Single Tasking at its Best!

If we have abandoned ourselves to God, there is only one rule for us: the duty of the present moment.
— Jean-Pierre de Caussade, Abandonment to Divine Providence

Blessed Candlemas moving into Ordinary times to dearest Sisters in Christ… 

Mounting current research brings a brutal truth:  multitasking, while seeming efficient, may actually use more time and involve more error. Moving from one task to another with different streams of information makes it difficult to tune out distractions and can actually cause mental blocks that can slow a person down.  MIT neuroscientist, Earl Miller, notes that our brains are “not wired to multitask well… when people think they’re multitasking, they’re actually just switching from one task to another very rapidly.  And every time they do, there’s a cognitive cost.”  

This news may come harder for we women who, more often than men, generally make a sport of this. While complexity and familiarity of tasks play a part, overall this start/stop/start process is rough on us.  There is evidence that it can eventually squelch overall concentration and creativity even when engaged in single tasks.  One solution is the twenty-minute rule which recommends engaging in a single activity for at least twenty minutes before moving to another.  Result: brain health.

As Seven Sisters we practice and live the sixty-minute solution!  Wow, consider the brain and soul health we experience!  While each of us carries life’s challenges and burdens, let us be reminded that our only charge for our Seven Sister Hour is to pray for one person.  Single tasking at its best!

What a perspective to realize this is a gift in itself: to be drawn from the distractions of the day, the week, to engage in what de Caussade reminds is the “duty of the present moment”.  We are not insensitive to the other concerns and demands of our day or lives, but rather responding fully to a heavenly task to which we have been assigned.  In the long run we are benefitting from the disciplined practice.  Another hidden gain of this Apostolate!  De Caussade believes that the one given over to God in the moment is a “soul as light as a feather, liquid as water, simple as a child, active as a ball in receiving and following the inspirations of grace. … they have confidence in Him, they abandon themselves to Him, and, entirely absorbed by their duty, they think not of themselves, nor of what may be necessary for them, nor of how to obtain it.” Oh, what blessings this affords!

Our weekly visit to the Adoration Chapel happily brings us to that most special place of the meeting of two eternities (past/future), the present moment.  We arrive to meet our Lord to give ear to learn His wisdom and love regarding the sole object of our time and prayers: one priest or bishop, who likewise lives in the balance of these two eternities.  He is expected to respond to the present moment himself. We have been summoned to come alongside, beseeching the graces for this to happen.  As Catholics we repeatedly ask Our Lady to pray for us now and at the hour of our death – the two decisive moments of any life.  De Caussade encourages, “Come, not to discuss the words of others, but to listen… For in the sacredness of every moment Divine Grace is telling you alone all that is required.”

Reality check: at times the single task focus proves challenging to lay aside (even momentarily) the many things we balance and manage, as both whimsically and somberly depicted by Duda’s Princess Juggler.  While it might be tempting, or even seem necessary, to carry all that we juggle into our Hour, trust that the grace is sufficient to discipline that time as we have committed it: one hour for one. 

If personal concerns overwhelm, perhaps another can cover your Hour that week or perhaps extra time in prayer in the Chapel can be spent prior to or following your Hour.  The April 2016 Communiqué offered helpful hints to help curb distractions. It might be worth a re-visit on the Web. Related ones are July 2017 (benefits of being before the Blessed Sacrament) and Nov 2017 (de Caussade regarding submitting to Divine Will).  On the Web site, simply click on any of the Communiqué images to open and then scroll to the bottom of the screen to select an archived Communiqué.

Let us remain encouraged, holding firm in faith, that our sacrificial time spent in our Holy Hours of singular focus compelled by love are and will be amply rewarded. De Caussade affirms, “The present moment holds infinite riches beyond your wildest dreams, but you will only enjoy them to the extent of your faith and love.”   

Just for fun – and to perhaps ‘prove a point” regarding multitasking:  try this simple exercise. Time this: Draw two lines.   On one write: “I am a great multitasker.”  On the other write all numbers 1 through 20. Note time. Re-set watch.  Draw two more lines.  Write the same things on each line as before BUT only one character/number at a time.  So, on the first line write an “I”, then switch to the second line and write a “1”.  Then go back to line one and write an “a”, then to second line and write a “2”.  Complete the exercise filling the two lines with the same info.  Hmmmm – how long did it take you the second time?  Any mistakes?  I rest my case!

Our every effort to keep our Hours focused upon one reaps benefit.  Let us embrace the grace upon grace to be keenly aware of the present moment – at every moment!  How beautifully St Augustine reminds us that our Ever-Present Help is Ever-Near to assist.   “You never go away from us, yet we have difficulty in returning to You.  Come, Lord, stir us up and call us back.  Kindle and seize us.  Be our fire and our sweetness.  Let us love” (St Augustine). Oh, truly, Sisters, in our call to love, we live the richest lives!

United in prayer and mission...

that our prayers may find the heart of every bishop and priest...

... eternal gratitude continues as you each remember to offer a wee Hail Mary for me every day....  Pray that I will not 'spoil the beautiful work that God has entrusted...'  (St Teresa of Calcutta)

... your kind emails and notes and generous support always arrive to my heart door at the right moment! Your letters of testimony are so beautiful and edifying! Don't stop writing to me. Eternal gratitude is mine for YOU! Be assured of my continued daily prayers for you at the altar.

Janette

+JMJ+

651-484-3404 (h) 651-283-0929 (mobile)
joy2day2u@aol.com

Princess Juggler –  Diane Duda

Princess Juggler – Diane Duda

SEVEN SISTERS - in and out and about:

UPDATE on SEVEN SISTERS PILGRIMAGE to FRANCE (July 1-12, 2019)Fr Joseph Johnson, Apostolate Chaplain, has prayerfully discerned and worked with his travel agency, Peter’s Way Tours, to offer a first-of-its-kind-one-of-a-kind pilgrimage for Seven Sisters.  It is a whopping 12 days!  (This will be my first pilgrimage of such a length).  It is all-inclusive, full of rich detail.  Click here for more information. Prayerfully consider this journey of a pilgrim’s progress in faith, hope and love.  Open to all Seven Sisters.  Only one bus is planned, so indicate early your desire to join. Come to meet the priest whose generous and joyful example of living out his priesthood sparked the International movement of Seven Sisters Apostolate.

Heartfelt welcome:  New groups registered in January in these states: Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin. These 11 states in the USA do not YET have the joy and benefit of a Seven Sisters group: Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Maine, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, Wyoming.  (Have received inquiries from three of these though – please join in prayer!)  Total groups: very, very near to 800! Perhaps as a grand gift to the Sacred Heart of Jesus we will reach 1000 by our June commitment month!

SEVEN SISTERS BOOKLETS: Available as free download from Web site.  Hard copies passed on for printing cost of $2 each + P/H. Order thru Web email or email above, with amount desired/address

SEVEN SISTERS Tri-fold BROCHURE:  So beautifully designed by a Seven Sister, Diane S, of Wichita, Kansas.  They can be effectively used in parish pamphlet stands (ask your pastor’s approval prior), Adoration Chapels, Retreat Centers, Bags/Packets for Women’s Conferences/Retreats, Women’s clubs, Serra club.  There is a full color version and one with a color exterior and B/W interior (my personal favorite and a bit cheaper to print).  Available as free download.  Recommend 80# silk for best printing results.  You may also order through sending an email through the Web.  Pricing varies with quantity.  May God bless Diane, for this labor of love and generous spirit to share it!

NOTES to Anchoresses:  If you do not receive a Communiqué within the first 7 days of a new month, contact me directly or through the Web site email. In turn, when received, please pass the Communiqué within one week's time to your group members, if able - or have another in the group do this for you.

REMINDER:  Some of you have a genuine gift to encourage participation of others in the Apostolate – do not squelch the zeal!  You may have heard that we encourage women to be an Anchoress for only one group. This way the joy of leadership is extended and it is a more manageable role for each Anchoress. The focus and energies remain in the best place: the prayer efforts!

ALSO:  While all Seven Sisters are happily remembered in daily prayer, the Apostolate only keeps record of the names and contact information of the Anchoresses. Each Anchoress is responsible to keep record of her group's members and assist in keeping them in the loop of communication. Team work at its best!  Please inform of all NEW groups/Anchoress/priest/other changes thru Web site.

RECENT ... and AHEAD on the calendar:

> Gratitude to Ruth/Lia/Peggy for superb organization/hospitality: 20 January 2019: Ave Maria, FL.  Theme: Seven Privileges of Praying for Priests (80+ women and 5 priests in attendance)

> Gratitude to Seven Sister (MN), Sue K, who authored an article for Our Sunday Visitor (01/30/19) in re:  Apostolate (offering caveat that her “opening paragraphs, much text and image were not used”)

> 9 Feb 2019: Eileen W (Seven Sisters Phoenix Diocesan Coordinator) will host informational booth and speak in re: Apostolate at the Phoenix Catholic Women’s Conference (Xavier College Prep)

> 21 February 2019: Archdiocese Team (St Paul- Mpls) prayer and meeting

> First part of April: Prayer and informational.  Seven Sisters Holy Cross campus, NE Mpls, MN

> 04 May 2019, Magnificat Grapevine Chapter breakfast/testimony: Louisville, TX

> 10-11 May 2019 – Retreat in Waverly, NE. Theme: In quietness and trust is your strength

> 1 June 2019 – Day of Recollection – Diocese of Winona (MN) – Bishop Quinn will be in attendance

> Plans for Kansas visit first weekend of August (possible w/e visit prior in Spring, to include Omaha)

> Plans for Georgia and North Dakota visit in the prayer stages.

> Local gatherings in North Hollywood, CA; Nashville, TN (let me know of others!)

MASS as substitute for the HOLY HOUR: While Mass is arguably the highest form of prayer, it is not the form of prayer given in the inspiration of this Apostolate.  We do best to stay close to the inspiration, submitting always to God’s Will and Way.  Importantly, every Holy Hour is intimately tied to holy Mass, as our Jesu Hostia must be confected during the Mass.

Some other thoughts: Each Mass has an intention, which, whether known or unknown, we are to offer this as participants of a Mass.  In the Confiteor, we ask for prayers for ourselves and others ask our prayers for them.  The Prayers of the Faithful are offered for many intentions.  Embedded in the Eucharistic prayers are solicitations for prayers for the Pope, Bishops, priests and both the living and the dead.  One can easily see then that the Mass has many intentions and not solely the one priest for whom one is committed to pray. Offering your Holy Communion at a Mass for the priest would certainly benefit the priest, but would not serve as a substitute for your Holy Hour. 

Especially when access to a Church or Chapel is limited, some Seven Sisters keep fidelity to their Hour by arriving early for a Mass on ‘their day” and beginning the Holy Hour for their priest.  Then they attend the Mass and then pray the balance of the Holy Hour for the priest after the Mass. In his book, Those Mysterious Priests, Archbishop Sheen states that a Mass never interrupts a Holy Hour.

BISHOP groups: These groups officially commence with seven intercessors.  However, within six months’ time it is recommended that two additional groups of seven be added.  The Bishop thus receives three Holy Hours each day. The idea is that we pray “morning, noon, and night” for our Bishops (figurative more than literal, although some Bishop groups have chosen to have distinctive times for each group of seven).  NOTE: One Anchoress for entire group of 21 intercessors.

REMEMBRANCE of those SEVEN SISTERS who have PASSED: We want to remember those Seven Sisters in name and in prayer, who have gone before us to their eternal rest. Visit the Web site. Click on ABOUT folder and scroll to bottom, choose: IN REMEMBRANCE.  Follow prompts... OR you may submit info via the Website email or to my email address. Please check site monthly for additions!

PRIEST who has PASSED to ETERNAL REST: If the priest for whom you pray has entered eternal life, the group may be led to continue to pray for a length of time for the soul of that priest. Perhaps a novena of Holy Hours or the offering of holy Mass(es) for the priest.  You will know.  Several groups have/are offering Holy Hours for an entire year for their beloved deceased priest.  What a witness of love!

SPANISH translation of Communique:  This is generously done every month by Zahyra B, Anchoress for a Seven Sisters group in Venezuela.  EXTRA PRAYERS for VENEZUELA! They are then posted (and archived) on the Website.  If it is easier to receive through an email account, please let me know. Expect 2-3 days for translation. Commitment Prayer is also in Spanish (on the Web).