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Weekly Pause &  Ponder

The Universal Christ is trying to communicate at the deepest level that there is only One Life.  One Death, and One Suffering on this earth.  We are all invited to ride the one wave, which is the only wave there is.  Call it Reality, if you wish.  But we are all in this together…. The Gospel…is about learning to live and die in and with God—all our warts included and forgiven by an Infinite Love.  The True Gospel democratizes the world.

 - from The Universal Christ, by Richard Rohr


The Missing Maharajah: A Book  Review

If you are looking for your next novel to read, I am recommending you read Frances Brody’s mystery novels. Kate Shackleton is the keen detective who leaves not a stone unturned to find out ‘who done it’. Murder on a Summer’s Day is situated in England, but Kate’s investigations take her beyond those borders. In this novel interesting detail of India’s history, customs and culture add to our knowledge of the 1920’s.

I think fans of Jacqueline Winspear’s books will also enjoy Frances Brody’s mystery novels.


- Sister Valerie Van Cauwenberghe


Rooted in  Optimism

Beatrice Bruteau author of Radical Optimism and many other books, wrote many articles including one entitled Radical Optimism Rooting Ourselves in Reality.  In this she spells out thoughts and concerns, applicable for our times, re the imagination.  To this article I add my own thoughts and reflections.

Bruteau suggests we need to be aware of the power of our imagination. Is my personal and our collective imagination feeding distortions, fear, falsehoods and being fertilized by such things as the news and social media that conjure up the worst of the news?  Often today, the term “fake news” throws red lights and fear around what we use to take as truth or fact.  In our minds, inner walls now rise.  We seek safety. Such reports may lead to bullying or buying guns as suspicions grow.  In these ways, the images we absorb from the media, can reinforce an unbridled imagination by building negative thoughts.

Louise Hay cautions, “If you accept a limiting belief, then it will become a truth for you”.  Frequently, those who can imagine the impossible against all odds, can achieve their goals.  Here the imagination projects hopeful, inspiring direction.  The learning then I would suggest, is that on our life journey, we need family or friends who are help up stretch our boundaries and to live the best of who we are and can be together. We never do this alone. Ever!

In history, Jesus stands out as a person not limited by his fears. He called others to trust. While perhaps imagining the worst for himself, he was not consumed by such thoughts, but believed beyond his own imagination, in a God who loved and cared for the world. Not once did he repeat “do not be afraid.” But rather over and over again.

Bruteau in her writings during her lifetime, like Jesus, rained down courage, faith, inspiring rays of light upon the earth. Her influence engenders refreshing hope to readers even today. Inspired by prayer, she exuded the gift of imagination in a broad, positive and reflective way.  Bruteau is a guide for today who envisoned the story of creation and relationship with God, in a new way because of a deeply refreshing perspective .  

Quoting from Pauls’ Epistle to the Philippians, Bruteau writes, “Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things” (Philippians 4:8). Those words root us, ground us and focus us. They serve as a “guide” for our imagination. We find direction for our lives.  We find hope.  Now when hearing many voices, we, with an awakened consciousness, are firmly rooted.

- Patricia St. Louis csj

Reference: www.worldcat.org/title/radical-optimism-rooting-ourselves... Radical optimism : rooting ourselves in reality. [Beatrice Bruteau] -- Beatrice Bruteau is a Christian philosopher whose vision of life is an inspiration to some of the most influential thinkers of our time. In Radical Optimism, she shines new light on the deepest truth ...  



Letter to Premier  Ford

Dear Premier Ford,

We urge the Ontario government to re-think its budget cuts to legal aid funding.

In the April 11, 2019 budget, you announced a 30% reduction in Legal Aid Ontario’s (LAO) budget and indicated the government will no longer fund refugee and immigration law services “outside of any potential transition costs.”

Access to legal aid is already far too limited in Ontario.  The immediate cuts of 30% to LAO’s budget will create further marginalization from legal justice.  This can only erode faith in the fairness of the legal system. 

In addition, assisting refugees and newcomers with legal services is integral to creating a fair society. Moreover, it costs us little.  In 2017-2018, refugee and immigration services were just a small piece ($45 million) of LAO’s $460 million budget.  Yet, in that same year, this money allowed LAO to address 13,687 immigration and refugee legal matters.  Without such legal assistance, these legal matters would be very hard to navigate and leave newcomers vulnerable to irreversible decisions with hugely negative impacts.

One of the ways we define our character as a province is by how we treat each other when we’re in vulnerable circumstances.  The Ontario government’s new slogan suggests we want an Ontario in which all people have a fair chance to grow.  This can only happen if we ensure each of us has access to the resources and opportunities which are fundamental to participation in our society.  Fair access to the legal system is one of the basic resources everyone needs.



Sue Wilson, CSJ
Joan Atkinson, CSJ
Office for Systemic Justice
Federation of Sisters of St. Joseph of Canada


Easter  Message

Patterns of dying and releasing into the hope of new life are the threads that tether us with hope to the Christian mystery of Easter.

May our whole being open to the good news that new life is already daily in our midst.

- The Sisters of St. Joseph

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Copyright 2013. Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Canada.