Tuesday, October 25, 2011
A Wonderful Week
I had a really wonderful week and then the Province week end at Our Lady of the Snows so I will share some of the highlights which gave me great joy. The day I arrived I was met by one of my favorite RSCJs who promptly offered me her ticket for the symphony that night. I went and enjoyed every minute. The next morning I went with another RSCJ friend (also a visitor that Saturday) to St. Charles for a morning of silent prayer both in the Shrine and in the room where Philippine lived for the last ten years of her life. The morning flew by and then we went to lunch in St. Charles. We had a welcome prayer and dinner that night for another RSCJ who has returned after thirty years as a missionary in Africa. On Sunday morning we went to the College Church for Mass and then I had a visit and lunch with my provincial which made me very grateful and then I went to visit one of my RSCJ friends and back to watch the Cardinals play (that, of course, became a big part of the visit). On Monday, I began work at the Archives but went to Mass at the Cathedral and then had a visit with one of my friends from early childhood; on Tuesday, after a day at the Archives, I went out with another friend to visit with her husband who is in a nursing home and then to dinner. It was so good seeing her as we have been friends for 69 years!!
Wednesday I made my famous chicken vegetable soup for the community where I stay in St. Louis. The secret is to use French onion soup with chicken broth as the base and throw in every kind of vegetable that is available plus a can of diced stewed-tomatoes and cut up lots of celery and carrots, too. Then, Thursday was Mater's Feast so I went to the Mass at our school, Villa Duchesne, and then to the archives. On Friday, my sister-in-law was in town to celebrate her mother's 87th birthday so they picked me up and we went to lunch at Steak and Shake and then I went home to finish packing and drive with others to Our Lady of the Snows in Belleville. There were twenty-four Religious of the Sacred Heart making this dialog week end which is being held in five different places on different dates so over 150 of us will have had the opportunity to be together and share and pray as it is also a contemplative type of week end with beautiful prayer together, sharing in small groups, meals together, time for personal prayer and reflection and time to just enjoy one another. We ended with a box lunch on Sunday and then off to the airport for some of us and others drove or even took a train. It was just good to be together and made me so grateful to be an RSCJ! Well, now I am trying to get through about three hundred e-mails that I let pile up and now need to read, answer or just delete. I suspect this will take me a couple of days.
Not much of a spiritual reflection today, but I thought you would enjoy an account of my week away. Here is a quote though that I took from a new book I have just begun to read. The book is "The Grateful Heart: Living the Christian Message" by Wilkie Au and Noreen Cannon Au. (Paulist Press, 2011). Positive psychologists have found that happiness is closely associated "with a core set of personal character traits that they labeled "heart strengths': gratitude, hope, zest, and the ability to love and to be loved."