50th Jubilee Reflection

50jubilee17

On August 25, 2017, family, friends and members of the CSJ community gathered at the Carondelet Motherhouse to celebrate the 50th jubilee of the Reception of 1967. 
Pictured (l-r): Sisters Regina Bartman, Barbara Jennings, Mary Jo Logan and Lisa Lazio.

Click here to view the photo album.


 

"Transformation/Transfiguration"

by Sister Lisa Lazio, CSJ

 

There are many things, people and events in our lives that we do not consciously choose. And there are many that we do choose. It is my belief that whether we choose them or they choose us, we are exactly where we are at this moment—by the Grace of God. And every person, event and thing is in our lives for one PURPOSE—to draw us in to the fullness of the GOD of Great love. Nothing happens by chance.

Today’s readings call us to allowing ourselves to be transformed into God’s great love. I’ve discovered recently that perhaps the most significant choice we have is whether or not we will allow those events, things and persons to transform us. Whether or not we will allow ourselves to live out of the grace that is within us.

I used to think that grace was a special gift of God to a selected few. And I let myself rest too easily in the belief that I most likely was not among the select few who were constantly immersed in God’s love. One day, I saw an African painting of a woman about to cross a stream. Tentatively, she put out one foot to “test the waters.” All of a sudden, I realized that that picture embodied for me, what grace is all about. It has nothing to do with waiting patiently for God to dole out a special measure of his great love. It has everything to do with knowing what grace is within us—and all we need do is recognize that we are stepping forth in grace, believing that the great God of love will energize us so that we may energize others as we step towards being the great love of God right here.

As Sisters of St. Joseph, we profess to love all without distinction. And the ALL is much greater than the “dear neighbor from whom we do not distinguish ourselves.” It is much wider and deeper than that. It is loving so completely in God’s great love, that we actually become God’s great love to ourselves, to one another, to our families and friends, to those with whom and among whom we minister, to those people in our universe—to our universe itself.

It is an attitude that once embraced only deepens and broadens. It effects every moment of our lives—and every thing, person and event of our lives.

Transformation, Transfiguration—are not merely options for Jesus. Transformation happens moment by moment. And it happens each time we try to live more lovingly, more kindly, more present to those who surround us.

Transformation is not an option. Not for a Sister of St. Joseph and not for you. We are each and all invited to become so immersed in the great God of Love that we become that love. Francis de Sales had a profound affect on the people who surrounded him in the 1600s. His phrase was very short—only two words.  LIVE JESUS……………LIVE JESUS……………….LIVE JESUS.

Perhaps he used that phrase to encapsulate his thought so that the war and plague ridden people of his time would be healed. And would heal one another. Perhaps he coined this phrase because he wanted to remember his own struggle of faith and transformation.

In the end comes the transformation. Comes the moment when others realize ... when we know ... when the world recognizes the great Love of God so powerfully alive in their midst.

A month ago, I was privileged to facilitate a weekend with women who were recognizing an invitation to deepen their call of affiliation to the Sisters of St. Joseph. It was humbling to listen to the stories of how they experienced the spirit of God in their lives.

Alicia Meyers had been a vowed member of the St Paul province, who later became a consociate (associate). In the later years of her life, Alicia asked to make a private commitment of solidarity with the sisters. Now, she is a living member of God’s great love. Her parting prayer to us was this, “In the end, all that matters is that we are a community of love.”

As you step forward from this moment, ask the God of your heart to so infuse you with grace that you may step forward, keenly aware of your ability to be God’s great Love for all. 

Posted August 10, 2017

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