Salesian inspiration: Miracles born from our simple humanity

From Guest Blogger Claire Kranz, Vis Alumna, Student at St. Louis University

Fr. Joe Krupp, OSFS

Fr. Joe Krupp, OSFS

God doesn’t call us to feed everyone, just to give Him everything we have.
~Fr. Joe Krupp, OSFS

This past weekend I was fortunate enough to attend the National Salesian Conference here in St. Louis.  Among the speakers, was an oblate, Fr. Joe Krupp, who presented this interpretation of the gospel of the loaves and fishes.  Often times when we hear the story of Christ multiplying the loaves and the fishes, we focus on His miracle.  Yes, this miracle is incredible and we must never forget that through Christ, all things are possible.  But, where do we fall in the place of miracles?  Remember back in the beginning of the story, before Christ was even able to multiply the loaves and perform a miracle, there was a little boy.  This little boy brought his five loaves and two fish to Christ.  Some people might laugh at the little boy for even thinking that he could do anything for a hungry crowd of 2000 people, but this boy reminds us of what we really need to focus on.  God doesn’t ask us to feed the world, to bake 2000 loaves and catch 2000 fish.  That’s His job.  All God asks of us is to give Him everything we have.  Surrender all our gifts, talents, and joys to Christ.  The most brilliant part of this surrender is not the selflessness, but the miracle that God can create from our pure and simple humanity.  If we give God all we have, He will make us into all the world wants and needs.

Claire Kranz, Vis Alumna, St. Louis University Student

Claire Kranz, Vis Alumna; St. Louis University Student

“If we give God all we have, He will make us into all the world wants and needs.”

This week, go, and give to God all that you can.  Remember that sometimes studying, going to class, having a good dinner, and keeping yourself healthy is all God needs you to give Him right now so that He can prepare you for the next stages of life.  Give God what you can.  Leave the rest up to Him.

V+J

Peace and Prayers,
Claire

“Be who you are, and be that well!”

St. Francis de Sales, Co-Founder of the Visitation Sisters

St. Francis de Sales, Co-Founder of the Visitation Sisters

Be who you are, and be that perfectly well. ~St. Francis de Sales

I believe this is the heart of Salesian Spirituality.  Simply to be who you are, be the person God made you to be.  The beauty of Salesian Spirituality is that it welcomes each and everyone of us to live for Christ exactly how we are, faults and all.  This is what draws me in so tightly to Salesian Spirituality.  We don’t have to be perfect to come to God, we just need to be willing to accept ourselves, all our talents and all our flaws.  St. Francis de Sales says it perfectly.  Be who you are, and be that perfectly well.  Don’t stress and agonize about all the flaws, embraced them, and live fully
in God’s glory!

Claire Kranz, Vis Alumna

Claire Kranz, Vis Alumna

V+J.

Peace and Prayers,
Claire

“COURAGE!” — Inspiration from St. Francis de Sales and Claire Kranz

Claire Kranz, Vis Alumna

Claire Kranz, Vis Alumna

The following post comes from Vis Alumna and St. Louis University student Claire Kranz. We are fortunate to share it here with you:

St. Francis de Sales, Co-Founder of the Visitation Sisters

St. Francis de Sales, Co-Founder of the Visitation Sisters

“Go courageously to do whatever
you are called to do.
If you have any fears, say to your soul:
”The Lord will provide for us.”
If your weakness troubles you,
cast yourselves on God, and trust in him.
Trust in him, depend on his providence;
fear nothing.

~St. Francis de Sales

God calls us to do many things.  Eventually, he has an occupation for us.  Maybe he is calling us to have a family or allow a monastic community to become our family.  Maybe he is calling us to volunteer or pray more deeply for someone who is struggling.  Right now, God may be calling us in simpler ways.  As students, we must write papers, study for tests, and participate in all that the college life may have to offer us.  Some of these callings, no matter how small, can seem so daunting. St. Francis de Sales reminds us tonight to face these with courage. Trust that God will provide for all that we are incapable of doing ourselves.

V+J.

Peace and Prayers,
Claire

Marsha’s Musings….Insights to Monastic Life

Ms. Marsha West, MIE participant

Ms. Marsha West, MIE participant

The following post by Marsha West, Monastic Immersion Participant, was excerpted from her blog, “Marsha’s Musings.” Click here to read this in its entirety and see her photo documentation of life at Visitation Monastery north Minneapolis.

Saturday morning in the neighborhood-North Minneapolis

Sr. Mary Frances calls the group to prayer before starting distributing door prizes at the conclusion of our party.

Sr. Mary Frances calls the group to prayer before starting distributing door prizes at the conclusion of our party.

August, 2012

Visitation Monastery follows a regular schedule: we gather together four times every day to pray the Divine Office. Morning prayer on weekdays is at 7. On Saturdays it’s at 8, and on Sundays 8:30. We either have a mass celebrated here at the Monastery or we go out to a neighboring parish. On Saturday mornings we generally have a Communion Service. Dinner is at 6:15. But in and around those regularly scheduled practices, all sorts of other things happen. THIS Saturday, August 25, was one such day!

So this Saturday morning, we gathered at 8, and several neighbors and friends joined us. We had a busy morning planned since the annual Back-to-School party was scheduled to begin at 1 PM.

But there was more! The Urban League sponsored a community parade which came down Girard Street where I am living. It was a great little community parade – with lots of young people from drum groups, dance companies, politicians leafleting the neighborhood as their supporters marched in their support. A couple of car clubs drove their cool cars, filled with family members and friends, past our house.

CLICK TO READ ON….

As the School Year Begins — Words from St. Francis de Sales

St. Francis de Sales, Co-Founder of the Visitation Sisters

St. Francis de Sales, Co-Founder of the Visitation Sisters

From Guest Blogger Claire Kranz, Vis Alumna, Student at St. Louis University

Have patience with all things.  But, first of all with yourself. ~St. Francis de Sales

A lot of us will begin a new school year tomorrow or later this week.  The first days of a new year can be stressful and full of uncertainties.  As I know I do every year, you too, may find yourself questioning if you even belong in the classes you are in.  Some of your classmates may seem smarter, more articulate, or better than you are, but do not think any less of yourself!  Remember that as we struggle through the first week of school, so too, are those around us.  Be patient with them.  Most of all, be patient with yourself.  When you allow yourself to be patient with YOU, you will have grace enough to be patient to those around you.  In the whirlwind that is the first week of school, remember to take time to find peace.  Be patient!  Let your heart and mind settle in to the new year.  Give it time to bring new and amazing things!

Claire Kranz, Vis Alumna

Claire Kranz, Vis Alumna

Peace and Prayers for a great week, whatever you may be doing!
V+J.

“In the whirlwind that is the first week of school, remember to take time to find peace.  Be patient!  Let your heart and mind settle in to the new year.  Give it time to bring new and amazing things!”

“Help One Another Find God” – Claire Kranz Reflects on words from St. Jane de Chantal

Claire Kranz, Vis Alumna

Claire Kranz, Vis Alumna

From Guest Blogger Claire Kranz, Vis Alumna, Student at St. Louis University

“We are companions on the journey, given to one another as helpers in doing God’s work.” ~St. Jane de Chantal.

During my senior year of high school at Visitation, I reflected on a Salesian quote or thought weekly and shared it with a few friends.  Now, three years later, I am bringing this practice back, and you are those with whom I have chosen to share it.  I am no where near an expert in Salesian Spirituality, but I have found that it is the strongest and truest force driving me in the way I live my life.  With this sharing, I hope that we all can take time to reflect and refocus on Sunday evenings before a busy week of classes and work begins allowing us to take a thought with us to strengthen us throughout this week.

“Salesian Spirituality… is the strongest and truest force driving me in the way I live my life.” — Claire Kranz

To the quote…

St. Jane de Chantal

St. Jane de Chantal

St. Jane de Chantal shares with us our truest and most important job here on earth, to be friends and walk with each other on our journey to find Jesus in our everyday lives.  Too often, I find myself overwhelmed with homework, activities, and just the daily grind of life.  I forget that my job is to simply to be present for other people as they do the same for me.  It is a simple and comforting idea.  If we can keep that in the forefront of our minds, our job is to help one another find God, and also remember that there are others who are doing the same for us, hopefully, we can find a little more peace and simplicity in all this chaos.

Peace and Prayers for a great week!

V+J.

Claire

What are you being invited to be for the world?

by Guest Blogger Tom Klein,*  “Following the Spirit” Discernment Series Participant

“What is there for me to do, give, share, be open to, receive, …  What is possible, what would Jesus ask of me?” — Tom Klein

Tom Klein, FTS Discerner 2012

Tom Klein, FTS Discerner 2012

I believe if we live a faith-filled life we are to have a sense of boldness on behalf of the gospel and all God’s people, we will act as if people have something to offer, we encourage people to consider from where they live, in this chapter of their life – what is there for me to do, give, share, be open to, receive, …  what is possible, what would Jesus ask of me?

Some people search their whole life for the answer to the question: ‘what is the meaning of life?’ Alfred Adler- the psychologist who brought pro-social values to psychology – had the meaning of life edited down to a single word: CONTRIBUTION. I believe that every single person, irrespective of life circumstances, can do something, can be a life-giving presence in the circles they travel in … no matter what is going on. — Tom Klein

People can get in a pickle because they give too much, give to get, give for the wrong reasons, give to impress, give reluctantly, … and conversely people can withhold or not give because they have never been asked, never paused, never got connected to a person or cause bigger than their own life.

Perhaps part of the meaning of life is truly about making one’s contribution, with good intentions, no strings attached.

Maybe, just maybe, by inviting people to go deeper, to find who they are and what they want to or can share in this chapter of their life you are helping them to find a niche to contribute that fits for them today.

*************************************************************************************************

Tom with fellow FTS Discerners, Spring 2012

Tom with fellow FTS Discerners, Spring 2012

*About the Author:

Thomas Klein is a Spring 2012 Following the Spirit discernment participant who comes to us through two primary connections:
1) getting related to the Visitation Sisters during his board development work with the Cookie Cart, a North Side non-profit offering youth a formative initial work experience and

2) an ongoing Men’s Spirituality group grounded in Fr. Richard Rohr’s cross cultural studies of Men’s Rites of Passage (How cultures initiate boys to become men, what happens if they are not initiated, …)

and How Jesus invites us to be REAL (living from our deepest True Self with no one to impress, squarely facing the pain in our lives until it transforms us – and offering each of us new possibilities to be free, be present, be love AND be in solidarity with all God’s people).