hope - Related Content

Sister Amy's 6 Word Story of Hope

Thursday, June 4th 2020 11:10 am
Sister Amy Taylor, FSPA


Discerning action, spreading strength in times of great need

Hope is more than a word: it is an invisible, nutrient-dense reservoir of strength, resiliency and creativity. Hope holds the dichotomy of present unrest and future peace. It is the hardy root of our prayer reaching deep into relationship with God who helps to nourish the brave new tendrils of growth. Sharing hope with one another germinates new possibilities. The winds of collaboration carry the precious, newly-formed seeds to new places, transforming the landscape of our world.

This Show me a sign blog post is the first in the new series "6 Word Stories of Hope" that features inspiration shared by many Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration. Their stories reflect FSPA's mission and vision, "prayer, witness and service," so critical to us all in this time of uncertainty.

We invite you to take their words of wisdom with you as you face each new day, opening yourself to new possibilities.

And perhaps these 6 Word Stories will enlighten you to discernment of religious life.

Stay tuned for more Show me a sign 6 Word Stories.

Are you discerning religious life? Walking with someone who is? We invite you to share this link, fspa.org/showmeasign, and join the conversation.

Sister Meg's 6 Word Story of Hope

Thursday, June 18th 2020 10:00 am
Meg Earsley, FSPA


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Stay tuned. Show me a sign has more 6 Word Stories of Hope to share.

Are you discerning religious life? Walking with someone who is? We invite you to share this link, fspa.org/showmeasign, and join the conversation.

Sister Clarone's 6 Word Story of Hope

Monday, September 28th 2020 10:00 am
Clarone Brill, FSPA

Sister Joyce's 6 Word Story of Hope

Thursday, September 3rd 2020 10:00 am
Joyce Blum, FSPA


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Show me a sign has more stories of hope -- fresh perspectives of light and love -- coming soon!

Are you discerning religious life? Walking with someone who is? We invite you to share this link, fspa.org/showmeasign, and join the conversation.

Sister Dorothy's 6 Word Story of Hope

Tuesday, September 22nd 2020 4:05 pm
Dorothy Dunbar, FSPA


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Visit us again to experience new Show me a sign 6 Word Stories of Hope.

Sister Marian's 6 Word Story of Hope

Thursday, July 23rd 2020 10:00 am
Marian Massman, FSPA


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Stay tuned: there are more stories of hope to come in this Show me a sign series!

Are you discerning religious life? Walking with someone who is? We invite you to share this link, fspa.org/showmeasign, and join the conversation.

Sister Rita's 6 Word Story of Hope

Thursday, July 9th 2020 10:00 am
Rita Jansen, FSPA


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Watch fspa.org/showmeasign for new 6 Word Stories, renewed hope and unique inspiration from Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration.

Are you discerning religious life? Walking with someone who is? We invite you to share this link, fspa.org/showmeasign, and join the conversation.

Sister Eileen's 6 Word Story of Hope

Thursday, August 6th 2020 10:00 am
Eileen McKenzie, FSPA


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Searching for guiding light in this this time of uncertainty? Come back for more 6 Word Stories of Hope.

Are you discerning religious life? Walking with someone who is? We invite you to share this link, fspa.org/showmeasign, and join the conversation.

Sister Helen's 6 Word Story of Hope

Thursday, August 13th 2020 10:00 am
Helen Elsbernd, FSPA


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Show me a sign and Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration have more inspiration to share. Stay tuned.

Are you discerning religious life? Walking with someone who is? We invite you to share this link, fspa.org/showmeasign, and join the conversation.

Sister Rita Mae's 6 Word Story of Hope

Thursday, September 17th 2020 10:05 am
Rita Mae Fischer, FSPA


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Enjoy. Share. Inspire. And, visit us again for more 6 Word Stories of Hope created by Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration. 

Are you discerning religious life? Walking with someone who is? We invite you to share this link, fspa.org/showmeasign, and join the conversation.

Sister Marguerite's 6 Word Story of Hope

Thursday, July 16th 2020 10:00 am
Marguerite Bruening, FSPA


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Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration are writing hope for the future with the wisdom of religious life ... in just six words. Stay tuned. 

Are you discerning religious life? Walking with someone who is? We invite you to share this link, fspa.org/showmeasign, and join the conversation.

'Christ is among us and in each of us.'

Monday, April 13th 2020 9:00 am
Sister Amy Taylor, FSPA

 

 

"It is not the end ... it's a new beginning."

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Photo by Ron Smith on Unsplash

Our faith beckons us to remember that hope and joy can prevail where once only terror and death reigned. We are an Easter people, called forth to continue to proclaim the good news and to search for light where there is temptation to perceive only darkness, especially in a world held hostage by COVID-19. Our hearts are breaking for those losing their lives without the comfort of their family, friends and faith communities. Our prayers are with the healthcare providers who are risking their lives with compassion. We are given statistics and brace ourselves for the wave that is gathering energy here in the United States. We prepare for possibilities and pray for miracles. This is an Easter season markedly different than most others. 

As we prioritize prayer and pause, we remember that over 2,000 years ago, another community much like ours was also struggling with death — the death of Jesus whose body was placed in a tomb. There was no funeral celebration, no gathering by the thousands of people he once served, led, healed and, most importantly, loved. Worlds were turned upside down as friends, family members and one-time mission partners sheltered in place, weathering the storm of loss and the danger of their own possible death. Not death from a virus, but through relationship with Jesus.

From the Gospel of John, we hear the story of Mary Magdalene who goes in search of her beloved friend and mentor, Jesus, but cannot find his body. She rallies fellow disciples Simon Peter and others, explaining her discovery of an empty tomb and the visceral desire to take action. Grief, pain, worry, and anger are just a few of the emotions coursing through their hearts as they struggled to make sense of the scene before them. Navigating uncharted territory, the community does not yet realize the meaning of what they are witnessing.

Today, our struggle to understand the meaning of the times we are facing echoes this recounting.

With hearts broken, in the depths of despair, we cling to the words in Matthew’s Gospel that widen our vision. The angel of the Lord’s words are like balm restoring joy to our ailing souls. The tomb is transformed from a place of ultimate sadness to a space in which we can begin to understand eternal life. The tomb is empty. Jesus is not there. Tears of pain turn to tears of joy as they sprint to share the good news. But before reaching their destination they encounter Jesus who encourages them to keep going, to go tell the others and to know that they will meet again. It is not the end. Instead, it’s a new beginning.

And so, as we scour the news for stories of recovery and inspiration in the midst of widespread loss, we too are watching the tomb. I have found two such stories that radiate hope: one of a 90-year-old woman and the other about a 101-year-old man. They are the human proclamation of joy. Reminiscent of Mary Magdalene’s haste, their stories race towards the world with hope!

As we socially distance and follow the mandates of the CDC, let us also look for the signs of hope and joy in our midst.

Christ is among us and in each of us.

Are you discerning religious life? Walking with someone who is? We invite you to share this link, www.fspa.org/showmeasign, and join the conversation.

Sister Donna to discerners: "Get out there. Try something adventurous."

Thursday, July 25th 2019 10:00 am
Sister Amy Taylor, FSPA


“Be humble and listen to everything around you.”

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Donna Stevens, FSPA: 50 years of ministry as a woman religious

Life is ever-changing. Perceptions of who we are develop over time as we gain confidence in the transition. Sister Donna recalls that some did not believe she would last one week in the convent.  

Now, as she celebrates 50 years of vowed religious life, Show me a sign has asked Sister Donna to share her journey of discernment and ongoing commitment as a Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration.  

Show me a sign:
How did you know that you wanted to be a sister?

Sister Donna:
I didn’t really know what I wanted, but the idea came in 8th grade because I adored my teacher, Sister Martha. She talked with me after school while we waited for mom to leave work and pick me up. She also gave me fun books to read. It wasn’t until many years later that I really chose religious life, and it wasn’t easy for me. I still choose to live it every day. It’s never been a “done deal” for me. 

Show me a sign:
How did your family and friends react when you first told them of your desire to become a religious sister?

Sister Donna:
My family and friends and just about everyone I knew didn’t believe it. The general reply was “You will not last one week!”

Show me a sign:
As you reflect on your jubilee, what facets of serving as an FSPA first come to mind?

It’s when I return to our motherhouse, St. Rose Convent, after being away on mission for a while, and receive a warm welcome from others. I love coming home and recharging! I also love the liturgies in Mary of the Angels Chapel, when we all lift our voices in prayer and song. It fills my soul. I don’t get much of this where I minister. I mostly spend my time nurturing folks; showing hope, compassion and tenderness.  

Show me a sign:
What has been your favorite ministry and why?  

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Sister Donna with two friends at the Butterfly Treatment Drop-In Center (image courtesy of Butterfly Drop-In Treatment Center)

Sister Donna:
I am fortunate that I have truly loved every ministry that I have been engaged in. I truly loved nursing and I truly love what I do now in healing the broken-hearted as a therapist.  

Show me a sign:
What advice would you give women discerning religious life today?

Sister Donna:
I would encourage women not to be afraid. Get out there. Try something adventurous. Be humble and listen to everything around you. You will hear what the Creator is inviting you to be.  

Are you discerning religious life? Walking with someone who is? We invite you to share this link, www.fspa.org/showmeasign, and join the conversation.

Sister Jolynn's 6 Word Story of Hope

Thursday, September 10th 2020 10:30 am
Jolynn Brehm, FSPA


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We are sharing the hope that you are seeking right here ... in six words and images of inspiration. Visit us again for more. 

Are you discerning religious life? Walking with someone who is? We invite you to share this link, fspa.org/showmeasign, and join the conversation.

Advent light and joy: the vocation that may shine from deep inside you

Thursday, December 15th 2016 3:00 pm
Sister Amy Taylor, FSPA

 

Can you feel the energy in the air as we continue our journey of Advent towards the celebration of Christmas? It reminds me of dragging my feet across the carpet and experiencing a small shock of static electricity when I touch another object or person. These little jolts serve as tiny wake up calls to the present—where I am and what I’m doing (which is laughing or shrieking, depending on the intensity of the charge).

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The Scripture passages for the Third Sunday of Advent are powerfully charged too. We hear from Isaiah (35:1-6A, 10) encouragement to rejoice all that we have been waiting for because it’s here. Put on your party clothes, play your favorite song and dance out of the pure joy of being alive today! Shake off any remaining fear and let it permeate your soul! Sure, you may get a few curious looks but who knows—maybe a spontaneous, two-minute dance party can reignite delight lost in the piles of paperwork, emails and texts. After all, joy is contagious.

This week, in the words of the Gospel of Matthew (11:2-11), concern is transformed into joy as Jesus sends John the Baptists’ disciples back to him with good news. I imagine them with effervescent excitement, in animated conversation, rushing their way back to tell John. But let’s stop and take a breath for a moment. This stretch along the road of Scripture is a great place in which to pause; to reflect upon and rejoice in affirmation you’ve received for endeavors you’ve poured your life energy into. How did you feel? Did you bubble over with excitement? I did, when I ministered as a pastoral associate. Each week during Advent, we invited parishioners to come through the doors and breathe; to take time to connect with God and set worry, the commercial hustle and bustle, aside. I’ll always cherish the witness to such joy I was so fortunate to experience.

The searing questions we hear on the lips of Jesus are held in tension with this sense of Advent joy. Caught in this whirlwind of emotions from somewhere deep inside there is opportunity for “Ah ha” moments. One can imagine the faces of those gathered around Jesus curling into smiles as they realize the joy of the divine secret revealed, and their own discovery of what this news means for their own lives. The gift and the receiving and the rejoicing already existed before them, just as it is for us over 2,000 years later.

We know that the joy we feel radiating from the illuminated candles of Advent can be found at any moment, all around us. Each ecstatic experience has the power to reignite the hope that lies—sometimes dormant—within us, and encounters of the divine can be conduits of discernment.  Stop and feel the current that powers your heart as you visit congregations and explore possible mission-motivated ministries—the vocation that may shine from deep inside of you.

So this week, as you take in the reflection of the light of Advent, let it illuminate all the joy in your life.

Where is the joy in your heart leading in discernment?

Can you see what triggers that eternal spark?

The hope and conversion in Christmas

Thursday, December 8th 2016 10:00 am
Sister Amy Taylor, FSPA


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Photo by Sister Amy Taylor, FSPA

I am a fan of holiday movies. In a span of two hours plots develop with a challenge in the life of the main characters that invites reflection, followed by a new choice. Usually the story has a happy ending but not before they face the reality of the situation before them. It’s the lesson of conversion dressed up in holiday clothing; a Gospel value renewed for the season. 

I also enjoy Advent, the second week of which is now upon us. The dual message of Scripture is hope and conversion—hope, even when we are asked to examine the truth of who we are. In light of this wonderment I’m choosing to make time to continue unpacking the richness of Sunday’s readings—that which invites all of us to be in the present moment, not race ahead to Christmas as the commercial world advises. The messages we receive during Mass should not dissipate with the recessional. Our tradition calls us to allow the verses to stir in our hearts and move us to action throughout the week. 

Isaiah declares the transformation that will unfold with the coming of the Lord: an end to of domination and competition. I recently read an inspiring story about an athlete who competed with integrity; putting the unfortunate fall of a competitor before her own drive to victory. She personifies the time to come right now, today, as she made a choice countercultural in not only the world of sports but also in life.  This one act of kindness shines the light of Advent hope for all the world to see.

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The Gospel (Matthew 3:1-12) summons us to take Isaiah’s message a step further. Herald of the Good News, John the Baptist cuts through facades and invites each person to the depth of Christian discipleship; to make way for the Gospel message in our hearts and in the world. The reading sounds harsh when we are also living in moments of happy Christmas anticipation; from driving around to see the lights adorning homes to watching holiday specials on television (I could curl up in front of the TV and watch Hallmark Channel Christmas movies 24/7). We long to wrap ourselves in festive yuletide experiences; to leave anything that conjures negative feelings or remembrance of bad choices hidden away on the top shelf. After all, who wants to think about sin while eating cookies and listening to holiday music? It feels like a contradiction. But by listening to the wise advice of John the Baptist, one is reminded that such effort brings deeper reward.

This Advent season the invitation is clear—amidst the work we must also make way for hope in our hearts. Discernment is full of hope: hope of what God is calling you to; hope of what the church will receive in the gift of your life offered to others; hope of a new day when all will reach out to those in need. Each time you take time to examine who you are, what your motives are, you become a stronger herald of the Gospel no matter where discernment leads. John’s message of conversion is present in the experience. 

What will you do this week to take the messages of Isaiah and John the Baptist to heart in your discernment?  

What is your greatest hope—as gift to both yourself and to the world—for the outcome of your discernment?

 

 

Sharing courage to walk in darkness and light

Thursday, February 9th 2017 2:40 pm
Sister Amy Taylor, FSPA

 

My time with television news at home or listening to the radio on my way to work has been full of sorrow and worry. There's been very little positive news woven into each broadcast. Sometimes I just need to turn it all off and pray for peace.

Yet I know, no matter what the issue is or where you may personally stand with it, it's important to be informed about what's going on in the world. There’s also intrinsic value in holding on to your heart in times that can feel overwhelming. God is always present: the way forward will be created as we all rally as a human family. When we watch for one side or the other to succumb to defeat we also lose sight of the Gospel call to love one another. Does love want others to lose in order for someone to win? Is being right more essential than being compassionate?

Is any of this uncertainty affecting your discernment?

I've yet to meet anyone who can say their time of discernment was filled with only light because, inherently, fear and discouragement are all around us; part of being human. But when we encounter situations that stop our progress even for a moment we can, and not just as an afterthought, invite God to come closer: to center us and walk with us and help clarify the call for us. Learning to rely on God's guidance is essential. And whether it be uncertainty of the world or religious life, sharing your disillusionment with close family or friends is also essential to finding light in oblivion. Faith, hope and love are the antidotes of fear.

And strength of character in the depth of your commitment is often revealed when you find ways to befriend your moments of challenge.

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Karen Lueck, FSPA, joined a recent solidarity rally in La Crosse, Wisconsin

Our world is a wonderful example right now, because despite the gloomy surface-level appearance, joy continues. Couples fall in love, students achieve their dreams, and elderly see another generation added to their families. The human spirit cannot be contained. Love and joy will find ways to shine even brighter against the dark horizon.

How has joy triumphed over disillusionment in your discernment this week?

How will you bring hope to others?

Will you share your courage to keep walking, in a world of darkness, on the journey of discernment?


 

 


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