do i have energy to do this? of course! i dooo! sooo here goes! 🙂
while this is a great processing tool, it is also one that takes time. but, of course, processing takes time. 🙂 AND it is worthy of time! oh processing, discernment, openness, loving, and grace – those few things (few but powerful), my friends, have been the themes that have been top of mind for me for the past week, especially. let’s break it down, shall we?
processing – everyday is a gift that God has granted me. going through the ignatian spiritual exercises, i have been reading through the principle foundation of ignatius…i really resonated with the feelings of thanking God and giving praise to Him every morning when i wake up, for a new day, and thanking God at night for the opportunity to have been gifted with a full day. a lot of the times, the mornings can determine how my day will be played out, and usually, i like to start off by listening to music, and it is pretty much down to a routine, but waking up in the morning is not a promise, and it is a gift, and what a joy it is to discover what will comprise the day to come! when i am at dinner with the sisters and my sistas (the missioners!) it gives me a chance to slow down and process what happened in my day, especially when it is followed by night time prayer in the chapel with the community. it gives me that chance to sit, breathe in, breathe out, and think about how the day went for me, it helps me to slow down. i just learned some techniques on centering, and i’m really excited to try them out, and see what works and doesn’t work for me. this is where awareness of myself is really important!
discernment and openness – the d word. wow. yeah, i don’t think i can even capture my thoughts in a brief paragraph with simple or even complex sentences, but i can only say that this whole experience is one big discernment time. i think each week presents a different type of discernment… of course, the bigger questions in life that i concentrate on are always over-arching, but i think what i have found is that discernment is that much easier when i am at a good place with myself and i am at a good place in my relationship with God (as i feel in my heart.) Of course i am always trying day by day to draw closer to Him and see where that experience takes me, but discernment to me, means openness. To be open to the Spirit moving in my life, and within my heart, and truly allowing God to be apparent and followed in my life. it is such a blessing to come in direct contact with the Spirit, knowing, that it is God moving. that sounds kinda weird, but i suppose it is because my lack of extensive vocabulary and the inability to even express and describe the feelings that i have, sometimes with regard to the way I feel God, does not even exist. however – point is, God is real, and it is so good! 🙂 when mary and i were talking with sister barbara and vocation and choice and normalcy and doing what is not so mainstream, such as being a sister…she said her advice was, to pray. i interpret that to mean, to just pray, and see where that leads, because God answers prayers ( yes, not right now, or i have something better for you!) , and it all leads somewhere. 🙂
where is God taking me? well, i can just be who i am now, keep doing what i’m doing, and i will be led to that place. no need to worry about what comes next, no need to worry about what comes next week, in a couple of months or even in june. God is here, and i truly believe that He stands right at my side guiding me…even though sometimes it is even hard to imagine!
loving and grace – i love my life right now. i do. i love that i don’t feel like i am working, and i feel like i am enjoying the days of ministry – in the campus ministry office and in my classroom when i’m teaching health. i love the students, i love working with the sisters, and i especially love who i live with, i love the sisters at the convent in the lower east side, and i love cabrini. HAHA – yeah, it’s a good life. many gifts of grace have fallen into my lap and on my head and i feel so blessed to have this opportunity..i remember when i first started the process of cabrini mission corps and even before that, when i was realizing that where i was was not where God wanted me to be for a while – rather it was like, a mere stopping point, and an essential one, before i began this…but i remember praying, a lot – miraculous medal, novenas to mother frances cabrini, and some intense prayer…prayer really works. it allowed my heart to be open to the possibilities – if in fact i was called to go, please send me, if not, i know there is a different direction that i am to be led to, but one thing was for certain: i did not belong where i was anymore…it was time to move on because my heart was not there…staying open to the next thing, it led me here to new york. it was grace, and since then, there have been countless graces of confirmation of yes, this is why you are here crystal, and yes, God, this is why i am here. it is so enriching, and i feel like each day presents such gifts to me…whether it be in conversations with my sistas – mish and mary, or conversations with the sisters about their vocations, or even just about what to pick up from the grocery, these moments are priceless.
oh! and last night, i got to go to a church in greenwich village with the cook at our convent…she’s a little filipina woman and she told me about a parish she goes to…on wednesdays they do the novena to our lady of perpetual help. i decided to go with her yesterday and wow! what a blessing that was! granted there were like 15 of us in attendance, it was absolutely moving and awesome! i felt like i was in the philippines! right after the novena and mass, we went downstairs to the little basement and had sinigang and rice AND lechon! the priest had prepared it for us! it was great!! it was like a little room, and we were watching the baseball game, and i was getting made fun of for my americanized tagalog. sure, i don’t have the pilipino accent (haha!) but it was just so good to be around that community!! then, she took me home because sister archangel said i better get home safe. 🙂 haha god love her. and so i did, and i realize, yes, i want to keep coming! and so i will try to! 🙂 and i think i might join the choir there too…it’s a filipino choir! why would i say no? so yay! that was wonderful, wonderful!
i wish you could see what i see, and live where i live, and see how i live. i wish you could meet the students and watch me teach. haha, it is so dear to me, AND mother cabrini’s feast day is on the 13th of november. i hope you’re excited…cause i am!!
we are going to philly tonight after school and will be there for the weekend. and then we are also spending thanksgiving in philly with sister grace and sister mary lou, who is also a professor at cabrini college – she used to be the head of school there. crazy, right? oh, i just love it! 🙂 YAY!
ok, on that note, it is time for me to go. sending you lots and lots of love.
i hope you remember to pray and give thanks when times get tough and even more when the sun is shining down on you. i hope you remember to laugh and love, and i hope you see God today. i know that if you look openly, you are sure to see/find/feel/know it. 🙂
until next time my dear friends! 🙂