God's painting

God's painting

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

In response to VA Tech tragedy

I am posting this e-mail from Kathy Taormina, the National Youth/Young Adult Commission Chair in case there is ANYone out there who reads this who may need or know someone who might need the sites and links she lists.
May we all reach out, in love, to those whose lives have been forever changed by the events at VA Tech, and in some way that should include us all.
This is a forward from the National Association of Catholic Youth Ministry Leaders, which the SFO National Youth/Young Adult Commission Chair is a charter member, to represent Franciscan Youth in the USA. After yesterday's heart wrenching events in Virginia, may we keep them all in our prayers, especially those most vulnerable...our youths!

peace, Kathy
the end of a sad day For those of us who serve and love young people, today’s tragedy at Virginia Tech is most discouraging. The loss of 33 lives and the injury of many more overshadow the horror of the Pennsylvania Amish in Nickel Mines or even Columbine. Here is a compilation of web-based resources for you to consider using in the upcoming days:> NFCYM: www.nfcym.org/resources/pastoralresponse/ViolencetoYouth.htm> Saint Mary’s Press http://click.icptrack.com/icp/relay.php?r=1025024741&msgid=4853282&act=LULL&c=38429&admin=0&destination=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.smp.org%2FSchoolViolence.cfm> Youth Specialties http://click.icptrack.com/icp/relay.php?r=1025024741&msgid=4853282&act=LULL&c=38429&admin=0&destination=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youthspecialties.com%2Ffree%2Fweb_violence.php> Gospel . com http://click.icptrack.com/icp/relay.php?r=1025024741&msgid=4853282&act=LULL&c=38429&admin=0&destination=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.gospelcom.net%2Fbuzz%2F%3Fp%3D391> Talking with Young People: * American Psychological Association - Talking to your children about the recent spate of school shootings http://click.icptrack.com/icp/relay.php?r=1025024741&msgid=4853282&act=LULL&c=38429&admin=0&destination=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.apa.org%2Ftopics%2Fschoolshooting.html * Children and Parents: Talking with Kids about Violence http://click.icptrack.com/icp/relay.php?r=1025024741&msgid=4853282&act=LULL&c=38429&admin=0&destination=http%3A%2F%2Fhealthresources.caremark.com%2Farticle%2Fplainprimer%2F100234508 * Tragic Times, Healing Words http://click.icptrack.com/icp/relay.php?r=1025024741&msgid=4853282&act=LULL&c=38429&admin=0&destination=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.sesameworkshop.org%2Fparents%2Fadvice%2Farticle.php%3FcontentId%3D49560 * Talking with Kids about News http://click.icptrack.com/icp/relay.php?r=1025024741&msgid=4853282&act=LULL&c=38429&admin=0&destination=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.talkingwithkids.org%2Ftelevision%2Ftwk-news.html * Can School Shootings be prevented? http://click.icptrack.com/icp/relay.php?r=1025024741&msgid=4853282&act=LULL&c=38429&admin=0&destination=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.kidspeace.org%2Fpdf%2FSchoolShooting_Langman.pdf * Ten tips regarding talking to your Child about School shootings www.kidspeace.org/SchoolShootingPreventionTips.htm#ten

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


What a truly sad day as we pray for all those involved in the VA. Tech shootings. Prayers for all those affected by this- prayers for the shooter's family who will have to live with what has happened; prayers for the shooter who must have been in so much pain as to choose this as a way to express his pain; for the victims and their families as they now have to deal with their own pain as a result of someone else's. "I cried a tear for you today, though I do not know your name and I only wish there was some small way that I could ease your pain"

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Holy Thursday

Dear Lord, I know you want to wash my feet.
I know my fear, my resistance.
I'm not clean. I'm embarrassed to admit to myself all the ways I am dishonest, self-indulgent, negligent, defensive, and failing in my relationship with you, with others - failing to love.
Wash me. Let me accept, embrace, how your self-giving sets me free from my sin and offers to heal me.
By your being brokenand given, poured out and shared, make me whole.
Let my heart be freed of its anxiety and fear, its anger and lust.

Fill me with joy and peace, that I might give you praise.
Send me to wash, to forgive, to free, to nourish, to embrace and give life.
By your grace, may the poor know that your mandate has touched my heart and the hearts of the community whose celebration of your love sustains me.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Lenten Reflection

This is a picture titled the Garden of Gethsemane and Mount of Olives where Jesus often took his disciples to pray, from a web - site dailyscripture.net- The following is a Lenten reflection from the same site. A little lengthy but worth meditating on. Peace and all good to you all. Susan SFO
"Taking the high road to repentance"a meditation on Isaiah 58 for Lent by Don SchwagerScripture: Isaiah 58:1-12
1 "Cry aloud, spare not, lift up your voice like a trumpet; declare to my people their transgression, to the house of Jacob their sins. 2 Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, as if they were a nation that did righteousness and did not forsake the ordinance of their God; they ask of me righteous judgments, they delight to draw near to God. 3 `Why have we fasted, and thou seest it not? Why have we humbled ourselves, and thou takest no knowledge of it?' Behold, in the day of your fast you seek your own pleasure, and oppress all your workers. 4 Behold, you fast only to quarrel and to fight and to hit with wicked fist. Fasting like yours this day will not make your voice to be heard on high. 5 Is such the fast that I choose, a day for a man to humble himself? Is it to bow down his head like a rush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? Will you call this a fast, and a day acceptable to the LORD?
6 "Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? 7 Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh? 8 Then shall your light break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up speedily; your righteousness shall go before you, the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard. 9 Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer; you shall cry, and he will say, Here I am.
"If you take away from the midst of you the yoke, the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness, 10 if you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday. 11 And the LORD will guide you continually, and satisfy your desire with good things, and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters fail not. 12 And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to dwell in. Meditation: The Forty Days is a season of grace to prepare our hearts anew to celebrate the Feast of the Christian Passover (Easter). It is the annual time of retreat for the Christian people. Forty days is a tenth of a year, a tithe of our year to the Lord. The Forty Days is a time for remembering what Christ did for us in his death and resurrection. Like the Israelites on their journey to the promised land, we, too, are sojourners on our way to the promised land--the life of the age to come in heaven. In this time of retreat we set aside other pursuits that we may seek the Lord more earnestly, in repentance, humility, and a sincere desire to be more fully conformed to the will of Christ in every area of our lives.
The first reading of Lent on Ash Wednesday is taken from the prophet Isaiah. It is a call to take the high-roads to repentance. The first high-road to repentance is the humble acknowledgment of our sins before God. To acknowledge our sins helps us to stop committing them.
The second high-road is to forgive those who trespass against us, to forget the wrongs done to us, and to refrain from unrighteous anger.
The third high-road is to pray with fervent and diligent prayer, knowing that God will surely reward those who seek him diligently.
The fourth high-road to repentance is almsgiving. Freely God has given to us. He calls us to give freely to others, especially to those who lack basic necessities, for the measure we give will be the measure we get.
Are you ready to seek the Lord in this season, with humility, with fasting, with fervent prayer, and with almsgiving? Ask God to lead you in this time of retreat, to free you from distractions, and to strengthen you in reforming your life.
"Lord Jesus Christ, help me to set aside distractions and unnecessary pursuits that I may seek you diligently in this season of the Forty Days. Help me to examine my life in the light of your truth and grace, that I may conform my life more fully to your will. May all that I do be pleasing to you."

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

the Spirit's FYYA

The emerging FY/YA of St. Casimir's Franciscan Fraternity want to call themselves "The Spirit's FYYA" is currently working on designing a logo for themselves. This picture comes close to what they want. The hands lifted in praise will be the Ys in the FYYA, and of course, the Spirit. They want this all surrounded by a "ring of FYYA" represented by "children, youth and young adults' joining hands, being one.
If anyone reads this that can draw or sketch, go for it.

We will gather on Palm Sunday as a group, taking books gathered from friends and family to the children in Camden who have no books at home to read. We will share about the Passion of our Lord and what it means to them.

Peace and all good to all who enter this site. May you know we pray for you. May you know how deeply we are committed to LIGHTING the Spirit's FYYA.
Susan SFO

Tuesday, March 27, 2007


Preach the Gospel. IF necessary - use words.

Monday, March 26, 2007

National FY/YA Chair - Kathy Taormina

National Youth/Young Adult Commission Chair – Kathy Taormina writes:

“The apostolic teaching of the Church…is the marriage of human action and the divine. It was like being re-awakened to why we, as Secular Franciscans, live, breathe and encounter one another within the ministry of our Commissions,” Did I believe in this marriage of human action and the divine? Could I see examples of human hands and hearts being guided by God in what we try to accomplish in the FYYA? Did I see this human and divine merging in the actions I take as an SFO? I recalled the poem that talks about us being the only hands/feets/eyes/ect. of God that most people will ever encounter, but did I truly believe it? Was I just another “do-gooder” because of the warm fuzzy feelings I got or because of the praise I received from those around me? Could I truly believe that an all powerful and loving God could choose me and the FYYA to bring Him into the world? All tough questions that I had to face and that the FYYA Commission had to evaluate. This is what I discovered…
I have always viewed the FYYA as encompassing ALL the commissions. The youth have their own, specific Formation, which is geared toward their age, and determined by our SFO Constitution and USA FYYA Statutes. They are not limited to engage in the efforts of any one of the four Apostolic Commissions’ actions, but can connect with society in various projects and events within all the Commissions.
The answer to the questions, in all cases, is a resounding YES! (except to the do-gooder question)! I can see God in our youth, in the adults who journey with the youth, and especially in the accomplishments of our youth around the USA! The divine is truly “married” to the human person in the lives of our young people, if we but look for it and when found, nurture it. The FYYA challenges each of you!
May we not only be witnesses to this “marriage”, but may 2007 be a year filled with our human actions saying “I DO!” to our God! “
Thanks Kathy for words well said.