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Let Your Light Shine

“No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket,
but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house.
In the same way, let your light shine before others,
so that they may see your good works
and give glory to your Father in heaven.”
(Mt. 5:16)

“Let your light shine.” If the light is true, not just my own self-promoting light, then it cannot help but bring blessing, even in small ways.  Each one of us is created to be a blessing for this world where, too often, it is the darkness that seems most evident: the prejudice, the racism, the violence, the greed—you name it.

But when the light is true, we are shedding not just our own light, but the divine light which has been poured out on us and into us.

In this troubled time, let us “shine like stars in the world” (Phil. 2:15). Let us shine by the light of hearts that know that we are all one in Christ.


 

Video: “Let Your Light Shine”

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May 10, 2020, marks the 50th anniversary of the canonization of our Cenacle foundress, Saint Therese Couderc.

Since we can't get together physically during this pandemic, we invite you to join with us in spirit as we express our gratitude to God for the gifts Mother Therese has bequeathed to us.

In thanksgiving we remember her words to us about the blessing of surrendering all to the good God. Here is a brief video of her meditation, "To Surrender Oneself":

 

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Living in Easter Hope

In a time of worldwide illness and the anxiety it provokes, can we let the promise of Easter lighten our hearts?

The future God plans for us is filled with divine beauty and love, which neither crucifixion nor illness can overcome.  In the second letter of Peter we read: 

May grace and peace be yours in abundance in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. His divine power has given us everything needed for life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Thus he has given us, through these things, his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may escape from the corruption that is in the world because of lust, and may become participants of the divine nature.
(2 Peter 1:3-4)

This amazing assurance is followed by a call:

For this very reason, you must make every effort to support your faith with goodness, and goodness with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with endurance, and endurance with godliness, and godliness with mutual affection, and mutual affection with love.  (2 Peter 1:5-7)

May we live in the blessing of the wonderful promise and its call.

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Anima Christi

Soul of Christ, sanctify me.Photo by Rose Hoover, rc (with the kind help of NASA)
Body of Christ, save me.
Blood of Christ, inebriate me.
Water from the side of Christ, wash me.
Passion of Christ, strengthen me.
O good Jesus, hear me:
Within thy wounds hide me;
Let me never be separated from thee.
From the wicked foe defend me.
At the hour of my death, call me
And bid me come to thee,
That with thy saints I may praise thee
For ever and ever. Amen.

_____

For reflections on each petition of this beautiful 14th century prayer, go to: "Soul of Christ."

 

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An Evening Prayer
O God,
in whom we live and move
and have our being,

O Love,
who embraced our sorrows
and took away our sins on the cross,

we have come to you today,
sometimes trusting,
sometimes fearful,

sometimes falling,
sometimes rejoicing.

O God, O Love,
as we spend these evening hours,
draw us to your loving heart,

where our fears may be quieted
and our tears wiped away,

and where we, with your Son Jesus Christ
may embrace the sorrows of the world
and answer your call to forgive,
in your most merciful heart.

Amen.
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Only Thou

At a time when the events of life—a fearful pandemic, for example, or even just the ordinary stresses of everyday life—may lead our thoughts and feelings away from God, it can be helpful to have a simple, repeated prayer. The Jesus Prayer is one such prayer—an ancient one. It is found in several similar forms, including this one: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”

A variation on the Jesus Prayer might be simply to repeat slowly and reverently the holy name of Jesus as we go through the day.

Another prayer which I find helpful is this one, from an early Hasidic song.  (This version is found in the Oxford Book of Prayer):

Wherever I go, only Thou!
Wherever I stand, only Thou!
Just Thou, again Thou! always Thou!
Thou, Thou, Thou!
When things are good, Thou!
When things are bad, Thou!
Thou, Thou, Thou!

But I don’t try to repeat the whole prayer during the day. One word suffices: the word “Thou.”

Thou…
Thou…
Thou…

Or perhaps sometimes two words:

Only Thou…
Only Thou…
Only Thou…

This can be a help in allowing my awareness to be turned toward the presence of God, and away from empty routine or from whatever might convince me that God’s love is not offered in these difficult days.

God is present. God is present to all of us and to each of us. This is God with us as total love, in joy or in sorrow, beyond what we can imagine or conceive… God who accepts us, welcomes us, goes with us as we take each step.

Thou…
Thou…
Thou…

_____

Click on the image (or on the title below) if you would like to view my YouTube video, “Only Thou,” based on this Hasidic prayer.
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It's about Love

https://www.amazon.com/That-God-May-All-Christian/dp/0578598183/The season of Lent is about love.

We might be eager to reach the more obvious celebration of Easter, but we can well say that Lent — indeed the whole liturgical year — is about love, because the deepest meaning of our lives is God's love for us.

"And I saw full surely that before God made us He loved us; which love was never slacked, nor ever shall be. And in this love He hath done all His works; and in this love He hath made all things profitable to us; and in this love our life is everlasting. In our making we had beginning; but the love wherein He made us was in Him from without beginning: in which love we have our beginning. And all this shall we see in God, without end."

- Julian of Norwich, "Love Was Our Lord's Meaning,"
Revelations of Divine Love

__________

Check out our new Cenacle Publication:

Rose Hoover, "That God May Be All in All: Christian Life and Sacred Paradox."

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New Cenacle Publication

That God May Be All in All: Christian Life and Sacred Paradox is the title of my new book, recently published.

We might truly wonder about this mysterious Biblical phrase: "that God may be all in all" (from 1 Corinthians 15). What does it mean for God to be all in all? Is this a promise only for the end of time, or does it contain a call to us now?

How are we to let ourselves be transformed in the God who is Unknown, yet at the same time is our most intimate Knowing? And what about the wondrous mystery that the God who is supremely Other longs for us to share the divine life in Christ?

I invite you to take a look on Amazon.com, which will let you view samples of the book.  Just click on the picture of the cover, and you will be taken there.


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Peaceable Kingdom

The wolf shall live with the lamb,
the leopard shall lie down with the kid,
the calf and the lion and the fatling together,
and a little child shall lead them.
The cow and the bear shall graze,
their young shall lie down together;
and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp,
and the weaned child shall put its hand on the adder’s den.
They will not hurt or destroy
on all my holy mountain;
for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord
as the waters cover the sea.
(Isaiah 11:6-9 NRSV)

Buddy and Ada holding paws

 

 

 

 

Buddy and Ada Holding Paws
– Photo by John Hoover

 

Isaiah’s beautifully poetic prophecy concerning the reign of the Messianic king foresees a world where all creatures live together in peace. But we might well ask: Is this age of peace, of harmony, of love among God’s creatures solely the responsibility of the Messiah? Do we human beings have no role to play in bringing about the peace and love described here?  Are we just to carry on business as usual—making war, damaging the environment on which we depend, hurting ourselves and others in multiple ways—in the conviction that there is nothing we can do now to bring about that time when there will be no more hurting or destroying?

On the contrary, if we are to live in the Spirit of Christ, if indeed it is true that we ourselves are called to “become participants of the divine nature” (1 Peter 1:4), then the peace that Christ brings must in some way be present in our relationships with each other and with God’s creation.

So we might ask: What small step can I take now to witness to that future when there will be no hurting or destroying in God’s creation? How can I allow God to work through me to hasten, even in a very limited way, the time when “the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea”?

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For Thanksgiving and beyond: we are grateful for our friends and hold you in prayer.

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