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Showing posts from April, 2015

Delight in the Lord

This is one of my favorite times of the year. It is also one of the busiest times. There is so much that is happening: the Easter season, Renewal of Vows, the newness of life, Confirmation, graduations, the anticipation of summer.  With all of these occasions the celebration of life occurs around us each day and it also occurs within us! It is an experience of beauty that brings joy, peace, and new life in a particular way. We know that something that is beautiful is attractive. We have a desire to be a part of it and are drawn to it. Examples that come to my mind are the flowers, the sunshine, a heartwarming conversation, an act of mercy, which are gifts of God’s beauty at work in our daily lives. We also find this invitation to beauty in Scripture, “I will allure her to me in the desert.” And “When I am lifted up [on the cross] I will draw all people to myself.” Where are we being drawn? Into the desert? To the cross? We may ask where is beauty here? How is this attractive? It is be…

“Were not our hearts burning within us . . . " Luke 24:32

Last week one of our Junior Professed Sisters, Sister M. Gemma, was talking about what she wanted to write for the blog, and said that she was going to reflect on Renewal of Vows.  I kiddingly said, “I’m going to do that, too!”  This was only funny because I am in Final Profession, and have been, for almost 15 years.  Well, I decided to do just that . . .
The Renewal of Vows of our Junior Professed Sisters, on the Feast of Divine Mercy, was a beautiful day of renewal for me!  I have had the privilege of living with five of our Junior Professed Sisters at St. Clare Convent in Steubenville.  As each of these Sisters recited their vow formula, I joined the other Sisters in interceding for her.  I asked the Lord to lavish His graces on each one, especially the areas they most need Him.  As I saw them all kneeling and giving their lives to the disposal of our religious Congregation, I reflected on the promise that we say to our postulants on the day of their Reception, “we will pray and wor…

“Behold I am making all things new” Revelation 21:5

What a tremendous grace to renew my vows for the first time! It was perfectly fitting that it was on the Feast of Divine Mercy. To be a bride of Christ is a supreme gift of divine mercy. God’s love is entirely gratuitous. Like the “spring of water welling up to eternal life,” He pours His love into our hearts, and draws us to Himself. He has conquered the grave that we may have life and have it abundantly. As I reflect on these past eight months since I first professed my vows, I am struck with the depth of God’s generosity. God is supreme, and has no need of us; still He chooses us. God is all powerful, and still he uses us. He thirsts for us, longing to make us new each day. For in allowing ourselves to be made new, we “renew the face of the earth.” Fr. Tim Christy, who gave two conferences on the recollection day before renewal, said: “In order to inspire others to conversion, we must first become acquainted with it ourselves.” Renewal is ultimately a call to conversion; to again c…

Unless A Grain of Wheat fall to the Ground and Dies...

This morning I had one of the instantaneous, flash meditations which are the combination of academic learning and more so the spiritual wisdom and grace of the Holy Spirit. We were singing “Now the Green Blade Riseth” at Morning Office. All of the sudden the song, the scripture “unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies it remains but a grain of wheat” and my recent study of plant lifecycle for Botany coalesced into a powerful insight.             A grain of wheat, the seed of wheat, has everything it needs to become what it is meant to be. The embryo within the seed is fully formed, it has the nourishment it needs to grow until it can provide its own needs and it has a seed coat to protect it until it begins the germination process. We too, through God’s grace, have all the tools we need to be the people we are meant to be to be fully alive in Him. Even though at times we many not believe that or the process may seem more painful or dangerous then we want to ac…

Let the Children Come to Me

As Sisters teaching at St. Catherine School in Tulsa, OK each day we try to follow the example of our foundress, Mother M. Anselma, in making Christ’s merciful love visible.  At our school we have about 110 students Preschool-8th grade.  We are blessed to have four Sisters: Sister M. Margaret- 4th grade, Sister M. Vianney- 2nd grade, Sister Maria Cordis 1st grade, and Sr. M. Faustina- Art and 6th grade Religion.
Being Sisters who teach, we get asked a lot by people who don’t know us if Sisters still use rulers to discipline children (we don’t).  Since many Catholic schools today do not have the privilege of having Sisters, I have decided to give you an idea of what it is really like to have Sisters for teachers.  The four of us each surveyed our students with the question:
What do you like best about having Sisters for teachers?
They are nice and sweet and are good at teaching kids. Parker, 6th Grade
We get to learn about God and have someone to talk to when we are having trouble. Madal…

Entering into the Heart of Jesus

Yes, this statue is real!  And yes, those really are stairs in the red and white rays leading people into Jesus’ heart!  This statue of Divine Mercy is a pilgrimage site in the Philippines.  After I got over my initial shock that this place existed, I understood the statue’s deeper message – Jesus is calling us into His heart. He is not just calling us to look upon His image of Divine Mercy, but to enter into the very depths of His heart. We may not be able to go to the Philippines, but each day we can enter into His heart.  We can place ourselves within His heart and unite our hearts with His heart in prayer. 
Will you climb the stairs to enter the Lord’s heart? 
As I look at those stairs, I must admit that they look pretty tiring to me.  In order to get to the rays, the pilgrim first must climb the stairs up the hill.  Then there are more stairs to get to His heart.  This can appear very exhausting.  Sometimes the spiritual life can feel this way too, we have climbed many “stairs” th…

All Shall be Well

Victor Hugo once said that "Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent."  As we enter the Easter Season, we "wait in joyful hope" for the proclamation of our salvation at the Easter Vigil in the beautiful chant, "The Exsultet" which literally means...EXULT!  Christ's glorious resurrection is the pinnacle of our faith, so this Good News is the summit of that of "which it is impossible to be silent!"  How could we ever express in mere words that which we experience in the victory Christ won for us?  
The wisdom of Holy Mother Church has taught us the importance of song in our celebration and praise to raise the poverty of our words from the depths of our hearts to the heights of the heavens.  ALLELUIA (praise the Lord) is never far from our lips this time of year and dances across the pages of our hymnals and song sheets to be lifted to the Risen Lord.  A more modern song that has special connotations f…

Planting Seeds of Love

On Sunday, March 22, Sr. M. Consolata arrived at St. George Convent in Tulsa, OK. The 4 Sisters in Tulsa were happy to have company, and looking forward to sharing in some vocation ventures with Sr. M. Consolata. The weather was perfect in sunny Oklahoma, and the Sisters happened to be on Spring Break. We began early Monday morning with Mass at our local St. Mary Church. After that we had breakfast in our cars while awaiting our visit with students at Bishop Kelly High School in Tulsa. Fr. O'Brien, the high school's president, greeted us with excitement and led us into the school hallways where ALL of the students would be passing through on their way to their first class. The students were happy to see Sisters and were very friendly and welcoming. Some students know the Sisters from St. Catherine School. Sr. Maria Cordis even taught some of them when they were in 1st grade! After the first class period began we proceeded to the Theology classes to share about our vocations. S…

Behold the Wood of the Cross

As I was preparing myself for the Triduum, my favorite days of the Church year, I found myself remembering Good Friday 2010. That was the last Good Friday before I would enter the convent. I did not know I would be a postulant the next year, I was very certain I would enter after graduating college, I was a junior.
The Veneration of the Cross had always been a service that moved my heart, but that year as I returned to my pew after I kissed the Crucifix, I cried. I really cried. I do not know if my family noticed, but I remember being shocked by the amount of tears that kept running down my face.  As I was remembering this a couple days ago I made some connections about what was going on in my heart. I believe that during that service my heart was trying to tell me something. Sometimes in life our head knows before our heart does, but not that Friday. After venerating the Cross, my heart was literally overflowing with the love of Jesus. He died on the Cross, for me! Although I wasn’…