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sr.christinaosf

Thoughts from a Franciscan Sister

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BarbaraTherese
10 minutes ago, sr.christinaosf said:

Anyone else struggle with observing advent amidst our impatient society? 

 

Yep, I can find it hard as our Australian summer is about to commence in December and the better kind of weather.  Having had a miserable sort of winter this year, the nicer weather is relief and joy.  Deo Gratius.

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BarbaraTherese

Very much like the Prayer of St Therese of Lisieux "I Choose Everything".........and the snow on the website.  Here in Australia we are the first day into our summer.

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sr.christinaosf

I've been asked to give a talk at a Men's and Women's discernment retreat in about a week so I'd ask for your prayers - I'm more experienced writing than speaking.

If I post the draft of the talk, would anyone provide feedback?

It's about the meaning of religious life and my own journey.

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sr.christinaosf

THIS IS VERY UNPOLISHED- IT IS NOTE FORM AS TO SPEAK FROM

I haven’t told “my story” that often, but I struggle with it because it’s different than some I’ve heard from other Sisters, but I guess we’re all different.  God works in beautiful, but various ways with each one of us.
A vocation is the result of God’s initiative, it’s not us just looking around and choosing what “I’d like to do with my life.”
why is one called and not another?  The answer lies hidden in the mercy and wisdom of God and His plan. He arranges all things for the benefit of the individual and the whole church
When God consecrates a person, he gives a special gift to achieve his own loving goal of reconciliation and salvation. 
He chooses, sets apart, and dedicates the person to himself and also has them share in His own work. 
My first awaking to this call in my life was during my college years.
Growing up, mom had asked about being a sister, didn’t particularly appeal to me. 
Then, the summer after my freshman year, a visit to our parish’s adoration chapel changed all that.
In my mind, this is what I’m supposed to do, so I’ll do it.  I didn’t have a full grasp of the beauty of this vocation.
Religious life is a vocation with a lot of variables: there is contemplative or more active, there are various spiritualties and charism, not to mention locations of a community.  
After I heard the call, I had really know idea what I should be looking for
looked through directory and sent in post card and got mail from many communities 
Was advised to finish college - though good since didn’t know where I should go.  
visited a few
I ended up majoring in written communications and finished college – but still didn’t know where in particular God might be calling me. 
In the meantime I thought I’d get a job.  
I learned a lot in my years of searching, about myself and religious communities.  
I found that I was interested in variety in apostolate – although I had a background in communications but didn’t want to just work for a communications organization

I went to conference in Mundelein - met and then emailed with Sisters of Charity - invited me to come and visit - went to wi - liked it - went to CT - too much silence – don’t get me wrong, silence is good and has value, but the amount of silence they had didn’t fit me
through that visit learned about self

met with pastor 2- 3 times for direction
referred me to some sisters a few hours away
After I visited briefly, they suggested I stay for extended experience of religious life and their own community
stayed 5 weeks there - really liked it    
They didn’t feel that there’s was the right fit for me but they gave me directory of communities in CMSWR

visited Chicago - Resurrection - just knew wasn’t it
then visited Chicago Franciscans - their style of religious life wasn’t what I wanted but opened me to possibility of Franciscans – wasn’t too interested before
our pastor had been saying, feel like home, or you know when get there
when came to Hankinson, seemed right - relieved that long search was over
Stayed twice for over a month

attraction to religious life grew with time and as I learned more.  Learned that religious life isn’t so much ‘what you do” but ‘who you are’  
I had heard before of a sister as a bride of Jesus, but some people’s stressing of ‘service’ pushed the beautiful spousal image out of view.  In my formation, I was re-introduced to this.  We studied how the Church sees consecration in marital terms 
asks total commitment
A Sister is image of church - virgin, bride, and mother
Religious in a diocese for prayer, penance, and witness not primarily for apostolic service
closeness to God, absorption in Christ, the Beloved is first - service of Him in those He loves flows from it.
We are called to imitate Mary.  
like Mary, who combined the two feminine glories of virginity and motherhood
being virgin and bride - have undivided heart - related to chastity
is total readiness for the Beloved
live for God alone, entirely dedicated to His service. 
A sister is to be a lover before anything else -
her love to be unlimited, universal, warm and affectionate 
reason for being here and for all we do is to love 
Consecration inevitably implies mission. These are two facets of one reality.
Love God and then go out to love others

Mother
this love flows out into service and helps bring about salvation of others
though don’t have physical children, through prayer, example, etc., have spiritual children
St. Therese, a contemplative Sister is patron of foreign missions even though was cloistered - spiritually fruitful

Through vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, imitate Christ
a life by these counsels is a gift from God to us and Church
proclaims freedom from social prestige, sexual domination, financial power seeking

Single-heartedness or chastity imitates Christ
Along with being pure also chaste in the sense of being totally dedicated to Father.  
Like Jesus, our sole desire should be to do the Father’s will
chastity frees the heart in unique way to love God and neighbor more

Poverty
share in the poverty of Christ who for our sakes became poor, even though He was rich, 
so that by His poverty we might become rich 
leave everything behind in order to live at his side and to follow him wherever he goes.
give up everything that does not lead to God 
In scripture virginity linked to frugality
along with being materially poor, also give up own will
this is related to obedience

Obedience
After the example of Jesus - came to do the will of the Father 
subject ourselves in faith to superiors - hold the place of God. 
Through our vows the features of Jesus, the chaste, poor and obedient one, are made constantly "visible" in the midst of the world

Must trust in and depend on God for help in living vows, not on self
Offer to God all things present and future, and placing them in his hands.
Total self-offering
 

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sr.christinaosf
On Thursday, December 08, 2016 at 7:42 PM, sr.christinaosf said:

THIS IS VERY UNPOLISHED- IT IS NOTE FORM AS TO SPEAK FROM

I haven’t told “my story” that often, but I struggle with it because it’s different than some I’ve heard from other Sisters, but I guess we’re all different.  God works in beautiful, but various ways with each one of us.
A vocation is the result of God’s initiative, it’s not us just looking around and choosing what “I’d like to do with my life.”
why is one called and not another?  The answer lies hidden in the mercy and wisdom of God and His plan. He arranges all things for the benefit of the individual and the whole church
When God consecrates a person, he gives a special gift to achieve his own loving goal of reconciliation and salvation. 
He chooses, sets apart, and dedicates the person to himself and also has them share in His own work. 
My first awaking to this call in my life was during my college years.
Growing up, mom had asked about being a sister, didn’t particularly appeal to me. 
Then, the summer after my freshman year, a visit to our parish’s adoration chapel changed all that.
In my mind, this is what I’m supposed to do, so I’ll do it.  I didn’t have a full grasp of the beauty of this vocation.
Religious life is a vocation with a lot of variables: there is contemplative or more active, there are various spiritualties and charism, not to mention locations of a community.  
After I heard the call, I had really know idea what I should be looking for
looked through directory and sent in post card and got mail from many communities 
Was advised to finish college - though good since didn’t know where I should go.  
visited a few
I ended up majoring in written communications and finished college – but still didn’t know where in particular God might be calling me. 
In the meantime I thought I’d get a job.  
I learned a lot in my years of searching, about myself and religious communities.  
I found that I was interested in variety in apostolate – although I had a background in communications but didn’t want to just work for a communications organization

I went to conference in Mundelein - met and then emailed with Sisters of Charity - invited me to come and visit - went to wi - liked it - went to CT - too much silence – don’t get me wrong, silence is good and has value, but the amount of silence they had didn’t fit me
through that visit learned about self

met with pastor 2- 3 times for direction
referred me to some sisters a few hours away
After I visited briefly, they suggested I stay for extended experience of religious life and their own community
stayed 5 weeks there - really liked it    
They didn’t feel that there’s was the right fit for me but they gave me directory of communities in CMSWR

visited Chicago - Resurrection - just knew wasn’t it
then visited Chicago Franciscans - their style of religious life wasn’t what I wanted but opened me to possibility of Franciscans – wasn’t too interested before
our pastor had been saying, feel like home, or you know when get there
when came to Hankinson, seemed right - relieved that long search was over
Stayed twice for over a month

attraction to religious life grew with time and as I learned more.  Learned that religious life isn’t so much ‘what you do” but ‘who you are’  
I had heard before of a sister as a bride of Jesus, but some people’s stressing of ‘service’ pushed the beautiful spousal image out of view.  In my formation, I was re-introduced to this.  We studied how the Church sees consecration in marital terms 
asks total commitment
A Sister is image of church - virgin, bride, and mother
Religious in a diocese for prayer, penance, and witness not primarily for apostolic service
closeness to God, absorption in Christ, the Beloved is first - service of Him in those He loves flows from it.
We are called to imitate Mary.  
like Mary, who combined the two feminine glories of virginity and motherhood
being virgin and bride - have undivided heart - related to chastity
is total readiness for the Beloved
live for God alone, entirely dedicated to His service. 
A sister is to be a lover before anything else -
her love to be unlimited, universal, warm and affectionate 
reason for being here and for all we do is to love 
Consecration inevitably implies mission. These are two facets of one reality.
Love God and then go out to love others

Mother
this love flows out into service and helps bring about salvation of others
though don’t have physical children, through prayer, example, etc., have spiritual children
St. Therese, a contemplative Sister is patron of foreign missions even though was cloistered - spiritually fruitful

Through vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, imitate Christ
a life by these counsels is a gift from God to us and Church
proclaims freedom from social prestige, sexual domination, financial power seeking

Single-heartedness or chastity imitates Christ
Along with being pure also chaste in the sense of being totally dedicated to Father.  
Like Jesus, our sole desire should be to do the Father’s will
chastity frees the heart in unique way to love God and neighbor more

Poverty
share in the poverty of Christ who for our sakes became poor, even though He was rich, 
so that by His poverty we might become rich 
leave everything behind in order to live at his side and to follow him wherever he goes.
give up everything that does not lead to God 
In scripture virginity linked to frugality
along with being materially poor, also give up own will
this is related to obedience

Obedience
After the example of Jesus - came to do the will of the Father 
subject ourselves in faith to superiors - hold the place of God. 
Through our vows the features of Jesus, the chaste, poor and obedient one, are made constantly "visible" in the midst of the world

Must trust in and depend on God for help in living vows, not on self
Offer to God all things present and future, and placing them in his hands.
Total self-offering
 

So any pointers? I don't want to just read a script, either.   I am not too used to such speaking engagements.   Thanks. 

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John Paul

Good Blog Post! I love Bells of Saint Mary's ! It is an amesome movie. I love when one of the  Sisters takes Fr.O'Malley  to that room and then she leaves to go get Sister Superior (Mary Benedict) and all of a sudden nuns are walking in from every direction.

Edited by John Paul

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Charbel

Sister, when I watched The Bells of St. Mary's I remember thinking the same thing! It really is too bad we can't have movies like that today. Beautiful reflection in that post too :like2:

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