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Tag Archives: listening

Silence for a Day!?

Contrary to what some may say, it is possible.  I did catch a couple whispering throughout and there were a couple of moments I found it completely necessary to speak.  That being said, Good Friday was a day were I went though so may different emotions.  As I look back at my journal, it is filled with an abundance of writings…and I don’t exaggerate on the word abundance.  From my journaling, I recall the day.

We did not have to be anywhere until nine in the morning.  It was a wonderful thing indeed!  After prayers and grabbing something to eat, one of the sisters and I headed up the hill to the cemetery.  You see, we are not allowed to go up there alone because of an apparent bear issue (that we have yet to hear about since the mention).  Our animator was kind in letting me go if someone came with.  Yay!

When we met to go up, this sister asked me if I would like to pray the rosary.  We made it through the second decade when we hit the cemetery.  Standing in the cemetery praying the third decade, we both glanced over all the names of the sisters resting in peace there.  It has been a little tradition of mine I started on my first visit there.  This time, I stopped and took a special look at Sr. Rose McShane’s stone on the wall.  This in honor of a special friend of mine who would visit her often.  Finishing the third decade, we turned to head back down to the house. 

The walk up there was wonderful and what I really needed at that moment.  There is complete peace up there and it leaves this beautiful feeling in me.  Walking along with the sister, I felt at home.  Admist that, my mind was all over pondering my vocation.  The walk to the cemetery was awesome.

During the silent retreat part of the day, I wrote in my journal and read.  That was about it with the exception of a nap.  My lunch was a wonderful roll and an apple.  It was very delicious. 

 For awhile now, I have been praying that Jesus would transform me (maybe two months or so) to how He wishes me to be.  When I went down the hill for the Good Friday Service, this was all I could pray as I reflected on my life, most especially since entering.  The service, as was the prior one, was good.  Again, I missed involvement with music.  At my parish as well, the choir I was involved with did the Good Friday mass.  Despite that, it was good to again be surrounded by the sisters.

We had the stations of the cross up the hill in our chapel with our community.  My prayer in that was simply to have Jesus bring me on His journey.  To have Him reach my heart and fill my soul with His love was what I had wanted.

That evening, we had a chance to go to a Tenebrae.  I am not sure I had gone to one before, though I have gone to something similar at Christmas.  One sister and a companion of mine were the only ones to go.  It was a good chance to reflect on the scriptures and through music. At the beginning we were all to take a nail.  When we went up to venerate the cross, we dropped the nail into a basket at the foot of the cross.  It was a powerful symbol to me.  So many things came across my mind in staring at that one nail. 

At the end of the day, I thanked Jesus over and over for all the opportunities I had to be with Him in special ways throughout the day.  Who ever knew a silent retreat could be so loudly fruitful?

 

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Jesus, My Everything

During prayer one time, yesterday if I am not mistaking, the prayer leader picked a song that fit how I was feeling at that moment.  It is called “Jesus, My Everything” by Matt Maher.

With all the struggles that come with being in a place of formation with a group of other women, it is so easy to get distracted form what really brought us here and what really keeps us here in this place.  We all our longing for our purpose and place in being here.  The trouble lies that when we are all looking for the our place, we clash and runinto each other, making our purpose fall away.  We struggle because we don’t know what God could even have planned for us in this world.  In that sturggle then with the losing track of where we are, we fall hard and sometimes end up in temptation of sin, big or small.  The prayer is to let this all pass so that we can be truly a disciple with nothing standing in the way.

For me it is a constant battle, as it always has been.  The type of fighting has just varied as time has gone on.  There has not been one day that I have not found myself frustrated with something.  With that it is hard to remember why I am here.  It is in prayer that I try to bring my self back by laying it all down at Jesus’ feet and praying that I may follow Him more closely each day.  That being said, I now what to share a quote I found on another person’s blog.

“Vocation does not come from wilfulness. It comes from listening. I must listen to my life and try to understand what it is truly about—quite apart from what I would like it to be about—or my life will never represent anything real in the world, no matter how earnest my intentions…. Vocation does not mean a goal that I pursue. It means a calling that I hear”.

Herbert Alphonso, SJ

Listening, something that I have talked about before.  We need to listen to each other, listen deep within our hearts, listen to what God in the Trinity is saying, and just plain old listen to whatever there is to hear that could help up in our journeys and to lessen conflict.  It is amazing what we realize when we listen.  Things talked about in the song could be non-existent with the help of listening. 

In the end, don’t forget to pray.  Let Jesus be your everything and listen with your whole heart and mind to Him.  That is the reason I am where I am today.  Peace.

 
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Posted by on September 22, 2010 in Inner Reflection, Inspirational Music

 

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Unity the Goal

Words are many, words are few

Words can take over you

We must watch what we say or do

For actions can show just as much too

Caring watchfulness is the game

Not putting down anyone’s name

We are not in the race for highest fame

We are all in base respects, the same

We need to be aware, both you and me

To all the things we hear and see

Not skim the surface or what is to be

Pay mind to every word or action is key

One can not begin to even fathom

The feelings that exists in some

When all is not listened to from

The person in which sincerity come

So please be mindful of each person’s soul

The things that fill their life’s bowl

For if we ignore then they feel not so full

We want to have unity, that is the goal

 

 
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Posted by on September 17, 2010 in Creative Corner

 

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A Plugged In Society: Awareness of Surroundings

We are just that, a “plugged in” society.  Not even that, it is a cordless world where take our plugged in mentality wherever we roam.  As I watch the kids get off the bus and wander into school, you see a common thing.  Aside from the skirts hiked up and the lack of interest you are standing there greeting them, there are numerous students listening to there Ipods and mp3s, or talking on the phone. 

Now I do understand, in the morning, if you just don’t want to have that conversation with your parents on the way to school, but one could at least wait to step out of the car to plug in.  Move to lunch time.  You are at school with your friends and so our your other friends at other schools.  The phone has become such an attachment that one comes up with what is thought to be creative ways to hide the phone being snuck out of the locker.  This leads me to wonder if one day all communication with lack face to face time and the use of our voices.

On another note of similar yet different topic, the awareness that people today hold is starting to dwindle a bit from what it was.  We have become very good at pointing out that which is not good about a situation and each person and such like things.  Looking at the whole picture and what is the best is something I tend to find rare.  People have their thoughts and opinions and great ideas.  As a whole, many groups struggle to communicate and look at what is really going on around them in others.  Seeing things simply is something we all need to work on.  Listening fully to what people say without a quick fire response is also a lesson to be learned, one that can save much trouble.

So, these are just some thoughts of the morning that I have had.  Thanks for reading, as always!

 
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Posted by on September 16, 2010 in Random Things

 

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Be Strong

She is the one who always has to be be strong

No matter what is going on in any aspect of life

She is expected to constantly be on top of her game

There can be no mistakes and it must be done right

She can not show being unsure in answering

But must be ready to jump on command when called

She has to know just what to do and nothing else

If not that then she must not know anything at all

She is the listening ear that people can come to

Where is her chance to just talk everything away

She is not allowed by herself to be fearful and afraid

 Signs of weakness do not go over well in life

She does not even know who she is many times

Even when it stares her in the face waiting

She is tired of always having to be so strong

In whatever form of what may be presented to her

Tired of having to know what is going on at all times

Tired of being the one sent here and there everywhere

Tired of feeling right in place when things linger

Tired of not knowing where she is at right now

Tired of being so unsure of where the future lies

With all these things she needs to remain strong

But she is tired of being strong so what is she to do

Friends are far away with her left to cope alone

Why must she be strong in the midst of it all

When can she fall to the ground without strength

Where will she be if she keeps on being strong

Who will catch her if the strength fades away

What will come of her who can only be strong

 
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Posted by on May 7, 2010 in Creative Corner

 

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Whatever You Like

I would like to share a quote that lead me to think once again what our path in life can entail in order that we follow God’s plan and become closer to Him.

We are at Jesus’ disposal. If he wants you to be sick in bed, if he wants you to proclaim His work in the street, if he wants you to clean the toilets all day, that’s all right, everything is all right. We must say, “I belong to you. You can do whatever you like.” And this is our strength, and this is the joy of the Lord. — Mother Teresa

God may call us to things that don’t seem as out there amazing for the world, but don’t dismay because it is important no matter what.  The thing for me is what is considered our strength and the joy of the Lord.   To God I must say, “I belong to You.  You can do whatever You like.”  Typing it here is one thing on here, but to really say it and mean it and take to action what Jesus wants is a whole other challenge.  Do our absolute best to follow Him is what we are to do.

Lord, I pray that You can continue to guide me along the path You wish for me to travel.  Though I do try to stay on what I feel is the right track, it is a struggle that some days I want to have out and go back to other plans.  Guide me in all I do so that I may not stray.  Help me to understand why I must do as You need me to do.  Thank you for the gift of friends that are there for me when I need them the most, in good and in bad.  Amen.

 
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Posted by on March 4, 2010 in Inner Reflection

 

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Testify to Love!

I am a lover of Christian music as it really livens my spirit up and give God His praise due to Him!  This song is a statement of intent of the way I want to live, testifying to love!

Testifying to love is something I have tried to do my entire life and have longed to do my whole life to come.  Here is another look at the lyrics.

All the colours of the rainbow
All the voices of the wind
Every dream that reaches out,
That reaches out to find where love begins
Every word of every story
Every star in every sky
Every corner of creation
Lives to testify!

For as long as I shall live, I will testify to love
I’ll be a witness in the silences when words are not enough
With every breath I take, will give thanks to God above
For as long as I shall live, I will testify to love

From the mountains to the valleys,
From the rivers to the seas,
Every hand that reaches out,
Every hand that reaches out to offer peace,
Every simple act of mercy,
Every step to kingdom come,
All the hope in every heart will
Speak what love has done!

For as long as I shall live, I will testify to love
I’ll be a witness in the silences when words are not enough
With every breath I take, will give thanks to God above
For as long as I shall live, I will testify to love

This is what I want to live to do: have love, be love, show love, feel love, share love, and just have the love of Christ, son of God, felt in the Spirit, in my life.  There is a burning desire as I have talked about before, to love and do great things; I want to do more in the world.  I feel so many things!  Today I saw God again, in the sky once more, in its glorious splendor of wonder and awe.  It gave me the hope, as well as the love.  It makes me want to crank up the praise and worship contemporary christian music and just dance beneath the stars without a care in the world and so much love in my whole being.

The biggest challenge for me always was finding the place that that love is supposed to abide through me.  My passion was drawn to being a camp counselor as well as working/making any and every retreat I could get my hands on.  It was there that the love of a family that I have come to adopt was instilled in me.  They have helped me grow and learn, especially the Riverbend TEC community/family.  From there I left to be where I am out east, doing retreat work in every form.  While I feel like I can put my love there, there has still been the challenge to be truly myself and show the love that I feel deep down.  It is in traveling the journey I am on to, God-willing, enter formation for religious life that I hope this love that burns within me will be let loose.  The Salesian sisters have shown me a great love and passion for who they are, what they do, and God whom they live for.  It makes me smile and everyday I think about what this potential future can hold for me and it is hard to live in the moment, as well as fill out the rest of that darn application.

I must love now with all I can and do now what is needed to be done so that I may continue to love with all my heart, through the love poured out on the cross!  For as long as I will live, I will testify to love.  I will be a witness in the silence when words are not enough.  With every breath I take, I will give thanks to God above.  For as long a I will live, I will testify to love!

 

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A Song that Strikes at the Core

This weekend I am able to be participating in a retreat rather than having to work them.  It is the Young Adult Retreat and the theme is based on Discipleship.  While I do not have much to say now at this point, I wanted to share this song with you.  It is not a part of the retreat but it is very close to what I feel when I am telling people about entering into formation with the Salesians.  Also, I just really love this song.  Have a listen!

Last night I was telling one person in particular about next  year and she was asking me a handful of questions.  I realized once again the smile that crawls across my face as I am sharing this deep part of me.  It is a total reminder to myself that this is really what I need to be trying out next year.  God does amazing things in amazing ways!

Fact: Distinct characteristics of the Salesian spirituality are the three devotions that have been part of their prayers since the beginning.  This is one of them: “Dedication to the Church, seen especially in the person of the Pope. Pope John Paul II, who himself attended a Salesian parish, and his great love for the young, bring to life Don Bosco’s words, “Young people must know you, love them.” “

 
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Posted by on February 20, 2010 in Inspirational Music, Living Salesian

 

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God is There

Through the sun that shines in from far away

And the birds chirping that do stay

There is God on that glorious day

When the rains fall from the broken shy

When we are not sure those tears will dry

There is God as we are questioning why

In the things that seem ever so small

Like the passing of a little bouncing ball

There is God in the midst of it all

There are those moments we wish to forget

Even though the past has been surely set

There is God with you I am willing to bet

When the joy runs wild and off we go

Our prayer seems to run so dry and slow

God is there calling you back you know

Through the fears that hold us back

Like all our dreams locked in a sack

God is there to give you a courage pack

In the pondering of what is to come

When you feel like you have gone numb

God is there to guide you with a hum

Days do come and leave us really thinking

Whether we are swimming or down sinking

God is there to help us find the linking

When it all comes together out of a messy pile

Then we see where we are supposed to travel

God is there waiting and bearing a great big smile

– Yours Truly

Fact: Distinct characteristics of the Salesian spirituality are the three devotions that have been part of their prayers since the beginning.  This is one of them: “Friendship with Mary under the special title of Help of Christians. As a woman, wife and mother, she understands the inner workings of the our own journey through life, as well as that of the people to whom we minister.”

 
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Posted by on February 19, 2010 in Creative Corner, 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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