Saturday, May 23, 2015

Honoring Women who Serve

This memorial day weekend, I would like to honor those women who have given their lives in service to others. Those who have selflessly served in homes, churches, schools, hospitals and in countless other ways.
I recently hear that the first woman with a doctorate in some field was a Sister. And I thought to myself that probably the first woman with a doctorate in many fields was a Sister. Women left home and family to lead lives of service. They gave their entire lives, not simply a tour of duty. They went wherever they were needed and served where no one else could, or would.
I salute women who selflessly gave their lives as mothers, putting their own needs second as they fed, clothed, nursed and taught their children.
I salute teachers who day after day, week after week go into classrooms across the globe. They teach, mentor and cheer on generation after generation of students. Many will go on to do great things, some will not shine, but they will be a little better persons for the steadfast service of their teachers. And just a few come back to thank this selfless service, too often under appreciated by students and parents in the course of the school year
I salute nurses and other health-care workers whose care and skill meets us when we are weak and vulnerable. They come when we call and work to heal our mind, body and spirit.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Participating in the Transformation of New Life!

Just about a month ago, we established ourselves in our friendly Ecovillage neighborhood of Dogtown in St. Louis, MO. During our relocation stage, we moved not only the furnishings of our house but also relocated trees, native plants, vegetables and herbs. It didn’t take us too long to settle into our new place.  And, we are in absolute awe over what already is taking root.   In a space of a month, we celebrate in a God that continues to evolve through us and continues to bare fruit in spite of the challenges and struggles that sometimes come our way.  I’m aware that nothing is lost but transformed! While as prophets and mystics we engage life passionately to bear fruit of hope for future generations, so do the trees and gardens in our back and front yards.  Participating in its transformation is nurturing and tending the new life around us and growing aware of our call to trust in the unknown and have faith in a God who continues to evolve in, out, and through every experience and bare fruit in us.  Photos are of our budding fruit trees (pear, peach, and fig) and the garden (garlic, strawberries, herbs, and vegetables).  Maco Cassetta, cnd

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Settling In....

It has been three weeks since our final move date and we are settling in to our new space. We are out of boxes, and it feels like home, but there are still those moments. Where are would I find a hammer? ... Did we bring this or that? ... Have you seen my phone? ... Where do we put the compost? ... We've all done it, right? Transition is a part of life. Moving, changing jobs, getting into and out of relationships. For some of us, it also includes joining a religious community, moving through the stages of formation, vows, changing local community and ministry, etc. And even discerning that it is time to leave my community, or move into a different religious community. Transitions, big or small, are a part of life.
Once again, I have moved and am in that transition stage. The period before the move, all the arranging and packing and planning was certainly stressful. Now that we are here in the new space, we can begin the long slow process of settling in. And this too is part of the transition. I don't automatically feel right at home once the last box is unpacked (though that can certainly help).
In this move, we had two 'plant rescue' days and on 'house moving' day. In the prior rented space, we had a lot of native plants, and fruit and berry bushes, etc. A few weeks before the move, we called for friends to come and help us carefully dig up the various plants and move them to the new space and settle them in to new locations. This took a lot of planning and coordination as well as trusting in the gardening savvy of those who came to help.
The first plants have been here a few weeks longer than the people. And they to are experiencing their period of settling in. One particular flowering bush put out lots and lots of flowers as it was transplanted. This was its way of dealing with the stress. Other plants are very slow to leaf out; their way of dealing with the stress is to slow down and go a little dormant, while they adjust to the new space. Others are quite happy in their new space and are going on as if they never felt the move.
I have to say, I am taking a lesson from the plants. Some days, I scurry around making the place more a home - like my blooming bush. This makes me feel more at home and and softens the transition. Other days I slow down and have a hard time focusing and getting anything done. Finally, other days it feels quite normal to go ahead with life as usual.
There is an element of pilgrimage to life at times like this. I am looking for that city with foundations in the divine, whose designer and builder is the God of all. This move reminds me that however 'at home' I might get to feel here, even this is not my true home. The last place I lived for a few years was also not my home. Our true homeland is the home prepared for us from the foundation of the world. Each move we make, each step we take, each journey we make brings us closer to the center of our lives, to the home of our homes, to the heart of our heart.
So as I go through these days of transition, and as I watch the plants dig their roots into this new soil, I also recognize that I am digging my roots deeper into Holy Mystery and I am being fed and nourished by the God of all pilgrims.