Daily reflections for prayer, growth in the spiritual life, and good prayer sources. This blog also has links to other websites. One feature is a list of spiritual books.
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Tuesday, June 5, 2007
Spirituality is an ambiguous term. We are still trying to find a common definition or maybe a description that will help us articulate what we mean by spirituality. I like to think of it as the way I live out my faith in the concrete circumstances of my daily life. As a Religious of the Sacred Heart, my spirituality is very much concerned with the Heart of Jesus, the source and symbol of God's love for each of us. My day begins with prayer as it is important to surrender myself to the God who loves me and to allow God to love me. Then I try to find Him in all that happens during the day. Spirituality is concerned with our lived experience; when we talk about RSCJ spirituality we are describing a particular style, but each of us also has her own way of living out our spirituality, her own attrait or attraction, her own gifts...still, I think we can look for common characteristics and that is way we speak of Franciscan spirituality, Ignatian or Jesuit Spirituality and finally, our own spirituality as Religious of the Sacred Heart. I think one of the key phrases in the spirituality of our foundress, St. Madeleine Sophie Barat, was "union and conformity with the Heart of Jesus." She felt that prayer, humility, poverty, interior life,etc.-- all were means to this union and conformity with the Heart of Jesus.
I think this desire to be united to the Heart of Jesus and to bring others to know His Love is at the heart of our spirituality. It is hard to describe it as our lived experience is varied and rich and changes rapidly. When I look back over my retreats I see that the desire I have for Jesus increases my capacity to receive His Love. In receiving His Love, I am called to go forth and give it to others. Such are my thoughts today on our RSCJ spirituality.
Hello, my name is Helen Rosenthal, RSCJ. Those initials stand for Religious of the Sacred Heart in Latin, French, Italian, and Spanish. Since my religious congregation began in France in 1800 and now is all over the world, we have kept the RSCJ. By now you know that I am not only known as Dr. Helen Rosenthal, but also as Sister Helen Rosenthal.
I am the oldest of four children. We were all born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. We lived in a big house with a playroom on the third floor. On Sundays we either went to my paternal grandmother's house where her six children would gather faithfully for supper or we would have my mother's father and our great aunt and uncle for a roast beef dinner at home. In summer, I would go to the lake with my Dad and I still love to swim.