Sunday, June 16, 2013


Did you see Superman: Man of Steel? I went Friday with one of the sisters and thought the message was inspiring. It was a great time because we went to a drive-in theater, always an exciting time (and it has been at least twenty years since having this experience). The trailer is included mainly because I marvel how the plot fits our own reality today. It broke box office records, even up against Toy Story 3 (yes, I saw that as well). The power of this message is so fitting, and I recall being a child and seeing the Christopher Reeves as Superman with my dad, so this was reminiscent of those feelings of astonishment back in the day. Oftentimes we see in these films people who are following a path like our own as Christians, sometimes we even recognize the Christ figure in the characters. I left hopeful about the world. And, also knowing that each of us have a part to play in how it all rolls out. So, I suggest seeing it if you are in need of hope and want to experience some quality action.

This week we begin our community Chapter meetings. We will be discussing how we want to move forward as a community and electing new leadership for the congregation. We will complete the days and then head into Jubilee celebrations for Sisters and Associates who have been committed 15, 25, 40, 50 years and so on, this will be June 30.  I will be on hiatus and ask that you pray for us.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

New Life

The first scripture reading for today (1Kings 17:17-24) has Elijah entering into a widow's house only to find out her son has died. He takes the body to the upper room where he is able to call upon God and is heard. The son is brought back to life through Elijah's call and action. In the Gospel (LK 7:11-17) Jesus brings a dead man back to life. In both accounts Elijah and Jesus are recognized as people of God after performing these miracles. I reflect today on what it means to have life restored and know that over the years this has happened for me. One seduction that constantly beckons is cynicism and what I have learned is that the antidote for such a condition is getting in touch with innocence.

It sounds silly on one level, yet for me there are practices that help make a return to innocence possible. When I talk of innocence it is about being in touch with the freshness of each moment as an unexpected welcome.  For instance, teaching high school demanded that I be present to students in a way that was real. Teaching theology was fun for me as it helped God come to life in my prayer and interactions in ways I would have never imagined. Partly this was because I realized if I was not authentic there was no way to reveal the universal message of God's love. The students I came to know helped me learn that there is not room for cynicism when committing to a life of love. Teaching young people offers a fresh perspective if one listens. This is where love moved me into a cause that requires I work with others in order for them to know God's love. This can be done in so many different venues outside of the classroom as well and as life unfolds my guess is more opportunities will arise. There are ways that I still struggle with the cynical voices that pop-up in my head, and at times it feels like I lean hard into nihilism (this has become more apparent over the past year or so). It is a dance that will likely continue. The difference today is that I cannot deny the new life I have found through God's love.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Commitment in Religious Life

Womankind is the song I relate to tonights topic. Thank you Annie Lennox for being such an
inspiration and working so hard to change our world!

Lately I have spent much time reflecting on what it means to be a vowed member in a religious community of women. Getting here has been a most interesting journey and it all began with a stirring that could not be denied. Listening to God requires discipline. Saying yes to God, well that requires a whole different set of discipline. Of course in some ways the two seem interchangeable. I am a sister out of a desire to love more fully and so far this is a constant invitation to being more authentic. I am still me - with all the foibles that accompany that statement (no list of these darling characteristics will be given...if you know me you know some of them, if not you have met them in yourself or others).

I remember often being asked if I was concerned about being lonely before entering CSA. I also remember some people teasing me for choosing consecrated celibacy over being in a committed relationship with one other person (translate this for yourself). Or people wondering what was appealing about celibacy, poverty and obedience in a community of women. It never seemed that people were trying to be crass. Rather they seemed sincere with these concerns. Religious life is an alternative lifestyle and it is a response that is not easily defined. I find strength in relationships with community, family, friends and the people I work with. Ultimately my heart is filled with a deep desire for God and this is where I find solace. Today I am aware of the privilege of my life and the gratitude I have for the unfolding of God's call. I also rejoice with those who are challenged to listen in similar ways as we explore what it is that we are moving toward in our various communities.