Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Another Inspiring Athlete Story!

...Thanks, Robert, for sending me this one!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

From Speed Skater to Sister

With the Olympics going on this week, I have seen this neat story in several places!

When Holum placed sixth in the 3,000 meters – one of the most grueling disciplines in the women’s program, a lung-scraping four-minute bust of lactic acid torture – speedskating insiders predicted a golden future and speculated she may not even reach her peak for another decade.
But God had bigger plans for Kirstin Holum. From the website of the Franciscan Sisters of the Renewal...

"Love is not loved!" St. Francis of Assisi. Throughout most of my life, I was searching for the one true love. The love to fill a void in my heart that the "world" created in me...

...When I met the CFR's , I saw in them such immense joy that I knew could only come from their love for Jesus. "I want to love Jesus radically like they do", I thought to myself.

Back to the article:
“When I give my religious testimony, it is fun to watch the reaction of the kids when I tell them I was in the Olympics,” she laughed. “Their eyes get really big and they start paying a lot more attention. It is a great thing to share with them and it gives me a lot of pleasure to think back and talk about it.

Yahoo news story here.
Kirstin's testimony on the Sisters' website here.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


On this feast day of St. Valentine — the "day for lovers" — my heart is full and cherished. I am in awe of the perfect, igniting love of my Beloved...Christ.

You are enough for me.
My Maker, my Savior, my Sanctifier...
My Lover, my Lord, my Light...
My King, my Sweetness, my Fire...
My everything.

You are enough for me.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Sisters on Oprah — Available Online

I knew the Dominican Sisters of Mary would do a great job, but I think my expectations were exceeded... Oprah remained amazingly positive, and it's apparent that she's rather in awe! The sisters are genuine, articulate, and totally on their feet in answering some challenging questions. Praise the Lord for this powerful opportunity to give witness to His love!

(This is Part 1 of 4: View the rest by clicking the thumbnails brought up at the end of this segment.)

Monday, February 8, 2010

Sisters on Oprah!

What a combo: Oprah Winfrey and...the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist. I think the neatest part is this:
The show featuring the sisters will air on Tuesday, February 9, 2010. The same day happens to be the congregation’s 13th anniversary. The coincidence is “amazing, as they did not know this when they chose the date -- but God did!” exclaimed the vocations director.
My other favorite quote:

“We agreed (to be on the show) because it will further understanding of Religious Life,” she added. “The Catholic Church is alive, well, and thriving as is authentic religious life,” she added.

There are some behind-the-scenes filming photos on the sisters' website.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Gift of Peace

I just have to share briefly my joy and gratitude for the peace — real, inner peace — that our Lord restored to me during the Christmas Season. During Advent, I was blessed to be at a Mass where the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick was offered. Although in years past, this was given only to the dying, it is now available to anyone suffering in body, mind, or spirit.

This was the beginning of such consolation and healing for my heart and soul — graces that continued throughout the Christmas Season. Such a change from the heaviness and weariness of a few months ago...thanks be to God. He restored hope and anticipation of my vocation instead of hesitation and frustration. I am once again excited to see where He will lead!

In the last few months my family started the process for domestic infant adoption, and I can see that this may be one reason among many that the Lord did not reveal the community or the green light yet... Perhaps He is giving me a chance to get to know and bond with my (hopeful) new baby sibling before leaving.

One of my Christmastime graces was meeting a young sister who sat in front of me at Mass on December 26th. I was drawn to, but did not recognize, her gray and blue habit, so I approached her after Mass to meet her. We had a great visit and I learned about the Servants of the Lord and their mission To Evangelize the Culture. Sr. A, whom I met, lives in their D.C. House but her family is from my hometown, and she was home visiting for Christmas (I admit I was intrigued that they are allowed to do that!). She willingly provided answers to my questions about her order, and I left the meeting with excitement and the hope to learn more.

Well, the Holy Spirit gave me the opportunity when I went to the March for Life on January 22 and stayed in the area a few days extra. I kept bumping into sisters from this same order! I was able to go to their Juniorate convent for a brief but wonderful visit. All I learned about their order, charism, and apostolate is very attractive, and the visit left me with an entirely different sense than my retreats with the Dominicans. I was able to kneel before the tabernacle in their small chapel and confidently, joyfully offer my heart, saying simply, "I trust You...lead me!".

I hope to get to know the "Servidoras" (as they are known in Spanish) better, and we'll see where the Lord leads with this one! Onward for the adventure...abiding in His merciful heart. +

Yesterday: Presentation of the Lord and "World Day for Consecrated Life"

I learned last night that it was the 14th World Day for Consecrated Life. How fitting and beautiful to celebrate this on the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord!

Today I'm reading Pope Benedict's homily given yesterday on this theme. Here is my favorite paragraph...

Consecrated persons are called in a particular way to be witnesses of this mercy of the Lord, in which man finds his salvation. They have the vivid experience of God's forgiveness, because they have the awareness of being saved persons, of being great when they recognize themselves to be small, of feeling renewed and enveloped by the holiness of God when they recognize their own sin. Because of this, also for the man of today, consecrated life remains a privileged school of "compunction of heart," of the humble recognition of one's misery but, likewise, it remains a school of trust in the mercy of God, in his love that never abandons. In reality, the closer we come to God, and the closer one is to him, the more useful one is to others. Consecrated persons experience the grace, mercy and forgiveness of God not only for themselves, but also for their brothers, being called to carry in their heart and prayer the anxieties and expectations of men, especially of those who are far from God.

There is an inspiring related post on the Faith and Family blog, too.