Thursday, January 28, 2016

The Cross Exemplifies Every Virtue - St. Thomas Aquinas

What a beautiful reflection St. Thomas Aquinas has about the Cross of Christ. As I prayed with this during the Office of Readings this morning, which happens to be the feast of St. Thomas Aquinas, I felt compelled to share it with you all. 

"Why did the Son of God have to suffer for us? There was a great need, and it can be considered in a twofold way: in the first place, as a remedy for sin, and secondly, as an example of how to act. 

  It is a remedy, for, in the face of all the evils which we incur on account of our sins, we have found relief through the passion of Christ. Yet, it is no less an example, for the passion of Christ completely suffices to fashion our lives. Whoever wishes to live perfectly should do nothing but disdain what Christ disdained on the cross and desire what he desired, for the cross exemplifies every virtue.

  If you seek the example of love: Greater love than this no man has, than to lay down his life for his friends. Such a man was Christ on the cross. And if he gave his life for us, then it should not be difficult to bear whatever hardships arise for his sake. 

  If you seek patience, you will find no better example than the cross. Great patience occurs in two ways: either when one patiently suffers much, or when one suffers things which one is able to avoid and yet does not avoid. Christ endured much on the cross, and did so patiently, because when he suffered he did not threaten; he was led like a sheep to the slaughter and he did not open his mouth. Therefore Christ’s patience on the cross was great. In patience let us run for the prize set before us, looking upon Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith who, for the joy set before him, bore his cross and despised the shame. 

  If you seek an example of humility, look upon the crucified one, for God wished to be judged by Pontius Pilate and to die.

  If you seek an example of obedience, follow him who became obedient to the Father even unto death. For just as by the disobedience of one man, namely, Adam, many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one man, many were made righteous.

  If you seek an example of despising earthly things, follow him who is the King of kings and the Lord of lords, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Upon the cross he was stripped, mocked, spat upon, struck, crowned with thorns, and given only vinegar and gall to drink.

  Do not be attached, therefore, to clothing and riches, because they divided my garments among themselves. Nor to honours, for he experienced harsh words and scourgings. Nor to greatness of rank, for weaving a crown of thorns they placed it on my head. Nor to anything delightful, for in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink." 

May we look to the Cross as we struggle to understand our own crosses. St. Thomas Aquinas, pray for us! 

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Meet Our Sisters: Sr. Dorothy Frances Brooks, OSB

(Meet Our Sisters will be a Blog Series to get to know our Sisters from the Missionary Benedictine Sisters in Norfolk, NE. Each month we will feature a new Sister and her journey to become a Missionary Benedictine Sister.)


Place of Birth: New York, USA
First Profession: April 25 1962
Final Profession: May 5 1966
Feast Day: February 6 – Feast of St. Dorothy, Virgin and Martyr

Mission Experience: USA, Spain, Brazil
I became a nun because I felt I was called to believe that the holy purpose of our lives is to put God at the center through a deep and broad love of others and to teach them how to do this. Imagine if all our relationships between strangers and nations were rooted in God’s love for us and aimed at bringing each of us to wholeness and holiness.
My ministry after I finished college was to teach social studies and religion to grade and junior high school students. I taught in Raeville, Madison, Columbus, Winnebago, and Norfolk in Nebraska as well as in Los Angeles and Kentucky. I was also missioned to Madrid and Barcelona in Spain where I taught English and worked with Filipino migrants. I was also missioned to Olinda, Brazil where I taught English. While working in the various places, I also made and effort to provide the individuals with spirituality services. At present I am helping one of our Sisters who will be going to Spain to learn how to speak the Castilian Spanish which is spoken there.
As a Missionary Benedictine Sister, my most rewarding experience was to develop a close relationship with others.
For those discerning a commitment to religious life, I would tell them about the holy purpose of their lives.