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Read God’s Word, Live God’s Way

[caption id="attachment_3477" align="alignright" width="200"] Blog by Sr. Cathy Arnold, OP[/caption] What’s your story?   Are you seeking life and love? Recently in a conversation with some friends we were talking about our vocational paths and how we came to choose marriage, priesthood, or vowed life as Sisters.  The conversation brought back memories for me of how I chose the congregation I entered as a 25 year old.  At the time I was very shy and just wanted to serve God and others using my hands and feet.  Sure, I would be willing to teach, but I didn’t want to have to study theology or engage in what I thought were very challenging questions in our Church and world, questions of which I had very little understanding and which scared me.  Wouldn’t loving and following Jesus be enough, like some of the saints of old?  Couldn’t I just remain as a child, like Jesus is quoted in Matthew 18? But once I met Dominicans, I learned the importance and the need to study theology, especially in relation to the needs of the people of our time.  I remember one of our intercommunity novitiate speakers, Paul Philibert, OP, who reminded us that theological study is necessary for those in vowed life in order to grow up and to grow in faith.  Yes, we will learn things that might upset our current understanding; we may even have times when we doubt our faith, but in the end, our faith grows stronger through deeper understanding, raising questions, and struggling with responses to questions.  We study so we can learn better how to love and show compassion to each and every person, and to all of creation. Now I am eager to study everything which relates to living and loving as Jesus did – how we can grow as individuals, as communities, as humans in our world.  Recently our newer members came together for a discussion on a chapter of a book by Edward Schillebeeckx, OP.  The book is God Among Us: The Gospel Proclaimed, the chapter, “Dominican Spirituality”.  One of the ideas that touched me from the chapter is the way these educated Dominicans could provide insight on significant issues and concerns of the time within the Church, sometimes bringing about justice and good, but sometimes causing pain and leading others astray, behaviors not really Dominican or Christian.  Through it all, though, the Dominicans kept and keep studying and searching for what brings life and love in and through Christ.  I have a sense that we may not know in our own life times all the blindness we have, nor all the light we have.  In my mind, we pray to stay faithful and open to the process of discovery and to the grounding in Christ.  It’s challenging and yet at the same time, enjoyable and life giving.  Check us out if you like a good search! What’s your story?  What brings you life and energy?  Give us a call, if you are pondering your vocational path.  Our vocation ministers are happy to provide resources and accompany you as you discern.

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