The virtue of balance!

November 28th, 2012 | Posted by Sr. Susan Maria Kusz in Uncategorized - (2 Comments)

Have you ever had the thought:  “I’m the only one working around here!” or “I’m the only one putting in my hours all the way!”  I suspect most of us have thought this at one time or another and then dealt with the feelings that come up around that thought!

I’ve been reading the Rule of Benedict …. The last few days the readings for the day have been focused on prayer, work, and sacred reading.  St. Benedict challenges his monks to the virtue of balance.  Sr. Joan Chittister, OSB, in her commentary on the Rule of Benedict, says this:  “The monastic does not exist for work.”  Benedict says that his monks are to have a sense of balance, alternating work, prayer, and holy reading throughout each day in a regular rhythm that provides continuity and gives a sense of meaning and purpose to life.

The challenge for me:  the next time I feel “out of sorts” because I think I’m the only one doing all the “work” around here, I need to remember to take a deep breath and find some balance!  I do not exist solely for work. Though I’m definitely not “Sister Mary Lazybones,” I’m going to be more mindful today to find some balance between my work and prayer and play!  How about you?

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?

Giving Tuesday

November 26th, 2012 | Posted by Sr. Marilyn Marie in Uncategorized - (2 Comments)

Well, we’ve had Thanksgiving Thursday, Black Friday and Cyber Monday.  I just recently learned that tomorrow is “Giving Tuesday.”  Some have set aside this day to draw attention to our need to respond to the needs of those around us.

Our Sister Elizabeth Maria, pastoral associate at St. Wendelin, Fostoria, is currently helping with an effort to do just that with some of the migrant families in the area.  With the help of the National Honor Society at St. Wendelin School, St. Wendelin Parish, and parishioners from Blessed John XXIII Parish near Perrysburg, they are doing what they can to provide warm clothing, food and other items for these families.

Today’s Gospel reading of the widow who offers her two small coins reminds us that what we have to offer may seem small, but if given in love, it can make a great difference. What will you be able and willing to do tomorrow to celebrate “Giving Tuesday?”

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.

Time to Give Thanks

November 19th, 2012 | Posted by Sr. Marilyn Marie in Uncategorized - (2 Comments)

As we enter this Thanksgiving week, I’m a bit overwhelmed by the many reasons I have to give thanks: – a text from a friend, an unexpected invitation to lunch, an amazing sunrise, Sisters in community to share the amazing sunrise, warm clothing when so many go without, gas in the car and easy access to travel, a funeral celebration reminding me of the precious gift of life, a smile and joyful greeting of a coworker, a Christmas cactus in bloom….

Maybe I’ll make it a point to keep the list going all week. God is indeed good and all is gift from Him.  What’s topping your Gratitude List this week?

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?

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?

Prayers for our country

November 5th, 2012 | Posted by Sr. Marilyn Marie in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

As we approach election day tomorrow, I’m aware that many have already cast their votes.  Hopefully, the rest of us will take the time tomorrow to make our way to the polls and exercise our privileged right to vote.

I invite you to join me in a special 48 hours of prayer and fasting beginning now – prayer and fasting that our country will live the principle of responsible freedom on which our country was founded. Yes, it’s important who is elected to office tomorrow, but that doesn’t allow the rest of us to take a back seat for the next four years.  What happens between election days is what really counts.

May we as a country witness our gratitude for all that we’ve been given and do everything in our power to share those gifts with everyone in our one world.

All Saints Day

November 1st, 2012 | Posted by Sr. Marilyn Marie in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

At times when we speak of our community life as Sisters, we describe one of the blessings of community as the grace of being present wherever one of our Sisters is present.  In a very real way, I am in Florida and New Mexico, India and Nicaragua, because there is a Sister of Notre Dame present there.

Today, we celebrate the Feast of All Saints. One of the great mysteries and blessings of our Catholic faith is our belief in the Communion of Saints, that we are one in our striving to grow in likeness to God.  Just as in our religious community, I rejoice that wherever one of the Communion of Saints is present, I am there.  I am in heaven, and the Saints are present here on earth with us!

Today we celebrate our oneness with one another and with God.  Happy All Saints day!

October 26th, 2012 | Posted by Sr. Marilyn Marie in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

As I walked our neighborhood yesterday morning and shuffled through the leaves that seem to be everywhere these days, I couldn’t help being struck by a few things. 

The many types of leaves that have fallen were a good reminder to me of the many “little deaths” each of us goes through each day.  The sufferings and trials we encounter are as different and varied as the circumstances of our lives.  I really don’t know what each person is facing and what they are being called to give up in their lives. This helps me to cut them some slack just as I hope they do for me.

It’s also interesting to me how people in the neighborhood deal with their leaves.  Some are very careful to clear them from their yards frequently, raking a few at a time.  Some prefer to wait until the very end of the season and do one clean sweep.  Some are highly motivated by publication of the leaf pick up dates, and some simply seem to rely on the wind to carry them away.  Everyone has their own way of dealing with surrender in their lives as well.  It’s good for me to remember there isn’t one right way.

What are you being called to let go of at this point in your life?  What do you find helpful in this process of surrender?