Tuesday, March 17, 2009

28+1--OR--25+4--Either way...it's the Annual Birthday Blog

A comment about the photo, just in case any of you think that I've gone all Lucky Charms on you with my birthday and St. Patty's Day...there's a connection, but you're going to have to read the WHOLE entry folks.

Just under the wire, but I'm here...with the annual Birthday Blog--the reflect on the past year and where I'd like to go in this next year of life! It seems like every time I do this review there's been "big stuff" (new life, new formation stage, new jobs, new careers, etc). I am not fond of uncomfortable transitions (I find change energizing); yet my last few years seem like it's my other-other full time job; this year was no exception!

I usually post with the image of the shamrock fields. I have a lovely photograph of a rainbow which I took in Ireland when I was there in 2001, but unfortunately in those days, ahem, we didn't have those digital cameras that these young folks carry today...and I'm too lazy to go through the boxes in the basement, find the album, and scan it...So thank you web image searches.

A few days ago, I had some time and space to "gear up" for my thoughts about my upcoming special day and was journaling a bit. The image of a rainbow kept creeping into my thoughts and I don't know that I connected it until this evening.

We all know the faith symbolism of the rainbow in the biblical tradition of Noah, the ark, God's covenant made in the symbol of the rainbow. I also think the folklore of rainbows is fascinating; with the leprechauns, pots of gold, and luck at the end of the rainbow--if you can find it. Finally, from the logical science Sister Katy--refracting visible light (which is truly the color white) through a prism to create an allusion of the visible light spectrum to break apart the various colors which make up "white light" is amazing to me as well.

So some themes emerged for me:

**God's covenant of love and the hope (or relief) Noah must have felt when he could experience this presence of God.

**Luck at the end--IF you can find it.

**refracting what one can see normally, breaking it apart to see the many "colors" which make up the whole.

What sealed the deal for me to use this image...was the fence. The short of it...the Book of Wisdom has come up in different aspects of my discernment journey in many different contexts. Sr. Mary Ann created this wonderful Wisdom Retreat (created around Wisdom literature) for women discerning which I was able to help her with a couple times. One of the activities which I always appreciated was when we drew our "gates" (where Wisdom is found) from Wisdom 6:14.

This image said...the only way you're going to get to that rainbow, Lady...is if you go beyond that fence. And as much as I'd love to say, "Oh...too bad...that fence is there." I can't conceive being "fenced in" either...so move through the gate, Lady.

In many ways some of the things I have had the opportunity to reflect on this past year have much to do with a covenant of love. My vowed commitment seems get deeper within me, causes for greater reflection on what these vows mean to me, how I live them, and am challenged by them. Situations, reflections, and relationships have caused me to see how my vowed commitment is deep within me, in my spirit, and passion for where I am called--in ways I never predicted or could have imagined! And none of those profound moments of saying, "Oh crap...that's what obedience is," have been easy...in fact on some levels the challenges have been greater than anything I've experienced in my life. My commitment to God and growing more and more aware of God's love is what gives me that hope and relief that this is what I need to do with my life. In that respect...I can see a rainbow fitting for my symbol of hope as I move forward with my personal journey.

The science piece makes me laugh because of course I needed some logic to have a reflection to write. Then that got me thinking...of course. Refracting light--light passing through a medium in which it bends to create multiple dimensions and view points. And of course knowing that "white light" (pure visible light) is made up of many colors...UGH. I hate it when life lessons are that cliche and obvious. So yeah yeah...rainbow shmainbow...allow "stuff" to pass through a "refractor" (and I'm not going to define that because I know that just asks for "I told you so's" and this coming back to me) so that you can see what many factors make it up. The cynic in me says, "And then it goes away!" The "reflective I enjoy growth and insight" me is saying, "Oh...and you can still find beauty in acknowledging the multi-facets." That would be end-of-year 28's bow of insight (groan groan...bad pun)

So for year 28+1...I had dinner tonight with one of "my people". She gave me a beautiful journal that has artwork, quotations, excerpts from poems, etc...scattered among the journaling pages. The images are serene and peaceful. So I came home...knowing that I wanted to do my annual blog and I opened up the journal and on that page was this excerpt of a poem entitled: This Ecstasy by John Squadra...

All that matters is what you love
and what you love is who you are
and who you are is where you are
and where you are is where you will be
when death takes you across the river.

You can't avoid the journey but
you can wake up...now
and see where you've been
and where you are going.

Now that is the spirit speaking to me...that's a good place for 28+1 to look toward at this moment. (Thanks, Lady)

That's that. Easy breezy last year--renewing covenant, hopeful sign, God's love, oh and the let your stuff refract so you can look at it thing too.

Even smoother new year--what you love is who you are...you can't avoid the journey...

And lest I forget my fence...I guess I have to go through another gate to hear my Wisdom...who is sitting there waiting for me to pass through. Piece of cake...ha!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Sr. Katy on Living our Faith

Hey everyone...

Two weeks ago I moved into a new community house (in case you were wondering what happened to me and my blogging efforts). I am now living with one of our Sisters near Alverno College. As I get settled, I'm sure I'll have more to share.

A couple of weeks ago I was on our Archbishop's television series: Living our Faith. Two Marquette students did the interviewing and filiming of it. I was so impressed with their skills and professionalism. The two students really produced a nice segment. I just heard that they won a scholarship for this piece too! I'm so proud of them.