WHITE HOUSE JESUIT RETREAT

Jesuit retreat center high on the bluffs of the Mississippi River in St. Louis, MO.  Since 1922, thousands of people from around the world make annual three-day silent, guided retreats here to relax, reconnect with God and strengthen their spirituality.  A true gem in the Midwest!  Call 314-416-6400 or 1-800-643-1003.  Email reservations@whretreat.org  7400 Christopher Rd.  St. Louis, MO 63129

Both men's and women's retreats are offered as well as recovery retreats.

Take Spirituality to the Next Level!

Weekend Reflections for 2/16/18

Jesus Begins His Public Ministry

What happens when Jesus makes the crucial decision to begin preaching about the kingdom of God.  He leaves his lifelong home at Nazareth, and goes to meet John the Baptist. Jesus is baptized and is consoled to hear his Father confirms that he is indeed proceeding in the right way.  In different ways the Scriptures also indicate that Jesus after his baptism spent some time with John and his disciples. When you think about it, there was so much for him to learn: how to gather disciples, how to preach and deal with those who come to listen to you, how to support this kind of ministry.

But as today’s gospel tells us, the Spirit of God eventually leads Jesus to the desert— Mark actually says “drives” him to the desert, where he can be alone, reflect and pray.  He needs to consider and plan so many things:  what he is about to do, how and when he’s going to do it. And it is in in the midst of this very important, crucial and difficult time that the spirit of evil interrupts trying to subvert, confuse and misdirect him in all of this.

We see how much Jesus, except for sin, is like us in all things, even in being tempted. For me it is important to notice when this occurs. He has just received John’s baptism, His Father spoken to him in a special way approving of his manner of proceeding, and now he is spending much time in fasting and prayer. It is then that the enemy interrupts and tries to turn him away from the manner in which God has been leading him. 

How often in moments which I thought should be most sacred and holy has the “unholy” tried to break in, upset my peace, turn me aside from the way in which God has been leading me.  Sometimes just having such thoughts causes one to reflect what a terrible and worthless person I am. How disgusting of me to have such thoughts or perhaps how presumptuous am I to have such aspirations or plans. On such occasions it is often very important to review all of this with a spiritual director or companion/guide.

 

Weekend Reflections for 2/9/18

Eat Everything They Put Out

In the first reading for this Friday's Mass (Is. 58, 1-9), the prophet castigates the people for their manner of fasting.  After telling them what is so mean-spirited and woefully inappropriate in their behavior he says:

This, rather, is the fasting that I wish:
releasing those bound unjustly,
untying the thongs of the yoke;
Setting free the oppressed,
breaking every yoke;
Sharing your bread with the hungry,
sheltering the oppressed and the homeless;
Clothing the naked when you see them,
and not turning your back on your own.....

......Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer,
you shall cry for help, and he will say: Here I am!

For many Christians it's often a challenge to determine what they should be doing special or different during Lent in appreciation of our Lord's passion and in preparation for the Sacred Triduum at Lent's conclusion .  A very learned and good teacher of mine, Richard Smith, S.J.  addressed this matter in one of his retreats to Jesuit seminarians.  In his retreats he included a question and answer session. In this retreat he was asked what kind of Lenten penance/sacrifice he would recommend. His response was, "Oh that's easy. Just eat everything that is put out on the table and don't complain."  How simple, and for us, so practical. But I can assure you that it was for many young Jesuits a very challenging recommendation to put into practice.

So what is the appropriate Lenten penance or sacrifice? I suspect there are thousands of good answers, but I suggest one general guideline. Consider what it is that's going on in your life right now that is hindering your relationship with the Lord and perhaps separating you from the Lord, or a person or persons who need your care and concern. If it is something you can address in a practical and simple manner, as was the case with Dick Smith's suggestion, then I recommend you consider the challenge of doing it.

-Fr. Jim Blumeyer, S.J.

PLEASE PRAY FOR THOSE ON RETREAT THIS WEEK AS WELL AS OUR DECEASED RETREATANTS.

 

PLEASE PRAY FOR PEACE IN OUR COMMUNITY

 

WOMEN'S RETREATS WITH SPACE:

March 5-8 with Fr. Francis Ryan, S.J.

March 19-22 with Fr. Anthony Wieck, S.J.

Weekend Reflections for 2/2/18

How has God called and prepared me to proclaim the Good News?

How did God prepare Jesus to serve his people, to bring about his Kingdom? It begins with growing up and spending the first 30 or so years of his life in the little town of Nazareth (estimated now at roughly 300 to 500 people). It was here living with his family and the people of his village, working with them and for them that he learned how to be a good Israelite, how to live and practice his faith.  He learned and memorized and prayed over many of the Jewish Scriptures.  He learned and practiced a profession with Joseph, he became acquainted with the strengths and weaknesses of his religious and political leaders, their right and wrong practices.

Then one day, probably to the surprise of almost everyone, he leaves Nazareth, goes to the Jordan River to be baptized by John the Baptist.  Then for a period of time he joins John’s disciples. Eventually he realized it was time for him to set out on his own and proclaim on his own what he knew of God and God’s plan for the Jewish nation.

In the various gospel scenes for this week we hear of the different ways in which Jesus accomplished this: journeying to the villages of Galilee and beyond, teaching, healing and on a few occasions even feeding the large crowd that was gathered around him, some to hear him others, to be healed.

It is most noteworthy that her did do this alone, but from the beginning gathered disciples to assist him.  He continues to do this with you and me.

We too at times should reflect upon how God has been preparing us to be ministers of the Good News, how we are to proclaim the kingdom of God in our own lives.  It is helpful to appreciate how we have been imbued with our faith. It is salutary to recall gratefully the people who helped and guided us in our faith journey.

So how now am I being called to take on, or to continue take on, this marvelous responsibility of being ministers of the Gospel with and for the people in my life world?

-Fr. Jim Blumeyer, S.J.

Weekend Reflections for 1/26/18

Our prophetic mission

As Pope Francis stresses, we Christians ARE a mission, we don’t simply HAVE a mission. This Sunday’s bible readings specify the prophetic dimension of Jesus’ mission and our own.

We probably have a variety of images of prophets: angry preachers, wonderworkers, frenzied lunatics, magicians, seers, visionaries, mediators, martyrs. Many people asked Jesus "are you the prophet?" and he was ambivalent about answering this question directly. What is the essence of Jesus’s prophetic mission? He kept on pointing to his deeds, and people learned who he was more by what he did than by anything he said. He was, then, a new kind of prophet, one whose words became deeds. He spoke with power, authority to change things. Biblical scholar Eduard Schweizer put it this way: "In Jesus' word heaven breaks in and hell is destroyed. His word is deed. God's rule is at hand, evil has no ultimate power."

But even Jesus' words are not so magical that they coerce or force. His miracles do not cause faith, but call us to faith. His words/deeds are invitations to faith, hope, love – service. We witness this prophetic vocation in prophetic witnesses in our world: Martin Luther King, Archbishop Romero, Dorothy Day, Mother Theresa of Calcutta, our American Bishops' prophetic teachings about peace and justice, challenging people with words which must not be just words, but become deeds, as Jesus's prophetic words did. They invite commitment, they still demand faith, the kind of performative faith we are called to develop through the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius at White House.

What about us? How often are our words out of sync with our deeds? Does our retreat experience flow into prophetic deeds as we cross that exit and “enter into the mission field,” or just words, words and more words? We too are called to a prophetic mission. May our words become deeds with the grace of God in Jesus and the help of St. Ignatius’s First Principle and Foundation that “love shows itself more in deeds than in words.”

Fr. Edward B.  “Ted” Arroyo, SJ.

Weekend Reflections for 1/19/18

We ARE a fishy mission.

Pope Francis often reminds us that we Christians don’t have a mission, we are a mission. This is what he is doing right now in his journey to South America. And this weekend’s bible readings are about mission.

The prophet Jonah thought that God could not possibly care for Ninevite Gentiles. He ran from his mission, but the story of Jonah in the belly of the great fish represents Yahweh’s refusal to let the prophet run away from mission. He was rescued at sea to fulfill his mission. Jesus used Jonah’s mission as a type of his own, but claimed that with him something greater was present, namely, the fulfillment of the kingdom mission by repentance and belief in the gospel (Mk 1:15).

 

Just as Jonah had to drop his aversion to the stranger gentile, Jesus’s call to his first disciples, and to us, challenges us to drop our entangling nets and simply let his mission become our own.

During our spiritual exercises such as the examen, can we ask for the grace to deepen our mission awareness, fishy as it may be? How are we to care for the strangers among us? Where we are called to conversion? What nets of entanglement do we have to drop to be the kingdom mission?

Just as in the case of Jonah, such conversion is more God's doing than our own. It is a matter of grace, to be changed into God's mission present in this world, to be changed into God's good news, welcoming the stranger, even our enemies, and inviting all to drop their nets and participate in the building of the kingdom.

May the grace of God’s call drag us along in our fishy mission!

Edward B. “Ted” Arroyo, S.J.

Weekend Reflections for 1/12/18

Have a Divine New Year!

As the New Year sinks in, or we may seem to sink into it, it is good to follow the Ignatian practice of reflecting back on what we have celebrated in this past Christmas season. While in Lent and the Easter season we usually focus on God’s self emptying “kenosis” into this world and our humanity (Phil 2: 6-11), this current season focuses on the divinizing of humanity in the Incarnation.

This divinization of humanity is not, however, an erasing of or escaping from our human nature, as if we are to empty ourselves of humanity to let the divine in. No, it is a New Year’s celebration of the divine incarnate within each and every one of us.

The theological implications of this doctrine of divinization have been speculated upon since at least the second century, when St. Athanasius (150-215) taught “God became human so that humans might become God.” This is not some bizarre, minority opinion held by heretics. This doctrine is also central to the Second Vatican Council’s teaching and the theology of 20th Century Jesuit theologian Karl Rahner.[i] 

What does this mean for us? Beyond the subtleties of theological speculation in this new year it invites us to:

•          Praise of God become one of us within our very selves.

•          Reverence and service for God in all of creation, especially those “least” whom Jesus went out to at the margins of society.

•          A commitment to seeking the Ignatian grace of finding God in All things, as we again and again let his Spiritual Exercises invite us to participate in the divine.

 

Have a Divine New Year!

-Edward B. “Ted” Arroyo, S.J.

 

[i] For a series of essays tracing this theology of divinization from its roots to the present, see the book “Called to be the Children of God: The Catholic Theology of Human Deification,” edited in 2016 by SLU theologian and White House Retreat director David Meconi, S.J. and Carl E. Olson.

[1] For a series of essays tracing this theology of divinization from its roots to the present, see the book “Called to be the Children of God: The Catholic Theology of Human Deification,” edited in 2016 by SLU theologian and White House Retreat director David Meconi, S.J. and Carl E. Olson.

Weekend Reflections for 1/5/18

New Years Choosing to be Chosen

Once again we enter the season of New Years Resolutions. Or have you already forgotten, given up, on those choices you made on New Year’s Eve? One of the fundamental graces of our faith is that we are not the ultimate choice makers, God is. And the Christmas season is full of examples of God’s choosing in quite surprising ways, for example, in choosing Mary to be the Mother of God, the feast we celebrate at the start of the New Year.

We busy people like to think that with rational planning, gathering all the facts, projecting out to the future, we can make the right choices in our secular lives. But our Christian faith history shows us again and again that we aren’t the ultimate choosers, God is. Our role is less rational in many ways, not to be the master planners we would like to be in controlling our lives and our world. No, our role, as Ignatius shows us again and again in the Spiritual Exercises, is to ask for the gift, the grace, not so much to choose, but to be chosen. That grace is exemplified over and over again in the scriptures, the faith history of the “chosen” Mother of God, the faith history of the chosen People of God.

Our mentor St. Ignatius gives us a model of how we can move along in this New Year beyond our broken or forgotten “resolutions,” move along in our daily lives, choosing to be chosen. This he does inviting us to the regular prayer of the Awareness Examen. Perhaps this can be the most important “resolution” for all our coming years. You will find a version of this in pages 43 and following of our White House prayer booklet; or by searching the internet for “Awareness Examen” you can find many, many examples of how busy people can grow in finding God in all the things awaiting us in the coming New Year. As Jesus grew older he grew in wisdom and stature, and in grace before God and people (Luke 2:52), daily in discerning God’s gracious calling, choosing to be chosen. He calls us now to choose to be chosen in our daily lives.

Edward B. “Ted” Arroyo, S.J.

Weekend Reflections for 12/29/17

Jesus Ordinary Life

In the last sentence of today's gospel, 17 words in all, we have an incredibly vague synopsis of what we know about Jesus life after his birth:  he lives with his family in Nazareth where he grew and increased in grace, wisdom, and knowledge. 

But it was growing up and living in Nazareth that He learned what human living, our life, was all about.  He shared in the joys, sorrows, travails and triumph of family life and love in a small, remote village.  He came to know his people, their traditions their heritage, their customs, their hopes and expectations, their dreams of a messiah.  He learned of the suffering and oppression of his people, their hatred of the Romans; their prejudice against foreigners, or non-Jews, especially the Samaritans.  And we should remember that it was a genuine family life in which Jesus grew up with brothers and sisters. Both the Gospels of Mark and Matthew indicate this and even give us his brothers' names: James, Joses (or Joseph), Jude and Simon. The sisters go unnamed.  

He learned almost all of this from Mary and Joseph, and also his relatives and friends and perhaps a local rabbi or priest. From Joseph he acquired a trade and worked at it quietly and unobtrusively most of his teenage and adult life. It seems that he suffered the loss and sorrow of Joseph's death, then he along with his brothers and sisters and Mary they took care of each other.

So this is the manner in which God brings Christ to the work of the Kingdom, living, learning and working with his family and villagers in Nazareth.  It is through his living and learning here that he comes to know of our joys and celebrations but also our human suffering and injustices, the strengths and weaknesses of his Jewish political and religious leaders.

I have had the privilege of talking with many people about their faith journey.  Some at times protest that they are just too ordinary to be holy.  They see the journey of their life far from the extraordinary life of Jesus. And so they sadly speak of what they called their "just" lives.  I'm just a mom.  I'm just an aunt. I'm just a business person. I am just a grandparent.  But for most of his life Jesus was "just" a carpenter in a little backwater town of Nazareth.  One scripture scholar describes his life up to now as "insufferably ordinary."

That is why his townspeople, family and friends were so shocked when he began his public ministry. And so they exclaimed, "Is this not the son of the carpenter?"

But in living his life in this manner Jesus reveals to us the inestimable value of ordinary time. During his time in Nazareth God fashioned him into "the instrument needed for the salvation of the world." In Nazareth Jesus speaks to the meaning and worth of our ordinary lives.

May we fully appreciate the importance and value of the ordinary lives God has given us.

-Fr. Jim Blumeyer, S.J.

 

PLEASE PRAY FOR THOSE ON RETREAT THIS WEEK AS WELL AS OUR DECEASED RETREATANTS.

PLEASE PRAY FOR PEACE IN OUR COMMUNITY

Weekend Reflections for 11/24/17

On Sunday, we mark the end of the Church's liturgical year with the celebration of the Feast of Christ the King. (The new Church year begins with the start of Advent.) We end the year, appropriately enough, pondering the end times, reflecting on the Last Judgment. If you google paintings of "Christ the King," you'll find what you'd expect: Jesus looking very kingly, seated on a throne and adorned in ornate robes and gold crown, scepter in hand, ready to exercise judgment upon the world and upon us.

But there's another artistic representation of Christ the King I can't get out of my head. It's a statue that was supposed to be installed outside St. Michael's Cathedral in Toronto, Canada, but never was. Some parishioners and clergy apparently deemed the work just too scandalous or inappropriate for the cathedral. And what did this statue depict? A homeless man asleep on a park bench, huddled in a blanket, his face barely visible, cast in bronze.

This statue of a homeless King Jesus was directly inspired by the gospel passage we'll hear at Mass on this Sunday's feast. It's the famous passage from Matthew 25, in which the Lord separates sheeps from goats at the end of the world: "When I was hungry, you fed me... a stranger, you welcomed me... naked, you clothed me... whatsoever you did for the least, you did for me."

Notably, this passage is the only place in the entire New Testament where we find a depiction of the Last Judgment. And what does the passage tell us Christ the King judges us on? our ability to recognize and serve Him in the faces of those who really need our love, care, and support.

When the Toronto cathedral declined the statue, the Jesuit-run Regis College in Toronto agreed to install it on its campus. Then, last year, Pope Francis had a copy of the statue erected at the Vatican. (Those pesky Jesuits!)  If you happen to be at the Vatican or in Toronto, go have a look. It's a powerful visual reminder of who God is, and who God calls us to be. "Christ plays in ten thousand places/Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his/To the Father through the features of men's faces," wrote the Jesuit poet Gerard Manley Hopkins. If we pay attention, we encounter Christ in unexpected places, very often in the faces of those who visit us in need.

-Fr. Jeremy Zipple, S.J.

Weekend Reflections for 11/17/17

Back in December 2013, just a few months after Pope Francis had become pope, a famous politician said "The new Pope is a humble man, very much like me, which probably explains why I like him so much!" Well, I'll leave it to your judgement whether you think a politician is a humble person! But unquestionably, humility is an important quality for Christians to possess ("Blessed are the meek and humble," says Jesus in the Beatitudes, Mt 5:5)

But what exactly is humility? This Sunday's gospel explores the question.

We often think of humility as considering ourselves as unworthy, as small, as incapable of doing very much at all. The parable in Sunday's gospel rejects that notion. The servant who undervalues himself and his talents, who thinks he can't do much with the little talent he's been given, is not praised. Instead, he's dismissed as wicked and useless.

The parable suggests that true humility consists not in wallowing in unworthiness, but in recognizing our gifts and talents, whatever they are, and trying to use them to the best of our abilities. St. Ignatius Loyola reminds us that everything - all of life - is gift. God made us exactly as we are, and "God don't make no junk!" as my high school youth minister liked to joke. God created each of us in his "image and likeness," and that means each of us possesses infinite worth. It also means we each have been endowed with unique, God-given gifts to share with the world - gifts that God really NEEDS us to share with the world. In other words, our talents aren't ours. We didn't create them so we can't cling on to them as if they're our possession.

True humility, then, means "shooting for the moon," using the gifts we've been given as best we can, remembering that they come God and are meant to be given back to him in loving service.

-Fr. Jeremy Zipple, S.J.

PLEASE PRAY FOR THOSE ON RETREAT THIS WEEK AS WELL AS OUR DECEASED RETREATANTS.

PLEASE PRAY FOR PEACE IN OUR COMMUNITY 

Weekend Reflection for 11/10/17

“Stay woke!” If you have any 20-something Millennials in your life, you’ve probably heard this expression. If not, Urban Dictionary, a website that provides definitions of youthful slang, defines “stay woke” as: “Being aware. Knowing what’s going on in your community, especially as it relates to social injustices.” Urban Dictionary also provides an example of “stay woke” used in a sentence: ”While you are obsessing with the Kardashians, there are millions of homeless in the world. STAY WOKE.”

Well, the message of this Sunday’s Gospel is precisely that: STAY WOKE! Jesus warns us not to be like those complacent and distracted virgins who are caught off-guard when the bridegroom returns. “Stay awake,” Jesus declares, “for you know neither the day nor the hour.”

There are plenty of preachers on radio and TV who provide exact predictions of Jesus’ Second Coming. They confidently pinpoint the end of the world down to the millisecond. But that’s nonsense. Jesus says emphatically in today’s gospel and elsewhere in scripture,“You know neither the dar or the hour.” Christians have been waiting 2,000 years for the Lord’s coming, and may very well wait another 2,000 or even more.

So today’s gospel is not about fretting over the date of Christ’s return, it’s about cultivating a particular attitude of waiting each day of our lives. That attitude is one of “staying woke,” or to put it in more Christian language, of “waiting in joyful hope for the coming of our Savior,” as the priest prays at every Mass just after the Our Father.

Waiting in joyful hope. The famous spiritual writer Fr. Henri Nouwen elaborates on this attitude:

“The spiritual life is a life in which we wait, actively present to the moment, trusting that new things will happen to us, new things that are far beyond our own imagination, fantasy, or prediction. That, indeed, is a very radical stance toward life in a world preoccupied with control.”

So waiting in joyful hope means trusting more deeply that God’s promises are real, that does God has great things in store for us. It also means trying to surrender a bit more control to God, knowing that He always has our back. It means letting our Christian joy radiate to others. It means not “obsessing with the Kardashians” — or any of those not-so-important things in life — but instead focusing on the big stuff: Trying to live lives that resemble Jesus’ own: lives of abiding trust in the Father, lives of tender mercy, of compassionate forgiveness, of care and concern for those who are struggling. STAY WOKE.

-Fr. Jeremy Zipple, SJ

Weekend Reflections for 11/3/17

It’s easy to forget that there are actually four readings from scripture proclaimed at every Sunday Mass. The first reading, second reading, and Gospel are obvious enough, but if we’re not careful, we can skip right over the passage from Book of Psalms that’s read or sung between the first and second readings.

The Psalms are often referred to as ancient Israel’s “prayer book.” Their authorship is traditionally ascribed to King David, but in fact, they were composed over the course of five centuries or so, likely by several authors who will forever remain anonymous. This was a historical period in which the ancient Israelite people experienced both astounding highs and also devastating lows, a period in which David danced in the presence of the Arc of the Covenant, and must have felt so close to God, but also, latter, a period when the Israelites were totally defeated and exiled from their homeland by the Babylonians -- and nauseating despair.

Thus, the psalms poetically express a wide range of very raw human emotions, and I find them a great resource for prayer. Whatever you’re feeling -- joy or delight, failure, dejection or anger -- chances are there’s a psalm to help you express it or help you deal with it. Pick up a Bible sometime and just randomly page through a few of them. You’ll find some hidden gems, including the psalm we hear proclaimed at Mass this very Sunday, Psalm 131. It’s one of my favorites, and depending on the translation you’re using, it reads like this:

In you, O Lord, I have found my peace.

Truly I have set my soul

in silence and peace.

As a child has rest in its mother’s arms

even so my soul (rests in You.)

This Psalm fits perfectly the mission of the White House. We live in a world of such busyness and information overload, a world in which it’s increasingly difficult to slow down and unplug, to just sit still and be in God’s presence. But if we’re going to be people of faith (and keep ourselves from going insane!) we have to do that sometimes. That’s what retreats are made for, but we can also carve out times for it in our daily lives. So maybe find a quiet church or even a comfortable chair in a corner of your house, and just read slowly the lines of Psalm 131. In the stillness let your mind be calmed and your heart be reminded that your God holds you like a mother holding her baby. In God’s loving embrace, you’ll find love, comfort, and peace.

Fr. Jeremy Zipple, S.J.

PLEASE PRAY FOR THOSE ON RETREAT THIS WEEK AS WELL AS OUR DECEASED RETREATANTS.

PLEASE PRAY FOR PEACE IN OUR COMMUNITY 

Weekend Reflections for 10/27/17

The Law of Love

“Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment.

The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’”  (Mt 22: 37-39)

Once again the Pharisees try to trap Jesus with a trick question. They were legalists, desperately trying to achieve salvation by strictly following the 613 laws of the code of Moses and arguing about which law had priority. Jesus sums it all up in his two commands of love for God and neighbor.  In the Spiritual Exercises

St. Ignatius tells us that love shows itself in deeds, in spending time and attention with the loved one and sharing ourselves and our goods with them. We call that prayer. That’s what Jesus always did with our Father and taught us to do.

When it comes to love of others, I prefer the definition of love as always wanting the best for the other person and putting that desire into actions, showing it in deeds. We may not agree on what is the best and the best may not include me but I try to show love by treating the other with care, compassion, generosity and understanding. That’s how we all want to be treated. Love often takes sacrifice as every spouse and parent knows, putting the other first, meeting their needs rather than our own. Let us ask the Lord to help us choose the most loving response in all of our relationships.

Fr. Ralph Huse, S.J.

Weekend Reflections for 10/20/17

Christian Responsibilities

“At that Jesus said to them, ‘Then repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.’” (Mt 22:21)

In Sunday’s Gospel two different groups join together to try to trap Jesus. There are the Pharisees who hate the Roman occupiers and refuse to pay the Roman taxes and the Herodians who favor King Herod and his family who are puppets of the Romans and follow their laws. They begin by sarcastically flattering Jesus to try to catch him off guard, but he recognizes their “malice” and calls them “hypocrites”. He asks for a Roman coin and then gives his answer, one that neither group can refute or criticize.

As citizens we have a number of civic duties and responsibilities. We have to take our turn on jury duty, pay our taxes and parking tickets and vote our consciences in the elections. We try to be well informed about national and local issues.

What of us belongs to God? EVERYTHING! All we are and all we have comes from the hand of our loving Father.  It is our God in whom we live and move and have our being. Our response can be Ignatius’ daunting prayer, The Suscipe.

“Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding, my entire will. All that I am and all that I have You have given to me. I return it all to you. Dispose of it wholly according to Your will. Give me only Your love and Your grace and that will be enough for me. Amen.”

Weekend Reflections for 10/13/17

God’s Invitation

In both the Old and New Testaments we find the action of “breaking bread together”, sharing a meal, as a sign of intimate, loving union. Jesus is judged and criticized for eating with sinners, for sharing life with them. In today’s Gospel passage Jesus tells the parable of the king who invites people to the wedding feast for his son. Those invited refused to come so the king had his servants bring in whoever was passing by on the road. Now the hall was filled with guests and the feast could begin. The invited guests are the chosen who reject Jesus and refuse to believe him and his message. The feast is the fullness of the kingdom of God, heaven where all enjoy loving union with God and one another.

In our baptism God gave us a standing invitation to His banquet, to share a meal at the Eucharist and enjoy the feast of His kingdom. Let us not be deaf to His call but quick to respond in making loving choices, in putting our priorities in order, in knowing what is truly important and worthwhile. Then we will be able to sit down and enjoy the meal and the companionship.

Fr. Ralph Huse, S.J.

Weekend Reflections for 10/6/17

God's Expectations

"Finally, he sent his son to them, thinking 'They will respect my son.'" (Mt 21:37) 

God expected the leaders of His chosen people to recognize and welcome His son, but their hearts were hardened and their eyes blinded. They rejected, condemned and executed Jesus. But "the stone rejected by the builders has become the cornerstone." God raised His son from death to glory. 

What does God expect of you and me? Like any good parent He wants His love for us to be acknowledged and gratefully received. He wants to be thanked for His care for us, the many blessings He showers on us. He wants to be at least a part of our lives. St. Ignatius wrote that we can speak to our Lord "as one friend speaks to another." Do I trust God and myself enough to consider Him my best friend who is always close by and eager to hear from me and about me? Can I both speak and listen as I acknowledge my Lord and my God?

-Ralph Huse, S.J.
 

PLEASE PRAY FOR THOSE ON RETREAT THIS WEEK AS WELL AS OUR DECEASED RETREATANTS.

 

PLEASE PRAY FOR PEACE IN OUR COMMUNITY