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.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

O Rising Dawn

I welcome this season. It is filled with hope, beautiful scripture readings and symbols. The rising dawn is just one such soul-enhancing symbol. From a prayer space in my room I can see the sunrise. (Yes, I look out the window during prayer.) This sunrise on the first Sunday of Advent in 2010 spoke to me once more of the fidelity of God. I know I can count on both.

Advent calls me (you too?) to pay attention. God's work, like ours, is daily and never done. Advent (the Christian world's name for the weeks of preparation to celebrate the birth of Jesus) is a clarion call to us to give more of ourselves in response to God's consistent, "faithful as the dawn" presence. Hard as it can be, I must admit I need to be stripped of some damaged aspects of my life and redone in painstakingly small steps -- all this to be not simply restored but more so to be advanced in integrity to fully live the years to come.
I find it fitting to be residing in this farmhouse during Advent.
The process of its restoration is a loud and vivid image of God's call to conversion.

May your Advent, too, be rich in grace and confidence in God.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Threatened by Buckthorn?

Those pretty green bushes with the pretty red berries out in our woods? A threat to the forest and its natural habitats? Yes, says the DNR, "Buckthorn forms an impenetrable layer of vegetation and shades out other plants that would grow on the forest floor. Buckthorn degrades wildlife habitats and lacks natural controls such as insects or disease that would curb its growth."

Friends from Camp Friendship were the first to alert us to the invasive plants, which by now are well established along the Sacred Path leading to Sabbath Pond at Clare's Well. We would like to pass this alert on to you. If you also have these plants around the edges of your property, you might want to contact your department of natural resources to learn what you can do about it.

The first thing Clare's Well staff did about the buckthorn was to accept the offer of a local youth hockey team to come on a Saturday morning and spend their October community service hours with us. With the help of borrowed brush wrenches, 15 young hockey players rooted out a good number of the problem plants. Several adults including Richard Wagner and his chain saw assisted the boys. This is a huge task! As Sister Carolyn Law says, "If you pull 100 a day, you might be rid of them in 5 years." We intend to keep at it for the sake of our precious forest.