Monthly Archives: February 2010

One of Many Theme Songs for Life

This video was shown to me and I found it really to be perfect for my life at this moment.  It is “Walk on Water” by Britt Nicole.  Take a listen to it; the lyrics are on the video.

So what are you waiting for
What do you have to lose
Your insecurities
They try to hold to you
But you know you’re made for more
So don’t be afraid to move
Your faith is all it takes
And you can walk on the water too

Can I just say, so true!  This is now one of my all time favorite songs.  I struggle each day with insecurities, worries, and fears.  Trying to hold on to that smile is my hope, as well as visiting the sisters whenever I can given my schedule and the money.  Now, it is not easy, as I have mentioned before.  Stay at it and God will bring you through. Let’s now dig into the part of the song that says “don’t be afraid.”

[Jesus’] most common command emerges from the “fear not” genre.  The Gospels list some 125 Christ-issued imperatives.  Of these, 21 urge us to “not be afraid” or “not fear” or “have courage” or “take heart” or “be of good cheer.”  The second most common command, to love God and neighbor, appears on only eight occasions.  If quantity is any indicator, Jesus takes our fears seriously.  The one statement he made more than any other was this: don’t be afraid. (Fearless by Max Lucado – page 10)

Jesus does not want us to be afraid.  Why do you think that is?  He was sent here by the Father to die for our sins and take care of the fear we have had because that sin.  Don’t be afraid.  Sounds simple when said just like that, but we know different.  One of the phrases that we use on the TEC retreats is “Let go and let God.”  Give it to Him, and He will comfort you.

Everyday I think about my entering (yes…still need to finish the application) to be a sister.  Can I do it?  Somewhere deep inside, I know I can.  On the flip, I have that fear and insecurity of whether or not I am cut out for this calling in life.  I ask that you all continue to pray for me as I pray for you, and we shall be help to each other on our journeys.

Fact: The Salesian Sisters in the United States belong to two provinces, the East and the West. I would belong to the Eastern Province, known as St. Philip the Apostle Province.

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Posted by on February 15, 2010 in Inspirational Music, Living Salesian


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Just a Generally Good Weekend

Today I went to mass in the evening rather than in the morning.  Okay, you are thinking, what is so important about that.  It is just how wonderful my evening felt in that short time away from the retreat center.  This weekend has been a very good weekend and while there were a few tears trickling down my face at mass tonight, there has been some joy as well.

The weekend started with an unexpected meeting.  Villanova, the outside group that came in to use the center, was led by four interns.  One of them graduated from Saint Mary’s two year before me, from the same major!  To see someone from what was home for four years gave me a lift in spirits.  I have decided again that God is amazing in bringing people to be.  Granted we did not know each other well and never hung out, we were in the same department with similar friends and both involved in campus ministry.  Lately loneliness has settled in being so far away, but being given the chance to see a familiar face has reminded me about how oddly connected we are.  The group was amazing and so grateful, that too is a reminder of how much some people still appreciate things.  God is so good.

Going to mass without anyone I knew gave me the chance to not be so self-conscious of what I am doing.  While that should not be important, it is amazing how different we can act depending on who we are with even if we are not trying to be so aware.  There was something that just calmed me and slowed me down when I first knelt to pray.  Early to mass, there were not many people there when I arrived.  I had a very hard time focusing on what was going on at mass, although aware I was still; my mind traveled rather to letting what God asks of me to settle in me so that I can really feel His love in what I am about to do.  It was interesting.  God is so Good.

Walking from mass to my car, I took a glance upwards to see an amazing sight.  The stars were made visible and the breeze was cool as well as refreshing.  Closing my eyes, I was for a brief moment able to put myself back in Winona, MN in the bluffs…until a car drove by.   That brief moment stuck in my heart.  Oh how I love being outside and feeling the cool breeze, looking into the sky with so much hope and desire to do so much more in this life.  God is so Good.

When I got into my car and the radio kicked up, a high energy praise and worship song was on.  No, I can not recall which one, but I turned up my radio and blasted it.  To jam out singing praise, another one of my favorite things I could do!  It made my smile even more.  God is so Good.

RB TEC 228 is this weekend.  The TEC program has done so much for me, and I am sure it will continue to reach people in amazing ways.  This weekend I am goign through the weekend as best as I can.  The tears that trickled slightly while at mass were in longing to be there with my TEC friends.  As well, a dear little sister friend of mine is making the weekend.  Their mass happened around the time I was at mass.  To be in solidarity with them is beautiful.  God is so Good.

God seems to want me to join the Salesians, it is all I can think about.  I smile like crazy when I think of it and especially when I talk about it.  He is has given this gift to me and I shall open it and see if it fits.  If by chance it doesn’t, I know God will guide me from there.  As of now though, it fits well and I plan on keeping it!  God is so Good.

Fact: “F.M.A.” Our official initials represent our official title in Latin: FILIAE MARIAE AUXILIATRICE. This translates to, DAUGHTERS OF MARY HELP OF CHRISTIANS, the formal name of the Salesian Sisters.

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Posted by on February 14, 2010 in Inner Reflection, Living Salesian


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Question: When was the Moment I said Yes?

In a comment on the last post, a question was asked of me and I have decided to address it in a post. IT is something that I have not thought too much about, but rather but too consumed by so many other things.

What was the moment when you said, “okay God, that’s what I’ll do?”

The past day, since I read that question, I have thought up and down my whole life to find that moment.  Now, one may think that would be an easy thing, but I can not find a single “ah ha!” moment that rings true in me.  Instead, there are just all these little things that have come together slowly for me.  There is the feeling that there is so much more for me, the love of working with youth at camp, the passion for retreat work, the longing to find ways to make my faith really strong, wanting to help people, being there for my friends whenever they need someone, finding God in abstract ways, and so many other things.

For most my life, I always remember wanting to be outside, and just be.  There was something amazing and wonderful about being outside.  As time went on, especially when I hit college and got to go in the bluffs on hikes, I realized being outside was one of the places that I found God the most.  I wanted to make my faith stronger and understand why I continued to stay Catholic rather than stray elsewhere.

The pull for something more was there in high school, but when I hit college, it really yanked on me.  I wrote before about the struggles between the awesome points, as well as the difficulties I had with finding a major that I really felt I was supposed to do.  All of it was important, but through it all, I wanted more and to do something unique to reach out.  When I first asked myself what it would be like as a religious sister during my sophomore year, I had no idea it would stick this far.

Looking now to all that has happened since I met the Salesians for the first time, as much as I freaked out on the outside, I have done nothing but smile about the whole thing.  Sure, there are those questioning moments that I mentioned previously.  Even in that, I found myself smiling.  When I went to do my interview this past Monday, I was beaming.  Something has felt right the entire time, even though I have never been able to 100% admit it yet.

Basically, I have said yes over and over, but have said no a few times too in between.  I have been telling myself and preparing myself for a long time now, to be open to whatever God may call me to do.  It was this path, religious life, that I had never expected to come to me.  Now, I just need to continue to accept it.  I am happy to thinking of my life this way and I smile unable to stop smiling even when I try hard.  What I have found helps is knowing that many people are following in the journey, one of the reasons I want this blog out there.

I hope this answers that question, even though straightforward it is not.  Thanks for following.  Peace and Prayers!

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Posted by on February 13, 2010 in Inner Reflection


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Some Things I Have Learned

As time goes one, and I think even more about my future, I have learned a few things.  One thing I am already familiar with; I am a very deep thinker.  When it comes to big decisions, or even small trivial ones, I will weigh out absolutely everything about each thing that I could choose.  This presents itself an issue at times.  It leads me to asking just about every what if and any other question there could possible be asked.  For example…

Do sisters go swimming?  Can I swim at the lake in the summer with my family? (Keep in mind this is more of a question for FOUR years from now…)

Can I bring my books? movies? music?

How often do I get to see my friends?

What if I am completely wrong and heard God wrong…look at all this hoop-la I have created!?

What if what I believe in does not exist?

How do I handle doing this sister thing for the rest of my life?

Skirts…not always good for people like me when ungraceful, can I wear leggings (even colorful ones!) underneath?

Will I be able to go work TEC retreats or can I go work/participate in retreats at the Marianist Retreat Center?

Let me tell you, the list goes on and on and on forever.  Somedays they are the same questions, somedays they are very much different.  Most the time, they fly in and out of my mind.  I do have to say, the one about swimming and about wearing random colored leggings underneath the habit or the uniform in formation are common questions in my mind.  Is this weird that I am asking these things?  No, I guess not, so I am told.  Deep thinker, can one tell?

I love to write, poetry mostly.  Every now and then you get a psalm out of me, or some lyrics.  One of these days, a friend of mine (not sure which one yet) will get some music to them.  It is there that what is in me pours out the best onto paper.  Sometimes, as I have learn, things that I would nto have expected to come across pours from my entire being through my hands into words.  I have learned to appreciate better the words I write.  An artist is his/her biggest critic, but that artisit need to realize the beauty within themselves.  God doesn’t make junk, and since that makes one not junk, nor is what they create.

Finally, as much as I freak out and worry and rethink my choice to go forward with entering into formation for religious life, I think I really want it in some deep level of my being.  When the topic of religious life first came up, it did intrigue me quite a bit, but I paid no mind to its possibilities in my life.  As it came up at other times, I do see now that I was never saying no, but I would get as close to it as possible.  Me, a religious sister, you have to be kidding me, right?  When that moment in the bathroom came, and two worlds collided, I was not sure what to think, but only to follow those two people who seemed to have what I wanted.  Working with youth, nad furthermore retreats, then this underlying thought of religious life that sat in me!  How in the world does this happen to me, bizzare ways of discovering things.

At some level, I was relieved.  God gave me something to put on my chalkboard.  I say chalkboard because I used to think that my level was a black void nothing that would lead no where that would be good.  Instead, I see it now as a chalkboard that was slowly being wiped clean so that God could write His plans out for me to study so I can go take the ultimate test, living for Him!

I have learned, you need to be open and see the world for what it is in its simple beauty.  You need to be open to the creativity that is within you.  It is ok to question, but don’t let it consume you.  Be who God made you as, so in essence, be you, who else could you be?  God has a plan for me as you may have noticed, what is yours?


Posted by on February 12, 2010 in Inner Reflection


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Waiting Within

Fresh from my hands and my heart, I give to you another poem.  It is entitled “Waiting Within.”

Do you see it like I can see it now

Where did it come from, but how

It flutters around in me like a butterfly

Somehow it has lifted my spirits very high

My insides, oh do they really feel it

It is almost too much, how can I just sit

Oh the urge, it is definitely there

All this time left to go, can it I bear

Questions, oh the questions in my head

There are so many what ifs to be said

See that thing lurking in the darkness

I think it wants to make me feel less

No, wait, it cannot be allowed as so

With this light that warms me I must go

Why this brightness that must fill me

Where it leads, this I must really see

It sends away all that seems to pain

Oh the smiles that I cannot contain

For this greatest you give, I long

Just look at what it gives me, such song

The wait, will I make it to that day

The entering moment coming my way

Oh do pray for me this time to wait

Until comes that very special date

The things that fill me inside are numerous and great and in such varying degrees!  Into rhyme I do fall in the midst of it all!

Fact: There are four years of formation for the Salesian sisters that one must go through before taking first vows.  The following definitions are taken from Merriam-Webster.  The first year is Aspirancy.  An aspirant is “one who aspires.”  The second year is Postulancy.  A postulant is “a person admitted to a religious order as a probationary candidate for membership.”  The third and forth years are the novitiate.  A novice is “a person admitted to probationary membership in a religious community.”


Posted by on February 11, 2010 in Creative Corner, Living Salesian


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My Birthday Gift to Me!

A poem entitled “My Birthday Gift to Me!”

On this my birthday I declare
You will surely see me there
To give this religious life a try
It seems to lift my spirits high
As a gift I will give to me
I am letting God’s plan be
Taking this as time does go
Because who else can know
Salesians surely make me smile
A beaming smile longer than a mile
So to me from me on my birthday
This is what there is to say!

I have decided that I need to not fight what God wants me to do, but rather pray about it and pray that I am hearing the call right.  The what ifs and the questions are going to be there, end of story.  I will pray about them and give them to God.  Salesians, here I come!

Fact: The formal name for the Salesian Sisters is Daughters of Mary Help of Christians.  This title for the Blessed Mother dates to 1571 and Pope Pius V.  Don Bosco believed, “Our Lady wants us to honor Her under the title Mary, Help of Christians. Times are so bad that we need Our Lady to help us to be faithful and defend our faith.”

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Posted by on February 10, 2010 in Creative Corner, Living Salesian


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Learning Patience

“The time is coming quickly, and what I show you will come true.  It may be slow in coming, but wait for it; it will certainly take place, and it will not be delayed.”  Habakkuk 2:3

Patience is something that I have learned to have through the course of my life.  It is amazing how many forms and levels of patience do exist that we must be aware of and strive to attain.  Patience with people, with things, and most of all with God.  Patience in jobs, in the family, in the community, and in yourself.

The first time I encountered patience is with my family.  I have very different ideas at times on how to go about things and approach situations.  It seemed that meeting at an equal ground was very hard.  While we did argue a bunch, there was an underlying patience that all parties had to discover.  It is an ongoing adventure this one, but one that hopefully continues to move in the right direction.  It will be difficult as I never saw myself to close to my family, but alas, they are my family.

Another place where patience was encountered in a big way for me was my summers on staff at a Girl Scout camp.  There are staff that come from other countries as well as the domestic camp.  Growing up going to camp and having a particular connection to the camp, it was difficult at time to work with those hwo may have not understood the deep profound affect that a camp can have on a child.  You also have to consider the 30 or so women living together; as one can imagine, this could cause a lot of tensions.  Working with people who would do things differently than me or not understand was difficult.  When things were the other way around as well, provided to be just as difficult.  It is in those times that I learned patience.  As well, with the girls that would come to camp, you had to portray a good deal of patience balanced with a cross between I am you friend adn you must follow these rules.

In university is where I learned the  most patience with myself, as well as developing my patience with other people.   I struggled, as I have mentioned in a previous post, with my school work.  I found myslef getting frustrated with myself only to be remending that patience with ones own way of accomplishing things is needed.

Where I am now is another place of patience learning that I have.  As difficult as it may be at times, I learn much from the people here as well as patience in working with others.  Though there may be few of us, our ways of doing things and thoughts on how things should be done vary greatly.  It has been a great challenge, but rewarding when tackled with patience.

The biggest thing I am learning in terms of patience is what lies ahead for my future.  Entering with the Salesians this coming August has me scattered all over the place.  While I may hav enot finished the application and turned it in, it has been made clear to me that I am pretty much set once all that is done.  The way I feel about things as shifted gears and I am anticipating the moment of entrance.  It was also presented to me what could be a chance for me to go live with my aunt in Italy (orgins of this particular order) so that I may learn some Italian, travel and see some churches there, and work in ministry.  It sounds simply amazing, but I need to remember my job here.  There is this urge in my to be back visiting with the sisters and to be joining them.  There is a great deal of time before that happens.  In God’s time things will happen.  I was sent to the point of Jersey for a reason, and now I must finish my stay here before I move on.  Let us travel back to that bible quote.

“The time is coming quickly, and what I show you will come true.  It may be slow in coming, but wait for it; it will certainly take place, and it will not be delayed.”  Habakkuk 2:3

God has shown my the Salesian Sisters, and it is to be.  There is much time before that happens and I must wait until the alloted time of entering.  I need to remember that it will happen, and not be delay any longer from the time is must occur.  Patience is what needs to exist until that point.  Patience with God that He indeed knows what he is doing.

Fact: St. Mary Mazzarello (1837-1881) worked with St. John Bosco (also known as Don Bosco) and found the Salesian Sisters in 1872.


Posted by on February 10, 2010 in Inner Reflection, Living Salesian


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