410 NH Route 4A - PO Box 420 

Enfield, NH 03748


Fr. John P. Sullivan, M.S., Director

Office hours, 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

Tel: 603.632.7087 Fax: 603.632.7648

La Salette of Enfield

Center for Reconciliation

410 NH Route 4A - PO Box 420 Enfield, NH 03748 

Tel: 603.632.7087 

Fax: 603.632.7648 


Office hours, 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. 

Director Fr. John P. Sullivan, M.S.



INTERNATIONAL NATIVITY SETS EXHIBIT
Open by appointment

Reflections from the Shrine ...


LET US NOT JUST WAIT FOR THE LORD TO COME  BUT THIRST FOR HIM ON A  DAILY BASIS

      This past spring I finally climbed Mount Cardigan with a friend. When you hike up a mountain you need comfortable boots  , warm clothes as  you come closer to the summit, and especially water. The climb takes effort and perspiration. When you reach the top you are really thirsty. That first mouthful of water tastes so good and is so refreshing.

      The psalm response for today says:  "My soul is thirsting  for you, O Lord my God." It is combined with the parable of the ten virgins waiting for the arrival of the bridegroom to begin the wedding celebration. It is an obvious reference to one day,  Christ the Bridegroom will come to share with us the Church, the People of God, His glorious wedding banquet.  Are we prepared?

      I suggest that we not be like the five foolish virgins passively waiting with their lamps.  Let us rather be like the five wise virgins so thirsting to celebrate with the Lord that they bring an extra flask of oil  to be sure they have enough for the festivities.

      The extra container of oil symbolizes the gift of wisdom that is so beautifully described in the first reading from the Book of Wisdom: "Resplendent and unfading is wisdom, and she is readily perceived by those who love her, and found by those who seek her."   Wisdom is personified as a woman who wishes to color our relationships with God and others with vitality and variety. It is not just a gift to the intellect but more to  the will, to a person's heart. As a result the person seeks to do God's will and not simply their own.  That is why wisdom is eternal as  love and God are eternal.

      The five wise virgins had developed a virtuous life which made  them thirsting for Christ, the Bridegroom, while also eager to celebrate with others who  also loved the Lord. That is why  they could  not share their oil  with the foolish virgins.  Each of us is  called to personally  develop virtues in our own lives which we cannot give to someone else. Each person must work  on the discipline that is required in their own personal  life.

      To simply wait for the Lord's coming can be such  a passive attitude. But to thirst for the Lord is an activity, an act of the will, that  calls us to pray well and reach out frequently to those around us with the spiritual and corporeal  works of mercy.

      With that attitude, together let  us pray and thirst for a true spirit of welcome and hospitality for the hundreds of people to visit our Shrine during the Festival  of Lights that begins in less than two weeks.

                                                                                         Father John Sullivan   M.S.


ONE OF THE BEST WAYS TO LOVE OUR GOD WHO WE CANNOT SEE IS TO LOVE OUR NEIGHBOR WHO WE CAN SEE

      Many of us Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette have just returned from our recent assembly in Orlando, Florida. It was a wonderful  time as we came together; laity, brothers and priests, and also one of our La Salette Sisters, from many different parts of our Country.  We gathered to share the ministry we do together to preach the Gospel and make known the message of Our Lady of  La Salette.

      One experience I will long remember is one of  our priests from Texas telling us how he was able to help hundreds of his people who had suffered from the terrible floods that occurred recently in the southern part of Texas. From the money he received from some of  our other parishes in Georgia and Florida,  he was able to provide money for food,  shelter,  and  repairs for those people who had  suffered the greatest loses in his own parish.  Many of them were undocumented Mexicans who had already been living in this Country for many years. He was putting into practice  the first lines from the Scripture readings of today: Thus says the Lord:  "You shall  not molest or oppress an alien, for you were  once aliens yourselves in the land of Egypt. You shall not wrong any widow or orphan."  Those are powerful words to consider,  especially as we think  of our sisters and brothers in Puerto Rico,  many of whom still do not have drinking water and electricity even several weeks after the hurricane that so badly devastated  their Island.

      Jesus gives us a very strong teaching in the Gospel today.  We cannot separate our respect and  love for our God from the love and respect that we owe to our neighbors who may be suffering and living  very close to us.  "You shall love your Lord, your God, with your whole heart…. You shall  love your neighbor as  yourself.  The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments."

      That is a real challenge. We cannot say we love God who we cannot see if we ignore the needs  of our neighbors who we can see. We are all connected. We are the one family of God. It cannot be "us against them."  It is only "we" who are the children of God as we strive to respect the dignity, the needs, the hopes and dreams of our sisters and brothers. The refrain before the reading of the Gospel expresses it so well: "Whoever loves me will keep my word, says the Lord, and my Father will love  him and  we will come to him."

      Because of the suffering in Puerto Rico we cannot only pray for them but we can also reach out to them in a plan of action to send them financial support.  That is why I ask that we have a second collection next weekend to show our assistance and compassion. "Every little bit helps."

                                                                                              Father John Sullivan M.S.       


  TO BE SINCERELY TRUE TO OUR  GOD IS TO BE TRUE TO OUR  NATION  AS  WELL

      A big question that is being raised in our society today is:   "What is  it to  be  patriotic?" Some criticize  our athletes that "take a knee" during the playing of the national anthem to protest the way African Americans are being treated  in our society. Is that right or wrong? Is that honoring our flag or our Country? How does it fit into our belief as Americans to "Honor God and Country?"

      I believe that is the answer. If  we  honor God in truth and simplicity first of all, we  also  honor our Country. We cannot say:  "My Country,  right or wrong, "   because  if our Country  goes against the teaching of the Gospel, we have no obligation to  obey.  In fact we have the duty to protest,  to say with our words,  as well  as our actions -  God comes first in our lives.  Of course  the hope is that we can honor and respect both God and Country,  whether we be Republicans or Democrats.  Our  faith goes to the core of our lives.

      That is why Jesus is saying in the Gospel today:  "Repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God." Yes we have the image of George Washington or Thomas Jefferson on our coins, but we ourselves are created in the image  of God.  That is the great challenge, to live up to that image, to put on the mind of God or the heart of Jesus.

      That is so difficult today in a culture that puts so much importance on material things,  of how much money we have, or how much  power we have over other people,  even members of our own family. Jesus preached something so different -  that people are always more important than material possessions or that He came into the world not to be served but to  serve others in love and compassion.

      Even the Pharisees had to  admit:  "Teacher,  we know that you  are a truthful  man and that you teach the way  of  God  in accordance with the truth."  But Jesus saw through their remarks and with courage He called them  "hypocrites."  If only we could put the true God first,  and live  by that,  it would do  so much to improve our Nation. We would be doing a far better job at helping the poor in our own Nation  as well  as  being an example of peace and justice to other nations  around the world.

      Yes to truly work to honor and respect our God is also  the best way  to respect and honor our Nation.

      As the Festival of Lights quickly approaches, again we put out the request for volunteers. For example we could use some help giving out the posters that  describe the Festival  to stores and restaurants in the area so that we could  get out the Word to a wider circle. We are grateful for any help that can be given because we know this is a very busy time for most people.

                                                                                      Father John Sullivan  M.S.







Like King, Like Queen Father Rene Butler M.S. La Salkette Provincial
(Solemnity of Christ the King: Ezekiel 34:11-17; 1 Corinthians 15:20-28; Matthew 25:31-46)
Hungry, thirsty, naked, stranger, sick, in prison. That’s the checklist Jesus uses in the famous judgment scene in Matthew’s gospel. There is another list, in today’s reading from Ezekiel, where the Lord catalogues all the things he will do for his sheep which, as we find in the preceding verses (not included), the official shepherds have failed to do.
But, as with other lists in the Scriptures, these are not exhaustive. They point us in a certain direction and allow us to see beyond the list, to draw up “new, improved” lists according to the world we live in. This is exactly how many Religious Orders came into existence. Some literally feed the hungry and clothe the naked. Some meet other, equally urgent, needs.
Interestingly, though hunger and sickness are specifically mentioned in the message of La Salette, the perspective is quite different. There they are seen as the consequence of sin.
When people bring misfortune on themselves, we can be “judgmental,” content to blame them. But we are not dispensed from reaching out to them in their need. Jesus identifies himself with “the least,” the lowest of the low, whom we might think of as “those people.” What we do or fail to do—even for them—we do or fail to do for him. Jesus says that none of us has the right to look the other way when confronted by the essential needs of others.
Our Lady, whom we also call the “Queen of La Salette,” not content to blame her people, saw beyond their sufferings. She came to “seek out the lost and bring back the strayed,” (cf. Ezekiel) promising abundance “if they are converted.”
She spoke of Lent. How can we adopt Lenten practices, and not be aware of the death of children and the famines that continue to occur in our world? If we are converted, we will not turn a blind eye.
In the Gospel, it is clear that the failure to respond to the needs of others reflects a failure to grasp the full implications of discipleship.
Once again, the message of Our Lady of La Salette is remarkably close to the message of Christ. King and Queen are in perfect accord.


Mary Reaches out to us  Father Rene Butler M.S. La Salkette Provincial

(Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time: Proverbs 31:10-31; 1 Thessalonians 5:1-6; Matthew 25:14-30)

The last verses of the Book of Proverbs are in praise of the “worthy wife.” Among other things, “She reaches out her hands to the poor, and extends her arms to the needy.”

This image reminds me of a bronze statue of Our Lady of La Salette, sculpted by Brother Juan Magro Andrés, M.S., depicting the precise moment when the Weeping Mother lifts her head from her hands, looks up at the two startled children on the hillside, and holds out her hands to them, saying, “Come closer, children, don’t be afraid.”

Mary reached out to them in their poverty and ignorance and, through them, to her People, also materially poor, and seemingly ignorant of the depths of their spiritual poverty.

In today’s parable we have a record of success and failure. Two servants are promoted for their successful investments. The third tries to justify himself, laying the blame on his master’s severity;  but he is rightly fired for incompetence.

We are quite willing to take credit for our well-being when all is well. But when life fails to meet our expectations, we are prone to blame. It’s someone else’s fault, even God’s.

At La Salette the Blessed Virgin spoke twice about those who abused the name of her Son—the cart-drivers in general, then the farmers whose potatoes were rotting in the ground. By using the Lord’s name they were blaming God for their troubles.

Mary tells us to look at ourselves. She speaks words we never like to hear: “It’s your own fault.”

In the message of La Salette, we have a record of failure and need—on two levels, material and spiritual—and a prospect of success and abundance.

The failure of crops was due to blight and bad weather. The failure of the people was on the level of faith. The Beautiful Lady draws the connection between these two kinds of poverty.

In reaching out to us, she offers a solution that we may sum up in the words of today’s Psalm: “Blessed are you who fear (i.e., deeply respect) the Lord, who walk in his ways!... Blessed shall you be, and favored.”


Seat of Wisdom  Father Rene Butler M.S. La Salkette Provincial

(Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time: Wisdom 6:12-16; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Matthew 25:1-13)

Confucius says: By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.

The foolish virgins of the parable suffered the bitter consequences of experience. Parents and teachers try to help children avoid just such situations. Ideally, youth will learn to reflect before they act. That is the goal of Wisdom,  personified in the first reading.

Wisdom is described as resplendent; and “she makes her own rounds, seeking those worthy of her, and graciously appears to them.” How can I read these words without thinking of the Beautiful Lady?

One of the titles in the Litany of the Blessed Virgin is: Seat of Wisdom. Explanations differ, as does the iconography. Essentially, however, we are to understand that Jesus in his humanity learned some of his wisdom from his mother, who in turn acquired hers as she “kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart” (Luke 2:19).

The refrain of the Responsorial Psalm, “My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God,” is similar to a wise concept that is popular today, namely that there is in each of us a God-shaped hole that only God can fill. As long as it remains empty, we thirst.

St. Paul addresses the question of death so that the Thessalonians will not be unaware of the hope that is theirs. If we see that in the light of Jesus’ words, “Stay awake, for you know neither the day nor the hour,” we encounter the deeper wisdom of the parable.

At La Salette, Mary comes not to impart knowledge, but wisdom, which is deeper, richer, more meaningful. She wants her people to learn from painful experience. She shows them what is happening (“I warned you last year with the potatoes. You paid no heed.”)

She also shows what might be (“If they are converted…”), and hints at the wisdom contained in the Church’s rhythm of prayer: daily (evening and morning), weekly (Mass), annually (Lent).

She wants us to “pay heed,” to imitate her, reflecting on all these things in our heart.


Elegidos
 (Vigésimo noveno domingo del Tiempo Ordinario: Isaías 45:1-6; 1 Tesalonicenses 1:1-5; Mateo 22:15-21)
Ciro es un personaje histórico fascinante. Su imperio fue el más grande que el mundo haya conocido. Gobernó son sabiduría, repatriando a los pueblos deportados, y respetando sus culturas y religiones, incluyendo el judaísmo. En la Biblia, es el único pagano que es llamado “Ungido” lo cual corresponde a la Palabra Mesías. Dios lo llamó por su nombre, eso quiere decir que tenía un propósito especial para él.  Era el elegido.
San Pablo hace memoria de la fe y del amor de los tesalonicenses, y sabe cómo fueron elegidos, para llegar a ser discípulos de Jesucristo, cuyo nombre significa “Ungido Señor y Salvador”
Los fariseos tenían un claro sentido de su misión. Entre el pueblo elegido de Israel, ellos debían ser fieles a la Ley de Dios, promover la fidelidad a esta ley y defenderla. En los evangelios se escandalizan porque Jesús parecía ser indiferente a la Ley y más de una vez trataron de tenderle una trampa con sus palabras, como vemos en el evangelio de hoy.
Uno podría sentirse tentado a pensar que aquella actitud de los fariseos se ve refleja en el mensaje de La Salette. El día del Señor, su Santo Nombre, Ayuno: Estas leyes parecen ser importantes tanto para María como para los fariseos.
Sin embargo hay una gran diferencia. Primeramente, recordemos que antes, en el Sermón del monte, Jesús dijo: “No piensen que vine a abolir la Ley o los profetas… cualquiera que rompa uno de estos mandamientos por más pequeño que sea y enseñe a los demás a hacer lo mismo será el más pequeño en el Reino de los cielos”. (Mat 5:17,19)
 
Pero dos versículos después. El añadió: “Porque les digo que si el modo de obrar de ustedes no supera a la de los escribas y fariseos, no entrarán en el reino de los cielos”  Esta no era una acusación en contra de los fariseos, sino un llamado a ser mas guardianes de la Ley.
La Ley era un don. Su meta era la de hacer posible el conocimiento de la voluntad de Dios y cumplirla, y procediendo así encontrar prosperidad y seguridad, llevándonos a la alabanza. Esto se refleja en el Salmo Responsorial de hoy: “¡Tribútenle  al Señor gloria y alabanza; denle la gloria propia de su Nombre!”
Esta es en definitiva la razón por la que hemos sido elegidos, dar gloria a Dios en palabra y en obra. La Bella Señora sabía eso.
 
 


El Jueves, 28 de septiembre, 2017 11:41:22, Rene Butler <renebutlerms@gmail.com> escribió:


Note to translators:
The responsorial Psalm is 96 in English, but 95 in French and Spanish.