What a vibrant welcome I continue to receive from you! Thank you for making me feel at home in this time of transition from my chaplaincy with the Sisters of Peace and continuing to learn what it means to be a good shepherd here at Holy Rosary.
In Pope Francis’ newest encyclical on the care of the Earth, entitled “Praise be to You, my Lord,” our Holy Father writes: “St. Francis shows us just how inseparable the bond is between concern for nature, justice for the poor, commitment to society, and interior peace.” Interior peace is quite a gift for which to be grateful and to strive to maintain as we offer the hospitality of Mary, Mother of God herself. We welcome God’s Word into our hearts and we welcome our neighbor to visit there too. The question I might ask myself is: ‘Is my heart a welcoming one providing a landscape of openness, hospitality, non-judgmental love and mercy?’
That our heart be nourished, some solitude in our lives is necessary on a regular basis. Jesus said to the apostles: “Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” Even in the midst of what can be rather frenetic busy days in the midst of raising a family, listening to the burdens others may pour out on us, we are invited to rest easy with God in the recliner of prayer and reflection. Whether on a park bench noticing the fresh air, sun, or breeze on our face, in an office taking a breather to enjoy God’s creation in a plant, or creating a prayer in petition to God through the intercession of a beloved family member or friend who has gone before us, all provide ways into refreshment for the heart and soul in the present as well as direction for the future.
This Wednesday, July 22, the Church celebrates the memorial of St. Mary Magdalene, disciple and first witness to the Resurrection, and, patron saint of the Dominicans, the Order of Preachers. Through her intercession and that of the Blessed Mother, may we unburden ourselves of what sits heavy on our hearts and enter into the joy of God’s comforting solace.
Blessings as you rest with God and offer that solace to others,
—fr. Chris, O.P.