Showing posts from August, 2016

Be on Your Best Behavior!

This upcoming week I will be retreating as I prepare to enter the novitiate. Behave while I am gone! To hold you over, a poem I love (by Tamara Madison) titled Behaving.

All day I have scowled and looked askance,
thrashing in a tide of hormones. I want
to make the world act the right way
and it has resisted. It will not see the obvious.
I want to tear out its eyes and place them
where they cannot help but see.

Until I go outside.

The warm, late-summer afternoon has spun down
to a balmy evening. A brassy sunset casts light
from somewhere in the sea. This light flows
around the trunks of sycamores arrayed in a row
and through their fluttering branches;
the air is tender on my bare arms and legs
and the world feels for this moment bathed in grace.

At last, I realize, the world is behaving.
At last, says the world, she is behaving.

Let us walk in the holy presence.

The Liturgy of Life

When Miriam Therese Winter came to present for our April community weekend, she talked about how we need to turn life into a liturgy. While the Eucharistic liturgy is most central to our monastic life, the Liturgy of the Hours is our daily form of communal worship. With its "hours" marked by different prayers (read more specifics here), the Divine Office, as it is also named, calls monastics to prayer throughout the day. As I reflected on our visit to our sisters in Port Allegany this weekend I realized that I found a liturgy of life there.

Early, early in the morning, you could look out the front window for a most beautiful view, including stars in the lingering darkness of the sky. Their chapel is in the front of the house. My favorite thing hanging on the walls is a favorite quote from The Little Prince.

Both mornings when we woke up, I got to fry up fresh eggs from the farm where our sisters live. With fresh coffee and peaches, plus good conversation, I couldn&…

Sneak Preview

We just returned from a weekend visiting our sisters in Catholic Rural Ministry. I need time to process the wonderful experience before I write more, so for now...the view from the backyard!

Let us walk in the holy presence.

Sit and Pray

One morning while I walked, this prayer bench invited me in...
And as I was praying on this prayer bench some days later...
I got to thinking about all the prayer benches in my life.
I thought about my most "official" prayer bench...
And the prayer bench that helps me wake up with words each morning...
The prayer bench where I pray while the children sleep...
And another "all-natural" prayer bench where I like to read...
Let us be grateful for all the places God invites us in.
Let us walk in the holy presence.

Variations on the Word “Present”

I have had the conversation before,
Present, present, presents, presence,
These words all similar,
But each, a unique key,
To being fully human.

Present…Here. Not absent.
An easily recognizable word for a teacher,
Each morning roll call makes monotonous,
This disyllabic word,
But so much more underneath.
Present…Aware. Conscious.
How do you hear the needs,
Of those who cry around you?
Forget the past, ignore the future,
You are made alive,
To serve in this moment now.

Present…Put forward. Show.
I would like to present to you – life.
How do you present yourself to others?
Are you caring, compassionate, giving?
Or do you tuck away your abilities,
Knowing the potential which lurks inside us all?
To present yourself well,
Be a light in the dark.

What presents do you bring?
Are they material – items which cannot last?
Or are your presents something more?
Patience, love, faith, spirit,
And which do you think the child needs,
Who waits for saving hope?

Your presence. You. Your vitality.
Your presence creates community,

Stranger Things

If you live in Erie you know that last night we had quite the storm. What I watched outside my window forty-two minutes after the electric came back on - my clock was blinking 12:42am - looked like the way movie makers portray the apocalypse: the sky continually illuminated by lightning while booming thunder filled my ears.

So this morning I wanted to go over to the lake and check it out. The scene this time was definitely "the calm after the storm," but I did notice a squirrel running around the beach. I couldn't think of another time when I'd seen a squirrel scurrying around on the sand. Seeing a squirrel seemed much stranger to me than seeing a seagull! (There were also plenty of them.)

In case you've missed it, Stranger Things is THE show to watch on Netflix right now. One of our sisters told me about it, and within a week, I finished the eight episodes that comprise the first season. I even realized that with my new pixie cut, I could easily pass as 011, the…

Zip, Zip, and Away!

This past week our community had its annual LLL days. One of those L's stands for leisure, so on Friday, I, along with two other sisters, went to Peek 'n' Peak to enjoy the adventure course and ziplining there. It might have been a bit more exhausting than leisure, but it sure was fun!

The adventure course was like an obstacle course through the trees.
We had to move from one tree platform to another through the air.
Some parts were harder than others!
But the reward...zipline! You can see where the line ends, in the distance.
And then we did the big zipline - two lines about 900 feet each.
And to get down when it ended, you could choose to take the stairs or to bungee jump - we all jumped from the platform!
Let us walk in the holy presence.

Tasty Traditions

One of my favorite parts of my postulancy is experiencing the traditions of this community. Today I experienced a particularly sweet tradition: annual homemade pies! My contribution was key lime.

Graham Cracker crust...
Ready for filling!
Add some zest...
And lots of key limes!
To create a tasty treat!
I am particularly grateful for this tradition!
Let us walk in the holy presence.