Sunday, October 24, 2010

Old Testament Musings

Sister Mary Ann (one of the vocation directors AND my Old Testament professor) promised me that if I wrote about her class in my blog, she wouldn't read it. So here goes...

The class had been incredibly enlightening, and has changed the way I view the Old Testament. It has been nice to delve deeper into the stories. Of course not everyone has access to a College Old Testament class, but I would recommend purchasing The Catholic Study Bible, and reading the study guides at the beginning and the footnotes at the bottom of the pages.

Today I read the book of Ruth, and to be honest, I never read it until today. It is totally awesome. It's only four chapters, so you could read it in one sitting, and the love of the characters for each other are so inspiring. It reminded me of my favorite poem:

i carry your heart with me by e.e. cummings
i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart) i am never without it (anywhere
i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)
i fear
no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) i want
no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

I hope you all find time to read and reflect on the book of Ruth. I daresay it's now my favorite book of the Old Testament. If you don't have a Bible, you can read it by clicking here.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

What a Great Day!

I am truly inspired by the FAITH, HOPE, and CHARITY of the miners in Chile! They are major role models for the world! It is so refreshing to have good news! Also, with all the bad press the Catholic Church has been getting over the years, they are a light in the darkness. God bless them, and thank you God for bringing them safely to their families. Wow, I am just so amazed by their fraternity and their faith!

Associated Press News Article: All 33 miners are safely rescued! (Or 34, because the miners say that God is their 34th miner, except He was instrumental in the rescuing!)

ABC World News Video: High Praise for Chile's Leader as Miners Rescued:
Diane Sawyer talks to Chile's President Sebastian Pinera about mine rescue.

I was privileged to watch two of the miners get rescued on the internet today. It was awesome! I am so grateful to God for these wonderful men! God bless them and their families continuously! I am excited to learn more about their stories.

I don't have a lot to update on my own life right now, because personally, I am just excited about the rescue. I am so grateful that my community makes an effort to know what is going on in the world, and lets us read about the events/watch them happen online.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Enjoying the weather....

I hope the weather has been pretty decent where you live. It seems Mother Nature has been pretty fierce this year, yet we haven't treated her too well either....

It's been a beautiful (and warm for October) weekend in Northeastern Wisconsin. Sister Natalie, Sister Pamela Catherine and I were able to take down our patio garden, "Therese's Terrace". It was a lot of work, but I think we all enjoyed it. It was also nice to have accomplished all that.

I got to play tennis with two of the postulants, Holly and Lindsey, yesterday, so that was fun. A lot of people were outside.

We also spent 3 days celebrating Sister Pamela Catherine's birthday. :) It takes awhile to eat the cake, so that's another reason to continue the celebration! We started it with watching Letters to Juliet, which happened to be the movie they played in the cafeteria for our bag-supper night. It was a cute movie, but there was a really cheesy line at the end of it...

So we've been having fun. I'm getting ready for my Old Testament midterm this Wednesday. If you are a student, I will add to my prayers for your tests, too!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

An Interfaith Dialogue and a Community Art Project

Over the the past two weekends I have had visits from my family. (My mom and dad are divorced, so I see them at separate times: Dad and Ginny one weekend, Mom the next. My siblings are also able to come if they are able, but they had schedule conflicts this time.) Both weekends were wonderful, good times to visit and share.

This past weekend, while I was waiting for my mom to arrive on the Badger car ferry, which is actually more like a ship, I had a delightful conversation with an Amish family (except the husband/father was not with them). We talked about our shared love for simplicity, our hobbies, our daily prayer, the importance of community/family life, and the misunderstandings of the world about our way of life. I learned a great deal about Amish community, or at least the community of the people I met, as all communities are different.

I asked what book they'd recommend for further study of Amish life. They said that they couldn't think of a single book, actually. Most of them are written by people who used to be Amish and therefore have had unhappy experiences with being Amish. For instance, many have written about domineering fathers, which has left society with an impression that the Amish have rigid, domineering fathers. In actuality, personalities differ within the Amish community just as they differ within the rest of society. The family I was talking with said that they have a gentle, loving, and playful husband/father. Just like some Christians give ALL other Christians a bad name, and some Muslims give ALL other Muslims a bad name, it is also true that some Amish give ALL other Amish a bad name.

Other things they shared:
-They use modern machinery for milking their cows.
-Even though they don't watch TV, they read the newspaper daily and are well aware of what is going on in the world.
-They hire a driver when they have to travel further than a horse and buggy will take them.
-The men grow a beard when they get married. They don't wear wedding rings, because there is already an invisible bond.
-They enjoy singing together.
-They want the commitment to be Amish to be a voluntary one, so they don't have infant baptism, and people are free to leave.
******Every Amish community is different, so it's important not to assume that all Amish do these things.

Please pray for this family. They are trying to sell their house so they can live closer to other Amish families. The son is temporarily in Michigan working to help support the family back in Wisconsin. (He is home for a visit.)

Of course, this was a dialogue, and I also shared with them about what it is like to be a sister. Interestingly, the mom had the same concern that I had had about the Amish. She wanted to know if I am free to leave, because she thought that once I entered I was roped in. I shared with her that I am in a time of discernment and am free to leave at any point for the next 5 to 9 years, when I will take final vows. After final vows, if I would want to leave, I would have to go through the pope. I told the mom that I had thought the same about the Amish.

What a lovely family! It was a fascinating dialogue!

Some other excitement this weekend was the Feast of Saint Francis. We had a beautiful Transitus ceremony on the evening of Sunday, October 3rd. You can read more about it here and see pictures from it.

Then on October 4th, his feast day, we had a fun social where we had a community art project. We were divided into 9 groups to make collages for the Canticle of the Creatures, by St. Francis of Assisi. (One group did a collage of Brother Sun, another of Sister Water, another of Mother Earth, and so forth...) These collages were on large puzzle pieces. that we fit together in a prayer service. The St. Rita's (infirmary) Sisters were there as well, and it was nice to visit with them.

Here is our completed Canticle of the Creatures puzzle:
(The date on the picture is wrong.)

I hope you all had a blessed Saint Francis Day!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Chastity Force

As I had written in an earlier entry, I wrote for another website that my friends David and Amanda run for their Chastity Force program. So as much as I love writing in this blog, I get to be a little lazy this time and put a link to their blog. (Let's just say I worked ahead!) ;)

Click Here to read the entry.

Click Here for the rest of their blog.

Click here for their main website.

Also, Amanda has a beautiful music video that just came out, and it is about chastity:

The city that the video was filmed in is Grand Rapids, Michigan, and the parish is St. Francis of Assisi Parish.