The first reading for Tuesday of the Tenth Week of Ordinary Time tells the story of Elijah and the widow of Zarephath (1 Kgs 17:7-16). In a time of severe drought, Elijah is sent to a poor widow. When he arrives, he asks the widow for something to eat. She replies that she was collecting firewood to prepare a final meal with the last of her food for herself and her son; “when we have eaten it, we shall die.” (vs. 12) Elijah informs her that the Lord has promised that “the jar of flour shall not go empty, nor the jug of oil run dry, until the day when the Lord sends rain upon the earth.” (vs. 14) She feeds him and the Lord is faithful to the promise; her food never runs out. [Read more…]
Below are the wonderful reflections shared in the bulletin this past weekend for Pentecost!
In the Sprit of Communio – reflections for this Pentecost
May 23, 2010
These submissions are unedited – in the text they were sent in to reflect the uniqueness of the people who submitted them.
A Taste of St. Malachi’s Second Annual Pentecost Fest!
Come, O Holy Spirit, come! And from your celestial home shed a ray of light divine! Come, O Holy Spirit, Come! Come, O Father of the poor! Come, O Source of all our store! Come, with in our bosoms shine! Come, O Holy Spirit, come!*
Forty-five St. Malachi Parishioners shared supper and Spirit last Wednesday. Cindy DiNardo, Rick Crow, Karen Duffy, Bobby Johansen, Terry Jungquist, Jack McLinden, Terry Laskey, Jim Pelikan, Linda Wilson, and Larry Sheehe talked about their own experience with Spirit. Each experienced the Spirit a little differently. Word, breathe, look into, adoration, quiet, service, hope, trust, decision, and inspire were only some of the words describing the experiences. The Holy Spirit was indeed a felt presence that evening. Some stories brought tears, some laughter, all brought encouragement and community. None experienced the Holy Spirit by themselves – it was from a relative, friend, or stranger… it was alone in a group… it was at home, at retreat, at St. Malachi’s Church, at Mass, at a funeral, at their job…. the most common prerequisite for each experience was that the person be open to the Spirit. Not easy, but worth working towards….
Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. ( 1 Cor 12:4-7)
*Verse 1 of Come O Holy Spirit Come; Text: 77 77 D; fr. The Pentecost Sequence, Veni, Sancte Spiritus, alt.; Owen Alstott, b. 1947, ©1980, OCP Publications. All rights reserved. Thanks to Jackie Krejcik for submitting!
“And the earth was without form, and void, and the darkness was upon the face of the deep, and the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”
It’s just ten words into the Bible before we’ve got mystery, mystery older than both us and the earth we tread, and that’s precisely how much we humans love and need our mysteries, our miracles, our deja-vu’s, our incredible coincidences. We hope to catch occasional glimpses past this world’s edges and wistfully call them premonition, intuition, hallucination. Sometimes we want more form, to put meat to our mysteries, so we create the sorts of beings found hiding in the dark corners of our varied human cultures and their myths: fairies, sprites, djinn, leprechauns, dryads, nymphs, and the entire array of spiritual energies unfairly lumped together under the disparaging label of “ghosts”. It seems that there is something intrinsically human about our fascination with the supernatural, the paranormal, the unexplained and alien. We are drawn like insects to most anything lit from within by magic, catching ourselves wishing (as I have, as my children do) that Narnia and Hogwarts were really just an antique wardrobe or a hidden train station away, wishing puberty hadn’t destroyed Santa, wishing David Copperfield didn’t need trap doors.
This is why I’m drawn to the Spirit. To me, God Almighty speaks through power, and Jesus Christ through love, and the Holy Spirit through mystery. I picture the Spirit as the Special Operations Unit of the Trinity, delivering messages to humanity in the most unusual and memorable and creative of ways, from universal language capabilities to floating tongues of flame. For instance, when I was mourning my dad, two years ago, I’m pretty sure it was the Spirit that gave Dad a hall pass one night to visit my dreams, where he sat next to me at a café table on a summer evening and cracked just one of his notoriously bad jokes, enough that I understood that everything was OK on his end. I’m pretty sure it was the Spirit that convinced me to stamp out my flames, pick up the phone, and try again to ask my future wife out for a date, after she had politely but sincerely declined my first request. And I know it was the Spirit that decided to speak to me one weekday morning, a few years ago, as I drove the Ohio Turnpike on my way to a business meeting, when I suddenly understood that God wanted me to help impoverished children, and even gave me an idea on how to go about it. With some more patience on God’s end (for my slow implementation), and perhaps a future, remedial kick in the pants from the Spirit, it will happen.
Even now, a few years later, what still amazes me about that morning on the turnpike is how that vision just appeared, suddenly but naturally, as if the Spirit, with its equivalent of a sly smile or eye twinkle, planted this tiny alarm clock in me at conception and set it to go off at age 40, give or take a few months. To me, it makes this world a much deeper and more wonderful place, just knowing that the Spirit is afoot, even as I write this, even as you read this, whispering to tens of thousands of minds and hearts, delivering such beautiful and memorable hauntings to those of us who aren’t even aware how much we need them.
submitted by Joe Kapitan
Prayer to the Holy Spirit Come, Holy Spirit Replace the tension in us with a holy relaxation. Replace the turbulence within us with a sacred calm. Replace the anxiety within us with a quiet confidence. Replace the fear within us with a strong faith. Replace the bitterness within us with the sweetness of grace. Replace the coldness within us with a loving warmth. Replace the night within us with Your light. Replace the winter within us with Your spring. Straighten our crookedness. Fill our emptiness. Dull the edge of our pride. Sharpen the edge of our humility. Light the fires of our love. Quench the flames of our lust Let us see ourselves as You see us, That we may see You as You have promised, And be fortunate according to Your word, Blessed are the pure of heart for they shall see God. Amen. From Mass on May 16 2010, Fr. Jim O’Donnell presider The Breath of God I believe in the Holy Spirit, the breath of God on earth, who keeps the Christ vision present to souls yet in darkness, gives life even to hearts now blind. Infuses energy into spirits yet weary, isolated, searching and confused. The spirit has spoken to the human heart through the prophets and gives new meaning to the Word throughout time. Hildegard of Bingen, caught up in the Holy Spirit, wrote, “I am a feather on the breath of God.” Conscious of the breath of God within us and around us, we can with confidence set out on the road to God knowing that it may be rocky but that it is at the same time well lit, brightly marked, wholly traversable because the Holy Spirit makes the path with us. We have not been left alone. Joan Chittister, OSB Excerpted from In Search of Belief (Liguori Publ.) Reprinted with permission.
The link below will take you to the signed copy of the St. Malachi Parish Guidelines and Regulations of the Pastoral Council.
Much gratitude to Matt, Kevin, Fr. Tony and Lou for their hard work.
This blog post continues a reflection on “Social Justice” and “My Responsibility.” The previous post addressed political institutions; this post will address religious institutions, i.e. the church. The next five paragraphs repeat the material from the previous post, because they are equally relevant for engaging the Church as for engaging political institutions.
[On April 7, Robert Rossman published a reflection on the St. Malachi website titled “Is Social Justice My Responsibility?” . One statement he makes is, “In understanding that our religious and political institutions are not perfect and are in need of reform to survive their mistakes and act with justice. (Our support is important.)”
Our support is important. [Read more…]
Thanks again to everyone who came to the annual meeting this past Sunday. If you attended you were able to meet all 16 of the candidates running for the 10 at large positions. Voting also began this past Sunday and ends on May 30th.
Thanks to everyone who played a role in the merger or cluster this past year as well as to all these candidates who are looking toward the future of our Parish!
Thanks to all who attended the first St. Malachi Parish annual meeting on Sunday May 16, 2010. Below is a link to the annual report distributed at that meeting. It includes reports from all the Commissions.
Click on the link to be taken to the report. You can then read it online or print it out.
Did you ever experience something so great you wanted everyone to experience it? For those who have ever had the experience of falling in love – didn’t you want everybody you know to know about it… to know how great the other person is… to experience that feeling-beyond-words too? If you are a parent or grandparent… don’t you want to share the joy of being loved and loving that special child or children with everyone you know? That’s how I feel about my relationship with my Creator through prayer. I just feel it’s too amazing an opportunity to miss!
Scripture, Jesus, our faith tradition, other faith traditions, 12-Step programs, and Vatican Council II all offer similar invitations to deeper relationship with God.
The spiritual life, however, is not limited solely to participation in the liturgy. Christians are indeed called to pray with others, but they must also enter into their rooms to pray to their Father in secret (see Mt 6:6); furthermore, according to the teaching of the apostle, they must pray without ceasing (see 1 Th 5 17).
(Vatican Council II, Constitution of the Sacred Liturgy, par. 12a)
Prayer is taking time developing a relationship with another Being. It is similar to developing a relationship with another human being. It can be formal and reverent… like honoring and celebrating a distinguished family member or friend at a gathering (akin to Liturgy). Sometimes it can be a conversation… like two people interested in developing a friendship (akin to daily prayer). It can need some help getting started (like Scripture or memorized prayer). Sometimes it can be a time with God in silence… like the silence of two long-time friends who do not always need words to communicate (akin to contemplation). The different ways of deepening relationship with God are as endless as the different ways a person deepens a relationship with another individual.
Building relationships is work. It requires time, effort, and the willingness to be vulnerable on our part. So it is with prayer. Experience teaches that it is important to set time aside to communicate with God, as it is important to set time aside with another human being. Experience also teaches that to hear God’s call and God’s response to our prayer, we have to be willing to hear the call and the response. We need to ask for a generous heart to allow God to touch us. God gave us free will, after all, and loves us no less when we say “I don’t have time.” We simply do not gain the beauty and the depth of relationship in response to God’s love when we decline God’s offer, similar to our missing out on the best human relationships when we do not work at them. Just as the experience of honoring a family member or friend is enhanced by having a meaningful relationship with that family member or friend, so can our worship of God at Liturgy be enhanced by having an expanded relationship with God, fed by the time, effort, and willingness we offer when we pray individual and small group prayer.
I invite you to respond to this blog by sharing your prayer experience. How do you pray? What happens when you pray? Where did you learn to pray? How has your prayer changed over time? How has your relationship with God changed over time?
I also ask you to submit your ideas of how the Spiritual Development Commission can help you continue the deepening of your relationship with God through prayer – either through small groups or by learning different ways to pray.
submitted by Jackie Krejcik Bluett
On April 7, Robert Rossman published a reflection on the St. Malachi website titled “Is Social Justice My Responsibility?”. One statement he makes is, “In understanding that our religious and political institutions are not perfect and are in need of reform to survive their mistakes and act with justice. (Our support is important.)”
Our support is important. [Read more…]
Thank you to Jackie Bluett for submitting this story with details from the presentation by Dr. Louise Prochaska on April 20, 2010.
Dr. Louise Prochaska taught us the development of the understanding and the experience of Christ as God and as man, in word, art, and prayer. Below are her notes from the evening.
After the notes is a litany I hope you will consider praying. Those who attended the evening developed and prayed it together. [Read more…]
There were so many important announcements this week we wanted to be sure you had access to them!
1. Sunday’s bulletin contains a ballot for voting on the proposed Parish Pastoral Guidelines; you can also vote on-line at http://www.zoomerang.com/Survey/WEB22AGVNM4ZVV. Voting will continue through next Sunday, April 25.
2. At the 9:30 & 11 AM Coffee Hours, Room at the Table: Food for Body and Soul will be available for sale for $10. It is a fundraiser to support the Metanoia Project for the homeless, which provides a safe overnight drop-in center.
3. This Tuesday in St. Malachi Hall, Dr. Louise Prochaska, professor at Notre Dame College, will present Meeting the Risen Jesus: how early Christians experienced and expressed the Risen Jesus in art and word. There is a potluck dinner at 6 pm, with the talk and time for reflection starting at 7 pm. See flyers at the doors or check out our website for more information and reflection questions.
4. Nominations and self-nominations are now being accepted for the 10 at-large positions to the Parish Pastoral Council. All nominees must be a registered parishioner. Nominees will be accepted until April 25. Candidates will be introduced at the Annual Parish Meeting on May 16. Self-nomination forms are available at the doors of the church.
5. The high chair near the St. Malachi shrine is for our “Mother’s Day Project” to support the work of the Friends of MetroHealth Mothers and Infants. To participate, simply pick up one of the envelopes from the high chair, obtain the item listed in the envelope and return it near the high chair by Mother’s Day.
6. Next weekend is the annual appeal for the Catholic Home Missions, which supports the mission work of the Church in the United States. There will be a second collection at all Masses.