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Meditations of the Heart
By Carolyn Kenney

Carolyn writes for her weekly parish newsletter. She is the author of "Meditations of the Heart."  This book is available at Amazon.com. She has traveled on many religious pilgrimages including the Holy Land and Medjugorje. She has a strong devotion to Our Lady Queen of Peace, Medjugorje. "Meditations of the Heart" are published weekly on Medjugorje USA.

2017

Weekly Meditation, May 28, 2017

This past Thursday, we celebrated the Ascension of Our Lord into heaven, a Holy Day of Obligation.  In the gospel Jesus said to the Apostles, "All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.  And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age."


The last words "and behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age," are powerful.  They fill us an abundance of faith just knowing Jesus is with us day after day until the end of the world.  He not only asks the apostles to teach others, but He is also asking us to share our faith and love for God with people we meet - family, friends and strangers.  We need God in our lives.  We need Him to fill us with His love and life which we are able to receive in the Holy Eucharist.  "Go...and make disciples of all nations."

Weekly Meditation, May 21, 2017

Last Saturday my nephew made his First Holy Communion along with a little over 100 other children.  The day was cloudy and cool, but the joy and love inside the church was abundant.  Families gathered together along with friends.  The First Communicants were dressed in white and were extremely well-behaved.  This was the first time they each received Jesus in the Eucharist - in His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity.  So many of us receive Jesus every Sunday at Communion but unfortunately, it seems to have almost become a "habit".

It is so important for us to attend mass with our families, to receive Jesus and ask Him to feed our souls with His graces and blessings in order that we may grow in our faith.  If we do this, we will also grow to comprehend the mysteries of God and the graces He bestows upon us.  Let us set an example for our children and others.  We need God in our lives and in our world now as never before.
 

Weekly Meditation, May 14, 2017

In today's second reading of Saint Peter, he says, "You are "a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own, so that you may announce the praises" of him
who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light."

We are each chosen by God and are holy in His eyes.  He has chosen us to praise Him and to announce Him to others.  He called us from the darkness of sin into the light of His love.  In the first chapter of Jeremiah, the Lord said, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you."  Although God spoke these words directly to Jeremiah, He also speaks them to us today.  Someone once asked a friend of mine, "Do you go to church because you have to or because you want to?"  I was very surprised at these words and if asked, I would have said, "I go to church because I love to go.  I go in order to be nourished by Jesus in the Eucharist - by His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity.  Why do you attend Mass?  Remember, God has chosen you and calls you from the darkness of sin into the light of His love.
 

Weekly Meditation, May 07, 2017

In today's second reading we read these words of Saint Peter, "...If you are patient when you suffer for doing what is good, this is a grace before God.  For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example that you should follow in his footsteps.  When he was insulted, he returned no insult; when he suffered, he did not threaten...He himself bore our sins in his body upon the cross, so that, free from sin, we might live for righteousness."

How many times do we become impatient?  How often do we insult a friend, family member or co-worker?  How often do we desire to take out our revenge on someone?  Jesus suffered silently for each of us.  He not lose patience or insult his executioners.  He carried His cross with love.  At that time, He knew the future of our world and understood the type of people you and I would become.  He foresaw our inadequacies, our sins and the lack of love we have at times.  Yet, Jesus suffered and died in silence, but with love in His heart.  Let us each do the same.  Live with love in your heart each day.
 

Weekly Meditation, April 30, 2017

This week, Saint Peter speaks beautiful words of hope and faith in the second reading.  Let the words Saint Peter spoke over 2000 years ago touch your heart and dwell in your soul when he said: "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who in his great mercy gave us a new birth to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you who by the power of God are safeguarded through faith...In this you rejoice, although now for a little while you may have to suffer through various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith...may prove to be for praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.  Although you have not seen him you love him...(and) you rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, as you attain the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls."  Reflect on these words this week.  

Weekly Meditation, April 16, 2017 

"Alleluia! The Lord has arisen! He has truly risen!"  Today we celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ!  For forty days we have reflected deeply on the Passion of Our Lord.  The intense agony which he suffered for you and for me is something which we cannot truly and deeply understand.  Yet we must try.  In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus said to His Father, "Not my will, but yours be done."  Not our will, but His be done in our life.  On Easter Sunday in the Holy Land, Christians greet one another with these words:  "Alleluia!  The Lord has arisen!  He has truly risen!"  As you celebrate Easter with family and friends, remember Jesus who died for all of us.  Never forget His great act of love.

 

Weekly Meditation, April 09, 2017

In today's gospel, we read of the agony and crucifixion of Jesus.  Ten years ago, I visited the Holy Land for the first time.  Although the trip was long, it was well worth going.  During the trip our group visited the Garden of Gethsemane and the beautiful church which is adjacent to it.  Inside the church is the rock on which it is believed Jesus knelt during His agony.  The Eucharist was placed on the altar with the "rock" in front of it.  Our group had a beautiful holy hour.  This reminds me of something which Jesus said to Saint Gertrude (1256-1302): "Each time that anyone...looks lovingly at the Host, which contains sacramentally My Divine Body, he will increase his merits for Heaven, and add to his eternal joys an especial delight, corresponding to that which he devoutly contemplated this precious Body on earth."   

 

Weekly Meditation, April 02, 2017

In today's gospel, we read about Lazarus and his sisters, Martha and Mary.   Lazarus had died and was in the tomb for four days when Jesus arrived in Bethany.  "Martha said to Jesus, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.  But even now I know that whatever you ask of God, God will give you."  Even though her brother was dead, Martha's faith was strong enough that she knew Jesus could restore her brother to life.   One day, we too will physically die.  Although we are alive now, are we spiritually dead?  How strong is our faith?  Do we believe in the teachings of Jesus or do we just go through the motions attending mass, going to confession and observing holy days?  God can - and will - strengthen our faith if we place our trust in Him and ask Him.  Jesus died and rose from the dead for you and for me.  Turn to Him and place your trust in Him as did Martha.  Let your spirituality come alive again.

 

Weekly Meditation, March 26, 2017

In today's gospel we read how Jesus cured a man who was blind from birth.  Imagine if you were blind and suddenly could see the beautiful blue sky, flowers in varied colors, the pure white snow and so many other amazing images.  Like many people, I had a cataract removed from my eye.  I remember how bright everything was after the procedure.  It was like someone had turned on the light switch.  In Saint John's gospel, Jesus said, "I came into this world for judgment, so that those who do not see might see..."  Too often we are blind to the beauty and love around us.  We see with our eyes, but not with our heart.  When you look at someone or something, look with the eyes of your heart.  Look with love and faith and you will come to see God's love in return.

Weekly Meditation, March 19, 2017

According to Webster's Dictionary, the word Lent comes from the Old English word lengthen which means the spring.  As Spring comes upon us we become hopeful and joyful just as the Apostles were joyful upon learning of the Resurrection of Jesus.  They overcame the obstacles and fears of doubt and of sadness at the death of Jesus and of the distress inflicted upon them by the Romans.  Their faith saved them and helped them to grow in deeper understanding and love of God.  We also have numerous difficulties and barriers which we face on a daily basis and which block our path of living a full and meaningful life.  These last few days of Lent, let us focus on Jesus and His life on earth for He was like us in all things but sin.  Through His love, we can overcome sin as well as our anxieties and fears.  Focus on Jesus as He walked the path to Calvary - for you and for me.      

Weekly Meditation, March 12, 2017

In today's gospel of Saint Matthew we read of the Transfiguration of Jesus.  I remember the first time I  visited Mount Tabor in Israel where this holy event occurred.  The road leading to the top of the mountain was windy with rocks on either side.  However, there is a beautiful church at the top where we celebrated mass; the view from outside was breathtaking.  In this gospel we read how Jesus "was transfigured before them; his face shone like the sun and his clothes became white as light."  We cannot truly know how Jesus must have appeared to Peter, James and John but it was unlike anything we have seen in our life.  As we continue reading the gospel, Saint Matthew writes, "then from (a) cloud came a voice that said, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him."  Today we are also asked to listen to the words of Jesus, to contemplate His miracles and to witness His love in our life.  This Lenten season, God asks you in your heart to listen to His Son.  What is He saying to you?

Weekly Meditation, March 5, 2017

During this holy time of Lent, the church asks us to pray and fast.  Pray daily in the morning and at night speaking to God from your heart.  As a special sacrifice, learn how to pray the Rosary and say it slowly and meaningfully at least once a week.

Fasting is asked of Catholics over 18 years of age up to the beginning of their 60th year.  Fast from anger and from judging others.  Instead feast on love and on "what makes us one with Christ."  Lent is a time for each of us to grow deeper in faith, to learn more about God and His love for us.  It is a time for each of us to understand one another, not to judge others or to focus on negativity, but to focus on each persons value and worth as a human being.
 

Weekly Meditation, Feb 26, 2017

In the Psalm this Sunday we heard the words, "With God is my safety and my glory, he is the rock of my strength; my refuge is in God.  Trust in him at all times, O my people!
Pour out your hearts before him." 

God is our strength.  Trust in Him always.  I remember when my mother passed away due to cancer how hard it was not only on me, but on other family members as well.  She had always been the center of the family, filled with love and life.  I do not know what I would have done had it not been for my faith.  I do not know where I would be today, but my faith in God and my focus on Him carried me through those difficult days.  We all have heartaches and worries in life.  Put your "trust in Him at all times."  He is your rock and your strength.  
 

Weekly Meditation, Feb 19, 2017

According to Webster's Dictionary, the word "perfect" means "flawless, completely accurate."  Are you perfect?  Do you know someone who is perfect?  Unfortunately, we all have many flaws and shortcomings.  The author Leo Tolstoy wrote, "If you look for perfection, you'll never be content.”  However, we know that we will find perfection in God.  In today's gospel of Saint Matthew, Jesus said, "You have heard that it was said, You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.  But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father...if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have?  If you greet your brothers only, what is unusual about that?  So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect."  This is not an easy task.  But, Jesus asks us to love and pray for one another - not only our families and friends - but all people.  God knows we desperately need love and peace in our world today.  Listen to the words of Jesus.

 

Weekly Meditation, Feb 12, 2017

I think many people - especially here in New England - eagerly watched the Super Bowl last Sunday night.  What a terrific game which offered us so many examples of how to live.  First, do not give up whatever comes your way.   With the Patriots down in the fourth quarter by 28-3, it looked a little difficult for them to win.  However, as many players later said they concentrated on, "one play at a time."  We can look at our life and say "one day at a time."  In 2 Timothy Chapter 4, Saint Paul said to Timothy, "I have competed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith."  Like many of us, Tom Brady went through personal difficulties this year.  It is not easy when loved ones are sick.  Our heart aches for them and we only desire their well-being again.  However, with God on our side we can overcome trials in our life.  Pray to Him daily, morning and night.  Pray the rosary.  Keep the faith. 

Weekly Meditation, Feb 05, 2017

In today's gospel of Saint Matthew, Jesus tells His Apostles "You are the light of the world.  A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden...your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father." 

In our world today, we must also be a light for others.  With so many protests taking place throughout our country, we must each be an example of love, patience and understanding for others.  Just as Jesus needed His twelve Apostles to spread His gospel message, He also needs you and me to share this message today.   Through faith, through love of God and through prayer we will be able to know His Will and to share His message of love to everyone we meet.  Open your heart to God and become an example of "light to the world." 

Weekly Meditation, Jan 29, 2017

Faith is such an integral and necessary part of our life.  With everything going on in the world today, we need to nourish and share our faith.  Pope Benedict XVI said, "Dear parents!  I ask you to help your children grow in faith... Please go with your children to Church and take part in the Sunday Eucharist celebration!  You will see that this is not time lost; rather it is the very thing that can keep your family truly united and centered.  Sunday becomes beautiful, the whole week becomes more beautiful when you go to Sunday Mass together."  If you do not take the time to share your faith with your children, who will?  I was so blessed that my parents shared their faith with me; it is the most important part of my life.

Weekly Meditation, Jan 22, 2017

What gets you through the day?  What helps you to start your day off?  Is it that first cup of coffee?  Or, is it a brisk morning walk or run?  Pope Saint John Paul II said, "The Eucharist is the secret of my day.  It gives strength and meaning to all my activities of service to the Church and to the whole world."   Jesus is truly present in the Eucharist - body, blood, soul and divinity.  His life and divinity gives us the strength we need to overcome difficulties of life.  In her book "Divine Mercy in My Soul" Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska wrote about the Christmas Eve Midnight Mass in 1935.  She wrote, "After Holy Communion, I heard the words (of Jesus):  I am always in your heart, not only when you receive me in Holy Communion, but always."  Contemplate on the magnificence and love of Jesus not only at Mass, but always - at every moment of our life.

Weekly Meditation, Jan 15, 2017

A friend recently sent me the following reflection which I wanted to share with you.  "I just peeked out the window and watched the snow falling.  Snowflakes come in all shapes and sizes.  Just think of how God created them.  We are like snowflakes.  We come in all shapes, sizes and different colors.  I thought, wow, God creates such beauty.  I wonder how many people think about how God always makes beautiful things in different ways.  So, today I will ask the angels to keep the eyes of my soul open to see the snowflakes in our lives, people of all shapes, sizes, languages, colors.  Another beautiful creation from God who is the perfect Artist.  May your angel wrap his wings around you, his feathers be your pillow to lay your head upon, the mantle of Our Lady the blanket of Love and the bright white snowflakes the gift of God giving us life."

 

Weekly Meditation, Jan 8, 2017

Today the Church celebrates the Epiphany of the Lord.  In today's gospel we read how the three magi were called before King Herod who told them, "Go and search diligently for the child.  When you have found him, bring me word, that I too may go and do him homage."  Of course, we know the magi did not tell Herod where Jesus was born, but instead returned to their homes by a different route.

One of the definitions of the word "epiphany" is "a flash of insight."  Today, we are called to seek Jesus.  We must also "go and search diligently" for Him.  We do not have to travel halfway around the world.  Today Jesus is alive in the tabernacles of our churches.  He is alive in the Eucharist we receive at mass.  Today, turn off your cell phones, your laptops and flat screen television.  Take some "quiet" time and look into your heart with faith.  There you will experience Jesus reaching out to you.    

Weekly Meditation, Jan 1, 2017

Happy New Year.  This is the beginning of a year filled with promises, hopes and dreams for us all.  Today, January 1, 2017 the Catholic Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Mother of God.  After the birth of Her Son, the Blessed Mother must have gazed upon Him full of love, wondering what the future held for Him.  At this moment, she must have looked upon Jesus lying in the manger, a baby like all the others she had seen in her life.  Yet, her Son was also the Son of God. 
What faith the Blessed Mother had when the angel first appeared to her asking if she would be the Mother of God.  She did not know what the future held for her or for Her Son, but she did not hesitate to say yes.  Upon the birth of Jesus, angels announced His birth to shepherds.  They, along with three kings and others visited Her Son.  As today's gospel states, "And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart."  Let us pray for each of us to say "yes" to that which God is asking of us.     

 

2016

Weekly Meditation, December 25, 2016

As you celebrate the joy of Christmas Day with family and friends, take a moment - or an hour - to give thanks to God for all He has given you.  Tonight the inside of our church was decorated with green wreaths strung with white lights and a red bow.  The altar had red and white poinsettias around the altar along with a large tree bestowed with white lights on either side of the altar.  On the right side of the church was a stunning Nativity unlike any I had seen!  At the end of mass, the children's choir sang Silent Night as the lights inside the church were dimmed.  The setting was breathtaking! The mass was moving!

This Christmas reflect on the true meaning of the day - the birth of Jesus into our midst as a baby.  He was born a baby, but was truly a King.  This Christmas read the Bible which tells of the birth of Jesus.  Like His Mother, Mary, reflect on these things in your heart.  Have a Merry and Blessed Christmas!

Weekly Meditation, December 18, 2016

It is hard to believe there is only one week before Christmas!  Many people find it to be a stressful time of year as they attend to regular errands, doctor visits, decorating for Christmas and buying the right gift for family and friends.  Before we know it, the day will be gone and we will be cleaning up the wrappings.  Why is it so stressful?  Why can't we make it the most peaceful and calming time of the year?

During this final week before Christmas Day, take time for yourself.  More importantly, take time to for God.  Ask Him to guide you and to fill you with His many graces and blessings.  Twice I was blessed to visit the Holy Land.  When the gospel is read next Sunday telling of the birth of Jesus, I will picture His manger and the holy place He was born.  Maybe someday I will be able to visit again.  Maybe someday you will be able to visit it as well.  If so, take my advice and go.  Merry Christmas!
 

Weekly Meditation, December 11, 2016

In the second reading of Saint James we read the words, "Be patient, brothers and sisters, until the coming of the Lord.  You...must be patient.  Make your hearts firm, because the coming of the Lord is at hand.  Do not complain...about one another, that you may not be judged."

Saint James, one of the twelve Apostles, wrote these words over 2000 years ago.  Although we do not know when the next "coming of the Lord" will be, we must be patient until that time.  We must be patient with ourselves and with one another.  "Do not complain" about things over which you have no control.  With patience and love look upon your family, friends and all you meet with an understanding and forgiving heart. 

Weekly Meditation, December 04, 2016

Recently I came across a quote from Saint Teresa of Calcutta who was canonized on September 4, of this year by Pope Francis.  Speaking of Christmas, Saint Teresa said, "Let us pray that we shall be able to welcome Jesus at Christmas not in the cold manger of a selfish heart, but in a heart full of love, compassion, joy and peace, a heart warm with love for one another."  Have a blessed Christmas.

Weekly Meditation, November 27, 2016

Today is the First Sunday of Advent.  In four weeks, we will gather here to celebrate Christmas - the Birth of Jesus in Bethlehem.  Already the stores are decorated with Christmas decorations and are stocked with a variety of items for gift-giving.  If you cannot find something, there is always a gift card to purchase.  I find as my nieces and nephews get older, they outgrow toys and have certain stores they like at the Mall which makes it much easier to shop for them.

We will all be ready for Christmas as far as gifts go.  However, will we each be spiritually ready for Christmas?  We should put as much time - if not more - into our spiritual life as we do into buying gifts.  Over 2000 years ago, Jesus was born in Bethlehem.  Today it is a larger city than it was at the birth of Our Lord.  Yet, it fills the person visiting it with something that cannot be purchased in a store.  Jesus fills us with His Presence.  We do not have to visit the manger in Bethlehem, although it is wonderful to see.  Visit Jesus in the Tabernacle at your local church.  Visit Him in the sacrament of confession and feel Him fill you with His Presence. 

Weekly Meditation, November 20, 2016

During the month of November, we prayerfully remember those who have gone to their heavenly rest.  Recently, there were three deaths in my family, all within one week.  The husband of a cousin died, along with an aunt and a cousin who was only a year old than myself.  I think we all wonder what our death will be like.  Will we see Jesus or Mary?  Will we perhaps see our mother or father?  As time goes on and I get a little older, more relatives and friends have died.  I now think that one day in the future we will enjoy a family reunion in heaven. 

In the gospel of Saint John, Jesus says, "Do not let your hearts be troubled.  You have faith in God; have faith also in me.  In my Father's house there are many dwelling places...I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be." 

 
on vacation....

Weekly Meditation, October 30, 2016

In this past Sunday's gospel we read, Zacchaeus "...could not see Jesus because of the crowd, for he was short in stature.  So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree in order to see Jesus...The Lord said to Zacchaeus ..."today I must stay at your house.  And he came down quickly and received him with joy."

If Jesus were to appear today in Wilmington and asked to stay at your house, would you say yes?  Would you be ready to accept Him?  Would your house be dusted, cleaned, dishes put away and clothes cleaned and ironed?  More importantly, would you be eager to have Him in your home?  Would you receive Him with joy as did Zacchaeus?  Or, would you be worried that you are not worthy enough for the Lord of all creation to enter your home and be part of your family life for one meal?  As Jesus said in the gospel, "...the Son of Man has come to seek and to save what was lost.”  You and I.

Weekly Meditation, October 23, 2016

In today's first reading, we hear "The LORD is a God of justice...he hears the cry of the oppressed.  The one who serves God willingly is heard; his petition reaches the heavens.
The prayer of the lowly pierces the clouds..."

Many of us have recently heard on television or the news what some politicians think of the Catholic faith.  We do not need anyone telling us how to pray or what to pray for.  We pray to God, Our Father in Heaven, for guidance, for love, for peace and for forgiveness.  We should also pray for wisdom to know the Will of God.  We do not need to blindly follow the instructions or desires of a certain political party.  Over 400 years ago, people sailed across the rough Atlantic Ocean in search of religious freedom.  If you do not defend your faith, who will?
 

Weekly Meditation, October 16, 2016

In today's gospel of Saint Luke, Jesus said "...when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?"  Is your faith important to you?  Does your faith shape your life and define who you are, thereby showing others of your love for God, His church and all His people?  We are not saints, yet God calls each of us to become saints.  People are not "born" saints.  With God's love and guidance, they grow in love and understanding of Him.  They pray to Him for daily guidance in every aspect of their life.  Who else can help you, can calm your fears and anxieties?  God can and does.  Slow down, look into your heart and talk with Him on a daily basis. 

Once again, "...when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?"  My answer is Yes, most definitely.  

 

Weekly Meditation, October 11, 2016

 

In today’s gospel of Saint Luke, we read how Jesus cured ten lepers.  One of the lepers “…realizing he had been healed, returned, glorifying God in a loud voice; and he fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him.”     

 

We are so quick to ask God for help in times of need, but how often do we thank God for the many gifts he has given to us?  Do we even realize the gifts we have – the blessing of our family and friends, the blessing of a good education, the blessing of a job and the blessing of a roof over our heads? We do not always have exactly what we want, but maybe that is a good thing.  Look to God with an open heart for He alone knows what we need to make our life complete and fulfilled.

 

Weekly Meditation, October 02, 2016

Today, before I wrote this meditation, I realized after watching the daily mass on Boston Catholic Television that it is the Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi.  I have been blessed to visit Assisi twice in my life.  It is a small village in the Italian countryside and despite the pilgrims who walk the streets and visit the beautiful church there, a peace permeates the small

town where Saint Francis lived and established his order.  There is so much to see and to learn about Saint Francis not only when visiting Assisi, but at any time in our life. 
The priest who celebrated mass on Boston Catholic TV said in his homily, "We cannot give peace to other people if we don't have peace in our lives."  In today's world, we desperately need peace in our lives and in our world.  We have the latest and greatest of so many things to help us perform daily chores both at home, work and school.  Yet, we cry out for a life of harmony and calmness which was lost long ago.  In order to attain peace, we should pray 15-20 minutes a day; pray to God, read Sacred Scripture and simply talk to God.  He is waiting and will gladly listen to you.
 

Weekly Meditation, September 25, 2016

This past weekend, we read the First Letter of Saint Paul to Timothy in which Saint Paul writes, "...you, man of God, pursue righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience and gentleness.  Compete well for the faith.  Lay hold of eternal life, to which you were called..."

After reading this over, we realize Saint Paul is calling not only Timothy, but all of us to live a life of justice, decency and honesty.  He tells us to "pursue faith and love...pursue eternal life..."  In this day and age those are not easy tasks to accomplish, yet God calls each one of us to live in a state of grace.  We must be gentle and patient with one another; do not jump to conclusions.  Strive to increase your faith in God and thereby to increase your love for your fellow man.

Weekly Meditation, September 18, 2016

Tonight at Saint Thomas in Wilmington, my home parish, we attended a prayer vigil for peace.  I was pleased to see it so well attended by various churches in the community.  With so much unrest and discord throughout our world today, we need to pray more fervently.  We need to place God in the center of our lives.  We must grow in our faith and enliven it within our heart and soul, thereby enabling each of us to pass it on to our family members, friends and especially children.  We must practice our faith and live it each day in order to make our world one of harmony and love.  Place your focus on Jesus.  Pray to Him.  Never forsake Him.

Weekly Meditation, September 4, 2016

In today's gospel, Saint Luke said, "Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple."   So often we attend mass on Sunday and immediately upon leaving we enter another world.  We seem to forget everything we heard and witnessed during the mass - the homily, the readings and even the reception of the Holy Eucharist. 

Today the church celebrated the canonization of Saint Theresa of Calcutta!  She certainly carried her own cross and became a disciple of Jesus.  She is shining example for each of us to follow in the difficulties of today's world.  Let us look at one another as Saint Teresa did - with a smile and with the love of Jesus in our heart.

Weekly Meditation, August 28, 2016

On Sunday, September 4, 2016 Pope Francis will canonize Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, thereby raising her to sainthood.  I never met Blessed Mother Teresa, but I wish that I could have.  She was truly a living saint in our lifetime.  On October 7, 1950 Mother Teresa received approval from the Vatican to establish the "Missionaries of Charity" which was well-known in India.  She willingly and with tremendous love served the "poorest of the poor."  Mother Teresa once said, "“Holiness is not the luxury of the few.  It is a simple duty for each one of us.”  Let us follow her loving and holy example with all whom we come into contact.

Weekly Meditation, August 14, 2016

In the gospel on Monday, The Feast of the Assumption, Mary visited her cousin Elizabeth who was pregnant with John the Baptist.  Upon meeting Elizabeth, Mary said, “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my Savior for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.  From this day all generations will call me blessed: the Almighty has done great things for me and holy is his Name.”

 

Mary was truly overjoyed that God had chosen her to be the Mother of His Son.  Throughout her life she had both good times and difficult times.  What was it like to be the Mother of Jesus?  What did Jesus tell her about God and His many mysteries? Today Mary sits in heaven with God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  The Almighty has indeed done great things for her and desires to do great things for you and for me – if we open our hearts to Him.     

 

Weekly Meditation, August 07, 2016

In today’s gospel Jesus said to His disciples, “…where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.” 

I think this is one of the most beautiful passages in the Bible.  What makes you happy?  What do you cherish and value?  What is truly important in your life?  Is it your family?  Is it your friends?  Is it work? Is it the amount of material possessions you can accumulate?  No one can answer these questions for you.  Look into your heart.  Is it God speaking to you and looking upon you with His immense love?   

 

Weekly Meditation, July 28, 2016

In today’s gospel Jesus said to the crowd, “Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions.” 

Do you have numerous material possessions?  If so, are they the highlight of your life, or are your family and friends your primary focus?  We need food, clothing and shelter.  However, we do not need to overdo other aspects of life such as buying the latest cell phone, laptop, car and even homes that cost too much to take care of. Focus first on the spiritual aspect of your life.  Pray morning and night.  Attend mass on Sunday.  Go to confession on a regular basis.  Most importantly, see that your children are raised in the light of God.

 

Weekly Meditation, July 14, 2016

 

In today’s gospel of Saint Luke, the disciples said to Jesus, “Lord teach us to pray.”  Jesus said, “When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come.  Give us each day our daily bread and forgive us our sins for we ourselves forgive everyone in debt to us, and do not subject us to the final test."

 

As children our parents taught us to pray.  Morning and night, we would kneel on our knees and say an Our Father and Hail Mary.  Do you pray today?  Do you think it is necessary to pray?  Perhaps you pray only in times of distress or heartache.  Jesus, who was like us in all things but sin, constantly prayed to His Father.  We need to pray every morning and every night for ourselves, our family and an end to the terrible incidents happening almost weekly in our world today. 

 

Weekly Meditation, July 17, 2016

 

In today’s gospel Saint Luke writes, “Jesusentered a village where a woman whose name was Martha welcomed him.  She had a sister named Mary who sat be side the Lord at his feet listening to him speak. Martha, burdened with much serving…said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving? Tell her to help me.”  The Lord said to her in reply, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things.  There is need of only one thing.  Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.”

 

Are you like Martha or Mary?  Do you constantly worry or do you listen to Jesus in your heart?  Life is too short to constantly dwell on the negative.  We all know there is a great deal of turmoil throughout the world.  We all have turmoil in our families, neighborhoods and towns.  Pray to God for peace among all peoples, for peace in our families and to know and spread the peace of God to everyone we meet

Weekly Meditation, July 10, 2016

In today’s gospel of Saint Luke, Jesus said, "You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself."

 

Jesus is asking each of us to undertake something difficult in this day and age.  He is asking each one of us to love.   Love God and love your neighbor.  Martin Richard, one of the victims of the Boston Marathon Bombing was shown holding a sign he had made prior to the bombing which read, “No more hurting people.  Peace.”  This eight-year old child summed it up best.  We should all live by his words of wisdom.

Weekly Meditation, July 03, 2016

This weekend many cities and towns throughout Massachusetts and our country will celebrate the 4th of July.  Fireworks, carnivals, concerts and many other events will take place.  In my home town, we will have a concert, carnival and events for three nights.  A terrific fireworks display will take place on the last night.    Children laugh as they join in different events such as the Water Balloon Toss, Three-Legged Race and many others.  People smile at one another and truly enjoy celebrating this holiday together because it is the one time of year when everyone gathers together in the same place.

 

With so many terrible incidents happening throughout the world, we need to stay focused on our faith – our faith in God and in one another.  We must keep alive the principles our forefathers instituted in the Constitution and Declaration of Independence.  Most importantly, we must keep our dependence centered in God. 

 

Weekly Meditation, June 26, 2016 

If you are like me, one of the first things you do upon waking in the morning is to check the weather.  This week looks very nice in the Boston are which we are all happy about.  There is a chance of a little light rain on Tuesday, but the rest of the week will be in the 80’s and sunny.  With all the July 4thcelebrations going on, people will be happy to get together and enjoy the festivities.

On Sunday and holy days, do we eagerly look forward to attending mass?  Do we get excited when we realize that Jesus is truly present in the Eucharist in His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity?  Jesus, the Son of God, comes to us and is truly present in the Eucharist.  He alone can comfort us.  He alone can console us and encourage us.  However, we must acknowledge and affirm His Presence in our life. 

Weekly Meditation, June 19, 2016 

Have you ever been at a restaurant or store and recognized someone?  Did the person you were with ask their name and how you knew that person?  In today’s gospel, Jesus asks the disciples, “Who do you say that I am?”  Immediately, Peter said, “The Messiah of God.”  Peter was not shy about admitting to Jesus and the other disciples that they were indeed in the Presence of the Messiah for whom they had been waiting. 

What is your relation to Jesus?  Do you recognize Him as the Son of God?  Do you acknowledge His Presence in the Eucharist?

Weekly Meditation, June 12, 2016 

In today’s gospel, Jesus teaches the Apostles and others who had come to hear Him about forgiveness.  After the woman had anointed His feet with oil, kissed them and wiped them, Jesus said, “…her many sins have been forgiven because she has shown great love.”

Love and forgiveness go hand in hand.  Forgiving someone is not easy yet God asks us to do just that.  His Son died on the cross after undergoing terrible pain and suffering.  Jesus said to His Father while hanging on the cross, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”  When we are hurt in some other way, God asks us to forgive.  We must forgive as Jesus forgave.  We must love as Jesus loved and as He continues to love everyone.

Weekly Meditation, June 05, 2016 

In today’s gospel, Saint Luke writes of Jesus visit to the village of Nain.  Nain is a small village which lies about six miles southeast of Nazareth with very few Christians living there.  On my second trip to the Holy Land, our group stopped here on our way to Mount Tabor which is the site of the Transfiguration.  Nainis a quiet village with a Muslim family living beside the church; they keep the church clean and have a key to let in tourists. 

The gospel reads, “a man who had died was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. When the Lord saw her, he was moved with pity for her and said to her, “Do not weep.”  He stepped forward and touched the coffin; at this the bearers halted, and he said, “Young man, I tell you, arise!”  Today Jesus is “moved with pity” for us; He touches our soul and tells us to “arise” and go forth to share the faith He has bestowed upon us. 

Weekly Meditation, May 29, 2016 

In today’s gospel we read of the multiplication of the loaves and fish.  With only five loaves of bread and two fish, Jesus fed a crowd of well over 5,000 men, not counting women and children.  At the end, twelve wicker baskets were filled with the leftovers.  This is only one of the miracles of Jesus.   
 

Today the Church celebrates the feast of The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ.  Every time we celebrate mass, the bread and wine become the true body and blood of Jesus through the mystery of the Transubstantiation.  Jesus appears to us on the altar just as He was present to the Apostles, men, women and children when He multiplied the loaves and fish.  Receive this gift of Jesus in faith and He will work a miracle for you.     
 

Weekly Meditation, May 22, 2016 

According to God’s holy Will, we have been blessed with the gift of life.  We are alive at this time to find our spiritual fulfillment, attainable only through God‘s help.  The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches, “Human life is sacred because from its beginning it involves the creative action of God and it remains for ever in a special relationship with the Creator…”  How best can we live our life?  What will we accomplish with our life?  How can we help one another to grow spiritually closer to God?  Your life has a unique meaning and purpose.  Use it wisely.

 

Weekly Meditation, May 15, 2016 

On the Feast of Pentecost, which we celebrate today, we read in the Gospel of Jesus’ appearance to the Apostles.  Despite the locked doors, Jesus came “…and stood in their midst…”  Imagine the surprise and joy as the Apostles realized Jesus was with them once more.  “…He breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”  
 

Jesus desires each of us to “receive the Holy Spirit.”  We received the gift of the Holy Spirit, which is the Spirit of love between Father and Son, at Confirmation.  This pure, holy love is one of the most precious gifts we will ever receive in our lives.  God loves us so much that He sends His Spirit of love to us to fill us with faith and peace.  Feel the Spirit of God move in your hearts on this beautiful day.
 

Weekly Meditation, May 08, 2016

This weekend we celebrate Mother’s Day.  Whether our mothers are living or deceased, we will remember them with love and will pray for them.  On this day, we should also remember Our Blessed Mother.  At the Annunciation, Mary’s faith did not waiver for one instant when the angel Gabriel announced she had been chosen to be the mother of Jesus.  Our Blessed Mother loves us with the same motherly love she gave to her Son.  If we only ask for her guidance, she will bring us closer to Jesus.    

 
The Blessed Mother stood at the foot of the cross as her Son was crucified.  She suffered untold agony as she watched Him suffer for three hours - her Son who was the absolute meaning of purity and who had never sinned.  Mary now shares eternal life with Jesus in heaven.  Her desire is for us, her children, to one day share the same joy and love.  Open your heart to God as did Our Blessed Mother and let His Will be made manifest in your life.  You will grow holy with His love, and remember, His love for you is immeasurable.
 

Weekly Meditation, May 01, 2016

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.  Not as the world gives do I give it to you.  Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.  You heard me tell you, ‘I am going away and I will come back to you.’  If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father; for the Father is greater than I.”

 
How many times in our lives do we encounter situations that cause us to become troubled or anxious?  At such times, we may see no way out of these circumstances.  However, Jesus is there ready to fill us with His peace - His divine peace.  If we open our hearts to Him, we will truly feel His love and the love of His Father.    
 

Weekly Meditation, April 24, 2016

As the sun rose on the horizon this morning, I noticed it was a stunning golden-orange color.  Ever so slowly, it has started to grow lighter.  Summer will soon settle in upon us.  Already buds have begun to show on the trees, which is a testament to the beauty of nature and beginning of new life.

 
God’s Will speaks through the entire world in the beauty of nature which remains obedient to Him.  One season slips into the next.  So too, our life slowly glides from baby to child to teenager to adult to senior citizen.  During all this, God calls us to follow His holy Will day by day.  In prayer, we can become more aware of the Will of God and our purpose in serving Him.  Seek God.  Pray to Him.  Find His Will and He will fill you with His love.  
 

Weekly Meditation, April 03, 2016

According to the dictionary, the word Family means “a group of people who are closely related by birth, marriage, or adoption.”  I feel that it also means those who are “closely related” in love and caring for one another.  A few weeks ago, I underwent a serious operation that hospitalized me for three weeks.  Hopefully, I will never undergo that procedure again.  
 

From the moment I was out of surgery, my family was by my side for which I am eternally grateful and thankful.  So many people are not blessed like most of us with family members who truly care for us.  So many people go through difficult surgeries with no one by their side.  Let us remember all those hospitalized and in rehabilitation facilities.  Let us take as our model the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph.  
 

We are sorry that at this time Carolyn is unable to write the Meditations of Heart. We do hope and pray she recovers soon, after a medical procedure.

Weekly Meditation, Feb 21, 2016
 

Today’s gospel of Saint Luke, which speaks of the Transfiguration of Jesus, is one of the most beautiful in the Bible.  Jesus, along with Peter, James and John climbed up the rocky mountainside before finally arriving at the summit. When they reached their destination, Saint Luke writes, “Peter and his companions had been overcome by sleep…”  Upon awakening “Jesus’ face changed in appearance and his clothing became dazzling white.”
 
Our journey through life is not always smooth and easy.  Like Peter, James and John we face many rocky paths and uphill climbs whether physically, spiritually or mentally.  In your daily life, listen to the voice of God the Father when He speaks in your soul, “This is my chosen Son; listen to him.”
 

Sorry Carolyn has been a way the past few weeks.

Weekly Meditation, Jan 31, 2016

In his epistle, Saint Paul writes, “Love is patient, love is kind…it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered…It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  Love never fails.”

 
Are you patient?  Are you kind?  Do you bear all things you encounter; do you endure what life throws at you?  Jesus loves us despite our weaknesses and shortcomings.  His life on earth was not one of ease and comfort.  He is true love and showed us by His example how to live and love everyone we meet.   
 

Weekly Meditation, Jan 24, 2016

Two weeks ago, the lottery was worth $1.5 billion.  Did you have any numbers?  I bought two tickets, but did not have one single number!  If you seriously think of that much money, what would you do with it?  Seriously think about it.  New friends would come out of the woodwork.  Your telephone would ring constantly for donations.  All you and I want is to get ahead, to pay our bills and care for our family.

 
Each time we attend mass, Jesus comes to us in the Eucharist.  The graces and blessings He fills us with are worth so much more than money can buy.  As we receive Him, He touches our soul with His soul.  He touches our inner being with His holy body and blood.  The next time you receive Holy Communion, contemplate Jesus, the Son of God within you.  How blessed you are.

Weekly Meditation, Jan 17, 2016
 

“When the time comes and we cannot pray, it is very simple - let Jesus pray in us to the Father in the silence of our hearts.  If we cannot speak, He will speak.  If we cannot pray, He will pray.  So let us give Him our inability and our nothingness.”  Blessed Teresa of Calcutta
 
When you feel distressed over a certain situation, turn to Jesus.  When you receive heartbreaking news, turn to Jesus.  Simply offer Him your worries and afflictions and He will guide you through any circumstance.  Remain connected to Jesus and He will show you the way to His Father.
 

Weekly Meditation, Jan 10, 2016

“Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset.”  St. Francis de Sales
 

We all undergo difficulties and distress.  No one is exempt.  Even Jesus, the Son of God, present at the dawn of creation faced struggles during His life on earth.  As Saint Francis says, “Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever…”  Place your hardships into the sacred hands of Jesus.  Ask Him to guide you and to keep you close to His Sacred Heart where love abounds.   

Weekly Meditation, Jan 03, 2016

It is hard to believe Christmas is over.  For weeks we were busy with gift-buying, decorating and so much more.  Too often we overlook the true meaning of the Christmas season which is the birth of Jesus.  Jesus is present today and every day in the Holy Eucharist.  He is as alive and present to us now as He was to Mary, Joseph, the shepherds and magi.  Open your eyes and your heart to His Presence in your life.   

 
As Saint John Chrysostom has said, "If we approach with faith, we too will see Jesus ... for the Eucharistic table takes the place of the crib. Here the Body of the Lord is present, wrapped not in swaddling clothes but in the rays of the Holy Spirit."  

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About Carolyn M. Kenney
Carolyn writes for her weekly parish newsletter.
She is the author of "Meditations of the Heart."  This book is available at Amazon.com She has traveled on many religious pilgrimages including the Holy Land and Medjugorje. She has a strong devotion to Our Lady Queen of Peace, Medjugorje.

Notice
"Meditations of the Heart" will be published weekly on Medjugorje USA. Meditations of the Heart are used by permission.

Comment by Medjugorje USA Founder
As of 2011, I have known Carolyn for about 20 year. In these weekly meditations readers will quickly understand (as anyone who has read her book) that Carolyn has a unique way of connecting spiritual thoughts to every day life.