Friday, August 15, 2008

Go placidly amid the noise and haste 
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
Desiderata by Max Ehrmann

The Desiderata was the first poem I memorized my freshmen year at Monsignor Kelly High School. A copy was given to each person in my 8th grade class by our Language Arts teacher, Ms. Perry, as a graduation gift. There have been MANY times in life that I have reflected on this poem. However, never as much as in the past 2 weeks or so...

So, here I am in Dayton transitioning into a new job and a new way of being as a professed sister. Because of the craziness of my summer, I jumped into the new job having to "hit the ground running." No time for slow starts.

However, in the midst of all the meetings, orientation sessions, and unpacking/setting up an office, our campus ministry staff went on retreat for a day and a half. The theme of the retreat? Sabbath - the importance of Sabbath in our lives and how to take "Sabbath time" in the midst of busyness. (Sabbath as defined as special time with God... relaxing from the frantic pace of work... taking time away... etc.)

Can we say "perfect"?!

That day and a half of reflection was just what I needed. It tapped back into my first year of novitiate... It was during that time that my mantra was "Drink deeply from the well-spring of prayer, else the journey will be too long." 

The retreat also connected me back to the 8-day silent retreat I was blessed enough to have this summer before the busyness of the past 2 months set in (vows... home visit... Marianist LIFE... moving to Dayton... starting a new job...).... The theme of the 8-day retreat was also Sabbath.

Coincidence? I think not. I think it was providential, really.

While I was at our campus ministry retreat I made a list of "Sabbath activities"... things that I do that help me maintain balance and that are pretty close to non-negotiable. They are:
  • My morning routine: coffee, breakfast with the morning paper (or the archdiocesan paper), 20-30 minutes of quiet prayer... all before the rest of the house is awake
  • Reading (spiritual and otherwise)
  • Exercise 
  • Time spent on "key" relationships
  • Yearly retreat
  • Time to sing... (alone, typically) 
These are just a few things that help me tap into the "still, small voice of God." 

Let's pray that I can keep these in mind as the semester gets underway. I'm really looking forward to a great first semester at UD. And as long as I can "drink deeply from the well-spring of prayer" then I should have an open heart for the Spirit to work in & through me.

Many blessings to all who read this!
Sr. N

Saturday, August 02, 2008

I give thanks to my God at every remembrance of you,
praying always with joy in my every prayer for all of you,
because of your partnership for the gospel from the first day until now.
I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work in you
will continue to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus.
Philippians 1:3-6

So, I've come to realize, July is just not a good month for posting! Sorry I've been so out of touch! Rest assured that all is well... in fact, all is going very well... There is so much to say, I barely know where to start... and there is so much for which I am grateful...

First, let me say thank you to everyone who kept the Marianist LIFE South 2008 program in your prayers. It was an amazing experience. We had 82 high school students from San Antonio, Houston, Victoria, St. Louis, Miami and Los Angeles... along with about 25 adults gathered. I met some of the most faith-filled high school students I've met in a long time. There were many laughs, some tears, beautiful prayer experiences, and deep sharing. Being with these students was humbling and inspiring, really.

I also have to say that the adults (and young adults) were phenomenal... and I don't use that word lightly. They're such good people... kind, patient, prayerful, funny "as all get out," and great to be around. 

This was my first summer to serve as the regional coordinator for the M-LIFE South program. And it was an experience I will not soon forget. I learned a lot, had great times of prayer, and was inspired with hope. 

I could say more, but I'm really very tired...

I just arrived back in Dayton this evening. We finished M-LIFE South (the program and the evaluations) on Wednesday evening. I spent Thursday and Friday relaxing, doing laundry, and packing. Now that I'm here... I'm moving into a new bedroom (so I'm still surrounded by boxes!) and I will soon be moving into a brand new office at UD.

On Monday I will begin my new job as Campus Minister for Residence Life Ministry and Faith Formation. My office is in a residence hall with just under 1000 first year college students. There is a graduate assistant working with me. I think we'll work well together. We chatted for a while back in May, but haven't talked since (who's had time?). I'm sure we'll have time to get things in order before students start arriving....

Believe me, there is so much that I'd like to say. However, I'll leave it at that for now. All I can say to sum this up is that I am so grateful for the many ways God has blessed me in recent months... I'm filled with joy this evening (even in my lethargy...).

Many blessings to all who read this!
Sr. N