Monday, May 19, 2008

Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy.
Then it was said among the nations,
"The LORD has done great things for them."
Psalm 126:2

What a weekend! This past weekend I had the great opportunity to share in the first profession of vows of Marianist Brothers Tom Farnsworth and Luis Gamboa... what a joy-filled experience. The Lord has, indeed, done great things for them... and our mouths were filled with laughter and our tongues with songs of joy!

You may recall that I used to have a picture in my profile with myself and 2 guys. That was Tom and Luis... my cohort, if you will, in Marianist formation. Soon, I will join them in their new identity as professed religious...

It was a short trip for me back to Dayton... just slightly longer than 2 days. But, what a FULL weekend it was! It was a gathering of Marianists from all over the U.S. and the families and friends of Tom and Luis. There was a lot of laughter, some tears, and beautiful prayer.

I have to admit something, though. At one point in their Profession Mass, I completely "zoned out." Or, perhaps I should say, I became very focused. It was right when each of them were actually professing their vows. It was as if I had tunnel vision all of a sudden and the rest of the congregation wasn't there. I kept thinking... that'll be me... that'll be me... It was strange, sort of. Like a sort of overwhelming awe at the reality. Then I looked over at my friend Brandon, who is now officially a second year novice... I saw his tears and mine followed shortly thereafter.

Now I'm back in San Antonio... looking ahead to profession, but more importantly to the life that will follow... and reflecting on the life that has led to this point. I have to keep in mind that the Mass of Profession is just one day. The life of a religious goes on from there...

Blessings to all who read this!
Sr. N

Sunday, May 11, 2008

There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit;
there are different forms of service but the same Lord;
there are different workings but the same God
who produces all of them in everyone.
To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit.
1 Corinthians 12: 4-7

Happy Pentecost!

Today brings closure to the Easter Season... today marks the "birthday of the Church"... the coming of the Spirit ~ what a glorious reality! Today we celebrate the gift that the Spirit is for us, our Church and our world. And we pray that the Spirit's work continue ~ through us and through others.

I've been reflecting lately... truth be told, A LOT... but, since the Ascension, I've been focused on the gifts of the Spirit, the fruits of the Spirit and the fact that the vows to which I will publicly commit next month are themselves gifts of the Spirit.

The last line of the passage quoted above from today's second reading, "To each individual a manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit," is particularly striking to me today. For some benefit... So I ask myself, "why?" What benefit can come... will come... from the gifts of the Spirit... from the gifts of authentic poverty, chastity, obedience, and stability? Of course, this is assuming that I'm open to the action of the Spirit... for one has to be. That, in and of itself, though is a gift from God - the ability to be open.

Of course, these are most rhetorical questions. From this vantage point I can not begin to answer... for only God knows the fruits before they're born. I pray, though, that I might be open to all that the Spirit can do - in my life and in the lives of others. I pray that I might be open to the way the Spirit speaks through the people, circumstances and events in life. And I pray that the gifts of poverty, chastity, obedience, and stability might bear fruit...

On a different note... Please pray for a friend of mine from college. She had heart surgery late last week...

Many blessings to all who read this!
Sr. N

Sunday, May 04, 2008

After all, it is those who have a deep and real inner life
who are best able to deal with the irritating details of outer life.
Evelyn Underhill, Theologian & Mystic (1875-1941)

Wow. Has anyone ever read or seen this quote before? Well, I hadn't until this morning... and it sums up exactly what my thoughts are about the past few weeks...

Details... details... details...

Invitations printed - check
Invitations mailed - check
Outfit chosen - check

Daily meditation & prayer - check

Schedule for the weekend of vows - check
Menus planned - check
"Who's doing what" planned - check
Flowers - check

Daily meditation and prayer - check

Music for the Liturgy... communications about rehearsals... worship aid/program... organizing reply cards... DAILY MEDITATION AND PRAYER... call the caterer... choose a cake... check in with family coming into town... DAILY MEDITATION AND PRAYER...

And don't forget to reflect on the deeper meaning of what all this about!! - "God alone," as our Foundress, Venerable Adele de Batz de Trenquelleon, often said. Everything - for God's glory... to serve along side of Mary in bringing Christ to the world... a life commitment of poverty, chastity and obedience...

Parking?! Reserved signs?? Choir mics...

Details... details... and more details...

This stream of consciousness is "where I am" these days. It's only because of God's infinite grace that I'm not consumed with details (God's grace working through my Sisters, my family, my friends, my prayer life...).

One of our Founders, Blessed William Joseph Chaminade, said once, "The essential is the interior." That is my foundation. That is my sanity - the interior life. The rest? Unimportant details.

Many blessings to all who read this!
~Sr. N

By the way... I didn't mean to imply that spending time in prayer is just "something else" on my list of things to do! I was just trying to say that it's an essential part of the day... Just a clarification. :)