Thursday, September 17, 2009

Sister goes back to school...

Last night I met 15 young women at the University of Richmond. I was invited by Catholic Campus Ministry to speak a bit about Benedictine spirituality. I arrived early - good thing, as parking was a challenge. (I even had to call on the BVM for help. I only do that when it's important not to be late. "Hail Mary, full of grace, help me find a parking place.")

I was greeted by a warm, engaging senior who walked me to her apartment. In a space shared by 4 women, 16 of us ate delicious spaghetti, salad and homemade garlic bread. Then, Sister set up her show and got down to business. In spite of "technical difficulties beyond my control," my new friends were able to "visit" our house - catch a glimpse of how Benedictine monasticism is lived in the 21st century.

I really love my job. I love being witness to the vitality of monastic life and its place in the building of the Kingdom. Most of all, I love meeting faithful women who are searching out GOD's will in their lives. As I looked out at that sea of eager faces, I felt a deep peace knowing that the future of the Church is secure in their care. These good women remain in my thoughts and prayers today. And, I send grateful blessings to Deacon Tom Mullen for making this wonderful night happen.

Blessings and love to you all...

- Sister Vicki

Monday, September 14, 2009

"Lift High the Cross"...

Today the Church celebrates the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. It is a feast that highlights one of the great mysteries of our faith – a paradox that is beyond our understanding but at the very heart of our Tradition. Because nothing is impossible for GOD, the cross – a barbaric instrument of death – has become the symbol – for those who believe – of GOD’s ultimate victory over sin and death.

The sight of the cross may bring sadness or great joy. It can remind us of the death of the Lord, JESUS or it can be a symbol of the life that never ends in Christ. It is by his cross and resurrection that we have been set free. The tree on which Christ hung and breathed his last, is the standard under which we march forward in faith. It is because of that cross that we can live without the crippling fear of mortality. We are free to choose mercy, compassion and justice because the cross declares the love stronger than death. We can lay a loved one in the grave – cloaked in our grief - and still believe that death is not the end, but the beginning.

How wonderful to have a day to rest in this mystery. The next time you look at the cross – while driving past a church, or sitting in a chapel, or holding a Rosary - remember that you are already redeemed. Remember a truth that is too easy to forget – "I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die (John 11:25-26)."

Blessings and love to you all...

- Sister Vicki