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Joan Diamond
Joan is the Director of Development and the Manager of the Prayer Enrollment Office at the Chicago Cenacle.

 

Once upon a time there was a person walking along a path in the woods.  Suddenly a bear appeared and started to run after them.  The person ran and ran until they fell off a cliff.  Fortunately there was a small tree sticking out from the side of the cliff and the person quickly grabbed it.  As they hung there they looked down and saw a deep drop below and looking up they saw no way to climb back up without a rope.  The person called out,  "Is there anyone up there?"  After a pause a voice replied - "This is God.  Let go and I'll catch you."  After a very long pause the person called out "Is there anyone else?"

This story elicits a laugh from all who hear it because we recognize ourselves so well.  I find myself recalling it at times of confusion and uncertainty about how I'll "survive" a challenging situation.  I tell myself I trust God and God's love and presence but...then I can find myself hesitating and looking about for something else.  I don't know what this person hanging off the cliff did but I do know when I am willing to push past that hesitation and let God catch me and hold me it proves to be the correct step.  The result is not always what I predicted but the hand of God is there and I am back on my feet on solid ground.

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Blessed Christmas Greetings
As we enter this special time of reflection we ponder the meaning of Jesus' arrival into our world, our lives, our hearts.  The Cenacle Sisters and Staff send their wishes to you and your family and your individual world for a holy and spirit filled time.
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Election Day Action

What action are most excellent?

To gladden the heart of a human being

To feed the hungry.

To help the afflicted.

To lighten the sorrow of the sorrowful.

To remove the wrongs of the injured.

That person is the most beloved of God who does most good to God's creatures.

The Prophet Muhammed

 

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Take a Moment
In this time of ever growing darkness and the settling of the earth into a slumber take a moment to reflect on the sparks of nature which surround us.  The colors and smells of this season fill my heart with immense serenity.  The earth is teaching me to pause and consider the blessings which have been ever present but not always noticed as I move throughout my day.  So take a walk or simply pause and look out a window to savor all the earth is giving us each moment of this Autumn time.
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The Feast of St. Francis
Today, October 4, is the Feast of St. Francis so take the time to appreciate all the blessings bestowed upon you.  The food provided by the earth. The warmth provided by the sun and the rain sent by the clouds.  The family and friends whom you love and who love you.  The grace of God which allows you to embrace each day and grow into God's love.  The wisdom of St. Francis is found in his embrace of "Lady Poverty".  Where in our lives can we reflect the message of St. Francis - his love of the earth and all the earth's creatures, his humility and his simplicity?
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The Dog Days

We can say that the "dog days of summer" are upon us with the heat of August in full blast. However, it is interesting to note that this expression, initially, had nothing to do with dogs laying about in the heat too tired to chase a ball or rabbit.   It refers to an astronomical event during Greek and Roman times when Sirius, the dog star, appeared to rise just before the sun in late July chasing the Rabbit constellation. They referred to these days as the hottest time of the year, a period that could bring fever, or even catastrophe.

With the movement of the skies since those days the actual "dog days" have moved to the winter months - so I suppose we could say the dog is huddled by the fireplace and has no interest in going outside. This little piece of trivia, though not trivial to the Greeks and Romans, reminds me to look above me at night to see even more of God's creation.

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At this time...

We are in the midst of a time of great sorrow, grief and confusion.  We must pause and consider these words by Alan Paton.

"O Lord, open my eyes that I may see the needs of others; open my ears that I may hear their cries; open my heart so that they need not be without succor.  Let me not be afraid to defend the weak because of the anger of the strong, nor afraid to defend the poor because of the anger of the rich.  Show me where love and hope and faith are needed, and use me to bring them to those places.  And so open my eyes and my ears that I may (in these coming days) be able to do some work of peace for thee. "

Amen

 

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The Sisters Assemble
Over the next week the Cenacle Sisters will gather here in Chicago to partipate in their annual assembly.  Over 30 Sisters who minister in Chicago and throughout the United States will join together to pray, reflect, conduct official business and renew their commitment to each other and their mission "to work for the transformation of the world by awakening and deepening faith."  Over 40 older sisters who are unable to actively participate will be official "prayers" supporting the efforts of those meeting.  We ask for your prayers also as the Cenacle Sisters engage in this special task.
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Remembering
As we pause and appreciate this long weekend holiday, let us recall the men and women who have blessed us with their service to our country and our world.  It is easy to forget the true meaning of the Memorial Day holiday with the picnics, beach trips, sleep ins and mattress sales.  But the sacrifices made by our military forces and their families have been part of our journey to the blessings we enjoy as a free and prosperous country.  So the Cenacle Sisters simply want to remember in prayer all those who sacrificed so much and their loved ones who have experienced the loss of their presence.  We pray for all of our donors, friends and families this weekend and ask you to pray for us as we continue to minister to all who enter our doors on Fullerton Parkway.    
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Please join the Cenacle Sisters this Saturday at 3pm in the Chapel at 513 Fullerton Parkway to celebrate the Feast Day of Our Lady of the Cenacle. Fr. Mark Andrew will celebrate Mass and a reception will follow.  The Sisters welcome all friends and neighbors to this celebration of Our Lady.  Please RSVP at 773-528-6300.   
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