Tuesday, December 31, 2013
by Sister Laura
The end of the year ushers in the beginning of the new. It gives
me time to reflect on the gifts I have received during this past
year and it brings light to the future. Some people like to set
resolutions. I like to keep my options open for God's call.
Reflecting on this past year, I am so grateful for the many
doors God has opened. I feel especially blessed by the return of my
nephew Jeff to our family. Having him back in our lives is a gift.
He and Heather have brought us oneness as family and such joy.
I am blessed to be part of a Franciscan community that is strong
in its commitment to living simple lives and being rooted in prayer
and Gospel values. Through dialogue and respect for one another we
tackled some tough decisions during our Chapter this summer. We are
truly committed to one another and our Church.
I am grateful for the gift of medical technology. Because of
modern medicine I have two new knees on which I can stand up
straight and walk again. The doctors, therapists, and my good
friend Kathy have been patient and firm in getting me back on my
feet! What more could one ask for in life.
So I say "Praise be you my Lord" for all that has been, and I
pray for openness to the future of 2014. May you and yours be
blessed during this New Year!
The mosaic seen here is one of eleven integrated into our
Motherhouse. Each speaks to a different element that St. Francis of
Assisi honors in his Canticle of the Creatures.
Wednesday, February 01, 2012
by Sister Laura Zelten
This Sunday our Church celebrates
Consecrated Life Day. This day is set aside to appreciate the
gifts religious women and men bring to the Church.
It might sound strange but as I watched the U.S. Women's Figure
Skating competition last Sunday, it occurred to me there were
similarities between the successful skaters and those of us called
to religious life.
First, the dedication to excellence: Each woman was committed to
long hours of practice. Some put their education on hold in order
to compete. Dedication is also a trait of religious women and men.
We are committed to rooting our lives in prayer and ministry.
And yes, it takes practice. Every day my Sisters and I spend
time in communal prayer and personal prayer. We are dedicated to
growing in our relationship with God. Renewed by prayer, religious
women and men serve the Church. We give our whole lives to working
with and for the people of God, whether as teachers, health-care
givers, pastoral ministers, parish directors, faith formation
personnel or hospital chaplains.
Second, the ability to stay focused: Figure skaters need to
block out all distractions so they can perform their routines
flawlessly. At one point during Sunday's competition a skater
slipped and fell because she looked up at the crowd after hearing
her name called. She lost her focus. We religious women and men are
called to give our all to the people of God. For that to
happen we must stay focused on Jesus and His mission.
Like St. Paul tells us, our crown is the gift of eternal life.
"I have competed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the
We may not be champion figure skaters, but we are champions in
the light of Christ. May you, too, see yourself as someone
who has their eyes on the prize of Jesus.