Showing posts with label Holy Thursday. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Holy Thursday. Show all posts

14 Mar 2017

Picking Up the Wrong Cross

...The Gift of Receptivity...

...Personally, my receptivity feelers do not fire on all cylinders. Sure, I’m open to whatever God has for me as long as it is good, healthy, and includes very little discomfort. Unlike Jesus entering into Jerusalem ready to fulfill God’s Will, I spend far too much time avoiding God and his Will. Perhaps I am hoping that if I am really quiet and well-behaved, I will avoid whatever cross is lurking in my day. Ironically, my cross has become my fear of the cross. My focus is far too much on this false fear of the possible tragedy lurking around the corner, and in turn I lose sight the good things God has in store for me—in any situation....

...Holy Thursday Blessings...

All Rights Reserved, Allison Gingras 2017
Reflection part of the WINE Lenten Book Club #LentenWalk

17 Apr 2014

Where Do I Stand This Night?

It is Holy Thursday. Tonight, churches around the entire globe will wait in  prayerful vigil, with lights dimmed, all images covered with the congregation in respectful, sombre silence. The Church is remembering the end of Jesus’s public life as a teacher and healer and walking with Him as He begins His most important work, the work of salvation in His passion, death and resurrection.
Yet today’s Gospel takes us back to the beginning of Jesus’s public ministry. He has just emerged from the desert, filled by the power of the Holy Spirit, astonishing crowds with His words. As He stands on the podium in the synagogue to read from the book of Isiah, repeating the Old Testament reading which we have just heard minutes before, Jesus summarizes His entire ministry in a few short verses.
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring glad tidings to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.

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2 Apr 2012

Madonna House: The People of the Towel & Water

Video made at Madonna House, Combermere, Ontario, Canada

I have visited the Madonna House community in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada, a number of times, in 1985 and in 2005. One of many blessings was meeting and working with a priest of Madonna House, the late Monsignor Art Bukowski, from Michigan, USA, in Kentucky during the summers of 1969 and 1970, when I was a young priest studying in the USA. He was much older than me and when I first met him he had just finished 29 years as president of Aquinas College, Grand Rapids. He later, I think, spent some time in Latin America. He died in 1989. I remember him for his quiet, missionary zeal as a priest and his driest of the dry humour. I also remember the Madonna House cross that he wore.

 Monsignor Arthur F. Bukowski

The video, which begins with part of the gospel for Holy Thursday, highlights the consecration of Catherine de Hueck (de HUEeck) Doherty and her husband to Jesus through Mary. This consecration comes form the teachings of St Louis-Marie de Montfort. The film mentions that that saint had a similarly deep influence on the spirituality of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta and Blessed John Paul II. It was also the bedrock of the spirituality of the Venerable Frank Duff, founder of the Legion of Mary.

Something else emphasised in the video is 'Nazareth spirituality', which deeply influenced Blessed Charles de Foucauld, though in a somewhat different way. It is also implicitly part of the spirituality of Jean Vanier, founder of L'Arche and co-founder of its 'cousin' Faith and Light. Both of these, like Madonna House, are very Marian. Indeed, Faith and Light grew out of an international pilgrimage to Lourdes for persons with learning disabilities and their families in 1971.

The very title of this video also reminds me of something that Jean Vanier places great importance on, the washing of the feet. In a retreat I made under him in Manila in 1995 we spent a whole afternoon reflecting on this, ending in small circles where we washed the feet of one of the persons beside us. The one who washed mine was Lala, about whom I've written a number of times before.

 Lala taking care of Jordan in the 'Nazareth' that is the L'Arche community, Cainta, Rizal, near Manila

Though based in England at the time, I was chaplain to the small Philippine group at the Faith and Light international pilgrimage to Lourdes during Holy Week 2001. After the Evening Mass of the Lord's Supper we had our own washing of the feet ritual in the garden of the hotel where the Filipinos were staying.

'Nazareth spirituality' shows the extraordinary presence of God in the ordinary. Most of us spend our whole lives in 'Nazareth' and yet very few of us are aware of this.

A quiet joy comes through this film, the kind of joy that Pope Benedict spoke about in his message for this year's World Youth Day, observed yesterday, Palm Sunday.

Feast of Saint Joseph, A Man of Many Virtues

Today is the feast day of one of my favorite saints – Saint Joseph. I claim him as one of my favorites, because he was such a virtuous ma...