Monday, January 20, 2014

Universal Call to Holiness

Attaining holiness or perfection, is a life-long vocation to which everyone is called, not only priests and religious.  Out of the Vatican Council II came the term "Universal Call to Holiness", written in the document Lumen Gentium, on life in the Church.  However prior to the Council, St. Paul wrote to the new Christians: "Before the world was made, he chose us in Christ to be holy and spotless and to live through love in his  presence, determining that we should become his adopted children through Jesus Christ for his own kind purposes."
 (Ep 1:4-5)
So from the beginning we were meant to be sharers in the divine holiness.  In the book of Leviticus we read:
      " For it is I, Yahweh, who am your God.  You have been sanctified and have become holy because I am holy....Yes, it is I, Yahweh, who have brought you out of Egypt to by your God; you, therefore, must be holy because I am holy."  (Lv 11:44-45) 
This was God's whole purpose in creating us:
       "Be holy in all you do, since it is the Holy One who has called you.  As Scripture says: 'Be holy for I am holy.'"   (1 Peter 1:15-16)
This is a process of change, "metanoia", from doing the "should nots" to doing the "holy".  What this does is it brings God into ourselves, and takes out sin.
Until next time, let us think about this "call" and  look for the sanctifying action of the Holy Spirit within us as we strive on this path to holiness (perfection).    --Sr. Carole Ann Clark, OSB

Friday, January 10, 2014

Welcome to the Monastery Vine, a blog by Missionary Benedictine Sisters of Norfolk, NE

Ever wondered what the Missionary Benedictine Sisters at the Immaculata Monastery and Spirituality Center do. Maybe you have even wondered about who these Sisters are. Maybe you have run into them around town, maybe in Walmart, or even read about them somewhere in the media. There is so much about the Sisters that maybe you don't know. Well, this blog is here to introduce the Sisters and what they do.

The Missionary Benedictine Sisters of Norfolk, Nebraska are part of an international community of Benedictine religious women who work throughout the world to bring the good news of Christ to people. Currently, the Missionary Benedictine Sisters work in 19 countries on 5 continents.

What ministries to the Missionary Benedictine Sisters do? Well, the Missionary Benedictine Sisters serve the Church wherever there is need. In other words, the Sisters do whatever needs to be done to bring Christ to the people. To this end, the Sisters are engaged in education, healthcare services, social work, and evangelization. In all of these ministries, the Sisters strive to share the love of God and make the world a better place for everyone within their reach.

We welcome you to learn more about the Missionary Benedictine Sisters as you read through these various blog articles. The blogs will be about various topics including "The Universal Call to Holiness", "Day-to-Day Events in the Monastery", "Benedict Outside the Monastery-the witness of a Benedictine Oblate", and "Reflection on Solemnities and Feasts".

We hope you will be blessed and will find God as you read through these blogs. God bless you all and "May He bring us all alike to everlasting life" (Rule of Benedict Chapter 72)

Learning Life's Lesson via Playing the Organ

Today as I sat down at the organ and was preparing my music, the idea came to me that my first blog would be on how playing the organ can be compared with the lessons one learns in life.  In December, our head organist went to the Philippines for her home visit and the main responsibility of playing for our Divine Office and Mass fell to me.
First of all, I am not an accomplished musician by any stretch of the imagination and the daunting thoughts of playing the organ rather frightened me. It is true I have played during Christmas time before so some things were somehow familiar. There are challenges in life that instead of running away, we must learn to meet them and see how to incorporate them. Also I am a firm believer in life, that no matter what God puts in my path, He also gives me the Grace to accomplish the task. I spent hours practicing. In life things and relationships etc. don’t just fall into place, it takes planning and hard work and it is “By the Grace of God we go”.
Sometimes playing the organ is just spot on and I know it is the Spirit of God leading those hands and believe me, I am thanking God. In life also in the good times, we need to remember to Thank God. There are some days, where no matter what, the notes seem to go astray and I need to quickly look down at my hands and realign my fingers.  In life, things don’t always go on an even keel and one need to take time to reflect and see if there needs to be some adjustments in my personal relationship with God.
We also need people around us that can encourage us. I was learning to play new Mass parts and thought I can't do this, I will just play what I know.  I asked a sister to sing the new one with me and said see I think we need to play a more familiar one. She said "Sister you under estimate yourself with a little more practice, you can play this piece". Playing for a community is like living in a community, some of the singers sing quickly and some slowly, so one has to adjust or help lead the community to a more balanced singing together. That is in life we have to reach a balance. So as we play and travel together on that big keyboard of life may we experience that in All Things God be Glorified!  Blessings on your day!