Bananas

Bananas

Bananas...what more can I say?

+JMJ+

It might sound a little funny, but every day I should thank God for bananas! When I started training, I didn’t realize that as the miles increase, so does the appetite. Eating a healthy, balanced diet is probably the challenge of nearly every person on this planet–and, may we never forget the millions of children, women and men who go hungry every day!

I am not sure if bananas count as a ‘perfect’ food, but I’ve been the beneficiary of banana energy lately. If Chicago were a tropical region, I would definitely advocate for growing bananas here in the city! Other dietary staples include Hummus and Pita, PB & J, PASTA, Oatmeal, fruits and vegetables (and I’d be dishonest if I didn’t throw in an occasional Subway Italian BMT!). Drinking plenty of liquids is crucial, too.

Each day I am grateful to recognize parallels between caring for one’s body and one’s soul. Just as we must eat well and (try to) get enough sleep, so too must we give attention to our spiritual lives!

This past weekend my friend John (who is a seminarian and Mundelein) and I spoke to nearly 200 youth and young adults about the need for prayer in our lives if we truly want to know where God is calling us. During his April 2009 visit to the United States, Pope Benedict XVI gave the youth a challenge: make time for SILENCE in your lives…spend time with God in silence. Prayerful silence in the presence of God is truly rest for the soul. And, what better food could there be then the Most Holy Eucharist?

Thank you for your continued prayers and support for the NunRun. Joyce, a team member, is getting info together on the other runners, so we’ll have the Team page updated soon! God bless you!

More than half way there…

+JMJ+

In just 47 days, team NunRun will hit the pavement! These last few weeks training has been rough: I was visiting my family in Puerto Rico, where the weather is very hot (90 + degrees) and extremely humid. But, with God all things are possible. Making a few adjustments, like getting up before the sun rose, made a big difference, and thankfully I was able to keep on the training schedule.

Yesterday I ran 7 miles! Never in my life have I even thought of doing such a thing….and with that, I have now officially ran moreĀ  than half the actual race! During the run, when I hit mile 5, I really wanted to quit, and the first thing that came to mind was St. Paul’s words, “Do you not know that the runners in the stadium all run in the race, but only one wins the prize? Run so as to win.” That gave me the fuel I needed to keep going! I have come to realize that training for a marathon is not only about physical ability, but will power.

The same goes for responding to God’s will in our lives. All of us are capable of saying yes to God’s invitation, but it requires an act of the will, a full yes, a choice to fully embrace God’s invitation. The Spiritual Life really is like running a race. With every mile, you learn something new about yourself, and you achieve something you didn’t realize you were capable of: but, always always through God’s grace. You need to have the support and encouragement of others to finish a race–and the same goes with progressing in the Spiritual Life.

Thank you for all of your prayers and support as we continue to train, physically and spiritually, in preparation for the Chicago Half Marathon. If you haven’t done so, please prayefully consider making a gift to support the NunRun. Every gift is 100% tax deductable. Thank you so much, and God bless you!

59 Days…and counting

+JMJ+

Today is the feast of St. Bonaventure, a Franciscan Doctor of the Church. Today during Mass, the Franciscan priest at St. Peter’s (in the Loop) reflected on the gifts St. Bonaventure brought to the Franciscan community, particularly a more unified way of preaching–not that the Friars preached bad doctrine at all, but rather, because St. Bonaventure was an academic, he was able to illuminate the important role of study in preparing to bring God’s word to the people.

I know it is a funny connection, but as I’ve been training for this race, along the way I’ve had to ‘study’ how to train well. Early in my training I experienced a severe bout of heat exhaustion, precisely because I was not aware of the danger or the factors that would lead to this condition (which is essentially severe dehydration). It is funny how in life, you may think you are doing something the right way, and you have to make a huge mistake to learn otherwise.

The same thing applies to the Spiritual Life. I can think I am doing the right thing, doing God’s will. But, what if I have not properly discerned (prayerfully considered) a certain action or choice? What if I do not give proper attention to prayer, and do not allow for silent prayer? Then, I run the risk of doing something that I should not do. That is why we need to prepare, and prayer truly is the foundation to all that we do.

Thank you so much for your continued prayers for the success of the NunRun. If you haven’t done so, please visit Donate Today to find out how you can make a gift toward fund NunRun. Every penny is a tremendous blessing. Joyous feast of St. Bonaventure!

From Pope Benedict, with love

+JMJ+

Ave Maria! What a chilly week in Chicago: but, 65 is far better than 85 when you’re training for a race! We are 66 days away from the Chicago Half Marathon!

As the physical training continues and I learn more about eating healthy, getting enough sleep and above all drinking LOTS of liquids, the spiritual training is also shaping up! Thanks to our beloved Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI the entire world has a new challenge set before us: Caritas in veritate: Charity in Truth.

I have yet to read the entire encyclical, but from commentaries by several priests and Catholic news agencies, I’ve learned that Pope Benedict is offering us a challenging look at how to confront the social challenges of the day, through the light of Christ! I look forward to reading Caritas in veritate soon!

In all that we do, we must be the face of Christ to a broken world. It is so easy to get caught up in negativity and complaining about how bad things are. True, we must be honest in recognizing the grave evils that surround us in our secular, even hedonist society. Yet, there is a step beyond recognition: we must take it to prayer, and ask the Lord to reveal the response to take. No matter what God desires us to do, the response will always be in love. For that, ultimately, is the vocation of every one of us: to love and to be loved, ultimately to be in perfect union with God in Heaven. It is just that simple!

Thank you so much for your support and prayers! Please spread the word about TheNunRun and encourage your friends and family to pledge their spiritual and financial support. All donations, received through the Laboure Society, are 100% tax deductable. Make a pledge today! God bless you!

“…run that you may obtain it.”

Friends from Mundelein Seminary and I waiting to see Papa Benedict in New York, Spring 2008

Friends from Mundelein Seminary and I waiting to see Papa Benedict in New York, Spring 2008

+JMJ+

Ave Maria! Welcome to The NunRun. Maybe you are familiar with this Catholic catchphrase, but instead of a weekend of young women visiting several convents to discern (prayerfully seek) whether they are called to become nuns themselves, I am taking the NunRun to a literal level!

This September 13, myself and a group of generous friends will run the Chicago Half Marathon–13.1 miles along the beautiful lakefront–with the goal of raising funds to help me remit my educational debt so I may enter Religious Life!

Training is in full swing, and every day I try more and more to surrender to God’s mercy and grace. As you read through the pages on this site, I invite you to learn a little more about me, my friends, the Laboure Society and the Mission of Our Lady of the Angels on Chicago’s West Side.

As I try to learn more and more what humility truly is, I ask you to consider supporting me! I cannot say how important prayer support is, and your prayers for this effort are invaluable and most crucial. If you are in a position to support the NunRun financially, please visit Donate Today!

When I began to consider this endeavor, the words of St. Paul came to mind. His ability to use athletic imagery to help us understand the Spiritual journey is amazing! “Do you not know that in a race all runners compete, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.”

Through your prayers and support, and above all God’s Divine Mercy and Providence, like Paul I aim to run to obtain the pearl of great price: freedom to give myself totally to Christ as a Religious Sister!