Friday, November 12, 2010

The Heavens are Telling

Today I am preparing an Evening Prayer and Reflection on Care for Creation based on the Universe Story and the book Radical Amazement by Judy Cannato. On Friday evenings we gather in our local community and one of our sisters volunteers to share something that is part of her own prayer life. My retreat last summer has brought me into a deeper awareness of the cosmic connection between the inner life, the common life, and the cosmic life. Our Congregational Justice Committee gave each of our Prioresses a prayer to use in community and a book with ideas for prayers on Care for Creation. I volunteered two weeks ago to lead our prayer, and now this idea has providentially landed in my mail. After I worked out how I would set the environment and tone, how to lead off the reading and invite contemplation and start off the sharing, I began to look for music to move us into the social hour that typically follows our prayer. I found on my shelf a used CD I found on the Free Table. Its called The Heavens are Sounding: Favorite Choruses by Beethoven, Schubert, Bruckner, Handel, Bach, Gounod, Haydn & Brahms. I chose Track 13 The Creation: The Heaven's are Telling by Joseph Haydn. This sent me into a search to know the lyrics in English and I found some beautiful things online about the entire work. It is about the story of Creation from Genesis and Paradise Lost.

Cosmic images put to the music.

I invite you to marvel at them and ask yourself as we will be asking ourselves this evening, what is it about the story of the universe that amazes me to my depths? How can I treasure creation more lovingly? How can I give thanks more truly for all that surrounds me with light?

English Lyrics

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Newman Symposium

We sponsored a symposium on John Henry Newman at Stanford University and our Motherhouse over the weekend. It was a huge success! I never knew so many people have a devotion to Cardinal Newman. Father Ted Ross, S.J. and Father Michael Barber, S.J presented on Newman's life and writings. There are so many lessons we can learn from him about development of doctrine, preaching, the role of the laity, conscience and morality. I have been especially inspired by Newman's writing about the stirrings in his own conscience in his teen years and later as a adult. I am moved by the integrity and relentlessness of his pursuit of the truth through the study of Catholic teaching through the centuries.

The quality of his writing and the sincerity of his belief in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist make me want to know more about him. Bishop John Cummins and Timothy Eden, SM joined Father Ted and Father Michael to answer questions here and at Stanford. I am reading the authorized biography by Beaumont and a book on his Inner Life by Father Zeno, OFM,Cap. His doctoral dissertation was on the works of Newman and he is now considered one of the foremost Newman Scholars in the world. I recommend both books highly. I want to read some of his sermons and the Apologia next. If want to find out more about him or his works go to