Wednesday, July 28, 2010

We're back!

Thank you to everyone who prayed for us during our retreat.  United as one in the Body of Christ, our prayers for each other are powerful ways of supporting one another as we journey together through life.  Be assured that though we were on retreat, we didn't go "off duty" and continued to remember in prayer the needs of all.

Our retreat master, Br. Joel, lead us through our Constitutions (our rule of life) to explore the ways in which our very life is Eucharistic.  Yes, we do adore our Lord at specific times before the Blessed Sacrament, but we also must become a people who discover and adore the Lord throughout everyday life.  Adoration is about being in relationship with God, an intense way of being attentive to God's presence within and around us.

The opening article of our Constitutions reminds us to be "attentive" to the presence of the Trinity who dwells within us, to "penetrate more deeply" into the mystery of this relationship, to "live with fuller awareness" of what this means, and to "foster in others" the understanding of and love for this central mystery of our faith.

Those of you who are reading this are not Holy Spirit Adoration Sisters, but have you considered that the vocation of every Christian is intimate union with God?  You may not be called to spend your life in the cloister, but you are called into relationship— personal and intense— with the God who created you.  The purpose of adoration is to deepen our relationship with the Trinity.  Time spent with the Lord, whether in a chapel before the exposed Blessed Sacrament or simply in the silence and sanctuary of your own heart, causes that relationship to deepen and grow.  In this sense, adoration is more a life-long attitude and orientation than it is an activity.  It is a commitment that touches every aspect of our lives.

Monday, July 19, 2010


The Sisters will be on retreat from July 19-27.  Yes, even cloistered Sisters need a break from the usual routine and the opportunity to renew ourselves in the Holy Spirit.  As our Constitutions remind us, on account of our human weakness we are all in need of continual purification until we are conformed to Christ. Our annual retreat provides an opportunity for a more intense encounter with God.  At the end of the retreat, we will renew our dedication to Christ by renewing our religious vows during the Mass.
Our retreat master this year is Brother Joel Giallanza, CSC.  Br. Joel is from the diocese of Austin and a long-time friend of our community.  He is a deeply spiritual man and we are looking forward to the wisdom he will share with us.  Please pray for us as we "go and rest awhile" (cf. Mark 6:31) in the heart of God.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Poverty & Hope

I was pondering one day the difference between the Pharisees of Jesus' day and the afflicted people on whom Jesus worked miracles. Hope came to me. The Pharisees were happy as they were and didn't need a Savior. They wanted a political figure to bring back Israel's material and political greatness, another "golden age." But those who were sick had hope in Jesus, they needed and wanted a Savior. This is a kind of poverty, to know one's weaknesses and to hope, to believe that God will help them.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

When He saw the Crowds

Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down his disciples came to him. (Matthew 5:1)

This verse is merely a transitional sentence used by Matthew to bring Jesus from healing the multitudes to the Sermon on the Mount. Yet as seemingly insignificant as it appears, it struck me one day as I was trying to picture the scene. "When he saw the crowds..." Jesus didn't just see the crowds with an absent-minded glace, it penetrated deeper. I think he saw their hunger and thirst for.... something.... they couldn't name it but they knew Jesus had it. Jesus knew what they were longing for: the truth. He longed to give them this Truth; his word. In short, he long to give them himself, the Truth, the Word. The sermon on the Mount isn't simply a teaching or a talk. It is Jesus giving himself, feeding the crowd by his word. This calls to mind the Mass. We aren't fed by the Eucharist alone but by the Word of God, by the Truth that the Church guards and teaches.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Cross...

From Fr. Walter Cizek, SJ (paraphrased):
 Religion, prayer, and love of God do not change reality but give it a new meaning.
St. Peter even tells us in his epistle that trials are to purify our faith (like gold tested in fire), "so that we may obtain faith's goal, our salvation." Fr. Cizek knew suffering during his 23 years in Russian prisons and labor camps during Stalin's rule. He says, "And the greatest gift God can give such a man (one who trusts in his own abilities) is to send him a trial he cannot bear with his own powers--and then sustain him with his grace so that he may endure to the end and be saved."  Jesus says to take up our cross and follow him; let us not be afraid.  As Edith Stein wrote,
"Take up your cross" is not a promise of trials, but a promise that Christ will carry it with us.