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When they came to the place called "The Skull", they nailed Jesus to the cross there, and the two criminals, one on his right and one on his left. Jesus said "Forgive them, Father! They do not know what they are doing." Luke 23:33-34

 

* Meditation on the First Word

"They do not know what they are doing"

They do not know?  They ...who killed Jesus?

Who is "they"?

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The Inclusion of the Poor in Society (EG 186-216)– Spiritual preparation for the General Congress of the Union in July 2015

Spiritually, the “poor” is a very rich and broad term not within our human capacity to grasp fully. It is part of the mystery of the economy of salvation. Jesus said in Matthew’s gospel, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Mt 5:3) In the ordinary sense, the poor are not blessed. Poor in this text is a blessed state and it refers to one’s spirit of total detachment from things of the world to be free for God and for his people. Anyone who has attained that blessedness will love those who suffer from the worldly poverty which leads to many basic deprivations – of food, shelter, opportunities for development, etc. - and be at their service with joy. We can see that St. Vincent had developed such a deep sense of detachment from things that even as a child he would give away things - his coat, shoes, food, etc. - to the needy. Such a love and concern is what God wants from His true worshipers. God himself is deeply concerned about the poor and needy (Is.41:17). True righteousness is to share your food and clothing with the needy (Is. 58:7) and God will bless and strengthen the hands of those who perform such services for the poor (Is. 58:10-12). Love of the poor will be the measure used in the final judgment (Mt. 25:34-40).

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Make Time. Clear Space. Be Still. Listen.

“This story is, of course, about being surprised by the power, love and beauty of God. But the point of it is that we should learn to recognize that same power, love and beauty within Jesus, and to listen for it in his voice – not least when he tells us to take up the cross and follow him … The word to the disciples then is as much a word to us today. If you want to find the way – the way to God, the way to the promised land – you must listen to him. “ N.T. Wright

In the flush of moment, we, like Peter, wouldn’t fully get it. But the mountain tops, our spiritual mountain-tops, are special times designed for God’s purpose. They don’t happen often. They aren’t meant to teach us anything, they are meant to make us something. For we are made to return to the valley where we live, and where the disciples lived.

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Text by Rev. Daniel C. Kostakis; painted by Chris Gollon

First Station: Jesus is Condemned to the Cross

How many times do we condemn others because we refuse to see the mark of God found within each human being that walks this earth? How many times do we forget that we are truly one family on this earth? Our faith and belief must never become an instrument of bigotry allowing us to judge others, forgetting all of Creation is good.

“Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.” Genesis 2:7

God, help me to see you in all people, those I love and those I must learn to love. Amen.

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Lent Darkness

Dragons lurk in desert spaces
Penetrating the mind with evil claw.

Serpent’s teeth seek out the chinks
insidiously, relentlessly, gnawing on the bone;
searching out the interstices of muscle and sinew.

Such is the pain of the wilderness.
Alone, alone, alone,
Christ sits
in the waste place of abandoned pleas and questions
until exhausted
finally
at last
the realisation
comes
that in the end
there is only
God.

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Lent 2015

 

Dear Sisters,

When I gaze on this photo of the snowdrops, it reminds me, and surely many Polish Sisters, of the novitiate house in Suchary. Winter there was always cold, long and severe. So when at the end of February or early March we would discover the tiny green-white “noses” breaking through the icy snow, we all knew that nature had been reawakened, and spring was at the threshold. Soon after, we would stand in awe when the whole area was covered with these delicate, but strong and beautiful white “drops”.  What beauty, joy and sign of a striving for life!

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