April 16, 2014

His Face

Lent, a time of prayer, penance, and fasting, has been filled with many graces.  This Lent was busy with many different activities, but at the root of it has been Christ.  He has shown His Face in the people I have met and served.  He has spoken through my Sisters, visitors and the time spent in silence before the Blessed Sacrament with His peace.

                Graces can be so apparent and other times so hidden.  In this Lenten journey Christ has poured so many graces, too numerous to count or even share.  He has spoken through scripture to share that He comes for all of us.  Even in the difficult moments when we barely recognize ourselves, He is waiting for us, for me, for you at the well thirsting for your love.  He has shown us through the blind man that wonder of being able to see Christ and the world anew when we say yes daily in our little self denials.  The blind man showed us that really our stories and everything should simply be Christ.  Lent has given me insight of truly being present on the Way of the Cross.

April 15, 2014

If you knew the gift

These next few days some of the novices will share about a Lenten grace they have received.              
               What echoes in my mind this Passion Sunday is, “if you knew the gift” (John 4:10) which Jesus spoke to the woman at the well.  If I only knew the gift.  Like the woman I thought I could grasp what Jesus had in store, but I now find myself in awe.

                This Lent God has opened my heart to see, ever more than before, the depth of His spousal love for me, His abandonment to my yes.  In short, the Gift He wishes to offer, His very Heart, He offers to me, awaiting my response, the abandonment of my ways, my fears.  Then, upon consuming Him in the Eucharist, He may consume me so that we may become one flesh.  He has shown me His Gift, so that I can be completely given.

April 12, 2014

Holy Week - Are you ready?

May the peace of Christ descend upon you!

Can you believe it?  Can you believe that tomorrow we enter into the holiest of weeks?  Are you ready?

Perhaps you have been so busy that Lent has just “passed you by” and now it is Palm Sunday.  Perhaps you anticipate this week with great awe.  Perhaps you are fighting the temptation to think you just failed all of Lent with your resolutions, so why try now. 

I write at this time to encourage you to begin again.  Regardless of what your Lent experience has been thus far, Jesus is inviting you to accompany Him this week.  If you are discouraged, remember, resolutions not fulfilled remind us that we are indeed weak and need Jesus.  We need Him.  I need Him.  I need His grace to respond in charity.  I need His mercy so to give mercy to my neighbor, my Sister, my friend.  I need His love to restore my dignity.  Jesus invites you and me to be with Him these days.  He wants to show you and me the depth of His love.  It is a mystery.  A profound mystery.  Are you open?  Are you ready to receive and be overwhelmed by such a love as His?  Ask His Mother, your Mother, Mary to lead you to her Son.  Be not afraid to enter into the mystery of love this week. 

You are chosen by the Father, loved so much that He sent His only Son, Jesus, to die for love of you.  He wants you to be with Him.  Jesus wants to give you so much: everything!  He pours Himself out for you!  Ask for the grace you need to enter into this week.  Be surprised by the working of the Holy Spirit in your mind, heart and soul.  Allow yourself to surrender, to trust in a love that is beyond words.  Simply look and gaze upon the One who loves you.  Allow His gaze to rest upon you.  Let Jesus transform you and set you free.

Walk with Jesus through the crowds tomorrow as He rides into Jerusalem on a donkey.  Remain with Him as He anticipates what is to come.  Listen to Him as He speaks of Love on Holy Thursday and gives you the Bread of Life.  Console Jesus in His agony while saying yes to the Father’s cup given to Him to drink.  Walk with Him on the Way to Calvary.  With Mary, gaze upon Him hanging on the Cross.  Be silent as Jesus is taken down and placed in the tomb.  Persevere in waiting on Holy Saturday.  Rejoice with gratitude at the gift of Redemption on Easter morning at the empty tomb.  LOVE is Victorious!
There is much grace for YOU these days.  Now is the time.  Now is the time to respond!  Let us pray for each other.

April 11, 2014

A Diaper Change

When I was on homevisit several years ago I had a once in a lifetime experience.  I was in the kitchen and I heard my niece who was under two years old crying in the back room.  My sister comes to get me.  She tells me that my niece is requesting me to do something.  What?  Yep, she is crying because she wants ME to change her diaper.  She does not want her mom to do it or grandma, but me.  Now, how many of you have been chosen to change a dirty diaper?  My niece finally calmed down when I arrived on the scene to do what she wanted.  I do not know why she wanted me to do it, but I was the chosen one.

As we get ready to enter into Holy Week, do you know who you want to cleanse your soul?  Each one of us is in need of mercy.  Do you and I recognize the "dirt" in our heart?  I am in need of a Savior who will wash me clean.  Are you as adamant and determined as my niece in knowing Who you want to help you?  Go to Jesus these days.  Be not afraid to show Him your soul and be cleansed from sin so as to be at peace and be made new.

February 3, 2014

Welcome Cristina!

Praised be Jesus Christ!  Hi, my name is Cristina Lopez, and I am so grateful to have joined the Sisters of St. Francis of the Martyr St. George this January!  I am 18 years old and just graduated from a Catholic High School this past June.  I have a younger brother and sister.  I am all the way from Vancouver, Canada but no, I am not used to this cold and snow.  I live in the warmest part of Canada, it’s true!

Ever since I was a little girl, around four years old, God blessed me with the desire to offer my life to Him as a sister.  I never denied Him and wanted to do His will.  For many years I asked Him where (which community), but He would not answer.  God has His own timing and is full of surprises.  In August, after I went to WYD, I heard about this community through the internet.  Through the Sisters’ simplicity in prayer and everyday life, the joy, love and peace of Christ radiated from them, and touched my heart.  God truly works in mysterious ways and has His own timing; I entered within 5 months!

St. Therese of Lisieux has always been my inspiration and guide.  Striving to be a saint, my goal, as a religious sister is to imitate her by always having child-like love and trust in the Lord, no matter what happens, and by doing everything big and small with joy and love in order to console the Heart of Jesus and make visible His merciful love.

I pray you may also have the door to your heart open for when Christ knocks and calls your name.

December 24, 2013

A Giggle

            Have you ever considered what Jesus’ giggle sounded like? I mean think about it- as anyone who has spent much time with the Lord can attest- God has a sense of humor, therefore, the God-man must have had a giggle. It is a magical thing really- a giggle. I can remember when my brother was a baby and we would play peek-a-boo. Every time I would let the blanket float over his face and pull it back again, he would erupt in a glorious giggle that I am sure could soften the heart of even the toughest, meanest man in the world. As my brother got older the game changed, and I was now “Tickle Monster.” I would chase him around the house and when I caught him, I knew just the right spots to get all his giggles going. As a postulant working at our daycare, I witnessed the most beautiful expression of the value of a giggle. A little girl was not happy to say “good-bye” to Dad one morning, and after many attempts to get her mind off of her sorrow, we finally succeeded. As I was twirling her around the room in my arms, dancing to the music, I heard the most musical ring in my ear… her tears had turned into the most beautiful giggle.
            This year, as I listened to our annual reading of the story of how St. Francis built the first Christmas Creche in Greccio, hearing again of how he knelt by the Christ Child to arouse Him because the world had forgotten Him, I could not help but place myself there next to the crib. I reached out and took His precious little hands in mine, and I heard it- His giggle. It warmed my heart with this overwhelming peace and joy.
           As things get busy and overwhelming, we could all use the raw simplicity of an innocent little giggle to ease the strain. So, in these moments, seek Him out, run after Him, and join the dance… and remember to take time to listen for His giggle.
- Sister Mary Francis, FSGM

December 4, 2013

How does He speak to you?

I love sunsets.  I always have.  Tonight I turned around and looked out my office window.  This is what I saw. 
Now, a picture does not do it justice, especially one taken from behind the window.  So, I took a few shots. 

Also, one that is close up.  It shows something a bit different.
How does God speak to you?  Through the beauty of a sunset?  My response was, "Wow!  Glory to God!  Thank you!  It's beautiful."  
It's His way of saying to me, "I'm here. This is for you.  My Heart beats for you."

We are in day 4 of Week 1 of Advent.  How has it been for you?  Are you meeting Him in the silence?  Have you encountered Jesus?  Look around you.  Be attentive.  He is there, speaking to you.
Even in a sunset.  How glorious a gift He gives!