Thursday, October 29, 2009

Sacred Sunday - Lake Tahoe

This photo and text was chosen for Skywatch Friday. However, travelling, lack of internet connection and some touble with Blogger prevented my posting it. So, I offer it, today, for Sacred Sunday.

In our encounter with Christ
it is not enough to contemplate Him
as the historical person revealed in the Gospels.
Nor is it enough to contemplate Him
in the encounter of faith through grace
by which we become united with Him and others
in the mystical body.
We must also be able to meet Christ in the
divine, continual act of creation, redemption and sanctification of the total universe.
Sr. Ilia Delio, O.S.F.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Lake Tahoe, Nevada

I'm on the road again. This time at a meeting in beautiful Lake Tahoe, Nevada. Our meeting place is right on the lake with spectacular views of the water and mountains - it is God's glory as revealed in His creation.

Lake Tahoe

Prayer spot on the water

The Lodge

Close of day

Bless the LORD, my soul! LORD, my God, you are great indeed! You are clothed with majesty and glory,robed in light as with a cloak. You spread out the heavens like a tent; you raised your palace upon the waters. You make the clouds your chariot; you travel on the wings of the wind. You make the winds your messengers; flaming fire, your ministers. You fixed the earth on its foundation, never to be moved. The ocean covered it like a garment; above the mountains stood the waters. At your roar they took flight; at the sound of your thunder they fled. They rushed up the mountains, down the valleys to the place you had fixed for them.
Psalm 104:1-8

Sunday, October 25, 2009

St. Elijah icon

St. Elijah, leader and father of Carmelites,
interceed for us and the whole world.
The LORD then said to Elijah: "Leave here, go east and hide in the Wadi Cherith, east of the Jordan. You shall drink of the stream, and I have commanded ravens to feed you there." So he left and did as the LORD had commanded. He went and remained by the Wadi Cherith, east of the Jordan. Ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning, and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the stream.
1Kings 17:2-6
Happy Sacred Sunday

Friday, October 23, 2009

Skywatch Friday Clouds

Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore, console one another with these words.
1 Thessalonians 4:17

Thursday, October 22, 2009


For the fruit of all creation, thanks be to God.
Gifts bestowed on every nation, thanks be to God.
For the plowing, sowing, reaping, silent growth while we are sleeping,
future needs in earth's safekeeping, thanks be to God.

In the just reward of labor, God's will is done.
In the help we give our neighbor, God's will is done.
In our worldwide task of caring for the hungry and despairing,
in the harvests we are sharing, God's will is done.

For the harvests of the Spirit, thanks be to God.
For the good we all inherit, thanks be to God.
For the wonders that astound us, for the truths that still confound us,
most of all that love has found us, thanks be to God.
Fred Pratt Green

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Sacraments confer grace based on the belief of ex opere operato / ex opere operatus, which means they work by the very grace of God and are not dependent upon the worthiness of the minister or the recipient. By the very fact that a priest or person intends to do what the Church intends means the sacraments work. For a sacrament to be considered "valid and licit" two things must be present. The proper matter and form need be used. If the proper matter is not used, the sacrament is invalid. If the proper form is not used, the sacrament is illicit. The sacraments also need to be performed by the proper minister with the faculties to perform it. In some situations, others, including in some cases, the laity, may be given permission to act as extraordinary ministers of the sacraments. The matter, simply put, is the material used for the sacrament, for example, water for baptism. It is the sensible, visible part of the sacrament. The form or formula is the prayer that goes with the sacrament, for example, "I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."

The seven sacraments are Baptism, Reconciliation, Eucharist, Confirmation, Marriage, Holy Order and Anointing of the Sick.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Stairs to.....

So I will allure her; I will lead her into the desert and speak to her heart.
Hosea 2:16

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

California Storm

"One day he got into a boat with his disciples and said to them, "Let us cross to the other side of the lake." So they set sail, and while they were sailing he fell a sleep. A squall blew over the lake, and they were taking in water and were in danger. They came and woke him saying, "Master, master, we are perishing!" He awakened, rebuked the wind and the waves, and they subsided and there was a calm. Then he asked them, "Where is your faith?" But they were filled with awe and amazed and said to one another, "Who then is this, who commands even the winds and the sea, and they obey him?"

Luke 8:22-25

My friend, Dina at Jerusalem Hills Daily Photo, kindly asked how we at the monastery fared the "biggest October storm in 47 years", as described by the San Jose Mercury News. She had heard about the storm all the way in Jerusalem. Thanks for your concern, Dina.

We are fine, although Stella the dog has been wet all day. Fortunately, in spite of the high winds (which continued from 3:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.) we never lost electricity. We did lose a lot of big branches and noticed one hanging on an electrical wire - we'll call the electric company tomorrow.

The storm is now headed for Southern California. With all the recent fires there is big concern for mudslides. Please join us in praying for our neighbors to the south.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Sacred Sunday

"Remember to keep holy the sabbath day. Six days you may labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD, your God. No work may be done then either by you, or your son or daughter, or your male or female slave, or your beast, or by the alien who lives with you.
Exodus 20:8-10

"Sunday is the property of our good God; it is His own day, the Lord's day. He made all the days of the week: He might have kept them all; He has given you six, and has reserved only the seventh for Himself. What right have you to meddle with what does not belong to you? You know very well that stolen goods never bring any profit. Nor will the day that you steal from Our Lord profit you either. I know two very certain ways of becoming poor: they are working on Sunday and taking other people's property."
St. Jean Marie Vianney
in a homily to his congregation

Friday, October 9, 2009

October - Cancer Awareness

On my last night in Denver, while driving down I-25, I was reminded that October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Let's remember to pray, daily, for our mothers, grandmothers, sisters, aunts, and friends who have suffered with this horrible disease...and let's also pray for a cure.

"They that hope in the LORD will renew their strength, they will soar as with eagles' wings; They will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not grow faint."
Isaiah 40:31

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Vocation Event #2

Over three days, we saw over twelve hundred 6th graders and over two hundred high school Juniors to talk about Religious Vocations. What a blessing!

This is the Good Shepherd stained glass window from the "mega" Church that I wrote about in my last post. "He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young."
Isaiah 40:11

Monday, October 5, 2009

Mile High City

The retreat in Boise went well and now I am switching hats and promoting religious vocations in Denver, Colorado. This is a three day event which brings all the 6th & 11th graders of the Archdiocesan Catholic schools to one location to learn more about priesthood and consecrated life. The days include worship and praise, Holy Mass, panel discussions, question and answer periods, exploring the religious vocations exhibit area, a scavenger hunt and lunch.

The location of this event is being held at a Denver Church that can only be described as the "mega" Catholic Chuch of the 21st century. It is a recently remodeled church that boasts a membership of over 21,000 members. The main body of the church contains a state of the art audio-visual system, great lighting, exquisite furniture and beautiful sacred art.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Lourdes Shrine

I'm preaching a retreat in Idaho and ran across this devotional shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes.

In 1858, the Blessed Mother of Jesus, appeared to the French shepherd girl, St. Bernadette Soubirous, to ask the world to pray for the conversion of sinners. This is typical of Mary's mission to draw attention to her Son and to bring souls to Him.

Although these apparitions have been approved by the Roman Catholic Church, they are not an article of faith. In other words, Catholics may believe in the apparitions, but are not bound to.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Sky Watch Friday

After Jesus was baptized, He came up from the water and behold, the heavens were opened for Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming upon him. And a voice came from the heavens, saying, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased."
Matthew 3:16-17

Location: sky over Boise, Idaho