Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Passing of the Mantle

The Passing of the Mantle

The Eglise St.-Joseph-des-Carmes is a small church in the heart of the Catholic Institute in the 6th arrondissement of Paris.  Built between 1613 and 1620, it was originally intended for religious of the Discalced Carmelite Order.  (“Discalced” means “without shoes.”)  The order was established in the tradition of the solitary Prophet Elijah, who withdrew to Mount Carmel, where the first hermits of the order resided.   The dome of St.-Joseph-des-Carmes depicts the story of Elijah's final passing of his mantle on to his acolyte Elisha.  In the picture below, if you tilt your head a little to the left, you can see Elijah’s flaming chariot rising up to heaven: 

Elisha is depicted on the next level of the dome catching the mantle:

If you ever find yourself wandering down the rue de Vaugirard, be bold and stride right through the Catholic Institute so you can visit this lovely chandeliered gem of a church.  It’s worth a stop!

(For another picture of the dome, click here.)

Saturday, June 29, 2013

OLMC HS Leadership and Mission Trip - The Gift of Paint

On Friday, OLMC high school students volunteered their time to paint the house of an elderly woman in Nanakuli, Hawaii.

They were also allowed to sign their names on the home's ramp!

For more painting pictures, visit the OLMC Facebook page by clicking here.

Friday, June 28, 2013

OLMC HS Leadership and Mission Trip - Rockin' Jesus

A new video of OLMC high school students on their leadership & mission trip,
with their new friends from St. Rita Catholic Church in Nanakuli, Hawaii.
This time they're rockin' Jesus...
(from Venessa)

OLMC HS Leadership and Mission Trip - Dance and Praise

Check out this short video of our OLMC teens dancing --
and praising God -- in a whole new way!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

OLMC HS Leadership and Mission Trip - Sustainable Organic Farm

Sustainable Organic Farm

Mission: creating peaceful communities in harmony with nature through the eyes, hands & hearts of the children.  

The buildings were actually built by 6th grade students.  Each area of the farm was built and/or made by kids. 

Father Gigi is Italian and he was thrilled to meet Carla and speak Italian with her.   He has lived in Oahu for over 30 years.

He talked to us about before working the earth we need to feel the energy of the grounds.

I wish I had the words to describe the differences I see in our teens.  They keep us laughing and talking all day.  It's 9pm and they are play tag in gardens.   It's just beautiful to see the joy and hear the laughter of 30 plus kids.  Our Hawaiian host teens and ours are making friends.  They are staying with us at Our Lady of Kea'au and travel with us during the day.  With some of these kids you would think they have been in our group from the beginning.


PS:  You can also see the pictures St. Rita's posted to their own webpage from this past Tuesday morning's Mass by clicking on this link:

Sunday Gospel Reflection, June 30, 2013: You are called for freedom...

How can we be at once called to follow and called for freedom?

This Sunday’s readings are about our call to discipleship.  During Elijah’s tenure on Mt. Horeb, God gives the prophet various instructions, including:  You shall anoint Elisha as prophet to succeed you.  Shortly thereafter, in 1 Kings, Elijah comes upon Elisha working in the field and throws his cloak over him as a sign of his invitation to intimacy with God.  Elisha’s response is not quite immediate:  Please, let me kiss my father and mother goodbye, and I will follow you.  Elijah’s response is harsh:  Go back!  But Elisha proves his commitment by slaughtering the oxen and burning their yokes, and follows Elijah until Elijah ascends to God, leaving Elisha the very cloak that had signaled his call to discipleship.  Psalm 16 is an affirmation of what Elijah experienced, and what Elisha will be about:  deep faith and trust in God, our refuge and counsel, whose faithfulness allows us to know fullness of joys in God’s presence – the plenitude of relationship if only we accept our own call.

In Luke’s Gospel, Jesus also has strong words about the costs and demands of discipleship.  When those he calls hesitate – Lord, let me go first and bury my father, or, let me say farewell to my family – Jesus counters with the imperative of 100% dedication to the call:  now is the time, so set your hand to the plow and get to work, but don’t look back.  Following Jesus is about letting love drive all that we do, being focused on God, and allowing the Spirit to grow that love in us.  The more we invest in God’s love, the more we enrich the lives of those around us with the love that came for all.

So what does it mean to be called for freedom, as Paul tells the Galatians?  The yoke of slavery references both the constraints of Jewish law and the self-centeredness of sin.  To be called for freedom, then, suggests that, through Jesus, we are freed of both so that we are free for love, freed for a love that truly embraces God, both God present in the Eucharist and in other.  We too are called to hear God’s whisper, to accept Jesus’s call to intimacy, to love, and to allow that love to transform us, and, with the help of the Spirit in us, the world.

This post is based on Fr. Pat's Scripture class.
Photo source

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

OLMC HS Leadership and Mission Trip - First Days

Cooking chili dinner in the Long House.  
We have 4 teams of 6-7 kids, 
and are rotating work schedules for cooking & cleaning.

Teens are so helpful
and have welcomed their new friends in Nanakuli.

Ancient burial grounds

Had a great day, protocol mass at St Rita's parish, 
preparing meals for the homeless, feeding the brethren, 
swimming in the ocean, 
and a great night looking at the difference 
between our talents and developing personal skills.
We are so blessed to be here.

For more pictures from the trip, 
go directly to the OLMC Facebook page by clicking here
(No need to be "on Facebook" to access the OLMC page!)

Beyond Belief

If you don't have time to venture down to Stanford to see all the "saints" artwork there (see the June 8 blogpost for more details on the two exhibitions there), maybe this exhibit at The Contemporary Jewish Museum will be of interest.  Including a wide range of media and representing some of the biggest names in twentieth-century art (Klee, Mondrian, and others), the exhibit references Biblical texts starting with Genesis and moving to more abstract representations of the divine.  The exhibition also includes Christian art as well as art related to Asian spiritual traditions such as Buddhism.

The exhibition opens June 28 and runs through October 27.  Visit the museum's website for more details, including hours and parking information.

Photo source:  Teresita Fern├índez, Fire, 2005. Silk yarn, steel armature, and epoxy, 96 x 144 in. Collection SFMOMA, Accessions Committee Fund purchase; copyright © Teresita Fern├índez.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

God takes on flesh

"God takes on flesh so that every home becomes a church, every child becomes the Christ-child, and all food and drink become a sacrament.  God's many faces are now everywhere, in flesh, tempered and turned down, so that our human eyes can see him.  God, in his many-faced face, has become as accessible, and visible, as the nearest water tap.  That is the why of the incarnation."  
--Fr. Ron Rolheiser, The Holy Longing

Text source:  Fr. Ronald Rolheiser, The Holy Longing
Photo source 

Saturday, June 22, 2013

OLMC Holy Land Pilgrimage - Final Days

Temptation Rock

A note from Susan Morison:
Well, the trip has been amazing. We've not made all of our scheduled stops due to time management but we've seen more than most people could ever imagine. Even local people don't have access to Masses where we've had some of ours. Our guide brought his wife with us for a few days so she could pray in those special places, Jesus' manger, for example.

I have felt honored to be a lector at OLMC and now I've proclaimed the word at Carmel, at the Manger (Church of the Nativity) and at Gethsemane. What amazing memories.

We are off to early Mass and a busy day tring to fit in Jericho, which we missed when a border crossing took so long.

With love and prayers from the New Jerusalem,

Thursday, June 20, 2013

OLMC Holy Land Pilgrimage - From the Tomb of St. Mary to Mount Nebo

The City of Petra, Jordan, the site of Indiana Jones' last adventure

The Cave of 100 Colors, also in Petra

Moses' view of the Promised Land from Mount Nebo

(Note:  It’s hard to know for sure, but we think our travelers may be one day behind on their itinerary.  Today they sent the above pictures of Petra and Mt. Nebo.  In theory, this means they have also already visited the Tomb of St. Mary and done the Palm Sunday walk up to the Mount of Olives.  They will have viewed the old city and visited the Church of Pater Noster as well as the Church of the Ascension.  They have likely also visited Bethany and Lazarus’s Tomb before arriving at Petra and visiting that city as well as Mt. Nebo.  Tomorrow they continue on to Jericho, and more!)

Sunday Gospel Reflection, June 23, 2013: You have clothed yourselves with Christ...

You have clothed yourselves with Christ... 
What does it mean to be saved?

In this Sunday’s readings, the prophet Zechariah foretells God’s intervention on behalf of the people of Israel.  After years of exile, he says, God will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and petition; it will be a fountain to purify them from all that stands between themselves and God.  Relationship will be restored; access to God will be reestablished through God’s saving action in their lives.

The psalmist understands the need for this fountain of God’s grace:  for you… my soul thirsts, he cries (Psalm 63).  And since prayer itself is a means of access and connection with God, the psalmist’s petition in the temple is also a promise to glorify and bless God, knowing that he is intimately upheld by God’s right hand.  Revived by God’s kindness and help, the psalmist has been delivered, restored to right relationship, enjoying the intimacy of closeness with God once again.

Jesus’ coming satisfies this desire for God’s saving presence in ways the people of Israel could not begin to imagine.  In Luke's GospelJesus, the Christ of God, has a hard message for his disciples:  If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.  How do we do this?  By allowing Christ to dwell in us.  By entering into full relationship with him.  By answering the question Who do you say that I am? with an effort to understand what it means if our lives are joined to him and his to ours, fully.  You have clothed yourself in Christ, Paul tells the Galatians.  If we are clothed in Christ, if Jesus truly dwells in us, then that relationship is transformative of our very essence.  Because then, we may become conduits of God’s saving power, points of access, the fountain of grace that the world so desperately needs… 

This post is based on Fr. Pat's Scripture class.
Photo source

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

OLMC Holy Land Pilgrimage - From the Grottos to the Via Dolorosa

Camel rides

The Milk Grotto, so named because, according to legend, a drop of Mary's Milk fell there, turning it white.  While our travelers were there, a group of children entered to pray and sing in honor of Mary.

St. Jerome's Grotto


Bev Bentley next to a 2000-year-old olive tree!

Headstone of St. Stephen, deacon and first martyr of the Church

A private mass for our travelers above Jesus' Tomb in the Holy Sepulchre

Stations of the Cross

A final blessing

(Note:  We last left our travelers at the Milk Grotto and Jerome’s Grotto, pictures of which you can now see above.  In the meantime, they have been busy.  Daniela rode a camel!  Also, according to their itinerary, they have visited Hebron, the Cave of the Patriarchs, Bet Guvrin – Bell Caves, Shepherds’ Field, Abu Gosh, Holy Sepulchre Church, the Wailing Wall, and the Armenian and Jewish Quarters of Jerusalem.  They have viewed the Dome of the Rock, taken a tour of the old city, visited St. Anne’s, the Chapel of Flagellation, the Ecce Homo Arch, and Lithostrotos (think “Gabbatha”).  They also walked the 14 Stations of the Cross along the Via Dolorosa, as you can see above, and visited the Garden of Gethsemane.  They likely also visited Mt. Zion, the City of David, the Cenacle (the upper room), David’s tomb, Dormition Abbey, and St. Peter at Galicantu.  And did I mention  Daniela rode a camel?)