Happy Anniversary My heart, My love!

Twenty-four years ago today I was blessed to be married to this beautiful and wonderful woman, JoAnn. I was also given, in the words of my grandfather, the gift of an instant family with JoAnn’s three kids, Mia, Jack, and Christy.

We were at our best together. We were not two halves making a whole, but two people who complemented and loved Jesus and each other. Life wasn’t perfect but we were committed to and supported each other through each of the challenges we faced.

JoAnn often said life was hard and would wonder what we were here for. She received her answer one day at the funeral Mass of a fifth grader named Oakley Debbs when his mom, Merrill, shared a message she received from Oakley after he died. “Love, love, and more love.”

JoAnn taught me how to love, she sought the best for others, and I am still learning from her. I miss her every day. Happy Anniversary, my heart, my love.

Consider and meditate on the passion of Christ

“It is very good and holy to consider the passion of our Lord and to meditate on it, for by this sacred path we reach union with God. In this most holy school we learn true wisdom, for it was there that all the saints learned it. Indeed when the cross of our dear Jesus has planted its roots more deeply in our hearts, then you will rejoice: ‘To suffer and not to die,’ or, ‘Neither to suffer, nor to die, but only to turn perfectly to the will of God.'” – St Paul of the Cross, shared in recognition of the observation of his Feast day.

Blessed to be celebrating it with the Passionists at Our Lady of Florida Spiritual Center.


Proverbs 22:22-23

“Injure not the poor because they are poor, nor crush the needy at the gate; For the Lord will defend their cause, and will plunder the lives of those who plunder them.”
– Proverbs 22:22-23
The Lord will free those who have no one to help them.
  • He himself will come to save the poor.

Midafternoon reading and response from the Liturgy of the Hours, Tuesday, Week III.

Photo: Canopy of the grandfather oak. When we first moved to East Windsor in 1970, this was a fully mature oak, and there were no other trees even close to it. It is still standing strong these 48 years later.

Deuteronomy 15:7-8

“If one of your kinsmen in any community is in need in the land which the Lord, your God, is giving you, you shall not harden your heart nor close your hand to him in his need. Instead, you shall open your hand to him and freely  lend him enough to meet his need.”
– Deuteronomy 15:7-8, Midday reading from the Liturgy of the Hours

Photo: Base of the grandfather oak

Jeremiah 22:3

“Do what is right and just. Rescue the victim from the hand of the oppressor. Do not wrong or oppress the resident alien, the orphan, or the widow, and do not shed innocent blood.”
– Jeremiah 22:3, Midmorning reading from the Liturgy of the Hour

Photo: path leading to grandfather oak behind my parent’s house in CT.

Our Father

Our Father
Our Father, Who art in heaven
Hallowed be Thy Name;
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil. Amen.
Biblical references: Matthew 6:7-15, Mark 11:25; Luke 11:1-4
Photo: Painting – Head of Christ – 1940 – Warner Salman

A Prayer for Sutherland and Our Country

Loving God and Father, be present with the Baptist congregation and their community of Sutherland Springs. Send your Holy Spirit to move upon the citizens and leadership of our country that we may resist polarization and division and instead choose unity, resist party affiliation and choose country, resist the darkness and choose the light, resist hate and choose love, in the hope that we may come together, to stand together against violence and find a means to heal, reconcile, and renew so we can see each other as human beings, brothers and sisters created in the image and likeness of God.

The Examen – St Ignatius of Loyola

The text below is from Fr. James Martin, S.J. originally posted on his Facebook page August 27, 2012. As a Jesuit, a speaker, an author, a spiritual director who has guided others in the practice of the Examen and more importantly one who practices the Examine daily. I feel he is in a much better position than I to explain the Examen. Read, watch, and pray!

The examen, or examination of conscience, is a quick prayer to help you to see where God was active in your day. Usually done for fifteen or twenty minutes at the end of the day, the prayer was popularized by St Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuit Order, in his classic text, The Spiritual Exercises.
Use these five easy steps to pray the examen every and soon you will begin to see God’s presence more easily.

1.      Presence: Remember that you are in the presence of God in a special way when you           pray. Ask God for help in your prayer.

2.     Gratitude: Recall two or three things that happened today
for which you are especially grateful. Savor them. Then
thank God for these gifts.

3.     Review: Review your day from start to finish, noticing where
you experienced God’s presence. Notice everything from
large to small: from an enjoyable interaction with a friend to
the feel of the sun on your face. When did you love?
Where did you love?

4.     Sorrow: You may have sinned today or done something you
regret. Express your sorrow to God and ask for forgiveness.
If it’s a grave sin, pray about seeking forgiveness from the
person offended, or the sacrament of reconciliation.

5.     Grace: You may want to return to a meaningful part of your
prayer and speak to God about how you felt. At the close of
the prayer, ask for God’s grace for the following day.

Over time, as you pray the examen, you’ll notice God’s presence in the moment, rather than just at the end of the day. You’ll see that your whole day can be a kind of prayer. Soon you’ll discover that you’ve become, as Jesuits like to say, contemplatives in action.

• Fr. James Martin, S.J.

Photo of mosaic accessed from:


A twenty minute video clip of Fr. Jim explaining the Examen:

Radiating Christ

The Prayer of John Cardinal Newman
Radiating Christ
Dear Lord, help me to spread Thy fragrance everywhere I go. Flood my soul with Thy spirit and life. Penetrate and possess my whole being so utterly that all my life may only be a radiance of Thine.
Shine through me and be so in me that every soul I come in contact with may feel Thy presence in my soul. Let them look up and see no longer me but only Thee, O Lord!
Stay with me, and then I shall begin to shine as thou shinest; so to shine as to be a light to others. The Light O Lord will be all from Thee; none of it will be mine; It will be Thou, shining on others through me.
Let me thus praise Thee in the way Thou dost love best, by shining on those around me. Let me preach thee without preaching, not by words but by example, by the catching force, the sympathetic influence of what I do, the evident fullness of the love my heart bears to thee!