Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Children's Prayers

I have this book titled Children's Prayers from Around the World by Mary Batchelor.

Right now, my life is very busy and full. I have not had much time to write for this blog or reflect. Today my eyes fell on this book and I turned to the page titled Busy Days.

Here is what it says.

Work, for I am with you, says the Lord.from Haggai 2
Thank you for the joy that comes when we have done a good piece of work, even if it means doing it over and over again, as Jesus did in the carpenter's shop. Thank you for the happy times we have when we do things together, and share everything with each other. Thank you for all our friends.

The things, good Lord, that we pray for,
give us grace to work for
Sir Thomas More (1478-1535)

I was reminded of how Jesus and Joseph were carpenters. They worked with their hands and I'm sure were busy on certain projects at times. Also Mary was busy keeping house, cooking, getting water from the well and making sure they had clean clothes. Being busy is part of life. But how we treat others and ourselves during our busy lives is what matters!!

Sr. Jeannie Humphries, osu

Monday, March 21, 2011

Different Directions of Lent

Last Monday, March 14th, I received an email from a fellow Ursuline Sister, Sr. Mary Beisiegel, osu, who currently lives and ministers in St. Louis.

Sr. Mary writes:

Wanted to share a Lenten thought with you - heard this on Ash Wednesday at mass.

The three focuses of Lent - Alms giving; Prayer; Fasting - are 'directional' depending on what we need to work on.

Alms giving is sharing of ourselves - an outward direction.

Prayer is an upward direction - an invitation to work on our relationship with God.

Fasting - an inward direction - to work on what needs to be corrected/adjusted within us.

The priest further asked us to reflect on which direction was most in need of work in our personal lives as we began our Lenten exercise

We are now in the second week of Lent and this keeps coming back to me.

What direction is in most need of work at this point in my life?

I need to spend some time thinking about it.

I absolutely love the different directions to turn my focus.

How about you?

Sr. Jeannie Humphries, osu

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!!!!

May God give you,
For every storm, a rainbow,
For every tear, a smile;
For every care, a promise,
And a blessing in each trial,
For every problem life sends,
A faithful friend to share.
For every sigh, a sweet song,
And an answer to each prayer.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Words that give me HOPE

The Ursuline Sisters are part of the Leadership Conference for Women Religious. They put out a publication called The Occasional Papers. I just finished reading their Winter 2011 edition which focuses on "Behold I am Doing Something New".

Nancy Schreck, OSF wrote an article titled The Journey to Newness: Mining the Wisdom of Exilic Literature. Here's a great quote from it.

"This is a critical time in religious life for exploring our deepest identity, not our more recent past. Our call is to understand ourselves, not from a period when we were a labor force in the church, but an earlier time of our prophetic identity, our deepest foundation, to a time when we were free to be the expression of our founders' wildest vision."

This makes me realize that I have to turn more to Angela:

The woman who said no the the Pope
The woman who created a third lifestyle option for women in the Church (not married or cloistered, but living among the people)
Angela who crossed a dangerous bridge
The woman who had a man secretary in 1535!!.

I need to ask her advice on ways we can live out that wildest vision in today's time. My prayer time is going to be really busy now!!

More to follow.

Sr. Jeannie, osu

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

An Idea for Lent

Today is Ash Wednesday. Lent 2011 starts today!!!

Many people give up "something" like candy, cake or soda during Lent as a sign of sacrifice and as a tangible reminder of the suffering Jesus went through for us.

In my childhood home growing up, Mom always encouraged me to also do something extra (i.e.- shop for an elderly neighbor, watch one less t.v. show and pray instead, go to an extra Mass during the week etc.) I remember teaching 4th grade at St. Philip Neri School in the Bronx and reading that Lent was a time of prayer, almsgiving and sacrifice. I guess my mom took almsgiving to mean a sharing/giving of my time to Jesus.

So I always find myself giving up something and doing something extra for Lent. This year, I am giving up soda for Lent and my extra action will be taking a daily walk and praying to music on my IPOD.

For those of you women readers 50 and under, here is an invitation to an upcoming prayer and conversation gathering.

Join the Ursuline Sisters and other women for prayer and conversation on Lent. This will take place on Sunday, March 13, 2011 from 2-4 p.m. at the Ursuline Provincialate 1338 North Avenue, New Rochelle, NY Feel free to bring a friend. We would love to have you in our midst!!

Sr. Jeannie Humphries, osu

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Words of Angela

Angela Merici, the founder of our religious community, had many wise things to say.

Here are her words.

And if, according to times and circumstances, the need arises to make new rules or do something differently, do it prudently and with good advice.

– taken from Angela’s 3rd Legacy

Here is an adaptation from one of Angela's daughter - Cabrini Durkin.

She who says that does not want to be “in”. She does not want to hold onto the past at any cost. She is free of fearful concern about her work, about her reputation. She knows that all human deeds-if they are good deeds-are only a small part of the work of the Creator. She has experienced God’s love and has made the same experience available for others, for those who seek God, for those who thirst and hunger for more than just the superficial, for those who live in shadows.

Lord, give us the courage of this woman, that we may not hold on to the past and may not fear the future, but that we may live in the present and face the questions and needs of the people of today, and that together we may ask:

What would Angela do today?

-taken from Praying with Angela Merici-Editions du Signe 1999