Changing the only person we have the power to change

Sr. Stefanie MacDonald, OSB

Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. (Matthew 5:44)

Wow! I’ve been thinking about this since last week’s gospel. It’s hard to do … even as a Catholic Sister!

We all have people in our lives we’d rather not have to deal with. Maybe they have been harsh with us, maybe they have been cold. Maybe we’ve been unkind to them in return. Continue Reading

Pull off the covers and get up!

By Sister Stefanie MacDonald, OSB

We are called eventually to get up, pull off the covers, get out of our comfortable existence. It is life-giving to go outside. – Br. Guy Consolmagno (Give Us This Day)

I remember the day as clearly as yesterday. I was sitting in a meeting with my superintendent, my principal and other teachers learning how wonderfully our Catholic school system was doing. We were thriving; the future was bright. My future was … unknown, to say the least. Continue Reading

Retreat Day #5: Keeping "death" private … and sharing resurrection with the world

By Sister Stefanie MacDonald, OSB

At last the sun is shining as we gather on our final morning for retreat. The sky is a brilliant blue, the leaves below are many shades of green waving in the breeze. Heaven!

After 4 days of wandering in the Old Testament wilderness, we come into the New Testament. Here, the word for wilderness is cross. Our way now is to follow Jesus … to complete the interior dying that he modeled. Continue Reading

Retreat Day #4: Wrestling in the Wilderness

By Sister Stefanie MacDonald, OSB

The scent of coffee fills the dining room as the Sisters gather, by foot and by wheelchair, for our 4th day of retreat. Today we are treated to the story of Jacob, which we are reminded to read as our own story.

Jacob, whose name means “to grab,” spends a goodish portion of his life taking advantage of others, and controlling whatever he could control. Indeed, when God visits him, Jacob says he will worship Him if God makes good on his promises. Continue Reading

Retreat Day #3: Trusting our Guide along the way

By Sister Stefanie MacDonald, OSB

Overhead lamps cast a warm glow in the dining room where we have gathered for Day #3. It’s been raining, gently and intermittently, for 2 days. Sister Mary Schmidt’s lettuces are thriving!

Abbot Jerome opened our session this morning by saying there are 2 steps to accepting a vocation. The 1st is to ACCEPT it, but we can get stuck there when we accept it with bitterness or halfheartedness. Continue Reading