April 17, 2016

COMPASSION ON THE JOURNEY

Compassion on the Journey is our participation in Our Holy Father’s invitation for the Church to celebrate a Jubilee Year of Mercy.

Compassion is the heart of Mercy.

You are invited to join us as we experience God’s compassion and learn to be more compassionate and of fuller service to one another.

Companions-On-The-Journey

The church banner pictured above displays our Easter Theme symbols. Our journey begins with God who creates us, accompanies us through life, death and resurrection until we return to God in glory. Our journey is from “glory to glory” (2Cor.3:18). Along the way we are transformed into the image and likeness of the Risen Christ. God is our compassionate companion on the journey and invites us to offer compassionate service to one another.

The Two Figures shown form a Heart Shape as they symbolize human and divine love. The word compassion has its origins in two Latin roots; com-with and passion-to suffer/intense force. The meaning of compassion is a union of love that motivates beyond sympathy and empathy, ‘to be one with’ and, therefore, compels with a commitment to action physically, emotionally or spiritually as needed.

Companions-On-The-Journey

The image above is of Rembrandt’s Portrait of Christ’s Head 1650, oil on wood, State Museum Berlin – Dahlem. (For a clear view/see website)
Our focus is on ways to reflect and pray with the masterpiece. Appreciate the expression of Christ captured by the artist. Notice the exposed ear which suggests that Jesus listens with compassion.

St. Benedict of Nursea encouraged compassionate listening with the challenge,
“Listen with the ear of your heart.”
Compassion is listening with the ear of your heart and acting on what you hear.

Easter Prayer :

Resurrected Glory – guide our hearts to serve
Dona nobis pacem, Grant us Peace.

EASTER SEASON

The Gifts of the Holy Spirit

The Risen Christ commissioned the disciples and therefore us, to go out into the world and proclaim the Good News! Part of the Good News of Jesus Christ is the power of the Holy Spirit at work within us and among us. We are given all that we need to live our mission to love and to work for justice and the flourishing of all people.

As we journey through the Easter Season to Pentecost the same Holy Spirit that propelled the disciples to live their mission of Opus Christi, Christ’s Work animates us.

Through Baptism and Confirmation we are empowered with spiritual gifts. During this Easter Season we will explore thematically the Gifts of the Holy Spirit and experience them at work in our lives in new ways.

Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit
  • Fear of the Lord (“WOW!” Awe, Wonder, Amazement) is awakening to God’s blessings freely given: in the beauty of creation, the truth of compassion deep within us, the goodness of loving relationships – recognizing that “All is Gift.”
  • Piety (Reverence) is living gratefully in a graced world with a profound respect for all life and a passion to be faithful stewards of God’s bountiful gifts.
  • Fortitude (Courage) enables us to dream of what is possible with Christ’s love. Fortitude emboldens us to take responsibility for that vision and to creatively make it a reality.
  • Right Counsel helps us to sift and sort in prayer what cannot be changed and needs to be accepted and what can be changed and needs to be accomplished.
  • Knowledge focuses our priorities and shifts our perspective to think, feel and act with faith, hope and love.
  • Understanding is seeing, feeling and listening with the “ear of our heart.” Understanding and compassion are God’s heart.
  • Wisdom enables us to discern and relish God’s presence in all things, to trust in Providence and to therefore live with compassion on the journey.
Scripture WEEK III
  • In the Acts of the Apostles, the disciples are filled with peace, joy and the Holy Spirit even while being persecuted.
  • In our second reading from St. John is a compassionate vision of the Good Shepherd leading people to a place of refreshment beyond darkness and to peace.
  • Our Gospel reveals that when the sheep hear the voice of the Shepherd and follow they are led into ways of peace.

REFLECTION: UNPLUG

When television screens go black, when computers freeze, when cell phones are mute the first right thing to do is to unplug them. “To Unplug” seems wrong but usually works. The writer Anne Lamott advises, “Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.”

Prayer is our way of unplugging. Unplugging in prayer is the right thing to do for our over active minds, anxious hearts and troubled spirits.

In today’s readings, Saints Paul and Barnabas unplug by taking their seats in the synagogue to pray. They are amazed at the working of the Holy Spirit in their lives as they compassionately care for God’s people. The gifts of the Spirit are manifest as the disciples are able to feel joy in the midst of persecution.

Our second reading and Gospel teach us that Jesus is our compassionate Shepherd who desires to fill our lives with light and peace. In prayer we unplug. We unplug when we honestly tell God our thoughts, share from the ugliness and beauty of our hearts, and ask for guidance as we choose compassion and goodness on the journey.

When we unplug to pray we plug into God and say “WOW!” to God’s gift in all things. Unplugging in prayer gives us opportunity to pray with reverence and gratitude because the truth is that we are not alone. We may be awestruck to discover beauty even in the midst of difficulty and to refresh ourselves with the goodness of God’s healing touch.

The first two gifts of the Holy Spirit, Awe of the Lord, and Piety or Reverence are experienced when we unplug from our hectic activity and plug into prayer. Participating at the Eucharist is an excellent way to unplug from our ordinary routine. Taking a few moments to unplug with prayer during the day when we start to overreact or find ourselves in stress is the secret to experiencing God’s compassion on the journey.

How to Unplug

Unplugging in prayer can be effective even with a few minutes. Unplug in simple ways:

Meditation – Close your eyes (not while driving), breathe in deeply, and breathe out slowly – tell God what is going on within you. Tell God your truth. Our God of all compassion hears you. Ask yourself what is beautiful around you. Even noticing a color – which is God’s gift – can shift our focus. Ask God to whisper to you what is good in you, in others or around you. Listen with the ear of your heart to the Good Shepherd leading you to new thoughts and feelings.

Recitation Prayer – Slowly say prayers you know: Our Father, Hail Mary, The Rosary, Dona nobis pacem- Grant Us Peace, God of All Compassion, Guide our Hearts to Serve.

Compassionate Care – Unplug by helping someone else in word or deed.

Unplugging enables us to pray with AWE and REVERENCE so that we can work again with God’s gifts of compassion and peace.

ST. PHILIP PREPARATORY SCHOOL

Grade 2
Second grade is busy preparing for their First Holy Communion. The first group of students will receive it this Sunday, April 17th. The second group will receive on April 23rd and the last group is May 1st. We are very excited for this special time that will be remembered forever.

In science, an experiment on sound was completed. Each student brought in an empty water bottle. We slowly added water to the bottles and blew to make sound. The students learned that depending on the shape of the bottle and amount of water, the sound changes.

The 2nd graders are working very hard on learning to write in cursive. We practice each day in our handwriting books and are writing more and more of our classwork in cursive. The second graders want to be more than ready for third grade.

Don’t forget to come see the 8th grade performances of the musical, “Fiddler on the Roof” on Thursday, April 28th at 7:00 PM and Friday, April 29th at 10 AM in the Auditorium. All are invited!

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