"Loving Life, Living Jesus"
In order to share the charism of the Sisters of the Visitation, Georgetown Visitation offers a weekly digital spiritual reflection for members and friends of our Visitation family near and far. "Loving Life, Living Jesus" celebrates the spirit of love so beautifully lived in the relationship between Mary and Elizabeth in the mystery of the Visitation.
This spiritual friendship was later modeled in St. Francis de Sales and St. Jane de Chantal and continues in the loving community of the Sisters of the Visitation of Holy Mary. We share this gift by offering these meditations written by members of the Visitation community. We hope they are examples of how Salesian Spirituality thrives within the people we know and love, and we pray that these reflections edify your own efforts to Live Jesus.
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Want to contribute a reflection? Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
I have one word to describe today: Weird. We are ushering in Lent with Ash Wednesday, perhaps the most solemn time of the year, all while celebrating Valentine’s Day, an extravagant holiday filled with heart-shaped chocolates, decadent gifts, and excess amounts of Fun Dip and Laffy Taffies. One minute we are showering each other with pink and red M&Ms, the next, our foreheads are being marked with a somber ashen cross. Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s Day . . . these feast days are polar opposites, they’re like oil and vinegar, fire and ice, night and day. They absolutely, positively cannot be reconciled. Or can they? Bear with me, but, I think they are actually perfect complements of one another. Why? Four simple words. Thoughtful Concern for Others.
You’re probably wondering how I got picked for this - let me reassure you that I am not really up here as a shining example of Salesian gentleness. I am a reasonably qualified commentator on the quote from St. Jane. The part about words anyways.
At the beginning of the year I thought I had found my dream college. In my mind, this college and I were a perfect fit. I imagined myself walking through the campus, I convinced myself that this was it, that THIS was where I would spend my next four years.
The cliché about senior year being one of the most stressful times of one’s life so far cannot be more true. Between my mom asking me everyday if I’ve finished the 20 something supplementals for the twelve schools I'm applying to, to keeping my grades at an acceptable level, to sitting in my bed and stressfully watching Netflix, trying not to think about the quiz I have to study for in Dr. Pennybacker’s anatomy class tomorrow, to making sure that our final performance runs smoothly this afternoon and all our hard work and sleepless nights pay off, it’s hard to find time to think about anything else except what I’m caught up with in the moment.
Contemplating fidelity, or faithfulness, I can't help but start with faithfulness to God. Growing up, I fit all the definitions of a "cradle Catholic." As the youngest in a family of seven, we were just enough children to fill a pew and our week was hallmarked by 5:30 Mass and dinner every Sunday.
Faithfulness: “Do everything in a spirit of gentleness and fidelity, thinking of attaining your goal in God’s time not your own.”
- Jane de Chantal
Good morning! And thank you, Father Patrick and Father Planning, for having me. I’m humbled and honored for the opportunity to speak with you all today here in this wonderful place. I’m a long time Visi dad. My daughter, Katie is currently a sophomore here, and my daughter, Meg graduated in 2014. I also have two boys: my son, Jack graduated from Bishop Ireton, and my son, Danny is a senior at Gonzaga.
“We must go out in hospitality. We must be willing to leave our homes and make our hearts a dwelling place.”
“Welcome, I’ve been expecting you!
Hospitality... “It's simple, yet difficult all at once, for we need to practice this virtue all the time.”
“At this point in my life, sincerity means lovingly telling my children that not only do I definitely not know enough Math to help them with their homework or insight to choose the right college or the right thing to say to minimize their disappointments.”
“Did God specifically say, 'Let there be light, and let Elizabeth Amorosi be a wave in the play so that she can bring honor to me?'”
“When we treat each other with gentleness—with respect, empathy, and love—the bonds we form unite us, strengthen us, and build us up to reach our fullest potential as children of God.”
“I find it impossible to set foot on our campus without being excited about teaching because the students are so enthusiastic about learning.”
“Jesus loves this world through our hearts. Jesus loves this world through our generosity to others, especially those who are hurting.”
“In order to carry out God’s plan for our lives, we must put all of our trust in Him.”
“Humility is respecting the dignity and worth of ourselves and everyone around us.”
“My prayer for all of us... is that we have the strength and the spirit of joyful optimism to approach all of our challenges, if not generously, at least cheerfully...We must learn what God wants of us, and having learned it, we must try to carry it out, if not generously, at least cheerfully.” –St. Francis de Sales
Naturally, as a Visi girl, my first instinct was to go to dictionary.com and look up the definition of balance. As one may have guessed, there are like 15 different definitions of balance, which totally stressed me out. But as I was reading through them, they all seemed to have the same general message. Ultimately, I decided that I didn’t like any of the definitions of balance because they all had to with everything being equal, or in a perfect state of equilibrium, which I guess in most cases is the apt definition for balance.