Resentment, by S. Sharonlu Sheridan, OSF

Have you ever held resentment in your heart?  Perhaps it was for someone who hurt you by insulting remarks, or by neglect of you, or even lies about you.  Every time you saw them or heard them or heard someone say something positive about them, you curled up inside and wished them something less than peace.

A few weeks ago, I was having my hair done, and picked up a magazine in the shop.  It happened to be Oprah Winfrey’s magazine, “O”.   Besides all the numerous ads there was a very interesting article about an interview Oprah had with Deepak Chopra while she was in India.

Almost at the beginning of the interview Deepak Chopra said, “I read a statement from Mr. Nelson Mandela that changed me forever.  Mr. Mandela said having resentment against someone is like drinking poison and hoping it will kill your enemy.  I never forgot that.”

This great man of peace, who has written 65 books, was ready with that quote during this once-in-a-lifetime interview.  That made me think.

Is there anyone toward whom I hold resentment?  I found in my memory two people.  Both have gone to their heavenly rewards, but I quaver inside when their names come up and I have to hold my tongue to prevent telling the hurtful situations in my life with them. I keep drinking poison hoping it will kill the memory of whatever it was that estranged me from them.  How ridiculous can I get?  I keep the memory alive and therefore, I poison myself!

I can just imagine what will happen when I meet these two people in heaven!  I will have to look at my own sins and hurtful actions and perhaps see what a fool I have been.

Thank heavens our merciful God remembers only how much we loved, and not what our sins are.  “Many sins are forgiven her because she has loved much!”

I hope.

Peace,
Sharonlu

Sharonlu Sheridan, OSF
Sisters of St. Francis, Oldenburg
Oldenburg Franciscan Center

What is Love? by Sharonlu Sheridan, OSF

Flower blooming near our Fatima Shrine on the convent grounds of the Oldenburg Sisters of St. Francis

What is love – really?  If we look at TV’s take on love we will not find it in our own lives except occasionally and briefly.  So it would be well for us to look at what the Scripture has to say about love.

Love is patient.  When the muddy footprints are on the freshly waxed floor or the guy next door returns your mower, damaged.

Love is kind.  To the telemarketer who calls at the worst possible time or the woman whose strident voice grates.

Love is never jealous.  Not even if everyone on the block has a new car or boat.

Love is not boastful or conceited.  Not even when you are the only one on the block with a new boat.

Love is not rude or selfish.  Even if you are snubbed or someone won’t share.

Love does not take offense and is not resentful.  Even when a good friend does not include you in an invitation.

Love does not take delight in others sins.  Not even in a joking way.  Love speaks the truth.

Love is always ready to excuse, to trust, to hope and to take whatever comes.  Even if the whole world is out of step, Love does not come to an end. Not now, not IF, not ever.

You know, love like this is wonderful and beautiful, BUT NOT EASY!

Yet this is how God loves us!

Wishing you God’s peace and love,
Sharonlu, OSF

Salt of Earth & A New Morning Song by Angela Roesler

March 3rd is coming around the corner, and our gifted Storyteller and Experiential Retreat Leader, S. Karla Barker, OSF will be honoring us with her reflective program, “What does it mean to be Salt of Earth?”

S. Karla’s retreats touch the soul through her most beautiful ways of helping others integrate beliefs and life experiences with imagery and rituals that enrich our spirits in deep and unexpected ways.

Last year, I posted this poem and reflection (shown below) on my personal blog.  I am sharing it with you today to give you an idea for the profoundly peaceful impact a single morning with S. Karla had on me, long before I worked for our retreat center!

I hope you’ll enjoy it, and I hope you’ll consider joining us on Saturday, March 3rd from 9-11:30 a.m. at the Oldenburg Franciscan Center for a peaceful day of retreat and personal discovery. We’ll discover the ways we can both savor and add zest to the life we’ve been given, and we’ll find encouragement in sharing our distinctive flavor as Salt of Earth so that others may relish our gentleness, creativity, and love of Life!

RSVP to 812-933-6437 or center@oldenburgosf.com!

Peace & joy to all,
Angela Roesler
Oldenburg Franciscan Center

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Dear Shadow, Come Home ~ A New Morning Song

Poet’s preamble:  There is a Native American tradition that teaches its children that when we sleep at night our shadow runs off to chase our dreams.  In the morning before children rise and let their feet hit the floor, they are taught to whistle or sing for their shadow to come home.  Upon hearing the call, their shadow will return and reunite with them.  If they forget to do this, however, their shadow will remain in a distant dreamland, and the person will go through the day separated from an integral piece of their soul, and they will not be whole or fully present to give or receive what is needed that day.

I learned of this tradition while attending a program on Native American Spirituality given by S. Karla Barker, a Sister of St. Francis in Oldenburg, IN, and the story resonated deeply within my heart.  The poem and artwork that you find here are like prayers – calling my shadow home through difficult – and peaceful – times.

Dear Shadow, Come HomeArtwork:  Dear Shadow, Come Home

Poem: A New Morning Song
(Thanks to Sister Karla, OSF – Oldenburg)

Can you hear
The beat of the drum,
Dear shadow?
Come home.

The sun is
Arisin’ and 
I’m on my own.
Come home.

The world’s
Unfamiliar
And we’re full of dreams.
Come home.

Return and
Stand tall as the
New morning gleams.
Come home.

At night while
I’m sleeping,
We’ll ride your white steed.
Come home.

And you’ll
Keep me dreaming
So we’ll never need.
Come home.

But a new day
Is callin’ and
We must be true.
Come home.

You must follow me
I cannot
Follow you.
Come home.

Together we are
And together
We’ll be.
Come home.

And we’ll
Keep on seeking
Responsibly: free.
Come home.

My spirit, my shadow,
My heart,
And my guide,
My presence, my love,
My hope and my pride,

A new day is dawning;
Together we’ll ride.

Come home.

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Artistic notes:   As for the artwork, I created this one weekend while on a mini retreat at a dear friend’s house.  She suggested that we do decoupage – to see through art where the Spirit might be moving within us.  I stayed up past 1am putting mine together, totally into the process.  I still love the images I discovered.  And while it might look like a bunch of random hodge-podge to others, to me, it speaks gently and happily to my soul.  If you want to make one of your own, it’s easy!

  • Paint a background on canvas with 1 or 2 colors… you can do a design, but it’s not necessary.  Pick color(s) that speak to you.
  • Choose a word or phrase that has particular meaning or a ‘catch’ for you right now and paint it on the canvas.  (i.e. Mine was “Dear shadow, come home.”  My friend’s was “Alacrity”)
  • Get out some old magazines and newspapers and start flipping and clipping out images that speak to you.
  • Arrange the images you cut out and adhere them to canvas with Modge Podge (or a similar project glue).  We first painted the surface of our (dried) canvas with the Modge Podge, placed our cut-out pictures one by one on the gluey surface, then painted another layer of glue on top of each picture.
  • Let it dry!  See what you think….. :)

Last but not least, I encourage you to come to the Burg on Saturday, March 3rd to spend a morning of reflection with S. Karla!  Come learn more about yourself and how God created you to be Salt of Earth!  She’s a wonderful retreat director!  Call 812-933-6437 or email aroesler@oldenburgosf.com for more information!

© ~AMNR~ 2011

Plant a seed! – Visual Poem by S. Sharonlu Sheridan, OSF

Plant a Seed.  Watch it grow.  It will go so much farther Than you'll ever know.  And whether that seed be action or word, whether harsh or kind, its power will be heard.  And whether its fruit will bring joy or distress, you are the one who will injure or bless.

Poem & design by Sharonlu Sheridan, OSF. Photography courtesy of Clipart!

Special Invitation!  You are most welcome to join the Sisters of St. Francis for 9:30 a.m. Mass in the Convent Chapel followed by “COFFEE TALK” WITH S. SHARONLU – SUNDAY, MARCH 11:  RESURRECTION MYSTERIES.  10:45-noon.  $ free-will donation, coffee & donuts served.  The resurrection of Jesus is sometimes lost from sight during days of bereavement.  We think even less often of the people who were raised from the dead during Jesus’ earthly sojourn.  During this session, we will look at other resurrections and see how they can help us understand the passage of our loved ones to the Heavenly Kingdom.  These resurrections will be presented as an alternative to other mysteries of the Rosary.

Hope in Diversity – Video with S. Olga Wittekind, OSF

We hope you enjoy our video message from S. Olga!


If the video does not appear embedded in your email, click here to view it:
Hope in Diversity

Hope in Diversity with S. Olga Wittekind– Feb. 18.
Our February workshop was a great success!

This is what people said:

  • S. Olga has expertise, optimism, and organization.  I love her stories and examples!
  • Very knowledgable, organized, prepared, interesting, inspiring!
  • Learned a lot [to help me] understand myself and those around me.
  • Love S. Olga’s enthusiasm and knowledge.  Grateful to learn this information.
  • Wonderful experience all around!
  • S. Olga is a fantastic teacher!

Reminder:

If you missed our Saturday “Hope in Diversity ” program, consider requesting a private Myers-Briggs workshop at the Burg just for your family, church group, or co-workers! Come rest in the peace of the Sisters’ campus and grow in healthy relationship with yourself and those around you!  For information on having a program tailored to your group, write to Angela at aroesler@oldenburosf.com or call 513-543-5368.

Peace, joy, and everything good!

♥ the Crew at OFC