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Love Answers Prayers

Love Answers Prayers

by Sr. Marie Paul Curley

Sr. Marie Paul Curley (1)This week I celebrated my birthday. But this year, my birthday joy was mixed with the discomfort of transition and adjustment.
 

I transferred from Toronto to Boston earlier this month—from a small community of six sisters to a large community of about 80 sisters. The move, the initial settling in, the demands of my new departments, the effort to “catch up” to many projects already started (like our webathon)—all this “newness” has made for a beautiful but challenging couple of weeks. Perhaps because I’m so focused on trying to respond to the newness around me, I’ve been feeling a bit lost interiorly. Even the Lord seemed far away. So on my birthday, I took a step back to consider these past couple weeks.

Although I tried to take stock prayerfully, it wasn’t easy: the homesickness I’ve been too busy to acknowledge roared up; the constant efforts to adjust felt impossible to keep up; the new responsibilities felt overwhelming. Discouraged, I tried to place it all at the feet of Jesus, but my faith just didn’t feel that strong. Am I really offering this to him, or just complaining? I questioned myself. So I prayed for the grace to live this moment of discomfort—whether the moment ends up being days, weeks, or months long—as a time of trust in Jesus Master’s loving plan for me. And I also asked, “Beloved, if my offering is pleasing to you—if this really is part of your plan for me—help me to know that and to keep living it in love and faith.”

Late in the day, I passed by my mailbox and found a couple of birthday cards. Touched by the thoughtfulness of the sisters, I opened them right away. One was from a sister whom I don’t know very well. Inside her card, I found a beautiful reflection about how change is a time for planting seeds, for hidden growth that brings forth new life. Immediately, my prayer of the morning came back to me. Jesus understood that I needed a little help to see my transition as a way to re-offer my life to him—and he offered that help through a sister who doesn’t even know me very well!

Now, as I look ahead to the challenges of the next few months, I count on finding strength in my daily encounters with Jesus, our Eucharistic Master, who so lovingly walks with me. Pope Francis’s encyclical, Lumen Fidei, describes the beauty of building our lives on faith in God’s love:

Faith is born of an encounter with the living God who calls us and reveals his love, a love which precedes us and upon which we can lean for security and for building our lives. Transformed by this love, we gain fresh vision, new eyes to see; we realize that it contains a great promise of fulfillment, and that a vision of the future opens up before us (Lumen Fidei, #4).

The touchstone for my prayer is my relationship with Jesus, my beloved Master, a relationship built on his amazing love. Christ’s love is not a warm, fuzzy feeling. Rather, Christ’s love actively seeks the best for us. Because his love is all-powerful, Jesus never fails. Even when the situations we’re in don’t seem that they are “best” for us, God’s love transforms them—from painful to life-giving, from a dead-end to something we can grow from, from the Cross to the Resurrection.

This weekend, I will rejoice as our Boston community celebrates a Pauline feast which you won’t find on any church calendar: the Feast of the Divine Master. In this special feast day—just for the Pauline Family but which I invite you to celebrate with us!—we adore and praise Jesus, our Divine Master, Way, Truth, and Life, who wants to draw each of us into a communion of love with the Most Blessed Trinity. Jesus’s “mastery” is not in woodworking or preaching. Jesus is the Divine Master of Love—he gives himself in love completely to us in the Eucharist, and he teaches us how we can communicate the light of faith in his love to all humanity. As the sisters and I joyfully celebrate Jesus Master’s love for all humanity this weekend, our prayer for you is that you, too, may encounter his love in the Eucharist and be blessed to build your life on his love.

Sr. Marie Paul is an author of books on the saints, 
the Eucharist, and self-esteem. 
We take this opportunity to let her introduce you to them....

 


NEW! Saints Alive! by Sr. Marie Paul Curley and Sr. Mary Lea Hill

Saints Alive
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Saints Alive
CTA Read an excerpt
"These are my newest books on the saints! I loved co-authoring Saints Alive! because for me, the saints’ lives are each unique tapestries woven from God’s love. With 32 saints in each book, Saints Alive: the Faith Proclaimed and Saints Alive: the Gospel Witnessed are a truly enjoyable and easy way to get to know—and love—saints from all over the world and from all walks of life. Each saint has a chapter that includes: a compelling story about a key moment in their life where they responded to God’s love, a contemporary prayer, a Fact Box, and a 'Lesser Known Facts' box which has unusual and fascinating details about the saint."      —Sr. Marie Paul 

 


Eucharist 4

 

The Bread of Life: Prayers for Eucharistic Adoration
God's Presence made tangible in today's world

Eucharistic adoration can be a powerfully transforming experience. The Eucharist is one of the most tangible ways God is present in our world today. If confusion or loneliness weighs too heavily on our hearts, if we struggle with meaninglessness, if we long to step off life's frantic treadmill and slow down to ponder the direction of our lives, Jesus invites us, "Come to me." The Eucharist can become our safest refuge.

The Bread of Life is a beautifully-produced, sturdy, nicely sized volume, and is a perfect companion for Eucharistic adoration. This prayer book, drawn from Scripture, the saints, the wisdom of the Church, contemporary spiritual writers, and the needs of pray-ers today, offers a comprehensive resource for those who would like to enrich their Eucharistic prayer, as well as for those who would like to begin but don't know where to start.

"Jesus’s gift of himself in the Eucharist is so awesome, yet it’s not always easy for us to show our love for Jesus by making an hour of adoration. I put together Bread of Life—Prayers for Eucharistic Adoration to offer people a dynamic way to visit Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, with all my favorite Eucharistic prayers in one place."       —Sr. Marie Paul 

CTA Read an excerpt
 

          trees and light 2

See Yourself through God's Eyes: 52 Meditations on Self-Esteem

Release from feeling you're not good enough

"This little book grew out of my own struggles to accept God's love for me and develop a positive self-esteem. Discovering God's love has taken me on an amazing journey from self-hate to a positive self-acceptance. I wish I'd had a resource like this at the beginning of my journey, something that could have helped me cling to the seemingly impossible reality of God's love for me."
-From the Introduction

See Yourself Through God's Eyes will take you on a journey not only of self-discovery but of inner healing through the experience of how much you are cherished by God. These 52 meditations are short enough for daily prayer but profound enough to break open your heart to the grace that saves and rebuilds what has been broken. Indeed you will learn to see yourself through God's eyes!

"In difficult times, many of us struggle to believe in God’s love for us. I wrote See Yourself Through God’s Eyes for the times when I could have used reminders of how very much God’s amazing love can fill us and transform us. —Sr. Marie Paul 

CTA Read an excerpt
 

 

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coping, change, adapting, God is with me

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Publishing House, New Titles, Inspiration, Prayer and Holiness

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Comments

  • Dear Sister Marie Paul, Happy Belated Birthday! i hope that everything starts to settle down for you, and that the Lord continues to guide you and show you His will! God bless you always! BTW - I am hoping to get the book on Eucharistic Adoration soon!
    11/4/2013 9:27:39 AM Reply
    • @Anela Nicholson: Thank you for the birthday wishes! Things are setting down…but there's so much going on, I think it might take a little while. It's definitely an adventure with the Lord! I hope you're doing well…keeping you in my prayers!
      11/4/2013 4:03:06 PM Reply
  • Dear Sister, Happy Belated Birthday! You shared this with my daughter Margaret, and she in turn shared it with me. I myself am going through a transition with my job, they are moving us out of the Catholic Center to one of our satellite offices in the Bronx. I was angry at first and then saddened by the thought that I only have a few months left to work as I will be 70 in March, and will be retiring. I wanted to finish out the remainder of my time at the main office, but it's not to be. However, you have led me down another road, and I can see that the Lord has other plans for me, and I must accept this change gracefully. Thank you very much for sharing your story.
    10/28/2013 10:47:59 AM Reply
    • @Geri Rodriguez: Dear Geri, I'll be praying for you as we go through transition together--all in the Lord' s plan, even when we cannot see clearly. I hope retiring gives you the opportunity to focus on what you love. God bless you.
      11/4/2013 4:11:29 PM Reply
  • Sr. Thank you for your honest and authentic witness. So many times we experience transitions that are uncomfortable and do not want to turn to Christ because we doubt. I am so grateful that you shared your response to this difficult time, it will help me in my next difficult time to think about how to rely more fully on Him. Happy birthday and thank you for giving so much of yourself to help us grow closer to Christ. God bless you.
    10/26/2013 3:22:54 PM Reply
    • @Katie: Thank you for your kind words and birthday wishes! I pray that both of us will continue to rely fully on Christ--He is always there for us, even when we can't see His hand… God bless you!
      11/4/2013 4:23:30 PM Reply
  • Ann
    Thank you for your sharing and faith affirmation, Sister Marie Paul. I know you'll adapt and feel more and more comfortable in your "new life". Your message came at just the time I needed it: I'm preparing for a move myself in a few weeks - from my home town, a city - to the very rural South, where my mother lives. She is 89, has dementia and needs caretaking. We are not close, and she still has her own personality, which I will deal with. She can usually hold a conversation, but just can't remember it! Even the long-term memories have some strange twists. She can't track anything with details or choices or that requires memory, can't follow instructions, doesn't recognize when she's being unsafe, doesn't know what left and right are or where she always kept certain dishes, is losing her ability to read, and doesn't know what she had to eat today. Lately her frustrations have started to show in violence and anger. It's obvious that she needs 24-hour presence and assistance. My monthly visits since last year are less and less helpful, so I am moving to live with Mom and take care of her and give my sister some relief. A nursing home is out of the question, and my sister and I are the only ones who can - or will - help. I'm offering myself freely, but at the same time, this is a dramatic change in my own life, and I'm feeling a lot of sadness about leaving all that has been familiar, comfortable, and comforting to me -- going from a place of joy, into a place of darkness, with no laughter and no options. God seems to have nudged me into this transition, so I don't want to complain, but it's a pretty emotional and scary time for me. His Will - Love - Mercy - Perfect Wisdom - are all I have to lean on in this worrisome time. (And that should be enough, right?) A priest-friend reminded me that if God has taken care of me all these years til now, then surely He will take care of me in the time ahead! This same priest has given me the Divine Mercy picture which is in my living room. It has been both a comfort and a reminder to say "Jesus, I trust in You!" Thank you again for posting your message about your own transition and the support you have had from prayer and faith. And thanks also to Joseph Reyes for his very inspiring and supportive words.
    10/26/2013 9:16:40 AM Reply
    • @Ann: You will be in my prayers in a special way, for your courage and generosity in so selflessly going to take care of your mother in a situation that is painful and difficult. It's true that His grace is enough for us in every situation, but I will be praying that His grace will reach out and embrace you, your mother, and your sister, in a way that will comfort and strengthen you all, as you accompany your mother who is really and truly suffering with Jesus. God bless you.
      11/4/2013 5:02:10 PM Reply
  • How wonderful that there is a community of 80 sisters anywhere!
    10/26/2013 7:04:48 AM Reply
    • @Merle: Yes, it's a beautiful blessing! You'll be in my prayers...
      11/4/2013 4:30:39 PM Reply
  • happy birthday Marie Paul Curley i love you and thank for your help when so weak and sick and blue
    10/26/2013 3:38:13 AM Reply
    • @bird: God bless you, and thank you for your birthday wishes!
      11/4/2013 4:24:27 PM Reply
  • Hi Sister Marie Paul, Thank you for your wonderful sharing of your experience of the greatness of the Divine Master. It is very inspiring. It shows your deep Love & Faith for Jesus. Your writing inspires me to share the following: I see my life as ever transitioning toward Jesus and a consecration to him. Jesus is strong when we are weak. He is my refuge and fortress. My God in whom I trust. Whenever I get hopeless he opens another door in my career. He makes all things new in me and outside me. He has done this many times in my life. Jesus gave me the grace to hope in a brand new day & grace each moment and each day. He helped me out of depression without medication, through the Eucharist. He gave me joy to live life meaningfully for he is the meaning of life and the reason for living. He is the Christ, the son of the living God.
    10/26/2013 3:35:51 AM Reply
    • @Joseph Reyes : Thank you for sharing your insight and experience of grace and healing through the Jesus' love manifest in the Eucharist. You've touched me and other readers. God bless you!
      11/4/2013 5:15:25 PM Reply

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