stories - Related Content

Let's begin with your story ... and a step

Monday, April 11th 2016 11:29 am
Sister Amy Taylor, FSPA

open book on grass

Everyone likes good stories.  My favorites demand my attention and capture my heart.  I like books, plays and movies that have intriguing beginnings carefully crafted first lines that draw you into a novel: strong messages conveyed by actors the moment they enter a scene, inviting you into the story.  These beginnings fuel my imagination and inspire my curiosity. 

We all have beginnings; from the everyday moments the start of a new day; to the deeper moments the awareness of a monumental new experience about to happen in our lives.  Without beginnings there are no stories. 

Today marks a new moment for the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration a community of vowed Catholic Franciscan women that began to write our story in 1849.  It's an every-day collective of community shaped by each one of us as we journey together.  Show me a sign is a way in which we continue to share our stories and invite you to ponder your own.  We begin this new part of our journey together and invite you to share it with us.  Let's see where it leads ... together, let's watch for signs along the way.  Your journey to religious life starts with your story ... and a step. 

(Photo credit: www.freeimages.com)

Blisters, discipline, perseverance and joy

Thursday, August 11th 2016 1:16 pm
Sister Amy Taylor, FSPA

 

The spirit of the 2016 Summer Olympics has spread around the world. The opening ceremony’s Parade of Nations brought its vast diversity into our living rooms, offices and classrooms through screens across the globe. For a few short weeks we revel in the gifts of wonder and awe, watching athletes at the top of their fields compete on a global stage in Rio. 


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My favorite part of the games is catching a glimpse of the athletes’ stories, of the remarkable discipline and sacrifice and inspiration they live in their day-to-day lives. Hours of grueling training and coping with injuries are often part of the experience. And competing at this level is not for the shy and timid. Athletes put all they have—and more—into their craft. Resiliency and the ability to adapt are the lessons they continually teach on the long road to reach an Olympic-size dream. Yet for all the hardships behind the scenes there are moments of complete bliss for everyone—the athlete, the coach, the family and friends and their country—as cameras capture extreme accomplishments.

I wonder how many people are there to cheer for them at a 5 a.m. practice or as they attempt perfection on a balance beam, mere inches wide, over and over and over again? Hear their scream of victory as they round the track and beat their own best time? Where do they find the strength to keep going despite pain, criticism and judgment captured on film, in slow motion, for the world to see?

I wonder, too, if they’ve ever whispered “Show me a sign. Show me a sign that I’m on the right path, that I will accomplish what seems to be impossible.” Is their sport a doorway to their own lives of inner contemplation? Are they praying in motion while racing around corners, flying through the air?  If so, how is this a lesson for discernment? Is your prayer life moving and not just confined to time spent in church? Do you recognize God in all parts of your life?

And just like you’ll find in any Olympic venue, event, there is pressure from the crowds surrounding us. Think for a moment of contemplatively praying with a group of sisters, brothers or priests who have been doing so for more than 40 years. Your presence in such silence may feel awkward. You may fumble, fidget in your chair, notice the ticking of the clock and wonder if your experiencing the same feelings they are. 

But you don’t have to be a skilled athlete of prayer. Opportunity arises to practice and build an inner discipline and commitment to time of contemplation. Just like in athletic competitions there are moments in life that feel right, in which we get the results that we’re most hoping for. In prayer, we are not competing with others; rather, we are challenging ourselves. There are no qualifiers or time trials. A willing heart is our admission to the experience. A gold medal is not the reward. A deeper relationship with God is. 

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Will you take the challenge and offer all you have to God?  How will you commit daily to your lifelong dream of a deeper relationship with God? 

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 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.

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 Helen's 6 Word Story of Hope

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


monarch-butterfly-purple-flowers-caterpillars-transformed-beautiful-butterflies-fspa

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.

A promise to build a new life upon

Thursday, April 6th 2017 11:00 am
Sister Amy Taylor, FSPA

 

I am fascinated by “Who Do You Think You Are?”, a cable television show on the TLC network. Each episode features a media icon who, through the assistance of genealogy experts, professors, librarians, historians, Ancestry.com and others, delves into their family history. No stone is left unturned as a camera crew follows the individual searching for their roots throughout the United States and, in some cases, around the world. Narratives of long-forgotten relatives leap from pages of documentation, becoming next clues in the ongoing quest for information; identity.

Story-by-story, the truth is revealed. While not all chronicles are happy or full of pride, knowledge of where they came from—documented on paper—gives a sense of connectedness far beyond a code of DNA.

Today’s first reading recalls one of our familial stories of faith; a touchstone of generations that came before us. Through other stories of Abram (who is renamed Abraham) we know he is advanced in age, at what seems to be the end, when he is promised generations and land. From this, a new life emerges for him. This is not a one-way contract: Abraham is asked, on behalf of himself and his descendants, to uphold the covenant—placing God as the center of his life and for all those to come.

It is in the quiet moments of prayer that Abraham receives the news that shapes not only his living years, but those spanning far beyond his death as well. And God keeps his promise: we see the fruits more than 2,000 years later each time we hear the genealogy of Jesus proclaimed from Matthew 1:1-17.

Deep moments of prayer are crucibles in which we enter into conversation with God about our life’s direction. Discernment calls each of us to make God the priority in our lives and to listen. Our covenant with God requires focus and determination to set aside anything that will distract or become a stumbling block to our full attentive presence. By choosing to distract ourselves from listening—particularly when we are called to rise to the potential already within us—we can hide from God.

As we prepare for Palm Sunday and the liturgies of Holy Week, may we remember our commitment to prayer and presence. Placed before us in the next few days are the stories that form who we are and what we believe.

In your prayer this week ponder …

What is the everlasting promise God is offering as you discern?

What will your “Yes” mean for you and generations to come?


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