Monday, April 26, 2010
Saturday, April 24, 2010
I never thought that a goose had much to teach me but then I met Gladys. She has taught me so much about God's love. You see Gladys shows a motherly love. She sits on her eggs She covers them with down from her own body so they they have a warm place to grow. She never ventures far from her little ones and when she does, Cyril is close by watching to see if any danger is present. A couple of weeks ago we had a storm with heavy rain, wind and thunder. I thought for sure that Gladys would have run for cover. And yet, when I looked out the window, there she was sitting with her little ones. Her head was tucked down against the wind but she stayed there keeping her eggs warm. By providing this warm and safe place her little ones will keep growing until in a week or two they will be ready to hatch. And, when they hatch, she will teach them to walk and then fly so that they can make it to water and begin the journey to maturity.
God has nurtured and loved me in this way as well. God never leaves me even in the midst of the storms of my life. God is always close loving me with a motherly love. Even when I struggle and feel alone, God is always close by calling me home to the warmth of love. I am so thankful for this God who provides me with all I need to grow into the person I am called to be. May I learn to share this same love with others. Always being there for them so that they might grow into who they are called to be.
When the goslings hatch in a couple of weeks, I hope to be able to get some pictures to share with you. It will be a big event for us because we've grown rather fond of Gladys and Cyril. And, of course, the gift of life is ALWAYS something to be excited about!
Thursday, April 22, 2010
This Spring I have found a new favorite plant. I have been told that it is called a bleeding heart, but I am attracted to it because it is a beautiful image of what I have learned about the Benedictine way of life. Benedictine life is a life that is focused on seeking God. The roots of our life is our prayer life both personal and communal in which together we seek to grow in our love for God, one another, and all those we come in contact with. Our life of prayer and community living fills us up and enables us to live out our values of work and hospitality.
A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to see this lived out . I spent a few days shadowing some of our sister in their ministries. It was during those days that I was able to see clearly that by rooting ourselves in prayer and community life the love that we receive overflows into the work that we do. I spent time that week with Sr. Pam, Sr. Anna Marie, and Sr. Becky. Each of these women, have uniquely different ministries, but each of them serve out of our Benedictine values. Sr. Pam’s ministry involves helping families with children who are having problems in school. She works with each family to provide support and resources so that each child can succeed. During our time together we visited homes providing support to the parents and visited the children at school to see how they were doing. Sr. Anna Marie is responsible for Hispanic ministries at a local parish. She spends her time teaching classes, making home visits, and running a clothing pantry. I was able to help her prepare for her first communion class, work in the clothing pantry, and make some home visits with her. Sr. Becky works at a clinic in Terre Haute that serves individuals who do not have health insurance. The clinic Sr. Becky works at provides comprehensive services that include education for chronic diseases, mental health care, primary care, eye, and dental care. I went on a tour of this amazing clinic and then I assisted in the pharmacy.
Each of these experiences taught me a great deal more about what it means to be a Benedictine monastic woman. I learned that being rooted in a life of prayer and supported by a loving community provides the foundation to service our neighbors in God’s love. Although each ministry I visited was different, I was able to see my sisters living out their passions and our values in their daily ministries. This time that I spent sharing in my sisters ministries has made me grateful for my time in formation. It is a time when I am able to root myself in monastic life, learn about our values, live communal life, and grow in love. Once my roots have been firmly established I know that like my sisters I will be able to serve with my heart overflowing with love and in gratitude for my monastic community.
Saturday, April 10, 2010
The fifty days of Easter are such a gift of grace to us all. During these days, let us open our eyes to Christ's coming and may we share his presence with others.