Faith · Religious life

August 9th – Food for the Journey

Scripture Reflection:

The Scriptures for Sunday, August 9th contain at least a couple of themes or messages: we need to be nourished by God to continue following the way before us (1 Kings 19: 4 – 8; John 6:41 -51), and to  “not grieve the Holy Spirit” with our murmuring, anger, bitterness, etc (Ephesians 4:30 – 5:2;John 6:41 -51).  Might it be possible that these messages are connected.?  Have you ever gone without food for awhile?  What happens when we get hungry?  Sometimes we get short tempered, irritable, or tired and lethargic (think low blood sugar). We are just not ourselves.

Jesus offers this, “Everyone who listens to my Father and learns from him comes to me.”  The invitation is to listen to God so we can know the way and be strengthened, “I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever” (John 6:41 -51).

hermitage chair

Spiritual nourishment like physical nourishment revives us and strengthens us for whatever lies ahead.  We are on a journey physically and spiritually each day – and  we need to” eat”, “else the journey will be too long” (1 Kings 19: 4 – 8).

hermitage path

In the Lives of the Sisters of the Holy Redeemer . . .

On the themes of journey and taking time for spiritual nourishment, we had experiences of both these past days

Though, over a week ago, we still hold in our hearts the closing Liturgy for the Redeemer Ministry Corps volunteers as they ended their year of faith, community, and service.  As they continue on their journeys – returning to school or starting a job within their profession, taking up new living situations, and finding a faith community we pray they know God’s presence with them as they move ahead.

rmc farwell

Also last week, we welcomed our Affiliate into the Postulancy during the Vigil Mass of St. Alphonsus Liguori, one of our Patron Saints.  As her journey in Religous Life continues we offered her our prayerful support and presence.  Leading up to the Mass, we all participated in a communal reflection day in gratitude for God’s love and call in our lives.  The day offered all of us a time to pause and be nourished.

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On Sunday, we then said farewell to our new Postulant, Petra, as she departed for Germany to assist refugees staying at our Motherhouse.  She embarks on a new journey for this next month strengthened by God love, the congregation’s prayers, and the Sisters with whom she will share community with in Germany.

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We then said farewell to one of the Sisters as she departed for St. Louis for a week to continue her educational journey in Catholic healthcare.  During this intense week of the classroom component of her online course she is strengthened and nourished by the course content as well as the camaraderie of her classmates as they spend time together.

August 6th – the Feast of the Transfiguration, marks the day many of the Sisters professed First Vows.  This day we celebrated the God of our Journey who calls us and strengthens us each day with the reminder that we are God’s beloved daughters.

Just this morning, a co-worker (a companion on the journey) brought in a box of fresh soft pretzels – if you’re from the Philadelphia area you know the feelings this evokes; if not then we are very sorry you have missed ever tasting this local delicacy 🙂 .  Literally this food has given us strength to go forth into our work on this warm August Friday!  We give thanks to God for this companion’s kindness.

This first week of August ends with Eucharistic Adoration at our Provincialate Chapel.  This offers us a time to pause and listen to God, so we can continue on the journey of following Jesus.

Evening prayer in Chapel for the Feast of St. Teresa of Jesus

In Your Life . . .

Take a moment to realize you are on a journey – a lifelong journey since you were born, a daily journey since you awoke this morning, a spiritual journey as you grow closer to God; a human journey along with the rest of humanity, the list of ways you are on a journey could go on . . . What gives you strength, renews you, recharges you?

You may wish to pray this prayer attributed to Pedro Arrupe, SJ (1907 – 1991)

Nothing is more practical than finding God, than falling in Love in a quite absolute, final way. What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination, will affect everything. It will decide what will get you out of bed in the morning, what you do with your evenings, how you spend your weekends, what you read, whom you know, what breaks your heart, and what amazes you with joy and gratitude. Fall in Love, stay in love, and it will decide everything.

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