Thursday, July 9, 2009
Sorry for being such a loser and not posting here. I must admit, I've been unfaithful. Twitter, you see has lured me away for a time, but I'm back now and with a renewed sense of commitment. Let's hope it lasts. At least it's summer, I have more time to procrastinate. Anyway, sorry Blog for being gone so long. I'll try and make it up.
Posted by FreeRangeK at 5:29 PM
At the moment I'm on a mini retreat to prep for Saturday. Why, then am I on the computer you ask? Well, as I've been sitting here processing the last two years of my postulancy, I came round to the fact that I needed to write it out. See it concretely before me; making it a reality. For while I've lived it, it has often felt just like life, the day in day out of the sort I lived before entering. Before I gave everything away and walked across another's threshold into the unknown. A quivering trust was all that was leading me forward. With a radical and bold move like that you'd expect profound, extreme experiences, no? You know, the kind of "Sister Wanda Sees a Holy Vision" type experiences. Well Patience, I was to learn, would be the lesson I was to take to heart. Some things take time, and spiritual formation is definitely one of them. I've learned allot over the past two years about where I stand with patience, and especially where and when I lack it. Patience is the key to trust, and that strange place of tension which is trust is right where God needs you to be to work His best through you. The most growth I've experienced over this time has taken place in these uncomfortable moments. I hope someday I'll even love these moments, for when I do I know I'll find myself in the mystery of God's love. For now, I'm off to begin my next phase of growth in God, and looking forward to the revelations to come.... More later, I'm back to my retreat.
Friday, May 1, 2009
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
One of the challenges of modern life is balancing the fundamental need of a spiritual life with the daily demands of our physical existence. It often takes everything we have in us just to pay the rent, pay our bills and put food on the table. Finding time for a prayer life is often a struggle that seems too much trouble to fight for. Why fight for something whose benefits are not immediately tangible? Especially when there are other concerns/problems that are squeaking louder than that empty place inside? Besides, we can fill that empty hole, at least temporarily with other things, most of them not so good.
Well, one would think that living in a convent would muffle all that hustle and bustle, that commotion of which is modern life these days and serenity would rule the days and nights of our fabled existence. Well, serenity I've found out is still elusive. It shyly appears now and again on sunny days spent hiking, or in a quiet afternoon of gardening. Then there is the problem with prayer. Prayer is just as obstinate as a fourteen year old, hard to pin down and cagey with it's messages. Oh, there's the momentary flashes of tear producing beauty, but I'm finding out that it's more of a quality vs. quantity thing. Still struggling with time management. Still struggling with distraction, a busy schedule and an endless To-Do list. What matters is I now have as my only goal "to do the will of the One who sent me", and my sisters assist and travel with me in the discernment and achievement of this shared purpose; this new way of being. And I'm finding that it is the shared experience of living in a loving and God centered community that makes all the difference in facing my challenges.
I'm in the company of my sisters now; and that fact alone makes it a little easier to face the often difficult journey through this modern world.
This City of Night.
This howling desert of a different sort.
The sort of desert where one can live among millions and still be utterly alone.
In other words, L.A.
Sunday, April 5, 2009
The High Holy days have begun!
Holy Week is finally here. I don't know about any of you, but this week's gonna be a killer, no pun intended. What with all the liturgies and other services we're involved with, plus school... Ahh! Lots to do! It's hard to focus on the meaning of these days when I'm constantly checking my calendar to make sure nothing's missed. Who am I fooling; I never look at my calendar! I'm just praying I somehow get to where I need to be, when I need to be there. Sigh, this too will pass. Unfortunately so will this beautiful Holy Week.
Note to self: remember, there is a REASON why you have so much to do at the moment.
Leans close to ear and whispers softly "remember? It's to celebrate Him and the most beautiful and defining moments of His precious life on Earth".
Friday, February 27, 2009
One of the casualties of my decision to enter into religious life has been the loss of a few very dear friends. I know, you say "if they were so dear, they'd still be your friends", and you may be right, but it still saddens me. You see, I feel that the end began way back with my decision to return to the Catholic faith. It was then that things between us began to become awkward. They couldn't understand my new interests: going to mass every Sunday, joining in church activities, and becoming more vocal about my faith. Why not just sleep in on Sundays? They hoped it was just a phase, something I'd get over with sooner or later. Only I didn't.
Going to church isn't cool in many peoples eyes, and being Catholic requires one (and here's a common misconception) to adopt unpleasant and politically incorrect views on hot button issues such as abortion, homosexuality and promiscuity. I fell from grace when I could no longer be counted on to be silent about these things. Not that I was spouting hate speech or fire and brimstone at all, but the very thought that I could I think secretly terrified them. It seems that stereotypes are like potholes, hard to climb out of. Most people are quite comfortable to wallow in them. It has only gotten worse in this regard since I've entered, and began dealing with the fallacies of what being a religious really is.
When I turned my direction towards Christ, I was making the decision that I would place Him before all things. It is not a decision that I expected everyone to understand. It's just that I thought a few might try.
This choice I've made is not easy to explain, for how do you explain to people so invested in the world and its delusions that you're willing to leave everything behind; all the things, the career, all of it; for the opportunity to belong completely to God? It's as if I'm speaking in another language. Which of course I am. I am speaking in the language of faith. Unfortunately, some of my friends no longer speak it.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
I don't know why, but I always look forward to this time of year. Perhaps it's because I still remember that pride I felt, when I was a little girl, bearing the mark of Christ on my forehead for all to see. It could also be that it is because it's such a powerful symbol; one both visual and tactile. But most likely it is due to the fact that it is the herald to our most richly symbolic and beautiful seasons: the 40 days of Lent.
Lent has always appealed to me, probably because I'm such an introvert and any season that focuses on introspection and inner development I will find naturally attractive. This year I've felt the spirit moving me to a much deeper internal expression of my commitment to prayer and spiritual growth. I've added a day of fasting combined with adoration to aid me in this. And who knows, maybe, God willing, I'll be able to permanently keep this up! All I know is the deep, strong current of the season of Lent is once again inspiring me to take another step further into the desert of my limitations, and to rediscover the thirst; the thirst that can only be quenched by the purifying, Living Water of our Lord.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Friday, January 23, 2009
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Last night I attended the funeral mass of one of the senior sisters in our community. It was the first funeral service I had attended for one of our own. The entire province was there, along with former students and friends. So many thoughts and emotions come to mind, it's hard to choose a place to begin. I guess I'll start by saying that I'll miss her, and I have been blessed by the short time I've known her. Sister's prayer intension for vocations and perseverance at morning or evening prayer will always sound in my mind, finding its way down from the choir loft to our hearts and God's ear. I know she'll be a powerful advocate for us in heaven, and that she's in the company of angels now. Although she didn't make it to her diamond jubilee celebration, she held the joy of her 75 years of profession in her heart. It was evident to all who met her.
The Mass marking her transition from our world of time and form into the eternal present was beauty at it's most real. For in the true reality of beauty our lives are stripped and laid bare; nothing remains but the brutal honesty of who we really are. It is here, in His presence, that we are beheld by our Lover, trembling in the full realization of who we really are; created beings graced with His favor. It is with a great and terrible faith that we march towards this meeting with our Absolute. There is no greater expression of that raw and aching faith than when we chant the Suscipe, at our both our profession and our funerals.
"Sustain me Lord according to your promise, that I may live, and do not fail me, for I have trusted in your faithfulness".
For the proving ground of our trust in Him is in this chapel, now, as the white pall is unfolded over her coffin, and she is sent forth in loving community by her sisters, blessed with the holy water of her baptism in Christ. At times like these it is easier to see that perhaps all of our lives are truly one long Advent. We live our years alloted to us in agitation and anticipation.
"Our hearts are restless until they rest in the Lord", as St. Augustine says.
For we are but waiting on the call of our Beloved. Waiting. Waiting in that sometimes raw, aching hunger that is true faithfulness. It is by God's grace that I am blessed to be a lady in waiting within this community of faithful sisters, may I never forget that.
RIP Sr. M.C., you served our Lord 94 years in in trust and faithfulness.
Sunday, January 4, 2009
Interestingly enough, the new year started out exactly like advent, shrouded in a thick ground fog. The prior evening, New Years Eve, one of our sisters had related the homily she had heard that morning where the priest had said that today was a good day for everyone to renew the commitments they had made for advent. So it was really something to wake up on New Years Day greeted in the same manner as that first Advent morn! I love it when God's signals are so easily perceived. What needed to be readdressed from those first days of advent, before all the hustle and bustle of the holidays kicked in to high gear? What was the message that the fog itself had tried to symbolize? Trust. The trust you must have to give oneself totally over to God, and that radical trust needed to allow Him to lead you. Full surrender has never been easy for me, but I know it is required if I'm to truly live the life I've committed myself to. So, the revisit of the beautiful hushed morning fog on New Years Day brought back those advent desires and commitments, and gave me a chance to renew my fidelity to follow in full trust where He leads.
Posted by FreeRangeK at 9:11 AM
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Advent descended on us in a hush, like a soft blanket muffling the harshness of winter. The 3 days of fog in my area was a thick pea soup, sometimes not burning off until 9:am., and it made driving to mass quite an adventure, but... ahh... There's nothing like the soft, quiet mystery of fog; and somehow it seemed a perfect way to enter into the beauty of Advent. A perfect metaphor for the return inward, a return to the silence. Softening the sharp edges of our view, it causes us to search the terrain of our interior. For some reason, I've been drawn to pondering the concept of the anticipatory aspect of Advent, how our whole lives are advent, and to the idea of holding, bearing that attitude of anticipation is our life's purpose. Advent is a way of life.
For my reading this Advent, I've been blessed with coming across a book of sermons and prison writings by the priest and martyr Alfred Delp. Called "Advent of the Heart", it has many deeply moving and profound reflections on life and this aspect of waiting. Here are some selections:
"... the golden threads running between Heaven and earth during this season reach us; the threads that give the world a hint of the abundance to which it is called, the abundance of which it is capable."
"Advent is a time of promise, not yet the fulfillment."
"Advent means a heart that is awake and ready"
Fr. Delp speaks of the longing, yearning we must bear in response to the advent aspect of our lives, how we cannot allow ourselves to be tricked into the false satisfactions of our world, and that we must trust what God has promised. It's pretty poignant stuff, and much of his writing was while awaiting death in a Gestapo prison.