Author Archives: Sr. Mary Valerie Schneider

Do you ever really retire?

December 3rd, 2012 | Posted by Sr. Mary Valerie Schneider in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

Sr. Brigid Kelly and Sr. Cyrilla Hellman are two SNDs who are active in prison ministry.

Every year in early December there is a collection for retired religious sisters and brothers. You may wonder what we Sisters of Notre Dame—and other congregations–do when we retire. Well, we keep right on working!  There’s always something to do for God!

We have sisters who do prison ministry, adult literacy, and musical entertainment in hospitals and nursing homes. Some teach English, tutor, sell crafts and cards, do laundry for the homeless, help adults get their GED, and assist migrants in becoming naturalized citizens. If you ask them, what they do, they’ll say prayer, presence, praise, and mission support. They’ll never say “retired.”  Shouldn’t we change the name of the Retirement Fund to Seed Money for our Very Active Sisters and Brothers to Advance the Kingdom of God?

Heavenly thoughts

November 28th, 2012 | Posted by Sr. Mary Valerie Schneider in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

The Church devotes the month of November to remember those who have gone before us. We have prayed for all our deceased loved ones. Perhaps our thoughts were  turned toward heaven more frequently in November. What do you expect when you arrive in heaven?  What excites you the most through anticipation of your new home in God? Will it be seeing your family? Learning what heaven is like? Getting your questions answered? Some may look forward to seeing all the persons who have been helped in achieving their heavenly reward because of their influence. How many persons have you influenced so that they live in heaven forever?

The Bible says. . .

November 20th, 2012 | Posted by Sr. Mary Valerie Schneider in Uncategorized - (3 Comments)

Reading the Bible may do you very little good. (Did you re-read the sentence? Did you think it was a misprint ?)

Well, reading the Bible may do us very little good if we don’t put it into practice. The Bible encourages us to praise God and give thanks for everything (see Eph. 5:20 and 1 Thes. 5:18). Can we praise and thank God for everything today whether it’s snarled traffic or the best parking place, an empty toothpaste tube or a refrigerator blessed with abundance, a stubbed toe or a heart full of joy? Praising God for traffic jams and stubbed toes takes more “trust muscle,” but that muscle will strengthen over time with use.

Are we ready?

November 12th, 2012 | Posted by Sr. Mary Valerie Schneider in Uncategorized - (2 Comments)

Yesterday was the feast of St. Martin of Tours and it got me thinking.  Had we lived in another century, this would have been the first day of Advent.  It took a few centuries to get Christmas and Advent on the Church calendar, because the focus was on the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. When people became interested in history and genealogy, Christmas became a feast and along with it Advent. Priests wore white vestments in Advent; it was not a  penitential period then. Rather it was a period of anticipation.

But down through history people began to think, “If Easter has a forty-day penitential period, then shouldn’t Christmas have the same?”  Thus Advent became more penitential, and the priests began to wear violet, a penitential color. We are now back into a four-week preparation. Just as it’s never too early to begin Christmas shopping, it’s never too early to make Advent plans.  How will you anticipate Christmas?

God’s infinite affection

November 8th, 2012 | Posted by Sr. Mary Valerie Schneider in Uncategorized - (3 Comments)

Wild turkeys

Two families of wild turkeys make the woods at Lial Renewal Center their home. Every night around 6:30 pm the parents fly into the tree, and the children—Are young turkeys called “goblets”?—nestle side by side.  If God’s creative energy makes wild turkeys so affectionately protective of their young, then how much more infinite affection does God lavish upon me?

Spiritual qualities

October 22nd, 2012 | Posted by Sr. Mary Valerie Schneider in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

 S words: Sugar, salt, starches, and second helpings. Not good—at least for some people. Other S words: simplicity, sacredness, serenity, sincerity. Good—at least for most people.

S: the letter that multiplies and makes abundant through plurals. What words characterize your life? How can you let your good qualities multiply their effects? What spiritual qualities would you like to make plural? Do you seek the more?

Delight in the present moment!

October 9th, 2012 | Posted by Sr. Mary Valerie Schneider in Uncategorized - (2 Comments)

Look around today and enjoy the beauty of fall.

As I sat here looking out the window at the night sky, just still light enough to see cloud formations, I noticed a giant footprint in the sky, but before I could type this sentence, it disappeared. What if I hadn’t looked out at that precise moment?  I would have missed an opportunity to smile at creation—actually in union with creation, because everything in the universe is interrelated. I had so many opportunities today to smile with creation.

As I got into the car this morning I saw five deer running through the meadow. Going out the driveway, I was stopped by three huge wild turkeys. A half mile down the road strutted eight “teenage” wild turkeys, perhaps of the same fowl family. Then I saw what I thought were flares. Instead they were ordinary road signs on which the red sun was beaming.  Awareness of the present moment opens up delight.

What does God want of you?

September 25th, 2012 | Posted by Sr. Mary Valerie Schneider in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

Listen for His call.

L-I-S-T-E-N.   S-I-L-E-N-T.  E-N-L-I-S-T. All three words have the same letters. All three words make a great way to live one’s Christian life.  LISTEN to what God wants of you from the good desires of your hearts, your talents, and the affirmation you receive. Be SILENT and let the mystery of Christ penetrate your inmost being, deepening your awareness of God’s closeness. Then ENLIST in taking up the ministry God asks whether it’s the day’s mission or a lifetime discipleship. All three words can become your prayer for today. LISTEN. SILENT. ENLIST. AMEN.

Love and Rejection

September 14th, 2012 | Posted by Sr. Mary Valerie Schneider in Uncategorized - (2 Comments)

Recently I noticed how often in Scripture Jesus experienced rejection. Passages were easy to find: the skepticism of religious leaders, the disciples who left after the Bread of Life discourse, the choice of Barabbas over Jesus, even the feeling of abandonment by his Father, and many more.

But Jesus does not reject.  I can imagine Jesus saying to us when we feel rejection:

“There is nothing you can do that would cause me to reject you. No, today and always you are my friend, and I will stand by you. I will not only stand by you, I will protect you, guide you, help you in your decisions. I am not a magician that will make your problems disappear. I am not a repairman who will fix every mistake. But I am one who loves you intensely.”

September 4th, 2012 | Posted by Sr. Mary Valerie Schneider in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

(from left) Sr. Dean, Sr. Valerie and Sr. Karen are part of the Lial Renewal Center team.

Recently I changed my e-mail address, making my business cards useless. Of course, I could build a tower of business cards or write math facts on the back for a youngster learning multiplication tables or store them somewhere. What do you do with useless business cards? A more perplexing question is the content of a new business card. What is my real business? More than liturgist/musician at St. Richard, more than team member atLialRenewalCenter, more than a community member with the Sisters of Notre Dame, I am the created expression of God’s love. I am an initiator of free energy radiating out to give life abundantly to all. I am Christ in evolution. I am an indispensable member of a living body, which is the Body of Christ. Well, if that’s what I am, please excuse me. I better get down to business.

What would you write on a new business card? What is your most useful business?