Friday, March 16, 2012

Greetings from our Novitiate house in Boston!

"We give thanks to God always for all of you" (1 Thess 1:2) for your presence in our vocational journey especially while we were Postulants in St. Louis. Thanks to your prayers, the Lord has continued to shower us with many blessings. Many of you may remember Sr. Sylwia and Sr. Emily during their time of postulancy in St Louis two years ago. Well...good news! They just recently professed their first vows! It was such a blessing for us to be a part of their preparation for this big day. Sr. Emily made her profession at our Motherhouse here in Boston on Jan 28, 2012 and Sr. Sylwia thereafter, left for Poland and made her profession in Warsaw on Feb 5. Sr Emily is now the Children's Editor at our Publishing house here in Boston and Sr. Sylwia is head of the Digital Department and is doing vocation work for her community in Warsaw, Poland. Please continue to keep them in your prayers.

Both of us began our novitiate experience on September 14, 2011. Since then, we have been immersed in study: learning about our Constitutions, Prayer, and our Pauline Charism. We have also been working in our apostolate in new and different ways. In the Publishing house, Sr. Laura works in proofreading and designing the interior pages of our books and Sr. Jackie works in the Digital Department on our website, online newsletters and magazines. We have also been able to experience the spiritual needs of many through our work in the Online Webstore, the Dedham bookcenter, parish and conference book exhibits in the Boston area, media and vocation talks, and an Adoration session with children. Our novitiate journey has been anything but dull!

So in a nutshell, we give thanks to God for you - for being part of our journey! Please continue to pray for and support vocations. We are looking forward to having some young women come for our Holy Week Retreat in a few weeks which will be pretty exciting!

Please know that you are in our prayers and we thank you for yours!

God bless you,
Sr. Laura and Sr. Jackie.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Happy Lent: It's cool to be in the desert

Newsflash: Lent is not all doom and gloom. Although sack cloth and ashes are pretty hardcore that's not what I've been wearing the last 14 days. 

O Happy Lent! I know this may sound a little strange.  But I was totally stoked to enter into Lent this year. What? I was excited about Lent!?! ( maybe I've been in the convent too long--ha. not.)

Lent seems to kinda sneaks up on you from behind. Say, "Ha gotcha" throw a handful of dust at you and try to fade into the background and sneak right by. Not many seasons do that. And slowly I've learned that you need to turn around and face Lent before the homily on Ash Wednesday. Come on. Who hasn't decided what they are giving while in line waiting to get ashes. And the default is usually sweets or specifically chocolate. Am I right?

But, when you really look at Lent something about it is kinda alluring. It says in the Gospel "The spirit drove Jesus out into the desert." Jesus was driven into the desert--by the Holy Spirit. *PAUSE*. So your saying: the Third person of the Trinity (Holy Spirit), drew the Second Person of the Trinity (Jesus), to be with the First person of the Trinity (Father). Woah. Sign me up on "Desert Tour Lent 2012." 

I think it's our biblical image of the desert that throws off our idea of Lent. Which was pretty much equivalent of eating my veggies. You just get through it.  
The Pope talked about this two fold image of the desert in his Wednesday audience the first week of Lent. (You can check out the whole article here ) The Papa Benny said:
"On one hand, it is the season of first love with God, between God and His people, when He speaks to their hearts, pointing out to them the path to follow...On the other hand, the Bible also portrays another image of Israel's wandering in the desert: It is also the time of the greatest temptation and peril..."
Like Isreal's forty years, Jesus remains in the desert 40 days experiencing both intimate union with the Father and exposure to danger and temptation. It is so easy to look over this first part of Lent; a time of intimate communion or "special closeness" with God. Deserts are not only a place of aridity and temptation, but also equally a place of solitude and  intimacy. If your two part Lenten desert see-saw was broken like mine: FIX IT! 

And why have I grown to love Lent soo much?  Because I love Easter! We are a resurrection people. It is so much sweeter to deeply drink in that Easter joy when we have truly journeyed with Jesus into the desert all the way to the cross. 
There's still 26 more days left! Don't let Lent try to sneak by.