Wednesday, April 25, 2012

“Do This In Remembrance of Me”

Easter is the greatest feast in our Liturgical calendar.

The Easter Season will officially end on Pentecost Sunday or will it? Easter really continues in our memory
all year long!

At each Mass that we attend, we remember Jesus’ death and resurrection and each Mass makes Easter present to us again.

The Greek word for remembering is “anamnesis”.  This remembering is not just a passive process but one by which we actually enter into the Paschal Mystery (the life, death, resurrection and ascension
of Jesus).

I like to think this way about the Mass. We know that God is beyond time and space.  What Jesus did in the past is present to God in our present. Our Mass makes Jesus’ life, death and resurrection present
to us now.

Through the Mass, we make Jesus’ saving deeds present to us today.  We are sent forth from each Mass to continue to make Christ present in our lives and in the lives of all the people we meet.
           Sr. Barbara Woeste, OSB

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Journeys of Hospitality

     Obviously, the purpose of taking a trip, especially a long one, is to reach the destination, the process may require unexpected adjustments along the way. Changes of plans, different climate, foods and modes of transportation are some factors to consider. Specifically, world travel affords many opportunities to to experience unfamiliar languages, customs and peoples. 
     I have had the opportunity to live in or visit three very different cultures. In 1965 four of us, Sisters Annita, Nicholas, Stephanie and I, opened a mission in Pomata, Peru, on he shore of Lake Titicaca high in the Andes. While living among the native Aymara people, we taught religion and cared for the sick. There in small, dark mud-floored classrooms and an under-supplied clinic, we “madrecitas” learned from the simple and warmhearted hospitality of the campesinos we served. 
     In 1985I accompanied a woman from Cincinnati to Nepal to visit a mutual Jesuit friend there and to learn about the Catholic mission in this third-world, mainly Buddhist country. We were edified by the religious fervor of the people, especially a Buddhist nun with whom we conversed in Kathmandu. We were also impressed by the respect of the children and their welcome to foreigners. 
     A third journey to Namibia with Sr. Mary Catherine in the winter of 2001best illustrated a community’s practice of hospitality. The Benedictine Sisters of Oshikuku shared their provisions, celebrations, prayers and their joy so wholeheartedly with us. For example, would you expect ice cubes in the African Heat? Or a special trip to a pharmacy for cold medicine, something beyond my expectation. As a “self-sufficient” American there, receiving hospitality was more difficult for me than giving it. 
     Upon reflection I know that the memory of these journeys still helps me realize that I need to accept hospitality gratefully from others, in order to respond hospitably to the Christ in them. 
Sr. Martha Walther, OSB    

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Lent Is Over. Now What?

      Alleluia!  Christ is risen! Lent is over. Now what? True. The celebration of the day of Easter is over, but the season of Easter has 50 more days or seven weeks to go! How will we celebrate another 50 days ending with the feast of Pentecost?
      St. Benedict mentions in the 49th chapter of his Rule that the life of a monk ought to be a continuous Lent; however, few have the strength for this. I got the idea that I could let my life be a continuous Lent in a small way by simply choosing one practice that I would like to become part of my ongoing life style. It is a way of attempting to make each Lent transformative, and I believe it does. 
     I came across a website suggesting ways to celebrate the Easter season not just on the Sundays and special feasts during the season but ways to be aware of the Easter season every day throughout the 50 days. The suggestions excited me and I hope to keep the season in mind daily until Pentecost. Below are some of the ideas that I thought would work for me.
·        Use a special candle at meals or during private prayer to recall the light of the
                     Risen Christ.
·        Add an Alleluia to your meal prayers or other prayers.
·        Keep fresh flowers around.
·        Use a special container for the newly blessed water from Church.
·        Say a prayer to the Holy Spirit every day in anticipation of Pentecost.
·        If you live with one or more people, exchange the old Easter greeting and response: “Christ is risen!—He is risen indeed.”
·        Be creative and come up with other ideas.
Have a joyous and grace-filled Easter Season.
Sr. Victoria Eisenman, OSB

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Sin: motives and attitudes

     On Tuesday of Holy Week our chaplain contrasted the betrayals of Judas and Peter. Judas’ sin of betrayal was premeditated, whereas Peter’s betrayal was a sin arising from fear and a desire to protect himself from identification with Jesus, lest he suffer the same fate. Having more affection for Peter I was excusing him as I listened. After all, even when one commits murder, the punishment for coldly calculated premeditation is worse than that for an impulsive killing done in the heat of passion. I was making this comparison, still absolving Peter, when I tuned back in to the homily for the application being made to our own lives.
     When we sin rashly and impulsively, we need to examine the motive and attitude that led to it. Oh. That would mean perhaps I should not be so quick to make light of my catty remark that “just slipped out” or the omission of a kind act that I think no one will notice. Look at the motive and the attitude that formed the breeding ground for the hasty sins of which I considered myself less culpable. That shed a new ray of light. But it is still ok to have affection for Peter.
     Sr. Christa Kreinbink, OSB