Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Good Zeal—Peter & Paul

           A tentmaker and a fisherman. One struck blind for his arrogance; the other humiliated by his infidelity. The pillars of the Church, Peter & Paul. Through them God demonstrates the power of grace in human lives when it is welcomed and allowed to work. Zealous for the work of God, both were conscious that they held the treasure in clay jars. 
            At the end of his Rule, St. Benedict exhorts the monks to good zeal “which monks must foster with fervent love”. Like Peter and Paul, the acknowledgement of human weakness precedes Benedict’s exhortation to further virtue. The monks should outdo one another in showing honor, “supporting with the greatest patience one another’s weaknesses of body or behavior…” 
            St. Aelred comments, “…these men were to be physicians who would heal the weak. But they would be unable to pity the weaknesses of others unless they had first experienced their own weakness.” Aware that we hold the treasure of God’s grace in clay vessels, may we welcome this gift and allow it to work in us. 
                                                        Sr. Christa Kreinbrink, OSB

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Presence in the Midst of Flurries

       Probably pretty much like you, I get super busy- especially when seasons change, needs change and schedules change. In my position at the parish I have “closed the book” on this year’s RCIA group- all fully initiated now and the team is taking a breather. With our parish communication committee I am gearing up for a new project in that area. The day to day business and tasks associated with both parish and outside groups are unpredictable and constant at the same time and I am just now getting to back burner items on my to do list for 2014.

       AND, in the midst of these flurries, I get to take time out to talk about God. How great is that? I am fortunate to meet with several wonderful people for Spiritual Direction on a monthly basis. The one or two people that I see in a week feels like a one or two hour spiritual spa. For me, the cares of work can be seen with new eyes and a new heart in the perspective of God’s loving care for all. Life is Good!
       Sr. Dorothy Schuette, OSB

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Backyard Blessings

     At Noonday Prayer on Monday, June 2, we read from St. Paul, “If you have been raised with Christ seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are of earth, for you have died with Christ and your life is hidden with Christ in God (Col. 3:1-3) 
     I know Paul was making a point and one should not take things out of context, yet his words struck me. I couldn’t have disagreed more. I side with people like Gerard Manley Hopkins and Teilhard de Chardin who see Christ in all of God’s handiwork. 
      That experience was probably in my mind when I walked out the back door of the monastery and was greeted by “tweet tweet” from a robin in an oak tree. I asked the robin for more but there was silence. There was no song but there was dance and color. Trees and flowers of all colors were swaying in the wind: red oaks, evergreens, holly, redbuds and purple leaf plum trees, blue and red salvia, yellow marigolds, yellow achillea, white vinas, pink veronica and purple verbenas. 
     Sister Mariana is one of our gardeners. She can be seen duly and lovingly planting seeds, putting plants in the ground in spring and caring for them during the summer and fall. Other sisters who plant flowers or vegetables in their gardens on the grounds assist in helping show forth the beauty and fruitfulness of God’s creation. Here at St. Walburg we set our minds on things that are above, where Christ is. We set our eyes on the beauty of God’s earth and raise our voices in praise of God from whom all blessings flow. 

             Sister Justina Franxman, OSB

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Easter through Pentecost

     As the Easter season ascends to its climax, all of nature calls us to joy. Flowers are blooming abundantly here in our area, trees are rich in varied greens, everything seems fresh, frequently, even the air. I can’t remember an Eastertide more in tune with creation, more beautiful, more celebrative, more in touch with the feasts of the Resurrection, Ascension and Pentecost.This is the season when all stops are let out and our hearts soar to divinity and the promise of rebirth.
     And then, we come down to earth, so to speak, and are blasted with the fact that we live in a contradictory world, full of challenges. Like the apostles in the upper room, we frighten easily. But God’s grace steadies us as we recall together the promise that will be fulfilled.“I am with you always, even to the end of the world.” And, “If we descend with Christ, we also will ascend with Christ.
  The feast of the Ascension carries our longing for the Spirit who frees us  Pentecost is the climax that sends us forth with the gifts of the Holy Spirit to renew the face of the earth.
    All three feasts call us to ever deeper faith, hope, trust, and love. Implicit in this growth is daily re-commitment in union with one another and all peoples.  Together, may we sing: “Let all God’s creation resound with praise!  Alleluia!”

Sr. Sharon Portwood