lord, my God, you are great indeed! You are clothed with majesty and glory, robed in light as with a cloak.

R. May the Lord be glad in his works.

You fixed the earth upon its foundation    not to be moved forever; with the ocean, as with a garment, you covered it; above the mountains the waters stood.

R. May the Lord be glad in his works.

You send forth springs into the watercourses that wind among the mountains. Beside them the birds of heaven dwell; from among the branches they send forth their song.

R. May the Lord be glad in his works.

How manifold are your works, O LORD! In wisdom you have wrought them all--the earth is full of your creatures; Bless the Lord, O my soul! Alleluia.

R. May the Lord be glad in his works.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Contemplation

I had never been to Hawaii when a good friend suggested we commemorate our 50th birthdays with a trip to the 50th State. We flew through the night with the vast Pacific ocean below indistinguishable from the star- filled sky above until daylight separated the two on the horizon. Eventually we spied specks of land poking up from the water and landed on Maui.

Through the week we watched a majestic sunrise over Haleakala, hiked among exotic plants serenaded by tropical birds, laughed as humpback whales breached and slapped their fins and tails, climbed down rocky cliffs to splash around in pristine tide pools, snorkeled with sea turtles and fish darting in and out of coral, and braved a rain shower to explore lava flows with tiny plants just starting to get a foothold after the last volcano eruption in the 17th century.

Watching sunset our final night, I felt content, humbled and grateful. Were the earliest days on earth something like this?  Combined with the island people’s most generous hospitality, I was deeply consoled as I recalled the Contemplation to Attain Divine Love. The love we seek to attain in this prayer is not God’s already and constant outpouring of love for us, but our love for God, moving us to a desire to offer of our life in response.

Could I really imagine that the Divine Majesty had been laboring since the first moments of the universe to shower this particular time of grace on me?

The sick and their caretakers in today’s gospel believed they only needed to touch the tassel of Jesus’ cloak to be healed. During my vacation I had been wrapped in the cloak of creation, was restored and ready to continue along my journey into the second half of life.

—Jenéne Francis, is Provincial Assistant for Pastoral Ministries, Chicago-Detroit Province and Wisconsin Province of the Society of Jesus

Prayer

Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding, and my entire will. You have given all to me.  To you, Lord, I return it. All is yours; do with it what you will. Give me only your love and your grace; that is enough for me.

—St. Ignatius Loyola  (Download the prayer card by clicking here.)


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

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