Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Lent 2011, Take Two

Lent is a time to continually die to self and to begin anew every day. I have come to that understanding more and more over the years and even more so since I have been here at the convent.

I began this Lent full force with a Lenten promise I made to God and myself. It lasted a week and a half. With other pressures/"priorities" the past couple of days, it has fallen away. I pray before I go to bed at night, and last night I realized that I was going to have to recommit myself, fully relying on the strength of Christ.

Now imagine my excitement at mass today, when we sang "Ashes," a song typically used on Ash Wednesday. "We rise again from ashes, to create ourselves anew." I sang this two weeks ago, ready to begin Lent. Singing it again today, I was not only comforted by our merciful Father, but even more inspired to start again.

Then I had to smile, because the third verse was so perfect for our snowy/rainy weather that we are having in Spring:
Then rise again from ashes,
let healing come to pain;
Though spring has turned to winter,
and sunshine turned to rain.
The rain we'll use for growing,
and create the world anew,
From an offering of ashes,
An offering to You.

May your Lent be a time of renewal, growth, and rising everytime you fall.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The People of Japan are on Our Hearts and in Our Prayers

If you are reading this from Japan, please know that at the Motherhouse we have been watching the news and praying for all of you throughout the day. Intentions are offered at our community prayer times as well. It is heart wrenching to think about all the lives affected by this disaster. God bless you and your loved ones.

Psalm 42 seems like a good prayer for this situation.

Psalm 42, New American Bible
"As the deer longs for streams of water, so my soul longs for you, O God.
My being thirsts for God, the living God. When can I go and see the face of God?
My tears have been my food day and night, as they ask daily,"Where is your God?"
Those times I recall as I pour out my soul, When I went in procession with the crowd, I went with them to the house of God, Amid loud cries of thanksgiving, with the multitude keeping festival.
Why are you downcast, my soul; why do you groan within me? Wait for God, whom I shall praise again, my savior and my God.
My soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember you From the land of the Jordan and Hermon, from the land of Mount Mizar.
Here deep calls to deep in the roar of your torrents. All your waves and breakers sweep over me.
At dawn may the LORD bestow faithful love that I may sing praise through the night, praise to the God of my life.
I say to God, "My rock, why do you forget me? Why must I go about mourning with the enemy oppressing me?"
It shatters my bones, when my adversaries reproach me. They say to me daily: "Where is your God?"
Why are you downcast, my soul, why do you groan within me? Wait for God, whom I shall praise again, my savior and my God."

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Spring Break at the Motherhouse

It is Spring Break at Silver Lake College! Since we have the week off of classes, we have been able to do a few extra fun things this week.

On Monday, everyone on the novitiate team went to the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help. "[The recent] declaration [of church approval] makes the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help at Champion the first and only Marian shrine in the United States that is on the site of an approved apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary" ( It is now on the same level as Fatima, Lourdes, and Guadalupe. It was so nice to go there and have a holy hour. Everyone enjoyed it. There was even a dog there that I made friends with.

Last night, the postulants invited us over to their homeroom for a Mardi Gras party. We first had a Mardi Gras parade in St. Rita's (health care center/infirmary), and later that night we headed back the the homeroom. We played a quick game of Skip-Bo, a few of us danced to Mardi Gras music, we hit a piñata that Rose made, we did the Limbo (Sr. Pamela Catherine won!), and ate paczkis and chips and salsa. It was a lot of fun!

It snowed last night and this morning, and it is perfect packing snow, so in a little bit, Sr. Pamela Catherine, Sr. Therese, and I are going to make a snowman! It will be Sr. Therese's first snowman, because there isn't any snow in Vietnam. We have been waiting for snow like this so that she can experience this timeless activity for people in colder climates.

Since it is Ash Wednesday, tonight we will have an "atmosphere of quiet" at the Motherhouse. After evening prayer, we will grab our "bag suppers" and eat on our own. We can spend the evening in prayer and go to bed early if we wish. I am looking forward to the time of solitude.

I hope that you find time to do something fun this week, even if you are not on Spring Break!

***Update: Here are the snowpeople that Sr. Therese, Sr. Pamela Catherine and I made! (Photo courtesy of Sr. Julie Ann)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Worth Viewing and Pondering

To continue last Wednesdays's reflection, I want to share with you all a powerful video that really says it all:

I have nothing more to add. God love you.