Saturday, July 28, 2012

The hand of the Lord feeds us; he answers all our needs.
Ps. 145
(Responsorial Psalm for Sunday July 29, 2012 - the 17th Sunday Odinary Time)

Every once in a while something strikes me. The Mass readings for a certain day will hit me as particularly appropriate for life at the moment. The readings for tomorrow are like that for me at this time - God provides what we need - sometimes in unexpected ways or when it seems impossible. Our God is a God of surprises, indeed.

I last blogged about 10 days ago. Since then I have been in Cleveland accompanying one of our sisters. Sr. Audrey has had a rough several years. Without going in to too much detail, she has had a mysterious ailment of the lungs and a series of infections that have been terrible. Earlier this summer she came back to Cleveland because of a recurrance. She had a number of surgical procedures and was in and out of ICU. After approx. 5 weeks in the hospital, she is now in a transitional care facility receiving physical therapy and nursing care. Many of the other sisters have been here with her during the summer - taking turns. When I leave in a few days I will have been here for a total of 2 weeks. And... surprisingly to me... the days have been full of grace.

That's what summer has been for me - a time of great grace. And sometimes grace comes in expected ways like when I'm on retreat (3 times this summer!) and sometimes graces surprises me like when I'm just being present to someone - or changing her socks - playing a game of UNO - or exchanging stories about life.

God gives us what we need - in abundance as the Gospel for tomorrow points out.

At the same time that I've been here in Cleveland, many of our sisters from around the world are gathered in Rome for our 31st General Chapter. There they are discerning the direction for our Congregation for the next 5 years.

A sister from my community, Sr. Laura, is there. And our Provincial, Sr. Gretchen, is there. However, she is no longer our Provincial as of a few days ago. She was elected to our General Administration (GA). Which means she is moving to Rome to serve the needs of our Congregation at large. Another one of our sisters, Sr. Estella, was serving on the GA for the past 10 years and will be coming home.

We knew Estella was coming home. Her 2 terms are up. However, Gretchen moving to Rome is quite the surprise. We know that the Spirit of God leads us and has led to this outcome. But exactly how things will unfold for us here in the U.S. is, as of yet, unclear. That is why the readings for tomorrow seem appropriate - God provides in abundance. We don't need to know the details of how. There is no need for doubt about that - even when things are unclear or something doesn't even seem possible. God finds a way.

Someone in my life - I can't remember who - says often (with a sly grin), "God's always up to something." Indeed! And I am thankful for that!

Many blessings to all who read this,
Sr. N

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