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Showing posts from March, 2015

Change your heart, Change the world

Praised be Jesus Christ! My six months on mission have taught me two main things: all the evil that I notice in the world is a constant proof that I must become a Saint and…that Jesus loves me!
Washington, D.C. was a wonderful city to be missioned in, and being able to serve at the Apostolic Nunciature as the sacristan was a very great honor! Being in two such prominent places allowed me the opportunity to see satan trying to work. However, the Lord taught me that I really can help change the world if I allow the Lord to change me. He taught me that it doesn’t matter what I am doing, it simply matters that I let Him do it through me, and by striving to let Him live through me He not only transforms my heart but also the world.
I don’t think it is possible to begin to understand the joy of allowing Jesus to live though us if we don’t first know the love He has for us as individuals. This too the Lord was teaching me on mission. I began to see His loving hand guiding everything, from th…

Sister M. Gemma's Call

Take a moment to share in the journey of Sr. M. Gemma's call to be a Sister of St. Francis of the Martyr St. George.

Bringing forth the love of Christ on Mission

My Mission:  bringing Christ to others and bringing others to Christ at St. Mary’s school in Alton, IL.  I was teaching preschool to third grade religion as well as other responsibilities during the school day including answering phones and leading 5th grade patrol students out to stop traffic for walkers.  All of this was focused on Christ and allowing others to know the great love Christ has for them.
At our Provincial House I had many beautiful examples of how to live religious life through our vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience.  My Sisters inspired me to spend time with the Lord, which built community and brought forth the fruits of Sisterly love among each other.  The love of Christ inspired me to delve deeper into gratitude and joy.  In these I hope to live our charism of making Christ’s merciful visible.
- Sister Maria Christi, FSGM

Everyday is a Gift

“Sister Krystle, may I have more pancakes? May I have more milk? What is that (pointing to my St. Francis medal)?” These are just the little questions I get each day from the beautiful children at St. Francis Day Care where I work in the mornings.
                Every time I go to the day care, I am always surprised by the questions and stories the children share during breakfast. They love to share about their new toys, dresses, etc. They are also excited to see each other and play in the gym. The children have so much joy and innocence that just makes me smile and sometimes reminds me of my childhood.
                As children, they depend and come to us for help and comfort. They come to us when they get hurt, need a tissue, need a drink of water, etc. Whenever I hear a little child cry, all I want to do is wrap him in my arms and let him know that everything is going to be okay.
                These little experiences with the children remind me that everyday …

Mission Inspiration

Serving at the Apostolic Nunciature for my mission was a privilege.  There it is the Vatican Embassy and the Pope’s representative to America whom we serve but, more simply, we serve our brothers and sisters in Christ in some of their most fundamental human needs.  To perform the works of mercy such as clothing the naked and feeding the hungry is always an honor and a joy.  In my six months there I mainly worked in the kitchen, helping to prepare, set up for, and clean up from all the meals for the Papal Nuncio, the priests and religious who assist him, and all the lay people who work in the house in various capacities.  I personally always enjoy opportunities to serve people in such a way, and find it an easy way to share the merciful love of Christ with them, so this experience was a gift to me!
            I am also grateful for all the ways in which I was edified and inspired by those around me.  The Nuncio and the priests were an amazing witness of fidelity to prayer …

A Receptive Heart

“God, open my heart to Your love. Help me to be open to whatever You have in store for me today.”
     I often find myself praying this right before leaving chapel after Mass in the morning. With so much going on in our lives, it can be difficult to take a step back and have a receptive heart. Unless we open our hearts, we can miss all the ways each day that Christ is trying to show us how much He loves us. 
     When I took the time to reflect on how God had showed me His love since entering the convent, I was slightly overwhelmed, not only by the ways that I already had noticed, but also by those of which I hadn’t thought.  There are so many vehicles that God uses to reach us each moment of the day! And yet so often we don’t open the eyes of our hearts to recognize that love when it comes to us. Whether it is another Sister encouraging me, a child making me laugh at school, or kneeling down in front of Christ in the Eucharist and just being with Him in the silence, there is so much…

Beyond All Fear

I was sent to Mother of Good Counsel Nursing Home in St. Louis, MO for my first five weeks of mission. I had never cared for the elderly and had some anxiety about what my mission would entail. I did a variety of things from yard-work and answering phones to blessing the residents at night. In surrendering my anxiety to Jesus, He was able to work great things through me. Even in such a small thing as smiling, I was able to bring Christ’s merciful love to others.
The rest of my mission I spent in Alton, IL at our provincial house.I worked as a pharmacist in the hospital. Much of my work was hidden as I didn’t often leave the pharmacy. I didn’t experience my poverty in lack of knowledge, but in not seeing the fruit of my work, feeling I had very little spiritual impact. Recognition and acceptance of my personal poverty was deepened as I surrendered to Christ my plans and desires. I worked with Christ not to accomplish great things, but to do all things in His merciful love. As I return n…

Gift

A little over two years ago a friend of mine got married and had little packages wrapped with blue paper and white bows as the centerpieces for the tables at the reception.  The wedding cake looked exactly the same with three tiers and a big white icing bow at the top.   As they entered into their vocation that day the theme of being a “gift” was beautifully evident and the phrase from Guadium et Spes continued reverberating in my heart, “Man cannot find himself except through a sincere gift of himself”.
I remember hearing once that the greatest grace after Baptism is the gift of a religious vocation. Religious vocations are gifts that are directly received from the Heart of Christ pouring itself out in a complete gift of love on the Cross.  Gazing upon the crucified Lord, our hearts are compelled to be poured out as His was, that we may be more fully conformed to Jesus, who “fully reveals man to himself and makes his supreme calling clear” (Guadium et Spes).
Something that has struc…

Temptation

I use many avenues when teaching music. Sometimes you need to put your whole body into it to feel that beat or get the musical concept across. As I was teaching the concept of meter in 3, feeling a 3 beat, getting the body involved was a necessary component. We played 3 Meter tag the other day in 1st Grade. As we marched around the room to a 3 beat, however, my 1st graders struck me with their many tactics in conquering this game. The goal is ultimately to be the last person left. Oh, there are those who are very good at outmaneuvering the taggers. Those are not the ones that caught my eye. It’s the ones that head straight for the taggers, as if they can’t resist the temptation of getting close and maybe getting tagged. I watched it happen over and over. They were inevitably out first or second every time. I wanted to shout, “Go the other way! Don’t go towards them!” They probably would have listened, but I’m sure that’s how our Guardian Angels feel with us. There’s something alluring…