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Veni Sancte Spiritus

By Sister Pat Lange

Sister Pat LangeAs a small child, I loved gazing at the night sky, getting lost in the star gardens that fell into my gaze. I welcomed each star into my field of viewing as a dear friend with a deep sense of grateful wonder. These lighthouses in the night sky were a constant source of childlike awe. Little did I know that these lighthouses were actually great spheres of fire, light and energy, spheres whose light had traveled through the vast emptiness of space for millions of light years, enabling my human eyes to "feast" upon this wondrous sight.

But, there is another fire, not a chemical reaction, but a person, One of Three - the Holy Spirit. When we celebrate Pentecost, we celebrate the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. In Luke's narrative of Pentecost found in Acts, Chapter 2, we relive this power of transformation, echoing down the millennia to our present day.

There are threads of similarity to our own time when compared to the narrative of Pentecost found in Acts. The followers of Jesus men, women, including Mary, the mother of Jesus, return to the upper room, that familiar place where they felt a sense of safety and solace. Were some filled with personal doubt or uncertainty, even fear? It is possible, yet they were there, united as one, devoting themselves to constant prayer awaiting the Holy Spirit. They prayed for guidance, seeking a way to follow the mandate of Jesus. After the descent of the Holy Spirit, they left that upper room transformed, changed. Now they were filled with courage and empowered by the Holy Spirit. Their ministry of proclaiming the good news of the Gospel to all the world had now begun. It was the birth of a new mission, and the world has never been the same.

Today, as SSNDs, we find ourselves on the cusp of leaving the upper room of our own security, daring to leave its safety. As SSNDs, we too, find ourselves united in constant prayer, seeking the wisdom and empowerment of the Holy Spirit, to help us read the signs of the time, do whatever he tells us and walk into the future as one. United, we gather in meaningful dialogue, sharing our vision of who we are and what we may become. The Holy Spirit speaks to us through our directional statement, our "roadmap" to the future that awaits us. We, the School Sisters of Notre Dame, are in the process of transforming ourselves, so we in turn may transform our broken world. The world in which we live is thirsting, crying out for the good news of the Gospel; our response is to proclaim Christ's mission of uncompromising love today and into our future. It is the Holy Spirit who will empower us to break free, to have the courage to take that first step of many into the future with joy and hope. Those gathered in the Pentecost upper room were given the gift of tongues, the language understood by all. The language our world longs for is the universal language of the Gospel. It is the language of love, redemption, forgiveness, hope, joy, compassion, courage, stewardship and understanding. It is the language spoken by the Holy Spirit in every age for all time. A new Pentecost awaits us, a divine wind and fire, the Holy Spirit. We trust and dare as we pray...



Corpus Christi

By Sister Margie Klein

Marjorie Klein, SSNDAs we celebrate the feast of Corpus Christi, the body and blood of Christ, we recall the words of St. Augustine who said, “In graciously receiving the Body and Blood of Christ in the Eucharist, we become what we receive.” Augustine was giving spiritual credence to the popular phrase we glibly throw around, “You are what you eat!” In wholeheartedly receiving the Eucharist, we are saying a resounding, “Amen, yes, so be it!” to becoming food for those around us.

Who in your world is hungry? Malnourished? In need of being fed? How are you being invited to be blessed, broken and given as life-sustaining food for others? Our world hungers for peace; can you feed them from your own storehouse of inner peace? Men, women and children around the globe thirst for hope; can you pour out your own faith to slake their thirst and temper the fever of hopelessness that destroys all thought of tomorrow? Is there in you a hunger yet to be fed? If so, pull up a chair to the family table and be fed by the Bread of Life so that you, too, can become what you receive. “Yes, Amen! So be it!”


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