Monday, December 20, 2010

Advent, awaiting Christ's birth

Advent is a time of waiting, of silence. I have spent this season of Advent in prayer. I have thought about how Mary said yes to God. How Joseph her husband also said yes. How hard it must have been for them. Mary, a good, faithful daughter of God, who followed the laws and customs, was found to be with child. How could this happen to a virgin? What would her community say? What would Joseph say? Joseph planned to quietly divorce her so she would not be exposed. But then the angel came to him in a dream. The angel told him to take Mary as his wife, to name the child Jesus. Joseph's yes to God was proof of his faithfulness and love to Mary and to God.
How have I said yes to God? When has my saying yes been going against the norm? It could be when I said yes to answering the call to religious life. It could be when I have served the homeless, the neglected. Another question that has come to me as I have been reflecting this Advent season, is if an angel would ever come to me in a dream, and told me that God wanted me to do something, how would I respond?
May you all have a truley blessed Christmas and new year! I am eagerly awaiting the arrival of Jesus the savior! I am also eagerly awaiting my family's arrival to celebrate this joyous time of year with me!

Friday, December 17, 2010

St. Nicholas Icon

As we head into the home stretch toward Christmas, I've been reflecting on St. Nicholas. The name and persona of Santa Claus comes from an adaptation of Saint Nicholas, the generous 4th century bishop of Myra. We celebrate his feast December 6th. In our deaneries here in community, as my family did in my home growing up, we put out a shoe the night before in hopes that St. Nicholas will visit us with some little treat. As he so kindly appeared in the night to provide gold dowries for some poor young women centuries ago, so he today brings good things to us. As I begin an icon of St. Nicholas, his generosity and humble attentiveness to what is needed are the true image of Christ's action among us today.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas with Our Employees!

Today we celebrated Christmas with our employees. We also recognized those co-workers who have celebrated milestone anniversaries of service this year.

Celebrating 20 years of service this past year: Susan Blume, Carolyn Carpenter, and Margie Bowman
Celebrating 15 years of service: Karen Katafiasz
Celebrating 10 years of service: Diane Rickelman
Celebrating 5 years of service: Jessica Schipp, Rebecca Jones, Renie Kays, Bert Luebbehusen, Theresa Lampert, and Christine English

Unfortunately, the icy conditions in the area made some employees unable to come in. We're happy they're safe at home, but missed them during the meal and celebration.

Check out more photos from the dinner on our Facebook page:

Monday, December 13, 2010

Snow Day!!

Yup! You heard right. Here in the Indiana/Kentucky area we have our first snow day of the year. The world outside is blanketed in soft white and I, a school teacher, get to stay home for the day and enjoy it all.

When I got up this morning, I was so excited at the prospect of completing many, many tasks... a craft project I am working on for my cousin's new baby, Christmas cards for my family and friends, baking for some people, typing the new intercessions for the Easter season, and maybe even getting some housecleaning done in the process. Snow days are great days for getting many things accomplished.

But now it's almost 10:30. I've been up for hours and how many of these things have I accomplished? None! Instead, I have enjoyed the gift that God gave me this morning... a little extra time to breathe deeply, to look at the wonder that He has created and to appreciate the many, many gifts of this day. So instead of rushing to finish my projects, I took a leisurely breakfast and watched tiny flakes of snow continue to fall on our white-washed world. I curled up in my chair with a warm blanket and prayed an early morning lectio. Now I'm taking a few minutes to reflect on my experiences and share them here in my much-neglected space on this blog. Many people may say that I have accomplished very little this morning. I've certainly checked nothing off of my long "To Do" list. But, I think it's been a productive morning of prayer and reflection and a little much needed rest. And now on to the tasks at hand!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Saying Yes

The Feast of the Immaculate Conception is my favorite holy day. Most people would probably go with Easter or Christmas. Those are at the top of my list also, but I just love the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.

This is the day back in 1998 when I first told someone I was considering religious life. That was a huge deal. Religious life???? I was in college!!! I was 21 years old!!! It seemed I was risking everything to utter those words aloud, but the friend I told was very supportive. I had kept it secret for so long. After all, here I was 21, and I first thought about it when I was 12. No matter how hard I tried, the idea of religious life never disappeared.

I find it so interesting that the day we honor Mary's saying yes was also the day I was given the courage to share what I was being called to do with my life. I find it even more interesting that I entered here at the Monastery Immaculate Conception. God has definitely been with me every step of the way.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Happy Feast of the Immaculate Conception

Today we celebrate the feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, patroness of our monastery, our diocese, and the United States.