Showing posts from October, 2016

One Will

This weekend the community and oblates heard reflections on the theme of mercy during our community weekend. One of my favorite bits for reflection was the idea that mercy has a lot to do with our unmet expectations. When someone else doesn't live up to your expectations, how do you react? How do you treat that person? Are you bitter and resentful? Or, do you channel God's mercy and shower that person with compassion?

For me, so much of that has to do with letting go of my will, which is not always the easiest thing. As I reflected, I remembered a reflection that I wrote in response to a part of Macrina Wiederkehr's book, A Tree Full of Angels. In it, she writes about finding nourishment in the "crumbs" of our lives and our hesitations about embracing God's will.

Here are her words:

O Most Powerful One, O Indwelling One, I have no words to bring you into my heart; for already you have emptied yourself into my life. You came uninvited. You are here. But I am afraid…

One White Lily

found one white lily remaining in the courtyard waves the last goodbye

Let us walk in the holy presence.

Sunday Afternoon Pick-Me-Up

It has been dreary and windy here for about the past four days. The willow tree even looks like it's been turned on its side because of the strength of the wind blowing!

In spite of all of this, there is always Dr. Seuss!

Follow this link to enjoy some true and bright wisdom.

Let us walk in the holy presence.


You Are Here

Our weekend at St. Benedict's Monastery in Bristow, VA afforded us a chance to spend some time in Washington, D.C. It was a quite a treat, and all those memories of childhood visits came racing back as we took in the Smithsonian museums.

I didn't realize that this blog post was writing itself through the pictures I was taking, but suddenly I realized a similar theme, which then became the title of this entry.

We began our adventure at the Air and Space Museum, which is my personal favorite, and you would know exactly where I was by plugging in some coordinates.

We also saw the first GPS from 1995. I didn't know that they even existed then, and I am sure that without a brightly-colored screen helping me, I would still be lost if I used this! (This one was used for flight.)

I also didn't know that farmers use GPS to help them for "precision agriculture."

Moving away from Earth, something that I found fascinating was a projection of very recent video on the surf…


The novitiate can be a time of a great growth in self-awareness, for better or least it has been for me during this first month. Yes, I am learning some things about myself where there is plenty of room for growth, but my gifts are also coming into fuller view. Yes, I am learning how critical I can be as an overthinking perfectionist, but I am also seeing where greater patience is paying off when I am able to catch myself first.

It will be interesting to return to Bristow, VA for a formation weekend tomorrow like we did last October with another year of life in the books. Perhaps I will gain some more self-awareness and perspective on the ways I have grown and changed since our last visit.

This morning I received some wonderful and wonderfully appropriate words, words which more-than-adequately describe my present moment:

I assumed whatever happened would be an opportunity for greater expansion of my life. There was never any question about each day being anything other tha…

Synchronous Poetry, Part II

A while back I wrote about "synchronous poetry" in my life; well, it happened again. While I was on retreat before entering the novitiate, one poem upon which I reflected was Covenant by Sr. Margaret Halaska, OSF. A few weeks after that, I came across it again in a book on the Enneagram as I paged through the section on Ones, my Enneagram number.
     The FatherKnocks at my door Seeking a home for his son: 
Rent is cheap, I say.
I don’t want to rent. I want to buy, says God.
I’m not sure I want to sell, but you might come in to look around.
I think I will, says God.
I might let you have a room or two.
I like it, says God. I’ll take the two. You might decide to give me more some day. I can wait, says God.
I’d like to give you more, but it’s a bit difficult. I need some space for me.
I know, says God, but I’ll wait. I like what I see.
Hm, maybe I can let you have another room. I really don’t need that much.
Thanks, says God, I’ll take it. I like what I see.
I’d like to give you the whole hous…

Home Furnishings

I am not shy about the fact that I have rearranged my bedroom six times in the year since I moved into the monastery; last week was the most recent shift. Abba Moses said, "Go, sit in your cell, and your cell will teach you everything." I just happen to like to change my cell around frequently; it has pretty much always been that way.

This week I challenged myself to go for a run "around the block" each morning after morning prayer. The block is not quite your typical block, and it is just long enough that I feel happy when I reach the end. Today, as I worked against some strong winds, I spotted a table/shelf of sorts "on the curb" for the taking. It caught my eye enough to stop and take a look, but considering I was running, I figured I couldn't tote it along with me. As I thought about it some more I said to myself I would drive back once I finished running. If it was still there, it was meant for me. I had just the spot in my mind where it would fi…

Little Mercies

Yesterday was the Feast of St. Thérèse, the Little Flower. Yesterday was also the last retreat in the SOS series offered here at the Mount. Sister Carolyn has been leading them for 32 years!

I was grateful to participate in a few of Carolyn's SOS retreat days since I arrived here last year, and in fact, it was one of her Holy Week retreats that was a big part of my beginning the discernment process with this community.

The theme of the day yesterday was mercy. We reflected on having mercy for ourselves, for others, mercy's connection with nature, and with justice. I am never less-than-amazed at the wisdom that fills the space when participants begin sharing their own experiences.

The fact of the matter is that Carolyn has been leading these retreats longer than I've been alive. Imagine all the wisdom and spirit that has entered the world as a result - certainly a force of love to be reckoned with. I reflected on just the mercy shown to me throughout the day yesterday, and …