Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Spring Break

I am spending my Spring Break here at the Monastery. It is great to relax and spend time with some of the sisters that I don't get to spend much time with. I am also excited because of Spring Break, I can be at the Monastery for the entire Triduum. I am also working or maybe you could call it procrastinating from working on a paper for my night class. I am writing a paper on Literature Circles. I have not written a research paper since college which was 6 years ago. I had to get online and find out how to write in APA format. I guess I should go work on my paper. :)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Sister and Power tools

This past Saturday a colleague and I gathered twelve of our juniors for service work with Habitat for Humanity. We had taken a group this past Fall and really had a great time even with the cold rainy weather. This time it was a beautiful day and our young men were tired from attending a prom the night before but came with energy and enthusiasm for the work ahead.

We split into two groups. One went to an empty lot that needed cleaning up and the other went to a house that had just been framed and needed some framing of windows and work underneath the house. It was good to see that they stepped forward when the supervisor asked for volunteers to do different tasks. Even when the tasks were not the most pleasant.

They did a great job and loved every minute of the day. They asked my colleague and I when we were going again.We have had such overwhelming response to our Habitat Saturdays that we will be starting a club and committing to one Saturday a month during the school year and several week days during the summer. The young men see the importance of helping others to have a home and were happy to be a part of the process.

Today at lunch my colleague said that I was the subject of much discussion before class. They never knew that a sister could use power tools as I did and that I could make a frame for a window in a structure. They were suprised that I could use a hammer and was able to lift and carry lumber as I did that day. Today, I am stiff but not sore. They also talked about how they are getting to know some of their teachers in a different way through their service projects and really enjoy the experience.

Young people today have a concern for those who are in need of help no matter what it is. We as adults just need to channel and guide the energy. And even pick up a power tool or two from time to time to motivate them. If they see us doing what we ask of them they will follow.

Sunday, March 21, 2010


Yesterday, our 7th graders had a sponsor- candidate session, and they begin their preparation for Confirmation. I was so inspired by the openness and willingness to try anything. We had a lot of fun- played "I Love Everybody Who...", went on an Emmaus Walk in the beautiful sunshine, built card towers, and create songs and poems about scriptures. Then, it ended with Mass. What a terrific day! I was so happy to be able to share in such an important part in the faith journey of these middle schoolers.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Lenten Promises

It's the 4th week of Lent. How's everyone doing with their Lenten promises?

One thing I chose to do was give up soft drinks. Growing up, soft drinks were a rare luxury. Things changed when I went to college because I had greater access to sodas in the dining halls. Mt. Dew was really helpful when it came to late night cramming for a test/complaining about a class. Now $1.00 sodas at McDonald's are awfully enticing.

I decided to give up sodas because I realized I was using them as a source of comfort. I'm all for people treating themselves, but I had gone beyond that. It was almost to the point where the McDonald's people had my cup ready and my order rung up by the time I walked in the door. (I used to work at McD's. We had our regulars who were very loyal to their routines.)

During Lent, the idea is that we give up something we like or do often or something we're addicted to (like I was with soft drinks) in order to focus and rely on God. It is God I should turn to for help with my day, not a $1.00 Diet Coke.

It all ties in with what St. Benedict says about living a balanced life. All things in moderation. I'm all for treating myself from time to time as long as it remains a treat and not a necessity.

Blessings on the remaining days of Lent and all your Lenten promises.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Lent 4.5

Tonight I enjoyed a fantastic Lenten Mission talk by Fr. Joe Mitchell of the Passionist Earth and Spirit Center in Louisville. He spoke about how we can encounter God in three different senses. God is within our ourselves in our own hearts (1st person), in "the other" as "You, my Lord and God" (2nd person), and in the he-she-its of the world, in other people and creation (3rd person). He said in private prayer we tend to get in touch with God in the 1st and 2nd person senses, and we even tend to serve God in our neighbor as the "he's and she's" of the world. But a lot of us need to work on getting in touch with God in the "it," in creation, the earth. God is manifested to us in creation, and how we care for the earth reflects something of our love of God.

Check out the Passionist Earth and Spirit Center's Lent 4.5 program. The premise is that if we were to divide up the whole earth among the total population of the earth, each person would get 4.5 acres with which to provide for all of one's needs. In the U.S. right now, the average consumption level is closer to 22.3 acres per person. We only have one earth to provide everything we need. If I'm using more than my share, that means someone else is getting less than their fair share. Taking care of the earth isn't just a political agenda- it's a social justice issue.