Monday, December 24, 2012

Monday, November 26, 2012

Blessings Times 3

We joyfully welcome our third postulant!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


What if sanctity was as simple...or maybe even as difficult as a smile?  Think about it: at work you often run into someone you know dislikes you or whom you dislike and you smile at them! Why? Because God dwells in them. Our founder St. Arnold taught us to smile at one another as we pass in the hallways: greeting the Trinity dwelling within the other.

Or what if you gave God your best smile when you are depressed or angry—that's virtue. It not only increases seratonin but brings to your mind God within you, helping you to go beyond how you are feeling. Our bedridden Sister always says: “Keep smiling—for him.” She never stops smiling and I know she suffers.  So maybe holiness can be as easy (or as hard) as smiling.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

All is Grace

Congratulations to our newest postulant!

O Holy Spirit, make me aware of the grandeur and dignity, glory and splendor of the God who dwells within me. Make me belong to him, live for him, and serve him in a spirit of awed reverence and humble devotion. Amen.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Following Jesus, by Fr. Jack Farley, SVD

Response to Christ is our Christian vocation. This call is a personal relationship. Primarily, it is not I who am seeking the Lord, but the Lord is seeking me. The purpose of spirituality is to let myself be found. Catherine of Siena expressed this in a unique way. She said: “God is running after you day and night as if God has nothing else to do than be occupied with you.” Can I imagine such a God who has nothing better to do than chase after me day and night?

Can I imagine such a God whose primary interest is to run after me? If I can convert myself to that God, my life will blossom. God is deeply, passionately in love with each of us. Jesus told us nothing more important than this. It is now for us to let this reality penetrate our whole being. God loves me now, as I am, not as I would like to be. Sometimes we prefer to believe that we love God rather than that God loves us.

Today, take time for prayer, time to connect with God's intense, loving presence: around, within, all over us. Prayer simply means: to think about God and to love God at the same time. It is important for us to be open to God's presence, alert to God's call, God's amazing invitation to discipleship, friendship, commitment.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

A Special Day

It began...
With a small, quiet voice: "Come, follow Me."
"You are mine. I have chosen you."

It continued...
With a response: "Yes, Lord, I will follow."
"Where you lead, I will go."
It is growing...
With a leap of faith,
A step across the cloister boundary.
Congratulations to our newest Sister!
She entered as a postulant on September 8.
Pray for her!
"You are an enclosed garden, my sister, my bride, 
an enclosed garden, a fountain sealed." 
Song of Songs 4:12

Saturday, July 28, 2012

More Than You Can Handle?

Never be hurried by anything whatever.  Nothing can be more pressing  the the necessity for you: peace before God.
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton
I've often heard it said that God never gives us more than we can handle.  It's meant to be a comfort; even under a crushing burden, we need to remember that it isn't going to last forever and God provides the grace we need.  Katie Davis, a 23-year-old from Tennessee who is a missionary in Uganda and mother to 13 girls,  has a different take on this old adage.  She says that God regularly gives her way more than she can handle.  Her confidence in God is undimmed, however.  She has an unshakable faith that the place where she reaches her limit of endurance is precisely the place where God takes over.  She doesn't need to be strong, she just needs to let God's power shine through her.  Katie's story and her blog is a reminder of how God's power is made perfect through weakness.
We don't need to be strong and powerful to accomplish great things or survive the great trials of life.  We just need to be small and docile in our Father's hands.  Now that takes real strength!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Mother Maria Elizabeth

At the general chapter of the Society of the Divine Word (SVD).  They are missionary priests and brothers and were also founded by St. Arnold Janssen.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Prayer Can Change the World

O Most Holy Trinity! As many times as I breathe, as many times as my heart beats, as many times as my blood pulsates through my body, so many thousand times do I want to glorify Your mercy.

I want to be completely transformed into Your mercy and to be Your living reflection, O Lord. May the greatest of all divine attributes, that of Your unfathomable mercy, pass through my heart and soul to my neighbor.

Help me, O Lord, that my eyes may be merciful, so that I may never suspect or judge from appearances, but look for what is beautiful in my neighbors’ souls and come to their rescue.

Help me, that my ears may be merciful, so that I may give heed to my neighbors’ needs and not be indifferent to their pains and moanings. Help me, O Lord, that my tongue may be merciful, so that I should never speak negatively of my neighbor, but have a word of comfort and forgiveness for all.

Help me, O Lord, that my hands may be merciful and filled with good deeds, so that I may do only good to my neighbors and take upon myself the more difficult and toilsome tasks.

Help me, that my feet may be merciful, so that I may hurry to assist my neighbor, overcoming my own fatigue and weariness. My true rest is in the service of my neighbor.

Help me, O Lord, that my heart may be merciful so that I myself may feel all the sufferings of my neighbor. I will refuse my heart to no one. I will be sincere even with those who, I know, will abuse my kindness. And I will lock myself up in the most merciful Heart of Jesus. I will bear my own suffering in silence. May Your mercy, O Lord, rest upon me.

You Yourself command me to exercise the three degrees of mercy. The first: the act of mercy, of whatever kind. The second: the word of mercy — if I cannot carry out a work of mercy, I will assist by my words. The third: prayer — if I cannot show mercy by deeds or words, I can always do so by prayer. My prayer reaches out even there where I cannot reach out physically.

O Lord Jesus, transform me into Yourself, for You can do all things.

~from the truly wonderful Divine Mercy app.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Pentecost Hope

One of my favorite Pentecost readings is from the Vigil Mass: Ezekiel 37:1-14.  Ezekiel is shown a plain of dry bones.  A depressing scene...but when he prophesies as God commands him the bones come back to life.  God then makes the promise to Israel: “...I will open your graves and have you rise from them....I will put my spirit upon you that you may live.”

The Easter season begins with Christ's Resurrection—the first fruits from the dead—which is a promise of our resurrection and victory over death. How is this done?  St. Paul says (Romans 8:11) through Christ's Spirit who is given us on Pentecost.  Imagine: the gift of the Spirit is only the first installment of what is to come!  How great is the mercy of God!

The House of Israel was despairing: “Our hope is lost.”  This is the devil's trump card: despair.  May the gift of the Spirit this Pentecost renew hope within you. May he bring you back to life.  May you know God's mercy.
 “O my people! I will put my spirit within you that you may live....I have promised and I will do it.”

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Divine Mercy

Imagine Peter after the Resurrection. I imagine—knowing myself—that although he knew he was forgiven by Jesus for his denial, he was still unable to forgive himself. He did not trust himself and did not feel able to carry out the role Jesus gave him as a “rock” of faith and leader of the Church.

In the Gospel of John Peter decides to go fishing—his “normal” life before Jesus. But when Jesus appears, his love is stirred and he impetuously swims to shore to be with him.  After eating Jesus pulls Peter aside: “Peter, do you love me?” Jesus tells Peter, “Feed my lambs.” “Tend my flock.” “Feed my sheep.”

What is Jesus saying? Yes, you failed, but I still choose you; I still want you to carry out the role I have appointed for you. I believe in you.

May this story lead us to a renewed trust and love for God, even we we fail him and fail ourselves. O Jesus, I will trust in you!

Sunday, March 11, 2012


For me the image of God as Father is a powerful one. He is my Spouse and Friend and Guide. I endured a terrible trial that left me wondering why God—my Father—had not protected me from it as he has protected me from so much in the past. God did not desire this suffering but He allowed it...I didn't understand.

But God IS a Father—a parent. He doesn't necessarily protect us from all suffering (like Mary did not try to stop Jesus from carrying the Cross) but he is there "carrying us all along our journey" (Deut 1:31) and suffering with us. What parent doesn't suffer double watching their child suffer?

Why didn't God shield me from this evil? I don't know, but I do know He—my Father—was with me throughout it, enabling me to come away stronger and using it as a source of grace for others.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Ash Wednesday

Man is a duality
of mysterious grandeur and pompous aridity,
a vision of God and a mountain of dust,
It is because of his being dust
that his iniquities may be forgiven
and it is because of his being an image
that his righteousness is expected.
(Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel)
 On Ash Wednesday we are marked with ashes as a reminder of whence our bodies came and to what they will return.  These forty days are a reminder of to what we aspire: Easter resurrection and union with God.  Wishing you a blessed Lenten season!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Be Still

"The Lord himself will fight for you. You have only to keep still." (Exodus 14:14)

You have only to keep hard that is for us to do!  We feel we must do something when we have a problem but in reality we sometimes make it worse by doing what we think will "fix" it. 

That doesn't mean to be passive.  It means seek God's will and do it.  For there would have been no miracle if the Israelites didn't go forward into the Red Sea.

What a scary scenario: an army rushing at you from behind. Moses yelling at you to walk into the midst of what used to be a sea.  The wind howling.  Chaos!  So "be still," God says.  Quiet your heart and go forward in God's will knowing that he, himself, will fight for you. Deo Gratias!

Friday, January 6, 2012

150 Years

On January 7 we are celebrating the 150th birthday of our Co-foundress, Mother Mary Michael. Mother was not "romantically" minded when it came to the spiritual life but extremely practical and yet very cheerful. She emphasized the importance of being faithful in the little things of our life. The hidden "little fidelities" please God greatly and enable us to be faithful in bigger matters as well. Every Christian can use this idea of little fidelities as a way of deepening their relationship with God.

May our imitation of Mother Mary Michael who did ordinary things extraordinarily well and extraordinary things in an ordinary fashion help us grow in our love for God.

(for more about Mother Mary Michael, see our website.)