Thursday, June 22, 2017

Perfect Love Casts Out All Fear

May God give you His peace!

A few days ago, Sr. April Marie and I returned to Cleveland after spending a week helping with a Totus Tuus (“Totally Yours,” from St. JPII) camp in South Dakota. This camp was a vocational camp for middle school girls, but also included high school girl leaders. The camp was hosted by the Diocese of Rapid City at their Terra Sancta retreat center (http://terrasancta.org). There were 25 religious sisters from about 13 different communities (including Sr. April and myself) helping with this camp. Talk about funsies with nunsies!

The theme for this camp came from 1 John 4:18: Perfect love casts out all fear. This verse just happened to be the verse given to me by my spiritual director during Lent. Right before the Lenten season began I was struggling with a deeply rooted fear about my upcoming religious profession of vows. Basically, I was afraid that Jesus was not pleased with me. I experienced tremendous healing during that time as I realized that I have to let perfect Love cast out whatever fear was preventing me from going forward. I owe a lot to the loving support of my sisters and to the gentle encouragement my spiritual director has given me. From all this awareness, I learned that I cannot do anything on my own (John 5:30) and that I have to let God love me!

Anyways, after learning that the theme was 1 John 4:18, I felt that God was challenging me to live out all that I learned during Lent and to share this with others. Each volunteering community was also given an activity or talk to lead during the camp. For us, we were asked to give a talk/activity for the high school leaders about spiritual mothers as leaders, and we were also asked to lead 3 rounds of a talk/activity for the middle school campers about the life of St. Philomena and overcoming the fear of being unlovable.

Very briefly, St. Philomena was an early Church martyr. She was the age of most of the middle school girls at this Totus Tuus camp when she was killed for refusing to marry the Roman Emperor Diocletian. Her refusal came from the fact that she was consecrated to God. Her story is unique in that she was tortured and miraculously healed multiple times before she finally died. Her testimony won many converts to Christianity. How was she able to withstand the horror she endured? My theory is that she knew and believed that she was loved by God and she was able to love Him in return to the end. This is something we are all called to today!


When I asked each group at the Totus Tuus Camp, “Who here struggles with the fear of being unloved/unlovable?” almost every hand (including those of the sisters) went up. The Holy Spirit prompted me to talk about being rooted in an authentic relationship with God. Just like any relationship, they take work! We make time to be with our family and friends, we reach out to our loved ones, and we listen to them when they want to share something personal. How much more is this with God! We are challenged to make time to get to know Him (prayer), to vulnerably share our hearts with Him, and to LISTEN to Him!

All of us at some point have been hurt by others, but so often this gets projected on God. God is love (1 John 4:8) and He is always wanting to give Himself completely to us…but He also doesn’t force Himself on anyone­­­––that wouldn’t be love! The ball is in our court, so to speak, to receive the total gift of Himself. By receiving His love, we are then challenged to reciprocate (remember, this is a relationship!) by making a gift of our very selves. This is often where the fear of being unloved/unlovable creeps in.

“What will happen to me if I give myself to Him…?” “How can God love me if I…?” The Enemy does not want us to be in a relationship with God, so he does everything he can to make us believe the lie that we are unloved/unlovable. We become captives of this fear when we believe the lies of the Enemy.

The interesting thing about overcoming this particular fear is that we have to let ourselves be loved by Love Himself! In this way, Perfect Love literally casts out all fear! I can say that this is true because this is something I have experienced myself. May God help you to let yourself be truly loved so that He can cast out all of your fears!

Please pray for me and be assured of my prayers for you!

Love always from your Sister,
Sr. Katie


Tuesday, May 30, 2017

A Hundredfold


V.J.E
When first beginning to discern religious life in my junior year at the University of Florida, one of the things that made it very hard to even accept the fact that I needed to discern this vocation, was the thought that it would mean leaving my friends and family behind.  
The Lord had given me my family, and constantly reminded me to care for them, and to be present to them. My friends were also a gift from the Lord, despite their having very different world views compared to mine. It had been clear to me all of my life that I was meant to be with them, to show them the love that God gives. I took very seriously the idea that as a Catholic, my way of acting, my choices, and my behavior should reflect the love and mercy that Christ poured out on the Cross. When the thought of religious life entered my mind though, I feared that it was an option that would make my parents lose their daughter, and my friends lose the only face they had to put to Catholicism (outside of the image which the media tried to feed them). With time, as I began to make Catholic friends, I soon began to see them also as people I would lose. This time it seeming like a greater loss for me than for them. 
I began to see parting with those I loved as being the necessary sacrifice that the Lord asks of anyone He calls.The desire to be with Him was too strong, and too urgent to ignore, and I had to have faith that He would provide for them, and me, the graces necessary to part from each other. Little by little, my family began to support me in my discernment through insisting that I make whatever sacrifices the Lord asked, that nothing else mattered. This was a motivating push which gave me the courage to go to the gospel, and recall all those passages where Jesus says, “Come follow me,” and the listener drops everything and just goes (Mark 1:16-20) and then of the rich man who is told to give away all his possessions (Mark 10: 17-22). All these became readings to remind me that it is a radical trust, that I did not understand, but that I had to respond with in order to become who He meant me to be.
By the time I entered, ten months ago, I had heard plenty of times, and had the intellectual understanding of the fact that in entering religious life I was not abandoning my family or my friends, but rather I would love them in a new way. What this would look like I did not know, but I trusted that God would make it so. In His Divine Providence, He has heard the cries of His lowly servant, and answered with gentle and unfailing love. I have not felt the pain of separation from friends or family, from this I have been saved, not because I do not love them, or because I love them more from a distance, but because I never left them and they never left me.
In the gift of the Eucharist it is revealed to me that I am united to all those in my life, as He is in me and I am in Him, and all of creation has been claimed by His love, whether or not they acknowledge it. Even in my dreams this is made evident, as I would find myself waking up often having dreamt with particular friends or family members, dreams in which I would sit and simply talk with them to see how they were doing and offer my prayers, and sometimes receive particular prayer requests from them. This often meant waking up feeling as though I had not slept at all, but rather had just been back in Gainesville, or in Tampa, or in Puerto Rico. I call these my mini home visits, but really they are beautiful opportunities, through which the Lord shows me that I have not left anyone behind, for in having Him I have everyone, even those who do not know Him.
This is the love that God gives and offers His children, a love that in Him brings us to be joined with all those we have known. It allows me to love more, and to love in a new way, yes, but not because of distance, but because of an indescribable closeness. The closer we are to God the closer we invariably are to everyone else. The more time I spend gazing at my Beloved, and letting Him gaze at me, the clearer it becomes that I have given Him everyone, and He has not taken them away, but instead has given them back to me a hundredfold.




Thursday, March 2, 2017

Return to the Father

V.J.E.

"Even now, says the Lord, return to me with your whole heart." (Joel 2:12)

On the first day of Lent (Ash Wednesday), we heard these words of hope.  We, the Church, are being asked "to return to [the Lord] with [our] whole heart" with the God-given hope that even now is not too late.  So, "do not delay turning back to the Lord, do not put it off day after day" (Sirach 5:7).  The season of Lent is not about what we are doing, but rather, about relationship.

No matter where we are in the spiritual life, we are being asked to deepen our relationship with God.   In the Gospel, Jesus gives instruction about giving alms, praying, and fasting. He emphasizes doing all these things "in secret" or in a hidden manner.  Notice that Jesus teaches us that all that we do is directed to the Father "who sees in secret," "who sees what is hidden."

These verses throughout the years always gave me the impression that we must hide, that we must be alone where no one will see us.  It is true, we are being called to be hidden in humility and charity in our actions, but the Word shed light on something different to me this time.  In every instruction to be "in secret," or "hidden," we are always with the Father.  We are not alone!  I think we can take our relationship with God for granted to the point that we turn our backs to Him, not necessarily because we want Him out of our lives, but maybe because we think we don't need God all the time, or that He doesn't need to be involved in everything.  Yet, Jesus, by His whole life, shows us that our lives - every iota - must be offered to the Father.  It is through Jesus Christ that we are invited to do so.

The Word revealed to me something about my own relationship with God: I was hiding from Him. Sure, in the convent, there's nowhere to hide or runaway to, but in the monastery of my heart, there are places to run and hide from God.  Really, God is always with us and sees us always, but He waits with divine patience for us to recognize His glory and to let His light shine upon our souls.  Jesus tells us to hide our actions from worldly recognition, but then in turn, He teaches us not to hide from the Father!  I was running away from the invitation to "be with Him" (Mark 3:14).  By God's grace, and with the help of my spiritual guides, I am choosing to accept Jesus' invitation, but with no idea of what He has in store for me, but I know this journey can only be one of Mercy and Love.  I ask that you may pray for my increase in trust in God's loving will and to embrace it!

This Lent, ask God where He wants you to grow in your relationship with Him.  Be open and receptive to the response God wants to give you.  Maybe He wants you to grow in your relationship with Him as His son/daughter, brother/sister, or even as His most trustworthy friend.  Whatever or wherever that may be, then don't forget to ask God how He wants you to grow.  God desires to share with us His secrets, but are we willing to give him a listening ear and a "listening heart?" Whether you have your "plans" for Lent already or still waiting for your Lenten plans to be revealed, choose to do everything with God and for God.  He wants to be beside you not above you.  God dwells in you.  Don't hide from God, return to Him.

Here are a few practical ways to cultivate your relationship with God:
  •  Lectio divina (Divine Reading)
    • Encounter God in Sacred Scripture.  A good place to start is with the daily Mass readings.  Let God speak to you.  Each day a word or phrase may be given to you to receive and pray with.  Let the Word penetrate your life.
  • Attend daily Mass & go to Reconcilation
    • Sunday Mass is a must so if you don't already go to Mass every Sunday, start now. Prepare yourself to be a tabernacle of Christ by going to the sacrament of Reconciliation. Through this sacrament, we allow God to immerse us in Mercy and to reconcile us to Himself through the forgiveness of our sins. Do not be afraid!  The Eucharist is the center of our lives, so celebrating the Eucharist more frequently can only help us grow in virtue and God's grace. Jesus Christ is our source and our strength, so receive His whole life in the Eucharist!  The more we open ourselves to receiving the whole Christ, the more we are able to surrender our lives completely to the Father.
  • Spending time in front of the Blessed Sacrament
    • Find out if your parish has Adoration during the week.  Whether Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is exposed or remains in the tabernacle, spending time with Him is essential for our lives.  Start with 10 minutes a day or an hour a week, half hour before Sunday Mass, whatever routine you start, commit to it and cherish this time.  As a friend used to say, "Don't make time for Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, fight for it!"
  • Silence
    • Silence is vital in our relationship with God especially in our noisy world.  We aren't just talking about external silence, but also internal.  Silence allows us to be open to hearing God's voice, and hopefully to respond in total surrender.  Again, spending time in front of the Blessed Sacrament is a good place to enter into silence, but if you are unable to go to a church every day, find a place in your home where you can enter into this sacred silence.  See this place as an extension of the church. 
  • Mary & the saints
    • As we grow in our relationship with God, we inevitably will grow in our relationships with Mary and the saints.  In my experience, saint friends choose us more than we choose them all in God's design because He knows we need them.  Ask for saints' intercession, but I will say, when you ask for a saint's intercession, it won't make life easier, but it will make you holier.

Remember, we are never meant to travel this journey alone.  So make sure you participate in the life of your parish community,  Ask God who He desires you to journey with.  Pray about having a spiritual director or confidant that you can confide in about what God is doing in your soul.  Don't forget, God is always with you.  He will never give up on you.

With Mary in the Eucharist,
Sr. Kathryne Lopez

"Believe that He loves you.  He wants to help you Himself in the struggles which you must undergo.  Believe in His Love, His exceeding Love." (St. Elizabeth of the Trinity)

Saturday, February 11, 2017

An Examination of Conscience for Any Gamer

VJE

This is a note to all my video gamer Catholics.

Recently a child asked me, “Is playing Call of Duty a sin?” My response, as someone who grew up playing video games with my brother and who is now in formation to be a Sister in a religious congregation, is as follows:
Now personally I was more of a fighter game kind of girl; Soul Calibur was my relaxation and venting method. Nonetheless, the idea is the same. The game in itself is not a sin, but consider: Is your inclination because of the game sinful? Take a moment and evaluate yourself.
When you play the game do you:
-Get frustrated more easily at people around you?
-Do you get angry more easily?
-Are you impatient or irritable when others approach you?
- Are you disrespectful to your parents?
-Does playing the game keep you from being present to others?
Again, playing the game is not a sin. However, has playing the game led you to sin?
Another thing I wanted to touch on was: When do you know the game is your “god”? My dear gamers when you start seeking consolation, peace, joy, and even love in a videogame, then you have made it your god. Now I often would play games to vent or to relax, and to a point this can be healthy, but when you start to think that it is only in playing video games that you can get this then maybe it’s time to step back and seek something less temporary and more eternal. The game is your god when you cry for it. When you think only about it. When you are still thinking about tactics to get to the next level instead of being present to the people in your life. It is then that the game is  “god”, and that is a sin. No matter how real the game graphics may look there is a power button to that world, but this world is infinitely different and the love and fulfillment that one gains from relationships in this world is infinitely more valuable. Particularly, the love, joy, consolation, and peace given by always ordering God first in our hearts is eternally more valuable. It is the difference between the water that leaves you thirsting and the living water that once you drink, you never thirst again.



If you were to put a remote in my hands, my giddy gamer self would still come out ready to button-mash the final battle, to my opponents’ great annoyance. The game itself is not the sin, but if I react to the game with sin, be it in my actions, my character, my thoughts, or my lack of action, then I have allowed myself to be led into sin. We have to be responsible gamers, ready to put the remote down when we are at risk of losing self-control, and ready to press the power button when we honor the game as God. We must remember always that the real goal of our lives is union with Christ who gives us the eternal love, peace, consolation, and joy that the game can only provide for the moment we are playing and winning.

God's will be done,
Lourdes

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The Mute Will Sing

I recently was inspired to write a song about our Mother Foundress. A little more than a year ago, God rekindled a passion of mine, and songs began pouring out of me again. What are songs really, but prayers? Not every song can be properly called a prayer, I suppose. But those that are derived from communion with God, that are responses to His movements, that are graced encounters and epiphanies and revelations… those, I believe, are prayers. And they are beyond the level of feeling. Yes, sometimes we may feel elated or sad or awed or alone, and these feelings may color our songs. But prayer is communication, not a way of feeling, and communication with God is always possible, even when our affect and faculties seem to fail us. 

From a young age I have had a great love for singing. I remember my earliest memory of it - sitting in the backseat of my Uncle and Aunt’s car as a toddler and singing along to my favorite song on the radio, “Kiss from a Rose” by Seal. My older sister, Jessica, constantly encouraged me to sing, and I participated in several singing, acting, and dancing groups over the years. Self-consciousness set in a little more around middle school and high school, and embarrassment during a rendition of “Amazing Grace” freshmen year led me to doubt my ability to sing. Later in high school, I felt bolstered up by the accompaniment of a cover band that I sang for, but was still too scared to sing without them. 

It was in college that I began to sing consistently in choirs at the church, and I was told by a musician that I really admired, that God had given me a beautiful voice. He inspired me to continue singing in public, and even to join the Spanish choir and to be a cantor for Mass. Unfortunately, as my confidence grew, so did my pride. Singing became so much a part of my identity that I often did not pray without it. Prayer is a dialogue, and for my part, I was doing much more speaking (and singing) than listening. Song is a wonderful tool for prayer, but it is not the only one, nor should it be dominant. What we receive from Jesus in His silence is greater than anything we could ever offer Him.

He began to teach me this in a very real way about a year and a half ago. Problems with the muscles in my throat seemed to develop out of nowhere, and singing became difficult. Eventually I could no longer help with leading the singing in community, and speech also became difficult. I was diagnosed with muscle tension dysphonia. I was hopeful, but after months of speech therapy and reaching what appeared to be a plateau, I had to accept my situation as it was. I began to feel like all of the songs that God had put on my heart, that he had inspired me to write, were trapped within me - that I could not even share them with my community. But this was what I needed to accept. What if I was not healed from this? What if God had me write those songs just for Him and I alone? Was I okay with that

The answer is and was, “Yes”. The truth is, when I’m able to step back from the situation itself and try to see what God has been calling me to through it, I have seen grace. Through this silence, God has cultivated within me a deeper appreciation for silence. Through this silence, I have grown in appreciation for my Sisters, and the gifts God has given them. Through this silence, I have learned something about my own dignity, and how it is not diminished by lack of talent. I am still the same April, even if I am unable to speak.

So then, refocusing on the present situation, I asked myself, what can I actually do to benefit my community, in addition to praying for the flourishing of my Sisters? Jesus needed to give me an assignment through my Superiors in order to show me. 

September 21st, 2016 would be the 150th anniversary of our Foundress Mother María del Refugio’s birth. A lot of our Sisters from all over the world would be meeting in Mexico for a big celebration. Mother Jeanette and Mother Rosario, our immediate superiors here, gathered us in the kitchen to let us know about the anniversary, and that each community was asked to contribute something to it. Ideas were proposed, and I was thinking of a song that had started formulating in my head (or my heart, depending on how you want to look at it) that morning. Just then, Mother Jeanette looked at me and said, “I don’t want to put any pressure on you at all, but I was thinking perhaps you could write a song.” Yup.

A few days later, the song was finished. It is a bit of a haunting song, written from the perspective of María as she reflects on the love and trial she has experienced in this life. She married probably due to family or societal pressure but came to love her husband very much, lost him and her son, and was left to try to provide for her daughter. There is an interesting twist at the end of this true story, so check out the video to see its conclusion: 





Although singing is still a challenge for me, I feel renewed by the beauty that this project has elicited and solicited, and by the generosity of my Sisters and friend who made it possible. Let us give thanks to the Lord always! ~ Sr. April Marie

Monday, December 12, 2016

Receiving and Giving

“Be strong, fear not!
Here is your God,
He comes with vindication;
with divine recompense
He comes to save you."
Isaiah 35:4

Ok. Real talk. I don't know about you, but this semester was a tough one….yes, even for a “baby nun.” There were many moments where I encountered my human limitations and had to humbly admit that I truly cannot do anything on my own. I cannot save myself.  

Before entering religious life, I became a certified counselor, worked at a high school, and was very active in ministry. I was often taking care of others in various ways. Sometimes in religious life there is the temptation for me to always be busy in this way. It is easier for me to offer counsel to others than to receive counsel myself, for example. It is hard for me to receive….it is hard for me to allow someone to “save” me. 

This past week I was gently called out on this by 2 different people, in 2 different situations….and these people happen to be diocesan priests. One straight up said to me, “You have to receive.” The other one, “I want to protect you.” When something like this happens, one cannot deny that God is trying to communicate something important. 

For Advent, in preparation for Christmas, I graciously received permission to reflect on a document with one of those diocesan priests. This document is entitled Mulieris Dignitatem (MD), and it was written by Pope St. John Paull II in 1988 (http://w2.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/en/apost_letters/1988/documents/hf_jp-ii_apl_19880815_mulieris-dignitatem.html). 

For every individual is made in the image of God, insofar as he or she is a rational and free creature capable of knowing God and loving him. Moreover, we read that man cannot exist "alone" (cf. Gen 2:18); he can exist only as a "unity of the two", and therefore in relation to another human person. It is a question here of a mutual relationship: man to woman and woman to man. Being a person in the image and likeness of God thus also involves existing in a relationship, in relation to the other “I." This is a prelude to the definitive self-revelation of the Triune God: a living unity in the communion of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit (MD, 7)

We are created to be in communion with God and one another. We come to truly understand who we are when we become a “sincere gift” to others. “In order to become a ‘sincere gift’ to one another, each of them has to feel responsible for the gift (MD, 14).” This relationship is one of giving AND receiving. 

Why is it sometimes so much easier to give than it is to receive? This is something I am still working out, but I have some ideas thanks to St. JPII:

A woman is strong because of her awareness of this entrusting (of human beings), strong because of the fact that God "entrusts the human being to her,” always and in every way, even in the situations of social discrimination in which she may find herself. This awareness and this fundamental vocation speak to women of the dignity which they receive from God himself, and this makes them "strong" and strengthens their vocation (MD, 30).  

Our current culture is doing a good job at confusing people about what is true masculinity and true femininity. I am not going to go into politics, but I will share that for a long time I believed that I had to suppress anything truly feminine about me in order to “be strong.” In doing this, I was not truly being who God created me to be. God created women with a particular gift of receptivity. St. JPII is very clear in MD that a woman’s strength lies in her ability to receive love, in order to give love in return. We cannot give to others what we do not have.  

When people approach me to ask about why I entered religious life, I often hear comments about all the things I “gave up.” Yes, there is a lot of giving…but  now I am starting to realize there is a lot more receiving going on than there is “giving up” ….and this is much harder! 

It is always God who initiates. He always wants to give Himself to us. He wants to protect us. Are we allowing Him to love us? Are we able to receive?

I will close with 2 quotes from my favorite saint friends. The meanings are essentially the same, but notice the little differences that reflect who they truly are in the context of this giving-receiving relationship: 



“Totally love Him who gave Himself totally out of love for you.” -St. Clare of Assisi 

“Hold back nothing of yourselves for yourselves so that He Who gives Himself totally to you may receive you totally.” - St. Francis of Assisi 

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Poverty in Friendships

V.J.E.

"The Eucharist destroys distance."
Words of wisdom spoken by the retreat director of my pre-novitiate retreat.

It has been almost two months since I entered the novitiate, and God has not skipped a beat in deepening my love for Jesus Christ in the Eucharist.  This first year of novitiate is what is called the "canonical year."  Canon Law 652 states:
"Novices are to be led to cultivate human and Christian virtues; through prayer and self-denial they are to be introduced to a fuller way of perfection; they are to be taught to contemplate the mystery of salvation and to read and meditate on the Sacred Scriptures; they are to be prepared to cultivate the worship of God in the Sacred Liturgy; they are to learn a manner of leading a life consecrated to God and humanity in Christ through the evangelical counsels; they are to be instructed regarding the character and spirit, the purpose and discipline, the history and life of the institute; and they are to be imbued with love for the Church and its sacred pastors."  
In other words, the novitiate is the foundation of our formation as religious.  The words of Canon Law 652 are beautiful, but how do directors of formation put this into practice?  Well, in many ways, but one main aspect is the removal of worldly distractions, and this is done simply by separation from the world.  As a novice, I freely chose to be here and to enter into this way of life, and the institute discerned God's will likewise, so in no way am I being held in the convent against my free will.  God is drawing me closer and deeper into His Most Sacred  Heart, and I am choosing to respond to His generous invitation.

Our formators do their best to remove all obstacles that prevent us novices from centering our life on God, but we must detach from the worldly things that we have clung onto and brought into the convent with us.  In my little experience, I have realized that we are attached to more things than we are aware of, but God slowly sheds light upon these things so as not to overwhelm us because He is Mercy.  Most of our attachments are to things that are good, but our desire for them is disordered.  To my surprise, one of my attachments that came to light was friendships.  I knew I would miss my friends, but my concern was how to further cultivate my existing friendships.  I even found myself worrying if I would even make new friends now that I had entered into this way of life.  How do Sisters maintain friendships with friends outside of the convent?  All I knew was constant verbal communication and hanging out, but these have been stripped from me, so I asked God, "How do You want me to do this?"  I found my answer in adoration, in the Blessed Sacrament.

My spiritual director has this "catch phrase" that has stuck with me: "We detach from something in order to attach to something else."  God is asking me to detach from my idea of friendships in order to attach to the friendship of the Holy Trinity.  I have been led to reflect on the poverty that exists in friendships particularly in my life as a sister.  Sure, the number of real friends I have may be low to the world, but where I actually feel the poverty is in the event of not being able to hang out or talk to them whenever I want.  As a novice, I have chosen to renounce the right to direct my life, and that includes the luxury of communicating with my friends to my heart's content.  Yet, this poverty actually leads to richness in my friendships, a richness that is still being revealed to me.

The hugs, the laughs, the conversations, the quality time coffee dates, the group meals, the random phone calls and text messages, and even the simple smile-to-smile exchange in the silence - all have been taken away from me.  But Our Lord, the God of the Impossible, gives me so much more.  My secret is found in the Most Holy Trinity hidden in the Holy Eucharist.  St. Elizabeth of the Trinity (my saint best friend and sister), in the confines of Carmel in Dijon, France, saw the Holy Trinity in the Eucharist as a "meeting place" or "rendez-vous" with those whom she loved and held close to her heart.  Through her intercession, I have come to experience this reality.  It is in the Most Blessed Sacrament that I know I am near those whom I love most. The deeper I hide in the Eucharist, the closer I am to you.  The Eucharist destroys distance.  Jesus Christ embraces you, speaks with you, and remains with you because you carry the Eucharist, and I do everything with my Beloved, so I can embrace you, speak with you, and be with you by the grace of our Most Intimate Friend.  As Mercedarian Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, we are called "to become Eucharist."  That manifests itself differently and beautifully in each Sister.  "To become Eucharist" affects every part of our lives and inevitably leads to total transformation of the human person, including our relationships.  God "is able to accomplish far more than all we ask or imagine, by the power at work within us" (Eph 3:20).

I have come to recognize more deeply that our relationships are truly poor when they are not grounded in Christ Jesus.  Words cannot describe how God has led me closer in my relationships with others, but I do know that it is real.  As my relationship with God deepens, so too do my relationships with others deepen.  This growth in the love of God affects my relationships with my Sisters in a way only God could have designed.  His grace is always effective and at work whether we perceive it or not.  My love and prayers for my friends are beyond feelings and mere human words because of Jesus Christ.  My words must be His Word, and the Word is transforming.  No one encounters the Word and is left unchanged.  This is my prayer, that we constantly be Christ to each other, and emulate the friendship of the Holy Trinity - the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
   
My friends, brothers and sisters in Christ, those I love dearly, let us continue to follow and do God's will for the sake of the love of God.  If we are who we are meant to be, we are offering adoration to God together as one.

Please pray for me (and all my Sisters) that I may continue to grow in love for God and others in the Eucharist.  I am confident that you are with me, and I am with you because the Holy Trinity dwells in us (1 Cor 3:16).  May the Kingdom of God flourish within us and through us.
See you in the Eucharist with our most Loving Mother Mary,

Sr. Kathryne
Ephesians 4:1-7
'
Follow us
Facebook
  
Visit Us

Blog Archive