Thursday, August 12, 2010

St. Jane Frances de Chantal - Pope sees summer as time for quiet, prayer



St. Jane was a married woman and a mother of seven children from Dijon, France. Her husband was killed in a hunting accident. In 1604, upon being deeply moved by the preaching of Francis de Sales, Jane asked him to become her spiritual director.

Four hundred years ago, she founded the Visitation nuns in 1610; she worked tirelessly helping the sick, and she convinced local political rulers to make special provisions for the sick and the bereaved.

During the last years of her life, she experienced periods of spiritual aridity. She established eighty-five monasteries before her death in 1641.

One hundred years ago this week on August 14, 1910, the Visitation Monastery was founded in Ottawa. This anniversary will be celebrated with a Mass of Thanksgiving (in French) at Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica this coming Sunday, August 15 at 10:30AM. All are welcome! Tous et toutes sont les bienvenues.

Act of Abandonment to Divine Providence (written by St. Jane Frances de Chantal)

0 sovereign goodness of the sovereign Providence of my God! I abandon myself forever to Thy arms. Whether gentle or severe, lead me henceforth whither Thou wilt; I will not regard the way through which Thou wilt have me pass, but keep my eyes fixed upon Thee, my God, who guidest me. My soul finds no rest without the arms and the bosom of this heavenly Providence, my true Mother, my strength and my rampart.

Therefore I resolve with Thy divine assistance, 0 my Savior, to follow Thy desires and Thy ordinances, without regarding or examining why Thou dost this rather than that; but I will blindly follow Thee according to Thy divine will, without seeking my own inclinations.

Hence I am determined to leave all to Thee, taking no part therein save by keeping myself in peace in Thy arms, desiring nothing except as Thou incitest me to desire, to will, to wish. I offer Thee this desire, 0 my God, beseeching Thee to bless it; I undertake all it includes, relying on Thy goodness, liberality, and mercy, with entire confidence in Thee, distrust of myself, and knowledge of my infinite misery and infirmity.

Amen!


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The Collect from today's Optional Memorial:

O God, who made Saint Jane Frances radiant with outstanding merits in different walks of life, grant us, through her intercession, that walking faithfully in our vocation we may constantly be examples of shining light. Through our Lord.

* * * * * *

Pope says summer should include time for quiet, prayer

CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy (CNS) -- Summer vacation should include time for quiet and prayer, Pope Benedict XVI told a boisterous crowd at his summer villa south of Rome on Sunday, August 8.

That day the pope welcomed hundreds of pilgrims to the courtyard of the papal residence at Castel Gandolfo, two days after he had made an unannounced visit to a mountain shrine and visited two cardinals who were staying nearby.

In his Angelus address, Pope Benedict commented on the day's Gospel reading in which Jesus tells his disciples, "For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be."

The message of the Gospel, he said, is that the expectation of the coming of God's kingdom must inspire Christians to "live a more intense life, full of good works." Storing up riches in heaven rather than on earth "is a call to use things without selfishness or a thirst to possess or dominate," the pope said.

The blessings people have been given should be used with attention to others according to "the logic of love," he said. "Today's Gospel reminds us that by God's goodness much has been given to us and much will be required of us," he said.

"During these quiet days of summer, let us thank the Lord for the many blessings we have received and draw ever closer to him in prayer, in fidelity to his commandment of love and in communion with his body, the church," the pope told the pilgrims.

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On a similar theme from the Salt and Light TV blog, a regular stop on my surveying the internet, comes this remarkable finding:

Scientific study says thinking of God relieves stress

University of Toronto Researchers Micahel Inzlicht and Alexa Tullet found that those who believe in and reflect on God, deal with stress and anxiety more easily in strenuous situations.

The study tested individuals to determine if thinking about religion would reduce their reaction to making mistakes. Test subjects were first asked to think about religion by writing about God. They then had to complete a word scramble with religiously themed words. After this they were given a tricky computerized test. The researchers monitored the subjects’ brain reactions when they made mistakes on the test.

The test found that believers experienced less distress when making an error. It also found that it didn’t matter what religious denomination the person belonged to. All that mattered was that they were reflecting on their belief and religion while taking the test.

One researcher said that these small differences in brain pattern can lead to a calmer lifestyle. And God doesn’t even have to be the first thing on your mind, the result is achieved as long as you have experienced some form of reflection on your faith and spirituality. The researchers use the example of a person walking by a Church on the way to their bus stop. Dr. Inzlicht says:

Admiring (the) church en route could prime the religious thoughts that will take the sting out of noticing the bus has passed by.


For more on this fascinating study, go to www.saltandlighttv.org/blog/

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