Choosing God: Beauty Ever New

by Sister Julie Ann on October 18, 2008

img_4805_1887.jpgOn October 17-20, 2008 the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity welcomed guests for a weekend of “Choosing God” and contemplating beauty. Beauty as portrayed in Scripture, the Fathers of the Church and in the Franciscan tradition was a special focus. In The Exhortation to the Praises of God Francis refers to the Lord God as ” you are beauty, you are sweetness” and “you are beauty, you are gentleness”. St. Clare speaks about beauty in these passages from her writings:

Love renders one beautiful…to become beautiful is to become like the beloved, self growing in love.

When the human person mirrors the love of Christ, then the beauty of God reigns in the world.

img_4811_1891.jpgThe young women accepted the opportunity for personal reflection on their relationship with God as well as enjoyed the gift of meeting others searching to find God’s will in their life. All were open to contemplating the Franciscan vocation through various experiences of reflecting on beauty e.g. evening bonfire, personal and group prayer, sacramental opportunities, solitude, and trail blazing.

img_4814_1868.jpgGiven that St. Francis’s own call involved responding to the God’s directive to “rebuild my Church’ and seeing God in another,  the weekend included Saturday evening music outreach to Good Shepherd Parish, Chilton,WI. At the Eucharistic liturgy some of the Franciscan Sisters’ musicians, in addition to the retreatants,  gave of themselves in service while the congregation joined in joyful song. Father Robert Kollath, pastor, encouraged the guests to come again. Check out the Flicker photos.

14 thoughts on “Choosing God: Beauty Ever New”

  1. Michelle Hess says:

    There is a wonderful CD by Danielle Rose which explores this topic specifically. It is called “Defining Beauty” and is her first album. I would recommend all of her collections to enhance the prayer life of anyone who loves music. She has a double cd set reflecting on the mysteries of the Rosary (called Mysteries) and a collection of reflections on the life and ministry of Mother Teresa (called I Thirst). She is now a Franciscan sister in Texas and I credit her prayerful music with leading me deeper into my discernment.

  2. Mary Bergant says:

    This retreat gave me time to reflect on God’s beauty, both in nature and in my life. I also have begun to see the areas in my life that God wants to make more beautiful.

  3. Sister Ellen Pachmayer says:

    As each of you were on your discernment retreat this week end, we, the Sisters at San Xavier and Santa Cruz in Tucson, were lifting you in prayer. We are grateful for your willingness to “come and see” and pray for blessings on your further discernment as to how God is calling you to be His light to others.
    God bless you!
    Sr. Ellen

  4. I enjoy songs from Danielle Rose also Michelle! She is a delightful person filled with the Holy Spirit! I’ve heard her sing on quite a few occasions!Thank you for reminding us of her album “Defining Beauty” it will be a great addition for our future retreats on God’s Beauty!

  5. Time on retreat with other young women does help one to discover more about oneself! Your reflections and peaceful spirit contributed much to the weekend Mary! We continue to pray with you that you see more and more of how beautiful you are in God’s eyes!

  6. Liz says:

    It gave me two days to slow down, sit back, relax, and let God love me, to listen to how he wanted me to be going. Being at the Motherhouse offered a great resource of an amazing group of women and a breathtaking view.

  7. Liz, you are a pretty amazing woman yourself! It is so refreshing to see the beautiful relationship you have with God! Thanks for your genuine openess and your great spirit!

  8. Kara says:

    The retreat confirmed my calling to be a Franciscan Sister.

  9. What a gift Jesus is giving you Kara! You have a depth and clarity about you that is inspiring! To have one’s direction in life made clear during a retreat is indeed a profound thing! Count on our prayers with you as you journey closer to Jesus in realizing your vocation! May the Lord give you peace and strength!

  10. Lizette says:

    The retreat touched my life by renewing my faith to be much stronger and letting the Holy Spirit enter me with an open heart.

  11. Lizette, it is beautiful to see how open to God you are! May the blessings of this retreat give you much strength and help you to see how beautiful you are to Jesus!

  12. Mary, Kara, Liz and Lizette, you are well on the way to growing in beauty and finding God in the movement of your hearts. As St. Clare said: “Go forward, the spirit of our God has called you.”

  13. Having met all four of the young women who made the retreat and having provided transportation for two of them, I was thrilled with all the comments. I saw beauty in the willingness of each one to “Come and see” what God can do in us and through us. My prayers continue to be for each of you and your two capable directors!

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