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January 17,

Unchained Melody

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Quote for the Day:
Troubles are often the tools by which God fashions us for better things.
Henry Ward Beecher

I read in this book about writing... that for practice you open the dictionary up at random... pick a word and then write about it for five minutes. I thought that would be an excellent way for coming up with something to write about when the brain locks up. Sometimes it seems pretty permanent.

Anyway to help keep me on topic.... I will take a word from the Catholic Dictionary. (Bet many of you didn't know Catholics have their own dictionary did you?) Not surprising - since we have so many words that are not used outside of Catholic settings.... something is needed to help us out!

Okay ... here I go.... and the word is .......... Custodian of the Holy Land ... oh great.... that's a winner! Is it fair to look again?

What I know about the Custodian of the Holy Land is very little. I know it has to do with the Franciscans - when the Moslems took over the Holy Land they only allowed the Franciscan Friars to remain. Or maybe the Franciscans were the only ones who stayed.. so hard to recall when you have a memory like mine. Guess I should do some googling and give you at least a link to someone who has some "real" knowledge!

Challenges of New Franciscan Custodian of Holy Land

The Custodian is in charge of Catholic friars across the Middle East and coordinates the reception of pilgrims in the Holy Land.

The Custody Must Be Doubled in the Holy Land

Well, enough of that.... maybe that picking a word out of a Catholic Dictionary wasn't such a hot idea!

But before I end.... January 18th begins the Novena for Christian Unity! Today's Theme is "For the union of all Christians in the Church."

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Joy from Meditation
Rejoice in Me
by Msgr. David E. Rosage

Everything God Created is Good

Psalm 104:1-2a Creator of Light

Bless the Lord, O my soul!
O Lord, my God, you are great indeed!
You are clothed with majesty and glory,
robed in light as with a cloak.

On the first day of creation God said: " 'Let there be light,' and there was light" (Gen 1:3).

Light has always been the symbol of the presence and glory of God. "God made the two great lights, the greater one to govern the night; and the made the stars" (Gn 1:16).

The immensity of the sun, moon, and stars baffles our imagination, but compared to the God of Light they are infinitesimal. Jesus explains the power of divine light: "I am the light of the world. No follower of mine shall ever walk in darkness; no, he shall possess the light of life." (Jn 8:12).
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Greetings from London with Sister Janet Fearns, FMDM

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On a personal note…

The God of surprises

100_1744.JPG Domes and towers! It is quite spectacular to look out of my window and, on my left, is the dome of the Imperial War Museum. To the right is the towering splendour of the Houses of Parliament and the clock face of Big Ben, partially obscured only by the corner of a building opposite. From the window outside my room is the dome of St. Paul’s Cathedral and the stunning London Eye, which, at night, is lit with a beautiful blue light. It is, after two days, still a novelty to be woken by the chimes of Big Ben. Will things change? I hope not.

Having arrived in London only the night before last, my e-mails may be rather erratic for the next few days as I’ll be dependent on an Internet café and the generosity of others who allow me to use their office connection after they have finished work, so please excuse me if I am sporadic in my efforts until I have my own connection.

Yesterday I had my induction into my new job with the Pontifical Mission Societies. Wonderful! I can definitely see plenty of opportunities for seeing the care and attention paid by the people of my own country to those in need elsewhere in the world. It is to be a real privilege and one to which I am looking forward, however much I loved Rome, Vatican Radio and the Beda College where I was able to treasure the opportunity to walk alongside so many students for the priesthood from all over the English-speaking world.

Today? Having spent so long packing, I am now unpacking and trying to find places for such boring things as plugs and cables, adapters and USB leads. Life is not always exciting. There are the mundane tasks that must be done. The floor has to be cleared of the bits and pieces that have been conveniently dumped and then moved around.

If life were always exciting, it would soon become boring, or else so stressful that we’d never cope. God is good. There are the moments of disorder, but there are also the times of order and accomplishment, when it is possible to look back, even at such a small thing as an emptied suitcase and feel a pleasant glow of achievement.

It is in the little things that we have time to appreciate the goodness of God. For sure, we can look at the big events and thank him for being there, but he is also present in the mundane details of daily life. It is there that he is truly the God of surprises, making himself present at the most unexpected moments.

Thank God!

God bless,
Sr. Janet

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Reflections following the Daily Liturgical cycle

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1 Sm 8: 4-7. 10-22a
Ps 88(89): 16-17. 18-19
Mk 2: 1-12

Daily Readings
Jan 18 Fri: Ordinary Weekday

From today's readings: “It is not you they reject, they are rejecting Me as their king.... For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord..... But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority to forgive sins on earth.....”

Rejecting God as King

A careful study of the books of Samuel reveals an ambivalence toward the monarchy: on the one hand, the kingship of David is certainly celebrated, but, texts such as today's also point out the downside of royalty.

The elders of Israel who insisted that Samuel anoint a king, did so with the hope of being like other nations. So instead of inspiring other nations to imitate the exulted example that God wanted them to give (viz., a holy nation living in God's law), the Israelites chose to adapt the non-divinely directed customs of the pagan peoples around them.

Do you and I conform to God's exulted plan for us, or do we content ourselves with accommodating to the prevailing world spirit? This is the choice we have to make in all our decisions, and so we do well to remember that whenever we reject God as our King and the rule of His law, we inevitably invite the disastrous and miserable consequences that are sure to follow.

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