Can you be bothered today?

By Sr. Mary Valerie Schneider | August 10, 2012 |

Am I bothered enough to bother?  My to-do list is long, my job jar is full, the laundry basket is overflowing. I have plenty of reasons not to bother with requests for volunteers or donations or letters to congresspersons. But sometimes the requests touch my heart, especially those wanting help to educate children. Putting a book and a child together is enough to make me bother. Most of the doors to curing the world’s ills are closed to me, but I can at least open the world to a child through a book.  What bothers you?  Are you bothered enough to bother today?

Road Closed

By Sr. Marilyn Marie | August 8, 2012 |

Yes, I had another one of those nights when, what should have been a simple trip became quite the adventure!  Leaving a half hour early for a picnic with the Tiffin Serra Club, I still managed to arrive five minutes late.  It seemed there were even detours on the detours!  I didn’t do too badly for a person who is not gifted with a good sense of direction.

 I worked hard to reach my destination last night despite the many road closures I encountered.  I couldn’t help reflecting how easily I sometimes give up when I encounter what seems like a closed road in my spiritual life.  Perhaps I need to be a little more creative in finding different ways to pray or try looking at situations from a different perspective. I wouldn’t think of just sitting on a road staring at the road closed sign; yet, sometimes I sit and do nothing when I encounter a block in my spiritual life. I know the ultimate destination I have – how hard am I willing to work to get there?

Even coming home last night provided some good laughs.  After deciding to take a route I was sure of even though it was a little out of the way — you guessed it, another road closure! God has a great sense of humor!

First Profession

By Sr. Marilyn Marie | August 6, 2012 |

Several of us had the joy and privilege yesterday of traveling to Chardon to celebrate the First Profession of Sister Lynette Miryam and Sister Mary Kelley.  Everything about the day was truly wonderful.  Witnessing these Sisters professing their vows certainly brought back many memories of my first profession and strengthens my daily renewing of these vows.

In his homily at the Mass of Profession, Father spoke of  the Gospel reading from the Bread of Life discourse in John’s Gospel.  Among other points, he referred to the Eucharist as sign and symbol of a greater reality than simple bread and wine.  As he spoke, I reflected that the vows and lives of these two Sisters are also sign and symbol of a greater reality.  They share with the world the reality and possibility of an incredible and amazing relationship with our God.

I pray that Sister Lynette Miryam and Sister Mary Kelley are graced with all they need to be vibrant signs of the reality of God’s love in our world.  Has there been a Sister in your life who has been/is such a witness?

Artist in residence – God at work in us!

By Sr. Susan Maria Kusz | August 3, 2012 |

Today’s reading from the prophet Jeremiah was one of those “dessert” prayers that Sister Valerie blogged about a few weeks ago.  I am a potter — of sorts.  Better said, I like to mess around with clay!  I seem to fade into the background; time falls away.  Thoughts and distractions are minimal; presence to the moment is paramount.  Working, watching, wondering: what will this be?  What a marvelous analogy for prayer!  I hope you tasted a little dessert today as God continued to mold and fashion you!

Finding God in All Things

By Sr. Susan Maria Kusz | August 1, 2012 |

July 31 celebrates the feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola.  Today I’ve been mindful of this dear man of God who made it his quest to give God all the glory and to find God everywhere.  Fast forward several centuries and there are tens of thousands of men and women in the world who have made the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius either in the long retreat or amidst daily life.  What a treasure Ignatius left for us!  Before we drift off into peaceful slumber tonight, we might ask where we found God this day … perhaps in the smile of a young child or an elderly person?  in a patient or client’s valiant acceptance of suffering? in the clerk at the store?  in a surprise note or gift?  in the beauty of a butterfly or summer flower?  Let us know where you found God today!  And let’s keep our hearts set on deepening our awareness that we might truly come to see God in all things.


By Sr. Marilyn Marie | July 30, 2012 | Comments Off on eXclaim!

I still had visions of yesterday’s eXclaim gathering in my head as I woke up this morning.  What a wonderful experience of Church! It was a great opportunity to connect with so many people and to enjoy a day of fellowship.

I was especially touched at last night’s liturgy when we heard the gospel reading of the multiplication of the loaves and fish.  While we may not have numbered five thousand (I believe the estimated number for Mass was two thousand), there was the same sense of our being gathered on the hillside listening to the teachings of Jesus.  Father Jeff McBeth reminded us in the homily that while we may see ourselves as poor and inadequate and feel we have little to offer, God can do amazing things with us just as he did with the five loaves and two fish.  We need only to turn our lives over to Him and watch incredible things happen!

I’m not sure there were twelve baskets of fragments left over after Holy Communion last night, but I do suspect the grace of the day was left in the hearts of those who were present.  May each of us go forth to exclaim the goodness and provident care of our God!

Can you drink of the cup?

By Sr. Mary Valerie Schneider | July 25, 2012 |

A mother in today’s Gospel for the feast of St. James asks Jesus to let her two sons, James and John, sit by his side in the Kingdom.  Jesus responds with a question to the two sons: “Can you drink the cup that I am to drink?” We can imagine the two men affirming that they can, perhaps with a show of bravado.  And perhaps the mother added some proofs of her sons’ loyalty and strength.

Switch to another mother, the mother of Jesus.  When it was time for Jesus to leave home and begin his mission, did Mary say to him, “Jesus, my son, can you drink the cup?” Jesus didn’t need to respond with words. Their eyes met, and both knew that they would both experience the cup of suffering. And you and me?  Can we drink of the cup?

Looking like Christ

By Sr. Mary Valerie Schneider | July 24, 2012 |

“Ugh!  Another bad hair day!” was my thought as I looked into the mirror. Then I tossed back my unmanageable locks and said to myself, “Well, certainly you can find something good in the mirror.”

What if I would write along the perimeter of my mirror, “Looking like Christ”?  Or what if I would draw an outline of Christ’s face in the middle of the mirror? I would ask, “How much am I resembling Christ?” The Incarnation of Christ means that Jesus Christ is the perfect realization of what is potentially embedded in human nature, that is, union with the divine. Whatever bears the imprint of the Trinity—that’s us!—also is united with the divine. Now that’s a great look-alike even on a bad hair day!


By Sr. Marilyn Marie | July 22, 2012 |

The following conversation was part of our migrant ministry this past week:

Tutor:  What is this vocabulary word?

Student:  Bless.

Tutor: And what does “bless” mean?

Student: It’s when someone puts God in your heart.

What wisdom we can glean from children!  Who has blessed you recently?  How will you bless another in the coming week?

God shines upon us

By Sr. Mary Valerie Schneider | July 19, 2012 |

Our shadows . . . residue of God?

The Son (Sun) of God shines upon us and through us. The evidence that God is shining upon us is our shadow. We would have no shadow without God’s radiating benevolence. “Shadow” is not used here as a Jungian term, the repressed side of us. No, “shadow” is the residue of God, the stuff of God that “happens” when we are at one with God. Just as Jesus’ shadow fell upon the sick, we cannot prevent our shadows from falling upon the ground on a sunny day. And who would want to prevent our spiritual shadows from falling upon the ground when God is shining upon us?