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Showing posts from June, 2015

Love is Our Mission

This summer I had the opportunity to be a part of Camp Tekakwitha in the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas.  Each year Archbishop Naumann chooses a theme for the camp, which thousands of school-aged kids attend for 3-9 days at a time.  The theme for this year is “Love is Our Mission: The Family Fully Alive.”
As I sat and gazed upon the crucifix in the St. Kateri Tekakwitha Chapel at Prairie Star Ranch in Williamsburg, I couldn’t help but notice how perfect the theme is for this year.  Love is our mission…this is not just a call for some, but for all.  This is our mission as Franciscan Sisters of the Martyr St. George, as well.  Through our charism, we are called to receive the merciful love of Christ through our prayer and participation in the Sacraments, and then give that love to all we encounter.  This is something we strive for daily.  I strive to do this in my local convent, in my classroom, with my coworkers, and with anyone else I might meet throughout the day.
It has been a w…

You are Created for Greatness!

Do you remember the parable of the mustard seed? It is often used in reference to faith and how it begins as the tiniest of seeds but will become the largest of plants, which will hold much upon its branches as it continues to grow. During this summer Sister M. Bernadette and I shared that gift of faith as we led a vacation bible summer camp in Seneca, Illinois. What a joy it was! Our theme was, “You are created for greatness!” Every single person is just like that mustard seed. You are made for more, for greatness! During the week we, of course, played many games and sang songs, but also learned about the various covenants that the Lord made with His people. In each covenant is shown the foreshadowing of Jesus and the new covenant that He gives us. So that we might be restored to that fullness of life, which He first gave us in the Garden of Eden and makes new upon the Cross. We are like those mustard seeds, placed in the soil of God’s merciful love so that all may eat of its fruits.…

The Joy of my Heart

O my soul what joy is this that thou do’st feel?
What song is this that my heart sings?
For low look and see the bridegroom comes for me at dawn!
Arrayed in splendor bright!
O my heart fling wide the doors that lead to thy dwelling place.
There let the Bridegroom and the bride abide for ever more!
Who is this the Bridegroom who comes for me at dawn?
Look at the sky and see His star arises in the East.
Come behold Him lying in the hay.
A manger for His cradle,
A stable for His home.
A tiny baby humble and yet King of all.
Now look and see this tiny babe grow up and become a man.
Behold He preaches His Father’s Word,
And does His Father’s Will.
See Him now upon the Cross,
The Bridegroom of my soul.
A crown of thorns upon His head,
His heart pierced by a lance.
Now behold Him in His glory,
Arrayed in dazzling white.
This is He my Bridegroom with whom I shall abide!
- Sr. M. Eucharia Lyon, FSGM

It Is Like Dialysis

“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”  Mt. 11:28
When we recently celebrated the Sacred Heart of Jesus, I was reflecting on what this means in my life, and I realized that to place your heart in Jesus’ Sacred Heart and to just rest there in Him is a bit like dialysis.  What His Heart is filled with is what we want to be filled with, and what He longs to fill us with, even if it means dying on the cross for us, which He has.
But how does this happen?  How is it that what is in His Heart can fill our poor, broken, isolated or hungry hearts?  It is like dialysis, where what is in His heart is able to get across the membrane that surrounds our heart, fitting in through the tiniest of holes, where we are open to His grace.  The more we open our hearts in love, trust and gratitude, the more those graces can flow.
Not only do the good things from the Lord come into our hearts, but things from our heart can go to His Heart as well.  Our p…

Magnifying the Mystery

On occasion, the Liturgical year offers convergence that provides for a fresh look at a particular celebration.  This year, the Solemnity of The Most Holy Trinity falls on May 31, which is usually when we remember the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary to Elizabeth.  That feast is thus suppressed in the liturgical eye, but I think that Mary would be okay with that since it’s in her nature to be an arrow pointing toward the mysteries greater than herself.
You know the story of the Visitation.   Just after the conception of Jesus in her womb, Mary goes “in haste” to visit her kinswoman Elizabeth who is bearing John the Baptist.  When she arrives, Elizabeth, and the child in her womb, recognize the presence of God and Mary is moved to pray the “Magnificat” which we echo each evening in the prayer of the Church.
“My soul magnifies the Lord.”  Indeed, Mary, in her very being is like a magnifying glass.  When one looks to her, the mystery of God is enlarged and made more visible.  This …

Stepping out of Hiddenness

“In the pierced Heart of the Crucified, God’s own Heart is opened up; here we see who God is and What He is like. Heaven is no longer locked up. God has stepped out of His hiddenness. That is why St. John sums up both the meaning of the Cross and the nature of the new worship of God in the mysterious promise made…’They will look on Him whom they have pierced’ John 19:37” ( Pope Benedict XVI).
            As the month of May comes to a close, I look forward to June, as the month devoted to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. One of my favorite prayers that we pray in our community is the Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. I remember when I was visiting our community for a week, the summer after my Freshman year at college, already as we prayed this Litany (of the Sacred Heart), my devotion to the Heart of Jesus was drawn deeper as I prayed each invocation to the Heart of Jesus. Jesus was revealing to me more secrets of His Heart and the great love with which He loves us. His Heart is so infini…

Encountering Mary

As a convert to the Catholic Faith, devotion to Mary has long been difficult to me. Even as I learned about her and began to understand the Church's teaching on Mary, I saw her as someone so perfect, so different from me, that I could not relate to her. I felt myself too sinful, too dirty to pray and ask the help of one so pure.
Four years ago I made a journey to our Motherhouse in Germany. I was there for three months and a friend likened it to the Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth. While I am far from being like Mary, I did come close to her in a new and wonderful way during my stay. In Germany I came to know a co-sister who showed me Mary in a new light. She embodied Mary as one who was always composed, neat and orderly and deeply spiritual. Yet warm and approachable, not just approachable by me but one who sought to be with me. I am blessed with a friendship that has lasted since that time even though we are now separated by an ocean. Not only the friendship has lasted and grown,…