Associate Blog

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Rejoice!

Carol-Lemelin-OPA
Blog by Associate Carol Lemelin, OPA

“Christ Jesus, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” – Philippians 2:6-8

These words of St. Paul are a perfect description of Jesus’ last days on earth. Continue reading →

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The Light of the World

Blog by Sr. Amy McFrederick, OP
Blog by Sr. Amy McFrederick, OP

Jesus said: “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” – John 8:12.

Three years ago yesterday, Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected the 266th and current Pope of the Roman Catholic Church, ex officio Bishop of Rome, and Sovereign of the Vatican City. These must have been intimidating titles to the then Jesuit Cardinal Archbishop of Buenos Aires when his name was called. I remember being impressed at his response when asked “What did you feel when you realized you were elected Pope?” He said he felt PEACE come over him. And when he told journalists that he had chosen the name in honor of Saint Francis of Assisi because he was especially concerned for the well-being of the poor, we knew the Light of Christ was shining in a new way in the Vatican. And the light of Christ has radiated from/through Pope Francis to the world, both in his actions and his words—as we read about him washing the feet of inmates including women, riding the bus with the other clergy, and living in the Santa Marta hotel where he stayed with his fellow cardinals during the conclave, because, as he told a friend, he likes being in daily contact with ordinary people, does not want to be isolated, and enjoys sitting down to meals with visiting clergy. Continue reading →

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Downton Abbey, Lent and Happy Endings

Blog by Sr. Amy McFrederick, OP
Blog by Sr. Amy McFrederick, OP

Our house community – like so many others – has been intrigued and entertained as we watched the Downton Abbey series on PBS until its finale last evening. After following each of the show’s characters through their many struggles, problems and disasters, we all went away glad that both Mary and Edith were happily married off, Isobel and Dickie are going to marry, the Bates – cleared of all false accusations – now have a new son, and finally the Carsons, along with Mr. Barrow, Mr. Molesley, and even the Dowager Countess seem able to face a future with new possibilities and hope. There is nothing like a happy ending! And it seems that the more tragedies and trials precede it, the happier it is when all turns out well.

As we continue into this fourth week of Lent, with pink marking Laetare Sunday, the drama and mysteries of Holy Week looms before us, just two weeks away. With Christ’s glorious Palm Sunday entry into Jerusalem, followed by Judas’ selling out on Wednesday, Jesus’ meaningful and poignant Last Supper on Thursday, the betrayals, and the horror of Christ being handed over into the hands of men to be crucified, an excruciating and shameful death, and finally his burial in a borrowed tomb on Friday – the future couldn’t have seemed more hopeless and bleak for those followed and loved Jesus! But the Good News of Christ is that THERE IS A HAPPY ENDING!

Each year we Christians of every denomination following the Liturgical Calendar enter deeply into the realities of this most holy week, to allow the evil of sin to be unmasked, and the depths of Christ’s love for us to be felt in the marrow of our bones, in the deepest recesses of our heart, and to prepare ourselves to enter more fully into the joy of the Resurrection of Jesus – Easter and the weeks that follow celebrating the happiest ending one could ever imagine!

Julian of Norwich, in her Showings, wrote: “I often wondered why, by the great foreseeing wisdom of God, the onset of sin was not prevented: for then, I thought, all should have been well… But Jesus, in a vision answered with these words and said: ‘It was necessary that there should be sin; but all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.’ These words were said most tenderly, showing no manner of blame to me nor to any who shall be saved.”

As I studied and prayed with Julian’s writings, I was inspired to put her words to music in a song:

All Will Be Well. 

All will be well, yes, all will be well.
Take it now in faith and trust that all will be well.
All is made well, so all will be well.
Take it now in faith and trust that all will be well.
And in the end you will see truly in all fullness and joy that all is made well.
So, all will be well.

We can enter deeply into the Paschal Mystery, knowing and believing in the ultimate happy ending – or is it our happy beginning?

Posted in Associate Blog

The Golden Rule: Simple or A Challenge?

Colette Parker, OPA
Blog by Associate Colette Parker, OPA

The Golden Rule seems relatively simple to apply. But it can be a real challenge, when we view others as “different” from us.

On February 21, our newly formed committee on racial justice hosted a screening of the PBS documentary Sisters of Selma, which highlighted and reminded us of the work that women religious have done to model the Golden Rule, without bias. The film tells the little known story of Catholic nuns who answered the call of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. to come to Selma in 1965 to protest the violent suppression of African-American voters. Continue reading →

Posted in Associate Blog