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Are you restless or hungry for more in your life? Are you seeking wisdom or looking for inspiration? The Gospel gave guidance to Saints Francis and Clare of Assisi as they followed in the footprints of Jesus some 800 years ago. The witness of their lives and values continue to inspire those of us on a spiritual journey today. Join Sister Michelle L’Allier and her guest, ordinarily on the first and third Tuesday of each month, for a time of shared reflection and conversation.

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Mar 15, 2022

Join Sister Janice Wiechman as she shares wisdom learned from her life of prayer, relationships and service across cultures and generations.

 

From Sister Janice’s interview:

“Conversion is one of those pillar values of our Third Order that has touched me a lot. It means to me to be always open to see things differently, to see things through God's eyes maybe, through scripture. Or see things through another person's eyes, one of my brothers or sisters or neighbors, and to be open to that and to be willing to make a change in my life if that's what's called for. And it means to me to be regularly reflecting on my life to see where I'm going, to stop and say, well, what has changed? What’s happening here? And it has meant to me to share that when I can with someone else, with a spiritual director who can challenge me or invite me to go further. It's been a continual part of my journey that has been very, very important.”

 

“What sustains me? I would name two things. One is prayer, that daily coming into a relationship with God. Paul in Acts of the Apostles says it is in God that we live, move and have our being. That speaks to me; to be able to connect to that each day is part of what sustains me on the journey. And I would say the other part is community. It's that relationship we have as sisters with each other and supporting one another and being friend to one another, and also challenging one another and walking together. I have gone places that I never would have dreamed that I would go because we did it, being in mission, together.”

 

“Mission, I think it's something that everyone is called to share our talents and our gifts with others in some way to serve others, serve our brothers and sisters in the world, that together we can make life better for each other, that we can build the kingdom of God. Make somehow that God's presence is more keenly felt by others, and by ourselves in the process.”

 

“Conversion happens on the journey. We rub elbows with each other and we're open to learning and sometimes we're not so open to learning, but when you rub elbows things happen. Who is my neighbor? Everyone. And beyond everyone, the creatures and the earth and the trees. And I think there are a lot of things that help us.... Francis just talked about everything being brother and sister; but sometimes we look at someone and they're so different. They believe something different. Their color of skin is different or they come from a different country. They're on the other side of that border. And somehow we forget that we're all brothers and sisters, that we’re on this journey together….”

 

“But it's beyond that. And now with climate change, we're seeing how much we're on this journey with the earth, too. And the animals and the plants and the bugs and everybody else! That we're all neighbor, we're all brother and sister and we can help each other, sometimes we hurt each other, but that's part of the journey. And conversion is recognizing that. And how can we live in a way that we make God more present, God's love and compassion more present, to others and to ourselves?”

 

“The value of being brother and sister at this time in our history is very important. There is a lot of division and a lot of hurt and anger, and not recognizing that we are all together really. And so I think that value is, is very key.

Another value that I think is very important is that all is gift.  What we receive, none of us, none of us earned it. Yes, we worked and yet that we were able to work, that I have the gift of sight, that I have the possibility to think and to work and to study, and it's all gift. It is all gift from a good and loving God. And that that gift is really for sharing.

These two, conversion and contemplation…bring us together to know that we can't go it alone, that we need each other.”  

 

For a full transcript, please include episode number and email: fslfpodcast@fslf.org.

 

References:

What is catechesis? See https://pvm.archchicago.org/lifelong-formation/what-is-lifelong-formation and https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/resource/55436/what-is-catechesis .

 

Spiritual Direction: Spiritual directors accompany individuals or groups in deepening their spiritual lives and their relationship with God. See interview with Teresa Blythe: https://youtu.be/b6l7UN9wxEg; for further exploration, listen to Sister Michelle at: https://40minutesoffaith.com/podcast/spiritualdirection..

 

Quotes:

“The un-reflected life is not worth living,” Socrates.

“In him we live and move and have our being,” Saint Paul, Acts of the Apostles 17:28.

 

Maryknoll magazine: downloadable at https://www.maryknollmagazine.org/ .

 

Homeless Helping Homeless (HHH), with Mary and Harry Fleegel: see article Sr Janice referred to: https://thecentralminnesotacatholic.org/inspired-by-franciscan-way-of-life-retired-st-cloud-couple-embraces-renewed-call-to-help-poor/ . The website for HHH is:  https://homelesshelpinghomeless.org/ .