Thursday, March 5, 2009

Another wrong turn...

I got lost on Tuesday. (It happens more than I want to admit in the age of MAPQUEST©.) My destination was Radford University – specifically, the awesome Catholic Campus Ministry house at Radford. It was a wrong turn I made as soon as I got off the interstate. Now, when I say I was “lost”, that means that this “J” on the Meiers-Briggs©, who always leaves room for error, didn’t leave enough room in my travel plan to get this lost. (I wound up being 30 minutes late, but arrived safe and sound.) Oddly enough, the further I went on this country road, the more the beauty around me began to defeat my rising anxiety. I had this thought: “GOD knows where I need to be and what I need to do, so I should just enjoy being lost until I find my way.” And, I did. I even slowed down enough to take a few photos. Virginia is so beautiful…especially after a REAL snow.

Lent is a great time to consider the other “wrong turns” I’ve made recently. Preparing for the Sacrament of Reconciliation is never a struggle for me. I don’t really obsess about my sins, but as the opportunity for the sacrament approaches, they seem to rise to the surface of my consciousness. It’s a good thing – a helpful grace, I think. Usually, I find myself trying to find some pattern in the list of nitty-gritty failings, both to save Father some time, and work on what’s really at the heart of my failings. There is always a bigger picture – some "tragic flaw" that keeps holding me back in my quest for holiness. That’s why I can honestly say that I love my sins – even as I repent. They are often my best teachers. Without a little red ink on the paper, how can you see what went wrong? How can you aim for a better version of your self – the self GOD made you to be? My sins have changed over the years, but they never cease to remind me that all is grace. GOD never leaves me lost – so far off the path that I can’t turn around. Being open to the sacrament is like being willing to stop and ask for directions. And like the road I found myself on the other afternoon, there is a strange beauty in our sins. They, like nothing else, turn our hearts to the only One who can make all things new again (Revelation 21:5) – wash us bright as snow (Psalm 51:9).

Blessings and love to you all…
- Sister Vicki

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Another "snow day"...

Well, they closed school again because of icy conditions and power outages throughout the city. (Yippee!) I am working from the convent until about noon when I will head to another college for an evening program. I am particularly excited to visit Radford University as one of our women in the "Live-In" Program is a graduate. Karen tells me that the CCM (Catholic Campus Ministry) program is very vibrant - alive in the Spirit. I am speaking on the lenten practice of fasting to students who regularly attend "Faith, Food & Fellowship" meetings that go from 6:30 PM until 10:00 PM. I love that the gathering ends with Evening Prayer. (I'd call it Night Prayer, but I'm an old lady!) I should be back in the office, good weather permitting, Wednesday afternoon. Prayers, for safe travel and an inspired tongue, would be greatly appreciated.

Blessings and love to you all...
- Sister Vicki

Monday, March 2, 2009

More snow...(smiling)

We’re snowed in. Yup. No school in Richmond today. We’ve got eleven inches! It’s so beautiful…pure white, dry powder. (It’s too dry to make a snow-nun, but a dream to shovel. I took two ©Tylenol before I helped to dig Sister Charlotte out this morning.) I wish I could show it to you, but I can’t download the photos until I get back to the office. Trust me. GOD’s capacity to delight us knows no bounds.

My work at Christendom College went well. I made it back to the monastery for Sunday Eucharist. It had already snowed in the Blue Ridge. It took me nearly 30 minutes to travel down our mountain to the main road - lots of Hail Mary’s and low gear all the way.

Christendom is a fine school. The young men and women there really love the Lord. This was my third visit in the last five years. A new library graces the campus. It is beautiful in a medieval sort of way and fully functional in terms of 21st century technology. (Our Sister Connie Ruth can’t wait to get at the patristic collection!) I am grateful for having been invited to participate in the discernment weekend - glad to have met so many wonderful young people.

Blessings and love to you all...
Sister Vicki