The Well is Deep

Jesus the Bridegroom.  The very words send a thrill through my heart.  The sisters heard me go on and on about the topic, but you, my lucky readers, are a whole new audience!

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Thanks to my time in the convent, I’ve been given a love for scripture and new eyes to see its depth.  The top two things that have opened up scripture for me are:

  1. Reading scripture with Jewish eyes.
  2. Seeing that Jesus is always the Bridegroom.

Today’s Gospel is the perfect example of this.  In the Old Testament, whenever a man and woman met at a well, they ended up getting married.  Another key piece of information is that the Jews and Samaritans were “divorced” from one another.  The Israelites had split into the Northern and Southern kingdoms, with Samaria in the North and Jerusalem in the South.  So when Jesus meets the Samaritan woman at the well and asks her, “give me a drink”, what He’s really saying is, “give me your hand.”

What really turned me on to all this is Dr. Brant Pitre and his book Jesus the Bridegroom.  I strongly recommend it to all.  The most important thing I want to convey is that Jesus is a personal bridegroom to each one of us, not just of the Church in general, and we experience this best through prayer.  When I learned how to pray according to the Ignatian method of prayer I felt like I had never prayed before.  This involves imagining the scene with all your senses and placing yourself in it.  Imagine yourself as the Samaritan woman.  Jesus asks you for a drink, you ask him for living water.  What are your “husbands”, those things that you are ashamed of, that you think make you unworthy? He already knows and He is “the one”, the Christ, the Bridegroom.

 

Waiting on the World…at the DMV

Dear Sir, what’s your story?

I left the golden island for streets of gold.  I left the warm beach for cold concrete.  I left hopelessness for a chance at happiness.  I left empty pockets and took a chance with these empty hands.  Family?  I left a daughter and a little one on the way.  I came to make it.  I came to the land of dreams.  I came again and again just like you.  Your eye?  I didn’t want to ask.  Vision’s perfect – 20/20 times two.

And now it begins……

(Posted by Victoria’s family)

On this past Sunday we took Victoria out to the TOR Sister’s Mother house in Toronto Ohio.  We will post updates when possible.  During her formation Victoria will not have access to email and limited contact with her family.  So the best way to communicate with her is to drop her a note addressed as shown on the right.

If you have mass intentions you can actually enter them here: http://www.franciscansisterstor.org/chapel/prayer-requests-2/ 

And if you want to know more about the sisters you can go to their main website at http://www.torsisters.org.

The sisters also have a facebook presence where they have posted some pictures from Sunday.  https://www.facebook.com/FranciscanSistersTOR

Please let us know if you have any questions.

 

 

Praying with Merton

MY LORD GOD, I have no idea where I am going.

Yet, my heart is joyous. ie possessing the qualities of, full of – joy

 
I do not see the road ahead of me.  
I cannot know for certain where it will end.

But that it will pass by the place of the skull.Though it may require fasting, it will end in feasting.

Nor do I really know myself,

Is that not what this road is really about?  You, Lord, knew me in the womb.

and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so.

Well, that’s terrifying.  Jesus help me want what you want.

 
But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you.
And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing.
I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.

Like children, we bring seemingly meaningless trinkets to lay at your feet.

Our earnest desire inflames your heart with love.

 
And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death.
I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.

My Hope is in you alone. Hope – expectant desire.  This road of fasting will end with feasting.

Be Not Afraid

“You would not have called to me unless I had been calling to you,” said the Lion.

~ The Silver Chair

I could blame it on Nemo, I could blame it on my lack of free time, but in truth I have not written in almost 3 weeks because I have been mulling over some big decisions and couldn’t quite put into words all that God has been asking of me.

In the past few weeks, I have been astounded by the mysterious, yet wonderful ways in which God opens doors.  I have learned that when God swings open a door and asks you to run through it, you make like the apostles and follow him immediately.

I have  been begging God to provide a way for my loans to be taken care of.  After being accepted, that begging became more persistent and demanding(we’re supposed to be like children, right?)  I really need to start being careful what I wish for…

God answered my prayer, but, true to form, not how I was expecting.  The same week I was invited to join the Sisters, I was also offered a nannying job which would allow me to pay off a significant chunk of my debt(but I still need your help!)  As you may remember, I’ve been part of Chi Rho Catholic Service Corps since September and had committed to do that until June.  And yet when this opportunity presented itself, there was a definite sense that it was time to move on and that  God was calling me to take a real and active step towards my Vocation. He has given me another chance to respond with an emphatic “yes!” to his call.

So, at the risk of seeming irresponsible and being rejected by those who do not understand my decision, but with the blessing of the TOR Sisters, I have left Chi Rho.  It was one of the hardest decisions I have ever made, but I am at peace with it.  I will miss my students and coworkers dearly but they will continually be in my prayers.

Stay tuned for updates as I embark on the next step of my journey!

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying,  “Whom shall I send? Who will go for us?”

 “Here I am,” I said; “send me!”

~ Isaiah 6:8

Peace Corps: The Hardest Job You’ll Ever Love

My office!

The hardest job you’ll ever love; this is the tagline used for the Peace Corps and I think it accurately describes my time there so far.  While my internship is nothing close to serving in a rural village of Kenya, it has been demanding and exciting.

I didn’t start my internship until a week after I arrived in DC, so by the time Wednesday came around I was anxious to get started at the Peace Corps.  The first day was slow going and consisted of a lot of training and waiting around. As part of my internship, I am working with databases, so I, along with my fellow interns, went through training on how to use those. Since the Peace Corps is a federal agency, everything is secure and needs to be accessed through a password, so we also worked on setting up those. A majority of my day was spent on the phone with the IT department getting access to the various programs and databases I need to do my work.  Needless to say, by the end of the day I was frustrated and ready to get my hands on some real work.

Thankfully, on Thursday and Friday I was put right to work with a combination of administrative tasks and bigger projects. My dad asked me if I was making coffee at my internship and I was happy to tell him that the answer was definitely no. My internship is giving me a first hand look at an underfunded and understaffed federal agency. Before I leave in August, at least four people are leaving my department and chances are they won’t be replaced anytime soon.  One of my tasks is to answer emails about the speakers match program which sets up returned peace corps volunteers to talk in classrooms and other venues about their experiences as a volunteer. Some of the emails were from weeks ago, telling me that no one has the time to keep up with them.

Much of my work will consist of work like this with the speaker’s match program. This will include registering new speaker’s and updating their contact information.  However, on Friday we had our first staff meeting and myself and my fellow intern, Emily, were assigned two bigger projects. The office I am working at creates resources for teachers to use in teaching about foreign countries and cultural competence. We were put in charge of creating webpages for each country in which Peace Corps volunteers are serving and making them accessible for children. Since its beginning, Peace Corps volunteers have served in over 130 countries, so this is quite an undertaking.  We are also completing the work of another intern who started a project about the history of the Peace Corps. The employees have already made me feel like a vital part of the office and acknowledge that I have significant insight to offer. Based on the work I have already done in this first week, this internship will be an incredible learning experience.

I’ve been thinking periodically about where I was last summer – Tanzania, and how different this summer is going to be. For one thing I lived in a rural village where time had no meaning and no one was in a hurry to get anywhere. My first day there I simply sat and talked with my students, without worrying about having someplace to be or something to do. I had to learn about a whole new way of life there and to some extent the same is true here. Here in DC it seems like everyone is in a hurry and walks with a purpose; I’m already getting caught up in that life. Whether it is learning to use the metro or introducing myself to a key contact, the professional world of DC is a whole new world to navigate.