Letter from Saint John in Montana, 11/2018

The first days of November in the novitiate were quite full. Sr. Maureen Cusick came for a session on Human, Spiritual and Theological Development. The three-week session ended with a 4-days of biblical reflections days.
In her words: “From the very first hours of our existence until the last moments of our life we are learning. We learn how to articulate words, how to interact with people, how to behave in society, how to reveal that we are the children of God and how to reveal God to others.”

In Genesis 1:27 it is written: “God created humankind in God’s own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” In the Psalms we see the many wonderful descriptions of God, God is kindness, God is love, God is a protector, God is good, a helper, merciful and gracious. Because we are created in the image of God this means that we have all the qualities that God has. The only thing that we have to do is to express these attributes in our own lives and to practice them.

In listening also to the words of the 18th century British political philosopher Edmund Burke, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good People to do nothing.” It is not intention nor discussion that brings strong enough repudiation for evil, but action.

We were able to welcome Helen from Costa Rica to the Novitiate community. A very big Welcome to her! From all the Jerusalem community Brothers and Sisters. Helen writes: “..I rejoiced when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the LORD. And now our feet are standing within your gates, Jerusalem.”

“Without any previous thought, from my heart this psalm sprouted when the plane landed on the earth of the one who loved me and called me. Without carrying more than two suitcases and the only certainty; that when I leave this earth, I will be a better person than the one that arrived. The joy of finally finding my sisters on this path and the community, not only of the novitiate, that accompanies me from now on tells me: Welcome home! Some days in bed to recover from a cold and the long journey gave me the opportunity to give thanks to God for each of these wonderful people and each new grace that I am sure the Lord has prepared for me in the future. My expectations? – none more than listening to God and loving whom he has placed by my side. With the assurance that many people pray for me, I begin this new stage of my journey”.

Our guests this month were Sr. Joselyn from Canada and Teresa Blumenstein, the Secretary of the Religious at the UN ‘JCor’, who worked with Ces at UNANIMA.

The reading from John 2:13-22, on November 9th where 80 years of “Reichsprogromnacht” was remembered and where many Anti-Semitic moments took place and all over Europe and now around the world. The Gospel spoke of Jesus going into the temple, being angry and overturning all the commercial things going on within the courtyard of the Gentiles. We Christians refer to this episode as the cleansing of the temple by Jesus. We might ask ourselves the question, how might I clean up the idols within myself my inner temple? What mess needs to be cleaned? Some of these questions could be a good way to begin advent and the preparation for the feast of the Incarnation.

Ces spent some time in mid-November in Rome participating in the UISG/USG JPIC Roma Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation formators workshop and then in the Sion JPIC Team meeting.

The Novices Erika from Brazil, Helen from Costa Rica, Julia from Rumania will begin their Canonical year on December 08. Fr. David Neuhaus will celebrate the Liturgy and all Jerusalem community Brothers and Sisters friends and visitors are invited.

As we enter into the time of Advent the preparation for the coming of Jesus the Messiah, we wish you all a joyful waiting and a reflective Advent of welcoming the birth of Christ in the midst of everyday life. What is different in my life and the life of others around me because of the birth of Jesus the Messiah?

We celebrated together in Ecce Homo the feast Christ the King before we begin the beginning of the new liturgical year with Advent.

Juliana for the Novitiate Community