Friday, April 25, 2008

Off...and I'm leaving, too!

The busier my life gets the more I want peanut butter and jelly for lunch. Soemthing about PB & J comforts me - reminds me of being little and having most of life taken care of for me. At 44 those days are long gone, but the memory of a lunchbox and crusts cut off, seems to return me to a place of inner peace.

I'm leaving SGHS in about an hour and heading to McLean, VA - and the Dominican Retreat House. It's a beautiful place - full of light and wood. I'm hoping that once the illusion of control sets in, I'll be able to decompress a bit and really enjoy the peace and beauty of this spiritual oasis. I promise a full report on Monday and fresh photos. In the meantime I request your prayers... I want so much to be used by God - in the best sense of the word. Pray, too, for the women with whom I will share these days. I'm grateful for the friends I've made blogging and the gift of your loving energy in my life.

Blessings and love to you...

- Sister Vicki

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Writing at The Ridge...

I’ve been on the “dark side of the moon” for two days. I went to our little house in the Blue Ridge Mountains to rest and to write. I always need to rest a bit after our weekend programs. But the writing is a whole new piece in the quilt. I had hoped to blog from The Ridge, but I couldn’t get a wireless signal there. It was probably best as I had some serious work to accomplish in that time. Lord knows, I love this blogging business. But sheer terror can do a lot for a person when the crunch is on!

I am giving a retreat this weekend to single Catholic women who annually gather at Dominican Retreat House to celebrate the gift of single life to the Church. These wonderful women are single...and HAPPY. I am excited by the prospect of spending the weekend with these faithful women. I am puzzled by the lack of attention the single vocation receives in our society and Church. I hope, by the end of the weekend, I will be able to give this group something of God’s deep love for them. I ask your prayers as I continue my final preparations. (OK, I’m nervous. I’ve never done a whole weekend before. Day retreat, yes. But not a whole weekend. And, to add to the anxiety, the community will be paid for this ministry. I hardly ever get to bring Sister Henry Marie a paycheck. I really want to give Dominican Retreat House they’re “money’s worth.”) So…instead of a lengthy blog filled with the weird little thoughts in my soul, I will give you a guided tour of The Ridge – our monastic get-away house. Enjoy…

Blessings and love to you all…
- Sister Vicki

Monday, April 21, 2008

Discernment...a Benedictine Value

Sometimes, things converge in ways that mystify me. A few weeks ago, I was scheduled to teach the 11th grade. I had to cancel that class for an important doctor appointment. I taught that class today. Our topic, the Benedictine value of “discernment”, is a new lesson plan in the “Monastic Monday” curriculum. What I didn’t know and found out after my first period class is the theme for every chapel service this week. Yup. It’s “discernment.” Coincidence? I think not. GOD must want our young women to hear the same song in different voices. What I didn’t know is that this is “prom promise” week. Each student will write a letter to her big/little sister about making smart, healthy choices on prom night. GOD always knows what we don’t and works for our blessing.

I was home [the monastery] this weekend to welcome four new inquirers attending our “Monastic Discernment Weekend.” The Vocation TEAM was simply outstanding – really present to our guests. Our postulants and the two women in our Live-In Program spent much of the weekend with us adding their own unique perspective and gifts. All in all, it was one of the finest weekends we’ve ever done. This morning as I tried to explain the importance of discernment to my young friends, our weekend guests were in the back of my mind and in my heart. In this ministry women often ask me what they should be “doing” to discern God’s will. Praying with Scripture, staying close to the Church and her sacraments, seeking the advice of loved ones are important pieces of a successful discernment. The most important of all, though, is to ask for guidance. When we ask GOD for help, we get it. Our weekend guests and our junior class will be in my prayer this week. May they all know the will of God and have the strength and courage to do it.

Blessings and love to you all…
- Sister Vicki
PS - I hope to be "blogging"bfrom the Ridge over the next few days if I can get a good wireless signal in the mountains. :)