Saturday, April 25, 2015

"B" Who You are Meant to "B" and you will set the world on FIRE!

I learned at one of our recent Inter Community Novitiate sessions with Fr. Ron Rohlheiser on the topic of celibacy and sexuality that the greek philosophers used to say "we are FIRED into life with a madness that comes from the gods and that this energy is the root of all love, hate , creativity, joy and sadness." We have had many experiences at the CDN lately that have fueled this FIRE!
Kelly and her mom, Cindy, celebrating thier Birthdays

My mom and I are "a couple" years and day apart so we enjoyed celebrating our birthday together at the CDN with the members of our house and a few guests.  We actually had another good reason to CELEBRATE.  All those present at this celebration were part of the Pre-Race Pasta Party the night before the GO! St. Louis Half Marathon that myself, Cindy, Christin and some other young nuns were running in the morning. 

Clare, Kelly, Sarah, Symphonie, Cindy, Christin in our matching 13.Nun shirts
(13.Nun is a play on the distance of 13.1 miles)

We were FIRED up for our intercongregational, mutli-vocational run through the streets of St. Louis with a couple thousand others.  Every blister was worth the great memories that were made.
Butterflies have been symbols of life and joy to many generation in Mexico I learned as I strolled through the butterfly exhibit at the St. Louis Zoo recently.  So parhaps it is the like the flutter of the wings of a butterfly that kindle that FIRE within us each and every day.  Most especially as Spring comes upon on this time of year.
Whether we are celebrating Birthdays, nursing our Blisters, or being attentive to the Butterflies that God sends us at just the right moment; let us all remember the words of St. Catherine of Sienna, "Be Who are meant to Be and you will set the world on FIRE!"
Happy Spring!

Saturday, April 18, 2015


Last week was Divine Mercy Sunday. The Church celebrates it on the first Sunday after Easter to remind us that God is full of mercy, and mercy is a radical principle for those who desire to follow Jesus Christ. 
             In 1953- 1956, the X communists encouraged people to lie about each other to get their property. There was a man, who lied about his adopted parents. After his adopted parents and most members in their family were killed, the communist government gave him his adopted parents' village and many of their treasures. However, he did not have peace after that. He left home and town. No one knows where he went.
            Among the beggars in front of a church every weekend there was a man.  No one gave him money, no one wanted to talk to him, except for a young man, who dropped money for him any time he passed by to enter the church. After some months, one day a young man did not see that beggar for two weeks. He came to the river bank, where poor often stayed.  A little distance from poor houses, there was a very poor tent in which it seemed no one used. However, when he entered, he recognized that the beggar man was very sick and close to death. This beggar recognized this young man who was only person who gave him money. He cried and shared his life and sins to him. After hearing this, the young man was very pained. He said, I am their son, who was the only surviving person after that event. “Now, I on behalf of my family, I forgive you, and in the name of God I, with the power of consecrated priesthood, “I forgive you, your sins”. How powerful our risen Christ was through this young priest! Is risen Christ powerful in our lives?
            He said, “I returned to see my parents’ house, but I only stood from the other side of the river bank to look at it from afar. I cried there. Although, it happened many years ago, but there were many memories. There was too much pain. I was afraid that I could not stand if I came closer.” When he told me that, his tears were silently running on his gentle face. His hands and his body were still shaken by his inner pain. I knew, it was the deep and big pain which followed his life. However, through him, I saw an image of Jesus Christ in my time.
            Look at him, I understood Paul’s words, “I live, but not I live, it is Jesus who lives in me.” Yes, the resurrected Jesus Christ lived in this musician professor priest who respected by many people, even communist government members. However, there were only some who knew his painful past. Writing his story today, I want to send it as my Easter greeting and love from the earth to him in heaven where he sees God and his family.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

The Paschal Paradox

Can you sing "Alleluia!" through tears of agony?

If it's possible, then that's what the people of Kenya are doing this Easter.  So are the people of Syria, Iraq, the DRC… and far too many corners of our world.  This thought weighs heavy on my heart this Easter evening as the "Alleluias" of my own Paschal celebration are still fresh on my lips.

It is a truly a paradox, this faith we profess.  Even as we proclaim that love has triumphed over hate, wars are raging.  Even as life emerges from death this day, people are dying.  We sing joyfully of Resurrection in a world that is still full of crucifixions.

Are we just naive?  Ignorant?  Out of touch with reality?

I think not.  Our Gospel readings these days tell us that the Resurrection didn't seem like clear-cut joy at the beginning, either.  As they struggled to understand what had happened, the early disciples experienced not only joy, but also fear, confusion, and disbelief.  What was a mystery to them is still a mystery to us.

Pope Francis, in his Easter Vigil homily, spoke of this:

We cannot live Easter without entering into the mystery.  It is not something intellectual, something we only know or read about… It is more, much more!
“To enter into the mystery” means the ability to wonder, to contemplate; the ability to listen to the silence and to hear the tiny whisper amid great silence by which God speaks to us (cf 1 Kings 19:12).
To enter into the mystery demands that we not be afraid of reality: that we not be locked into ourselves, that we not flee from what we fail to understand, that we not close our eyes to problems or deny them, that we not dismiss our questions…
The women who were Jesus’ disciples teach us all of this.  They kept watch that night, together with Mary. And she, the Virgin Mother, helped them not to lose faith and hope.  As a result, they did not remain prisoners of fear and sadness, but at the first light of dawn they went out carrying their ointments, their hearts anointed with love.  They went forth and found the tomb open.  And they went in.  They had kept watch, they went forth and they entered into the Mystery.  May we learn from them to keep watch with God and with Mary our Mother, so that we too may enter into the Mystery which leads from death to life.

So I pray that our Easter rejoicing brings us closer to our hurting brothers and sisters.  I pray that we do not run from that which we do not understand, nor that we run to easy answers.  Instead, let us extend our hearts and our prayers to those for whom "Alleluia" is not such an easy word right now.  Let us keep watch with them.  Let our joy be a cushion within which to hold their pain.  

And in the face of death, division, and pain, let us proclaim an alternative.
Let us sing even more boldly: 
Christ is risen! 
Love has triumphed!