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Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Serenity Prayer


Most of us are familiar with the Serenity Prayer:

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;

courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.”

This short prayer is one of the most cherished in America, if not in the whole world.  It can be found in many forms—bookmarks, wall plaques, bumper stickers, and collections of inspirational poetry.  Millions pray it each day in Twelve-Step recovery programs and millions more use it to help sort through the stressful issues in their lives.      

But many people are not familiar with the second part to this beautiful prayer that is essential to living the first part. Here it is:

--Living one day at a time;    

--enjoying one moment at a time;

 --accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;

--taking, as God did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it;

--trusting that God will make all things right if I surrender to His Will;

--that I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with

   Him  forever in the next.”

This seldom-quoted second part really contains the ingredients for living the first part well.  For we are more serene:

-- when we live one day at a time and enjoy one moment at a time;

--when we calmly accept things as they are, not as we would have them;

--when we trust that God will make all things right if we surrender to His will;

--when we realize that our ultimate happiness is not to be found in this world but 

     in Heaven.

Serenity.  Peace.  Each of us longs for these gifts.  The wisdom of the Serenity Prayer is that it puts our longing into words and shows us ways to Serenity: living, enjoying, accepting, trusting, surrendering.

 Serenely yours,

 Sister Loretta

Monday, March 22, 2021

Do you think God is calling you?

 Do you think God is calling you?

He probably is!  The question is, Where?

·    The place to begin is with a spiritual director.  As you meet for your monthly conversations, your director will help you to listen more deeply.  More than that, your director will listen with you!  Together, you will explore the call.

·    Think you might be called to religious life?  Fill out the Vision Magazine Vocation Match survey at Match | VISION Vocation Network for Catholic Religious Life & Priesthood.  Based on your answers to questions about you and your preferences, the survey will sort out which congregations might be good matches for you.  You’ll also get the option of having them contact you.

·   As you read the materials that you receive and as you explore on-line, see what other options are available.  God may be calling you to something other than vowed religious life, perhaps as a Servant Companion with our community, as a Maryknoll Lay Missioner, or to a Third Order.

Visit a few different communities.  A sense of joy, peace, and belonging will let you know when you have found your home.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021



by Sister Loretta Finn

Most of us at one time or another have received a word or a call from God and we were unaware of it.   It may have been in a time of personal crisis, at a retreat or during prayer time. 

In the Old Testament we read about Samuel’s call. (Samuel 3:1-14, 19-21.) As a child, Samuel served at the tabernacle, ministering to God with the priest Eli. He was a faithful young servant who had God's favor. One night God spoke to Samuel while he was sleeping, and the boy mistook the Lord's voice for Eli's. This happened three times until the old priest realized God was speaking to Samuel.

Now Samuel did not yet really know the Lord.  But, when the Lord called the third time, Samuel again went to Eli  and said, “Here am I; for thou didst call me.” And Eli perceived that the LORD had called Samuel. So, Eli said to Samuel, “Golie down.  If he calls you again, say: “ SpeakLORD; for thy servant heareth.” So Samuel went and lay down. And the LORD came again and called as at other times, “SamuelSamuel.” Then Samuel answered, “Speak; for thy servant heareth.”


As with Samuel, we sometimes struggle with a call from God, sometimes with discerning the exact origin of this call, inclination, or overwhelming sense of direction.  We also probably are aware of times when a call came, and we ignored it or were not ready to receive it.

Just as the call came to Samuel, so it comes to us, for several reasons, in many ways. Are we ready to hear it? Are we willing to respond?

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Sr. Loretta's Magnificat

In the 50’s, when I was at St. Gall, my spiritual director asked me to write my own MAGNIFICAT.  What a wonderful experience that was.  I reflected for some time on my spiritual life and what nourished it.  Basically, it was Eucharist,  Scripture, Mary’s “Yes” and the indwelling presence.
Mary’s “Yes” has always been an important part of my spiritual life.  One day, when I was bringing Communion to parishioners in Christ Hospital, I found in the Gift Store a beautiful “Annunciation” statue.  This was perfect for my prayer table.
My devotion to the “indwelling presence” began when I was in grade school at our SSCM boarding school in Beaverville.  This devotion overflowed into my teaching career as I taught children how to go to their “heart rooms” to pray to God. 

So, after much reflection and prayer, I wrote my MAGNIFICAT. I now share it with you.


My morning song
is a hymn of  praise to
Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Your WORD, O God,
becomes my bread.

Mary’s “fiat”
of long ago
is mine today.
A “yes” to the past--
a letting go--
free at last.

A “yes” to the present--
Jesus Incarnate
 in every event.

A “yes” to the future--
as yet unknown,
hidden mystery.
O source of Life,
Three in One,
Your Kingdom Come!

Father, Son and Holy Spirit
Thou in me and I in Thee--

At times, saying “yes” to the past has been most challenging—letting go.                                    And, at other times, the “present”—what’s going on in my life each day. Saying “yes” to the future will always be here.
Yes, my special devotion to Mary is living out my “yes” as she did.
                                                                                                Sr. Loretta Finn

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

What Is Charism?

Religious life is, of itself, a gift of the Holy Spirit to the Church and contains the charism of prophetic witness and service.  

Each religious congregation is also blessed with a unique gift of the Holy Spirit called “charism.”  Although this word is used in the singular, “charism” refers to a set of spiritual gifts.  The charism of a congregation gives it a certain flavor.  To explain the concept further,  since families have their own charism, If you think about the families you know, this concept becomes clearer.  One family may place great value on hospitality, bending over backward to make sure that guests feel at home; another family might be rooted  in self-giving and prioritize volunteerism; yet another, gifted with a strong sense of charity, always has  room for someone in need.  All are  fine people, yet one home may feel much more familiar to you.  When this happens, it is usually because your charisms match. In fact, one of the things we hear most often from  those who have joined our SSCM (Servants of the Holy Heart of Mary) family, whether as a Sister, a Servant Companion, an Affiliate, a Consecrated Lay Person, or a Prayer Partner, is “From the moment I first stepped on the grounds, I felt like I had come home.”
The charism of the Servants of the Holy Heart of Mary is described as faith, family spirit and self-giving.  I have witnessed this charism in the following ways:

* I see faith at work in the openness of the sisters to God’s Word.  They allow the gospels to lead, guide and form them so that they become the living face of Christ in our world.
* Their spirit of self-giving is evident in the way they seek the good of the other, setting aside their own wishes and desires. 
* Family love is demonstrated in their spirit of welcome and loving acceptance of one another and of others.

Have you thought about your own charism?  What are the particular gifts that the Spirit has bestowed on you?  When you look at your family of origin, can you see the common thread?  How may your personal or familial charism intersect with that of the Servants of the Holy Heart of Mary?

Serenity Prayer

  Most of us are familiar with the Serenity Prayer: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change t...