Written by Sister Jan Kilian, this blog will give an understanding of what it’s like to be Franciscan. Living out the spirit of Saint Francis, we see all God’s creation as brother and sister. We, Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls, are committed to building relationships and community, ministering wherever there is greatest need, promoting justice and healing Mother Earth’s wounds. My writings will give a glimpse of the compassion, spirituality, interconnectedness and goodness of living Franciscan.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
I am Sister Michelle L'Allier, a Franciscan Sister of Little Falls since 1987. This is one of God’s great surprises, because when I was growing up on a farm becoming a Sister wasn’t what I’d envisioned for my future! True to the saying that God writes straight with crooked lines, I’ve learned that “Living Franciscan” is a call to communion beyond what I could have imagined as a child in rural Minnesota. Currently I serve as part of our community’s leadership team, a life-giving and creative facet of attending to our mission. Recently, I enjoyed a restful week of vacation and returned energized anew to live with heart.
The heart is a leisurely muscle…It does not get tired, because there is a phase of rest built into every single heartbeat. Our physical heart works leisurely. And when we speak of heart in the wider sense, the idea that life-giving leisure lies at the very center is implied.
Brother David Steindl-Rast, in Gratefulness, the Heart of Prayer
While on vacation, Sisters Aurora, Maureen, and I visited Glendalough State Park. We walked through wetland paths with cattails and reeds to our right, lush green grass under our feet, and large leafy trees to our left with branches that reached over our heads. Aurora, who is from the desert of Mesquite in Nuevo Leon, Mexico, exclaimed: “We are in a house of green! It is like paradise!” Her spontaneous awe of our green ‘home’ touched me deeply, and I realized how I can take such beauty for granted. Aurora, seeing with her fresh eyes, taught me to look again as if for the first time.
Back in the Twin Cities, Sisters Louise, Maureen and I went to the Minnesota State Fair. Our first stop was the Miracle of Birth Center where we were delighted to witness the birth of a calf, and then enchanted by a wide-eyed two year old girl. She was reaching her hand between the bars of a sheep stall, seeking to touch one of the day-old triplet kids. Her face was radiant with wonder, and time stood still in that precious encounter of life meeting life. I was reminded of the Scripture that we must become as little children; what does it mean to see with the eyes of a child?
Walking through Glendalough and visiting the Miracle of Birth Center were significant moments while on vacation last month. Now in this season of fall, I commit myself anew to honor the rhythm of rest in the midst of the fullness of daily life, to contemplative seeing with ‘new eyes.’ Thank you, Aurora! And, thanks be to God for the Miracle of Birth each and every day!