Tuesday, September 27, 2016

"Charism Is Alive and Well" Recollection 2016

As tradition goes, the CSJA Baden group holds a recollection which is also part of the orientation of any new prospective members of the association every September.  This past Sunday we joined together to welcome our lone candidate for this year, Molly, of West Virginia.  

We started the day with our introduction of ourselves to the group followed by Mass at the Chapel and then lunch.  We then started with Sr. Paula's talk for the day, "Charism is Alive and Well".  Before the talk we said two prayers, The CSJ Associate Prayer, shown below on the left and another prayer, Care of the Charism on the right below which Sr. Paula is inviting all prayer groups to use before and after their meeting to in one in spirit with the rest of the CSJ congregation.

I was looking forward to Sr. Paula's talk all week and definitely that day but I ate too much during lunch especially the beef barley soup I fell asleep at the beginning of the talk.  Here the notes that I posted on my Iphone for most of the awesome talk.  All the thoughts were as usual beautiful.  Here are my notes.

Our charism is oneness
We are already one.

Sr. Paula told us what the late Julie Harkins of the Boston CSJ used to say about the associates that they do not come to get the charism, they already have it. 

Charism is being yourself.  Sr. Paula gave the invitation to explore to recall when we first noticed it.  She also invited us to lean into that deep place within us.  To get in touch with it.  It is natural grace. It is already there in that space. In as much as possible, unconsciously or consciously (for more vibrancy) we tap into it and use it. 

It is a journey to be the best of who we are.  However, it is not where we are.  The circumstances are the just container of who we are and meant to be.  

You are the carrier of this charism.  Wherever anyone of us is there we are.

Giving into charism empowers God to fill.  Part of this journey is to show up.

Sr. Paula also used the metaphor of the wind and the trees.  We do not see the wind but we know it is there based on the way it makes the tree leaves rustle and sway. So is charism.

Appreciate the tremendous gift your life has been.  It is not what you are doing but the manner you are doing it.

Always visit this place where this charism resides. She then told us about a novice mistress who always enjoined her novices to "Make God look good today" as they started their day.

We are rooted in God and loved by God.

We then had testimonies from three members of the Thursday Baden Prayer Group who hosted the day of recollection and orientation.  Patty, Cindie and Carla mentioned what the charism had meant in their lives.  I just want to share something during this part.  Excuse me for being  food oriented but Cindie cited what Carla is famous for in their church, her awesome gravy. Once a year or is it several times she prepares meals for the church with this unforgettable sauce.

Two associates, Carla and Judy, who attended the Federation Meeting of the Sisters of St. Joseph this past July also shared their experience at the meeting. It was an edifying experience for both of them who went to the meeting with another associate, Monica and forty or so CSJ Baden sisters. They learned from the other attendees through groups that they belonged to. (700 attended).  They learned peace and justice.  Judy particularly spoke about the existence of human slavery right here in the United States. It was also mentioned that they attended the memorial for the Pulse Night Club victims where the televised coverage showed our own Monica in once scene. Carla shared with us the theme song of the meeting, By Breath, by Sara Thomsen.  Click below for the YouTube version of this beautiful and meaningful song about oneness.

We were given 30 minutes break to ponder two questions as shown in the handout I reproduced way back at the beginning of this post and blew up for you below.  Please contemplate what your answers are whenever you are able.

In the sharing session, beautiful experiences were shared.  I would like to share one particular one from Joan about the story of how miracles do happen.  This is related to the Winking Christ.

Joan told us about the painter he had hired to paint her house.  Mark I believe was his name came full of excitement on his first day of the painting job exclaiming Miracles do happen.  He told Joan about a young man he met many years ago who he hired despite his struggles and believed in him.  This young man turned around and became one of this best employee for many years. This employee however fell ill and one day Mark visited him and shared one of his Winking Christ paintings.  (Mark also loved to paint art and one he loves to do is that of Christ.  He made Christ eyes wink when his wife suggested correcting one of them. Ever since then he had made several of his Winking Christ paintings). This particular gift changed his dying employee and his wife.  He learned they both converted to Catholicism before he passed away. Miracles do happen.

We ended our meeting with a meditation led by Chris based on our being one which is part of our charism, UNION.  We did feel each other's heart as we held hands with each other.

And that is how the meeting ended.  We thank Sr. Paula, Judy, the Orientation Chair, Linda, who prepared the flier and the generous hearted Thursday Baden Prayer group for their hospitality.  The food was glorious and so was the company of 20 or so associates and a couple of sisters who joined us.

Slow Cooker Mu Shu Pork Ribs

Four Ingredients. Slow cooker. You have all you need for an easy stick on your ribs pork dish.  I never thought I would like the addition of ground cinnamon to hoisin sauce but they are made for each other.  The spice gives the resulting sauce a smoky flavor but different from what cumin or coriander imparts.  Your family might remark "what is that" and might guess it.  My husband though find it is out there but I did not and I can be picky too.  It is pleasantly delightful to the palate.

I adapted this recipe from this website where they used the ingredients for their Mu Shu Beef Apple Wraps. I serve this over rice but you can certainly follow the example of this website and use it for Mu Shu Pork Wrap.  This is an easy comforting dish to prepare to warm your tummy and heart these fall days.

Slow Cooker Mu Shu Pork Ribs

  • 3 lbs boneless pork ribs (or any other cut of pork)
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 cup hoisin sauce
  • 2 tbsp honey
Combine the ground cinnamon, black pepper, hoisin sauce and honey in the slow cooker bowl and mix. Add the pork ribs and coat with the mixture.  

Slow cook on high for 4 hours or on low setting for 8 hours.  I cooked mine in an Aroma Brand rice cooker/slow cooker for 2 hours at slow cooker setting.

Serve over rice and your choice of steamed or stir fried vegetables. 

Monday, September 26, 2016

Rest in Peace Maria

The news came. I sobbed.
At viewing she looked asleep.
My heart screamed Wake Up.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Spicy Tomato Garden Soup

Fall is here.  It is soup time.  If you are tired of the same tomato soup recipe, here is one with a kick.  It is made nutritious with the addition of all the vegetables you would like to put to use in your fridge.  This is a comforting soup that will make you say, whew but good.  The balsamic vinegar gives it an additional dimension and so does the cumin which you can skip if you are not into it.  This is a good dunking vehicle for crusty bread so if you prefer to dip than slurp you can do that too.  If you want it more soupy and creamy add more milk. 

Spicy Tomato Garden Soup

  • 5 medium tomatoes (about 5 cups)
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 cup baby carrots
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 small sweet potato
  • 1 whole jalapeno pepper, stem removed
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp dry garlic flakes
  • 1 tbsp dry onion flakes
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tbsp dry basil
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
Place the first seven ingredients in the blender according to sequence given till well mixed.  Add the rest of the ingredients to the mixture and blend again.

Transfer the whole mixture to a pot and allow to boil for a few minutes and then simmer for 30 minutes or so till the flavors of the spices and vegetables blended.  

Sense of Purpose

Like a lightning jolt

shooting through deadened veins. An

awakened spirit.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Tuna Loaf

I had this wonderful salmon loaf in the equally wonderful luncheon at our church this past Thursday.  I really enjoyed this salmon loaf as well as the rest of the other dishes and glorious desserts during this lunch. We all had a wonderful (I am running out of adjectives) time eating, talking and discussing some unplanned important topics of life realities.

I obtained the recipe for this salmon loaf from Jean Farr (shown below) in order to make it as soon as possible.  She happened to have it with her in her wallet.  She is very organized, I tell you.

I however did not have any salmon nor the Caesar salad croutons and I did not want to go to the store either.  I was determined to make something close so I opened two cans of tuna which gave me a total amount close to a large can around 12 oz.  I also used herb seasoned bread stuffing for the croutons.  I also searched for recipes in the web that did not have any cream of mushroom soup in the list of ingredients.  This is what I came up with.  I served it to my husband for dinner last night and he ate almost one mini pan full of it.  He just said it needed more oomph so I am adding cumin and cayenne pepper to the recipe as optional ingredients.  It is good without them but they will give this wonderful (again this adjective. I need a Thesaurus) kick my husband was looking for and I did not want to add salt however.

Tuna Loaf

  • 10-12 oz can tuna, drained
  • 2 cups herb seasoned bread stuffing
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cumin (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • Cooking spray

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Place the mixture in two mini loaf pans or one large loaf pan sprayed with cooking spray.

Bake for 30 minutes or till top is browned and the center cooked.


New Perspective

"Time. Stop.  So we do

not wrinkle, age." "Dear, you are

growing not aging."