Reflections: The Easter season

 

Unfolding to life

By: Sister Gina Marie Redig

Sister Regine Marie RedigMarch and winter’s rigid and frigid fingers have let go to spring’s gentle and teasing breezes. Earth is warmed by glorious sunshine and responds with green patches of grass and the push-ups of crocus, tulip and daffodil buds. Winter was a time of darkness in the soil, a time of rest that now gives way to new bursts of life.

Spring has always been my favorite season of the year, a time when my inner being bubbles with the sense of new life. This year is no exception but in a different way. During the winter months, I struggled in darkness with the decision to have a cochlear implant to improve my hearing. When I finally came to a yes, my spirit was filled with trust in God, in myself and my body. Trust and belief in God’s direction in my life is like a song in my heart. Yes, clothed in the glory of spring but so much more. I can’t help but think of Easter and resurrection. Currently, I am stone deaf while I heal from the surgery. It’s in the complete and prayer-filled quiet that Jesus breathes into me peace, hope, trust, courage and the strength I need to come fully into my new life of hearing. That’s the story of my resurrection, this year, as it unfolds. And I do mean unfolds. There’s a long road ahead for me, in therapy and hard work, as I progress to my new kind of hearing. Meanwhile, I plan to enjoy the sights and feeling of spring tingling through my body, mind and spirit.

You, too, have a resurrection moment waiting to unfold in the story of your life. In whatever situation you are at this time, be it physical, mental, emotional or relational, unlock the door of your upper room and let Jesus breathe life, peace, hope, strength and courage into your story. Look for spring’s new life in yourself and sing a new song in your heart. Keep the door open for that touch of unfolding resurrection in your life story.

 

May Reflection

By: Sister Lillia Langreck

Sister Lillia LangreckMay has always been a favorite month for me. We are moving from the springtime signs of new life into the glory of summer, experiencing the lengthening of sunlight hours. It is such a time as this that Gerard Manley Hopkins, English poet and Jesuit priest, could exclaim: “The world is charged with the grandeur of God.” It is a time of the greening of the grass and the leafing of the trees. Nature is giving us a hint of God’s grandeur in the colorful array of the flowers of spring: daffodils, tulips, trilliums, peonies and lilacs. God gifts our earth with rainbow colors and the warm spring rains coupled with sun rays, which gift us with rainbows in the heavens. Our Bible’s book of Genesis remind us that the colorful arc of the rainbow is God’s covenant of peace. With nature’s colorful array and the bow in the heavens, no wonder God saw that it was good.

The month of May gifts us not only with grandeur of color, but also with the many signs of new life. We glory in the colors of spring. We glory in the longer sunshine hours, and we glory in the many signs of new life. The Easter alleluias still echo in our hearts. Yes, our world is “charged with the grandeur of God.” With hearts and voices we echo our hymn of thanksgiving.

New life reminds us of the creation of God’s greatest gift, the human person. Again a creation, God chooses to gift humans with diversity and the gift to understand, know and love. The gift of diversity, so cherished in flower and fauna and in glories of the heavens, the planets, the stars and the life-giving sun, is not understood or appreciated in the gift of human life. Like the rest of nature, God’s love pours forth in wondrous diversity. God creates people of color, people of varying gifts and talents: artists, poets, farmers, doctors, architects, builders, mystics and a myriad others. People who speak different languages, eat different foods, have different skin tones and call their God by different names are feared or hated. Those gifted with understanding do not know that all God’s creation come forth from God’s creative love.

So in the person of Jesus, God became one of us. Jesus taught that our God is present in all creation. He taught us that the spirit of God dwells in each of us. He calls us to love and care for each other. In this month when we celebrate God’s love, and beauty and new life, we remember our call from the School Sisters of Notre Dame’s Constitution, “You Are Sent,” “As the desire of Jesus that all be one becomes more fully our own, our striving for unity embraces all humanity and the whole of creation.”

 
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  • Prayer through quilting Sister Josephine Niemann displayed two fabric pieces at Good Shepherd Gallery in north St. Louis to honor Pope Francis’s encyclical Laudato Sí. The quilt, “Global Warming,” and the banner, “Creation,” represent a creative take on the serious subject of caring for the Earth.
  • Celebrating Mother Caroline: A lesson in courage The passion and courage of Mother Caroline Friess, the American foundress of the School Sisters of Notre Dame, can be seen in the ministries of sisters today. More 100 years later, sisters continue her efforts to educate and aid immigrants and those less fortunate.
  • Associates and sisters – A special connection More than 280 women and men are connecting with School Sisters of Notre Dame through spiritual, educational and social activities as associates. You can discover the gifts God has shared through SSND, build relationships and become involved, too!
 

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