Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Who could believe such a thing?

       Christmas is all about God’s love for us. God loves me! Unbelievable! Unbelievable? If the Word of God had not revealed this to us we could not have accepted it. We would not dare.
       Psalm 8 puts it this way: “When I look at your heavens, the work of your hands, the moon and the stars which you created—who are we that you should be mindful of us, that you should care for us?”
       My awe of God’s Creation has exploded to unimaginable levels by the findings of modern exploration of space about our galaxy, other galaxies, even perhaps those with planets capable of supporting living beings similar to us. Whoa! This is way beyond my imagination and I admit to being a bit humbled to even ponder how this great and awesome God would care for me. And yet I believe it to be. Not because my own limited understanding has it figured out, but because my forebears in faith have entrusted this message to me through the power of the Holy Spirit. And my companions in the company of Jesus share this faith with me.
       No wonder that Christmas is a time for us to gather together and remind ourselves of the Great Story of Love Incarnate.

      Sr. Dorothy Schuette, OSB

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Patience and presence

     Patience and presence are two themes of the Advent Season. I ask myself, how I am measuring up with these on my Advent journey.  Christmas is around the corner.

     Waiting in long checkout lines and slow traffic patterns test my patience, may even raise my blood pressure. I am trying to be especially aware to be present to everyone. (Everyone?  This could be stretching it a bit).

     During these last days in the Advent Season, do I give others enough time to interact with me?  Do I recognize Jesus in them? Do I listen to meet their needs or am I so busy with my own needs?

     Our faith reminds us that God is always present to us no matter how busy we may be.The Advent Season reminds us to be aware and present to ways Jesus does come to us.

     Jesus comes in history, He comes in mystery and He comes in majesty. May we welcome Jesus, not only on Christmas but in everyone we meet and especially at the end of our lives.

     Have a wonderful Christmas, filled with Christ's presence.
        Sr. Barbara Woeste, OSB

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Pray for migrants, refugees and immigrants

       December 12 is the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe: "The Catholic bishops of the United States are encouraging Catholics to observe this Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe as a day of solidarity with immigrants."

       As we celebrate this feast today I remember that I am the product of immigrants. My great grandparents all came from Europe in the late 1800s in hopes of finding a better life. They didn’t speak English and didn’t have much money. I wonder if they were welcomed by those already here or if they were maligned for their efforts to give their children and grandchildren more than they had. What is different today as many in our country want to separate families by sending parents back to their home countries, and make it harder and harder for those coming to the United States to become legal members of our society? Where would I be if my ancestors had faced similar treatment?
       As some of you may know, there were ICE (Immigration, Customs and Enforcement) raids on Dec. 6 in Covington, Newport, Florence, Walton and Verona. ICE agents did NOT target felons as was stated in the media. People going to work at places like Amazon were arrested. ICE entered homes without warrants. Local police agencies were not informed.

       Our Lady of Guadalupe, we ask that you take the needs of all who live in poverty and are vulnerable in our society to the Divine Maker. May they experience the Divine Love tangibly in their daily lives, and may all who work for justice on behalf of the poor grow in fortitude and humility. May each of us support those who need us as they seek a safer life for their families. 
          Sr. Nancy Kordenbrock, OSB

Thursday, December 7, 2017

A Brief Reflection for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception

          From my early youth, I loved Mary, frequently prayed the rosary, and thought of her as my second mother. Her existence to me was as real as my own dear mom. I loved Jesus, but since he was God, it was Mary, I felt, who could lead me to him. As I grew older, the belief that she was conceived without sin meant little to me. 
What amazed me was that she always said yes to God.  I thought how fortunate she was, and that it must have been easier for her than everybody else.
          Now that I am much older, I realize that only through the grace of God could Mary be so open to others’ needs, to the performance of good works, to prayer, and so united with her son in spirit, that her life was totally given.  I remember that she was as human as you and I. Not so easy after all.  She had her day-to- day struggles, times of misunderstandings and fear, great inconveniences, and  deep, wrenching loss. Only with God’s grace, was she able to come through it all.  In other words, she was like us in all ways, except sin. Because she loved more, she trusted more. At Cana, her secret was revealed: “Do as he tells you”, she says, directing us to everlasting life and the Source of all joy!

        Sr. Sharon Portwood, OSB