Thisness of God

“Thisness of G*d”(Haecceity)

by Sr. Marvie L. Misolas, MM

Thisness of God (haecceity) is a term I borrowed from Sister Ilia Delio, OSF, from her book Making All Things New – Catholicity, Cosmology and Consciousness to reflect and articulate a recent period of quiet and meditation in a place where my spirit finds home.

That afternoon, whilst walking towards the cemetery, these little things lying sparsely on the ground along with fallen summer leaves caught my attention.  Lo and behold there are quite a bit of them, like winged creatures, except that they are, I learnt, are seed-pods of a tree which I still have to know the name.  The heat of the mid-afternoon did not deter me from picking a few of these, trying very hard to put them in my palm and not crushing them for they are so fragile.  Accidentally, a gentle breeze blew and one got blown off from my palm, and like a child~ I got more fun watching it propelled in perfection, sliding through the breeze to the ground.  So, instead of collecting them, thinking of planting them, I blew them off my palm and watched them twirled in unison.  Then, I would pick them up again, and blew them off, to my satisfaction.  Sweating and sweltering, I walked back to my room, feeling so happy, the child within made whole again!

Later that afternoon, in prayer, all the images and recollection of the mid-afternoon rendezvous came back.  It has dawned on me; I have met my teachers in these little things.  I was conscious of them, as they were of my presence.  They were actually the whole universe.  They represent the present as well the future possibilities of what make up creation unfolding.  I thought, I have just witnessed and experienced God’s love ~ being creative every moment.  These seed pods represent both death and new life. As I have come to the retreat with the intention of reflecting on the passion death and new life of Jesus, the Spirit helped me to gaze and contemplate nature and be conscious of this wholeness in nature.  The gift I have received is what Ilia Delio said, “To see is an act of consciousness, and it brings what it sees into conscious reality.  It requires an open heart.  To have an inner spaciousness of the heart to receive another.”   Somehow, there was this intense creative communication between me and the seed pods, they have become alive!

Intuitively, as I continued to reflect on these seeds, this has led me to understand that there is this awesome wholeness in nature.  That is, the process of life and death.  That death is integral to life. That reflecting on the suffering and death of Jesus, he showed us that it is all part of the process of life.  Ilia Delio said, “Jesus’ death symbolizes his Yes to the consciousness of his unity to God (humanity) and God’s unconditional love (divinity).  This is Jesus, the ‘thisness’ of God.

Delio also quoted Jurgen Moltmann,

“When the Crucified Jesus is called the image of the invisible God, the meaning is that this is God, and God is like this.  God is not greater than he is in his humiliation.  God is not more glorious than he is in this self-surrender.  God is not more powerful than he is in this helplessness.  God is not more divine than he is in this humanity.”

Beautifully, Delio summarized Jesus’ suffering and death, “Jesus’ mission of creative wholeness restores humanity to its integral nature within the whole of evolutionary nature.  Through the life of Jesus we can see ourselves as part of an ongoing process of creative and emergent life(evolution) and are called to realize our participation in this unfolding of life, as creation seeks its ultimate fulfillment in God.  Death is not due to sin and evil, nor it is opposite of life.  It is radical in nature, integral to life.”

These seeds springing to new plants represent resurrection.  In the quantum understanding of life and death, Jesus resurrection must empower us, to be like him, to being renewed.  That in every big and small deaths we experience throughout this life, we emerged with a higher consciousness, a new whole sense of being, more loving.  For Ilia Delio, ‘every act of physical death is an act of new life in the universe. The resurrection of Jesus reveals to us new cosmic life.  Through the lens of quantum physics, death is the collapse of our ‘particle’ aspect of life into the ‘wave’ dimension of our relatedness.”

Our living on in and through relationships, noted Delio, is the meaning and depth of the resurrection of Jesus.  Jesus now lives on in the heart of the universe in a new relatedness.  Jesus lives in us, those who follow him, who remember him, who extend our relationships in compassion, justice and peace.  mlm 劉美妙修女04122017

Maryknoll Discernment Retreat 2017

Maryknoll Discernment Retreat 2017

By Sister Maureen Hanahoe, M.M.

During Holy Week of this year, April 13th to the 16th  2017, 27 young men and women came to Maryknoll, New York, from all over  the United States, as well as Kenya and Scotland,  to discern a Call to Global Mission as a Priest, Brother , Sister or Lay Missioner.

The Retreat was both prayerful and meaningful, as we accompanied Jesus in His Passion, and in our own desire to deepen our call to discipleship.  It also provided the opportunity to share with each other our diverse calls to mission, as well as to listen to other missioners, who have been transformed, through sharing their lives with so many cultures, throughout the world.

Through this experience, the participants discovered the diverse charisms of the Priests, Brothers Sisters and Lay Missioners.  They also learned about the Affiliates and about Short Term Mission. They experienced   Maryknoll as a movement, where  there is the opportunity to minister collaboratively with others, in working for justice and peace, and in recognizing and giving witness to God’s love, in every part of the world.

Sister Mary Stolz, Maryknoll Sister for 63 Years Dies


Sister Mary Stolz, Maryknoll Sister for 63 Years Dies

Maryknoll, NY: Sister Mary Teresa Stolz died on April 7, 2017 at the Maryknoll Sisters Center; she was 94 years old and had been a Maryknoll Sister for 63 years.

Mary was born on February 1, 1923 in Elyria, Ohio to Mary B. (Dietz) and William J. Stolz.  She had one brother, Rev. Joseph Stolz and four sisters, Florence, Anne, Cecilia and Margaret.  Her parents and siblings have all predeceased her.

In 1941, Mary graduated from Elyria High School and worked as a secretary at The National Society for Crippled Children and the Army Air Corp Depot in Elyria until 1943.  She then joined the U.S. Navy serving as a Wave from 1944-1946.  After serving in the Navy, she returned home in Elyria where she worked as a secretary at G.A. Olsen Mfg. Co. until 1951. She was then employed as assistant secretary at Northern Savings and Loan Co. until 1953.

Mary entered the Maryknoll Sisters Novitiate in Maryknoll, NY from St. Mary’s Parish, Elyria on September 2, 1953.  At her Reception of the Habit she received the religious name, Sister Mary Philomena. She made her First Profession of Vows on September 8, 1956 at Valley Park, MO and her Final Vows six years later on the same date in Bolivia.  She was then assigned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center where she worked in the travel and shipping department from 1956-1958.

In 1958, Sister Mary received her first overseas assignment to the Bolivia-Peru Region and studied the Spanish language in Cochabamba, Bolivia. She was appointed Procurator for Bolivia from 1958-1966, and then served as secretary to the Maryknoll Fathers Regional Superior in Lima, Peru from 1967-1972.  From there she returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center where she served as supportive services coordinator until May 1974.  In September of that year, Sister Mary studied at Loyola University in Chicago and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration in 1977.

On October 1, 1977, Sister Mary was assigned to Venezuela where she served as a member of the Barcelona Pastoral Team until 1982.   She then returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center and worked as accountant controller in the treasury department until 1987.  In 1987, she was assigned to Chicago where she taught mission education before moving to Monrovia, CA in 1989 as a senior companion.  Two years later Sister Mary was called back to the Maryknoll Sisters Center and served as the center administrator from 1991-1996.  She then retired and joined the Western United States Region and did volunteer work in Las Cruces, New Mexico as bookkeeper at Fr. James B. Hay School and Pastoral Center. In 1999, Sister Mary moved to the Maryknoll Sisters retirement home in Monrovia, CA where she continued to do volunteer work and community service in a senior companion program from 2004-2011. Due to failing health, she returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center.  Sister Mary died quietly after a long illness on April 7, 2017.

Sister_Mary_Stolz- from Maryknoll Sisters on Vimeo.