08 July 2013

Rest and revival

Many lay people -- myself included -- struggle with unrealistic schedules and expectations, and the ominous 21st century phenomenon of being available 24/7 to clients and suppliers. 

I have begun to tell my clients, I am not available 24/7. Period. I don't take calls during meals, one-on-one meetings, daily Mass and my daily commitment to a half hour of mental prayer each day. Usually, I am privileged to have this time in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament in my parish church during daily adoration. Sometimes, I just pull off the highway and find a quiet spot. 

My spiritual father, St. Francis de Sales has this to say:

"But especially I commend earnest mental prayer to you, more particularly such as bears upon the Life and Passion of our Lord. If you contemplate Him frequently in meditation, your whole soul will be filled with Him, you will grow in His Likeness, and your actions will be moulded on His.."

After 30 minutes with Christ, and Him crucified, I am revived and ready to continue the race. And I am confident that what I do and say is molded on the example of Christ, my God. I rest knowing I am doing my best to be like Him in my daily life.

From David Gardiner, a long-time friend of our community, who has our Cross of Affiliation

07 July 2013

Reflecting back on the 4th of July

July 4th has special meaning here at Georgetown Visitation. Like everyone in the city, from 4 years up,we look forward all year to watching the sensational fountain of fireworks over the Washington Monument.

All other days, we look elsewhere for the sparkle of beauty. In 1673, St. Margaret Mary, a Visitation Sister, was told that the Tabernacle alone can not contain the shower of Love. "The Sacred Heart of Christ is an inexhaustible fountain and its sole desire is to pour itself out into the hearts of the humble…”

Between exciting Holidays, the Sisters know how to soothe the spirit, instead of craving awesome entertainment. The Lord, Himself, so eager to fill all hearts to overflowing, reminded St. Margaret Mary, “But above all preserve peace of heart. This is more valuable than any treasure.”

From our nurse, Priscilla Posch

05 July 2013

Poem that gets to the heart of things

Here's a poem I like by Raymond Carver. It was written shortly before his death at age 50:
"Late Fragment" 

And did you get what

you wanted from this life, even so? 

I did.

And what did you want?

To call myself beloved, to feel myself

beloved on the earth.
Sr. Mary Roberta Viano, VHM

29 June 2013

Remembering July 8, 1993

As we move toward the month of July our thoughts turn to July 8, 1993 - 20 years ago- when we experienced a fire that totally destroyed our main academic building. It was a blazing hot day - 103 plus - and painters using heat guns while painting the trim on our main building caused a huge fire that destroyed the five story academic building.

This incident in the history of our monastery and school reminded us of a steadfast teaching of our founder, Francis de Sales; namely, that God's good pleasure may be discovered in the incidents and accidents of our lives. It is our challenge to make certain that these incidents and/or accidents become blessings. 

Our fire indeed brought our monastery and school innumerable blessings as well as some huge challenges. We have grown stronger as a result of this experience which can be likened to the rise of the phoenix from the ashes

In the words of the Editor of our 1995 Yearbook: 

"This year we have truly risen to the occasion. We have adapted to our new situation (classrooms in trailers) and succeeded within its limitations. As the Academy building continues its journey to perfection, so do we. With each new day we rise like the phoenix."

May God be Praised!

Sr. Mary Berchmans Hannan, VHM

27 June 2013

Ordination of Ed Ogden

Today will be a day filled with blessings as we attend the ordination of our Campus Minister, Ed Ogden. Ed has been a brother in the Order of the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales for 25 years and during the past year discerned a call to the priesthood. 

Many members of our school and monastery communities will be traveling to de Sales University near Allentown, PA to witness this glorious occasion for soon-to-be Father Ed Ogden

Our Campus Minister has been a great source of Salesian spirituality for our faculty and staff and for many of our students who have participated in the Kairos retreats he leads.

Please add your prayers to ours as three members of the Oblate community will be ordained today Thursday, June 27.


Sr. Mary Berchmans Hannan, VHM

26 June 2013

Fill me with grace

Today I wish to share with you an inspiring prayer which fell into my lap a few days ago.  It beautifully expresses our Salesian spirituality and has given me an extra "oomph" in my efforts to follow Jesus more closely.
It comes from the Oblates Helper's Guild.

Jesus, be a guest in my heart today.
Help me always to recognize you.
When I feel sad, send me joy,
when I feel flawed, pour in your love,
when I feel empty, fill me with grace.

Jesus, I am grateful that you live in me.
Make my heart warmer, more vulnerable,
more pliable and easily mended.

O Jesus, let my attitude be yours. 
Help me to empty self
and be filled with service for others.
Engrave LIVE  JESUS on my heart
so that all my actions speak your love.
I ask this in your name.  Amen.

Sr. Mary Berchmans Hannan, VHM