Twice a month the staff of St. Gregory the Great Church send out a spiritual reflection to all parishioners for whom we have an e-mail address. What follows are the most recent of these reflections. If you would like to have your name added to our e-mail reflection list, please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will add your name to our listing.
SPIRITUAL REFLECTION – SR. REGINA DE VITTO – AUGUST 4
I recently spoke with a friend who just moved to a new neighborhood and larger house. The move did not go exactly as planned. Several contracted people were not able to meet the deadlines agreed upon. Her house and her life feel uncomfortably upside down and she is anxious to get settled. Someone else I spoke with is learning to live with a new baby. The adjustment to this new member of the family is both wonderful and challenging. Sister Barbara is getting ready to go on mission to her motherhouse in Cincinnati. We wish her well as we hold fast to her friendship and adjust to her absence among us.
These few experiences are but small examples how change is part and parcel of life. Change from out of the blue can leave one feeling lost, even resentful. With sufficient preparation change can bring one to new understandings. Most often I find that when I wrestle with a decision that will require some change in my life I am really asked to give my consent to allow God’s will to be done. I am a strong believer that with every change, whether for good or ill, new life emerges, like a planted seed that has broken open and pushes up out of the earth. During my retreat this summer I discovered that I was resistant to something and it held me back from believing in the God to whom nothing is impossible.
Someone once said that to live well is to change often. Accepting change can happen if we appreciate that our gifts are merely on loan so we can return them to God with praise and thanksgiving. Change and its inevitability are placed in a holy context in the prayer of St. Ignatius of Loyola, set to music by Dan Schutte.
“Take my heart, O Lord, take my hopes and dreams.
Take my mind with all its plans and schemes.
Give me nothing more than your love and grace.
These alone O God are enough for me.”
SPIRITUAL REFLECTION - PATRICK GODON - JULY 17
"When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd,
his heart was moved with pity for them,
for they were like sheep without a shepherd;
and he began to teach them many things." Mark 6:3
This summer has started off restfully. While I always dread losing my choir season routine, the rest and relaxation is so welcome. I gained perspective at a summer arts festival where I was on faculty in Oklahoma. Keri and the boys were able to join me and we found new ways to connect with each other and nature. While nature was often to be found in our room (I removed a baby rattle snake from our bathroom!), we found our stride and ended up having a good amount of quality family time. We met many new faces and I made music with a new set of colleagues. We were on Native American land and I felt the connection to my Native American roots. I was inspired by the land, lectures, and the love shared through meeting new people.
My oldest son Gilbert and I recently returned from Belgium, where I was fortunate to be performing with CSO clarinetist John Bruce Yeh at the Clarinet Fest in Ostend. Every day we made it to the beach of the North Sea and had fun eating amazing seafood, playing cards, and having nearly everything we saw be something new to our eyes. Travel is my contribution to our home schooling curriculum. Gilbert sure gained a lot perspective on the world. I also really enjoyed spending one-on-one time with him, and feeling like time was suspended for those eight days.
I feel a bit guilty, given the turmoil described in the news of families being ripped apart at the border or living in war torn countries, that I'm connecting to my family more and more. It is incomprehensible to me what happens in our world every day. There's so much outcry for people to be loved, sheep without a shepherd. How will our hearts be moved with pity for them?
Prayer, by Thomas Stehle
Lord Jesus, let us recognize and embrace your heart.
May our hearts learn to beat with yours,
So that when given an opportunity
to be your eyes and hands and face in the world,
people will come to recognize you in our gracious acts
and dare to hope for a better world and a future blessedness. Amen.
Love and Music,