As a way of celebrating the Year of Consecrated Life, the Brooklyn Sisters are pleased to announce that “Pray to Love” The Annecy France Nun Series by artist Anne Goetze will be coming to Bay Ridge’s Visitation Academy and Monastery, May 13-20th, 2015, from 12 Noon-3PM.
Artist Ms. Anne Goetze has a special interest in the Order as her aunt was a member of the Annecy Visitation Community.
Visitors will have an opportunity to meet the artist and enjoy the spiritual and natural beauty of her paintings.
A short documentary on Anne Goetze’s Annecy work is available here: https://vimeo.com/119258956
Join the Brooklyn Visitation Sisters and the Visitation Academy Administration and Staff in welcoming Ms. Anne Goetze and her unique artwork to Brooklyn, and return to this website to see the future venues, near Visitation Monasteries, where this exhibit will be hosted!
St. Francis frequently told those who came to him for spiritual direction that they should bloom where they were planted. They should make the best of what was at hand. He is teaching us the same truth today. He says: “Instead of tilling the field in which we find ourselves, we send our plough and oxen elsewhere, into our neighbor’s field, where of course we cannot reap any harvest this year. And all this is a waste of time, and when our thoughts and hopes face in another direction it is impossible for us to set our hearts steadily on the virtues required in the place in which we find ourselves.”
St. Jane too speaks to the same topic when she says: “If we sought God only, we would always be content and would find all things in Him.”
In short, let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus. With the psalmist let us pray: “Look to the Lord in His strength; seek to serve Him constantly.” Psalm 105:4
God’s Presence in Our Sometimes Messy Lives
On Sunday we will chat about peace amidst suffering.
In 1954, the great French painter, Henri Matisse, died at the age of eighty-six. In the last years of his life, arthritis crippled and deformed his hands, making it painful for him to hold a paintbrush. Yet he continued to paint, placing a cloth between his fingers to keep the brush from slipping. One day someone asked him why he submitted his body to so much suffering. Why did he continue to paint in the face of such great physical pain? Matisse’s response went something like this: the pain eventually passes, while the beauty remains.
Why tell that story on the third Sunday of Easter? If we look at the Gospel passage from Luke, Jesus encounters his disciples for the first time and says “peace be with you”. This particular passage from Luke follows the experience of two disciples on the way to Emmaus. As in the case of Jesus’ first disciples, we, too, can find ourselves still wondering about (perhaps even disbelieving on occasion) the presence of God in our messy and sometimes even joyless lives.
Some of us gather Sunday after Sunday in church. We wonder if all the claims of faith and stories of Jesus are true. How can Jesus give peace to our lives when we feel that our lives are anything but peaceful? How do we experience peace even as we are full of worries about the house, the car, the kids, the job, and the demands and deadlines of our state and stage of life?
When do we possibly find or make the time to be at peace? How can Jesus possibly provide this kind of peace for which each of us – and all of us – long so deeply?
Remember the story of Henri Matisse? In a similar way, many of the worries, pains and frustrations that we experience will also fade away. At some point in the process many of the worries, pains and frustrations that we experience can be used to shape us into something useful and beautiful for God and for one another. And the beauty of what we become in the process will ultimately prevail long after the world as we know it has passed away.
Saint Francis de Sales reminds us:
Do not worry about the tensions and struggles in your life, because the same loving Father who takes care of you today, will take care of you tomorrow; either He will shield you from suffering or He will give us the unfailing strength to bear it. Be at peace, and put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginations.
In the midst of life’s difficulties may Christ’s peace be with us, a peace that helps us to embrace all of life’s challenges but likewise enables us to see and reflect – life’s greater beauty!
Today and every day!
We’ll be talking about peace amidst suffering during our chat session on Sunday. Here are some questions from above that will guide our reflection:
- How can Jesus give peace to our lives when we feel that our lives are anything but peaceful?
- How do we experience peace even as we are full of worries about the house, the car, the kids, the job, and the demands and deadlines of our state and stage of life?
- When do we possibly find or make the time to be at peace?
- How can Jesus possibly provide this kind of peace for which each of us – and all of us – long so deeply?
- The only other time that Jesus offers peace in this fashion is in Saint John’s post-resurrection accounts (see John 20:19, 21, 26). Are we willing to pray to Jesus that He speaks such words of peace over us? That He, too, breathe the Holy Spirit on us? May we dare to ask: “Lord, please breathe peace onto me!”
Sign up for our Chat Room
Come to our Living Jesus Chat Room, 7:30 PM to 8:30 PM Eastern Time U.S. this Sunday.