Thursday, November 26, 2015

Help me to remember... (A Prayer for Thanksgiving)

          O God, when I have food, 
       help me to remember the hungry. 
       When I have work, 
       help me to remember the jobless. 
       When I have a comfortable home, 
       help me to remember those who suffer 
       from the cold or from the heat. 
       When I am without pain, 
       help me to remember those who suffer. 
       In all this remembering, 
       help me to destroy my own complacency 
       and bestir my compassion. 
       Make me concerned enough to help 
       by word, deed, and prayer, 
       those who cry out for what I so often take for granted. 

(A mealtime blessing offered during a gathering of New England Catholic superintendants and principals, and posted by Fr. James Martin on Facebook, July 24, 2012.)

Have a Happy & Blessed Thanksgiving 
from Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church,
Mill Valley!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder (G. K. Chesterton)

  You say grace before meals.  All right.  But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing and grace before I dip the pen in ink.

  Thanks are the highest form of thought, and gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.
--G. K. Chesterton

Happy Thanksgiving to all from Our Lady of Mount Carmel!
Do join us on Thanksgiving Day for Mass at 9:30am...
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Quotation source

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Filled with love for God (St. Francis de Sales)

      This is what God requires of us; that among all our loves His must be the most heartfelt, dominating over our whole heart, the most affectionate, possessing our entire soul, the most general, using all our powers, the most lofty, filling our entire spirit, and the most firm, calling forth all our strength and vigor.  Because by it we choose and elect God as the supreme object of our spirit, it is a love of supreme election, or an election of supreme love. . . Love of God is love without a peer, because God’s goodness is goodness without an equal.  Hear, O Israel, your God is the sole Lord.  Therefore, you shall love Him with your whole heart, with your whole soul, and with your whole mind, and with your whole strength.
--St. Francis de Sales

Monday, November 23, 2015

Journey's End (Annie Lennox)

  Lay down  
Your sweet and weary head  
Night is falling  
You've come to journey's end  
Sleep now  
And dream of the ones who came before  
They are calling  
From across the distant shore  

Why do you weep?  
What are these tears upon your face?  
Soon you will see  
All of your fears pass away  
Safe in my arms  
You're only sleeping  

What can you see
On the horizon?
Why do the white gulls call?
Across the sea
A pale moon rises
The ships have come to carry you home

And all will turn
To silver glass
A light on the water
All souls pass

Hope fades
Into the world of night
Through shadows falling
Out of memory and time
Don't say: We have come now to the end.
White shores are calling
You and I will meet again
And you'll be here in my arms
Just sleeping


And all will turn
To silver glass
A light on the water
Grey ships pass

Into the West

During the month of November, we remember All Souls...

To hear Annie Lennox sing this song, click on the video below:
--Annie Lennox
(Lord of the Rings soundtrack)

Saturday, November 21, 2015

If I have this divine life in me (Thomas Merton)

   If I have this divine life in me, what do the accidents of pain and pleasure, hope and fear, joy and sorrow matter to me?  They are not my life and they have little to do with it.  Why should I fear anything that cannot rob me of God, and why should I desire anything that cannot give me possession of Him?

--Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation, ch.22
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Thursday, November 19, 2015

Sunday Gospel Reflection, November 22, 2015: My kingdom does not belong to this world...

  Whose kingdom are we shooting for, anyway?  

  Are you the King of the Jews?  When, in John's Gospel, Pilate asks Jesus this question, he is concerned that Jesus represents a dual threat:  not only would such a messianic title be seen as blasphemous (to Pilate, the only king is Caesar, of course), but Jesus might be positioning himself as a politically motivated savior of his people, come to upend Roman rule.  However, Jesus is dedicated to something greater than any human, political truth; Jesus has come to testify to the truth, and that truth is God's love… God's love, which is ultimately true because it is unwavering, eternal, and without limitations.  And accepting God's love means accepting God's authority to rule our hearts. 

  That authority is, as the Book of Daniel proclaims, permanent:  His dominion is an everlasting dominion that shall not be taken away or destroyed.  Psalm 93 echoes this statement:  God's kingdom is from of old, and will last for length of days.  Jesus, one like a Son of Man, comes to earth in the semblance of weak humanity, but truly divine, he comes on the clouds of heaven.  In the Book of Revelation death crowns him the faithful witness, one who has made us into a kingdom, and whose reign is eternal; Jesus is the one who is and who was and who is to come… forever.

  God's love is a power that will last where human power will not.  The Feast of Christ the King reminds us that we, too, must be dedicated to something greater than an earthly kingdom, dedicated to a love that moves us, a love that is strong, holy, and trustworthy.  A love, in short, that no earthly king can destroy, a love that only Jesus, Christ the King, he who loves us, can give.

This post is based on Fr. Pat's Scripture class.
Image source 1:  Wordle
Image source 2:  Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, Mill Valley

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Let Evening Come (Jane Kenyon)

Let the light of the late afternoon
shine through chinks in the barn, moving
up the bales as the sun moves down.
Let the cricket take up chafing
as a woman takes up her needles
and her yarn.  Let evening come.
Let dew collect on the hoe abandoned
in long grass.  Let the stars appear
and the moon disclose her silver horn.
Let the fox go back to its sandy den.
Let the wind die down.  Let the shed
go black inside.  Let evening come.
To the bottle in the ditch, to the scoop
in the oats, to the air in the lung
let evening come.
Let it come, as it will, and don't
be afraid.  God does not leave us
            comfortless, so let evening come.

--Jane Kenyon
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Poem source