Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Migrants Among Us

Sisters Margaret Maus (left) and Dorothy Manuel
sharing their stories with each other.
Many of us have known the feeling of needing to move to a new geographic space as our life changes. This is especially true if where we are now provides almost no potential for our life to unfold in a life-giving way. This “displacement” or migration may be as subtle as “being new in town,” being a new employee or choosing a new life commitment. So as Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila, Philippines, said during a U.S. visit, “There's a little bit of migrant in everyone” (NCR, Feb 15, 2018). Tagle, who is president of Caritas Internationalis, the Church's worldwide federation of relief and development agencies, encourages us to base our daily interactions on the model proposed by the "Share the Journey" campaign introduced in September by Pope Francis. It invites people of faith to interact with and welcome migrants to hear their stories. We have multiple opportunities in our daily life to hear the stories of the migrants-among-us with whom we rub shoulders and discover their life-shifting human experiences. This personal exchange and fuller understanding of each other’s gifts and wounds may be a dress rehearsal for choosing even more diverse “Sharing the Journey” opportunities. What would shift in our world if we had an ever-expanding chorus of people saying wholeheartedly, “What an amazing sister or brother you are. I didn’t really know it in the same way until today. Thank you for your sharing.”

Mary Rachel Kuebelbeck, OSB

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Preparing for Lent

Evening prayer in Sacred Heart Chapel. 

Repent and believe the good news! These words from the Ash Wednesday liturgy remind us of our call to live in such a way that we do proclaim the good news. The readings for this Sunday are a good preparation for the days of Lent, which begin on Wednesday. The stories of the lepers can be reminders to us of our sinfulness and our need to repent.  What are the sores of leprosy that are in us? It could be such things as gossip, selfishness, pride, jealousy, disobedience and the list can go on.  

During these days before Ash Wednesday, let us take time to pray and ask God to help us to see our sores that need to be healed. The Church suggests that we make resolutions for the season of Lent. These resolutions should cover three areas: PRAYER, FASTING and ALMSGIVING. Some suggestions for prayer might be to attend Mass during the week, attend the stations of the cross, say the rosary as a family or set aside 10 minutes of quiet in your day to pray and talk to God. Fasting calls us to give up something that we really like to eat, a favorite TV show or some activity that we spend too much time on, like playing computer games or time on your phone! Use this time for family or for reading the Bible! Finally, almsgiving means sharing the gifts that we have with others. This can be as simple as giving to the food shelf, using the rice bowl for money to give to the missions, helping an elderly neighbor or relative or doing extra tasks at home without being asked.

Use this week to prepare for Lent through family sharing and quiet time. What does God want us to do this Lent that will deepen our relationship with Him? 

Betty Larson, OSB

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

The Power of the Eucharist

Sisters Modesta Arceneau (front) and
Lisa Rose prepare the gifts for Eucharist.
"Amen," I say when I receive the body and blood of Christ at Eucharist. The "amen" of my response is a simple word. Yet, at the same time, "amen" is a word that confirms for me that the bread and wine I am receiving is Christ. In receiving Christ through the bread and wine during a Eucharist celebration, no matter where I am, I am with people who believe as I believe. This belief is a source of strength for me as I strive to live as Jesus taught. 

In his book titled "One Great Act of Fidelity", Ronald Rolheiser says the following about the Eucharist: "The Eucharist is meant to send us out into the world, ready to give expression to Christ's hospitality, humility and self-effacement." As I read this quote, I remind myself that as a follower of Christ, I am to serve as Christ served. At the same time, as a follower of Christ, I am to serve for Christ in today's world. Receiving the Eucharist strengthens me to be Christ for the people I meet every day. At Saint Benedict's Monastery, we celebrate the Eucharist every day and receive this spiritual nourishment. 

If you would like more information about our monastery, please contact Sister Lisa Rose at lrose@csbsju.edu.

Lisa Rose, OSB