Saturday, December 29, 2007
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
In the Advent readings we can find different people to whom the Angel of the Lord appears and tells them: "Do not be afraid, Mary...Zachariah...Joseph!" The author is letting us know that the promise of the Lord, anounced through the prophets in the Old Testament is about to be fulfilled.
En el caso de José, el ángel del Señor se le aparece en un sueño y le dice, “No tengas miedo…su hijo ha sido concebido por obra del Espíritu santo.” Yo me pregunto que es lo que habrá sentido José. Las escrituras solo nos dicen que él era un hombre justo, y por lo cual es fácil pensar que se haya sentido avergonzado, confundido. Las escrituras no nos dicen mucho. Pero a veces la piedad popular nos presenta a José como un super-hombre, el héroe de María y Jesús. Pero yo creo que en realidad el no nació santo.
In the case of Joseph, the Angel of the Lord appears to him in a dream and tells him, "Do not be afraid...her son has been conceived by the Holy Spirit." I wonder how Joseph felt. The scriptures only tell us that he was a just man, that's why it is easy to think that he must have felt embarrased, confused. The scriptures do not tell us much. But sometimes the popular piety presents Joseph as a superman, as Mary and Jesus' heroe. But I believe that in reality, he was not born a saint.
Yo me pongo a pensar en mi propia experiencia y sé que no es fácil confiar de esa manera. Antes de entrar al postulantado se me ofreció una beca para un doctorado en literatura. La decisión fue bastante difícil. Yo no tuve un ángel del Señor que me clarificara la decisión o me hiciera más fácil tomarla. Lo único que tuve fue un sentimiento de paz bastante gradual que me fue facilitando la decisión. El “¡No tengas miedo!” Se me fue abriendo en el corazón de una manera bastante lenta.
When I think about my own experience I know it is not east to trust in the same way. Before entering the postulancy I was offered a scolarship for a doctorate in literature. The desition was very difficult. I did not have an Angel of God to clarify my desition or make it easier for me to take it. The only thing I had was a very gradual sense of peace that allowed my desition to take shape. The "Do not be afraid!" started to open up in my heart very slowly.
Y yo creo que es eso precisamente lo que pienso acerca de José. No creo que claridad se le presentó de manera inmediata. No creo en esas historias de las palmeras inclinándose ante la sagrada familia...pero creo en la bondad de los seres humanos y creo que eso es precisamente lo que el evangelista nos está tratando de decir. El “¡No tengas miedo!” Se nos seguirá presentando a través de los tiempos y Dios nos seguirá dando la libre opción que nos transformará desde dentro.
I think that is what I believe about Joseph. I do not think that the clarity came to him inmediately. I do not believe in those stories about the plam trees bending to hide the Holy Family...but I believe in the goodness of people and I believe that it is precisely that which the author is triny to tell us. The "Do not be afraid!" will continue to come to us throughout the times and God will continue to give us the free will that will allow us to be transformed from the inside out.
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Monday, December 10, 2007
Basically, the Dia de la Candelaria (Day of the Candles) the Godparents (in some places it will be the same people who sang the Baby Jesus to sleep on the night of the 24the, in some other places it will be the ones who found the Baby Jesus in the Rosca de Reyes or Kings cake) must go to the house of the “owners” of the Baby Jesus, to dress him and to take him to Church to be presented, just like Mary and Joseph did with Jesus, forty days after he was born. The first year the Baby Jesus is dressed in white to represent El nino de las Palomas (The Child of the Doves) or El Nino de las Azucenas (The Child of the White Lillies), which signifies the purity of his being.
The second year the Baby Jesus is dressed with a blue, yellow or pink gown and the last year He is dressed according to a devotion of the Godparents. It is very common to see the Baby Jesus dressed as El Santo Nino de Atocha (The Holy Child of Atocha) who wears a hat, a rod of wheat and a basket of flowers. The Holy child of Atocha appeared to the miners in Fresnillo, Zacatecas, Mex. Click here to read more. He can also be dressed as the Medico de los Enfermos (Doctor of the Sick) who wears a doctor’s coat, the Nino de la Candelaria (Child of the Candles) with a white gown, a candle in the left hand and flowers in the right.
He is also dressed as Saint Joseph, A Pope, Saint Francis, Saint Martin de Porres or the Sacred Heart. Every little gown is distinguished by the attributes that represent every Saint. Once dressed, the Baby Jesus is seated on a little wooden chair and then on a tray adorned with flowers. The first time the Baby is taken to the Temple, the Baby Jesus lays on the tray since He is still little and can not walk yet.
The Padrino (Godfather) also takes candles to Church. In some agricultural communities it id accustomed to take seeds to be blessed and to pray for a year of abundant harvest. The candles and some of the seeds are then used to adorn the Altar of the Sorrows.
At the end of the ceremony the Padrino (Godfather) returns the Baby Jesus to his “owners” who will light the candles. That afternoon, or evening, there will be a traditional “tamalada” (party in which tamales are served) in which tamales are served according to the custom of the place (there are many different styles of tamales in the country.) The tamales are accompanied by chocolate, atole de pinole (A drink made of corn meal and pinole, toasted corn flour, sometimes sweetened and mixed with cocoa, cinnamon or aniseed) or champurrado (a chocolaty flavored thick drink.)
The name of Candelaria or the Purification have their origin in the Feast that the Church celebrates the 40th day of the Birth of Jesus (February2) as a closing to the Christmas Season. With the Purification of the Mother and the presentation of the child at the temple, the ritual accompanying the birth of a child was finished in the Jewish law.
Sunday, December 09, 2007
Rules: Each tagged person must post 8 random facts or habits about themselves on their blog. At the end of the post, choose 8 people to be tagged and list their names. Don’t forget to leave a comment telling them that they are tagged and to read your blog. Have fun!
1) I am terrible at math but again, everyone who knows me KNOWS that. The random fact is that I begged my University math professor to help me out (as a senior in College). I'm brilliant but again, I can not divide, or substract. I can add and sort of multiply...He-He, that's why I either teach literature, language or tiny ones.
2) I read alot. I downloaded the reading list for a Master's Degree in Literature from some University and I am halfway through the list. I love literature, especially Iberian and Latinamerican.
3) I eat a lot of chiles. Not as Texan chillie but chile as in jalapenos, habeneros, serranos, piquin (or pitin.) I can eat as much as 20 of them in one sitting. I also grow my own.
4) I am allergic to Cinnamon. I suffer during the Christmas season when everything has cinnamon.
5) I have a minor in Translation. I translate poetry to relax.
6) I own 25 dicctionaries. I read them. I study them. One day, sitting at the doctor's office, the receptionist was so tickled at seing someone reading a dicctionary istead of a book or magazine. I say, and what is so weird about that? I try to read a section a month, right now I'm in the g section. I find 10 words I do not know, write them down and tey to use each word at least three times. By the way, I'm reading the Spanish dictionary now. I am the proud owner of a "Diccionario de la Real Academia Espanola.)
7) I study violin. A couple of weeks ago our Sister Treasurer went around the house thinking there was a cat inside. It was me tunning. I have my grandfather's violin, a 1923 John Jusek.
8) I am obsessed with Pablo Neruda's poetry. I love his Poem # 20. I use it as a mantra when I want to concentrate in something. I also dream of going to Isla Negra (he lived there) and visiting his house, now turned into a museum.
O.K, so I tagged Sr. Nicole, Sr. Helena, Sr. Julie, The Summit Dominicans, Javier (Rosas para Maria, and Sr. Teresa. I realize this isn't quite eight, but I told you I had a problem with math (truth is, I don't know that many people with blogs.)
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
It has been busy here at the novitiate, besides the usual preparations at the house and the spiritual ones, well, some of us take the child within us out to play.
Here is my prayer turned into a nativity!
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
Friday, November 30, 2007
I wish I could say something but the only thing that comes to my mind are the words of St. Paul: "For when I am weak, then I am strong." 2 Corinthians 12:10 or "God chose the weak of the world to shame the strong" 1 Corinthians 1:27
We have an awesome God who delights in us. Praised be the Incarnate World!
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Sister Mary Celestine’s first encounter with the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament Sisters was at the Catholic elementary school, Immaculate Conception, where she attended during her early years. Sister Mary Celestine emphasized the fact that the sisters who taught at Immaculate Conception school were her “first teachers”. During her junior year at Villa Maria High School, she began to discern about becoming a religious sister. Two of the Incarnate Word sisters that made an important impact on her life, and served as her inspiration upon entering the convent, were Sister Mary Claude McManus and Sister Mary Bernard Mehan.
Sister Mary Celestine didn’t find making the decision to enter into religious life difficult; however, her father had other plans for his only daughter. Her father wanted her to enter into the field of nursing, but that was not to be. The call for religious life was too strong and soon proved to overrule her father’s plan for her. He finally decided to let her enter at the age of nineteen.
Sister Mary Celestine served in many ministries, primarily in school administration and teaching. When asked the question what has been the best part of being a sister, her response was “The greatest joy of my religious life has and always will be administering to the people of God, and serving others”. Sister Mary Celestine recently celebrated her fiftieth Golden Jubilee of religious life. May she rest in peace. Praised be the Incarnate Word!
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
This is Rose, our new novice. I really wanted to make her a veil, but I figured her yellow will make her stand out anyway.
Rose went to visit the kids at the kindergarten and they liked each other so much she hasn't come home yet. I believe she will have to repeat the canonical year. Meanwhile, let's sing her song....."There's a yellow Rose in Texas that I
m going to see...." This is Texas y'all!
Friday, November 16, 2007
We still have two more sessions to go. The next one will be in San Antonio in February and then the next one in Laredo, TX sometime after that. The meeting gave us much food for the soul. I know it will take us all a while to process everything but being novices we are all privileged with time for this. By the way, the meeting was also lots of fun! If you doubt it, just look at the slide show which was prepared by Sr. Theresa.
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
I called my mother last night. She heard good news from the cardiologist. No heart problems, only a little rheumatic pain. After I heard the news, my own pain that I've had in the center of my stomach, disappeared. I hadn't notice I had it until it was gone. Thanks be to God who is never outdone in generosity!
I will translate one of them here.
Meanwhile, everything's calm,
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
Otherwise things are going well at the novitiate but I'm very, very worried. I can't help it, but I like to always think of one of the first phrases that caught my attention in the Spanish Liturgy of the Hours and that is: "Dios nunca se deja ganar en generosidad para con sus hijos e hijas" (God is never outdone in generosity towars his sons and daughters)
May the Incarnate Word continue to bless us and teach us even in the midst of the hard times. May He strenghten my vocation and my resolve to follow him "for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness or in health, to love and to cherish 'till death do us part."
Sunday, October 14, 2007
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
These last days in the novitiate we have been having crocheting lessons during recreation from Sr. Mary Ann and Sr. Mary Beth. Both of these Sisters are highly skilled at many crafts. This crafting session was mmmmm, rather interesting. Sr. Mary Beth succeeded at teaching a left handed person how to right hand crochet. The evening included questions like:
Sr. Helga: "Who is the Patron Saint of Seamstresses?"
Sr. Mary Beth: "St. Ripper, of course!"
Crocheting requires some concentration, especially when you are learning. I keep on thinking of something Sr. Mary Beth told me: "The stitches tell a lot about how you're feeling." Which is absolutely true, either too tight, too tangled, too loose, too wrong, too right. Same happens with quilting.
I wonder what the stitches tell about me, my life, my prayer. Sometimes I wonder where all of this will take me. Sometimes I wonder if I match the thread of this wonderful afghan of religious life.
The other day I found this granny hexagon afghan in one of the rooms in the novitiate and fell in love with it. It has become a friend during meditation. If you notice, it has all kinds of odds and ends of yarn and yet, it fits together as if God had designed it. The colors blend together and the dark colors make others stand out or accentuate them. Did you notice the baby yarn carefully guarded by other darker and brighter colors? All of them play a part in this beautiful design. The contrast makes it wonderful, attractive, beautiful. And I think this resembles our community, when you meet a Sister of the Incarnate Word....you have met one Sister of the Incarnate Word.
We have Sisters in all sizes, shapes, colors, languages and backgrounds, yet, we are one in heart and in our love for the Incarnate Word, one in faithfulness to our charism, one in being the human face of God in four continents. Together we resemble an afghan, like Joseph's cloak of many colors.
Praised be the Incarnate Word!
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
Glittery texts by bigoo.ws
On Sunday, September 30, Sister Louise Marie Jones, Incarnate Word Sister of Victoria, Texas made her First Profession of Vows. The ceremony was truly beautiful! The entrance song was Veni Creator Spiritus in three voices, I think. Then her superior said a few words to Sister Louise Marie and to the assembly, after the Liturgy of the Word, Sister Louise Marie continued with the rite of Religious Profession.
These Sisters have the same profession formula that we have, except that their Bishop examines the candidates for profession during the Rite of First profession. After the examination, Sr. Louise Marie consecrated herself to God through the vows of Consecrated Chastity, Evangelical Poverty and Religious Obedience for one year. Then, she proceeded to sing Psalm 16 which is a song expressing the spirit of self-giving and joy.
One special thing about this ceramony was that Sister's daughter sang with the choir and also sang a beautiful meditation song. I was very touched and so was Sister and the rest of the assembly.
We then went on to the Liturgy of the Eucharist and the recessional song was a Hymn to Mother Jeanne de Matel. I transcribe the words.
The flow'rs have appeared in our land.
Arise my love and come!
The winter is over and the rain is past,
my dove from the cleft of the rock.
You heard the call of the Incarnate Word, Dear mother Jeanne de Matel.
You gave Him all you had to give, and ever more and more.
Watch over us, your sons and daughters, as you have always done.
That we may spread His love and peace, till all His sheep are one.
May the Incarnate Word bless her as she continues to hear the call of the Incarnate Word and may He hold her close and she continues to give her joyful yes.
Praised be the Incarnate Word!