What does it mean to be ‘blessed’ (makarioi in Greek)? To be blessed means to be happy. Tell me: Do you really want to be happy? In an age when we are constantly being enticed by vain and empty illusions of happiness, we risk settling for less and ‘thinking small’ when it comes to the meaning of life. Think big instead! Open your hearts!” – Pope Francis


Today we had the joy of hosting the Little Flowers of the Cathedral retreat here at Our Lady of Solitude. Fr. Matt Henry offered Mass, then led the girls in a guided meditation – St. Ignatius style (powerful!). Then in the afternoon, the girls had a chance to ask me questions about being a nun! They asked some great questions, but one of the mom’s really got me thinking with her question: What is most rewarding about your life?

Sr. John-Mark's b-day celebration at the end of May!

Sr. John-Mark’s b-day celebration at the end of May!

I rattled on a rather long and complex answer, jumping from one point to another. But it wasn’t until after our visitors had gone, and I was sitting in the quiet of my cell, that I really began to reflect more deeply on this question. And the more I reflected, the more my sense of gratitude grew. And I sat there, enfolded in silence, just resting in the fact that I am blessed, and that it is His Gift to me.

Blessed with a happy and full life. Blessed to be a child of God. Blessed to receive the Holy Eucharist daily. Blessed to adore Him on behalf of the world.  Blessed to live a hidden life of adoration, intercession, silence, solitude, and prayer. Blessed with my community, with my Sisters. Blessed in their companionship, their support, and their uniqueness. Blessed in the sacrifices this way of life demands.  Blessed in the opportunities to die to my own ego.  Blessed to have time for prayer literally carved into the rhythm of my day. Blessed to be undivided. Blessed to live each day new. Blessed to be all His.

Two large hawks hangin out near the monastery!

Nothing like a monsoon season sunset in the desert!

What is the most rewarding…I don’t even know where to start?!?

Sometimes it’s good to sit down and count our blessings, to smell the roses God has planted in our hearts. Sometimes it’s good to step back and admire the Beauty of His Will.

Then, when the going gets tough as it inevitably does, those roses will continue to give off the fragrance of hope and our memory will hold fast to His Beauty.

What is most rewarding about your life?