Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Rest, Relax, and be Renewed.

By Sr. Judy Donohue, SC Federation Temporary Professed

      Click HERE to learn more about Judy

      Click HERE to learn more about the SC Federation

One of my jobs at the Forest Springs Health Campus is to water the plants in the Physical Therapy Courtyard. I came to work Monday morning after a particularly hot and humid weekend, the heat had gotten the best of the flowering baskets. They looked completely dehydrated with little hope for revival. The leaves were crinkled, the flowers were dried up, and I thought my boss was going to yell at me for letting them go. I decided to go ahead and water them anyway. The next day they looked fabulous, they looked like new. WOW! The leaves filled out, the flowers came back to life. Like the flowers, my spirit sometimes gets dehydrated and I need the Living Water to bring me back to life. Taking a break refreshes my Spirit. In June, I had the privilege of attending a retreat at Milford’s Jesuit Retreat Spiritual Center. I met daily with a Spiritual Director, walked the grounds, read my books, met the other 13 retreatants, drew Mandalas, attended Mass, prayed the Labyrinth, went to Reconciliation and enjoyed eating in silence at meals with the others. I put no pressure on myself to get things done. What freedom in just being. How freeing it is to enjoy the day in living in the now.

Flowering basket before and after watering

I also had the privilege of going to Camp Maria during our Sisters of Charity of Nazareth and Associates Vacation Week, July 2-10. I am awed at how much better I feel for taking a break. Being in the quiet has enlightened me to slow down. Retreat has challenged me to see the societal pressure to be busy is not the best way to live or be in relationship.

Being counter cultural is so much a strength in my understanding of Religious Life: To be a witness in a simple lifestyle when others are continually collecting things, to take a break when others are on the fast track, to stop and help others when it is an inconvenience. Personally to go slow is not my normal mode of operation. I want to move. Yet, it is in resting that I am restored.

Thank God for the Call to the annual retreat and the opportunity to take a vacation. Let us take time this summer to rest in God, have fun and be Re-vitalized to carry Jesus’ love to those in our ministries and communities. Having this time of renewal has prepared me for my Renewal of Vows on July 19. Thanks for your prayers and support as I continue on this journey to explore and live God’s love with others in helping the poor.

Monday, July 8, 2019

Freedom for Who?

By Sr. Meg Kymes, SC Federation Under 10 Years Vocation

      Click HERE to learn more about Meg

      Click HERE to learn more about the SC Federation

As we celebrated Independence Day on the fourth of July (and perhaps into this weekend), I reflected on one of the key concepts of our country’s founding, freedom.  In the musical, Hamilton, the song, “My Shot” states this idea well, Hamilton sings, “A colony that runs independently/Meanwhile, Britain keeps s****** on us endlessly/Essentially, they tax us relentlessly/Then King George turns around, runs a spending spree/He ain’t ever gonna set his descendants free/So there will be a revolution in this century”  Then Mulligan sings, “Yo, I’m a tailor’s apprentice/And I got y’all knuckleheads in loco parentis/I’m joining the rebellion cuz I know it’s my chance/To socially advance, instead of sewin’ some pants!” Laurens concludes, “But we’ll never be truly free/Until those in bondage have the same rights as you and me/You and I. Do or die. Wait till I sally in/On a stallion with the first black battalion.”  All of these ideals and struggles amid many others contributed to the battle that led to this great country’s birth.

In St. Peter’s first letter he states, “For the Lord’s sake accept the authority of every human institution, whether of the emperor as supreme, or of governors, as sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to praise those who do right. For it is God’s will that by doing right you should silence the ignorance of the foolish. As servants of God, live as free people, yet do not use your freedom as a pretext for evil. Honor everyone. Love the family of believers. Fear God. Honor the emperor.”  (1 Peter 2:13-17) Today, for too many people in this country freedom is a faraway dream.  Children at our borders are living in squalor and bondage seeking safety and freedom; women, men and children are bought and sold for sex and servitude caught in the web of human trafficking; others are stuck in their own personal prison of addiction, homelessness and/or mental illness.  The words St. Peter are just as valid today as they were to the early church.  During this fourth of July weekend and every day we should speak truth to power, but still respect those in authority over us in government.  Challenge the foolishness we see through speaking up and do our duty as citizens of this nation by voting.  Most of all we should show our love for our brothers and sisters in need by praying and working for their freedom.