"Young Religious ought to enter blogs and correct the opinions of the youth, showing them the true Jesus" - Cardinal Camillo Ruini, Vicar for Rome

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

From the Roots

"Saint Joseph was a just man, a tireless worker, the upright guardian of those entrusted to his care. May he always guard, protect and enlighten families."

- Blessed John Paul II

Yesterday was the Feast of St. Joseph - a day of great JOY and celebration here at Our Lady of Solitude.  St. Joseph is dearly loved here, counted on as our spiritual father, and entrusted with all of our needs and intentions.  In the hand of every St. Joseph statue in the Monastery are notes of petition and notes of gratitude. 

just a lil desert storm rollin in!
Because it was a Solemnity, we had a free day!   At breakfast we were all discussing how we were going to spend our day.  I declared that at least a chunk of my day would be spent weeding!  Not exactly the ideal 'free day' - but the ground was wet from a few days of rain, so I wanted to get at those weeds pulled while the getting was good.  Sr. John-Mark volunteered to join me and off we went.

Now Sister grew up in OH and I grew up in PA - so we are familiar with having to weed.  But weeding in the desert is a whole new business.  You see the weeds here - most of them at least - come complete with thistles, thorns, and prickles.  Combine that with the hard dry earth and you will understand why weeding the day after a big rain is so greatly desired!

Thanks to the good people from St. Henry's (who gave us some awesome gardening gloves for Christmas), our hands were protected from these nasty ole desert weeds. 

Just a lil' light weedin'
It occurred to me that Lent is the perfect time to weed.  I mean there we were on our knees on the stones (OK, so we had those cushiony knee pads that we were kneeling on!) pulling out the only thing that seems to grow here with any speed and ease: WEEDS.  They were everywhere and some of them were huge (Proof that we don't weed as often as we should!).  

The Lord uses this time of the year, this season of grace to weed the garden of our souls.  The ground is wet with the rain of His mercy.  The sun is shining. The time is right.  If we let Him do this business of weeding, then we may be surprised how easily these 'weeds' are plucked from the ground of our soul.  Even the ones that have been growing for quite a long time.  If the ground is wet enough, if the grace has rained down enough, even those weeds can be pulled out...and pulled out FROM THE ROOTS.  

I don't know about you, but I don't want the garden of my soul to be overgrown with nasty ole thistley weeds.  I don't want the beauty of the flowers to be lost in the midst of the weeds.  I don't want the weeds claim my garden as their home sweet home.  And we know for a fact that, without effort, the weeds will take over.     

So, dear Lord, Divine Gardener of my soul, come and pull out the weeds of vice, even the weeds that I have neglected for so long.  I beg You to dig them out from the roots.  I only want the flowers of virtue to grow in this little patch of the earth.  I only want what You find beautiful to grow in my garden enclosed!

(On a side note: NCR ran a great article on their blog.  Be sure to check it out...and leave a comment while you are at it!)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

A Day to Remember

Saturday, March 10th - the 3rd Annual Nun Run 2012 - was a day to remember!  From beautiful weather to the 1,135 participants, the day was perfect from START to FINISH.

Jeff Fuentabella - our faithful photographer - uploaded his 1100 photos.
Be sure to check them out:
Nun Run 2012 Photos, Part I
Nun Run 2012 Photos, Part II

Also, check out the revamped Nun Run site - with more photos, race results, and more.  A race day video, as well as a shadow runner (y'all are awesome) video is in the works.  Look for that by early next week.

Below is a sampling of the photos and a glimpse into some of the 'unforgettable' Nun Run moments!
Doug Barry was a HOOT!  He got up there and led everyone in a pre-race warm up!

Jumping jacks all around!

This little girl loves her country - hand over the heart for the National Anthem :)

Gotta love the hustle!

Our 10K Nun Runner (and Nun Run Organizer - she's amazing) - Sr. John-Mark!

She makes running look fun!

Could this be ASU and NAU smack talking a bit?  All in good fun, I'm sure - because these are two of the friendliest people I know...and Fr. Matt is standing there to referee!

Loving the Nun Run Race Shirts: THEY SHALL RUN AND NOT GROW WEARY

Nothing so sweet as crossing the finish line

Run Brittany, Run!

Some of the kids from "Chances for Children" organization - who brought over 25 kids to this years event.

YAY - Fr. Chad King!  Thank you for coming Father!

Is that John Travolta - No, it's just Fr. Mark Mary stayin' alive!  With our very own Sr. Marie St. Paul!!!
Photo, anyone?  It was suggested that if we charge a buck a photo, we could begin construction on the monastery now :)

Somebody is a 'sore' winner!  Classic Photo...

The winners of the School Challenge for 2012: ASU!!!

Our very close runners up: NAU - who traveled all the way from Flagstaff, AZ to participate!

Happy Nun!

Fr. Matt Lowry (NAU) and Fr. John Muir (ASU) who took part in the Chaplains Challenge.  Fr. Muir finished 10 seconds ahead of Fr. Lowry.  Should be a stiff competition again next year!

Great crowd!

More 'Great Crowd!'

And just one more 'Great Crowd!'

Saturday, March 3, 2012

One Week Away...

I can hardly believe it, but we are only 1 week away from Nun Run 2012.  It's been really exciting to see the registrations trickling in.  From the looks of the numbers, we think there will be a GREAT crowd at Kiwanis for the Run.  Slowly but surely the number of Shadow Participants is growing and growing.  It is NOT too late to register, shadow runners!!! 

For those EWTN fans out there: Life on the Rock hosts, Fr. Mark Mary, MFVA and Doug Barry, will be onsite for the Nun Run.  Even if you aren't participating in the event, come on out and meet them!  

MEDIA ALERT: On Tuesday, Tune in to see Sr. John-Mark on Sonoran Living Morning Show - beginning at 9:00 a.m. - on Channel 15!  

Amidst all of the busy-ness and preparations for Nun Run, we certainly have NOT lost sight of the fact that it is Lent, a time of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving; a time of spiritual renewal and transformation; a time of drawing near to Our Lord, embracing the cross and carrying it with Him; a time to prayerfully meditate on the Passion of Christ.