Even Jesus was tempted + Monthly update
It's already Lent?!
We’re already into our first week of Lent! How time flies. February might be a short month, but this year especially it seemed like it was action packed and filled with opportunities for growth.
With the start of Lent comes an opportunity to really turn back to the Lord and begin anew. Thinking about the Gospel from the first Sunday of Lent (Matthew 4:1-11), I was fixated on the fact that the desert was a place where Jesus was tempted. Why did it have to be this way? Jesus, being fully God, could have dealt with Satan in so many other ways. And yet, He embraced His full humanity, allowing Himself to be tempted like you and I by the evil one. But this wasn’t empty, meaningless temptation or taunting: It was an opportunity for Jesus to model for us what it means to still choose God. The world offers us worldly comforts, security, and prestige. But Jesus shows us a different way. Jesus, who begins His public ministry shortly after leaving the desert, makes a very clear statement about how He will bring about the Kingdom of God through His disposition in the wilderness.
Admittedly, Lent was never my favourite liturgical season: It was too gloomy and I always had to give up the things that I loved! Thankfully as I got older I started to understand the importance of why we fast during Lent, and it’s led me to a deeper appreciation for it now, especially in the convent. As we journey with Christ and accompany Him to Calvary, I pray that you also will draw close to Him in the emptiness and wanting, realizing that it is truly Jesus that satisfies every hunger and thirst.
💡Some highlights from the past month
There have been a lot of apostolic opportunities and times to connect with people of all ages, including a series of vocation talks at a Catholic elementary school, helping at a book exhibit at the Archdiocese of St. Louis Men’s Conference, meeting young adults at a presentation on Lectio Divina hosted at the book centre, hosting girls from a high school for a ‘nun run’and having young women over at the convent who are interested in learning more about religious life.
I experienced my very first #SuperBowlInTheConvent. Though the Super Bowl of course existed in my consciousness prior to entering, I am not the most avid follower of football. But apparently in the United States football is a pretty big deal, and it also is a big deal in the convent! I didn’t stay for the whole thing because I had a call with my family at the halfway point through the third quarter, but I found out the day after that it was a nail-biting game. In the end, our local team — the Kansas City Chiefs — won.
I also experienced my very first fish fry, which appears to be a real St. Louis Lenten thing. Many of the local parishes host these fish fry events as a community building and fundraising event on the Fridays in Lent, when we abstain from meat. My very first experience of this was a really beautiful way to see this community dynamic at work, and also the generosity of the larger community as they donated many of their dishes to us.
Reading: Fragments of My Life by Catherine Doherty; Return: A Guided Lent Journal for Prayer and Meditation by Fr. John Burns for Lent.
Studying: Be Transformed: The Healing Power of the Sacraments by Dr. Bob Schuchts.
Listening: I’ve been re-listening to the audio book of When God Wrecks Your Romance by Amanda Vernon and Fr. Matt Fase — I interviewed Amanda for The Feminine Genius Podcast way back when and one of the things we talked about is this bookand her story. I won’t spoil it, but it’s on Spotify if you’re interested. It’s a great story!
Also, thanks to the Spotify algorithm I was introduced to Isla Vista Worship and their song “Captured”, which really brings together praise and worship and the kind of vibe I enjoy in secular music.
Enjoying: A deeper understanding of the importance of Christian meditation and praying with scripture; the different opportunities to meet and serve the people of the Archdiocese of St. Louis.
This weekend, March 3-5, I will accompany three other members of my community to Rolla, MO (about two hours away) to give some talks at a retreat for some students from a nearby university. I will be co-presenting the women’s breakout session — which as you might imagine, I am thrilled by! Please pray for us as we listen to the Holy Spirit and work with Him to reach these students, our safe travel to and from Rolla, and also for all the students who will be attending this retreat.
If you could pray for the young women who are in discernment with our community, especially those women who come regularly to our events: For their peace of mind, trust in God’s providence, and an openness to go wherever He leads them.
And, humbly, if you could pray for me: The past month has been personally very challenging as I have worked through some different things and I’ve felt the Lord really stretch me. I’d ask for prayers for docility and patience with myself and God during this time, as well as for a special intention. Thank you!
Especially as we journey through Lent, know of my prayers for you at every mass and Holy Hour! I’m off social media for Lent, and I’m relieved to know that this year I can actually be off social media and not have to be on it for work or ministry. So while I won’t be on those sites, if you want to share any prayer intentions, you can send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
May God bless you and keep you during this deeper time of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving — He is with you!
In Jesus, Divine Master,
A nun run is where schools come to the convent to learn about a particular community — in our case, schools come to our convent and we walk them through the main pillars of who we are, what our spirituality is, and what our mission is.
An example of this is Discernment 101, which is hosted locally at some convents like here in St. Louis, but also online so that more women can join in — and we have women from all over the world who tune in for these monthly talks! If you’re a single woman between 16-35 who wants to learn more about how to discern God’s calling for your life… I’m just saying, it’s a pretty great program!
I’ll take this opportunity to plug my Jesus playlist on Spotify. I add to it every so often when I come across a praise and worship song that I really love. You can listen to the songs here and also follow along!
Always love reading your updates Rachel. Praying for you and your intentions. Thank you for keeping us your groupies in yours. Love ya. Tita Rosana