Wednesday, September 12, 2012

What's in a name?

"The name Mary, from the Hebrew source, means bitterness. Yet how truly, because of her love, she changed that cup of bitterness into a cup of sorrow. Her cup of sorrow overflows into a cup of compassion."
Sr. Macrina Wiederkehr, "Living Faith"

Wow, I sure didn't know that the Hebrew source of the name Mary was bitterness, did you? But Mary, our Mary, did indeed, turn what could have been bitterness into compassion. God worked that miracle in her and God works that miracle in any of us who will allow it. As I shared yesterday, the lesson of this past weekend's retreat was serving as disciples in the Vincentian way...that is, to the people in the margins; the people no one else wants to serve. And a huge part of that is having genuine compassion for others. And compassion for ourselves, because, when we serve those who society marginalizes, we ourselves are enriched and our lives are enhanced. The gifts flow both ways. Mary is the Mother of Compassion. Joyce Rupp says, "When I think of the great sacrifice that compassion asks, I see Mary, the mother of Jesus, standing at the foot of the cross." (from "The Cup of Our Life") Compassion can seem too difficult when we think of it that way. But we are called to genuinely give compassion to the world, as Mary and Jesus gave compassion to the world. Love, heidi

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

We are One...

"For we are all One in Love's Heart, now and forevermore."
~from the Taize prayer at the SCLA retreat

This past weekend, I attended the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth Associate retreat. On Saturday night, we shared Taize prayer with the sisters and this particular line leaped out at me. I prayed it over and over in my mind...such a beautiful Truth. It is a particularly meaningful Truth today, as we commemorate the eleventh anniversary of the events of 9/11/01. We are, indeed, One. One with the survivors, one with the victims and one with all others, as our world has never been the same. But, for me, I want to be One in forgiveness for this tragedy, too. It is only in forgiveness that our hearts can move forward after this event, that so shattered us. As I learned on retreat, God can work miracles through our wounds and, through them, heal the brokenness of others. In fact, God can shine through our wounds and make something beautiful happen. So, today, let's clear the cobwebs of anger and bitterness that may still remain in our hearts. Let's open up and allow God to shine through the wounds of 9/11. Let's make 9/11/12 an opportunity to allow God to work through us for peace in the world. Amen. Love, heidi