Enjoy re-reading the weekly reflections from the Sisters of The Servants of the Plan of God.
Lent is a special time of conversion, of healing to grow closer to God. It’s a special time of grace to ask ourselves what attitudes, sins or attachments that draw us away from God. Today’s Gospel relates the story of the man blind from birth to whom Jesus gave sight. Healing comes first of all because we recognize ourselves sick. Jesus came for the sick or the sinners, not for the healthy or the just. It is a favorable time to turn to Him and allow Him to cure the blindness that we have: selfishness, indifference, pride, resentment. Let us ask Him with deep humility and simple hearts knowing that if we do this, we recognize that Jesus truly came personally for us, that Jesus came to heal our own personal wounds. Jesus came to be our Light so we won’t have to live in darkness!
Eight days before His Transfiguration, Jesus told His disciples about the suffering and death He would go through and that He would be raised the third day. He promised glory and eternal happiness but He never hid the reality of the cross or sufferings. Jesus said that if we want to follow Him, we should deny ourselves and take our cross every day. However, sometimes we fail to remember this reality, especially when we are in the middle of difficulties: maybe in our families, our relationships, our work place, personal struggles, or suffering of our loved ones.
Following Christ is certainly not the easy path: choosing Christ means giving up our selfishness, pride or sinfulness, it means selflessness, forgiving, loving even our enemy. It is the narrow path that we should follow but it is The Way, the only way to eternal glory, the only way to be truly happy. Let us keep in our minds that the story doesn’t end on the cross but in His glory. And sometimes, all we need to do is to be faithful day by day and look for the little and simple moments of “lights”, when we “hear” His voice and “see” His Plan clearer.
If you attended 9am Mass, you will have seen our Catechumens receive a special blessing. In Sacred Scripture, the Book of Revelation makes reference to the “Book of Life,” in which are written the names of those who have chosen to follow the Lord Jesus. Those who are already baptized, as Catholics or in other denominations, had their names written in the Book of Life at Baptism. In this Rite, those preparing for Baptism are invited to come forward and sign a book, as a sign of their desire to be numbered among the chosen of God.
On the first Sunday of Lent, across the entire world, Catholic Bishops welcome those sent by the Parish to gather together with their Sponsors in what is known as the Rite of Election. This symbolic book will be presented to the Bishop and will mark their Election. Please pray for our Catechumens as they start their final preparationtowards their reception to the Church.
As Sisters, one of the things we do every year are the spiritual exercises.
For one week, Sisters who live in different parts of the world, gathered together in Peru at a retreat house to meditate and pray so as to encounter in a deeper way our Lord Jesus, to whom we have given up our lives.
This month, all the Marian consecrated Sisters (which is the third step before making the temporary profession) will be having their spiritual exercises.
We ask all of you to please pray for all of them, including Sister Cristina who also traveled to Peru, as they start their retreat this week, so that our Lord, who called us to follow Him closer and giving Him our lives, continue to !ll our hearts with His grace.
"'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, '“Love your neighbor as yourself.”
God calls us to love Him with all our being and in loving Him to love our neighbor; but who is our neighbor?
Last month we had the opportunity to go down to Nogales, Mexico and visit our brothers and sisters who are searching for asylum here in the US. We spent two days with them, heard their stories, prayed together and most importantly did as much as it was in our power to bring Christ’s unending love to them.READ MORE
Hi to all our friends in OLMC!
I’m Sr. Cecibel, I am from Ecuador. I joined the Servants of the Plan of God 14 years ago. Before that, I worked as an engineer and had many life and career plans, but I had an uncertainty. I discovered that I wanted to do more to help in this world, but I didn't know what or how. Then I discovered that God was calling me to serve those who suffer and those in need.
During this time as a Sister God has given me a lot of blessings, just for saying Yes to His calling. I have been able to contemplate true miracles, serving to women in prison, to the sick at a Children’s Hospital and at our school for disabled children in Lima, abandoned elderly at the highlands in Southern Peru, and in my country where I served the victims of a devastating earthquake in 2016.READ MORE
Today the Church celebrates the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord also known as Candlemas day. In 1997, Pope John Paul II instituted on this Feast Day the World Day for Consecrated Life and it became a day of prayer for men and women in consecrated life.
In the Apostolic Exhortation, Vita Consecrata, Pope John Paul II spoke about the consecrated as men and women who, obedient to the Father’s call and the prompting of the Holy Spirit, have chosen a special way of following Christ in order to devote themselves to Him with an undivided heart. They are called like the apostles to leave everything behind in order to follow Christ and serve Him and their brothers and sisters.
For us, our vocation is truly an undeserved gift given by God. It is a deep joy to follow Him closer and to serve Him in the mission He entrusts us. We are also grateful for the Lord’s invitation to serve Our Lady of Mount Carmel Community.READ MORE
This past January the 18th we had the opportunity to attend the March for life here in Phoenix. We had a powerful rally with wonderful speakers such as Bishop Olmsted and Abby Johnson.
These types of events help remind us of the responsibility that we have to speak out for the unborn. The responsibility to raise our voices to defend our brothers and sisters in Christ.
We need to work together to build a culture of life. Each and every person is unique and loved by God in an immense way. One person can change the world as Jesus did on the cross where He brought us salvation.READ MORE
As you all know Sr. Ximena left for Peru just a few weeks ago. We are all very grateful for her time serving with us in OLMC during 2019 and we wish she might be called back to serve here in the future but we have no way of knowing that now.
Sr. Cecibel who is also from Ecuador will be joining us soon! Sr. Cecibel should be here some time in February and accompany us in our mission at least for the next six months.
Right now, in our community in Arizona, we are four sisters: Sr. Monica and Sr. Cristina from Peru, Sr. Maria Jose from Chile and Sr. May from the Philippines. With Sr. Cecibel we will be five sisters until another sister from the Philippines joins us. We will be waiting for Sr. Kathleen’s Visa papers to go through. Hopefully they should be ready by June, so please help us pray to make the paperwork run smoothly and quickly and to try to have her here sooner. When she arrives once again we will be six!READ MORE
As we have shared with you in previous weeks, during the month of December our community held our First General Assembly, and for that reason Sr. Maria Jose and Sr. Monica traveled to Peru to meet with all the perpetual sisters from the order coming from all corners of the world. During the Assembly besides choosing our new General Superior and General Council we got to discuss and work on the future of our community by setting the priorities for the next five years. It was a lot of hard work but a time of plentiful blessings for our community. We know that many of you were praying for us and we are grateful for that, we could feel the grace of your prayers during our meetings!READ MORE
We have celebrated Christmas where God became God-with-us through Jesus, Emmanuel. It's a very special season to allow Him to touch our hearts by His great and tender love. Seeing Jesus as a little child always invites us to come closer with confidence and a deep trust knowing that He is there, waiting as He waited to be welcomed by people with simple hearts like the shepherds. But the Child Jesus was not only found by the humble shepherds, but the wise men from the east also did.READ MORE