Two Chapel Doors

By Henrita Frost, SSND

Our Christine Center Chapel, Mary of the Angels, holds many memories of preparing for the Solemn Blessing of its Altar on September 5, 2010.  Recently as I was meditating in the Chapel, I remembered how our staff was preparing the Chapel for the blessing.  Laurie Bieze, stained glass artist, who created the Chapel windows was present.

As she was installing the stained glass doors, I heard a voice saying: “we like them the other way.”  Without hesitation Laurie honored the suggestion and turned the door windows upside down.

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Roll the Stones Away

By Henrita Frost, SSND

An Easter Encounter
Welcome transformation
Roll the stones away

If Easter and the Resurrection are to be alive in our times and lives, it is crucial for us to become an Easter People in these unbelievably difficult times in which we live.  We know them, we can feel them and we can hear the cries of our suffering sisters and brothers.

Allow the Resurrection experience to be present.  Feel the stone being moved from the entrance of the tomb.  Rejoice Jesus is freed.   What great hope is ours!  Our great challenge is to be transformed by the Resurrection!  As we experience the stone being removed from the tomb, consider removing the stones that bind our lives and prevent us from being an Easter People.

The Easter path is mysterious and it is ours to navigate by rolling away stone upon stone.  Then freedom can emerge as we become transformed, bringing Easter Hope, Joy and Love wherever we are, and to all beings that we encounter.

Easter hope is here
Stone upon stone rolled away
Joy and love live here

Feast of Annunciation

Reflection and Mandala by Henrita Frost, SSND

Often as I gazed on the image of Mary’s Annunciation in my office, a desire evolved within me to create a mandala with Mary as the center surrounded by a rosary. Connecting the beads is the symbol of the Charter for Compassion, for Mary has become for me the Cosmic Mother of Compassion.

Mary accompanies my meditations, my hopes and desires to bring passionate compassion to my daily journey and to the Global Community.

This desire grows within me as the presence of the rosary accompanies my life.

 

Image of Mary from: The Annunciation by Henry Ossawa Tanner, 1898

An Ashes Journey With Compassion

By Henrita Frost, SSND

The experience of receiving ashes on Ash Wednesday continues to be a companion on my daily journey.  I view ashes as integral to countless daily lives of women, men and children and all beings in our Common Home.  I remember that the once lovely palms became ashes.  Now, almost daily in our global community, once lovely countries become rubble and ashes, through violence.

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Compassion for All

By Henrita Frost, SSND

Compassion for all!

A tear stained voice pleads for it

For abused animals

As I listened to a television commercial about abused animals, I entered into a deep sorrow as I heard a voice that seemed to cry.  It led me into a profound realization of sensing suffering in all beings that exists today.

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Compassionately Approaching Chaos

By Henrita Frost, SSND

 The Annunciation – Henry Ossawa Tanner – 1898 

Across from my desk is this image of Mary contemplating the invitation to be the Mother of Jesus.  The light radiates the call to her.  This image is often a comfort to me as I ponder my life.

I sit somewhat paralyzed as I feel the call to alleviate the chaos that permeates our nation. Once I learned that the challenge is always to embrace chaos.  Embrace it and respond!

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I am the Vine and You are the Branches

Reflection and original Mandala artwork by Henrita Frost, SSND

Recently I finished this mandala.  For it, I had chosen the theme from Scripture, John 15:5.  Why I chose it, I don’t remember except the words of Jesus came to me “I am the vine and you are the branches”.  Since I finished the mandala, I have often repeated these words “I am the vine, you are the branches.”

At this time, what are these words saying to me as my being is often invaded by the violence that is a daily, even a minute by minute occurrence in our nation and the entire Global Community.

I remember that in his January 1st, World Day of Peace message, Pope Francis called us to “prayerfully and actively banish violence from our hearts, words and deeds, and to become nonviolent people and build nonviolent communities that care for our common home.”  I wonder if it is not foolish of me to think that I can help with banishing violence, even in my own life.

As I glance at the mandala the message returns “I am the vine and you are the branches.”  The center of it bids me – come to the vine, Jesus, and then I remember more of the verse “As long as you remain in me and I in you, you bear much fruit: but apart from me you can do nothing.”  Suddenly, I realize it is a New Year and a new revelation, for I hear this message with urgency, I am bound to the vine and we are bound to the vine and together vine and branches are one.

As one, we are called to respond to the suffering within the Global Community.  We are bound to the vine, Jesus, the all compassionate one who is the source of our compassion.  With Jesus, we can bear fruit, release compassion and dispel violence wherever we are.

Omran, Angels Are Here!

Omran, Angels Are Here!  Painting By Judith Mehr

By Henrita Frost, SSND

Many of us know this five year old child, Omran Daqneesh.  In September 2016, he was pulled from the rubble of his bombed-out home in Aleppo.  We visited him when he was sitting in an ambulance covered with dust and his face blood covered waiting to be helped.  He has become an image of Aleppo’s suffering.  The image of this homeless child has stayed with us.

Beginning Christmas Eve, we have visited another child, the Christ child, whose mother “wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger because there was no room for him in the inn” for he too was homeless.

Angels sang at his birth, “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests”. It has been 2016 years since the Christ child’s birth and there is still no peace on earth.  Everyday our heart’s become heavier and we ask what are we to do?  The Christ child has shown us the path to peace.

Pope Francis’s message for January 1, 2017, the fiftieth World Day of Peace dedicated to Nonviolence calls us to be Peacemakers.  The following are Pope Francis’ closing words to his message:    

“All of us want peace. Many people build it day by day through small gestures and acts; many of them are suffering, yet patiently persevere in their efforts to be peacemakers”.  In 2017, may we dedicate ourselves prayerfully and actively to banishing violence from our hearts, words and deeds, and to becoming nonviolent people and to building nonviolent communities that care for our common home. “Nothing is impossible if we turn to God in prayer. Everyone can be an artisan of peace”.

Please note: January 1 is World Peace Day. January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. During January let us send Compassion to those who are victims of slavery and human trafficking.

Compassionate Pause, Frozen by Chaotic Times, Melted by Advent

img_2844_4Advent 2016

by Henrita Frost, SSND

As I begin to write – my mind returns to its concerns to be a passionate voice for compassionate care for our insecure times.  It fluctuates between being stuck in chaos and reaching out for the arrival of Advent.

For consolation I rest in our Mary of the Angels Chapel.  My eyes move from one window to another and my heart rests on the green compassion window whose center seems resplendent with bubbles of compassion. I hope for their eruption to heal the chaos I feel.

Yet, there is a sense of hopelessness that extends from feelings about our national perplexity to the global violence situations.  Yet, I know hope is possible, for Advent initiates the waiting for Jesus, whose presence and arrival enables the overflowing of compassion into my life with strength and hope.

Suddenly, once again, fear and doubt enter and I ask, “Is anything possible that can change our times?

Once more I hear hope – surely the slow and faithful message of Advent.”  My heart continues to urge me to embrace the chaos of our times with compassion and hope.

 

One passionate voice
United with others brings hope
Ignites compassion