Monday, August 23, 2010

The Faithfulness of God

This phrase -- the faithfulness of God -- has been in my heart and head.  We celebrated the 40th anniversary of final profession for three sisters yesterday afternoon, and this idea was part of the prayer and reflections.  

My life has been filled lately with leavetaking.  I'm preparing to move in a week, leaving behind a city that has been my home for most of the last 10 years, and a group of women, my religious sisters, whom I love deeply.  My heart has been heavy, even though I know that what awaits me on the other end is good and beautiful -- another group of amazing women who are my sisters, and entrance into the novitiate.

The prayer reminded me yesterday that no matter how heavy this leavetaking feels, I am supported by and grounded in God's faithfulness.  God will not abandon me, and remembering that brings me peace.  My fears, doubts, sadness are so small when compared to the profound faithfulness of God.  When I look over the last year, and even over the course of my lifetime, I can see that faithfulness at work in both big and small things in my life.  I'm glad for the reminder to see what has been there all along.

So, how has God been faithful in your life?

And a song...

Monday, August 9, 2010

Being Transfigured

Taken in June, Albany, NY

While the Transfiguration was a few days ago now, it's still in my thoughts...  I think my favorite reading is the second one of the day, 2 Peter 1:16-19:

Beloved:
We did not follow cleverly devised myths
when we made known to you
the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ,
but we had been eyewitnesses of his majesty.
For he received honor and glory from God the Father
when that unique declaration came to him from the majestic glory,
“This is my Son, my beloved, with whom I am well pleased.”

We ourselves heard this voice come from heaven
while we were with him on the holy mountain.
Moreover, we possess the prophetic message that is altogether reliable.
You will do well to be attentive to it,
as to a lamp shining in a dark place,
until day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. 
That second part is my favorite:  the reliability of the message and the apostles' attentiveness to it.

"You will do well to be attentive to it, as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts."  The Transfiguration is about more than Jesus showing a piece of his true divine nature to his followers.  It's also about our own transfiguration through beginning to see that mystery that Jesus lovingly shares with us--that we let the morning star rise in our hearts.

Transformation and change require us to be open to God working in our hearts.  I've been thinking about the transfigurations that have happened in my own life, especially during the last year.  Life has a way of changing us, altering our perceptions, giving new meaning to what might seem old.  And at the same time, those changes do not alter the person who is at the core of our being.  In other words, though I know I have been changed by God in the last year, I am still the Juliet that I was before.  Perhaps I'm even more myself as I listen more closely to God in my heart and on my life's path.

How have you been transformed by the love of Jesus in the last year?

Sunday, August 1, 2010

What If

A little story.

About five years ago, I interviewed for a job.  It was a good job, one that fit my skills, and I was well qualified (or they wouldn't have interviewed me, honestly).  Another woman was also interviewed, and she was offered and took the position.  I received a very kind rejection letter, explaining all the reasons why I was not chosen.  It was actually a good letter--the reasons given were very real, and spoke only of my lack of fit for the position.  In other words, I really felt that the decision was fair, and that the other candidate was clearly a better choice.  The letter also let me know that I, too, would have done well in the position.  It was really a positive affirmation.

Yesterday, I was talking with one of my former professors, who had been speaking with people from that same institution that interviewed me.  He discovered that the woman who was hired has been let go, not because of anything she did wrong, but because they are changing their priorities as an institution and no longer need a full time employee in that role.

My first thought was:  Wow.  Lucky me. I would be out of a job right now.

And then I kept thinking about it.  In a way, I am without a job now, though it's really by choice.  I'm in formation with a religious order that I love and feel called to.  Five years ago, I had not begun discerning religious life at all, and the job would have taken me to a place where the Society of the Sacred Heart has no presence.  I might not have met the Society.  I can't imagine that I would have avoided God's call to me personally, but I really have no idea how it would have worked out.

It is humbling to realize that things happen for a reason, even the disappointment of not getting a particular job.  I am so grateful that I didn't get that job, that I was in St Louis when I met the Society, that I met the Society at all, and that God has called me and led me to this moment.