Thursday, March 25, 2010
I was thinking today of Sr. Letizia Pappalardo, my friend, who returned to her God on March 6th. I am sure that when she first said "Yes" to being an RSHM, she did not really know that she would be a teacher, a principal, a person who helped persons with drug addictions to return to productive lives, a provincial, a person who helped to empower trafficked women, etc. From living with her, I suspect that her initial "yes" evolved from the love of her family, and her personal desire to love and respect all people. This was, I believe, a great gift that she shared with many as they desired to say their own "Yes" to what they slowly or quickly perceived to be the call of God. And, in her last days, I know she said "Yes" to returning to the Lord.
I pray that more and more people, especially myself, spend this special day and time renewing their "Yes". It might have started with becoming a religious, or falling in love with another wonderful person, or spending a single life in service to others. There are so many calls and so many gifts, and our "Yes" grows as we grow in our gifts and respond to the needs we see around us. No one ever said the "Yes" is easy to continue after the 'honeymoon' stage. However, reflecting on my own "Yeses", I am so grateful for the calls to which I have responded, as well as the hope to be faithful to those that come as my life evolves.
P.S. it is a photo of me at the top of this posting.
Posted by RSHM Prayer for Flitters at 9:45 AM
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Then I heard the news - Chile had experienced a monstrous earthquake. I prayed for those who had died, those who needed hope as they found themselves trapped in destroyed buildings, those who were injured and terrified and now homeless - all in a few moments time. I could not imagine the horror, except for seeing the news reports from Haiti. And now there was another country with suffering people. I looked at the beauty around me in the sun of a new day, and begged God to take care of the living in Haiti and Chile, to inspire the doctors and rescue workers, and to give great wisdom to those who know how to raise funds. And, we, as a local and provincial community did what we could, and watched the graced response of those who contributed finances, clothing, food and great talent to help those living the Passion of Jesus in the midst of more and more earth tremors.
During this month, I also shared the tremors of pain experienced by some of my acquaintances who had agreed to accept treatment for patterns of addiction in their lives. Acknowledgment of these problems is painful and involves fortitude and many new life style choices. I pray for their strength, and I find myself respecting them deeply for the metanoia they seek. New life is often hard to choose, and even more difficult to pursue with fidelity. Let us all pray for one another to seek that real LIFE that we were summoned with in the book of Deuteronomy: "Choose Life, than so that you and your descendants may live". My whole community is about life - we wear it on cross we receive at profession: "Ut vitam habeant" - "That all may have life:" We are all called to respect one another and ourselves and to share, to the best of our ability, the life we have been so freely given. This thought leaves me with a big WOW!
All of this month has been, in a sense, a DETOUR for me - experiencing the unexpected, and finding gratitude for moments I would not have considered gifts in the past: safety and shelter without electricity in the winter, incredible gratitude for the beauty of sun on snow even without heat in the house, the compassion of construction workers in a situation which called all of the neighborhood to change our usual routines. Maybe this is what the call of Lent is all about. Maybe we all need a DETOUR to find the good in what, at first, looks unacceptable to us. I am very grateful for the experience of the past month. It has not been one of merely tolerating my environment or the people in it. It has been a time of gratitude for all.
In the midst of all
Spring with lighter days
Spring with lighter days
Posted by RSHM Prayer for Flitters at 2:58 PM