Chronicles of a New Adventure!

I wasn't sure why I kept this blog alive -- other than not seeing a reason to delete it. And now, the reason to keep it is here. A new adventure starts this week! A blog re-boot begins now, to tell the stories and share the pictures. I hope you enjoy.

This adventure is the next stage of my formation as a Religious of the Sacred Heart. You can flip through the older blog posts to read the chronicles of my first years in formation, through my first vows and into my years as "professed of temporary vows." Now that six and a half years have passed since my vows ceremony, I am beginning to prepare for perpetual profession. Adventure time! The first stage of preparation is called an international experience. I am leaving on Sunday, December 16, to spend the next six months in southern Spain. Our Spanish sisters have had a ministry there for decades to assist migrants with their adjustment into Europe. Migrants come from all over Africa to work in acres of greenhouses in Almerí…

Fidelity of God and the Love of My Sisters

Paul and Pope Francis

Symbol of the Heart of Jesus

We had a big meeting of nuns a week ago, and we were asked to bring a small symbol of Jesus' heart with us.  I brought this red heart:

(Actually, to be truthful, I brought both it and the cross because I changed my mind while packing.)

The heart fits in my palm, and it has a lovely tinkly bell inside.  It makes a happy noise!

But I didn't bring it because it sings, or because it's heart-shaped and pretty.  I brought it because of who gave it to me. 

The heart was a gift from my very best friend, and it symbolizes Jesus' heart for me because she's the one person in my life who always knows how I feel by the sound of my voice.  We live far apart, so most of our communication is by cell phone.  And yet she always seems to know whether I'm really happy or just pretending to be.

It makes me think of the appearance of Jesus to Mary Magdalene after the resurrection in the Gospel of John.  She goes to the empty tomb and sits weeping in sorrow for the loss of her dear f…


I'm teaching a course tonight on the Trinity--that great mystery that is at the heart of Christianity and Christian life.  I'm a little nervous because it's hard to talk about something so big and so bound up in the unknown.  But Pseudo-Dionysius helps, with his hymn at the beginning of "The Mystical Theology."
Trinity!!  Higher than any being,
any divinity, any goodness!
Guide of Christians 
in the wisdom of heaven!
Lead us up beyond unknowing and light,
up to the farthest, highest peak
of mystic scripture,
where the mysteries of God's Word
lie simple, absolute and unchangeable
in the brilliant darkness of a hidden silence.
Amid the deepest shadow
they pour overwhelming light
on what is most manifest.
Amid the wholly unsensed and unseen
they completely fill our sightless minds
with treasures beyond all beauty. (This translation is from Colm Luibheid, published by Paulist Press in 1987.)

The indentations of the translation I am looking at here are a little more visually plea…

Preaching on the Feast of St. Robert Bellarmine

I'm leading and preaching for mid-day prayer today, and I've chosen to use the first reading for the Feast of St. Robert Bellarmine, rather than tackle either of the mass readings today.  But really, I'm just talking about the saint himself.  Enjoy.

A day of contrasts

Today we learned that one of our sisters from Australia was on board the plane that was shot down yesterday over Ukraine.  Her name was Phil (Philomene) Tiernan, and she was much loved by so many.  I had only met her about three weeks ago, and had lovely and meaningful conversations in a very short time.  She will be missed, that is certain.  Her presence on that plane makes the violence of our world more real and personal, too.  (Her story has been picked up by news sites, which include some lovely pictures:  try here, and here, and from our own website.)

On a completely other note, today is the second anniversary of my first vows.  I know I'm in the right place, and that makes me totally content with life right now, and yet life can be a little sad, too.  So, today, as I give thanks for the Society of the Sacred Heart, my own little heart is tenderly holding my sisters and remembering the fragility of all that we have.