I hope you all are enjoying your summer. We've had good weather at the motherhouse, so Sister Isabelle and I have gotten to play tennis a couple times, which is always fun. We now have three really good tennis rackets, because one of the sisters donated hers.
Everyone is full of anticipation and excitement for the upcoming arrival of the new postulants. If you are one of them, know that we pray for you, both as a community and individually, daily. Also, just in case you may feel nervous, it is totally normal to have "cold feet" right before a change from what you're used to. That's why there's a name for it! I literally had to go through the motions last year of walking onto the ferry to cross Lake Michigan, but once the ferry started moving, I thought I might as well stay on for the ride. I'm glad I did. The water was pretty deep.
I mentioned briefly in my last entry that as novices we spend Thursday afternoons volunteering at the Salvatorian Mission Warehouse, directed by Brother Regis, a Salvatorian. "Since 1968 The Salvatorian Mission Warehouse has been shipping tons of critical materials to needy villages around the world" (http://salvatorians.com/missionwh).
It is an awesome experience! We have a lot of fun putting the different items together to send them to different parts of our world, and we get to hear stories and see pictures from those on the receiving end. Sister Dolores has organized groups from our Motherhouse to go there for years.
This time, we organized "cut offs" from Land's End. The machines in the factory only use the fabric they need, and the rest is sent to us. We then ship the cut offs to people who live in third world countries, and they make them into clothes.
These are some finished clothes that people sent back to us to show how the cut-offs are used.
Later on, I was reading part of Pope Benedict's encyclical, God is Love, and he writes that "love for widows and orphans, prisoners, and the sick and needy of every kind, is as essential to [the Church] as the ministry of the sacraments and preaching of the Gospel. The Church cannot neglect the service of charity any more than she can neglect the Sacraments and the Word."
The Pope's message truly echoes Matthew's Gospel when Jesus says,
"Then the king will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me,naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.' Then the righteous will answer him and say, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?' And the king will say to them in reply, 'Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.' (Matthew 25: 34-40, NAB).
So it's cool to have another way to live the Gospel, as Saint Francis intended for Franciscans.