+ J.M.J.A.T. +

Saturday, March 26, 2011


Well, it has been a crazy March!  I haven't had a minute to myself in weeks.  Finally, this Saturday I could take a little holy relaxation!  That is probably why I am up so late because I just don't want this free time to end!  So, anyway, I think a post is in order.  Between school, community, and prayer there has been nothing but sleep in the middle!  However, I really feel very called right now to sacrifice and suffering as the future of religious life and I am happy to suffer and sacrifice because of fatigue, generosity, and zeal.

My community has been talking a lot about the future lately and I feel compelled to share some of my insights.  First, I am really blessed to live in a community where I feel I can share my own feelings and thoughts without judgement and while knowing that although not everyone agrees with me we all respect one another.  There really is a spirit of fraternal charity and the work of grace in our everyday conversations with one another.  At the same time, I think we are at a point where we have to be challenged and challenge one another to be the religious women we are called to be.  A sister recently told me, "Your religious life is your ONLY religious life."  You only get one and you are the only one who gets to live that particular life.  It was so amazing to hear someone verbalize that calling in such a profound way.  I don't know what is ahead for me but God has given me this religious life at this time for a particular reason - and the same is true for everyone else.

That very simple thought makes me feel extremely personally responsible for the future of religious life in my congregation.  What am I doing that furthers God's mission in the world?  How am I building up the Kingdom of God?  How am I witnessing to the relationship I have with Jesus to everyone I meet?  Am I really living the religious life I desire and God desires for me?

Now I will be busy all April answering these questions.  Holy Spirit - enlighten me!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Lesson Planning

Any teachers can appreciate the much used acronym, "SWBAT."  For those who are not teachers or who don't use this acronym all the time... it stands for, "Students will be able to..."  When I write my lessons for each unit I write a list of things that my students will be able to do by the end of the unit or lesson.  After the "to" I always begin my objective with a dynamic verb from Bloom's Taxonomy.  I know all of this sounds ridiculous (unless your a teacher) but it has some really practical applications that I hadn't thought of until this evening when I was talking to another sister about our religious life.

What if I changed "Student" to "Sister"?  What should sister be able to do?  Well, looking at the verbs from Bloom's Taxonomy I have a few ideas.

Sister will be able to...

  1. identify God's presence in the people she serves and the sisters with whom she lives.
  2. explain in word and in action God's salvific work.
  3. be an example of the intimate relationship between God and each soul.
  4. demonstrate charity and mercy working with justice and morality by showing compassion while still challenging God's people.
  5. prepare for the coming of God's Kingdom.
  6. differentiate between right and wrong and help others to do the same.
  7. relate to her sisters as "one in mind and heart."
  8. reconstruct the world around her to be in line with the values of the Kingdom of God.
  9. justify her belief in her Spouse through prayer and knowledge, with the gift of faith, for all people.
Now, I'm sure I could come up with a lot more... and much more eloquent examples.  However, it was an easy way for me to meditate and pray over what it is that Jesus, the divine teacher, is trying to bring about in my heart and soul.  This is a quick, five minute, list of objectives.  It is a really easy way for me to both examine my conscience and look to where God is calling me.  What could God be calling you to be able to do?

Sunday, March 6, 2011


Well, as far as my life is concerned, March is already a wash.  No free weekends, free days, time at all - just lots of new and exciting, exhausting and overwhelming, work and fun.  It looks like the storm before the calm is here.  Summer is coming but these next few months are going to be wild.

On Saturday I went to a funeral and then straight to the Motherhouse for a community meeting.  After the community meeting, feeling quite overwhelmed by what I needed to get done, my young nun friends and I went out for a little pizza and a lot of chat.  It was great to be together and just talk about what is going on in our schools and houses.  Although we are all inundated with tons of work it was great to take a little time to enjoy one another's company.

It's amazing how much a good friend does for the spiritual life.  I came back to my local house feeling refreshed and rededicated to doing my best to live religious life to the fullest.  It doesn't always feel like roses and rainbows.  It requires a lot of sacrifice and we all get rundown and unenthusiastic at times.  Spiritual friendships form the foundation to continue forward in charity and forgiveness to be better than before.  My friends helped me remember whose I am and who I am.