Alleluia!!!

Image result for alleluia easterThis morning, at Mass, I was struck by the continuing omnipresence of the word “alleluia” in the liturgies of the Easter season.  Even though our society put those chocolate bunnies on sale weeks ago, the Church knows better and still fully immersed in this season of joy and praise.

I find it interesting that even verses with seemingly little connection to this “A word,” abolished during Lent, now end with Alleluia, exhorting us to “praise the Lord” (English translation of the word).

So, we might ask, why do we end the majority of our antiphons and liturgical proclamations with “alleluia,” “praise the Lord,” for over a month and a half, through Pentecost?

Is there a lesson for us?

I think so!  God has done truly amazing things for us…At Easter, we celebrate the marvelous mystery of Christ’s resurrection, His conquering of sin and death.  This truly merits our praise!

The ongoing prolific alleluias also might serve as a reminder for our daily lives, not only during Easter, but throughout the year, that we should be in the habit of giving thanks and praise.

Just as we exclaimed “alleluia” at least three times during the course of a ordinary Easter weekday Mass (though who can call the Mass ordinary?), we would do well to say it repeatedly in our hearts throughout the day!

Regardless of what the other words of the verses are about at Mass, we so often end them with “alleluia” during this joyous Eastertide; how much more should I lift my heart in praise, regardless of (or because of) the circumstances that surround me.

Alleluia!!!

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Dignity of Women

aaWhen I had just finished college, I was a volunteer publicity assistant for our parish’s Council of Catholic Women.

One major undertaking I had in this role was creating a newsletter for the group, which we called Mulieris Dignitatem (Dignity of Women), drawing its name from JPII’s document on “the Dignity and Vocation of Women.”  It featured recent undertakings and events from the group’s members.

Now, years later, having started a group for area Catholic women to support each other in our faith, I find my mind drifting back to this important concept, so totally misunderstood in modern society.

As I try to figure out who will speak at next month’s gathering and what the topic will be, I am drawn to the possibility of a brief reflection on our call and dignity of women within the Church.  (I say “brief” because the speaker only has about 25 minutes allotted.)

Unfortunately, during the past several decades, with the laudable pursuit of respect and equality, a lot of women have become confused about what it means to be a woman, about what our wonderful, God-given role is, after all.

I think that preparations for upcoming meetings may be a good refresher course for me, personally, about the dignity and vocation each of us has as a woman within the Church.

In closing this little post, I find it fitting that our monthly gathering, entitled “Magnificat Morning” points to Mary, even in its name.

Who, better than she, can show us what it is like to be a woman of faith?

Mary, who first brought Christ to the world, can be a model to us, helping us to bring Him to those we meet each day.

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Which One?

imageedit_15_6499401804.jpgToday is a day of ambiguities, you might say.

This morning, for Morning Prayer, I was surprised that we used the full Office of St. Joseph; this celebration of St. Joseph the Worker is just an optional memorial.

Then, we went to Mass, and Father did not observe the memorial at all, simply using the Wednesday of the second week of Easter, another surprise!

The Mass to be attended was another instance of options and decisions.  There was a special Mass with the school children including a May Crowning, celebrated by the Bishop.  I had wanted to attend, but it didn’t work out with my schedule so we went to the early morning Mass instead.

And the ambiguity of my day continues….

I could ask myself today, what is my job title?  Am I a receptionist?  Am I involved in social ministry?  Am I a personal care aide?  Today, I’ll be all three, with another meeting in between and will finish my day at the reception desk again!  (I’ll be filling in for a sick aide/receptionist after my regular work duties.)

It will be an interesting day, I’m sure.  Who knows what other little ambiguities and challenges will come up?!

joseph-statue.jpgI pray that St. Joseph, the Worker, will intercede for me in all of it.

A Colorful Time!

The Paschal Triduum is always a beautiful time for me, but after the Easter Vigil (or, to be frank, during it), I am exhausted!!

There are so many things going on: helping with liturgies, special cleaning projects (candle holders, etc.), and continuing traditions that help make this time of year so special.

As we were discussing roles for the liturgies during these holy days, somehow the topic of “reading the red print” came up.  There is a lot of red print, that is text giving liturgical directives in the “Roman Missal” (the book used by the priest), during these days.

Even after having helped with Holy Week liturgies for several years, I still don’t remember everything.  There is a LOT to remember.  Thankfully, we’ve developed a “cheat sheet” here at St. Anne’s as to all that needs to be prepared, and even where certain needed items are kept.  It’s great! Needless to say, during the past week (or more), I’ve been reading a lot of colored text, or red print, as we say.

But, that’s not the end of my colorful experiences!

Good Friday evening, after finishing up my work in chapel, I went to our activity room kitchen and boiled 3 dozen eggs.  Holy Saturday afternoon, some residents gathered, and we dyed the eggs together.

I really love all these paschal traditions; they are so beautiful, just like the sparkling candles, flower-laden sanctuary, and colorful eggs.  These traditions help us “taste and see” the wonder of these holy days, the depth of which I feel I have barely touched.

Well, I’d better get to work now practicing the music for this morning’s Mass.

Happy Easter, everyone!

They’re Still There!!!

Today, having heard that the temperature was to get up to 60, I was finally able to get out in the yard and uncover my “little trees.”  Our maintenance man, Jasen, and I had planted them last fall, surrounding them with leaves for added protection, and covered them with pails for the winter.

Now, as spring appears to be here (I’d better not hold my breath), it is time to let my little seedlings see the sun.

They are so tiny that you can hardly see them, but they’re still there!

The sun is not too strong yet, but it should be increasing.  Hopefully, when warmer days come, my “little trees” will start soaking in the sun…Hopefully, within a few weeks, I can see some green, some new life!

I think there are some lessons for my own life in these little seedlings!

 

 

“See, I am Doing Something New!”

54520973_334990403789419_634626085643878400_nThis morning, as I was reflecting on the readings for today’s Mass, I was struck by a message that was repeated in both the first reading (Isaiah) and the epistle (Philippians):

“Remember not the events of the past,
the things of long ago consider not;
see, I am doing something new!”

~ and ~

“Just one thing: forgetting what lies behind
but straining forward to what lies ahead,
I continue my pursuit toward the goal,
the prize of God’s upward calling, in Christ Jesus.”

I have been praying about a difficult situation, asking for some change, some relief.  It was interesting that both of these readings seemed to lend me some promise of the “newness” for which I have been asking.

Might God be doing “something new” in me, in my life?  Time will tell!  In the meantime, I guess I’m called to renewed trust, to renewed love, each day.

As we see the snow recede and enjoy the ability to go outside without a winter jacket, this sense of anticipation, of new life just on the horizon, touches our physical world as well.

I pray that these final weeks of Lent and the coming festivities of Easter may be a time of renewal for you and for me as we daily seek His “upward calling.”

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Save Some for Next Year

IMG_20171220_124851.jpgI came over to the convent this afternoon to tie up a few loose ends (including checking email and brushing my teeth) before starting my shift at the reception desk.  I would not be off again until ten.

While I was here, I decided to look for an item Sr. Elaine had offered to me, stating it was in her top drawer.  Happily, I found it without too much effort.  At this point, the thought crossed my mind of switching her drawers around as an April Fools trick.  Instead, I admonished myself to “save some for next year.”

Throughout this day, I have been up to a bit of mischief, here and there.  I suppose you might say I am acting more like a child than a grown woman, but oh well, April 1st comes but once a year.

Having done my research for fresh (and harmless) April Fools tricks, I have been victimizing others at St. Anne’s by:

  • Putting a piece of tape on the computer mouse sensor so it doesn’t work
  • Drawing (realistic-looking) spiders down the toilet paper roll (using a sharpie for the head and  fine felt [or regular] pen for the legs works best)
  • Distributing old copies (from various extra copies from months and years gone by) of our monthly newsletter to residents – instead of the current issue (which will go out tomorrow)

I have a couple of other ideas in mind for next year!  I’d love to share, but I don’t dare – someone might read this and remember it on April 1st of 2020.

In the meantime, I have to hope that no one notices the specks of black marker on my hand, left behind from the toilet paper trick.  I want them to be surprised to see the spiders! 🙂

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I Guess I’m a Franciscan!

I will preface this reflection by stressing that I mean no disrespect to any members of other traditions; I am not saying that, within this “universal church” to which we belong, one Rule of life is superior to another.

With that being said, I came to a greater appreciation of my own spirituality this past week, spending a couple of days at the lovely University of Mary in Bismarck.  I had not grasped before the strong Benedictine presence on that campus, although a couple of my aunts had graduated from there.

We had been invited to the campus to take part in the fourth annual “Vocations Jamboree,” an opportunity for which I was very grateful.  We even got to stay in amazing guest rooms on campus; the virtue of hospitality was definitely evident there!

Wednesday morning, I found my way to a little chapel in which to have my morning visit with my Beloved.  I was so thankful; one never knows if a chapel and/or time for prayer will be available at special events such as this.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPart of my Lenten practice this year is trying to make the Stations of the Cross each day.  I really cherish this special form of prayer which brings us more deeply into meditation on our Lord’s sufferings.  Thus it was that, after finishing my half hour of meditation on the scriptures, my eye searched the walls of the small oratory, looking for plaques of the Stations.  There were none.

I think of Dorothy, in The Wizard of Oz, who said:  “Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.”  I was not in a Franciscan house anymore…

Other aspects of the chapels there reinforced this realization for me, including but not limited to, the monastic style positioning of the pews.  (Again, I want to stress that I am not saying that one way is better than another.)

Being immersed in the Benedictine spirituality, which is somewhat foreign to me, brought me to the conclusion that I really am a Franciscan.

Actually, St. Francis’ three great devotions, to Christ in the Crib, on the Cross, and the Eucharist, have been key to my spirituality since childhood.

There are pictures of me as a toddler sitting before the manger set (the stable was built by my dad and the ceramic statues painted by my mom), absorbed in the scene.  In fifth grade, I was part of a living stations-type performance, acting as a woman of Jerusalem.  I also remember fondly attending Friday evening Stations of the Cross at our parish church.

I remember a evening in (5th grade??) CCD (Religious Ed.) class, when our teacher took us into the new Adoration chapel, and introduced us to how to visit Jesus there.  (This was to become the place I first experienced my call to religious life almost ten years later.)

With all of this, it’s no wonder I ended up in a community following St. Francis’ way of living the gospel.

However, it wasn’t until late in my process of “searching for the right place” that I became open to the possibility of a Franciscan community.

But, that’s another story altogether!

No Hands Went Up

20180719_205946.jpg

It was a beautiful Wednesday evening in mid-October when a first-time mother put her little baby in the car seat, and drove a mile to the school building where the seventh grade religious education class she was teaching was to meet.

As she entered the classroom, the students saw the infant, gathered around, and were eager to take turns holding the four-month old baby girl.  They fussed over the child, admiring with delight how little and sweet she was.

In the past two classes, the topic of abortion had come up in class discussions; some of these thirteen year-olds thought that it was alright for a woman to terminate her pregnancy, to end her unborn child’s life with an abortion, at least in certain cases.

Now, when class began, she, the teacher, asked for a show of hands of who thought an abortion was okay.  Over half of the hands went up.

The young mother decided to help the students, tangibly, to look at the issue in a new way.

She went on to explain that this little baby had just been diagnosed, the week before, with a vision impairment; her optic nerves were underdeveloped.  She and her husband did not know how much (if any) the baby would be able to see.

The class was speechless.

20180719_205946.jpgAfter more discussion, in closing, the young mother asked for a new show of hands as to how many students thought abortion was okay.  No hands went up this time.

I share this story now, having heard it from my mother over the years, for I am that “little baby.”  My life could have been terminated if those advocating selective abortion had their way.

With recent legislation, in some areas, which does not respect the dignity of the life of the unborn, I felt it was appropriate to share my connection with the issue.

Although I have had to deal with the challenges of impaired vision through the years, it definitely has not deprived my life of meaning.  I am so grateful that I have had the opportunity to live, an opportunity denied to so many children of recent generations.

Now, I work in a care facility, serving Christ in our residents who need a caring home, people whose lives are not always seen as valuable.  Many of them are elderly and closer to the end of their lives.  I feel privileged to be able to help them, recognizing the dignity and value of each life.

Sr. Christina M. Neumann, OSF

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Rhubarb in the Snow

20180719_205946What an interesting day…and it’s not over yet!!

Where do I begin???  For a few days, now, we’ve been hearing that a snowstorm is coming this weekend, but no one really knew how much of this white stuff was on the way.  With well over 60 inches already this season, the streets have become quite narrow.

I normally like to walk, but it’s not really a safe option anymore, until the “spring thaw” hist, whenever that will be.  Consequently, I caught a ride to Mass this evening; I had been on duty as the a.m. receptionist and unable to go earlier.

I came back, walking in the door just as the other Sisters were clearing the dishes.  I grabbed some soup, and headed in the chapel to join them for vespers and our weekly rosary for vocations.

After prayer, I headed to the activity room kitchen, a place I had spent a bit of time just the day before, to make some rhubarb sauce.

This culinary delight, though now out of season, is a favorite of our visiting sister, and so I planned to make a big batch to last the two weeks that she’ll be here helping out.

I could not make all of the rhubarb into sauce because I only had a limited amount of sugar.  However, I did manage a batch of 24 cups of rhubarb (with the almost four remaining cups of sugar), a little water, the remaining raspberry jello and syrup I had.

Despite the fact that I was really “scraping the bottom of the barrel,” it turned out to be delicious (if I do say so myself).

As I was turning off the stove, doing dishes, and wiping off the counters, I learned that one of our night shift workers (who lives a distance away) would not be able to make it in to work tonight.  Our dear receptionist was doing her best at trying to find a replacement.  After a busy day, and another one coming, I was not eager to work the night shift this time.

To help quicken the cooling process so I could go home and get a little rest before the night shift began at 10, I took my pot out and set it in the snow near the building.

I came back inside, and soon saw one of our apartment residents, who had helped cut up many a stalk of rhubarb (during its season).  I couldn’t help but offer her a little jar.

As I spooned the sauce into the jar, I realized that it was still too hot to pour into my plastic containers.  Outside I went again…this time, further out, where lightly falling flakes were still falling.

Soon the sauce was a bit cooler and safe to pour into containers.

It’s now a quarter after nine, and the phone just rang…one of my co-workers will be in at 10:30 tonight, so my “night shift will only be a half an hour long.

I’ll be glad to go to bed for some sleep after a very interesting day, complete, even, with rhubarb in the snow.

We’ll see what tomorrow brings!

“Fast for Those Who Persecute You”

This afternoon, upon arriving at the reception desk for my shift, I took care of a few things, and picked up a book I’d found in our chapel library on The Faith of the Early Fathers.

I opened, and to my delight, found that it included The Didache, a very early teaching document with which I had become acquainted years before.  I thought it would be “fun” (pardon the flippant expression) and also edifying to read something from so early in our faith, so “close to the sources,” you might say.

I hadn’t been reading long when a phrase really caught my interest.  The passage  sounded very familiar, echoing almost word for word the message from the gospels on love for enemies, and the like.

The particular instruction that struck me was new to me, however: “Fast for those who persecute you.”

Wow!!  With the beginning of Lent just around the corner, and with myself struggling with a few people in my life, this one hit the nail right on the head!

Hammer by NicholasJudy567Although I am not sure what all of my Lenten practices will consist of, I am glad for the new inspiration of offering deeds of penance for those very people who I find difficult.

I think this may be a very good way for me to practice “love of enemies” and, also, perhaps to soften my attitude towards people who the gospel challenges me to love.

From Sister Regina-Maria

Sr Regina-Maria 2015 tomatenHello!  I am Sr. Regina-Maria.

I live in Bavaria, Germany. I am a member of the Franciscans of Dillingen at the Regens-Wagner province.

I am 35 years old and live with one another sister in Absberg near the Brombachsee, a wonderful lake.

We have here one of fifteen institutions for disabled people of Regens-Wagner; I work at the “Müßighof.”

In the middle of the 19th century, the spiritual guide of our community was the priest Johannes Wagner. He was also director of the seminary.

In German we use the title “Regens,” so he was called Regens Wagner. He saw the poor disabled children and people and the need to help them. He saw that they are not stupid, but are misunderstood by the other people.  He asked the Dillingen Franciscans to help them.

So the Dillingen Franciscans gave the disabled people work and a home, and the priest Regens Wagner became their “father.” Regens Wagner and the Dillingen Franciscans founded the institutions for the disabled people.

In 1973, the German province got divided in three provinces because we were so many sisters!

The sisters who worked in the disabled institutions got one province and it got the name of the priest Johannes Wagner. For a long time only Sisters and the disabled people were in the institutions. Later also secular employees have came to work with us. Now we have about 5000 employees and 90 Sisters in the Regens Wagner Province.

We have kindergartens and schools for the disabled people; they work in special workshops, and often they live in the institutions.  Sometimes they live at their parents home and come here to work. We have special workshops for the disabled people so they can be challenged and given a chance to grow, so they can do all they are able to do! This is the task of the employees!

Where I work is a organic working farm with a shop and a small restaurant.  My workplace is the shop. We sell our own produced organic vegetables, but also many other food from other small family businesses! It is important for us to know our suppliers and manufacturers. We prefer regional and seasonal things.

I make the orders and sell at the cash desk. I love it to work here, to know
the customers. To meet the tourists who come to us at the Brombachsee  Lake in summertime for their vacation – and to the Müßighof.

The people like to do their shopping here, too. They say there is a special
atmosphere.  Not so much stress like in the city… it is like vacation in
everyday life!  First go shopping, then drink a cup of coffee… and then watch
the animals with the kids. We have donkeys, alpacas, hens, roosters, cows, cats,
horses, goats, rabbits, peacock and peafowls, ducks and geese.

At the shop, in the small restaurant, and at the farm, disabled people also work.
This is our passion. We are here for the disabled people, to help them at their
daily life and work.

When you are in Germany, it would be nice if you would visit me at the
Müßighof!

_DSC0237_Fotor_DSC0929 (003)

Müßighof_Fotor

Pax et bonum
Sr. Regina-Maria

Imitating Christ in Poverty

pasted_imageEach month, as we have our day of recollection, I try to devote a few moments to “considering how I live poverty,” as our directives suggest we do frequently.

Spending most of my day at St. Anne’s, a home for the elderly and disabled, the scope of this poverty is a bit more limited; we eat what our residents eat, we share their living space.  We reap many of the benefits of the nice home we provide for them.

Nonetheless, I have vowed poverty, in loving imitation of Christ, who for our sake became poor.  I have to ask myself, how can I live poverty?  How do I live it?

Our Rule, in fact, exhorts us that we should “never want anything else under heaven.”

So, how do I, as a twenty-first century Franciscan woman religious, live poverty?

This is a question for me every day, but the answers are not always easy.  Clarity is sometimes hard to come by.

Nonetheless, I might ask myself in this “frequent evaluation” of my life of poverty: Do I use resources unnecessarily?  Do I get by with what I really need or do I make it a point to have every thing I really want?  Do I have all the modern conveniences, to make life easy for myself?

Do I tell myself: “This is normal; everyone else in our society does/has this,” or do I hold myself to the poverty to which I am called by my vocation?

Do I keep my eyes on Jesus, and live poverty in loving imitation of Him, or do I lose my focus?

These are all important questions as I strive to follow Jesus faithfully.

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You Are My All in All

Since I’m suffering from a bad case of “writer’s block,” I thought I’d share this Valentine’s post from a couple of years ago.

Our Franciscan Fiat

stannesI planned a special lesson for our Bible Study this morning since this Tuesday’s gathering with our residents landed on the very morning of Valentine’s Day itself.

I used readings from 1 Corinthians 13, 1 John, and other love-related passages, including the greatest commandment as outlined in Mark’s gospel.  I thought it would be nice to point out to our residents, amidst all the superficial hearts and flowers, the true meaning and call of love.

We talked about Jesus’ call to “love one another as I have loved you,” about how and to what extent He loved us.  In light of this selfless, life-giving love “even to death on a cross,” we reminded ourselves that our love cannot know selfish limits.

As is often the case, this morning’s resident Bible Study included singing.  I had picked a couple of songs that seemed apropos for Valentine’s Day, including “Down in My…

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Our Lady’s Bugs

pasted_image.pngIf you take a good look around St. Anne’s at any time of year, you might notice a ladybug or two.  At certain times, a collection of various ladybug-themed objects is even displayed in our activity room’s glass case.

You may wonder how so many ladybugs were acquired.

Sr. Elaine, who works in our business office, somehow took a liking to these colorful little insects (or more properly, we might say, to representations thereof).  She has commented to this effect.

Since this became known, people have enjoyed giving her various ladybug objects, from salt and pepper shakers to lawn ornaments to dust pans to even a pail (to name just a few).

Little did she (or the givers) know that the name given to ladybugs has a very interesting history.

Although the facts are not all clear, legend has it that a scourge of small insects (probably aphids) was threatening to devastate the crops somewhere in medieval Europe.  The people prayed, asking Mary’s help against the pests.  After this, a lot of beetle-like insects came, saving the crops from the invaders.  These insects, which came to be known as ladybugs, had a red shell with seven black spots.

In art of the time, Mary was often depicted wearing a red cloak.  Also, the faithful remember her seven sorrows and seven joys.  The red color and seven spots of the ladybug also serve to tie it to Our Lady.

The insect became known as “Our Lady’s Beetle,” and eventually, in the United States, as “ladybug.”  It was recognized as being sent by Our Lady to save the crops, and, thus, save the people from starvation.

All over Europe, this little, helpful insect, is tied with the faith of the people, and often to Our Lady: in Germany, the insect is called Marienkäfer (Mary’s Beetle), in France, la bete a bon Dieu (God’s animal”), in Russia, Bozhya korovka , in Spain Vaquilla de Dios, and in Lithiuania Dievo Karvute (God’s little cow-remember the spots).

It seems that people back in medieval Europe may have been more quick to recognize heavenly involvement in the practical details of their lives.  Perhaps the ladybug can teach us a lesson to be more aware of and grateful for the help we get from above.

Resources:

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“And He Stooped Toward Me”

p1010012Yesterday, a short phrase from the responsorial psalm really struck a chord with me.  The beautiful passage, a song of a trusting, obedient heart, began: “I have waited, waited for the LORD, and he stooped toward me” (Ps. 40).

This image of Our Lord stooping toward us is, in itself, something to gratefully ponder.

It resonates especially with me at this time in my life.  The past year, for various reasons, has not been an easy one.

However, during my moments of difficulty, I have sensed the truth of these wondrous words.

When I am in need, crying out in prayer and raising my heart toward Jesus, He has truly stooped toward me.  He has held me in my need.

When I go to bed at night, especially after a hard day, it is such a consolation to know that Jesus is physically there, just down the hall in our chapel.

It is consoling to realize that He not only stoops toward us (once), but He stays with us always.

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“Wine to Gladden Their Hearts”

P7070008.JPGThis morning, the Bible study I hold for our residents was an interesting one!

First of all, I had to rush to get there on time, having sacristy duties after Mass and also needing to watch the front desk for a short time.  In addition to that, I had not gotten around to setting up the projector and screen ahead of time, and still needed to do that.

There was quite a big group in attendance this morning: more than a dozen residents.

We used the readings from this past Sunday, which had a theme of joy, of great blessings from God.  They concluded with the gospel reading of the wedding at Cana, where gladness was given in abundance; 120-180 gallons worth, if you do the math!

We had our own experience experience of gladness in acting out this striking scene.  We actually filled six cups (each symbolizing a stone water jar) with water, and acted out the gospel account.  It was quite enjoyable, and we had a lot of fun (no irreverence meant.)

Being thirsty, I assigned myself the role of the “head-waiter,” who got to taste the water-turned-wine.”

When Bible study was over, one of our ladies was trying to be helpful by pouring the water back into the pitcher.  Before she could get them all dumped back, I drank three of them.  (I really WAS thirsty, I guess!)

After this, in fun, I swaggered several steps through the room.  I acted a bit tipsy from too much “wine that gladdens the heart.”

I know I can be silly, but it is good for all of us from time to time.

Laughter is the best medicine (Some might say, followed closely by a little wine)!

“Be Still…”

24313272_1712662598773621_9162342790506600177_oBe Still and Know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)

What a wonderful invitation!  To be still, yes, to acknowledge Him, and Him only as God!  To be still in His presence: to be calm, quiet, peaceful, hushed, motionless and rest in mind and soul.  To bask in His Love, to adore Him in expressive silence and muse in His praise.  Be still in celebrating calm and quiet submission of soul to the sovereign presence of God.

The divinity of God is sufficient reason to be still before Him, calmly and humbly submitting to Him.

“Be still and know that I am God.”  He is God, an absolute, infinite, perfect being.  He is so great, infinitely above all comprehension, as God all things are His work so He is sovereign over all things.

To be still is to be silent in order to listen to what God has to say to us.  We need to be silent and listen in order to hear God speak to us.

In 1 Kings 19:11-13, the Lord did not come in a powerful wind, nor in an earthquake, nor in a fire, but in a gentle whisper.

Yes, the Lord has invited us: “be still and know that I am God.”

~ Sister M. Leonida Schmidt, OSF

Reverting to Old Habits

shirt2Recently, I have been working on a few different projects outside of my normal daily routines.  (Next week will hold more extras since I’ll be filling in again as an aide on the men’s floor.)

For one of these (first-mentioned) endeavors, I had to first discuss the matter with a few different people to get authorization.

Around noon, I had left the front desk to stretch my legs and wake up a bit; I was getting sleepy from just sitting  and embroidering while watching the phone.

While taking this needed break, I decided to seek the needed approval.  When my explanation got a unhesitating and affirming “OK,” I was excited, tickled, you might say.

As I headed back to the front desk, without thinking, I started to excitedly rub my hands together, slipping back into a childish habit I had years ago.

I’m glad nobody was around to see me in my almost girlish excitement!

Maybe this mirth is okay, though; the Bible encourages us to delight in the Lord (e.g., Psalm 37).

And, this project  seems like it could be His work. 🙂

 

Warning: Don’t Kick a “Space Heater” or St. Peter

part0This morning, finally having some time off, I decided I had better get my laundry done.  Thankfully my room is on the same floor as our washer and dryer.

After Mass, I sorted my cloths, made necessary preparations, and loaded the machine.  I had plenty of room so I even through in a few towels left from guest rooms.

In the course of getting things washed, dried, folded, and put away, I made a number of trips up and down the long hallway on the lower level of our convent.

One of these proved to be more monumental than I’d bargained for.  There was a space heater out in the hallway, left over from bitterly cold nights of recent memory.  It had not been put away because we are painfully aware of the fact that winter is far from over.

The little mobile heater had been strategically placed against the wall, out of anyone’s way, so we thought.

The only way I can explain what happened is this: I must have been carrying my laundry basket back to my room and had my vision obstructed by it.  Not seeing the space heater, I walked full-force into the durable object and hit my foot in just the right spot!

As the day went on, the foot began to bother me more and more.  I iced it intermittently, but that didn’t do a ton to lessen the throbbing that came and went.

When my mom called to say hello at some point in the afternoon, I explained what had happened, that I had kicked a space heater.  However, she mistook the words space heater for St. Peter, and asked “Where was St. Peter that you kicked him?”  I soon realized the misunderstanding and clarified that I had not, in fact, mistreated any representation of this wonderful apostle.  I had accidentally punted a small appliance, not a statue!

By late afternoon, I got our nurse to wrap my foot for me.  I had fulfilled the prescribed care for an injury: Rest, Ice, and Elevate, but still lacked the C needed to complete the acronym (RICE).  I had not yet applied any Compress[ion].

When I took my stockings off to get my foot wrapped, I could see that my middle toe was very black and blue.

I have to say a prayer of thanks that this incident happened today rather than earlier in the week, since I didn’t have any aide duties to worry about.  (I had been filling in a fair amount earlier in the week.)

I guess maybe St. Peter was looking out for me.  🙂

Note to Readers: Kindly retrain yourselves from ordering me to seek immediate medical attention.  Ibuprofen does wonders and I will be re-evaluating the situation in the morning.