Monday, July 22, 2013
We are saddened by the loss of the blog's author, Sister Ruth Ann Nistler, 81, who died on July 20, 2013, at the Grand Itasca Hospital in Grand Rapids, Minn.
A Mass of Christian Burial will take place at St. Francis Convent on Wednesday, July 24, at 11 a.m. Friends may call at St. Francis Convent on Tuesday, July 23, from 4-8:30 p.m., with a Franciscan Prayer Service at 7 p.m., and from 8:30 a.m. until the time of the funeral on July 24. Arrangements are by Emblom Brenny Funeral Service, Little Falls.
Sister Ruth was born on March 9, 1932, in St. Cloud. She was the sixth of eight children born to the late George and Anna (Mahowald) Nistler. She was accepted as a Franciscan Sister of Little Falls, Minnesota, on July 31, 1951. She made her first profession of vows on August 12, 1953, and final vows on August 12, 1956. She was a Franciscan Sister for 61 years.
Sister Ruth was a person who loved to share her life and talents with other people. She had a deep love and admiration for the people she ministered to in South America and said that she received more from them than she was able to give to them. She had a great desire to reach the total self-giving, wholeness and holiness to which God called her. When she celebrated her golden jubilee she said, “In a way I feel that I have just begun. I look forward to the coming years as a continuing effort toward the life-long goal of becoming conformed to Christ.”
Sister Ruth received a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the College of St. Catherine, St. Paul, Minn. and a master’s degree in religious education/pastoral ministry from Fordham University, New York. She also studied at the College of St. Scholastica, Duluth; the College of St. Benedict, St. Joseph, and the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul.
Sister Ruth ministered as an elementary teacher, foreign missionary, library assistant, pastoral minister, director of religious education, receptionist, music and liturgy coordinator, pastoral associate and Hispanic minister. She served in Waite Park, St. Cloud, Osakis, Little Falls and Princeton; Yunguyo, Peru; Maracay, Venezuela; Diboll, Tex.; Huntingdon, Tenn.
Sister Ruth was preceded in death by her siblings: Mary Daigle, Reverend Edward, Andrew and Sister Florence, OSF. Survivors include siblings: Catherine Radermacher, Wadena; Lucille Dockendorf, Hines; Theresa (Dale) Brummer, The Villages, Fla.; sister-in-law, Anna Nistler, Northome; nieces, nephews and her Franciscan Community.
Donations to Franciscan Sisters Ministries preferred.
Thursday, July 18, 2013
He tells of speaking with a fellow-Jesuit, Fr. Ignacio Ellacuria, who with five of his fellow Jesuits, all of them highly educated and working for Peace and Justice in El Salvador, were receiving death threats from the military regime. He showed John bullet holes in the side of their house, to validate their fears. -- They continued to speak out for the cause of peace -- and just four months later, all six of them, along with their Salvadoran cook and housekeeper, were murdered outside their house near the university.
He and everyone else in the country were shocked and horrified by this brutality and for the killing of Archbishop Romero and four American Church women, also working for peace in El Salvador. These killings must have strengthened his resolve to offer his life for the cause of peace -- as did other martyrs in our day, including Martin Luther King. Incredibly, the U.S. government was favoring the military regime, and gave no help to the peace-keepers. The justice for the murders and violence was slow in coming. Violence and injustice still exists in El Salvador, and John Dear is continuing his mission of peace. Read of his efforts in his autobiography and other books. You can't help but be inspired by what one man can do.
Tuesday, July 2, 2013
De Mello is a man of few words. His first chapter is all of two pages! And all thirteen chapters in this book have titles of only a single word or at least of very few words:-- Sin - Peace - Happiness - Life - Freedom - Love - Prayer - Liberation - Spirituality - The Silence That Leads to God - Leave Your Boat on the Beach - Healing the Sufferings Created By the Mind - and Stated Feelings. He does add two longer sections, entitled "Exercises and Points For Consideration" and "Ideas For Meditation and Spiritual Growth." His writing style is conversational, consisting mainly of brief questions and answers between a seeker and a wise man. He often changes rapidly from one theme to another, and at times makes puzzling statements.
The conversations often include touches of humor, common sense, deep spirituality and wisdom. You will find his writings both delightful and full of insight. And you can easily see why he became so well known and popular. His photos show him with a broad smile, as a man who enjoyed life and his place in it. Walking on Water contains a rare treasure, all within 142 pages. You will find this book and others he has written to be delightfully refreshing and deeply spiritual. (Sister Ruth Nistler, OSF).
The author begins with the theme of a handful of dough, which mixed with other ingredients becomes bread to nourish us and help us to grow. So in the spiritual realm, we take what we know of God and the god-life within us and the love that God reveals to us through the beauties of Creation, other persons and God's Word in Scripture --and mix it with the events of our everyday lives--to nourish our spirit and transform our lives in God and to be a blessing for others.
For each month Joyce gives a theme related to the season of the year, such as the freshness of new snow, growing through the hardships of life, searching for what is missing in our life (Lent), the joyful moments of Spring and new growth, Autumn leaves and sorrow, and preparing a dwelling place for the Lord. These themes are reinforced by brief daily Scripture readings, personal reflection, prayers in prose and poetry, questions at the end of each chapter, with suggestions for journaling and integrating daily life and prayer. You will find this small book delightfully refreshing and spiritually nourishing.
Monday, June 17, 2013
In the spiritual journey, our False Self must be resurrected, like Jesus, with this resurrection to be accomplished (or at least well begun) during the first half of our life. The process is of transformation, not resuscitation. The term "Immortal Diamond" reflects a line from a poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins, and Richard Rohr in his unique style brings clarification to the mysteries of grace, death and resurrection. The author ends with several appendices to amplify and clarify his message. He also offers notes for each of the nine chapters. One of the praises for "Immortal Diamond" by Paul D'Arcy, another noted author states:
"The power of Immortal Diamond is impossible to exaggerate. Each word is a rare gift from a true elder and a worthy guide."You will find it inspirational.
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Book Review, Storms of My Grandchildren, The Truth About The Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity, by James Hansen
The two sub-titles of this powerful book will be, I think, enough to make you sit up and take notice. If you don't have time to read all the 300+pages, I suggest you read at least the preface and the first two chapters, then skim the next several parts, which are loaded with graphs and scientific data that give the rationale and prove the truth of the claims and warnings that the author gives us. Then read the last half carefully, returning to the parts skimmed if you doubt any of Hansen's assertions or think his urgent warnings and predictions are unfounded.
Hansen's including the names and photos of his own grandchildren gives the book a personal touch, and surely most of the readers have grandchildren or know children of that age. Now is a good time to think of the future and to take seriously the predictions and warnings given by scientists such as James Hansen and others throughout the world. What they say is often prefaced by "when" and not "if." In our day the number of people is growing who are finally waking up to the reality of global warming and climate change, especially as reports of vicious storms, deaths and destruction fill the media. But the slowness to take action is motivated by the lack of "political will", with politics and governments listening more to large corporations such as those dealing with oil, coal, or other fossil fuels than to world scientists whose assertions are based on fact. These corporations devote a large portion of their wealth on employing armies of highly paid lobbyists whose "mission" is to convince government leaders, (who have the power to change present practices), to continue "business as usual, " than to scientific facts. The principal motivation is money.
Hansen gives a devastating view of what will happen in the near future, mere decades and years from now, if we follow the course we're on. For the readers who are not directly involved in government, the best action we can do is threefold: to decrease our own "carbon imprint" and to demand our government leaders to be instrumental in radically influencing (even forcing) our large corporations to conform to the norms that will necessarily be forthcoming. Offer support to President Obama's attempts to follow world scientists' recommendations, rather than to Republican opposition. Our votes do count.
Monday, May 13, 2013
Book Review - Field Notes from a Catastrophe, Man, Nature, and Climate Change, by Elizabeth Colbert.
In fact, Kolbert says that already in the 1850's an Irish physicist named John Tyndall, in studying the gases in the atmosphere and their effects on the heat of the sun, came across what is now called the "natural greenhouse effect", which today is considered the cause of global warming and climate change.
Years ago, the author accompanied climate scientists to a resource station in Greenland, where scientists use a thermal auger to drill deep down through the ice sheet and extract "bores" of ice, that were compresses from the original snow, and that they discover snow that fell during the Civil War; even during the Pelonnesian Wars, (2,500 feet down) when cave painters painted,( 5,350 feet), and at the deepest, (10,000 feet), snow that fell on Greenland more than 100,000 years ago. When the fluffy snow melts it turn to ice, which when discovered in this fashion, reveals many ancient secrets.
Now in our age the ice of the Alaskan therma frost, and further south in the Greenland and South Pole's glaciers, is melting at a prodigious rate, and climate scientists having learned from the past, can predict into the future and warn us of future dangers, including fierce storms and even droughts, if we do not curb the growing carbon dioxide in our present and near future. Among all these ice discussion, this book has a chapter entitled "The Butterfly and the Toad," telling us of the effects of climate change on even the tiniest of our creation family's creatures. You would enjoy the book.