Song du Jour

Song du Jour

Benedictine Thoughts, Teachings, and Prayers

“The Ascension Leads Us to the Holy Spirit”

May 6, 2013

The rituals of the Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday have passed on the calendar but not on the Church calendar. We are still in the Easter Season rejoicing in the ALLELUIAS!


As we continue this week, we finally come to the Ascension of our Lord. I remember years ago when I was following the daily progression leading to the Ascension, I felt very sad for the Apostles. When Jesus resurrected, the Apostles thought that they would never see Jesus again on earth but only in eternal life. When he came back to show them that he was still present to them, they didn’t want him to go. Yes, there was so much work to be done in the towns and villages; the message of the Good News was to be spread to all who would be willing to listen and be baptized in the Spirit. Jesus appeared to them three times and then it was time to say goodbye…Jesus was to ascend to his Father in heaven. I can only imagine the dialogue of Peter, Matthew, James and John…Why can’t you stay with us? Where will you be going? When will we see you again? How will we know what to do?


Jesus assures them that they already know what to do as he prepared them in the “School of the Lord’s Service.” (Taken from St. Benedict). The Apostles were selected to serve and not be served, to wash the feet of all they meet, cure the sick, console the brokenhearted, baptize all with the water of life, teach humankind the Word of God by Word and deed, and to feed and experience the Bread of Life. It was a huge order to fill but this is why they were commissioned as Jesus’ disciples. According to Gregory Collins, “this apostolic commissioning occurs which is very painful for Peter.” ‘Jesus discreetly reminds Peter of his previous failure.’ ‘This reminds us that the risen Christ arrives unrecognized in the midst of our lives with all of their preoccupations, anxieties and cares, but that he is especially present when we are oppressed by the sense of our own unworthiness and failure.’ “With infinite tenderness Jesus draws Peter out of his guilty self-obsession, making him focus not on what Peter imagines he wants or needs and not allowing him to sink back into the oblivion of immersion in the mere business of daily existence (JN 2Q1:3). He asks him instead to confront the harsh reality of his past failures. Jesus reveals the real vulnerability in this story. A short time before, as recorded in the same gospel, we find him offering to show his wounds to doubting Thomas so as to elicit faith from the skeptical apostle. The body of Jesus was traumatized, made vulnerable by his passion. But in these post-resurrection showings, he uncovers the deepest wound of all…that of his soul. It was wounded by the denials, rejections and betrayals inflicted on him by Peter and the others (with the exception of the ‘Beloved disciple,’ his mother, and the other women.”(Taken from Meeting Christ in His Mysteries: A Benedictine Vision of the Spiritual Life by Gregory Collins, OSB)


Jesus will always be human to us. Collins states that the possibility of transformation Jesus brings when he appears is like his entire life, deeply incarnate. Jesus has given us this gift of “light that breaks in and suffuses our daily life, a gentle light of love that comes to meet us in our most vulnerable situations. It invites us to move beyond ourselves and our wounds, however painful…and to love.” Collins uses the term: dis-closure-zone which encompasses our humanness…our trials, our failures, our falls, our brokenness, our guilt, and our trauma. But with the light of his resurrection, his Ascension, and the coming of Pentecost, Jesus has completed his self-emptying. As St. Ignatius would say, “…it has been satisfied.” The entire journey of Jesus from birth through his ascension into heaven gives us the path for our journey to eternal life. In our daily lives, it is important to focus on all that the Father in heaven gave us on earth through Jesus his Son.


But now it is time to say goodbye to the Resurrected Christ and know that his Ascension to the Father was part of the awesome plan. I cannot imagine the emotion of these special men. But God gave them the grace to accept the Father’s plan just as he gives us the grace to carry on in our faith.


On a personal note: I am going to bid farewell for now as I embark on my own new

                               adventure to explore myself in mind, body, and spirit. The

                               Benedictine Sisters of Ridgely, MD have granted me a sabbatical

                               to learn, heal, and discern my vocation as a Benedictine Sister.

                               Thank you for this opportunity to share my spiritual authors and

                               thoughts with you this past year.


“That in God all things may be glorified’

Sr. Jo-El McLaughlin, OSB

Art taken from:


“To See the Face of God”

April 15, 2013

Treat your friends and enemies the same way.


To love another person is to see the face of God.


In Joan Chittister’s book: For Everything A Season… “a time to embrace,” Joan explores each verse from Ecclesiastes shedding light on the purpose and value of human life. She awakens us to the fact that Scripture is full of opposites…Joseph and his brothers, Moses’ mother and Pharaoh’s daughter, Jesus and the Samaritan woman, the young woman Mary and the old woman Elizabeth. Joan points out that in every case something transforming occurs…some physical, something powerful happens: Joseph weeps at the sight of his jealous brothers, Pharaoh’s daughter lifts the child from the river and entrusts him to the arms of his Hebrew nursemaid, Jesus drinks water from the forbidden bucket, Mary and Elizabeth break into song at the thought of the power within them and its meaning for others. Joan states that, “Scripture is filled with one person recognizing, welcoming, embracing, and releasing the strength of the unfamiliar other.” Joan eloquently says that “ordinary people find strength in one another to do what is beyond their simple selves…they meet and embrace, they meet and their souls touch, they meet and fell strongly.” And when this exchange of embraced feelings happens, the world shifts a little and changes. It is awesome to think of our globe moving just because our hearts moved! As Mother Teresa says, “We cannot help the entire world but we can help one person at a time.” One person at a time is quality and not quantity. To be truly present to another person is sacred and holy. In Joan Borysenko’s book: A Woman’s Life Cycle,

Joan quotes Mother Teresa in saying, “I do not serve you because you are needy; I serve you because you are holy.” It is a new paradigm to think this way. Mother Teresa truly takes my breath away when she states the obvious but in such a simplistic way.


Recently I read a sentence that puts all of this into a nutshell for all of us:


Our friend and enemy are to be treated the same way.

There is no difference…everyone is to be treated equally.


In Luke, we are given the directions of how we are to treat everyone with no exception.


Luke 6:27-36

[27] "But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, [28] bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. [29] If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. [30] Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. [31] Do to others as you would have them do to you.

[32] "If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' love those who love them. [33] And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' do that. [34] And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' lend to 'sinners,' expecting to be repaid in full. [35] But love your enemies, be good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. [36] Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.



In the Hasidic Tale: “How to Determine the Hour of Dawn,” the Rabbi and students have a Q & A on how we will see the dawn:

An old Hasidic tale

The rabbi asked his students: "How can we determine the hour of dawn, when the night ends and the day begins?

One of the rabbi's students suggested: "When from a distance you can distinguish between a dog and a sheep?"

 "No," was the answer of the rabbi.

 "Is it when one can distinguish between a fig tree and a grapevine?" asked a second student.

 "No," the rabbi said.

 "Please tell us the answer then," said the students.

 "It is, then," said the wise teacher, "when you can look into the face of another human being and see the face of God. Until then, it is night, and darkness is still with us." Source: Finding My Way Home (Henri J.M. Nouwen)


 It seems appropriate to end this blog with the last line from Victor Hugo’s book/play/musical:

“To love another person is to see the face of God.”


My Song du jour is:  “Christians Let Us Love One Another”


Christians, let us love one another,

As we share the true living bread.

Jesus is our God and our brother;

With his flesh and blood we are fed.


Everyone who loves is born of God.

Jesus is our life.

God is love.



“That in all things God may be glorified”

Sr. Jo-El McLaughlin, OSB


Art: taken from

Hymn text – Sr. Claudia Foltz, SNJM and Armand Nigro, SJ

PICARDY Melody from Chansons populaires des Provinces de France, 1860

“In Chase of the Invisible Rabbit”

April 8, 2013

Yesterday, April 6, 2013, we had the privilege of having Sr. Karen Joseph, OSB speak at our Tri-Community Meeting consisting of  Benedictine Sisters from Bristow, VA; Lutherville, MD; and Ridgely, MD who hosted this event for over sixty Sisters. The topic of interest was about being a Benedictine Sister in North America in the 21st Century. The provocative questions included: Who will we be serving in our ministries in the 21st Century; What choices will make the Benedictine Way of Life continue; What are the real needs of the people today;?


In the maturation process of the Benedictine Order that has lasted for more than 1500 years, a change in European thinking which stemmed from repression, gave way to new insight in having Sisters come from Bavaria to America.


The first Benedictine convent in the United States was established in St. Marys, Pennsylvania, in 1852. The founding nuns, Mother Benedicta Riepp and her two companions, originated from St. Walburga Abbey in Eichstatt, Bavaria. They came at the invitation of Father Boniface Wimmer, O.S.B., to bring Benedictinism for women to America and also teach the children of the German immigrants. In succeeding years their mission expanded to include hospital care and other works. The community formed more branches over the years, so that today over fifty Benedictine monasteries in America and beyond can trace their roots to St. Marys.


Sr. Karen told us that “our new renewal process is NOW, we are still pioneers NOW, and what does the Rule call us to NOW?”  Sister states that “our goal is our desire for God. Our daily remembrance of God is always primary.” She told us that what is very distinctive is to be in the “School of the Lord’s Service;” a school from which we never graduate…it is in this school, created by St. Benedict for us that we work out our growth and holiness together. St. Benedict’s journey led him to grow in his own knowledge and values; and so must we.

According to Sr. Karen, in living Benedict’s values, it places us into a countercultural lifestyle (opposite of the world’s lifestyle) whereby we are seeking God, we listen, we are of service to others, we care, our lives are simplistic, we share of ourselves, and we respect everything on earth. Change must begin in our hearts before we can change as a group. We can then make choices to counteract what the world wants. Benedict re-ordered his world by his conversatio. A cenobite lives his/her life in common with Community. Cenobites are present to one another; it is the daily rubbing of elbows with one another where we develop a cenobitic rhythm of living the Rule of Benedict.


In Edward Hays’ book: In Pursuit of the Great White Rabbit, Hays asks us to ponder these questions:

~ Why do some people live their whole lives in a dynamic religious search while others never begin?

~ Why do some people begin with enthusiasm but abandon the quest after a period of time?

~ Why do some continue their prayer and meditation but reach a point where they stop growing, overcome by the burdens of daily life?


Hays states that these are universal personal quandaries, reflected on by people of all creeds over the ages. Edward Hays now begins to give answer to these questions which comes to us from this story from the early Christian hermits in the deserts of Egypt:


“It seems that a young aspirant to holiness once came to visit the hermitage of an old holy man who was sitting in the doorway of his quarters at sunset. The old man’s dog stretched out across the threshold as the young spiritual seeker presented his problem to the holy man.

“Why is it, Abba that some who seek God, come to the desert and are zealous in prayer but leave after a year or so, while others, like you, remain faithful to the quest for a lifetime?” The old man smiled and replied, “Let me tell you a story…”(and this is the story that Sr. Karen told us yesterday):


“One day I was sitting here quietly in the sun with my dog. Suddenly a large white rabbit ran across in front of us. Well, my dog jumped up, barking loudly, took off after that big rabbit. He chased the rabbit over the hills with a passion. Soon, other dogs joined him, attracted by their barking. What a sight it was, as the pack of dogs ran barking across the creeks, up stony embankments and through thickets and thorns! Gradually, however, one by one, the other dogs dropped out of the pursuit, discouraged by the course and frustrated by the chase. Only my dog continued to hotly pursue the white rabbit.”


“In this story young man, is the answer to your question.”


“Finally, he said, ‘Abba, I don’t understand. What is the connection between the rabbit chase and the quest for holiness?’ ‘You fail to understand,’ answered the old hermit, ‘because you failed to ask the obvious question. Why didn’t the other dogs continue on the chase? And the answer to the question is that they had not seen the rabbit. Unless you see your prey, the chase is just too difficult. You will lack the passion and determination necessary to perform all of the hard work required by the discipline of your spiritual exercises.’”


This story is a prerequisite for the spiritual journey: you must see the Rabbit! According to Hays, “If we do not have a real experience of the Divine Mercy in some form, we will lack the energy necessary to keep up the pursuit for holiness. Like the dogs in the story, we will drop out of the race if we only follow the saints and mystics who have seen the Rabbit. If we are only caught up in the enthusiasm of others, we will fail to be constant in our search.” The Rabbit is God!


Sr. Karen told a story about a rabbit. As she stated, “it is the Easter Season and the season for rabbits.” But this story is applicable in any season because we are always in search of God. We must always have our focus and vision on the Rabbit…God.


The Benedictine Sisters from Eichstatt, Bavaria saw the Rabbit and pursued coming to North America. Those who have kept their eyes on the Rabbit are still seeking God today. He is our goal, our hope, and our eternity!


My Song du jour:    Lord of the Dance

I danced in the morning when the world was begun
I danced in the Moon & the Stars & the Sun
I came down from Heaven & I danced on Earth
At Bethlehem I had my birth:

Dance then, wherever you may be

I danced in the Moon & the Stars & the Sun
I came down from Heaven & I danced on Earth
At Bethlehem I had my birth:

Dance then, wherever you may be
I am the Lord of the Dance, said He!
And I'll lead you all, wherever you may be
And I'll lead you all in the Dance, said He!
(...lead you all in the Dance, said He!)

I danced for the scribe & the Pharisee
But they would not dance & they wouldn't follow me
I danced for fishermen, for James & John
They came with me & the Dance went on:

Dance then, wherever you may be
I am the Lord of the Dance, said He!
And I'll lead you all, wherever you may be
And I'll lead you all in the Dance, said He!
(...lead you all in the Dance, said He!)

I danced on the Sabbath & I cured the lame
The holy people said it was a shame!
They whipped & they stripped & they hung me high
And they left me there on a cross to die!

Dance then, wherever you may be
I am the Lord of the Dance, said He!
And I'll lead you all, wherever you may be
And I'll lead you all in the Dance, said He!
(...lead you all in the Dance, said He!)

I danced on a
Friday when the sky turned black
It's hard to dance with the devil on your back
They buried my body & they thought I'd gone
But I am the Dance & I still go on!

Dance then, wherever you may be
I am the Lord of the Dance, said He!
And I'll lead you all, wherever you may be
And I'll lead you all in the Dance, said He!
(...lead you all in the Dance, said He!)

They cut me down and I leapt up high
I am the Life that'll never, never die!
I'll live in you if you'll live in Me -
I am the Lord of the Dance, said He!

Dance then, wherever you may be
I am the Lord of the Dance, said He!
And I'll lead you all, wherever you may be
And I'll lead you all in the Dance, said He!


“That in all things God may be glorified”

Sr. Jo-El McLaughlin, OSB

Art: taken from:

Lyrics: Lord of the Dance written by Sydney Carter



"Gifts of the Risen Christ"

April 1, 2013

Today is Easter Monday and we are all catching our breath after experiencing the rituals of the Triduum.


We often hear people speak of their “gifts” which have been bestowed upon them from God or we recognize other people’s gifts and talents realizing that they had come from “above.”

But this year’s Lent and Holy Week was different for me from previous years in that the Holy Spirit gave me new vision in reading and hearing the same stories. It was an awakening for me and I am still recalling in my mind what was revealed to me from different sources. In this BLOG, I will try to relate my new understanding for 2013.


I am currently taking a course with the Scholastics from Bristow, VA on Liturgy/Church given by Steve Palmer. I am thoroughly enjoying the class as well as sharing our thoughts with each other. It is one thing to have thoughts and revelations in your mind but another when you actually verbalize what is going though your mind of which I find fascinating.

One of the books that is required for this course is, Meeting Christ in His Mysteries: A Benedictine Vision of the Spiritual Life by Gregory Collins, OSB. To say that this book is wonderful is an understatement. I cannot tell you how much in awe I am of what I am reading. I find myself dwelling on God and his relationship with me and my relationship with him.


When we read Scripture, we are told to think of God’s word as honey, allowing it to drip into our hearts. The monks from many centuries ago were told to eat honeycomb…it was difficult to chew. In following this ritual, the monks were to learn how to chew on the Word of God…slowly chewing on each word so that it would be absorbed into their beings. Well, I must connect this image to what I have experienced Lent/Holy Week/Resurrection. It has been awesome and I will never be the same. I feel as though God, through my metamorphosis, has turned me into an Easter butterfly of which I am so grateful.

In preparing my reading for class, we were assigned reading that pertained to the Mysteries of the Passion. Collins states that “the mysteries of Christ are our own mysteries; they are given to us by God to illumine our path, open our eyes, and bring new vision.” This is exactly what has happened to me in gaining this new insight into the Easter Triduum sixty-one years later.


 What first touched me was when Collins began to analyze the meaning of “the cross” in our lives. Collins states that “the cross as a revelatory sign of God’s love was already the beginning of Christ’s exaltation, as Jesus declared:


‘Now is the judgment of the world.

Now the ruler of this world will be driven out,

and when I am lifted up from the Earth,

I will draw all people to myself.’


Collins speak of the cross as a terrible instrument of torture whereby the cross assumes the character of a throne…O Tree of beauty,

                                        O Tree of light,

                                        O Tree of royal purple bright!


Collins states that ‘the tree of our defeat became the tree of victory where life was lost, there life had been restored. The very scourge which is the cause of death becomes the source of healing: that is the real mystery but also the true glory of the cross. God’s glory does fill the earth because the redeeming power of Christ’s cross radiated to the uttermost parts of the universe.’


What Collins now says has affected me forever: ‘this cross enters our lives.’


I began to think about this which transported me back two thousand years to Jesus’ crucifixion. The wood was so dry, so heavy, so splintery, so harsh, so loud, and so real. My five senses were awakened to the once tree, now cross, to be carried on a shoulder that would carry the world of this same shoulder. My mind travelled back to 2013 in Collins relating to how that same cross from Jesus’ crucifixion enters our lives in many ways:


~ at first, the cross is far away,

~but gradually emerges into sight,

~ we experience a sick feeling,

~ nothing can ever be the same,

~it can be anything at all –

~ a message from the doctor

~bearing news of an unexpected growth

~a cough

~ a lump in the breast

~ realization of one’s infidelity

~ telephone call from the casualty ward

~a suicide note

~unloved or unwanted sexual orientation

~ dreadful debilitating addiction

~ Myself: crippled by my own sense of meaninglessness and inadequacy


In all of these instances, the cross, carried up the aisle, arrives in front of me, speaking to me in the sung response: “Behold the wood of the cross.” It has appeared after two thousand years and will not go away because Jesus’ cross is also my cross to carry daily. Jesus’ cross is planted permanently into my inner sanctuary. There are three possible ways to react to the cross in my life when it arrives: Collins states,


“I may deny it totally, I may fight it, kicking hard against it or I may stumble forward to venerate it, embrace it, and even kiss it because in this wood, I will meet my Savior of the World.”


Collins states that, “the last option is the only one that will allow me to live with the cross in my life and let it lead me into glory. This is when and only the cross can be transformed from a dark tree of torture into a radiant tree of life. Now it can be elevated in my sight: when I learn to see it not just as an instrument of agony but as a glorious tree that bore and bears the world’s redemption.


As I pondered and absorbed what Collins’ concepts were, I began to connect the dots to “gifts” that have been given to us by God in our lives. Yes, all of nature has God’s signature on it but I realized that his dying was the greatest gift because within his gift were many other gifts. Just as we can now buy nested boxes beginning with the largest, next to the largest etc…a box within a box within another box and yet within another box…so many gifts. When I looked up the word “gift,” I found this definition:



1.       Something given: something that is given to somebody, usually in order to provide pleasure or to show gratitude

2.      Special Talent: A natural ability that somebody appears to have been born with, especially an artistic ability or social skill

3.      Act of giving: the act of giving something to somebody.

4.      Something easily gained: something that is obtained or achieved easily (informal)

5.      Give something: to give or concede something to somebody as a gift

(13th Century. Old Norse. Germanic.)


Word Usage

Marketers are fond of the expression free gift but because any gift worthy of its name is free, the result of using the two words together is unnecessary and should be avoided.


Synonyms: present, donation, contribution, reward, bequest, award, endowment, grant, offering, talent, skill, ability, flair, knack, genius, aptitude, bent


We often think of “gifts” as being part of our Christmas ritual because we not only receive but give as well. Now, in relating this gift-giving during the Triduum, what do I receive and what do I give in return? Now, this year 2013, has taken on new meaning for me.

On Holy Thursday, I am the beneficiary of the Institution of the Eucharist from two thousand years ago until now on a daily basis.


On Good Friday, I am the beneficiary of the crucifixion from two thousand years ago until now on a daily basis.


At the Easter Vigil, I am the beneficiary of our fire of light, our Baptism, of Jesus’ Resurrection from two thousand years ago until now on a daily basis.


It has become so real to me now and has entered my inner sanctuary permanently.

The big question is what do I do to give back for all that has been given to me on a daily basis? This is for me to ponder on a daily basis in my contemplative prayer. I am so grateful to be a Catholic, a sojourner, a disciple, a follower, and a pilgrim seeking more, yearning for more and more of the honey that is available to me from the spiritual honeycomb. I desire to chew and chew and chew until I take my last breath. There is so much to learn…Earth is our classroom where we will be promoted to eternal life with the Trinity. AMEN.


My song du jour is: “Behold, behold the wood of the cross, on which is hung our salvation,

                                    O Come let us adore.”



“That in all things God may be glorified”


Sr. Jo-El McLaughlin, OSB




Art: taken from

Definition of the word: GIFT taken from

Encarta World English Dictionary 2009regalo masculine 20092002000rkjggfjzdfknvfxnjlkc f




Jesus’ Entry into the: World, Temple, Jerusalem, Upper Room, Garden, Calvary, Tomb, Eternal Life

March 25, 2013


In connecting last week’s BLOG with this week’s, we go through the last days of the month of March 2013 with Passion Week; the holiest week of the entire year. Many people have their minds dwelling on Easter clothes: what to wear? Easter candy: what do I put in the baskets this year? Easter food: what should I cook…do I have everything that I need for the dinner? There are some people who never go through Passion Week for they have already jumped ahead to Easter Sunday. The beauty of this week is going through it day by day with Jesus. It is so rich; the more we become closer to God, the more meaning God has for all of us.  


I would like to begin with the word: “ENTRY.” I love this word and the more you connect it with Jesus, the more understanding you have of his life and mission. For on Palm Sunday, it is about the mystery of the “ENTRY.” According to Gregory Collins, OSB, “it is a mystery of entry.”  Jesus entered the world through Mary’s womb; Jesus entered Jerusalem when he was presented in the Temple as a baby; he entered the Upper Room to institute the Last Supper; Jesus entered the Garden of Olives to contemplate with his Father about his fate…where he sweated, prayed, and surrendered himself to the guards; Jesus walked the Via Dolorosa entering Calvary for his crucifixion; Jesus entered the tomb where he would show the world that his life had not ended but was just beginning; and finally saying goodbye to Earth and hello to heaven in eternal life. If we frame our minds to the day-to-day process of Passion Week, we may enter into the sequential events which led to the culmination of his Father’s plan for his Son as well as for us. Collins states that, “all four Gospels record that Jesus rode on a donkey making a triumphant ‘entry’ into Jerusalem. The true King Christ enters into his own city just as when he was a child brought to the Temple. Also, the entry of the church where liturgically, we enter into its own season, the greatest days of the year devoted to the commemoration of Christ’s saving death and resurrection. The mystery of the triumphant entry reminds us of the fickleness of the heart where the crowd changes from singing hosannas to shouting, “Crucify Him!” The feast of Palm Sunday is the mystery of ‘ENTRY:’


~ entry of the true King

~ taking possession of his holy city

~ the entrance of the Lord into his holy place

~ his solemn entry to accomplish the paschal mystery of death and resurrection

~ recalls the triumphant entry of Christ into the Holy City

~ its ritual re-enactment and liturgical realization in the liturgy of the day.


After looking at the logistics of Christ’s entering, Jesus shows us that in our humanness, we are to become rooted within God’s very self, within the heart of the Trinity. Throughout Lent, we have been asked in the Gospels by God, the Father, and Jesus to change our hearts, to forgive from our hearts, and to love with our hearts. Jesus’ entry into demographic places was important so that God’s storyline could be fulfilled. But the one place which I have not mentioned yet is that “our hearts” is really the sanctuary where Christ wishes to enter so that once he occupies space in our chamber, he may begin to reign within us. The beauty and sensitivity of Jesus is that he does not make us do anything for he comes to us in all humility tapping on the door of our hearts, waiting for us to hear, to open the door, and to allow him to enter.


I had quoted from Joan Chittister’s book: For Everything A Season  last week where she said, “life comes out of nowhere.” This was one of those events a couple of days ago when on the Feast of St. Benedict, here at St. Gertrude’s Monastery, we lost our dear Sr. Jeannette Murray, OSB who dedicated her life to the Benedictine School by overseeing an educational institution for Exceptional Children. Her motto to her parents, friends, volunteers, and benefactors was, “If your challenge is too big, then your God is too small.”  Sr. Jeannette lived this motto because her dreams and visions were big. I told her many times that not many people live to see their visions become a reality, but she did. Whatever she touched turned to gold. Her intentions and motives were very simplistic in that she wanted the best for her children.


Sr. Jeannette will be remembered for her strong faith, her sense of humor, as well as for her belief in dignity for all. Sr. Jeannette made her own “entry” into eternal life saying goodbye to Earth and hello to heaven.


My Song du jour is: Hosanna to the Son of David

                                  O blest is HE,

                                  O blest is HE

                                  WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD.


“That in all things god may be glorified”


Sr. Jo-El McLaughlin, OSB




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