Stream ~ Lines E-News from CSA Office of Vocation Discernment May 2012 Volume 1, Issue 7
God Calls iDiscern By Sister Jean Hinderer, CSA
“Spiritual discernment is the process of opening our lives and decisions to God and being attentive to what we see with the aid of the divine Light.” (Decision Making & Spiritual Discernment by Nancy L. Bieber)
In his 2005 commencement address http:// www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1R-jKKp3NA delivered to the graduates of Stanford University, Steve Jobs challenged and gifted the students with his words: “You got to find what you love . . . So keep on looking until you find it. Don’t settle . . . Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become.” Steve Jobs’ creativity and restlessness changed our world, our vocabulary, and the manner in which we communicate to our global family, relatives, neighbors, and friends. We now have a plethora of “techie tools” to support our own creativity, restlessness, and desire for instant information! We have iPhones, iPads, iPods, social networking with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and all sorts of other cyber tools and toys such as Skype, Netflix, YouTube, and GPS. We even have Internet search engines, namely Yahoo, Google, Bing, and Live Search to name only a few, which provide us easy access to information on the World Wide Web. So you may ask, “What’s this got to do with discernment?” Everything!
There comes a time in which we fast from the distractions and constant hum of technology and give ourselves over in trust to gently simplify some time in our day to hold still, to be alone with God, and allow our inner ear to hear God speak to our hearts. Our willingness to relax in the sacred space of “I know not what” readies us to be open to the path to which God is inviting us to walk. This path may take us to realms of mystery, wonder, awe, and joy where our heart feels free and at home. The search engine for discernment is that inner knowing and intuition that speaks with a soft whisper. Then, in all our searching, we discover that the destination is not necessarily the important part; it is being on the path that often is enough. So pray for courage to follow your heart and give yourself over to God’s invitation – iCall, iInvite, iWait, iLove! I dedicate the following poem to all seekers!
Stream ~ Lines
An iPoem in Honor of Discernment Submitted by Sister Jean Hinderer, CSA
God calls . . . iFear iFeel iResist iRelax iPray iConsider iAttend iImagine iWonder iDream iExplore iDiscover iCompare iLearn iGrow iPray iGather iFocus iRead iBrainstorm iDiscover iNotice iJournal
iListen iReflect iShare iUnderstand iOpen iTrust iHope iBelieve iPray iQuiet iWait iBreathe iPray iOpen iAccept iLaugh iStep into a future full of hope, meaning, and promise!
May 2012 Volume 1, Issue 7
Journey Into the Light By Sister Jean Hinderer, CSA
Throughout the season of Lent, I journeyed weekly with individuals from Marian University http:// www.marianuniversity.edu/homepage.aspx who wanted to feast on Lent. This was the theme we chose as we used Sister Joan Chittister’s booklet entitled, Journey into Light. I met weekly with each individual, provided prayers and spiritual resources that they could feast on that would enhance their Lenten journey, and concluded with a special blessing. Below are comments from a few participants which reflect their enthusiasm, their faithfulness, and commitment to their growth at this season. “My Lenten spiritual journey has been an amazing adventure that has enabled me to experience Lent like I’ve never experienced it before. I was able to look at some difficult parts of my life journey through a new lens and find contentment and joy where I could only find sadness before. Our guided reading and discussion helped me discover that often – without realizing it - I am a light to others through my words and actions. That realization brought me to a deeper understanding of my faith and its impact on my life and those around me.” P. N. The Lenten feasting provided me with the opportunity to reflect on the season of Lent. In the past, I have "given up" something during Lent, only to return back to it on Easter. This Lent, through my reflection, I was able to identify with "not giving up" but giving. Through the spiritual readings and online 3-minute retreats, I put aside time to think about Jesus' message and purpose for me. I was also able to identify behaviors within myself that needed attention. Thank you for a wonderful experience.” C.P. “This season was different from the past because you assisted me to have more of an awareness of the season and daily messages to ponder upon. The theme being “light” had a very special meaning and every day I reflected on how I was a “light” during this Lenten season, the “light” in my life and the lives of others. I learned new things about myself and how I should live my life.” N.N. "This Lenten spiritual journey under your guidance has been wonderful for me. Just having someone to go to to discuss spiritual matters was like a special treat for me this Lent. I indeed enjoyed the fact that the Lenten reflection booklet offered rich comments that offered ideas on how to handle situations and live my Christian life the best way that is available for me to try. Even though time seemed to fly by, I am so grateful that I got the chance to participate and come to talk to you.” M.U. Page 3
May 2012 Volume 1, Issue 7
“Overruled?” (Part 2) By Sister Jean Hinderer, CSA
An excerpt from “A Rule of Life,” drawn up in 1862 by Father Caspar Rehrl, the founder of the Sisters of St. Agnes, for sisters in Barton, Wisconsin, and never submitted to Rome.) 5. Economy . . . Likewise the Mother House may have all kinds of domestic animals which may be useful in the house. The Sisters may plant orchards, vegetable and flower gardens, and may tend the vines and raise bees; they should learn to plant flax and manufacture linen; they should be introduced to weaving and make all their clothing. They should also learn to mold wax and make candles, but not to prepare church vestments. 42. – Part II As to Church Work The Sisters ought to clean the churches, wash the vestments, and care for the linens used on the altar by the priest. Never should squalor and dirt be found in a church. 44. Concerning the Order of the Day . . . Then all the Sisters go to bed and keep silence until 7:30 the next morning. All ought to be in bed before nine o’clock. Later the Prefect (in the daughter house, the local superior or someone assigned by her) ought to go around the house and see whether all are in bed and whether the fire is safe. She herself, holding a lighted lantern, should check that all the lights are out except the sanctuary lamp in chapel and that the doors are shut, so that, as 9:00 o’clock chimes, she herself may be in bed.
May 2012 Volume 1, Issue 7
Our Deepest Fear By Marianne Williamson Return to Love
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear in that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our Light, not our Darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the World. There is nothing enlightening about shrinking so that other people wonâ€™t feel unsure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. As we let our own Light shine, we consciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."
May 2012 Volume 1, Issue 7
CSA Out n’ About By Sister Barbara, CSA
As I begin writing this reflection, the words from the prophet Hosea fill my thoughts: “I will lead her into the desert where I will speak to her heart.” Little did I know how true these words would become. Most of my adult life I have been interested in Native American spirituality. Their deep connection to the sacredness of life and their willingness and determination to learn from Mother Earth inspired me. In 1991, Sister Caryl Hartjes, who was my regional coordinator, alerted me to a new position being offered at St. Michael Indian School http:// www.smis1902.org/home.php in St. Michaels, Arizona http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Michaels,_Arizona. This school was built by St. Katharine Drexel in 1902 and is the only Catholic school on the Navajo reservation. The elementary school principal was looking for someone to coordinate the religion curriculum and to plan the liturgies and prayer gatherings. I came to St. Michael’s for an interview and have been here since July of 1992. Prior to my coming, I attended a training experience entitled, “Basic Directions in Native American Ministry,” held in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Several other members of CSA attended also. For a number of days, we, along with other participants from across the country, were immersed in the spirituality of Native America. There, culture and the Catholic Church came together. We learned so much from Native American women and men religious as well as dedicated lay people. It was a very sacred time. My years here at St. Michael’s have been adventurous, challenging and deeply fulfilling. My ministry for 18 years was to lead the students, staff, and parents in prayer, but they have taught me so much about praying. As we experience the harshness of our northern desert climate, we learn together to trust and recognize beauty in that harshness. Together we watch the fierce winds literally blow everything to life. We feel the grit in our hair and mouths and know that spring is here. We rejoice Page 6
when it rains, knowing that the parched fields will come alive with flowers and grass for the livestock. Ordinary and extraordinary events of daily life are celebrated with cultural religious ceremonies. Now I minister as the guidance counselor for the elementary school. Every day I have the opportunity to listen with my heart as well as my head. Students and staff share their dreams, their joys, and their pain. The trust between us is rewarded with their beautiful smiles. I passionately believe in living each day with a positive attitude. I also believe that there is a hidden blessing within each of the challenges we experience. Part of this blessing is finding an inner strength we never knew we had. Many of our families experience the devastating effects of poverty, alcoholism, and gang violence. Looking for the blessings and being proud of who we are help the students and me grow in being the best we can be. I wouldn’t trade my desert experience for anything. Each day, our students, staff, and parents teach me how to “walk in beauty.” http://www.smis1902.org/ gallery/album/index.html
May 2012 Volume 1, Issue 7
Seasons of the Streams By Sister Jean Hinderer, CSA
â€œAs I continued to look around I discovered spring after spring. I took out my holy water bottle and blessed them all praying that God might keep these springs flowing to quench the thirst of travelers.â€? Fr. Caspar Rehrl, Founder of CSA
May 2012 Volume 1, Issue 7
Undercover Work: Vessel of Clay: The Inspirational Journey of Sister Clara By Jacqueline Hansen Maggiore
Note: This is the final issue of StreamLines for this 2011-2012 period. We will begin again in the fall of 2012. We hope that these issues have been interesting, informative, and inspiring for you! If you know of anyone who would like to receive Stream-Lines, please contact Suzanne Flood at firstname.lastname@example.org Thank you for your support and prayers. Gratefully, The CSA Office of Vocation Discernment
“Jacqueline Hansen Maggiore presents in this volume the biography of her lifelong friend Carol Piette, known throughout Chile and El Salvador as Sister Carla. Drawing from the memories of those who knew her and excerpts from her letters and diaries, Vessel of Clay chronicles Sister Carla’s extraordinary life, highlighting her dedication to the poor of Latin America but also revealing her struggles with self-doubt and emotional frailty. Vessel of Clay will appeal to both lay and religious readers interested in peace and social justice, spiritual formation and development, women’s issues, liberation theology, and mission service.” “Carla died in the rushing waters of a flash flood on August 23, 1980. In El Salvador, the people quickly named her Martyr of Charity. Each year the people hold a pilgrimage at the river where she died. Today a sculpture of her, the only North American so honored, stands in the park in San Antonio Los Ranchos.” (Jacqueline Hansen Maggiore) http://www.amazon.com/Vessel-ClayInspirational-University-Scranton/ dp/1589662172
Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes Vocation Discernment Office 320 County Road K, Fond du Lac, WI 54937 920.907.2310 email@example.com
Stream ~ Lines
Social Media and CSA Follow our blogs http://somecallmesis.blogspot.com http://csavocations.blogspot.com http://whatshapppeningattheun.blogspot.com More information is available at our website www.csasisters.org More information on our ministries www.csasisters.org/ministries.cfm Follow us on Facebook www.facebook.com/csasisters and click the “like” button Visit YouTube www.youtube.com/user/TheCSAChannel1
CSA STATEMENT OF MISSION We, the Sisters of St. Agnes, participate in the mission of Christ by joyful service in the Church, always aware that we, too, are among the needy and are enriched by those we serve. Inspired by our founders—by the missionary zeal of Father Caspar Rehrl, the courageous initiatives of Mother Agnes Hazotte, and the spiritual influence of Father Francis Haas—we continue to respond in our own times to those whose faith life or human dignity is threatened. Rooted in Christ through prayer and worship we serve in both rural and urban settings throughout the United States and in Latin America. We strive to minister with simplicity and hospitality in the fields of education, health care, pastoral ministry and social service. We are committed to transformation of the world, the church, and ourselves through promoting • • •
systemic change for the quality of life justice for the economically poor furtherance of the role of women in church and society mutuality, inclusivity, and collaboration.
Love binds us together, and by sharing our lives and our faith in community, we support one another to live with singleness of purpose: that among us and in our world the Risen Christ be discovered and revealed. 1990