Monday, December 19, 2011
O Wisdom reminds us that Christ is the Word of God through whom all things are created.
O Adonai calls upon the Lord who spoke from the Burning Bush, telling Moses to lead his people to freedom.
O Root of Jesse speaks of Christ, born of the line of David; God born into the human family.
O Key of David refers to Christ who has the power to open all the prisons we find ourselves in, and to lock away all things that hinder us in our journey to God.
O Rising Dawn is the promise that even in our darkest times, Christ the Light of the World will shine forth.
O King of Nations looks forward to Christ's reign of justice and peace.
O Emmanuel brings us to Bethlehem, to that moment in history when Christ became a human being.
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
|Susan being welcomed as a|
Postulant by our Prioress,
Sr. Juliann Babcock
For this reason prayer ought to be short and pure, unless, perhaps it is lengthened by the inspiration of divine grace. At the community exercises, however, let the prayer always be short, and the sign having been given by the Superior, let all rise together. (RB 20)
As I got ready for bed this Monday night, I was a little bit sore. I had been physically active during the last few days. I helped setup and take down a benefit fashion show and luncheon to support the retreat center, Benedict Inn. I went to clean the house that I have up for sale in Fishers, IN. On Monday morning, I was gathering and doing laundry for housekeeping. Just as I have been physically active, I have been exercising some new and rusty spiritual muscles. As I mention in my previous postcard, Postulancy is like being at base camp for a long mountain climbing expedition. One focus at base camp is physical training. For me and my fellow climbers (the Sisters), it is Cross training, spiritual exercising or prayer. Daily, as a community, we have Morning and Evening prayer (Lauds and Vespers) along with Mass. There is also Mid-Day prayer on weekdays and Saturday before lunch. They are scheduled team practices where we support each other by our presence and praying in one voice. Everyone also does private weight lifting training. I do night prayer (Compline) on my own which includes an exam of conscience. Individually (but sometimes as a group ), we do Lectio Divina or reflective Scripture reading. That is a postcard in itself. I also take some time to reflect each morning and night in my room or cell. As we are strengthening our relationship with God, we are also praying for our benefactors, family, friends and the cares of the world. Prayer builds that faith and trust in God or those anchors and lines that I mention in my first postcard. Peace, Postulant Susan Rakers P.S. Wednesday, I had my baptism of flour from the industrial size mixer in the kitchen as I was trying to making a large batch of Snickerdoodle cookies. I learned not to try mixing in 22 cups of flour all at once. It took me a half of an hour to clean up the mess.
Friday, September 30, 2011
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
The season of Fall is upon us. Our grove is showing signs of letting go as some trees are beginning to lose their green. Outside my office window I have the view of a tree that is already turning red. What a sight and what a spiritual lesson on letting go. Here's a photo of our cemetery last Fall.
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Monday, June 6, 2011
Sunday, May 15, 2011
Friday, May 13, 2011
Thursday, May 5, 2011
Thought you might enjoy seeing a couple of videos. One is of the goslings exploring the world around them. The other is of Mama and Papa processing from our retreat center towards our monastery to the sound of our bells. It is almost as if they are making a procession to the chapel.
Enjoy! We certainly have enjoyed them.
Sunday, April 24, 2011
"Brightness of beauty, gleaming of glory. Morning Star, rise in our hearts!
Lamp ever burning sun never setting, Star of the Universe shine!
Light breaks forth, empty the tomb. Jesus Christ with us living, giving.
Rise we from slumber to Easter splendor, Daystar dawning."
Each time we sing it, I feel such gratitude for the gift of salvation. Our God lives!
|Our Lady of Grace Easter Garden|
Friday, April 22, 2011
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Sunday, April 10, 2011
Sunday, March 20, 2011
Sunday, March 6, 2011
Thursday, March 3, 2011
We had a wonderful surprise this week when Bishop Paul Etienne, the Bishop of Cheyenne, WY, celebrated Mass with us on Monday evening. How did Bishop Paul end up being at our monastery on a Monday evening, you might ask? Well, he happens to be Sr. Nicolette's brother and a long time friend of our community. He has been in town all week for Bishop Christopher's ordination. It was wonderful to have him with us. He is a great person and a humble and holy servant of God. (The picture is of Bishop Paul and his sister, Sister Nicolette, at Bishop Paul's ordination.)
Friday, February 18, 2011
Friday, February 4, 2011
There were 6 sisters from our community who went (there were supposed to be 8 but 2 sisters got sick). We actually have 18 sisters under the age of 55 but some couldn't go this time because of other responsibilities.
Sisters who went from our community:
Sr. Jennifer Mechtild, Sr. Maureen Therese, Sr. Susan Marie, Sr. Sheila Marie, Sr. Pamela Kay and Sr. Cathy Anne.
Sisters who attended from the Federation of St. Gertrude - Our Lady of Grace Monastery belongs to this federation.
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
This past weekend, we received a new Affiliate to our Community. As I was waiting with our Sisters in the lobby, I couldn’t help but reflect back on the day that I became an Affiliate nearly 11 years ago. I had been discerning my vocation to religious life and was spending some time at Our Lady of Grace Monastery, learning about and experiencing Benedictine monastic life and getting to know some of the Sisters here. One day, I was telling my story to Sr. Catherine, one of our Senior Sisters. When I was finished, she pondered a bit, and said to me, “I think you are ready.” So, she walked with me down the hall to Sr. Joan Marie’s office (Vocation Director at the time) and then she got on the elevator.
I know Sr. Catherine was praying for me as I stood on the threshold of my future life. I stepped into Sr. Joan Marie’s office, took a deep breath, and before I would run out of courage, I told her that I would like to become an Affiliate of this Community. As we began planning the next steps, I felt a slight panic. What was I doing? My whole life could change if I pursued this call that I felt deep in my heart. I told her, “I feel really reckless right now.” “How do you think Simon and Andrew felt when Jesus called them?” was her response. I felt in good company then, and a deep peace in taking this first step toward the rest of my life. Actually, I knew deep down, as those early disciples of Jesus must also have known, that my heart had been “seized by Christ.” I could make no other choice than to follow him.
My spiritual director at the time had been helping me to understand that Christ was laboring within me to lead me to where I would find union with him. On the evening of my Affiliation ceremony, I had this image of Christ riding on a stationary bike (laboring within me). For a brief moment, Christ stopped pedaling, raised his hands off the bars, rejoiced that I had taken this first step, and returned to his pedaling – he knew he still had a lot of labor to do on my behalf. In the weeks and months that followed, I received a profound grace to prepare to begin my life here at Our Lady of Grace Monastery. Christ’s labor within me and God’s love, grace and mercy continues to keep me here as a Sister of St. Benedict.
During this National Vocations Awareness Week I thank God for the gift of my vocation and for the abundance of blessings I continue to receive as I strive to follow God’s will. I know for certain that God cannot be outdone in generosity. And, I am continually encouraged by a saying that appeared on a bookmark that my mother gave me on the day I entered: “The will of God will never take you where the grace of God cannot keep you.”