Friday, March 01, 2013

Life moves pretty fast
If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.
Ferris Bueller's Day Off 
(i.e. one of my favorite 80s movies)

March 1... March 1. ... Maybe if I keep repeating that, the reality will soak in...

Would it surprise any of you if I said I have no idea where February went? If you have tried to keep up with what's going on in my little corner of the world, then there's no way you could be surprised. 

In the course of the last month I have traveled from one coast to the other (within a 7 day period, actually), led two retreats, attended a conference, participated in a number of meetings, completed an interview for Vision Magazine, and tried to keep up with life at work, in community, and in vocations ministry. Needless to say, it was quite the month! Not just for me or for our community, but for our whole Church as we move into this time of transition. Oh, I forgot to mention... WE BOUGHT A HOUSE! Woo hoo!  

Today I am a little reflective about the month gone by. That is, what did I learn aside from the fact that it's probably not a good idea to go from New Jersey to California in a week....

1. There is a lot in my life for which to be grateful. Top among those are the people with whom I am blessed to share this journey. And even though my friends and family go weeks without hearing from me (in some cases, months!), I do not take them for granted. They keep me grounded... they pray for me (thank you!)... they help me laugh, to process, and in general help me stay faithful.

2. Were it not for prayer, I would be a crazy person by now. Perhaps I should say, I would be a crazier person. :) Each day I wake up at a ridiculously early time (by most people's standards). Why? If I don't spend time in personal prayer alone in the morning, I won't do it once the day gets started. This time of prayer gives me a focus... a grounding for my day. In response to someone's question about how much one should pray, St. Francis de Sales offered this word of advice, "Every Christian needs a half-hour of prayer each day, except when he is busy, then he needs an hour." To be fully honest with you, I do not spend an hour in the morning. However, I do recognize the need for a deeper prayer life when the externals of life are chaotic and/or busy. Otherwise, how would someone make it?

3. Being with the Marianist family ~ other vowed religious and lay Marianists ~ is very important to my sense of being a Marianist. No matter where I am or what I'm doing, working with other Marianists always seems right. I suppose another way to say it is, "I am because we are." When the Marianist family is working together in a common mission, ministry or endeavor it seems to me that it is the way it's supposed to be. 

4. Buying a house is a very involved and slightly stressful process. I lived on my own for several years before entering religious life, but I was a renter. Truth be told, I didn't mind apartment life, but my dad was always on my case about "throwing money away" and having nothing to show for it. Well, I am very glad that I didn't try to purchase a house when I lived alone ~ it's overwhelming! Thank you, God, for the fact that we are a community moving through this process and not just two Sisters left on their own (which brings me back to point #1).

5. Every change in the community creates a new community. In the past month, our community has seen a lot of change... and that's not going to change anytime real soon. One of our sisters, Mary Louise, moved to San Antonio. It's an odd thing not to have her around the house anymore. I could always count on her for a good laugh and playful (and often snarky) banter. She always "got" my sense of humor. Not only that, though, she is such a wise & practical presence. Then, just this past weekend, another of our sisters, Audrey, moved into assisted living at Mercy Siena - the same place to which the Marianist Brothers in the area retire. Audrey is a model for many of prayer, living the vow of poverty, and always seeking growth. So, to be without both of them is... different and I miss them. However, we also have Sisters Marcia and Estella living with us now at least for the next several weeks, which has been very good. Next week, a Brazilian Sister from our General Administration in Rome will move in with us while she studies English at the University of Dayton for a few months. Meanwhile, Marcia and I are soon to move into our new community to start our house of discernment - at which point, Estella will return to San Antonio. We're all about adaptation and change these days! And while change can be challenging and adaptation can be slow, it doesn't mean it's a bad thing. Good things are often challenging. That's my experience, anyway.

6. I am moved by the example set forth by Benedict, Pope Emeritus, stepping down from the Papacy. For me, this has been an extraordinary example of humility. I realize that opinions on his Papacy run the gamut,  but I would venture to say that few Catholics have not been effected by this almost unprecedented event. Let us continue to pray for our Church in this time of transition.

And so, there you have it. The past month in a nutshell. And while it was a full month, it was also a blessed month that was full of graced moments. I'm glad I stopped every once in a while to look around - otherwise I may have missed it.

Blessed Lent to you all!
Sr. N

1 comment:

Fr. Bob Jones, SM said...

Thanks for this post, Sister. I love it. And, yes, I think you get up at a ridiculously early time!