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Prayer of St. Brigid

I would like the angels of Heaven to be among us. I would like an abundance of peace. I would like full vessels of charity. I would like rich treasures of mercy. I would like cheerfulness to preside over all. I would like Jesus to be present. I would like the three Marys of illustrious renown to be with us. I would like the friends of heaven to be gathered around from all parts. I would like myself to be a rent payer to the Lord; that I should suffer distress, that he would bestow good blessing upon me. I would like a great lake of beer for the King of Kings. I would like to be watching Heaven’s family drinking it through all eternity. St. Brigid

(The three Marys were Mary Magdalene, Mary of Clopas, and Mary Salome the disciple)

Just Faith Ministry Feedback

As a participant in Just Faith Ministry on immigration, I was exposed to the crisis about borders and migrants. As an Irish immigrant I was able to identify with these issues. At the end of the program each participant gave feedback to each other. This feedback was enlightening and much appreciated. I thought I would share a bit of the feedback I received with you.

Your stories of your experience have really made the immigration experience more vivid to me. Your faith is inspiring as is your compassion and concern. You’re easy to talk to.

I have really enjoyed having you in the Just Faith process. You have thought about these issues and bring a real passion to them. We need your insights and humor and depth of caring in Justice Ministry.

What an insightful person you are! You offer genuinely human perspectives that reach into a soul. I think you are a very compassionate person.

You are intense, focused, smart, and yet, a real gentle soul. Sincerely, it was so nice to get to know you and here’s hoping I see you down the road.

The Peace of Wild Things

Wendell Berry

When despair of the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of sill water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free

Radiating Christ

Mother Teresa prayed this daily with her Sisters.

Dear Jesus,
help me to spread Thy fragrance everywhere I go.
Flood my soul with Thy spirit and life.
Penetrate and possess my whole being so utterly
that all my life may only be a radiance of Thine.
Shine through me, and be so in me
that every should I come in contact with
may feel Thy presence in my soul.
Let them look up and see no longer me
but only Jesus!

— Blessed John Henry Newman

Pope Francis on the Family

Pope Francis

This is a spectacular message of Pope Francis. “There is no perfect family. We don’t have perfect parents, we are not perfect, we don’t get married with a perfect person nor do we have perfect kids. We have complaints of each other. We were disappointed to each other. Therefore, there is no healthy marriage or healthy family without the exercise of forgiveness. Forgiveness is vital to our emotional health and spiritual survival. Without forgiveness the family becomes a theatre of conflict and a bastion of grievances. Without forgiveness the family gets sick. Forgiveness is the sterilization of the soul, the cleaning of the mind and the liberation of the heart. Who does not forgive has no peace of soul nor communion with God. The pain is a poison that intoxicates and kills. Save a wound of the heart is a self-destructive gesture. It is autophagy. Who does not forgive sickens physically, emotionally and spiritually. That’s why the family has to be a place of life and not of death; territory of healing and not of disease; stage of forgiveness and not of guilt. Forgiveness brings joy where sorrow produced pain; and healing, where pain caused disease.” Pope Francis.

Transformation Day of Reflection Retreat a Success

Eileen Mathy and I had 10 directees. We had to move to a larger venue to accommodate this enrollment! We interspersed the presentations on Thomas Merton, Dorothy Day and Henri Nouwen with reflective activities – constructing a personal timeline, a tree of life, and composition of a prayer.

Beyond this we had multiple locations for directees to visit. A meditation space lit with candles and naturalized by river rocks, potpourri and sea sounds.  A conference room was filled with panels on display about Dorothy Day’s life. Several small lounges were available for reflective time activities.

A breakfast of coffee and pastries began the day. A silent lunch was conducive to focusing on our themes.  Quiet guided contemplation was experienced.  Small displays of books were available for reading. Time to share one’s story was a part of this retreat.

Retreat feedback was given and the quiet reflective times were appreciated the most. Additional comments were “great hospitality and ambience” and “very spiritually enriching.” One final comment was “I feel a tremendous sense of the closeness of God to all of us.”

A fellow Spiritual Director stated “Bridget’s Brigid’s Well and Eileen’s Mathy House are warm welcoming places for those of us who would like ongoing spiritual companionship. This short retreat reflected that warm welcome in many ways.”

Transformation… A Day of Reflection!

Bridget McGill and Eileen Mathy will present a day of reflection at St. Patrick’s on April 9, from 9am-3pm. Bridget and Eileen are spiritual directors in the diocese of Peoria, trained by Fr. Albert Haase and Jessie Vicha. Bridget runs Brigid’s Well, and Eileen is a clinical social worker in private practice.

What is spiritual direction? And what drew you to the practice?!

Bridget: Spiritual Direction is companioning a person along his pathway to discern the presence of God in his life. It is led by through Holy Spirit. After years of service at St. Patrick Parish in various ministries I felt called to serve in a different capacity. Beyond 12 years of Catholic School education I began to explore different programs and was drawn to learn about Spiritual Direction. My yearning for a deeper relationship with God was fulfilled by Spiritual Direction and now I can journey with others as they discover what God is up to on their life.

Eileen: In my life I have often appreciated times of silence and contemplation. Quieting my mind helps me to open up to the impressions of the Holy Spirit and new awarenesses. I like to create opportunities for others to do the same. Spiritual direction compliments the practice of mental health counseling but it is also distinctly different. Typically a directee will come with a concern or an area of growth. Through active listening, we work towards greater psychological and emotional understanding, and through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, deeper spiritual impressions. It is always a privilege to journey with others through this process

Tell us about this day of reflection.

Eileen: We are really excited to focus our attention on three great leaders of the faith who have experienced personal transformations.  Our hope is that we will become more aware of those defining moments in our own lives.

Bridget: Together we will look at Thomas Merton, Dorothy Day and Henri Nouwen.

THOMAS MERTON was a trappist monk.  In his writings he describes an early life of agnoticism until a very mystical moment where he was drawn into communion with God. As a religious he did much for the aim of promoting unity among the world’s Christian churches and interfaith dialogue.  Through reflecting on Thomas Merton, we will explore times in our lives when faith became real and our lives were transformed.

DOROTHY DAY is the founder of the Catholic Worker movement. Her journey suggests to us that when we see life through the eyes of the poor, and our lives are lived in response to that awareness, a deep spirituality and engagement in social transformation can result.  Dorothy encourages all of us to seek God’s purpose in our lives.

HENRI NOUWEN is a gifted lecturer and celebrated writer on the spiritual life.  He often wrote about his battles with depression and self esteem, observing how others lived out their lives with innate challenges.  Henri’s life speaks of a man in search of his true self.

What is Brigid’s Well?

Eileen: While I see directees at my office in Champaign, Bridget created this great little space for reading and reflection.

Bridget:  Hidden within The Magic Needle it is located a stone’s throw from St. Patrick Church. It contains a reading library that includes text written by women, a private prayer space, and room for group or individual spiritual direction. A religious center it purpose is to be a font of inspiration. You can contact me at stbrigidswell@yahoo.com

How do people sign up for the Day of Reflection?

Bridget: To join us for our Day of Reflection fill out the enrollment sheet, include a check for $10 and mail it to: Bridget McGill, 2500 Brownfield Rd.  Urbana, Illinois, 61802

Eileen: Sign up sheets are available in the church office and on the table in the foyer.  The $10 fee covers lunch.  We hope you will consider joining us as we look together at transformations in faith, purpose and self

St. Brigid Icon

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St. Brigid of Ireland Second only to Saint Patrick as a patron of Ireland, Saint Brigid (St. Bride) holds a cross woven from rushes (“St. Brigid’s cross”), which was her custom to make when she was instructing the pagans, and which are hung anew in Irish homes each year on her feastday. In the other hand she holds a bowl of “Saint Brigid’s fire,” a miraculous fire which burned at her convent for centuries. Born in Ireland in the 5th Century, St. Brigid’s parents were baptized by St. Patrick, with whom she developed a close friendship. Her father was Dubhthach, an Irish chieftain of Lienster, and her mother, Brocca, was a slave at his court. Even as a young girl she evinced an interest for a religious life and took the veil in her youth from St. Macaille at Croghan and probably was professed by St. Mel of Armagh, who is believed to have conferred abbatial authority on her. She settled with seven of her virgins at the foot of Croghan Hill for a time and about the year 468, followed Mel to Meath. About the year 470 she founded a double monastery at Cill-Dara (Kildare) and was Abbess of the convent, the first in Ireland. The foundation developed into a center of learning and spirituality, and around it grew up the Cathedral city of Kildare. She founded a school of art at Kildare and its illuminated manuscripts became famous, notably the Book of Kildare, which was praised as one of the finest of all illuminated Irish manuscripts before its disappearance three centuries ago. She died at Kildare on February 1. She is buried at Downpatrick with St. Columba and St. Patrick, with whom she is the patron of Ireland. Her name is sometimes Bridget and Bride. Her feast day is February 1.

– See more at: http://www.monasteryicons.com/product/st-brigid-icon-396/women-saints#sthash.C7IQ7pLF.pdf

Transformation

I and fellow Spiritual Director Eileen Mathy will present a retreat called TRANSFORMATION Day of Reflection. Thomas Merton, Dorothy Day and Henri Nouwen will be part of our focus.

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These three great persons of faith display finding Faith, finding Purpose and finding Self. Come discover your life as a sacred journey and the moments that have transformed you.

Saturday April 9, 2016 9am-3pm

St Patrick Parish Lounge

$10 fee for lunch

Registration open contact

Bridget McGill stbrigidswell@yahoo.com

 

 

Blessings

On Thursday February 25th 2016 St. Brigid’s Well will be Blessed by my Pastor Father Joseph Hogan at 8am. What Good News! I will be posting pictures shortly of the interior of this space. I have several good friends and my husband who will join the festivities. We plan to start with attending 7am Mass at St. Patrick Church, Urbana. Of  course afterward I will serve Sr. Brigid’s oatcakes with lashings of Irish tea!

A font of Inspiration
                 A font of Inspiration