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Posts Tagged ‘everyday’

Over the weekend, three Sisters of Notre Dame were busy picking fruit in a private orchard in Camarillo. They were volunteering for the Food Forward program, which gathers volunteers to pick excess produce to donate to local agencies. Lots of local property owners have more produce on their property than they need or have the resources to harvest. Food Forward donates 100% of the fruit and vegetables that volunteers pick to hungry individuals in the area. Sister Rebekah (left), Sister Shirley (right), Sister Betty Mae (bottom forth from left) and their team of pickers collected large bins full of fruit.

To sign up to volunteer for Food Forward call (818) 530-4125.

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untitledI love to cook!  For me, cooking is a form of relaxation…and it doesn’t matter if I am doing it alone or with company, for a special occasion, or just spur of the moment.  I really like playing with the ingredients, adding something new to a traditional recipe, or experimenting with whatever is in the refrigerator.  Unlike most people, I love to have leftovers, and I consider it a challenge to create something different and surprising.  I attribute my love for cooking to my mom, and it is still a link between us even though she suffers from memory issues.  Watching the cooking channel together is always a positive experience!  So what does all this have to do with anything?  You might ask if there is a spiritual twist to this…yes, there is!

The following excerpt from Praying in the Messiness of Life, by Linda Douty, echoes my thoughts, and so I share it with you, whether you are a cook or a fast food aficionado!

Since I was already in a stew, I decided to literally make a stew. Upset by some sort of squabble, I was soon chopping, dicing, sniffing, mixing, simmering, stirring my way back to sanity. Losing myself in the colors, aromas, taste, feel, and the chop-chop of the knife became a kind of sensate prayer that brought me to my senses.

Cooking is often a vehicle of prayer for me. As I sort out flavors, adding leftover vegetables from the refrigerator, I try to blend them into some sort of tasty combination, using what I already have. In a surprising alchemy of attention, my thoughts are led to explore how my life can be better blended into balance and harmony, what belongs and what doesn’t belong, what adds spice, what ingredients bring a balance of flavors. The kitchen becomes my place of creative personal prayer.”

-Sr. Marie Paul Grech, SND

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Last week, for the first time in my life, I listened to an entire opera: Verdi’s La Traviata. I wish I had discovered the beauty of opera many years ago! It is exciting to discover a real “spirituality of beauty” in art and music that reflect the beauty of God.

Recently I came across this quote from The Shawshank Redemption. There is a scene when Andy locks himself in the warden’s office, puts a record on the turntable, and sets the prison intercom system near the speaker. The music, an aria from The Marriage of Figaro, pervades and suffuses the entire prison. Red, the narrator, says:

“I have no idea to this day what those two Italian ladies were singing about. Truth is, I don’t want to know. Some things are best left unsaid. I’d like to think they were singing about something so beautiful, it can’t be expressed in words, and makes your heart ache because of it. I tell you, those voices soared higher and farther than anybody in a gray place dares to dream. It was like some beautiful bird flapped into our drab little cage and made those walls dissolve away, and for the briefest of moments, every last man in Shawshank felt free”.

Today, let’s savor beauty and resurrection in places we least expect!

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“Let us remind ourselves over and over again that holiness has to do with very ordinary things:  truthfulness, courtesy, kindness, gentleness, consideration for others, contentment with our lot, honesty and courage in the face of life, reliability, dutifulness.  Intent, as we think, on the higher reaches of spirituality, we can overlook the warp and woof of holiness.”

“Fire Upon The Earth: The Interior Castle Explored” by Ruth Burrows

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This last weekend several storms pelted Southern California. On Saturday night we lost power in the area around my convent for about two hours. Although we did have flashlights, they don’t work without batteries! Fortunately, nuns always have candles for prayer, ambience, etc. Still, we were grateful when the power was restored. The experience sharpened my awareness of how much I depend upon power for light and warmth, echoing my yearning this Advent for Christ’s light and life, the true source of power in all our lives.

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Fall StreamWe have a new page “Quiet Time” where we will be sharing some inspirational quotes from some of our favorite authors or current reading. We all need a place to refresh and refocus during our hectic schedule, or a place to inspire ourselves for another day. I hope this will be a place to find some spiritual food for thought (and in the SND tradition, also action) for all of you. As always we love to hear from you. Let us know what you think, or if you have authors you’d like to suggest. Blessings!

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saintsofrussiaThis morning in prayer I came upon a favorite passage of mine in the book of Jeremiah. The passage (Jr 20:7-9) speaks perfectly of the fire within the Saints, that burning urgency to serve the Lord, and a passionate love that compels one to action.

“You have seduced me, Lord, and I have let myself be seduced; You have overpowered me: You were the stronger… ”

“For me the Lords’ word has been the cause of insult and derision all day long. I would say to myself, “I will not think about Him, I will not speak in His name any more”, but then there seemed to be a fire burning in my heart, imprisoned in my bones. The effort to restrain it wearied me, I could not do it.”

Let us pray with our companions in Heaven that we too might cultivate a fire so bright as to be unable to suppress its light.

All Gods’ Angels and Saints, pray for us.

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