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Showing posts from 2015

So You Say You Want A Resolution?

Last year my friend and I joked that we would make New Year's resolutions to do things we really had no desire to accomplish, knowing the general success rate of these sorts of decisions.

This year I read a piece that Parker Palmer wrote for the On Being blog, one of my favorite blogs and my favorite radio show.

He said that as he was writing about resolutions, he made an easy typo, and "resolutions" became "revolutions." He then realized it wasn't a mistake at all and instead wrote about the revolutions of which he wants to be a part in the new year:


The revolution against our fear of “otherness,” and against those who manipulate this fear for their self-serving ends. I want to stand in solidarity with those whose lives have been made even more difficult by the ignorance, cruelty, and shamelessness of the Donald Trumps of this world and their minions. When I hear people speaking against Muslims or Mexicans, to take but two examples, I need to say, “Your wor…

"and the darkness has not overcome it."

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May your eyes and your heart be open to the Light that reveals itself to us at Christmas.

A blessed holiday to you, one and all!

Let us walk in the holy presence.

Slowly, Slowly

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Be gentle, Val.

No, these aren't words I heard as a baby getting ready to pet a bunny. These are the words I hear as a twenty-seven-year old receiving self-care advice from wise women who surround me.

Be gentle, Val.

I, like many others, have a hard time showing myself care and compassion. But, the past few weeks I have had no choice but to practice as I have been under the weather. God literally said, "Slow down, my child. Rest."

Be gentle, Val.

So, this Advent has been full in a different sort of way than my normal. I haven't been reading. I haven't been writing. I haven't been riding my bike or running to the lake. I can't give a lot of detail about how I've filled my days.

Be gentle, Val.

But, I have spent a lot of time with the Visitation, my favorite Bible story. Although Mary traveled "in haste" to Elizabeth, she stayed for three months. When I imagine what might have happened during that time, I have visions of nurturing, compassion, an…

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas!

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With Christmas less than a week away, I am beginning to see more than Advent blue. Each day decorations and ornaments slowly show up around the monastery. There is much joy in being observant right now! On Friday, I helped a sister put up the tree in our hallway. This evening we will decorate our tree in the community room. And, look! It had to happen...our first real snow that accumulated to something, though not much. Remember that view out my window from August and October? Here is the December 20th version!




Let us walk in the holy presence.

An Almost-Christmas Blessing

Amazing Peace: A Christmas Poem
By Dr. Maya Angelou

Thunder rumbles in the mountain passes
And lightning rattles the eaves of our houses.
Flood waters await us in our avenues.

Snow falls upon snow, falls upon snow to avalanche
Over unprotected villages.
The sky slips low and grey and threatening.

We question ourselves.
What have we done to so affront nature?
We worry God.
Are you there? Are you there really?
Does the covenant you made with us still hold?

Into this climate of fear and apprehension, Christmas enters,
Streaming lights of joy, ringing bells of hope
And singing carols of forgiveness high up in the bright air.
The world is encouraged to come away from rancor,
Come the way of friendship.

It is the Glad Season.
Thunder ebbs to silence and lightning sleeps quietly in the corner.
Flood waters recede into memory.
Snow becomes a yielding cushion to aid us
As we make our way to higher ground.

Hope is born again in the faces of children
It rides on the shoulders of our aged as they walk into their sunsets…

A Matter of Perspective

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Within the past few days, I have had two experiences stay with me.

One: Classrooms have shifted around at daycare as the East Coast Migrant program ended for the season. This means some children have new teachers. I was across the hall from the classroom where two of our sisters teach. I listened to one child who wanted to get the attention of his teacher as he said loudly, "Sister! Sister!"

Two: I walked to the lake on Saturday. I spend most of my time at the lake as close to the water as I can get without soaking my shoes. This time I tried something different. There is a steep hill right next to the water. So, I climbed. Once I reached the top, I was able to see a lot more lake.

Perspective.

By (literally) looking at a much bigger picture of the lake, I was reminded how important it is to always bring more and more into my image of God. God is the entire picture, no exclusions. Ilia Delio writes, "Only in embracing all can we become the arms of God."

And, this w…

The One Where Val Walks Into Chapel on Reflection Day

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But I wasn't the only thing reflecting!

Check out our stained glass windows! Can you even tell where the glass ends and the walls begin?

Let us walk in the holy presence.




I Can(not?) Wait

Last night we had our second Advent vigil. Each week a sister offers her reflections, and in this week's reflection we were given three words to ponder: waiting, birthing, and gratitude.

I hold much gratitude for my experience yesterday. I attended an Advent retreat given by the poet, writer, and all-around lovely person, Edwina Gateley. The theme of the day was birthing God in the contemporary world.

Edwina reminded us that we are called to gestate. Growing into God's fullness isn't a day-long project. How often I believe that if I can just figure out this puzzle or that idea, then I will finally get the ever-elusive "it" and understand the Mystery of the fullness.

And so I read a poem, engage in a conversation, sit with my thoughts, work with the kids, all the while search, search, searching for the answer. And I cannot wait for those moments. I cannot wait to spend time with a friend. I cannot wait to find that poem that I've been thinking about all day. I…

Art and Advent

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Advent is a great time for me to use my favorite painting as prayer.

That painting is "The Annunciation" by Henry Ossawa Tanner. Not only is it my favorite, but it lives in my favorite city, Philadelphia.

Robert Morneau also wrote a beautiful poem to go with the painting - called Fiat:

On her bed of doubt, in wrinkled night garment,
she sat, glancing with fear
at a golden shaft of streaming light,
pondering perhaps, “Was this
but a sequel to a dream?”
The light too brief for disbelief,
yet its silence eased not her trembling.
Somehow she murmured a “yes”
and with that the light’s love and life
pierced her heart
and lodged in her womb.
The room remained the same
     -rug still need smoothing
     -jug and paten awaiting using.
Now all was different
in a maiden’s soft but firm fiat.

Perhaps you, too, have a favorite piece of art to use as prayer during this Advent season.
Let us walk in the holy presence.

O Come, O Come Emmanuel

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Christians are so countercultural that we begin our new year a month early. Advent is my favorite liturgical season, and we entered in at the Mount last night with our first prayer vigil.
As goes the tradition here, the newest postulant carries the candle during the first week, and I happen to be the newest postulant. The experience helped bring me in a little closer to the season of hope, patience, preparation, and holy waiting.
The easy reflection during Advent is to remind ourselves how desperately our world longs for the love of Christ to be revealed. I'd be surprised if you didn't hear words along those lines at least once each year during the season.
But, the harder thing for we humans, I believe, is to trust the words of the song we are singing here in our chapel each week:
We are here, here in the presence of God. We are on holy ground.
Sure, our faith tells us this is so, but do we actually trust our faith enough to do the hardest thing? Do we trust our faith enough to …

Thanks Giving

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To the younger,
Thank you for revealing God.

To the wiser,
Thank you for revealing God.

To peers,
Thank you for revealing God.

To strangers,
Thank you for revealing God.

To the green earth,
Thank you for revealing God.

To the blue sky,
Thank you for revealing God.

To changing trees,
Thank you for revealing God.

To places of desolation,
Thank you for revealing God.

To all life,
Thank you for revealing God.

God, I give you thanks,
For connecting me to you,
In relationship,
With all your creation.
Amen.

Let us walk in the holy presence.

(c/o waaytv.com)

How Annoying?!

I did not know the topic of our presentation before we went into our weekend with Sister Simone Campbell. I do not know why I did not put two and two together either. But, we spent the weekend immersing ourselves in the world of Catholic Social Teaching...of course. Sister Simone immerses herself in CST; she lives and breathes it.

There are some key principles that make up Catholic Social Teaching: honoring the dignity of every human being, using the government to promote the common good, living out our obligation to one another, and caring for all God's creation, among others.

Throughout the weekend, we talked about the principles that make us feel most enthusiastic, as well as those that make us most nervous. We searched for the principles of CST in recent news articles, as Sr. Simone likes to "pray with the news." We had conversations with members from other communities, as well as among our own, about the way that our charisms align with these teachings. It was a ric…

Nuns in the Van

This weekend the formation crew will take another road trip to Villa Maria, PA for a retreat given by Sister Simone Campbell. If you have heard of Sister Simone, it is probably because of Nuns on the Bus or her work with the NETWORK lobby. I am looking forward to the weekend.

Until I am back and able to write, here is a great poem: Memo to Self Re: Meditation by Ron Stone. It relates nicely to humility, my current topic of reflection. I hope you enjoy.

Right now you don’t have to parse the entire
universe in infinite, particulate detail;
for just these few minutes merely sit and become
only breath, that is to say, spirit.

Now… what you see is a world without you,
as it was before you were born and
will be when you’re no longer here.
Are you amazed that it goes on without you?

Slowly learn the lesson about who you are:
dust of the earth, dust of a star.
The stuff that is you has always been here
fulfilling its purpose in losing its Self.

Until you.

Now it’s become human body and brain;

We Are Climbing Benedict's Ladder

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At the lake this morning, I noticed:

The waves meeting the shore;
The leaves meeting the ground;
The water meeting the horizon.

No wonder nature helps me feel connected. No wonder it revives me.

My evening on Monday revived me, too. We had the first of a two-part formation session on the topic of humility. One of the first questions: What do you know about humility?

Uhh...

Well, I can easily answer the question by telling you about the roots of the word: humus, human, and all of that, but what IS humility?

Benedict devotes an entire chapter of the Rule to humility, so we know it must be important. But, what IS humility?

After we dove a little deeper and received a little guidance, we were able to say that humility is recognizing, trusting, and acting on the presence of God. We recognize God not only in ourselves, but in others, and in the world around us. We do not receive God after we work and work on our humility; no, God is here...now, calling us into relationship. The humility liv…

Let Us Walk In Holy Peace

later that night
i held an atlas in my lap
ran my fingers across the whole world
and whispered
where does it hurt?

it answered
everywhere
everywhere
everywhere.

-Warsan Shire

To Be of Perfect Use

This week I had the opportunity to revisit the Enneagram. For those unfamiliar, the Enneagram is a model that uses nine different categories to describe our personality types. While we probably have a little bit of each type influencing us, we have one basic personality type that describes us best. These types help us better understand the motivations behind our behaviors.

So, for instance, I am a One on the Enneagram, which means I am a Reformer type. The other eight are types are: Helper, Achiever, Individualist, Investigator, Loyalist, Enthusiast, Challenger, and Peacemaker. As with any personality there are plusses and minuses about each type, and we try to work our way toward becoming the healthiest parts of whatever we are.

I first encountered the Enneagram a little less than a year ago as a member of a Contemplatives Leaders in Action cohort, but I revisited it this past week as part of my monastic formation. As my teacher, a sister in our community, pointed out, God is the bes…

Knowing Your Roots

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Our novices just returned from a visit to one of our out-of-town ministries, as well as a visit to St. Marys, Pennsylvania. This small town is home to some big Benedictine history.

St. Joseph Monastery is located in St. Marys. Benedicta Riepp, a Benedictine sister, founded this monastery when she came over from St. Walburga Abbey in Eichstatt, Bavaria. The monastery is the first in the Federation of St. Scholastica, of which the Erie Benedictines are a part. (We are actually the second monastery.) So, basically, we are talking about the roots of our family tree. The community there has since dissolved, and three of the sisters joined us here in Erie.

When the novices returned yesterday, they had a gift for me. They brought me a medal of St. Benedict from the motherhouse there. Much bigger than the one that I wear around my neck, I was grateful to receive something that connects me to the larger history of Benedictinism.

Each and every day I am learning more and more of the history into…

Ordinary Time

This past week I have been grateful for a light schedule. Compared to the month of October, the first week of November was calm. As we prepare for Advent, preparing for the coming of Christ, I have had more time to read, bike, get creative with card making, and catch up with friends from home, which has meant more time to pay attention to God living inside me. I think this is the gift of ordinary time.

I have been paying attention to a lot of words in the daily, too - a sort of living lectio, if you will. Today, during morning prayer, I focused on these words that we sang:

"Open wide the gates. The Holy One will come in."

And during Liturgy, it was these from our communion hymn:

"I, myself, am the bread of life."

Sometimes it is really easy to pass over words and pass through prayer. I know I am guilty, especially when I have other thoughts, or whatever comes next, on my mind. So, this bit of slow down this past week has been a great re-focus for me, because while …

Mind, Body, Spirit

Postulants and novices in our community have the privilege of receiving one day each week that is set aside for reflection. That means we do not go to work at our ministry that day, but rather we take time to sit with and be present to all the emotions, all the thoughts, and all the wonderments that come our way through living a monastic life.

We meet with our formation director and perhaps catch up with another person or two, but other than that, the day should be one where we focus on the balance of mind, body, and spirit. Benedict reminds us often of the importance of balance -- ora ET labora.

Wednesdays are my reflection day. And, it just so happened that yesterday it was 72 degrees and sunny in Erie...in November! What a delight! I was able to spend almost all of daylight outdoors. What a delight!

I find that if I am renewing my mind, body, or spirit, I cannot compartmentalize. If I am renewing one, I am usually renewing another one, or two, simultaneously. For instance, my bike …

Blessing the Future

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Many people have been asking: Do you miss teaching?

No, I don't.

That is because I am still teaching through my ministry at Saint Benedict Center. Yes, you have to make the distinction that it is no longer my classroom, but the kids are still kids, and they are great.

It is the standard teacher cliché to say that we are the ones who do the learning, and I do think that it is true, but since arriving at SBC, I have noticed something else happening in the classroom, too.

Mutual relationships have been a topic of reflection for me recently. As I enter into community, I am forming new relationships, and mutuality has to be a part of that. In some ways, mutual relationships are impossible in the classroom for all the obvious reasons: age, authority, etc. But, there is still some mutuality to be found. For instance, there can be mutual respect between a child and the teacher.

There can also be mutual blessing.

When I became a postulant (just over two months ago now!), I received a medal…

Home Is Where the Heart Is

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Opening up our home to eighty or so friends last weekend gave me a great opportunity for reflection, as do most of the things that happen to me right now!

When I first heard sisters refer to the Mount as "the house" (which was before I became a postulant), it threw me off a bit. What? The house? It sounded so weird. It's a monastery.

But...

Now the Mount is my house, and I get it. We have a kitchen. We have a dining room. We have a living room. We have bedrooms. We have guest rooms. We have family rooms. We have a basement where we store things. We have friends over. We have chores.

We just have it all on a big scale. Because we have a big family living here.

I am slowly learning how slow the process of gaining a "wide view" can be. But, as you witness more and more diversity, it happens. Living in a different home makes it happen. And yes, helping with the process of setting up, welcoming, hosting, and cleaning up when we had our friends over for the weekend m…

Precious Moments

Last month when we went on retreat, our presenter, Lynn Levo, CSJ, spent a great deal of time on the topic of intimacy: intimacy with self, intimacy with others, and more. It broadened my perspective on what intimacy is: opening myself up fully. But there are so many ways to do that; we can be intimate in more ways than just the first one that comes to most minds. There is intellectual, crisis, spiritual, communicative, creative, and aesthetic intimacy, among others.

I had heard the word broken down before. Intimacy: in-to-me-see. Lynn's presentation gave me an opportunity to reflect on what that really looks like in the daily, where Benedict reminds us we live as spiritual beings - in the nitty gritty of the day.

Something with which I have struggled here is that I find it difficult to articulate what makes my days so darn special and wonderful right now. Yes, I witness and partake in beautiful prayer and liturgies. Yes, I am so well supported on the journey. Yes, I have opportun…

Biking in the Holy Presence

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Let us bike in the holy autumnal presence.





Community

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This weekend at the Mount, you can feel excitement. We are holding our community weekend where our oblates join us and either begin or renew their commitment to live with Benedictine spirit.

This means that we have about 80 oblates here with us at the Mount today. A few people started arriving earlier this week, but we officially began last night. Our speaker is Elizabeth Dreyer, who wrote the book, Accidental Theologians. She is speaking about women and the Church. Her chosen themes for the weekend include:

Women, Tradition, Reform, Church, World, Conversation, Holy Spirit, Prophecy, Communion of Saints, Justice, and Hope

Not a bad list!

Another exciting part of a weekend like this is that our out-of-town sisters come home to be with us. So, with all of this, there is lots of beautiful energy filling our home right now! Yesterday afternoon, there was a knock on my door. One sister who lives out of town brought me a plant. She said that she and the other sister with whom she lives beg…

Springing Up

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I spent the first month of my postulancy spending time at many of our community's ministries to see where I might like to be on a regular basis. I went to our Neighborhood Art House; I went to our food pantry; I went to our Kids' Cafe; I went to our education center where we work with adults; I visited the office of the Alliance for International Monasticism; I explored a few other odds and ends. I experienced many people and places, and I gained a greater appreciation for just how much our community is doing for the city of Erie and beyond.

But, I also spent a lot of time at our childhood development center, Saint Benedict Center (SBC). Yesterday, as I discussed this coming week's gospel with my lectio partner, the phrase "sprang up" called her. She asked me, "For what do you spring up?" I quickly responded, "The kids." After visiting the first time, I also knew very quickly that I wanted SBC to be my ministry. The kids there are just great k…

A Little Bit of This, A Little Bit of That

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Over the weekend, we (in formation) traveled to Bristow, VA for an east coast Benedictine formation conference. The title of the presentation was "The Benedictine Way: A Journey To Wisdom." Our presenter, a Benedictine sister from the Pittsburgh community, provided wonderful reflections on the word "wisdom," which allowed us to make connections to our growing understanding of monasticism.

But, more than that, the weekend provided me with an opportunity to experience another Benedictine monastery. I made a remark to one of my sisters that you can feel the difference when you are in a Benedictine home compared to the homes of other orders; there is a sense of hospitality that I have yet to experience anywhere else. From the welcoming at the door, to the open recliner to watch Notre Dame beat USC (Go Irish!), and even a Mucinex for my congestion, I felt the Benedictine heart of hospitality in each experience throughout the weekend.

So, on the way home, when we reflect…

Thank You, Again, Stephen

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Please do yourself a favor this weekend and enjoy the interview between Stephen Colbert and Oprah Winfrey from Thursday night's show. How wonderful that two celebrities openly shared dialogue about faith and belief on network television. We need more of this. Here is a bit of the interview.

Let us walk in the holy presence.



A Change in the Weather

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I decided to go for a bike ride when I got home this afternoon. I was pedaling up the road, and the wind started rolling, the rain drops starting dripping. I started pedaling harder. I couldn't help but sing with Teresa de Avila, who we celebrate today:

Nothing shall disturb you, Nothing frighten you, Patience obtains all things, In God you lack for nothing, For God never changes, God alone is enough.
I thought I would make it home before the sky broke open, but as I made my last turn, I was proven wrong. Evidence:
The weather has been changing fast; at dinner there was talk of the first frost! Yesterday I went for a walk during my reflection day. I think this picture of Lake Erie captures the season nicely.

This weekend, we will travel to Bristow, VA for a formation conference with other monasteries on the east coast. I will report back next week!
Let us walk in the holy presence.

Turn, Turn, Turn

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It is official - fall has arrived. My mother and grandmother have been visiting the past few days, and yesterday we were fortunate enough to take in some of the glorious colors as we visited a local winery, a local farm, and Findley Lake.

Findley Lake

fall colors
I have many more trees surrounding me here in Erie as compared to life back in Philadelphia, so it has been easier to pay attention to the changing colors. Monastics are called to conversatio morum, or conversion of life. Monastics recognize that each day is a new start, an opportunity to do better than yesterday. We are called to change and to grow. Trees are nature's way of reminding me of this call.

As my first class on monastic values has ended, I have started a class about the Liturgy of the Hours. We took some time to do lectio reading with parts of the Rule of Benedict relating to prayer. Often times, Benedict adjusts prayer according to the season. As I commented on living with the natural cycle of the earth, we beg…

Relationship

My lectio partner and I met earlier this week. She had picked up a book of poetry, but later realized that she already had a copy. I benefitted! The book is called, Love Poems From God. Daniel Ladinsky compiled poetry from twelve different men and women, some of which include Rumi, St. Francis of Assisi, Hafiz, and St. Teresa of Avila - a pretty strong line-up!

This week's gospel reading brings to our attention the importance of relationship - relationship with others and relationship with God. I found these words from St. Catherine of Siena a comforting reminder of our relationship with our Creator. The title is The Foundation of God.

My perfect Lord sang,
"Less likely is God to condemn my hand's action than condemn any soul."
How could that be possible, my heart thought?
And the Christ, knowing all minds, replied,
"Forgiveness is the foundation of God's being."
What are you doing to build relationships in your life right now?
Let us walk in the holy presence.

A Single Ray of Light

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When writing a blog was still just an idea that I had, I was telling a sister about it while we were driving home one day. At that point I was still on the search for the right name for the blog. As we were chatting, I was telling her about some of the things that I was noticing at the monastery. She kept saying, "That's a blog post right there!" I hadn't thought of these experiences that way before she pointed it out. She was able to see the worth of each moment that I was sharing with her; I was grateful for her perspective.

To be attentive to the life around us takes practice. To recognize the beauty in all the life around us takes even more practice. On Monday night we wrapped up our monastic values class. Some values of monasticism include: prayer, work, community, peace, holy leisure, and stewardship. As Benedictines, our daily practices should cultivate these values in our lives. Being attentive certainly plays a role in this cultivation.

I think that being at…

One Origin

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I have been spending my weekend sitting in on a retreat offered here at the Mount called "Seasons of the Spirit." Our sister who facilitates these retreats put together a wonderful program on the topic of pursuing peace. We spent Saturday listening to perspectives on Rosa Parks, Thomas Gumbleton, the women martyrs in El Salvador, Thomas Merton, and Pope Francis.
We also did a communal painting activity where we sat in a group of four. Each person used a different shade of green as we passed papers around our table. We had to listen to what was already on the paper before we added our own brush strokes. At night we were treated to a documentary about Bishop Gumbleton, learning about his ministry of nonviolence.
It was a great experience, but it was a different experience for me. This was the first time that I attended a retreat as a member of the hosting community. My perspective changed as a result. So, I started thinking about the way that our identity affects our perspecti…

Honest Truth

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Thank you, Stephen Colbert. (Watch the first two minutes, in particular.)

Let us walk in the holy presence.


c/o cbs.com

Only the Essentials

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In the spirit of trying new things (like, you know, a whole new way of living!) I have embraced another change in my life. For the past three weeks, I have been transitioning out of shampoo and conditioner and into baking soda and vinegar. Before you call me crazy, I'm not the only one!

This move has prompted some interesting conversation at the dinner table as I explain my choice to sisters in the community. My reason for swapping out the shampoo is to go natural. Our scalp, as well as the rest of our body, naturally produces an oil called sebum; it is what makes our hair oily. Rather than using chemicals to get rid of those oils, I am using baking soda. I can't lie - the baking soda leaves your hair a bit gritty. This is where the apple cider vinegar comes in; it does a great job rinsing out and conditioning. The goal of this whole experiment is to balance out the sebum production, which can be elevated through the use of too much shampoo.

So - is it working? Well, I think s…

The Sacred Future

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There are three different orders of women religious in Erie: the Benedictine Sisters, the Sisters of Mercy, and the Sisters of Saint Joseph. This past Thursday many of us joined together, along with others, to listen to a panel of women and men religious discuss religious life and its future.

A Benedictine sister, a Mercy sister, a Cistercian monk, and a Franciscan friar comprised the panel and answered the questions of what brought them to religious life, what religious life means to them, and where they see religious life headed in the future. All four provided wise insights, especially for me as I enter into this new way of life.

One highlight for me was hearing again the Pedro Arrupe, SJ quote that many Jesuit-educated
students know and love:

Nothing is more practical than finding God, than falling in Love in a quite absolute, final way. What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination, will affect everything. It will decide what will get you out of bed in the morning, what …

Peace on Earth

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Today marks the final day of our Pope's visit to the United States. I loved watching him emerge from the airplane yesterday and step foot in my dear Philadelphia. I am also grateful for his message last night at the Festival of Families:

"All that is beautiful leads us to God. Because God is good, God is beautiful, God is true. Thank you all those who have offered their witness."

His message of love and mercy can transform if we become the hands and feet of Christ, like St. Teresa reminds us.
Yesterday afternoon I participated in an event called "On the Move." It was an opportunity for the community to join together and offer witness to the fact that we, as Christ's hands and feet, are called to be stewards of our earth. Groups came from the north, south, east, and west and met in a plaza where we celebrated with music and addresses that united us with one another and with our planet. As our group walked from the east, we chanted together, "Peace on Ear…

One Month

Today marks one month since I moved into Mount Saint Benedict to begin my postulancy. What an amazing journey with this community so far!

Two days ago when I was reading the Gospel reflection from Notre Dame, I read these words about Jesus:

He knew that if his followers had to rely on others, they would come to rely on God.

After sharing this line with a few sisters, I had fruitful conversations about learning to trust and what it really means to rely on God. Jesus sends out his disciples to heal the sick and proclaim the Kingdom of God. He also calls them to take nothing with them for the journey. So, we are called to do the same. This is scary stuff! So far, for me, community makes it seem more possible. I have been so grateful for the love and support of the sisters in this community.

This morning I was absolutely peaceful and joyful during Morning Prayer, reflecting on these beautiful Benedictine women. Then, I read this line in the Psalms:

Happy are they who rely on God.

As I looke…