Tuesday, July 16, 2013

“They shall come back rejoicing, carrying seeds to be sown”

Live out your life with one desire only...
In this year of my golden jubilee, I gifted myself with a study and retreat time at Manna House in Concordia, Kansas. Designed for Communities of  St .Joseph, “Bearers of the Tradition, Phase Three” has allowed us the luxury of returning to the garden where this Community of the Great Love of God was seeded. Through the guidance of two generous caretakers of these preserved seeds, Marcia Allen and Janet Lander, nine of us have spent concentrated time deepening our understanding and awareness of the gift we have been given in our vocation to embrace this charism of loving union with all that is.  
Through the films The Way, Avatar, Of Gods and Men, and I Am, our consciousness of the core elements of our spirituality were right there before us, inviting us to see how it is lived out in our present circumstances. Our mission today is to continue to join with others in unfolding this awareness that in God, We are all One. 
We spent our time in contemplative reflection and conversation on mysticism, our faith journey and the dynamism of desire. Our skilled guides broke open for us  Medaille’s understanding of the Trinitarian relationships of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and Jesus, Mary and Joseph and our human response to living out of these relationships in our world today and into the future.    
During our retreat we are walking through the Maxims, focusing each day on one of these six precious relationships.
To be always what God wants you to be,
in nature,grace and glory
for time and eternity.
Maxim 73
This morning as I was walking the labyrinth here at Manna House, I entered, aware of having received these Maxims as a young postulant 50 years ago. We were told to memorize them.  I smiled as I pictured us walking side by side and behind Sr. Catherine Mary, our dear Kate, as she patiently listened to us recite them from heart. She was like a mother duck and we her ducklings. Daily, at meal time, we heard one of them recited. We were given a formulary of prayers and in the back were those 100 maxims.
As I walked, I became aware of how I have seen them lived out in myself and others. I forgave the many times we failed to live them. I recalled faces of sisters I have known, some alive and others deceased, who
image particular ones..
I came to the Center and paused a long while, giving thanks for the past 50 years and the gift of community. I hold as a treasure these 100 maxims and the potential they have for renewed love that is being called forth from us today.
As I turned, to return I was conscious that I still have some time left to live out my vocation and that I was once again offering my life to God. As I walked, I could hear myself singing, they shall some back rejoicing, carrying the seeds to be sown.
So I return carrying the 100 seeds of the Maxims.  

My intention for continuing this blog is to offer the seeds of these maxims. My hope is that you, the reader, will receive them and respond so that we can continue to nurture one another in living out our mission in the Community of St. Joseph, day by day.