July Archives

  • July 27, 2011

    Our community is abuzz with silent, happy activity this week as we prepare to celebrate the love of our sisters who have been faithfully serving in love and prayer over a period of sixty years for three of them and fifty years for two. Some young people cannot comprehend making a commitment for life in this period of history when long term commitment seems almost unimaginable. I can best express such wonder in the words of Karl Rahner when speaking at a Solemn Profession many years ago:

    “A human being today (on profession day) is giving his/her life a definite form and direction. It is great and awesome ….should one voice a hymn of praise or be silent before such daring? Should one praise God and life, time and this hour that there are still men and women who have the courage to give form and configuration to their lives, the courage to want something once and forever.”

    These sisters have carried out, with love and devotion, their all embracing “YES” in ‘fidelity and for a lifetime’ as Rahner would say it. It is all grace, pure grace and gift from God, we know that, but their hearts had to continually say that ‘YES’ over and over again throughout these many years.
    As I sit here and contemplate the wonder of it all, my mind goes to the ocean and I see wave upon wave coming in from the deep, mysterious ocean. Some waves come very gently, just a ripple, some come dancing along and land with glee on the wet sand of the sea shore, others seem to fade out before they reach the shore and others come crashing down and you wonder where you will land when it is over. Surely these five sisters could look back at their monastic journey and see the times of gentle waves, crashing waves and unexpected waves and smile now at how on that seashore, no matter what the waves were like, they looked up and saw Jesus standing there with hand outstretched to give them the courage to continue on their journey.
    I cannot forget another sister who would be celebrating her silver jubilee this year with all the jubilarians. One gentle, precious sister whom Jesus came to take to himself very early in her monastic journey. No doubt she will be singing and smiling down from heaven at us today as we prepare to celebrate our beloved sisters and thank them for their fidelity, for our vocation and for our loving community.

    Sister Gabriella

  • July 19, 2011

    Feel all irritable today. Have no idea why. I keep telling myself to ‘stay in the NOW’, thank God for Eckhart Tolle! I hate feeling this way when I don’t know the reason. Of course, that is my pride. I guess I am hopping mad about something which hasn’t surfaced yet. Too early in the day to even have the energy to think it through! No doubt it will come to consciousness at a time when I least expect it to appear. Hope it does not throw me for a loop! Stay close, Jesus.

    Sister Gabriella

  • July 16, 2011

    Each year as a Cistercian monk or nun we have the privilege of making an eight day retreat. It is always a special time when the ordinary duties of the day are put aside (only essential work being done) and we spend a more intense time of pondering, praying and listening to the Spirit deep within our hearts. A time to reflect on the quality of our life given for others. Have I been faithful to that “first love” which brought me to the Abbey? Is my life totally given so that others may live? Totally poured out in love? The heart ponders, the spirit speaks. As St. Benedict encourages us, “we incline the ear of our hearts” to hear the word he wants to speak to us – a word ever ancient, ever new but life giving for all our brothers and sisters in the world.

    Sister Gabriella

  • July 11, 2011

    Planning a community celebration today. The sisters are so willing and even longing to share their “talents” for the joy of the community. I love that line at the end of RB, “….and may he bring us together to life everlasting”. Sounds good to me. We have walked the monastic journey together so why not go to Him together. Who was it who saw us all just sitting outside the gates of heaven waiting for us all to go together! Hope we don’t have to wait too long! To me it is the little things we do together which make community life so enriching. You have to throw yourself into it heart and soul and always just be ready to be the spark which lights up the lives of the sisters.

    Sister Gabriella

  • July 9, 2011

    Distracted in choir, mind wandering over the beauty of our young sisters. Such a long road ahead of them yet they are full of enthusiasm to walk the monastic journey. I don’t know why but I want to protect them from the rough patches which will inevitably come – that is life. Deep within me I know that these “rough patches” will be the very ground of growth to full potential and strengthen them in love. Take care of them, Jesus. I guess you will without me even asking you!

    Sister Gabriella

  • July 5, 2011

    Our simple Cistercian life holds many precious moments when all of a sudden, unexpectedly you come upon yet another gift of nature unfolding before your eyes. We have time to stop, embrace and contemplate such moments in our lives, each season bringing more and more created wonders. Such an experience happened to me recently when walking in the woods. I looked up and my eyes beheld a whole field of wild, yellow flowers dancing in the breeze as if to say to all who came upon them, “Yes, even the cold, snowy, icy winters we endure cannot take our life away. We will be reborn each year to new life after our winter death.” Just like each human heart born anew after a time of struggle or trial. Reborn again and again that is our life as Cistercian and so closely connected to the vow of Conversion of our Life which we take when making profession.

    Sister Gabriella