"If people have to give up meat on Fridays in Lent, do vegetarians have to give up veggies?" "Do I have to give up things for Lent that I really love, like funny cat videos on YouTube?" We receive many questions like these at A Nun's Life Ministry as Lent approaches. People are eager to learn new ways to deepen their spirituality through the age-old practices of fasting as well as prayer and almsgiving, the three pillars of Lent.
Let us be the women who attune our inner ear to the heartbeat of God, who listen for the whirr of wings on the way to prayers, and who find presence in the most empty spaces.
When we're in need of renewal, we need to take the time to rewind the video, play it again (even several times), and zoom in on the motion as closely as possible in order to discern God's call.
Twice last weekend, I found myself somewhere I haven't been in a long time: the back pew of church.
The food pantry where I serve is a former Catholic church. Some years ago, volunteers came in, removed the pews and replaced them with shelves that hold the groceries we give away. The heavenly food of the Eucharist, once received here, has been exchanged for an earthly fare: rice, beans, fresh veggies and fruit, milk, meat, and other good stuff. Now, many — often broken and desperate — who reflect Christ's body, form community as they wait in the exact place formerly reserved for the blessed sacrament.
See for Yourself - Something my brother said to his youngest daughter got me thinking: "Don't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands. You need to be able to throw something back."
I suppose being tossed from one side of the emotional spectrum to the other shouldn't really come as a "spiritual surprise," since it seems to have happened even to the disciples as they journeyed with Jesus.
GSR Today - I think a lot about fungi. Not just because I happen to think these not-plant and not-animal organisms are cool, but because they have so many things in common with religious life. Let me tell you about two of my favorite fungal friends.
As some of you might know, we are a small community of four Poor Clare sisters. This past year two of our sisters, Bernie and Laurene, had to move to an assisted living facility because their physical needs were more than we could provide.
As I walk the woods and enjoy the autumn beauty of the elm and maple trees, I especially admire the sturdy evergreen cedars, the "pioneer trees" that begin growing first. Here at Cedars of Peace, they simply stand, their green boughs a contrast to the other trees of the forest.
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