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Thought for Today: A Column from CHC President, Sister Carol Jean Vale

Thought for Today: A Column from CHC President, Sister Carol Jean Vale

As our campus community deals with the unprecedented changes that have come about due to the threat of the coronavirus, sometimes, hope and inspiration can be hard to find. But there is always light in the darkness. A spirit of resilience lies within our humanity and to help everyone experience messages of hope, love and support at this time, Sister Carol Jean Vale has been sharing daily thoughts with the community. This page will be updated daily with Sister's messages. Continue to stay #GriffinStrong, CHC!

March 31st

Dear Members of the College Community,

Today’s word:

MY HEART RAN FORTH, Jessica Powers

My heart ran forth on little feet of music
to keep the new commandment.
(O feast and frolic of awakening spring!)
It would beguile the world to be a garden
with seeds of one refrain: My little children
love one another; so my heart would sing.

But wisdom halted it, out far afield,
asked: did you sow this seed
around your house, or in the neighbor’s garden
or in the nearby acreage of need?
No? Then it will not grow in outer places.
Love has its proper soil, its native land;
its first roots fasten on the near-at-hand.

Back toward the house from I deftly fled
down neighbors’ lanes, across my father’s barley
my heart brought home its charity. It said:
love is a simple plant like a Creeping Charlie;
once it takes root its talent is to spread.

Wishing you peace and joy as we bid farewell to an all too harsh March, not weather-wise but otherwise.

Blessings,

Sister Carol Jean Vale, SSJ, Ph.D.
President

March 30th

Dear Members of the College Community,

Today’s word:

                The evening was lonely for me,
        and I was reading a book til my heart became dry,
And it seemed to be that beauty was a thing fashioned
                by the traders in words.
        Tired I shut the book and snuffed the candle.
In a moment the room was flooded with moonlight.

Spirit of Beauty, how could you, whose radiance overbrims the sky,
                stand hidden behind a candle’s tin flame?
        How could a few vain words from a book rise like a mist,
                and veil her whose voice has hushed
                the heart of earth into ineffable calm?
                                LVI, Rabindranath Tagore

Thinking of you and praying for us all.  Stay safe and be well.

Blessings,

Sister Carol Jean Vale, SSJ, Ph.D.
President

March 29th

Dear Members of the College Community,

Today’s word:

The Flower of Love, Jessica Powers

“Where there is no love, put love, and you will find love.”
                Saint John of the Cross

Whoever first plants the seed in my soil
                hitherto fallow,
And cultivates the shoot with humble toil
                near steep or shallow —

They will be first to come upon the flower
                whose instant glory
        can recreate, in even this trivial hour,
                the Eden story.

Blessed are they who stand upon their vow
                and are insistent
that love in this bleak here, this barren now
                become existent.

Blessed are they who battle jest and scorn
                to keep love growing
        from embryo immaculately born
                to blossom showing.

Primarily for them will petals part
                to draw and win them.
It, when the pollen finds their opened hearts,
                will bloom within them.

May God’s blessing on this Sunday fill your hearts and hearths with peace and love.

Blessings,

Sister Carol Jean Vale, SSJ, Ph.D.,
President

March 28th

Dear Members of the College Community,

Today’s word:

“Scientists have discovered that what looks like darkness to the human eye
is actually filled with tiny particles called ‘neutrinos,’ slivers of light that
pass through the entire universe.  Apparently, there is no such thing as total darkness anywhere, even though the human eye thinks there is. . . . Knowing that the inner light of things cannot be eliminated or destroyed is deeply hopeful.”
The Universal Christ, Richard Rohr, p. 14

May the weekend hold some good surprises for each of you.

Blessings,

Sister Carol Jean Vale, SSJ, Ph.D.
President

March 27th

Dear Members of the College Community,

Today’s word:

Help us to be the always
  hopeful
Gardeners of the Spirit
Who know that without
  darkness
Nothing comes to birth
  As without light
  Nothing flowers.

  Invocation to Kali, 5, May Sarton

On this Friday, may each of you be blessed in whatever way you most need.

Blessings and peace,

Sister Carol Jean Vale, SSJ, Ph.D.
President

March 26th

Dear Members of the College Community,

Today’s word:

. . . Make ready for the Face
That speaks like lightening,
Uttering the new name of your exaltation
Deep in the vitals of your soul.
Make ready for the Christ
whose smile, like lightening ,
Sets free the song of everlasting glory
That now sleeps, in your paper flesh, like dynamite.

The Victory, from A Man In the Divided Sea, Thomas Merton

Let us pray for one another and remember specially the medical personnel and staff who are putting themselves in harm's way to help and heal.

Blessings,

Sister Carol Jean Vale, SSJ, Ph.D.
President

March 25th

Dear Members of the College Community,

Today’s word:

‘Little by Little,’ an acorn said
As it slowly sank in its mossy bed
‘I am improving every day,
Hidden deep in the earth away.’

Little by little each day it grew
Little by little it sipped the dew,
Downward it sent a thread-like root,
Up in the air sprang a tiny shoot.

Day after day, and year after year,
Little by little the leaves appear;
And the slender branches spread far and wide,
Till the mighty oak in the forest’s pride.

‘Little by little,’ said a thoughtful boy,
‘Each precious moment I will employ,
And always this rule in my mind shall dwell:
Whatever I do, I’ll do it well.

‘Little by little, I’ll learn to know
The treasured wisdom of long ago;
And sometime, perhaps, the world will be
Happier and better because of me.’

Little by Little, Anonymous

Have a blessed and peaceful day.

Sister Carol Jean Vale, SSJ, Ph.D.
President

March 24th

Dear Members of the College Community,

Today’s word:

Broadway may be dark during these days, but the light never goes out. This is an old song, but it is a good reminder to us all that we stand together as one world in this moment of global crisis.

https://youtu.be/BdnteHS9bnY
 
Blessings,

Sister Carol Jean Vale

March 23rd

Dear Members of the College Community,

A word for today:

Teach us to care and not to care
Teach to sit still
Even among these rocks,
Our peace in His will
. . . even among these rocks

Ash Wednesday, T.S. Eliot

Blessings,

Sister Carol Jean Vale, SSJ
President

March 22nd

Dear Members of the College Community,

A word for today: Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves: “Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?” Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we’re liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love

On this Sunday in an extraordinary time, please remember that, though you are scattered about the globe, you are held closely in thought and care by a bond that knows no geographic barriers. The resilient spirit of the Chestnut Hill College Community unites us in our common care for one another and the global community. Let us pray for strength and courage in these days of uncertainty.

Blessings, Sister Carol Jean Vale, SSJ

President

March 21st

Dear Members of the College Community,

Today's word:

And the people stayed home. And read books, and listened, and rested, and exercised, and made art, and played games, and learned new ways of being, and were still. And listened more deeply. Some meditated, some prayed, some danced. Some met their shadows. And the people began to think differently. And the people healed. And, in the absence of people living in ignorant, dangerous, mindless, and heartless ways, the earth began to heal. And when the danger passed, and the people joined together again, they grieved their losses, and made new choices, and dreamed new images, and created new ways to live and heal the earth fully, as they had been healed.

— Kitty O'Meara, And The People Stayed Home

March 20th

Dear Members of the College Community,

A word for today:

All shall be well All manner of thing shall be well By the purification of the motive In the ground of our beseeching Julian of Norwich 14th century English Anchorite

Blessings, Sister Carol Jean Vale, SSJ

President

March 19th

Dear Members of the College Community,

A word for today:

Hope is the thing with feathers - That perches in the soul - And sings the tune without words - And never stops at all.

Emily Dickinson

Happy Saint Joseph Day!

Sister Carol Jean Vale, SSJ

President

March 18th

Dear Members of the College Community,

Today’s thought:

It is a difficult lesson to learn today, To leave one’s friends and family and deliberately practice the art of solitude for an hour or a day or a week. For me the break is most difficult . . . And yet, once it is done, I find there a quality to being alone that is incredibly precious. Life rushes back into the void, richer, more vivid, fuller than before.

Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift From the Sea

Blessings, Sister Carol Jean Vale, SSJ

President

March 17th

Dear Members of the College Community,

Thought for the day:

“For I, Yahweh, your God, I am holding you by the right hand; I tell you, do not be afraid, I will help you.” Isaiah 41:13

Peace and blessings, Sister Carol Jean Vale, SSJ

President

Posted In: CHC in the News