Thursday, December 3, 2009

There's Something About the Sisters of Mary

Why do you want to enter the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist?

I want to enter the SMMEs for a few reasons. The first year of my discernment from 2006 through 2007 was spent in prayer and I did not have a spiritual director at that time. I was in contact with a few different religious orders: Mission San Jose Dominicans, Daughters of Charity and School Sisters of Notre Dame. I liked different things about each one, but I soon recognized an undercurrent of apprehension: were those convents the right place? What did they think of me? Would I fit in? Why don't they practice their traditional charism? why the denuded chapels? why do they have to schedule in community time or prayer time together? why this and why that?

When I stepped foot into the SMME motherhouse that Friday evening none of those previously ever-present questions arose in my mind. I was completely focused on God and on just enjoying myself during the retreat. I felt this sense of peace within myself; I no longer had to search and question and research; no more comparison and contrast with my beliefs and practices with that of the religious community. I felt that it was over - which is why I so readily asked for papers Saturday morning before that evening's Eucharistic Adoration - I had already asked Jesus Friday night where He wanted me. He gave me the answers one after the other. The whole weekend God was saying "Yes, this is the place" in all those special ways He does in our own understanding of Scripture, prayer, music, people, etc. Lastly, as I was leaving Sunday to go home, I tried to see myself at the SMMEs just as I had tried with the MSJ Dominicans, the DCs, and SNDs; never had I pictured myself that way before, so fully.

What is it about this Community and our way of life that most appeals to you?

I'm very attracted to the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist way of life and community for reasons that echo the above. In the years since my Confirmation I have had to re-teach myself the mechanisms of the Catholic Church. I've had to learn about charisms, evangelical counsels, virtues of the flesh and theology. Few religious orders and communities actually practice a vow of obedience and poverty as I have seen in the SMMEs. There is a true sense of community: in the Eucharist and prayer life, in your daily life, and your interaction with each other. The vows and community life are faithfully lived out - sacrifice is not questioned, it's expected. I'll never forget the visit I made to convent here in Los Angeles and I was asked "Why should you have to sacrifice XYZ?" I don't have to sacrifice. I could enter a religious community that would permit me to own things - but then I'm not really, fully loving God, am I? Isn't that Who this is all about? God invites us, we say "yes," and I'm only supposed to give up what I think I can manage? No. I'm reminded of the verse in Revelations that describes what type of service and love God enjoys -- either be hot or cold, but not lukewarm. The Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist are definitely filled with Love and Passion for God and interested in doing His service and His will. Oh, and you're faithful to the Magisterium, which is important as I’ve seen it affect faith and salvation first hand in those who decide to add “New Age” or east Asian practices to the Catholic faith and liturgy; I don’t like the spiritual “funny” business.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Tipping Point


Advent is that time of year where we wait, and as much as we want the joy of Christmas to be "now," we are forced to wait. We sit in silence, darkness, and longing until God wants to open the door. God decides when He will push us over the edge.

God will be for us who He wants to be for us.
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Sprig in Ice

Nearly a year has passed since I went to visit Mount Baldy with three friends in the New Year (2009), and I saw this little sprig poking it's way through the snow. Being in California, snow is always a novelty, and I was fascinated by the blue and white hues of the surrounding environ.

It is so easy to think of God when we are allowed to silently exist in His creation; there were kids in the background who could be heard on snow tubes, coasting down the mountain. But if we moved far away enough, it faded away and nothing could really be heard. Neither a bird in flight or a call was heard or seen.

And my eye was caught by the sprig. Standing there in testimony - through the rain, snow, and freezing temperature. Trials were endured, even as they damaged it's bark and threatened it's very life, yet it clung tenaciously to the mountainside and was determined to poke it's boughs through to the sunlight.

Our God is not one of comfort! He says "Come and follow me" and we don't know where He leads us! We humans are creatures of comfort, habit, structure and predictability. Are we supposed just suddenly feel at ease because God says "I've got you; now, come"? Why do you think we are so taken with the image of God as a father, as a daddy?

Original Photo
Mount Baldy, CA

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Highlighted and Shadows


"Warmed" colors

Taken January 2009
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Sunday, November 29, 2009


Happy Glorious Beloved Blessed Gorgeous Advent!!!

Advent, meaning 'to come', is a new liturgical year, especially for us Catholics. (Happy New Year) Over the past several weeks at Mass the readings have been focusing on the end times.

When Christ first entered the world more than 2000 years ago, the only one who was fearful of Him was Herod. Herod was brutal and so jealous of the throne that he killed his own brother to gain it.

Yet, when He comes again, and He is a Man of His Word, we are the ones who fear Him.