News and Info

News and Information

News and Information for members of and people interested in the North American Conference of Associates and Religious.

coffee cupsI arrived at the quaint coffee shop earlier than anticipated! (Pre-supposing I might get caught up in re-routed traffic because of on-going, New Orleans road work, Saenger Theater re-construction or even the filming of a movie, I left Holy Angels an hour prior to the planned meeting time.) Within a mere 20 minutes I was seated at a table breathing in the welcoming aroma of coffee and the mouth-watering allure of cranberry scones.

This was not to be an "eating meeting" but since I was ahead of time I made my way to the counter. Generally, I am not a coffee-house "goer" … but I became a part of a defined ritual of eating and drinking. Back at the table where I had left the agenda folder, I read the Scripture for the next day, Corpus Christi - June 2, 2013. Immediately I was struck by the references to food and drink—bread and wine—body and blood. The actions: take, bless, broken and shared came across loud and clear in 1 Corinthians 11. The Communion Antiphon was the consoling, "Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him …" as in John 6:57

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Year of Faith logo (Cross in a Boat)When Jesus had finished speaking, he said to Simon, "Push out into the deep…" Pope Benedict XVI has issued a similar call to the world Church by proclaiming a Year of Faith. From October 11, 2012 to November 24, 2013, Catholics are urged to push to the depth within their personal baptismal call to holiness and to be blessed and surprised by what God—Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier—has to offer. In the year ahead let's rediscover what we truly believe and foster the New Evangelization.

In New Testament times the weary apostles walked many roads to bring the Good News. We read in Acts 27 and 28 how Paul was shipwrecked in his effort to proclaim what he believed. Today we have the information super-highway as a modern means to spread the Gospel. E-mail, Facebook, Twitter, Blogs and other social media afford us the opportunity to share our faith without blistered feet, life jackets or microphones.

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Holy SpiritI've heard the tongue in cheek comment from menopausal women, "It's not a hot flash, it's a power surge!" Really? But anyone who has been there knows the importance of attitude in dealing with such issues that effect body, mind and spirit.

Our vision controls our perception and our perception becomes our reality. Consider this, whether you are a member of a religious congregation or a lay associate affiliated with that congregation, regardless of your age or whether you are female or male, faith informs vision and enhances our perception.

The Holy Spirit—first received in Baptism, affirmed in Confirmation and celebrated at Pentecost—is the ever-ready power surge to enable us to handle those prickly life issues that can wear us down and knock us out. Galatians 5:22 speaks of the energizing Fruits of the Spirit:

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Isaac! I'm not referring to Abraham's son, but the potential hurricane heading our way as I draft this reflection. Indeed the fact that he is scheduled to arrive—to the day—on the anniversary of that sassy Katrina, stirs up a tornado of memories within me—and most of the People of God who live on the Gulf Coast.

PietaThe pounding of a hammer brings me to the window in my office. I can see our neighbor putting ply board to protect the glass panes in his home. Radio and TV news and Accuweather reports are eye-catching with colorful radar pictures of projected direction, rain, wind gusts, etc. Possible mandatory evacuation orders will be given by city officials… and I sit here pondering and remembering, with sincere gratitude, the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. "Your own soul a sword shall pierce." Luke 2:33-35

So many blessings followed the destruction of our coastal cities: southern citizens pulled together in near-by, land-locked cities, people came from all parts of the U.S. and all walks of life to lend their hearts and hands to the recovery efforts. Locally individuals recognized personal strengths within themselves that may have been lying dormant. The Amazing Grace List goes on and on offering life-long lessons. In The Prophet, Khalil Gibran, a Lebanese Poet, wrote that the deeper sorrow hollows us out, the more joy we can contain.

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Easter HeartA pediatric nurse, before listening to the children's chests, would plug the stethoscope into their ears and let them listen to their own hearts. Their eyes would always light up in amazement. But she never got a response to equal that of six-year-old Molly's.

She tucked the sleek stethoscope in her ears and placed the smooth disk over her heart. "Listen," she said, "What do you suppose that is?" Molly drew her eyebrows together in a puzzled line and looked up as if lost in the drum beat of the strange lub-dub, lub-dub deep within her chest. Then her freckled face broke out in a marvelous, gap tooth smile. "Is that Jesus?"

This Easter season, having just celebrated the Holiest of Weeks with its beautiful images and faith rituals: waving palms, recalling institution of the Eucharist, washing feet, Way of the Cross, kissing the crucifix, lighting new fire, blessing the water, Baptisms, renewing the promises, and more...we embrace Paschal Mystery. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son…" John 3:16

Easter faith offers us the experiences of Magdalene in the garden, the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, and the apostles out fishing. Make time this Easter Season to listen, figuratively speaking, to the rhythm of your own heartbeat. With springtime freshness, sing out Alleluia in praise and thanksgiving for the miracle of Easter Resurrection and be prepared to see and hear Jesus everywhere in a living, personal presence.

HAPPY EASTER SEASON!

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