Prayer of Saint Francis

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury,pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; and where there is sadness, joy. O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Spirit of the Liturgy

So I realize it's been quite awhile since I've written. All is well here in Bellingham. Things are in full swing for both school and our campus ministry. I've been having fun doing a few extra things (surprise surprise). I joined Western's Pep Band this year and had a blast doing it. Our last football game was last weekend, so it's over now. One of my roommates and I got signed up for two weeks of free kickboxing classes. It is such a blast. I would highly recommend the sport to anyone who has a chance to try it out. I pulled my left hipflexor in class last night though so today I'm walking a little stiff.

Anyway...the real reason I wanted to post was to share a bit more of what I've been reading in "Spirit of the Liturgy" by Cardinal Ratzinger. I've been reading pretty slowly, but everytime I do open the book I am more and more intrigued by the Mass.

The most recent chapter has been focusing on the body and the liturgy and how our postures are to reflect our prayer. With the semi-recent removal of kneeling in the Mass.

"Kneeling does not come from any culture - it comes from the Bible and knowledge of God. The central importance of kneeling in the Bible can be seen in a very concrete way. The word proskynein alone occurs fifty-nine times in the New Testament, twenty-four of which are in the Apocalypse, the book of the heavenly liturgy, which is presented to the Church as the standard for her own liturgy."

"When kneeling becomes merely external, a merely physical act, it becomes meaningless. On the other hand, when someone tries to take worship back into the purely spiritual realm and refuses to give it embodied form, the act of worship evaporates, for what is purely spiritual is inappropriate to the nature of man. Worship is one of those fundamental acts that affect the whole man. That is why bending the knee before the presence of the living God is something we cannot abandon."

"The man who learns to believe learns to believe learns also to kneel, and a faith or a liturgy no longer familiar with kneeling would be sick at the core."

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Coming Home!

Today is my last day here in India. It feels pretty bitter sweet as it was difficult to leave the children at Daya Dan, but I am also happy to go back to friends and family and toilets. I am suffering from a pretty bad nasal infection right now so the pressure and the pain is killing my head. I won't write tomorrow so don't worry if you don't read anything new. I'll update about my final trip maybe Friday.

Happy Feast Day of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta! Pray for her canonization, and don't listen to the crap in the media lately. The woman should be a saint!

See you very soon!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

The Dispensary!

So today I was a little bummed that I had run out of time to go to Kalighat (Mother's first home, for the dying and destitute). Well, God must have known because as soon as I walked into Daya Dan, Sister said that she needed me in the Dispensary for the morning. For 4 hours I undressed, cleaned, and redressed wounds of the poor. Most of the wounds that I took care of were holes in people's feet. One mother brought her small son, maybe 1.5 years old, who had his foot burned badly by hot oil. His foot had been black for a week and she had just now gotten help for him. It was so hard to watch him cry in pain as we wiped away the charred skin.

A couple of the girls helping were nurses, I think, and one of them kept wanting to cut everything... luckily the Sister kept saying, no, we just clean and redress...phew! I was not able to cut people's skin away. I recruited a couple of Spanish volunteers to help, so I got to explain to them, in Spanish, what to do even though I didn't really know myself. I thought my Spanish was pretty good though, apparently good enough to explain how a hospital works!

Anyway, I was so happy to have this experience because it showed me a different kind of suffering that people face here. Looking at the crying baby gave me a clear look of Jesus' face. I imagined Jesus and his Mother walking through the streets.

Oh India, what great things it has to teach me, even on my last day of real work! Tommorrow is Mother's feast day! It has been 10 years since she died. I am excited to party with the kids tomorrow, they love feast days : )

See you soon, Corina

Monday, September 3, 2007

Winding down

Yes, it DID seem like a month was a long time, but now I can't believe it has been that long already! One month goes by pretty fast when you're not in class : )

The kids were pretty tired today at Daya Dan from all the excitement of last night so everything was really laid back. I took a long nap myself when I got home from work today so there isn't much to report. I'm off to buy the rest of my things. Rosaries will be bought tomorrow (there is a Catholic store and a guy on the street).

Can't wait to visit with everyone and share pictures when I get back! love to you all, corina

Sunday, September 2, 2007

So beautiful!

This evening was our children's Mass at Mother House and it was so beautiful! The kids worked so hard to practice the music and prayers and they did really well. One of the girls has the most beautiful smile that I have ever seen and she stood in front of the altar looking proud and smiling so big. It made it harder to think about leaving them in a couple of days!

I had dinner with my friends from Spain. They are really nice and usually translate everything they say, but sometimes I can understand some of the conversation on my own. They are leaving tomorrow for Darjeeling so I won't get to see them again before I leave. But now I have friends in Spain if I ever go there : )

It's Labor Day in the states right? Happy Labor Day! I have limited shopping time now so if there's anything you want me to get don't hesitate to ask, and I love a challenge!

Father's homily today was about smiling and choosing joy even in the midst of great trials. We have to choose to be joyful, no matter what is going on in our lives. Our joy brings joy to others. Smile!

Love to you all, see you soon! ~Corina

Saturday, September 1, 2007

To help versus to assist....

I was at Daya Dan for almost 12 hours today. My heart is so full right now. I rode home on the Metro with this Italian guy who has been working at Daya Dan for 6 years. It is so wonderful to watch him with the kids (not just because he is Italian...) because of his compassion and dedication. I can see that he gives all of himself totally everyday. We talked about how we are not helping these kids. We are assisting them. He said if he came to me for help, I would give it and he would be on his way. But the kids do not go on their way. They continue to need more, so it is a continued assistance that we give. I thought this was an interesting way of looking at my time spent here and really what I want to do with my life in general.

I have always said that I want to help people. But I see now that that task of helping would require much more than I have to give. What I can give to anyone whom I meet is my assistance and that way I know that I will always be keeping them going along their path.

He also said that in places like America or Italy where we have people specialized to care for children like those at Daya Dan, we do not know how to share all of the love that God has given us like we should. Unless you work with such special hearts you may not ever know what it is to give this kind of love. But now that I have seen what my heart is capable of, I am more able to go back home and be able to use my heart for what it was made for. I think maybe mothers know this kind of love and they have stretched their hearts in this way. I know that as I sit here with tears coming now thinking about having to leave behind this three-year-old boy with Down's Syndrome, who cannot walk, talk, stand, crawl, or eat on his own, I feel my heart has changed a little bit. It is not where it needs to be, for this would take saintliness, but it is different than when I got here.

I feel God truly working in these children. If someone asked me what is the point of God making people deformed and helpless, I would answer that it is to teach people to love.

I am so thankful that I have been given a chance to assist these children in their lives and to feel love in my heart because of them.

"Faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love."

Friday, August 31, 2007


Today I had so much fun with the kids preparing music for Mass this Sunday at Mother House. Oh man, some of the kids take it so seriously and their hand motions are hilarious to watch. The sister in charge is so worried about the music for Mass. She has two practices a day which means I come back in the afternoons to practice for almost two hours. We have songs in English, Hindi, and Bangoli and I am helping to lead the music. I don't speak Hindi or Bangoli so it's a bit of a challenge.

I had dinner (I have somewhat of an appetite now!) at this awesome restaurant on the street right outside my hotel and great conversation with this old couple from England. They were so wonderful to talk to! They said they have a rule that they don't spend more than 3 months in one place, travelling all the time. Oh that would be beautiful (for awhile). I met a girl today from Chile. I told her that I wanted to go to Patagonia and she says her family has a farm there and it's beautiful! I'll have to get her contact info. And then another girl from Italy said she lives in a small town between Florence and Rome near the sea! Hello! I am sad that I didn't schedule more time for travel into my travel...we are so close to Nepal and Dehli (the Taj Mahal) and so many other wonderful places. Oh well, next time. I definitely see much more travel in my near future. I think this place is good preparation for just about anything. I can't imagine a lot that I would be scared to do now. And if I went to Chili I would at least know the language enough to get around!

But don't worry, I haven't changed my return ticket. I will be home in 6 days!
Love you lots, Corina