The glory and wonders of God are everywhere to be seen. Let’s keep watching!
As summer days start to dwindle and flower gardens wilt, we realize the calendar year is more than half over. Where did it go? There’s a certain frenzy as families of kids and teachers prepare for another school year. The world is still in turmoil and news is propelled by ever-present situations of war, injustice and destruction of the earth. But Advent is less than 4 months away!
Yes, Advent—that season of awareness that God continues to come to this ever-spinning globe. Is it really possible to see the present world as sacred space where God lives among us? Can we see God acting in the events of our own ordinary lives? It’s tempting to let the noise and self-absorption of our culture take over, to act like it all depends on me. That’s why it’s necessary to be quiet and listen for the gentle voice of God. In the “temple” of our own heart-space, we discover God’s presence and truth. “Be still and know I am God”—and I am with you.
The end of summer is a good time to choose a more careful nurturing of our contemplative spirit. Enter that sacred space and be surprised!
These words of advice are coming alive for me in new ways. I’m going through a period of transition in my ministry — from 2 part-time positions to full-time leadership for our province. Some of the other Sisters in our office are also experiencing transition. It’s part and parcel of our lives. Just today as I’m trying to write, desk top computers are being switched, Sisters are boxing up books and files and readying their offices for the next occupants, the vacuum is running, and somehow all that still needs to get done gets done. With any transition there are unknowns. This post-it reminds me that I don’t have to have everything figured out today. Or even tomorrow! I recall what Jesus told his disciples: “Seek first the kingdom of God and God’s righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides. Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself.” Mt. 6:34
I came across this park bench while visiting a local Earth Day festival last month. While others passed by, I was drawn to pause. Perhaps more than any of the booths I visited or people I spoke with, this simple message echoed in me. I do respect the land. Do I actually make a difference?
As Ursulines, respect for the land is in our DNA. As a young, single woman, St. Angela worked the fields of her family farm in Italy. She knew the care and work required to tend the earth with respect in order to reap the harvest. As a lay Franciscan, Angela was deeply influenced by St. Francis and his respect for “our Sister, Mother Earth, who sustains and governs us.” As her daughters, Ursulines around the world work hand in hand with others to show and teach respect for the land, making a difference by caring for our common home. Click here to read about the initiatives our French Ursuline Sisters are promoting to save the planet.
May is a month when many parishes celebrate First Holy Communion. The sanctuary is adorned with wheat and grapes and beautiful Easter flowers. Little girls in white dresses and little boys in suits come forward to receive Jesus in the Eucharist for the first time.
Last week I was in church for daily Mass the day after First Communion. As I knelt and prayed before Mass began, an image of St. Angela’s came to mind. In one of her prayers she refers to “the dazzling face of Jesus.” Yes, we receive Jesus in the form of bread and wine, but in my mind’s eye, I see his dazzling face. How often at Mass we hear the prayer May we become what we eat. This means that all of us wear that dazzling face and are signs of the living Christ to the world. Join me in praying that all new (and longtime!) communicants may live fully into a growing awareness of the dazzling face of Jesus.