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 ...

 

IN THE FACE OF  INJUSTICE, LIKE JESUS OUR CORNERSTONE, WE NEED PATIENCE AND PERSEVERANCE

     The tragedy of what happened in Las  Vegas this past week  is very difficult to  comprehend. So many innocent people killed and wounded calls us to cry out:   "How could this have happened in our Country?"  But  sadly we must admit as Americans our Country is often more apt to choose violence to solve problems rather than compassion.  There are  so many signs of evidence  that this is true.  There is the example of our many wars  over the years,  our gun culture that  encourages ownership of far more guns in the United States than in any other country, and our ongoing struggle  with prejudice and racism in so many  parts of our Country.

      "Where is  God in all  of this?" can be a very  good question to raise. However the God we adore  is not only a God of compassion but also  of justice.  One of  our recent popes said:  "If you want peace, you must work  for justice."  If there were more justice and equality in our society and in our world, there would be less violence and greed.

      In today's parable of the vineyard,  the landowner is very patient and persevering with the tenants that he puts in charge of  his vineyard.  He  sends several servants to obtain his produce. The tenants treat the servants badly,  even killing several of them.  In a profound act of  love, the landowner: "sent his son to them,  thinking, they will respect my son."  But when even the son is killed,  Jesus quoting Scripture, says something so surprising and disarming:  "The  stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; by the Lord has this been done, and it is wonderful in our eyes."

      Like the landowner who plays the part of God, we too are called to work  in the Lord's vineyard, striving to overcome injustice  and  arrogance with patience and perseverance. It is  extremely difficult work but we do not work alone.   Jesus is with us,  as our cornerstone, to give us a strong foundation  with the  aid of the Sacraments, the  Holy Spirit, and the example of the community around us.

      Our Holy Father,  Pope Francis, is an excellent teacher and model in this task that must continue  throughout our whole lives.  Such is the power of grace,   God's love, and our love and respect for one another.  Indeed:  "It is  wonderful  in our eyes."      

                                                                                            Father John Sullivan M.S.


MARY AT LASALETTE ACCOMPANIES US, ENCOURAGING US DAILY, TO DRAW CLOSER TO HER SON

      The past few weeks have given us several  examples of not only how important is the gift of our faith in God,  but also how much we need to depend on one another.  That helps us come through the very difficult moments that are part of the lives of each  one of  us.

      The fierce rain storms and hurricanes in Texas and Florida as well as  the tragic violence that occurred this past week at Dartmouth Hitchcock Hospital  challenge many of us to slow down and ask:  "Where is God in all  of this?"

      The message of Our Lady of La Salette can be  such a good response to that question.  That is because it shows that God is very close to us in those storms and events that seem to have no logical explanation.  Through  the tears of Mary, she displays God's own compassion for us,  His forgiveness, calling us to  "Come near, my children, do not be afraid.  I am here to tell you great news."

      But that requires constant transformation from doing our will to trying our best to do  God's will;  from not focusing only on the darkness but rather being aware of the light of love all around us, in God, and in our own families, friends and neighbors,  as well as the splendor of nature's beauty.

      The readings for the Feast of Our Lady of La Salette give us so much to reflect upon so that we can better understand the plan of God and our purpose in life.  The Gospel shows us how Jesus  instructs his own beloved mother to be with us, even as  he himself  is dying  on the cross.  He expresses it so simply, "Woman,  there is your son."  And  to  John,  his beloved disciple, "There is your mother."

      The reflection from the book of Genesis reminds us that God has an eternal covenant, like a marriage bond, between Him "and all  living beings - all mortal creatures that are on the earth."  Through Saint Paul, God gives us the timeless challenge: "that he has entrusted the message of reconciliation to us. This makes us ambassadors for Christ,  God as it were appealing through us….."

      So let us obey Mary with our whole being,  to convey to others around us, by words and especially by our example: "Now, my children, you will please make this known to all my people."

      We will have the last session on "Love in the Family" this coming Tuesday evening in the cafeteria from 6:00 to 7:30  PM.  All are invited  to participate.  On Saturday September 30th,  we will have a blessing of animals at 10:00 AM by the statue of Saint Joseph behind the cafeteria. This will be in honor of Saint Francis  of Assisi, the patron of animals, as well as Pope Francis' Encyclical:  "Caring for Our Common Home."  Please bring your pets that transmit so much joy to our lives.

                                                                                       Father John Sullivan  M.S.


THE  WORK OF RECONCILIATION IS  NOT JUST  PERSONAL  BUT  COMMUNAL  AS   WELL

      In this month of September when we celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of La Salette, we have a powerful example of reconciliation, which is the main message of her Apparition, in today's Gospel. In the opening lines,  Jesus instructs  us:  "If your brother sins against you, go and  tell him his fault between  you and him  alone."  Do not do it in public. That could humiliate him, but  do  it  in private, and not in judgment,  in love,  with hopes  that he will respond and listen.

     The whole process  of  correction is  done  in such a spirit of love and patience. It is a process. If the person will not listen, we are told to go to  the second level,  to  ask  the help of two  or three witnesses so  that together, the three or four of you  can give "testimony"  of the person's error. Like any process of correcting another, this is difficult, and it can only be done,  I repeat, in a  spirit of  love and truth.

      It is surprising the depth of love that Jesus shows in this  instruction.  He goes to a third level  if the person continues to not listen -  to the Church or the  whole  community. This clearly demonstrates  that a person that is disruptive in the Church  can effect  not just another person but  the  entire  community.  It is the  responsibility of the whole community then,  to respond,  in love.

      I recall  how I painfully learned from my own experience at our Shrine in Attleboro, Massachusetts to be  loving to my community and not judging.  It was a situation of a member of the community who had  special needs - for professional  help.  In my self-righteousness,  I thought we could handle it if only we  gave the person enough of our help and attention.  I was mistaken and had nor respected  the opinion of  the Community.  It took me some time to  listen and discover the best solution to a difficult situation.

      The La  Salette Cross that is so much at the  heart of the message of Our Lady reminds us that it is easier to grab the hammer in judgment of others  instead of the pliers,  to remove our hard nails  of self-righteousness  or  indifference.  Our Lady's tears  remind us that compassion is at the heart of any solution.

      We are  also encouraged by the  closing lines of today's Gospel.  Our Lord is always present with us, whether we are alone or in the company of others.  "For where two or three are gathered together  in my  name, there am I in the midst of them."

      For our  Shrine announcements, we have a second collection this weekend for the victims of Hurricane  Harvey. Also do not forget our triduum for the Feast of Our Lady  of La Salette.  Friday and Saturday, Mass and procession beginning at 6:30 PM.  Sunday Mass and devotions  begin at 11:00 AM.  Today,  September 10th, during the hospitality session after Mass,  we will  present   information on the theme of our La Salette  Laity program .    

                                                                                                 Father John Sullivan  M.S.                       







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.

Chosen Father Rene Butler M.S. La Salkette Provincial
(Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time: Isaiah 45:1-6; 1 Thessalonians 1:1-5; Matthew 22:15-21)
Cyrus is a fascinating historical personage. His was the largest empire the world had yet seen. He governed wisely, repatriating deported peoples, and respecting cultures and religions, including Judaism. In the Bible, he is the only pagan to be called ‘Anointed,’ which in Hebrew is the word ‘Messiah.’ God called him by name, i.e., he had a special purpose for him. He was chosen.
St. Paul calls to mind the faith and love of the Thessalonians, and knows how they were chosen, to become disciples of Jesus Christ, whose name means ‘Lord-Savior Anointed.’
The Pharisees had a clear sense of their mission. Among the chosen people of Israel, they were to be faithful to the Law of God, to promote fidelity to it, and to defend it. In the Gospels they were often scandalized by Jesus’ seeming indifference to the Law, and more than once they tried to trap him in his words, as we see today.
One might be tempted to think that the attitude of the Pharisees is reflected in the message of La Salette. The Lord’s Day, the Holy Name, Fasting: these laws seem to matter as much to Mary as to the Pharisees.
There is a great difference, however. First of all, let us recall that, early in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the prophets… Whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do so will be called least in the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 5:17, 19).
But, two verses later, he added: “Unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” This was not an indictment of the Pharisees, but a call to be more than keepers of the Law.
The Law was a gift. Its aim was to make it possible to know God’s will and follow it, and thereby find prosperity and security, leading to praise.  This is reflected in today’s Responsorial Psalm: “Give to the Lord glory and praise; give to the Lord the glory due his name!”
That is ultimately what we are chosen for, to glorify God in word and deed. The Beautiful Lady knew that.


El Banquete
Vigésimo octavo domingo del tiempo ordinario: Isaías 25:6-10; Filipenses 4:12-20; Mateo 22:1-14)
 “En este monte”, proclama Isaías, “El Señor Dios enjugará las lagrimas de todos los rostros; el oprobio de su pueblo El lo alejará” Al contar la historia de La Salette, invariablemente hablamos de un montaña, de lagrimas y reproches”
En lagrimas sobre aquella montaña, La Santísima Virgen lanzó un reproche sobre su pueblo especialmente por su falta de fe.
Otra imagen en común entre La Salette y esta lectura de Isaías, y con el evangelio, es el banquete. Aparece de manera explícita en Isaías y en Mateo, e implícitamente en el mensaje de Nuestra Señora, cuando ella habla de la Misa. Sobre la montaña de La Salette ella nos hace recordar la fiesta que el Señor nos proveyó en la Eucaristía
La identificación de la Eucaristía como un banquete se remonta tan lejos en el tiempo, por los menos hasta San Agustín, quien murió en el año 430 DC. El Escribió: “Te has sentado a una gran mesa… Grandiosa es la mesa en la que los manjares son el mismo Señor de la mesa…; él es quien invita, él es la comida y la bebida.
En la versión de Mateo de la parábola de la Fiesta de Bodas, los invitados declinan asistir. Algunos hasta se engarzan en una violencia gratuita en contra de los mensajeros. La indiferencia y la hostilidad hacia la religión en muchos lugares son realidades que los Cristianos tienen que enfrentar.
La anterior citación de Agustín está tomada de uno de sus sermones, pero no se trata directamente de la Eucaristía. Es sobre el martirio. “El cuerpo recibe poco sustento de una pequeña hostia y de un sorbo del cáliz, pero el espíritu se fortalece, se hace valiente y se anima”. Como San Pablo escribe: “Todo lo puedo en aquel que me fortalece”
Desde este punto de vista, podemos poner las palabras de la Bella Señora, con respecto a la falta de reverencia hacia la misa, en el mismo contexto que cuando ella habla del hambre. Ella llora porque su pueblo tendrá que enfrentarse con el hambre, física y espiritualmente.
En el Acto de Consagración a Nuestra Señora de La Salette decimos: “Quiero consolar tu corazón y acabar con tus lagrimas” Una manera de alcanzar esa meta es nuestra fiel y amorosa participación en la Eucaristía.
 


El Lunes, 25 de septiembre, 2017 10:24:25, Rene Butler <renebutlerms@gmail.com> escribió:


I am still running a week behind my preferred schedule. I'll see if I can do another mid-week and yet another next Sunday. Thanks for all your help.

Note to translators.
Here is the quotation from St. Augustine:

French: Tu es assis à une grande table... La grande table est celle où sert d'aliments le Seigneur même de la table...; il est tout à la fois l'invitateur, la nourriture et le breuvage. 

Spanish: Te has sentado a una gran mesa... Grandiosa es la mesa en la que los manjares son el mismo Señor de la mesa...; él es quien invita, él la comida y la bebida.

The Banquet  Father Rene Butler M.S. La Salkette Provincial
(Twenty-eight Sunday in Ordinary Time: Isaiah 25:6-10; Philippians 4:12-20; Matthew 22:1-14)
“On this mountain,” proclaims Isaiah, “the Lord God will wipe away the tears from every face; the reproach of his people he will remove.” In telling the story of La Salette, we invariably speak of a mountain, of tears, and reproaches.
In tears on that mountain, the Blessed Virgin Mary reproached her people especially for their lack of a living faith.
Another image in common between La Salette and this reading from Isaiah, and with the Gospel, is the banquet. It occurs explicitly in Isaiah and Matthew, and implicitly in Our Lady’s message, when she speaks of the Mass. On the Mountain of La Salette she reminds us of the feast that the Lord has provided in the Eucharist.
The identification of the Eucharist as a banquet goes back at least as far as St. Augustine, who died in the year 430 AD. He wrote: “You are seated at a great table… The table is large, for the banquet is none other than the Lord of the banquet himself…; though host, he himself is both food and drink.”
In Matthew’s version of the Parable of the Wedding Feast, the invited guests refused to come. Some even engaged in gratuitous violence towards the messengers. Indifference and hostility toward religion in many places is a fact that Christians have to face.
The above quotation from Augustine is from one of his sermons, but it is not directly about the Eucharist. It is about martyrdom. The body derives little sustenance from a small host and a sip from the chalice, but the spirit is strengthened, encouraged, emboldened. As St. Paul writes, “I can do all things in him who strengthens me.”
From this point of view, we can put the Beautiful Lady’s words, about lack of reverence for the Mass, in the same context as what she says about the famine. She weeps because her people are faced with starvation, physically and spiritually.
In the Act of Consecration to Our Lady of La Salette we say: “May I so live as to dry your tears and console your afflicted heart.” One way to accomplish that goal is our faithful and loving participation in the Eucharist.