Author Archives: smkelly8

About smkelly8

writer, teacher, movie lover, traveler, reader

Monsieur Vincent

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Vincent tries to get someone to adopt this orphan

When Monsieur Vincent opens, we see Vincent Depaul entering a deserted town. Whenever he knocks on a door, someone throws rocks at him from the second floor. Finally, Vincent who’s the new priest in town gets let inside. He discovers that the aristocrats inside are hiding hoping to avoid the plague. They’re in the midst of a wild party just in case they don’t escape the plague.

As the new priest, and one that lives the gospel, Vincent tries to convince the nobles to take in a girl whose mother has just died. They’re all to scared. He winds up taking her in a very modest room he’s rented.

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Vincent’s wisdom is revered by the rich. He’s soon the mentor and spiritual guide for a wealthy couple, but he wants to help the poor. When he tells his patrons that he plans to leave they keep him near by supporting his charity efforts more. This works for a while, but eventually Vincent goes to Paris where he begins a charity for the poorest of the poor.

Throughout his work with the poor, Vincent recruited wealthy women to help him and found great frustration when they didn’t agree with his ideas of expanding and expanding their charity programs. Eventually, realizing that people who understand the poor may be better to work with, he taps a poor girl to become one of his first nuns. Actually, she came to him and the light bulb went off.

I went to a high school named after Louise de Marillac, a wealthy woman, who became key to Vincent’s outreach to the poor. In the film, she’s just in a couple scenes. You can see that she’s a peer of the wealthy women, so Vincent wants her to lead them, though it’s tough to convince these opinionated women to trust Vincent. (St. Louise de Marillac wound up leading the Daughters of Charity, an order of nuns that serves the poor.)

This bio pic was interesting and well done. I was surprised that so much of the time Vincent Depaul dealt with administrative issues and trying to persuade the aristocracy to help him more. I thought he was more “hands on.” In any event, the film moved along well and introduces people to this 17th century saint.

In French with subtitles.

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Deo Gratias


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Deo Gratias is Latin for “Thanks be to God.” Remembering to give thanks for all of our blessings, big and small, helps us to find God in our everyday moments and gives us an attitude of gratitude! Colleen at Thoughts on Grace has organized this meme and you can contribute by clicking here. This week I’m thankful for:

  • For a winter that’s been milder than usual even though today’s its quite cold.
  • For Lent and Ash Wednesday. It is and should be a hard time, but Christians are in this together, side by side working on their relationship with God and reviewing how they live their lives. I like seeing people around town with the black smudges on their heads.
  • For my library. This winter I’ve used it so much. Not just for books and DVDs, but I tried out the Great Books Club and may have made a new friend there. I also have been going to a great yoga class there and today saw an afternoon movie for free.
  • For the assisted living place my aunt is now in. She’s gotten used to this arrangement and it’s clean and cheerful. She doesn’t do them, but there are activities available. (The only thing I’d grumble about is the horrid food. You don’t need to cook broccoli for half an hour.)
  • For the chance last week to visit my cousin who’s 83 in Florida. Her husband of 60-some years died in 2015 and while Ann is so cheerful and outgoing, it’s been a tough year for her. I missed our visits but got to go there for a few days.

Forgiveness

Forgiveness is the name of love practiced among people who love poorly. The hard truth is that all people love poorly. We need to forgive and be forgiven every day, every hour increasingly. That is the great work of love among the fellowship of the weak that is the human family.

– Henri J.M. Nouwen


Deo Gratias


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Deo Gratias is Latin for “Thanks be to God.” Remembering to give thanks for all of our blessings, big and small, helps us to find God in our everyday moments and gives us an attitude of gratitude! Colleen at Thoughts on Grace has organized this meme and you can contribute by clicking here. This week I’m thankful for:

  1. For a chance to spend time with my youngest sister who’s visiting for work.
  2. For my writing to be selected for an opportunity to make an oral proposal to a producer. It’s always a long shot to get a job writing for TV so I welcome prayers.
  3. For a chance to have lunch with all four of my former colleagues last week. We worked together n the ’90s and have still kept in touch.
  4. For another chance to see my friend Luzanne, whom I haven’t seen in 15 years. I’m delighted to say we still had plenty to talk about.
  5. For young priests like Fr. Joshua Johnson (see post below) whose faith and spirit I hope will show young people how relevant and true the Christian faith is. It seems that while his communication style is contemporary, his theology is tested by time.

Rapper Priest

Fr. Joshua Johnson shares his rap and story in the video above. He’s the youngest priest in Baton Rouge. Priests like Johnson should, I hope bring more young people to the faith by showing them that religion isn’t outdated, it’s everlasting and always relevant.


Deo Gratias


???????????????????????????????????????

Deo Gratias is Latin for “Thanks be to God.” Remembering to give thanks for all of our blessings, big and small, helps us to find God in our everyday moments and gives us an attitude of gratitude! Colleen at Thoughts on Grace has organized this meme and you can contribute by clicking here. This week I’m thankful for:

  1. My sister, nephew and niece have been visiting here a good long time. They have to leave so they can start school, but they’ve been here two weeks.
  2. I got to visit my friend Adrienne in her home in Sonoma county and got to see God’s grand redwoods. Amazing.
  3. All 8 of the Jesuit volunteers I lived and worked with in San Antonio reunited for Melissa’s wedding. It was the first time in 12 years we were all together. (I was sad to learn that Melissa’s left the Church to join the Unitarians at a church that offers pagan worship. Praying that that changes. She as it’s a faith her new husband likes. I wish she could have resisted that compromise.)
  4. For all the great summer produce: fresh corn, grapes, raspberries, peaches, etc. Such bounty!
  5. For Poldark. I loved the drama on PBS and am now reading the first novel in the series.

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From the Writer’s Almanac

It’s the birthday of St. Teresa of Ávila (books by this author), born in Gotarrendura, Spain (1515). She grew up in a wealthy household in a walled city. She was fascinated by the spiritual life even as a young girl, particularly the martyred saints. At the age of seven, she ran away from home with her younger brother, hoping to find wherever it was that the Moors lived and be martyred. Their uncle found them just outside the city and dragged them home.
Teresa was also a beautiful and social girl. She loved perfume, jewelry, and elegant clothes. Her mother died when Teresa was 14, and she was heartbroken. Her father felt that it was inappropriate for his beautiful daughter to be without a female companion, so he sent her off to a convent school, which would teach her the necessary skills to become a good wife and mother. Instead, she decided to become a nun. A couple of years later, she suffered from malaria and almost died. She survived, but her legs were paralyzed for three years. During her illness, she had mystical visions, falling into trances or levitating during times of intense rapture.

Although she stayed at the convent for 20 years, it was not the sacred place she wanted it to be. Each nun had a set of private rooms, and sometimes a personal maid. They were allowed to wear jewelry, leave the convent, and entertain daily visitors, both women and men. Teresa eventually broke away and founded the Discalced Carmelite Order (the word “discalced” means “shoeless”). In this new reform order, the nuns lived in poverty and simplicity, devoting their time to prayer, according to ancient traditions. After establishing her own monastery, Teresa traveled around Spain on a donkey, setting up 16 new monasteries for women. She also wrote several books, including The Way of Perfection (1566) and The Interior Castle (1580).


Deo Gratias


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Deo Gratias is Latin for “Thanks be to God.” Remembering to give thanks for all of our blessings, big and small, helps us to find God in our everyday moments and gives us an attitude of gratitude! Colleen at Thoughts on Grace has organized this meme and you can contribute by clicking here. This week I’m thankful for:

  • The lovely mass I attended at Northwestern University. What a great community! The priest’s words were so thoughtful.
  • Pope Francis’ book The Joy of the Gospel, which I just finished reading. There’s something for everyone. So inspiring and practical.
  • My friend Kasia. I’ve known her since high school and we rarely can get together. We had a nice, long lunch this week.
  • My friend Kevin. I worked with him years ago and we’ve stayed friends. We have different political views but can discuss issues civilly. Also, he finds all these interesting places to visit and books to read. I always come home enriched with a long list of things to do.
  • For this long vacation, which has given me time to visit my aunt while she’s in rehab about 6 days a week. I know it can get boring in these places.
  • One more – for the film Forbidden Games. It’s set in WWII and shows how children coped with the war. The child actors were so natural. A simple and stunning film.

Psalm 25:1-10

I’m going to memorize this.

Prayer for Guidance and for Deliverance

Of David.
To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
O my God, in you I trust;
do not let me be put to shame;
do not let my enemies exult over me.
Do not let those who wait for you be put to shame;
let them be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.
Make me to know your ways, O Lord;
teach me your paths.
Lead me in your truth, and teach me,
for you are the God of my salvation;
for you I wait all day long.
Be mindful of your mercy, O Lord, and of your steadfast love,
for they have been from of old.
Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions;
according to your steadfast love remember me,
for your goodness’ sake, O Lord!
Good and upright is the Lord;
therefore he instructs sinners in the way.
He leads the humble in what is right,
and teaches the humble his way.
All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness,
for those who keep his covenant and his decrees.

Deo Gratias

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Deo Gratias is Latin for “Thanks be to God.” Remembering to give thanks for all of our blessings, big and small, helps us to find God in our everyday moments and gives us an attitude of gratitude! Colleen at Thoughts on Grace has organized this meme and you can contribute by clicking here. This week I’m thankful for:

  1. For Lent! Sounds crazy but having an extended period when I focus on God more, with my fellow Christians, is so welcome. Yes, it can be hard (I’m light headed now as I haven’t eaten since lunch), but it can be transformational.
  2. For the caregivers and nurses at my aunt’s rehab center. They seem quite good.
  3. For the Chicago History Museum Library. I went there to work on a writing project and it’s amazing to read newspapers and fashion magazines from the 1800s. The staff is so helpful. It’s also intriguing to work side by side with other history buffs and historians. I don’t know what they’re looking up, but it doesn’t matter.
  4. Tomato soup. It’s a great comfort food and since I don’t like fish a good Lenten dish.
  5. My yoga class. It’s free at our library on Fridays and the teacher’s great. You have to get there early as it gets packed. I got the second to last spot because a freight train detained me.  It’s a nice community.