Thursday, October 26, 2017


In Memory of Sr. Mary Anne Reed, OSsR,
who died October 18, 2017.

Then the Lord God formed the man out of the dust of the ground and blew into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.  Gen 2

For the spirit of God made me, the breath of the Almighty keeps me alive. Job 22

When the centurion who stood facing him saw how he breathed his last he said, “Truly this man was the Son of God!” Mk 15

“Peace be with you.  As the Father has sent me so I send you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the holy Spirit.  John 20

What do Jesus and Sr. Mary Anne have in common?  She breathed the same air Jesus did.    They both took in air at the moment of birth and released air at the final moment.  In between they breathed, and breathed, and breathed.  In and out they breathed the Spirit that gives us all life.  Jesus’, Mary Anne’s, ours, are the gift of God’s life-breath.    As Mary Anne would say, ‘All is gift.”  Truly, Sr. Mary Anne was a daughter of God.

In the Seventh Soliloquy, Blessed Celeste tells of the stage of prayer where, “God breathes a breath of love into the soul and the soul breathes it back to God.”  She continues, “In this union there is a wonderful peace and joy.  It is so simple you can scarcely see in it any mystery.”  Celeste concludes, “Yet, how incredible is it that a poor earthbound creature can rise into the life of the uncreated Being!” 

That is our calling:  to breathe as Jesus did; to breathe in and out the life-giving breath as we perform our daily tasks in the midst of a world longing for  peace and to experience the uniting, merciful love of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Let us breathe in the life-giving Spirit as we renew our vows as we celebrate the Incarnation of Jesus this October 25th.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017


I woke up with this phrase in mind, ‘fumbling toward heaven.’  It didn’t seem to be connected with a dream or anything – it just was there.

But it got me thinking about football. A fumble is when someone on the opposite team makes you drop the football and recovers it for their side.  I am going to stretch this metaphor so run with me on this one. 

Jesus is the football we carry through life tucked under our arm close to our heart.  We are advancing through the game of life toward our goal: heaven.   When certain circumstances of everyday life dislodge Jesus from our heart and make us drop the ball, how do we get it back?  In the second letter to Timothy St. Paul writes, ‘God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but rather a spirit of power, and love and self-discipline.’
Relying on the Spirit of Jesus we gain the power of the practice of self-discipline to scoop up the ball of Love and continue to carry it to our final destination. If we are called to be Jesus to each other and the world, then it shouldn’t be so hard to stoop down to lift up Jesus, ourselves and one another.
Sometimes, we feel like we drop the ball constantly but thank goodness we have fans to cheer us on whether we are in possession of the ball or not.  Who are our fans?  Family and friends, co-workers, and all the angels and saints are cheering us on!  Not only are they fans but also our team!   They offer prayers and lend support, especially when the everyday cares and set backs get us down.  In our most desperate hours, we throw a ‘Hail Mary’ forward pass to our Lady and she is there to help us.

To all eyes, Jesus’ death on a cross seemed like the biggest fumble ever.  But those who gathered below his cross: his Mother, John and Magdalene, believed and hoped in Jesus who came to save and bring them to heaven. And we know their hope was not in vain.   

So, let us not be like Lucy who whips the football away just as Charlie Brown comes up to kick it.  Let us be like Charlie Brown who, even though he fumbles, he always believes and hopes.  Let us never, ever give up hope.  Let us continue to fumble our way to heaven believing in Him who comes to save.