Friday, July 28, 2017


          In my previous blog on April 6, 2017 focused on the Eyes Of Christ which led us to proclaim what and communicate what we have seen in this encounter.This entails effective communicating as well as listening.
Many articles and explanations of this subject abound.  Some new insights for me were gained in reading excerpts from Alan Alda's new book: IF I UNDERSTOOD YOU, WOULD I HAVE THIS LOOK ON MY FACE?  [ Plan to read the entire book.]  And yes he is the Alan Alda of MASH TV series.
         Alan maintains that relating and communicating is all about using science and empathy to "hear and read" one another.  Effective communication involves body language as well as the use of words to be authentic and believable. Besides reading the body language of the speaker, we need to be aware of our own body language in speaking and listening.  Is this body language portraying whether or not we are involved in the conversation or not. Are we fully focused on the other are on something else such as a cell phone, TV, reading a book etc.?  Active listening again involves being present to the extent to be changed by this exchange.
         Our annual community Retreat is fast approaching. Our Retreat Master will be Abbot Gregory Polan,  He is the Abbot Primate of the entire Benedictine Order and we are very privileged to have him present   with us.  The Theme will be: BENEDICTINES LIVING THE PASCHAL MYSTERY.
          Hopefully and prayerfully we as Benedict Community members and individuals will be able to practice this active presence in listening to Abbot. Gregory, God, and one another as we contemplate this all encompassing Mystery.
          Rule of Benedict from Prologue:  "Listen carefully to the master's instructions with the ear of your heart and attend to them." 
          Hymn per Sr. Colleen Winston:  "Run the Way of the Lord your God. Open wide your hearts to hear His voice.
          Psalm 119: 32      "I run the way of your decrees for you make broad my heart."  which in turn frees me to listen, to love and to embrace one another."
                         Sr. Joan Gripshover, OSB

Friday, July 21, 2017

Job Satisfaction

       What to write about?  How about people?
       About five years ago, having just retired from teaching I got a job at a senior care center.  My job description was: "Conduct a Eucharistic Prayer Service for the Catholic Residents."
      With many experiences of planning prayer services and Mass liturgies with grade school children, I jumped in with both feet  It was an instant match! I fell in love with the most delightful group of senior folks--mostly women but a few men.  AND, they liked me.Twice a month we celebrate a Eucharistic prayer service
based on the Eucharistic Liturgy of the day. Some of the senior read the Scripture; some of them set up the altar, and some put everything away at the end.THEN, we talk about daily things.
      We've gotten to know each other as unique, wonderful persons. We share our faith and beliefs and some of our life stories. And, there is a good bit of teasing that goes on too. For me it is an enriching experience.
      In the past several months the administrator gave me another job. In the personal care building, my job description is to interview the residents.I have a short list of questions to get things started. We talk about other things that are of interest to them, too.We have no specific deadline at which time the interviews must
be completed. The great part is that we can just "sit and talk." 
      This, too, is a twice a month meeting.  Each of the senior I have interviewed inspire me with their stories,their charm and their lived wisdom. I get much more from these wonderful people than I give.
       I couldn't be luckier.  Talk about job satisfaction.  I have it!
                    Sr. Kathleen Ryan, OSB