April 29, 2018

PRAYER IS THE KEY TO SERENITY

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.

REFLECTION ON “WOW!” – AWE – Reverence and Piety FINDING GOD IN THE GARDEN

Hugo Marnatti was giving a young student a mental development test. He showed the child an image of an incomplete stick figure that was missing an arm and a leg. The child was asked, “What does the stick figure need?” She responded, “A wheelchair.” We all have needs. Often we deny them or prefer to focus on our independence but we are connected to our bodies, other people, our world and God. Recognizing our needs is the first step to wholeness and to holiness. Today, our Gospel reminds us that we are connected to God in the way that a vine is connected to a branch. Perhaps a clearer analogy would be that we need God as much as a branch needs a tree trunk, roots and leaves in order to live! When it comes to our need for God it is up to us to grow in our awareness and recognition of God in us, other people and around us in our world.

Awakening to the presence of God in all the gifts around us including the gift of our own lives is the beginning of the spiritual journey and its culmination.

Becoming more aware and awake to God’s presence among us often happens by appreciation of the beauty, complexity and wonder of God’s creation of nature all around us. Nature can give us a sense of wow and Awe.

Reverence and piety are our grateful response to recognizing God’s gifts in our lives.

The following reflection questions draw our attention to God’s gifts. Spending time in prayer and reflection with these
questions and activities may lead us to discover, understand and rejoice in the God who was always present among us – the
God we need!

REFLECTION QUESTIONS AND ACTIVITY

1. What is the most beautiful place that you have ever seen? What does this say to you about God our creator? Talk to
God about your thoughts and feelings.
2. In the musical Le Miserables one of the song lyrics reads, “To love another person is to see the face of God.”
Picture the faces of those you love who are here and those who now live with the Lord. One by one express your love for them and thankfulness to God for the gift of each one of them.
3. Choose one act of service for another person to express your gratitude to God. Do it.
4. Look at yourself as God’s gift to you. For what attributes are you most grateful? Say thanks to God.
5. Take a look at something in nature, flowers, trees, pets. List the loveliness of the creation. Say thanks to God.

CELEBRATING PENTECOST 2018: MAY 20

Multi-language Liturgy

Acts of the Apostles (2:4) reports that on the feast of Pentecost all were “filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim.” The multiple languages at Pentecost demonstrate God’s desire to be in relation with all people. God speaks to each heart in a unique way. Our celebration of Pentecost will be a multi-language liturgy serving as a symbol of God’s ongoing action to renew the face of the earth.

Volunteers are being sought to proclaim the Scripture readings and general intercessions in their native language.
Please contact Donna Scancarella at 973-779-6200 or dscancarella@stphilip.org for more information and to volunteer.

Festive Clothing

On the first Pentecost the Spirit hovered over the disciples like tongues of fire. The manifestation of God’s power symbolizes the fire of love that compels the followers of Jesus through spirituality, service and social ministry. Therefore, parishioners are invited to wear flame colors of red, yellow or orange. Our multi-colored glow will be a communal affirmation of our commitment to rekindle the fire of God’s love and to live our mission working for peace and justice with zeal.

Flag Bearers Needed
Our Pentecost Eucharist procession is led by our flag bearers. We are in need of six volunteers for each Mass on Pentecost
weekend as carriers. The flags are more cumbersome than heavy; however moderate upper body strength is a requirement. A sign-up sheet for each Mass time can be found in the Sacristy.

RESTORATION UPDATE

Phase II
The Molloy Center is still in process because it sustained the greatest amount of smoke damage. At this writing, there is no
projected return date.
Phase III
The Kaleidoscope wing of the school, which was the epicenter of the fire, was deemed unsalvageable by the insurance company and was demolished. Marion Hall shared a wall and a roof with the Kaleidoscope wing and therefore, cannot be used until a new building is constructed on the site. We are currently in the planning stage to rebuild the Kaleidoscope wing and to restore Marion Hall for use.
Please Help
Your prayer and support through these months is deeply appreciated. Please help by continuing your prayer for:
• patience in dealing with the relocation of our spiritual, service and social ministries to off campus sites.
• all those involved in the restoration process, that God will continue to Bless them for their dedication and
diligence.
• a speedy return for the use of our entire facility as we continue to do our mission which is Christ’s Work of love in action.

The Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And the wisdom to know the difference.
Reinhold Niebuhr

MEDITATION HOUR

Please join us for prayer, guided meditation and reflection on Thursday, May 10th at 8:00 PM in Church following the 7:00 PM Mass for the Ascension.

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