Holy Thursday 2017: Service and Love

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Image: “The Washing of the Feet” by Ghislaine Howard (2004)

Service and love – two key themes for reflection on the feast of the Lord’s Supper, that we celebrate today, this Holy Thursday.

To love without service is not really love, because love calls us out of ourselves and into the other. To serve without love might work for a little while, but it inevitably brings difficulties, because the mere doing of tasks that do not come from a place of love eventually bears nothing.

It is my personal prayer for each one of you, and in holding the memory of Marie Madeleine whose feast was 5th April, that love and service be part of your daily activity. My own heart is filled with love and gratitude at being able to serve in my own way, through these blog posts. With blessings for you, this Triduum, and toward Easter.

Sincerely

Geralyn

FCJ Mission and Identity Promoter

Eve’s Wishes for Christmas

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It is early morning on Christmas eve, and for me as I am sure, for many, there is still so much to do. Let us not forget the reason for all our activity.

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Merry Christmas to you all. Thank you for your support over this past year. May the New Year that awaits us be another of divine unfolding as we walk together, as faithful companions.

Day 15 of #31DaysWithIgnatius

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Today is also the Feast of St #Bonaventure; a personal patron and my inspiration for today’s post. His name literally means “good journey”. So to all, good journey to you. Travel with a friend where you can… invite God, our Faithful Companion to #walkwithyou.

St Ignatius saw himself as a #pilgrim; his autobiography affectionately entitled “A Pilgrim’s Testament”. Ven Marie Madeleine d’Houët saw herself as a faithful companion of Christ, to the cross and beyond. How are you a traveller today? Be attentive to how you go about your day.

May we all have good journeys, may we all walk with grace and gratitude. May we be blessings to one another on the way. May we lead each other to the love and peace of Christ. Amen.

#saint #feastday #catholic #church#journey #pilgrim #wyd #faith #fcj#FcjSisters #mmv#mariemadeleinevictoire #franciscan#ignatian #spirituality#31dayswithIgnatius #blessing #love#quote #qotd #friendship #traveller

 

In celebration of Ignatian Spirituality, and to mark the feast of St Ignatius of Loyola (31 July), I have taken on the challenge of posting a picture a day that speaks to me of the lessons learned from all things ‘Ignatian’; including ‘finding God in all things.’ Here it is, as posted on Instagram (@fcjAustralia).

Holy Feast: Holy Thursday 2016

Holy Thursday. The feast of the Lord’s Supper.

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“Did you know that Holy Thursday is a special feast for the FCJs?” I commented.

My daughter replied, “That’s clever!”

“Why is that clever?”

“Because the FCJs were founded on a holy day.”

I probed a little further for her to tell me what Holy Thursday is about. The body and blood of Christ. Jesus’ gift.

I asked if she could explain it to me as if I hadn’t heard of this person called Jesus. “What words could we use to describe it that were universal?” We thought about it together and we both agreed on:

Love and friendship
Communion and community.

It’s about fellowship and companionship and relationship.

As we enter this holy space of the Triduum, perhaps you too, might ask yourselves how you would explain Holy Thursday to someone who hasn’t even heard of Jesus.

Happy Feast to all, and especially to the FCJ family.

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Jesus in daily life with this painting on an urban wall.

REFLECTION: Companionship on this Feast of St Ignatius

Today is the 31st of July, marking the feast day of St Ignatius, founder of the Society of Jesus and father of ‘Ignatian spirituality.’

As one associated with the Asia-Australian province of the FCJ Society, an order of Catholic women religious, who live according to the Ignatian principles, this day is not without its celebration. But furthermore, as an individual person who professes discipleship and faith, I am invited into companionship with God, who is found in all things.

I have been reminded of this in a very simple way today when I received the company of ‘boss-extraordinaire’ and friend, Maureen, on her return from her two-month trip overseas. How blessed we human beings are as a specie, to be gifted with the grace of intentional companionship that we so often take for granted!

What this enabled me to see is that even in the midst of an ordinary visit from one person to another, even in the passing of one smile to another, we can see and are invited into the loving relationship that is union with God.

And in a spirit of gratitude, not unlike that of St Ignatius in the Suspice, we acclaim:

You have given all to me.
To You, Lord, I return it.

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Where have you found God today? Where are you being called into companionship today?

Video: A Very Special Easter

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It was my son who brought this video to my attention. He had watched it at school before the Easter break and it has stuck in his head all this while.

Watch this video and you’ll see why it has struck a chord with so many.

Which part moved you the most?

Madame Joseph on the Feast of St Joseph

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The patronage of St Joseph goes a long way, symbolic of fathers and workers, noble male figures and fidelity to the Church.

It lends me to notice the significance of the saint’s presence in the life of Venerable Marie Madeleine d’Houët. Apart from expressing her devotion to the Holy Family countlessly in her writings, she called herself and was known as Madame Joseph, the wife and widow of the Viscount Joseph de Bonnault d’Houët.

Not unlike the Mary and Joseph we know from tradition, Marie Madeleine and her young husband, Joseph, would faithfully lend their gifts to others’ service. It was through dutiful labour in tending to the sick that Monsieur de Bonnault caught illness and died early in their marriage.

Despite this, Marie Madeleine carried on in similar fashion, I am sure, with her husband never far from her thoughts.

On this day of St Joseph, let us recall not only the consecrated life of Marie Madeleine as a Faithful Companion of Jesus, but also as a wife.

May the example of steadfastness and loyalty of St Joseph continue to show through in our lives.

3 January 2015: Feast of the Holy Name

In observing and contemplating the name and the person of Jesus, I invite all to pause for a moment and reflect briefly on the significance of baptism, where we are called, named and presented to the Church, for Christ, as Christians.

What does it mean to identify oneself as Christian? To share in Jesus’ name?

“Be worthy of your beautiful name by love for Jesus – a love shown not by mere words or barren desires, but by courage in His service.” – Marie Madeleine d’Houet

For further consideration:

What’s in a name?

Vocation comes from the verb vocare, meaning ‘to call.’ By what name am I called? What was I called as a child – by my parents, family or friends? Is that still the same name, or has it changed over time? Does the name by which I am called ‘fit’ with the person who goes by it?

 

Vocation and Identity

Intricately linked are one’s vocation and one’s identity. How am I, in the eyes of God? With what or whom do I identify? We remember the truth of the psalmist’s words:

 

Even before a word is on my tongue,
O Lord, you know it completely.
You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me…

For it was you who formed my inward parts
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

(Psalm 139: 4-5, 13-14a)

– Extract from A Letter to the Sisters for National Vocation Awareness Week 2013

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