Sunday, May 21, 2023

Mrs. Peggy Brechtel, OP

Today our Lord Jesus Christ ascended into heaven; let our hearts ascend with him. If you have risen with Christ, set your hearts on the things that are above where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God; seek the things that are above, not the things that are on earth.

Christ is now exalted above the heavens, but he still suffers on earth all the pain that we, the members of his body, must bear.  He showed this when he cried out from above: Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? and when he said:  I was hungry, and you gave me food.

He did not leave heaven when he came down to us; nor did he withdraw from us when he went up again into heaven. The fact that he was in heaven even while he was on earth is borne out by his own statement: No one has ever ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man, who is in heaven.

He is in us by grace through Baptism. He gave us the sacraments to fortify us and help us gain salvation so that we might live with Him forever in eternity. He made it very clear to the apostles that he must return to the Father so that he could send the Holy Spirit upon them and upon us. The Holy Spirit is called the Paraclete, the Advocate, and Counselor.

Christ is our mediator before the Father.  He pleads for mercy to be extended to us through the merits he gained for us on His cross, by His suffering, death, and Resurrection.

The number forty looms huge in Scripture.  Noah was in the flood for forty days.  Christ was in the desert fasting and tempted by Satan forty days.  There are forty days from Easter to the Ascension.

As a very little girl I puzzled over Christ’s Ascension.  The only thing I could figure out was that Jesus wanted to be with the Father.  Certainly, that was true, but for you and me there is so much more meaning and consequence.  Jesus showed His great love for us in multiple ways, and leaving us with His actual body, blood, soul and divinity in the Eucharist was and is a profound gift of love.

This is the day that the Lord has made! Let us rejoice and be glad in it!

The First Earthly Creature to Love Christ

August Walkowski

Blog Post for May 14, 2023

This Sunday we celebrate not only the Sixth Sunday of Easter, but also Mother’s Day. While our Blessed Mother is not mentioned in this account from John, we are able to glean from it numerous examples of Mary. Jesus shares that those who keep His Father’s commandments in turn love Him; He goes on to say that He will be sending an Advocate that remains with them. As we know from the Gospel accounts, Mary was overshadowed by this “Advocate” who we know to be the Holy Spirit and conceived in her womb the Christ-Child. With her fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum she became the first earthly creature to love Jesus as He is requesting. And just as Christ assures us thatHe will not leave us orphans, our Blessed Mother doesn’t leave us orphans either. We can entrust ourselves to her care and she will intercede for us, taking that love she’s had for Jesus since His conception and encouraging us to have that same love and trust for her Divine Son. 

As would any good mother, Mary looks out for our best interest and genuinely cares about each of her children. She wants them to know and love Jesus so that they may also know and love God the Father. As we continue to entrust ourselves to her care and emulate her virtue to attain deeper closeness to Christ, we must first recognize the Holy Spirit’s activity in our lives and conform ourselves to Him. By seeking such uniformity with the Paradigm of all divine virtue, we will lack nothing.Jesus encourages us to seek union with God; if we seek and acquire union with God, we acquire union with Christ and withHis Holy Spirit.

Sunday, April 23, 2023

This weekend’s readings are full of points for meditation.  The Gospel of Luke (24:13-35) is the highlight of the day, the story of Emmaus.  Many beautiful reflections have been written about this.  There is a parallel between the meeting of deacon Philip with the eunuch on the road to Gaza (Acts 8:26-40):  (1) an ignorance of scripture; (2) an explanation that Jesus must suffer, drawn from Scripture; (3) an insistence to stay longer; (4) sudden disappearance.

He vanished from their sight.  Is this phrase also a liturgical addition to the effect that Jesus’ miraculous appearance is hardly necessary when one has his presence in the Eucharist?  Do we recognize his presence in the breaking of the bread?  Are our hearts burning within us?

My intention is to focus on the two disciples of Christ and how downcast they are! Tradition has it that Cleopas was a cousin of Saint Joseph, indicating that the brethren of Jesus did not completely reject him.

Their heads are down, and they are very gloomy when Jesus approaches them. They are downcast, broken-hearted and without hope. Venerable Bishop Sheen said in one of his podcasts that we can not build down, we can only build up. We have torn down the ten commandments in our public places, we have eliminated prayer in public schools, morality and virtue are no longer taught, and the list goes on. We must build up the sanctity of marriage as between one man and one woman; build up the domestic church, our families, teaching our children the love of God and neighbor; build up the church, ridding it of heresy, false teaching, idolatry, and disunity.

Back to the two disciples who have lost hope: We all have circumstances and events which can cause us to lose hope. When we are in the darkness of grief, or when we have experienced the pain of being rejected, or when we are terminally ill, we can lose hope, but we should always remember that God is always faithful and will bring us out of the darkness into His marvelous light. The crucifixion of Christ is the primary example of how God brings good out of evil. God is always faithful and is always at our side, even in the darkness, maybe even more so in the darkness. Saint Pope John Paul II frequently said, “Courageo! Courageo!”

Mrs. Peggy Brechtel, OP


Sunday, April 9. 2023


Easter Sunday is the most important day of the year. Christmas is the day Jesus entered the world in human form to begin His mission. Good Friday is the day He accomplished all the Father asked of Him with the words “it is finished”. 

Jesus broke the bonds of death on humanity by rising from the dead. However, He did not do so with a great spectacle. Jesus was silent when He stood in front of those that persecuted Him and eventually sentenced Him to death. In like manner, He rose from the dead without fanfare or spectacle. He only appeared to a few. Everyone else came to believe from the signs Jesus left like the headscarf left folded up in the corner.

In the Gospel of John It says they came to believe even though they did not yet understand the scripture. 

So, Easter Sunday is about Faith. Our faith in the Risen Christ even though we have not personally seen. We have read the Scriptures and Believe; …in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord: Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary; suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried. He descended into hell; the third day He rose again from the dead;…

We believe in the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Christ accomplished all these things for us and for our salvation. 

Mary, the Mother of Jesus has appeared many times on behalf of her Son to encourage faith, reconciliation, and prayer. Her latest message is simply, “May this time be a time of prayer for you.”

Elaine Bartholomew

This Holy Week…

I hope we take the opportunity this Holy week to meet Christ on the road to his Passion.  To walk with him and pray for what HE wants of us. We all have a mission in this life, to act as Jesus did, to clothe ourselves in a robe of light and serve with happiness’.  The mission for each of us is different, day by day it can change.  We are to serve and preach to the brokenhearted.  Our souls are the welcoming branches.

He came to do the will of God,  He put the law of God into our hearts and our minds.  He chose to live among us, to have the human experience. He came for the sinners that they may know hope through salvation. When you’re in your darkest place, when you have no one; Jesus will be there and  put out his hand of mercy  to you.  God desires mercy, not sacrifice; the more mercy we give, the more Christ like we become. The more we become vessels of the living water.

I Pray that Holy week for all of you is full of God’s grace.

Mrs. Denise Fourroux-Fedie, OP

Rising from the Dead

5th Sunday of Lent Mass Readings

Sunday March 26, 2023

On this 5th Sunday of Lent we learn once again that we will, one day, rise from our tombs. God has promised us that He would do this, as we read in Ezekiel and He even reiterates that He will do it. One thing we must remember about God is that He cannot deceive nor can He be deceived, so we can trust that this will happen on the last day. We will rise from our graves. And what are we rising to? The Final Judgment is what we’re rising to. We have two places to spend eternity: Heaven, beholding the beatific vision (seeing God, face-to-face as He is) or Hell, eternally separated from God, in a pit of hatred and evil, where there is no light, no love, no good. Our destination is our choice; through our actions, we choose.

God has given us the 10 Commandments. That is what He used to begin to form us into His people. As time went on, He gave us more and more to refine us. All along the way, people rebelled against Him. Those who rebel against God, are making their choice. Repentance is always possible, but only up until death. Then it’s up to God in His mercy, but don’t expect that you’ll be forgiven simply because you’re you. That’s a very dangerous gamble. This is reality and as Jesus has reminded us, we don’t know the time nor the day when He will come again, but surely He will and we should be ready.

Not ready in the sense of having your bags packed and your car gassed up, but in the spiritual sense of being right with God. Having repented of your most serious sins takes time and effort, not to mention a very real assessment of where you are spiritually. We’re seriously broken, but we can be repaired. You have to be honest with yourself, though, and acknowledge that you’ve got some repairs to make. Sure, God can do it all for you, but He won’t. He wants participation on your part. He desires you to be close to Him, and He would like for you to desire the same. He gave you free will and He won’t override it. Therefore, you are the one to make the choice.

So, my advice is to start today. Acknowledge your own shortcomings, your sins, and your weaknesses so you can repent of them. What does that look like? It means acknowledging that your sins offend your Creator in His infinite Goodness. Knowing this, if you love Him, you will feel horrible for offending Him, and will want to make amends with Him. So, you confess your sins and reconcile with God, letting Him know how sorry your are for causing strife between the two of you. And you change how you behave, how you live, how you treat others, because you love God and know that He also created all of these other people. And if you don’t find love for God in yourself, then that really is where you need to start. I was once an atheist, and then an agnostic, and now a Roman Catholic Lay Dominican. It’s a journey to know and love God, but it’s not too late to start yours if you haven’t yet. I hope that you will.

We’re all broken in so many different ways. And God knows this. It’s up to us to recognize our own brokenness first, then repent so we can change our ways, and after that, we can recognize brokenness in others and help them to repent and change their ways, too. This has been the way for 2000 years. This is evangelization, this is being Christian, a disciple of Christ. This Lent if you could merely recognize your own brokenness and work to change one thing at a time, it would be a great step forward toward God.

Ms. Renee Valenzuela, OP

Man Born Blind

Blog Reflection for Sunday, March 19, 2023

Mrs. Peggy Brechtel, OP

This Sunday’s readings are about light and darkness.

In the first Book of Samuel the key phrase of the Lord is, “Not as man sees does God see, because man sees the appearance but the Lord looks into the heart.”  God chose David to be anointed, a mere youth.

And in Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, we are told that we were once darkness, but now we are light in the Lord.  We are called to live as children of the light, for light produces every kind of goodness and righteousness and truth.

And in the verse before the Gospel “I am the light of the world, says the Lord; whoever follows me will have the light of life.”

In the Gospel of John, Jesus passed by and saw a man blind from birth.  And the proverbial question comes up:  who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?  Jesus says neither, but that it is so the works of God might be made visible through him.  Jesus said he had to do the Father’s work while it is still day (while he is still on earth).   “Night is coming when no one can work.” (night can be understood as referencing the end of the world.)  It means that we as Christians should strive to spread the Kingdom of God.

After spitting on the ground and mixing clay with his saliva, he said to him, “Go wash in the Pool of Siloam” — which means Sent—. So, he went and washed, and came back able to see.

This miracle performed on a sabbath caused the blind Pharisees to get riled up into a fire storm. They questioned the blind man as to how he could see now and he told them about being “Sent”. They threw him out and when Jesus heard this, he found him and said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” He answered and said, “Who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?” Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and the one speaking to you is he.” He said, “I do believe, Lord,” and worshiped him. Then Jesus said, “I came into this world for judgment, so that those who do not see might see, and those who do see might become blind.”

Without Jesus all creation is in darkness, not understanding itself, it does not know where it is going. “Only in the mystery of the Incarnate Word does the mystery of man take on light…. Through Christ and in Christ, the riddles of sorrow and death grow meaningful; apart from his Gospel they overwhelm us” (Vatican II, Gaudium et spes, 22).

When I lived in Fort Collins and worked at the university, there was a professor of music who was a blind man.  A woman who sang in our church told me that he was her neighbor.  He totally rebuilt a car engine in her garage.  He jokingly told her she should turn on the garage light so that neighbors didn’t think he was breaking in.

My husband, Sterling, knew a blind man with a very small farm with a few sheep and a cow who managed to feed and care for them.  He ran a rope along the fence and used that to find his way.

The blind learn to listen well (and so should we); that’s why some of them are very good at tuning pianos.

The blind man in the Gospel is such an example of faith for us! Do you behave like this when God commands, when so often you cannot see, when your soul is worried and the light is gone? The man believed; he acted upon the command of God, and he returned with eyes full of light. What a simple, strong faith!

Eternal Rest Grant Unto Her, O Lord

Today, in lieu of a blog reflection from our Lay Dominican fraternity, I would like to ask our followers to pray for the repose of the soul of our dear sister in Dominic, Mrs. Marilyn Pipkin, OP, who passed from this life on Feb. 25, 2023. Please also keep her family and friends in your prayers as well.

This evening, we will be praying the Dominican Rosary at her wake at 6pm mountain time. If you would like to pray the rosary at that time as well for these intentions, we would sincerely appreciate your participation.

Thank you, and may God bless you all.

Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon her. May she rest in peace. Amen.

Ms. Renee Valenzuela, OP

…Walk by Faith, not by Sight

Gospel Reflection for 5 Mar 23:

By Ms. Catherine “Cathie” Lambert, OP

            This is one of my most favorite Bible verses.  Many years ago, when I read it for the first time, I knew – without doubt – that this was the way I wanted to live my life.  It’s what I wanted to do, but it took me a good long time to do it the first time!

            Life, I think you’ll agree, is full of unknowns.  At one time or another, it is what makes life miserably terrifying.  The thing is… there is no getting around the ‘unknowns’.  There is no knowing the specific purpose of our lives.  Not for sure.  There is no knowing the best decision to make in a chaotic bundle of possibilities.  Not for sure.  There is no knowing how, when, or why we are going to die… not to mention what will (or may not) happen afterwards.  These are perhaps the biggest questions for each and every one of us.  But all we can do is make assumptions and live as if we knew what we were doing.  Or is it?

            As I read and heard more and more of the Bible, I finally began to take it in.  Some of it – a lot of it – actually made sense in light of my experiences.  Take Abram, for instance.  When God told him to:  Go forth from your land, your relatives, and from your father’s house to a land that I will show you.(Gen 12:1)  …off he went with nary a question.  And later, when Peter, John, and James followed Jesus up the hill and they saw Jesus – with Moses and Elijah, no less! – in his glorified state (the way he would look when he was Resurrected) Peter’s mouth became unhinged.  He pulled a Peter-thing, as he often did, and proposed a camp-out before even half understanding what was going on.  Misguided, but at least he was willing to do anything and everything Jesus might possibly want!  Right?

            When I was finally brave enough – I tried out this ‘walking by faith’ thing.  Man!  My instincts had me fighting, fleeing, and freezing singly, one-right-after-the-other-and-repeat, and all-at-once!  But, by the grace of God – truly, by his grace – I did it.  And then I did it again.  And again.

            You know, they say that hindsight is 20/20; and sure enough, when I look back over my seventy years, I do see that those times I ‘walked by faith’ and ‘not by sight,’ were the best times.  The absolute best! 

            And, hey!  After all this time, I know a thing or two!  (Don’t you roll your eyes at me, Kiddo!)  This is the biggest thing I know:  Don’t walk by sight – because some day hindsight will show you that when you did walk by sight – you must’a had your eyes closed tight and your fingers stuffed in your ears!  Because that’s just how bad things turned out!  My advice?

Walk by Faith

Because we can’t know…

But God does!

First Sunday of Lent February 26, 2023

Mrs. Helen Hawkins, OP

Genesis 3:1-7 

“But the serpent said to the woman: “You certainly will not die! No, God knows well that the moment you eat of it you eyes will be opened and you will be like gods who know what is good and what is evil.”

The is a perfect description of narcissism. “I am a god and I get to define what is good and what is evil for myself and for others.”

Narcissism is no longer a word that applies to a strict mental diagnosis used in the world of psychology. Because of our political sensibilities, the words sin and sinner are not permitted. We have turned to new words –narcissism and narcissist. In the world of psychology narcissism is not common but with the use of these words today, we can recognize this condition as the original sin. We are all narcissists and fall short of the glory of God.

Satan chose his words carefully.  “You will be like gods”  meaning “you will think that you are gods”.

This is the temptation we all face. This is the temptation of pride. This mentality makes it possible for us to use others as objects. This is especially true in sexual behavior. Since we are gods and others are objects, we can use others for our own pleasures without considering the needs of those we use. This is true in all walks of life – in business transactions, family life, friends and unfortunately in our religious life as well. When we decide we are gods our pride will become our guide to what is good and evil in our own eyes.

We recognize narcissism in others but it is very difficult to recognize narcissism in ourselves. 

Matthew 4:-11

In God’s mercy, he has given us the example of Christ’s temptation in the wilderness. Christ gave answers to the temptations of narcissism.

When tempted to satisfy the desire for wealth Christ answered, “It is written: One does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.”

When tempted to satisfy the desires of self-aggrandizement, Christ answered, “It is written: You shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test.”

When tempted to satisfy the desires of power, Christ answered, “It is written: The Lord, your God, shall you worship and Him alone shall you serve.”

%d bloggers like this: