A reflection on 1 Cor 12:4-12; 27-31 by Mother Maria-Michael Newe, OSB.
We hear in St. Paul's first letter to the Corinthians, "Strive eagerly for the greatest spriritual gifts." (1Cor 12:31) To strive, not just to want, I mean strive: to desire enough that you do it eagerly. What do we strive for in life? I had to ask myself this morning "What am I striving for? Is it to please God or men? Is it to strive for the spiritual gifts or those of which the world says Aren't you a great person?"
It's through prayer that we discover those spiritual gifts; and it's through serving one another that we discover our own gifts. Those gifts are important. St. Paul says: "Are all prophets? Are all teachers?"(ICor 12:2) In other words, don't be jealous of each other's gifts. The gift you are given is where you serve best. If you serve in another place, but it's not given by God, it won't serve anybody-- not even yourself.
So it's a matter of striving for the right things.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Friday, September 19, 2008
September 8, 2008, the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Mother, was a doubly joyous occasion as two of our sisters made their First Profession. Sr. Lioba (Julia) Headlee and Sr. Maria-Gertrude (Angela) Read made their monastic vows for three years. The three monastic vows, dating from the earliest religious communities in the Church, are stability, fidelity to the monastic way of life, and obedience. All orders which follow the Rule of St. Benedict use these ancient vows. In making their vows for three years, the sisters not only formally commit themselves to our community and but also choose to bind themselves more intimately with Christ. After declaring their vows before the assembled Church, they confirmed their act with the traditional prayer from Psalm 119: "Suscipe me Domine secundum eloquium tuum et vivam; et non confundas me ab expectatione meam."* With arms raised in the air, mirroring the form of the Cross, they sang this verse three times, thus asking God to receive their vows and to always be the source and strength from which they flow.
In addition to receiving a religious name, the sisters received the black veil and full lenght scapular. All of these are symbols of their desire to be dead to the world and to live a new life in Christ. May He bring them to the fullfillment of all their desires-- union with Him.
*translated: "Uphold me O Lord according to your word and I shall live; and let me not be confounded in my hope."