Archive for the ‘Peace’ Category

The Peace of Wild Things   Leave a comment

Posted June 15, 2017 by ouidaofs in Peace, Prayer, Uncategorized

Broken as Bread   Leave a comment

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When I moved back to Oxford, MS, where I was born, and entered the farm land where I would live, onto the property that was once my great-grandparents, “It was like a church to me. I entered it on soft foot, breath held like a cap in the hand. It was quiet. What God there was made himself felt . . . I walked on, simple and poor, while the air crumbled and broke on me generously as bread.”

The Moor
It was like a church to me.
I entered it on soft foot,
Breath held like a cap in the hand.
It was quiet.
What God there was made himself felt,
Not listened to, in clean colours
That brought a moistening of the eye,
In a movement of the wind over grass.
There were no prayers said. But stillness
Of the heart’s passions – that was praise
Enough; and the mind’s cession
Of its kingdom. I walked on,
Simple and poor, while the air crumbled
And broke on me generously as bread.
~ From the Collected Poems of R. S. Thomas

 

Posted February 25, 2016 by ouidaofs in Joy, Peace

The River Over Which Every Soul Must Pass   Leave a comment

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Christ of Saint John of the Cross by Salvador Dalí

And I saw the river over which every soul must pass to reach the kingdom of heaven and the name of that river was suffering and I saw a boat which carries souls across the river and the name of that boat was love.

St. John of the Cross

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Drawing by St. John of the Cross

Posted November 12, 2015 by ouidaofs in Joy, Love, Peace, Suffering

Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep   Leave a comment

There is a prayer we said as children when our mothers came in to kiss us goodnight.  I’m wondering if this prayer might be more comforting for us now – us in our 70’s or so – as we lay us down to sleep and pray to the Lord our soul to keep.

Now I lay me down to sleep.
I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
If I should die before I wake,
I pray to God my soul to take.

Posted August 1, 2013 by ouidaofs in Peace, Prayer

Sister Mary Veronica Miceli, O.P.   Leave a comment

October 13, 1929 – March 12, 2013 New Orleans, Louisiana

What wonderful memories I have of Sr. Veronica. I smile at the mention of her name as encounters with her, whether at a conference, retreat, in her office, at the grocery store or the last time, at Our Lady of Wisdom Healthcare Center, always was an experience of joy and laughter. She was a great teacher, filled with the Holy Spirit and love of our Lord. She was a fun person, and I see her dancing eyes before me now. Eternal rest, grant unto Sr. Veronica, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon her.

OBITUARY

Sister Mary Veronica Miceli, O.P., age 83 and in her 65th year of religious profession, died on Tuesday, March 12, 2013 at Our Lady of Wisdom Healthcare Center. Sister Mary Veronica was born Marie Margaret Miceli in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and was a life-long resident of New Orleans, Louisiana. She was the daughter of the late Samuel A. Miceli, Sr. and Josephine Perino Miceli, and sister of the late Angelo J. Miceli. Sister Mary Veronica earned a Bachelor of Arts in History from St. Mary’s Dominican College, a Master’s Degree in History from St. Louis University, and a Ph. D. in History from Tulane University. After professing her vows as a Dominican Sister in 1948, Sister taught at elementary schools in Cottonport, Reserve, Bunkie and New Orleans, Louisiana. Thereafter, Sister Mary Veronica was a long-time, beloved history teacher at Dominican High School and a professor of history at Dominican College. Following her retirement from teaching, Sister dedicated herself to other ministries for many years, including giving retreats and days of recollection across Louisiana and particularly at the Dominican Retreat House in Rosaryville, Louisiana and the Center for Jesus Christ the Lord in New Orleans; acting as liaison to the Dominican Laity; and serving on the Archdiocese of New Orleans Metropolitan Tribunal for annulments. Sister brought joyful exuberance to every aspect of her life and to everyone she met, and had a special love of the Blessed Mother. She enjoyed food and travel, especially her many trips to Italy and Medjugorje, often in the company of her beloved parents. Sister is survived by her brother, Samuel A. Miceli, Jr., whom she adored, and many devoted nieces, nephews, grand-nieces, grand-nephews, cousins and many loving friends.

Mass of the Resurrection will be celebrated by Fr. Leo A. Nicoll, S.J. at Lake Lawn Funeral Home, 5100 Pontchartrain Blvd., New Orleans, La. 70124 on Monday, March 18, 2013 at 11:00 o’clock a.m., followed by interment in Metairie Cemetery. Visitation will begin at 9:00 o’clock a.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The National Centre for Padre Pio, Inc., 111 Barto Road, Barto, PA 19504

Posted July 19, 2013 by ouidaofs in Holy Spirit, Joy, Peace, Prayer

A SONG FOR NAGASAKI   Leave a comment

I recently read a book entitled A Song for Nagasaki by Fr. Paul Glynn, SM. It is the story of Takashi Nagai. Nagai was a devout Catholic convert, husband, father, teacher, doctor, and writer. Nagai lived in Nagasaki, in Japan, when the United States dropped the A bomb on August 9, 1945.

When the A bomb dropped on August 9th, Nagasaki suffered a direct hit in its Urakami district, the historic Catholic area, and 8500 Catholics were killed (including Nagai’s wife) and more suffered and later died from the effects of atomic radiation. St. Mary’s Cathedral was totally destroyed.

St. Mary’s construction began in 1895 and was completed in 1917, twenty-two years later. The work began under the direction of an amateur architect priest, and it was a colossal effort, all done by poor people. The Cathedral was 230 feet long and accommodated five thousand worshippers. It was largest cathedral in the Far East, with two bell towers more than one hundred feet high.

Intercessions of Fr. Maximilian Kolbe, OFM Conv.

When the bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Dr. Nagai was working at the hospital, about one-half mile away from the center. Soon he and others in the hospital began showing signs of radiation sickness. Nagai was thought to be dying, and in his coma, he heard a voice telling him to pray to the Franciscan friar, Fr. Maximilian Kolbe, OFM Conv. Nagai had known Fr. Kolbe well in the early 1930s and had x-rayed him concerning Fr. Kolbe’s chronic tuberculosis.

Nagai recovered by October 5th, and he attributed his remission for six years to the intercessions of Fr. Kolbe. Not known to Nagai, Fr. Kolbe had died on August 14, 1941, in the Nazi German death camp of Auschwitz in Poland. He was canonized Saint Maximilian Kolbe on October 10, 1982 by Pope John Paul II.

Fr. Kolbe had a history in Nagasaki between 1930 and 1936 when he undertook a series of missions to Japan and founded a monastery, Japanese paper and seminary. He established Mugenzai no Sono (the Garden of the Immaculate), built on the slopes of Mount Hikosan. It was saved when the bomb dropped because it was built on the opposite side of the mountain from the Nagasaki center.

Religious Persecution

A Song for Nagasaki describes the persecution of Japanese Catholics down through time and how they suffered and died for their faith. Truly, we in the United States do not know what religious persecution is compared to the people of Japan and other countries. We have not suffered physical torture or martyrdom at the hands of our government yet.

I have reflected on all the books I have read concerning torture and death of Christians, through actions or sanctions of the government, beginning in the New Testament. Consider all the persecution and deaths of Catholics and Protestants from the 1500’s, down through time, especially in England, beginning with Henry VIII. Consider de-christianization of France during the French Revolution. Consider events in Mexico in the 1900’s, especially in the 1920’s, depicted in the recent movie, For Greater Glory, and the book, Mexican Martyrdom by Wilfrid Parsons, S.J. Consider Nazi Germany (The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by Shirer). Consider the history of Christian persecution, tortures, and deaths in countries throughout the world on this single website: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persecution_of_Christians.

On the internet, Open Doors provides the World Wide Watch List of the 50 countries where Christians are most persecuted. The countries where persecution is most severe are North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Maldives, Mali, Iran, Yemen, Eritrea, and Syria. http://www.worldwatchlist.us/

Certain Unalienable Rights

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed . . . .” Declaration of Independence.

The First Amendment to the Constitution states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

We must guard our religious freedom and keep the government from unconstitutional domination and restrictions. Learn from the history of other countries. Seek the truth and study the founding documents and history of our country, especially the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. Understand that the First Amendment to the Constitution, in the Establishment Clause, limits the power of our government but does not limit the religious freedom and power of the citizens, contrary to what is being indicated by the government, the media and others. Help to eliminate ignorance, apathy and the low information voter who may rely on Twitter and social media for their news.

Religious persecution often starts slowly, growing into a hideous, evil monster, ending in the suffering and deaths of many. Yes, it can happen to us here in the United States.

Let Us Follow the Poor and Crucified Christ

As Christians, we must fight against loss of religious freedom through prayer and fasting, through being a light to the world, and through standing for respect for life from conception to natural death. Most important of all, remember the Lord says, “ if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14. Is this not what Saint Francis also would say to us? Did he not put on the armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-17)?

All Christians are called to holiness and to live in the spirit of the Beatitudes on this journey home to the Father. Secular Franciscans must follow our Rule and the lead of our Holy Father Francis to live in simplicity and care for the poor.

It is not the duty of the government to care for the poor but the duty of the Church to assist and care for the poor, sick, orphans, widowed, the homeless and all the marginalized. We must not allow the government to usurp our duties to those in need in our country and the world. The Church restores dignity to peoples and leads to salvation for the many. It assists and cares but does not enable. The government creates dependency and powerlessness among the people in its drive for power.

In March 22, 2013, Pope Francis, in the audience with the Diplomatic Corps, spoke of “fighting poverty, both material and spiritual, building peace and constructing bridges.” He spoke of respect for the whole of creation and the protection of our environment. He is the Pope for our times, showing a true Franciscan spirit by his life and teachings. He points the way to the Way, and for Secular Franciscans, our Rule guides and instructs us.

The Twenty-Six Martyrs of Nagasaki in 1597
The Twenty-Six Martyrs of Nagasaki in 1597

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Sources and recommended readings on the World Wide Web

1. “The Catholic Holocaust of Nagasaki – ‘Why, Lord?’” Brother Anthony Josemaria, August 1, 2010.

http://www.hprweb.com/2010/08/the-catholic-holocaust-of-nagasaki-why-lord/

2. “Takashi Nagai’s Life and Message of Peace,” Cecilia Bryan, June 23, 2012.

http://catholicism.org/takashi-nagais-life-and-message-of-peace.html

3. Twenty-Six Martyrs Museum. http://www.26martyrs.com/

4. “The Conversion of Takashi Nagai, And His Vocation of Life,” Frank Weathers, April 28, 2013. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/yimcatholic/2013/04/the-conversion-of-takashi-nagai-and-his-vocation-of-love.html

Ephesians 6 – Battle against Evil.

10 Finally, draw your strength from the Lord and from his mighty power. 11 Put on the armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm against the tactics of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens. 13 Therefore, put on the armor of God, that you may be able to resist on the evil day and, having done everything, to hold your ground. 14 So stand fast with your loins girded in truth, clothed with righteousness as a breastplate, 15 and your feet shod in readiness for the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances, hold faith as a shield, to quench all [the] flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Source: http://www.usccb.org/bible/ephesians/6

Into the Way of Peace   Leave a comment

Written Memorial Day, May 28, 2012

On this Memorial Day, I am remembering the military who died for us on the battlefields of war as well as those who have come home to suffer with tragic wounds and loss of limbs. I am remembering my husband, who flew a B-24 in Italy during World War II.  I also am remembering Saint Francis of Assisi, not as the saint he became, but as the young man he was when he went off to war. His greatest desire at that time was to become a knight and gain fame and glory.

In 1202, there arose a great war between the centuries-old enemies of Perugia and Assisi.  Francis was 20 years old, and his father outfitted him in the finest attire to join in the battle.  Francis was wounded and captured at the Battle of Collestrada. It was a massacre. Thomas of Celano, the early biographer of Francis, indicated that it was beyond measure. The hills were covered in blood. Assisi was beaten, and the slaughter was great. Assisi was appalled, and everywhere there was weeping and mourning for those who were lost – the brightest and the best, the old and the young, the noble and the common.

[War and its consequences are the same always, then and now. There will never be an end to war until people and nations learn to forgive each other. It is that simple and that difficult because true forgiveness requires a change of heart and only God and his grace can change a heart.]

The angels surrounded Francis during the Battle of Collestrada, and according to God’s plan, his life was protected and spared. Many from Assisi were taken prisoner, including Francis. He was held in prison for about a year, until his father ransomed him. He returned home and suffered a long illness.

Francis’ carefree days of youth were over, and the road to his conversion rose up before him as he sought to find his way.  As a teenager, he had been a spendthrift, a dreamer, a rich, spoiled kid, indulged by both parents.  Then, during the years following his release from prison, he learned to listen to the voice of the Lord and was transformed.  This Memorial Day, I am reminded that Francis was chosen by God to lead us into the way of peace and to mirror the Christ, the Son of God living God. 

“Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof . . . .”
The centurion – Matthew 8:8

Posted May 28, 2012 by ouidaofs in Beatitudes, Franciscan, Peace, Saint Francis

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