Tag Archives: spirituality

Poem of the Week

11 Aug

August 15 is the summer feast of Mary.

Read this poem aloud to bring back to your heart all the ways we have learned to praise the Mother of God and our mother.

Lines for a Feast of Our Lady
by Alice Smith, CSJ

What shall be added to your praises?
The lip-worn, love-worn, heart-worn phrases
centuries out of choir and cell
and field and vineyard praise you well.
Like bells over the spinning earth
hour upon hour they tell your worth.
You are the Mother of Delight.
Over the sea you are the bright
star shining.  You are the ivory tower,
the ark of gold, the immortal flower
blossoming on a mortal root,
the good tree bringing forth good fruit.
You are the cloud raining the Just One.
Fair as the moon and bright as the sun,
out of the desert light of day
terrible as an army in array,
you come—the Gate of Heaven to heaven’s gate.
What can be added to your state?
The vast, uncountable choir of voices
down aisles of centuries rejoices;
in endless litany proclaims
the fertile flowering of your names.
Hell will not thank you nor death raise
its voice.  Only the living praise.
Then shed your grace upon the mind
that we here in these deeps may find
the words we seek, that like a vine
with strong roots in the soul may shine
the litany that climbs and grows
upon the lattice of the Rose.


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Poem of the Week

21 Jul

The Stems of Flowers are the Pillars of the World
by Ellen Murphy, CSJ

Tempered by weather
welded by sun rays and metallic rain
the stems of flowers rise, poised,
erect as pillars they hold the world up.

Light-power, stronger than stone or steel
channels through leaf-scrolls
along each live green column
direct to its capital flower
joining the sky.

Each inevitable design
is a tenuous reminder
of the pillar of inner worlds: fidelity.
How it grows erect from a heart’s rectitude,
the seed selecting elements for growing
true to its form
draws cell  by cell to its quality,
color, texture,
reaches its height.

Indispensable for the holding up of the world
as stems of flowers, the heart’s fidelity.
The delicate stems of bluebells, true to themselves
are pillars of the universe, as you are,
as the rose and the gladiola,
lilac-bole, apple tree, oak and sequoia,
their protein strength gently holding
the world to its height, to its life-sheltering.


 

Living Like Francis Today is a short-faith-sharing book of Francis’ spirituality. Get a copy and find others to reflect with you on how to live his values today. View a sample chapter. $4.95. Order online or call Good Ground Press at 800-232-5533 to place your order.

 

 

Gospel Reflection for June 4, 2017, Pentecost

2 Jun

Photo via Flicker user Lawrence OP

Scripture Readings: Acts 2.1-11; 1 Corinthians 12.3-7, 12-13; John 20.19-23

This weekend the Church celebrates Pentecost, the climax of the Easter season and the birthday of the Christian community. In Acts, Luke describes 120 disciples awaiting the Holy Spirit. They have no cell phones for messaging, no practiced words for public speaking, no organizational flow chart. They have only their lived experience of Jesus out of which to weave a new community.  These disciples learned by accompanying Jesus, learned by his doing, found hope in his teaching, and awakened to the promise and purpose of his resurrection. At Pentecost the Spirit sets them on fire to live and spread the good news Jesus is. Crowds from around the Mediterranean hear Peter’s first fiery sermon in their own language.

Our world today challenges us to live the gospel globally as well as locally. We of the third millennium have seen Earth from space. We can phone home from almost anywhere on the planet. Evolution tells us we are part of one great cosmic whole. Our mission seems clear: love one another, heal, forgive. Feed the hungry, welcome the stranger. Weave common bonds.

Around what does your tongue catch fire in your daily conversations? Who do you hear speaking in your own language?

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April Sonnet

13 Apr

Heart-waking is the word Sister Alice Smith invents to describe spring and Easter poetically in her April sonnet. Theologically the God who creates and sustains the cosmos is the God who raised up Jesus to new life and promises us lasting friendship. Liturgically Lent moves toward spring and Easter. In the northern hemisphere flowers and budding trees revive the human spirit in sync with Jesus’ wholehearted outpouring of his love in his passion and the new eighth day of creation of his resurrection.

A very blessed Easter to you from all of us at Good Ground Press.

Gospel Reflection for April 16, 2017, Easter Sunday

13 Apr

Sunday Readings: Acts.34, 37-43; Colossians 3.1-4; John 20.1-9 (and John 20.10-18 to read Mary Magdalene’s part in the Easter story)

“Then the disciple who arrived first at the tomb went in, saw, and believed.” – John 20.9
“Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the lord.” – John 20.18

The Easter Sunday gospel ends with the beloved disciple’s model faith. He sees the empty tomb and believes. Neither on Easter Sunday nor the Second Sunday of Easter does the Church proclaim Mary Magdalene’s encounter with Jesus risen. Without Mary Magdalene staying and grieving at the empty tomb, the Easter gospel presents only the mystery of the empty tomb but not the full revelation that Jesus is risen.

Significantly, Mary Magdalene meets Jesus in a garden, a setting that echoes the Genesis garden and suggests Easter is a new day of creation. First two angels and then a man she supposes to be the gardener ask Mary Magdalene, “Why are you weeping?” When the supposed gardener speaks her name, Mary Magdalene recognizes her teacher, risen and present. Jesus commissions her to tell the other disciples, “I ascend to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.” Mary Magdalene becomes the apostle to the apostles as she returns to Jesus’ followers and announces, “I have seen the Lord.” She is the first preacher of the good news that Jesus is risen. She shares with them that we share Jesus’ relationship with God. Jesus entrusts us as his brothers and sisters to his mission in the world.

Which disciple who goes to the empty tomb on Easter morning are you most like? Who responds as you would? The beloved disciple who sees the empty tomb and believes? Peter who goes back to the community of Jesus’ followers without saying anything? Mary Magdalene who stays at the tomb and grieves Jesus’ death, encounters Jesus risen, and then becomes the apostle of his good news to the others?

If you enjoy this Gospel Reflection,
please visit the Sunday By Sunday page
to order a subscription or request a free sample.
Start a small bible study. Be a leader.

Celebrate Easter!

10 Apr

Visit goodgroundpress.com to print these pages of Easter prayers and reflections. Treat yourself and those you love to all seven weeks of Easter. Carry the prayer mantra in your pocket or purse to keep your heart happy and at peace.

We pray for each of you this Easter. May you be blessed with hope in God’s promise of new life. ~ Sister Joan

Fully Alive! An Easter Retreat

6 Apr

Looking for an Easter retreat? Visit goodgroundpress.com and check out our Fully Alive retreat! In this retreat, you will walk with six Christians who have poured out their lives in love — Dorothy Day, Francis of Assisi, Hildegard of Bingen, Teilhard de Chardin, Julian of Norwich, and Paul the Apostle. You can do the free retreat online or download and print it off.

 

 

Lent Retreat – Week 5

29 Mar

Join artist Ansgar Holmberg, CSJ, and Sister Joan as they pray the gospel about the raising up of Lazarus. Visit our homepage at goodgroundpress.com and click on the Sunday gospel image there. Share this retreat with your parish by including our website in your church bulletin or by forwarding this email. This is the last part of our online Lent retreat.

Lent Retreat – Week 4

23 Mar

The fourth part of our Lent retreat features the man born blind and the one who healed him. Click here for the poster and Sister Joan’s reflection.

Gospel Reflection for March 19, 2017, 3rd Sunday of Lent

15 Mar

Photo via Flickr user Ashley Van Haeften

Scripture Readings: Exodus 17.3-7; Romans 5.1-2, 5-8; John 4.5-42

“Many Samaritans from that village believed in Jesus on the strength of the woman’s testimony.” – John 4.39

The Samaritan woman meets Jesus at Jacob’s well. He asks for a drink. In their conversation the woman from Samaria moves from misunderstanding to seeking living water, coming to believe the man from Nazareth is the messiah. She recognizes that although most Jews consider Samaritans heretics, Jesus comes in spirit and truth to include her people in his community. Like the fishermen who leave their nets to follow Jesus, she leaves the water jar that symbolizes her work and goes to tell her townspeople she has found the messiah and brings them to hear Jesus for themselves. Her witness can inspire our own.

Whose witness led you to believe in Jesus? Who believes on the strength of your witness?

If you enjoy this Gospel Reflection,
please visit the Sunday By Sunday page
to order a subscription or request a free sample.
Start a small bible study. Be a leader.
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