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Associate Blog – Millstones

MerryLou Windhorst, OPA

So, the Lord tells us, “ Better a millstone be around our necks…” So what is a millstone? Literally, “it is two round circular stones used to grind grain," and also, “a heavy and inescapable responsibility."
Reflecting, I ask myself, what were/are the millstones in my life? The inescapable responsibilities, the persons, places, or things that caused separation, challenges of my faith, vulnerability, exclusivity, avoidance of inclusion? Was the culprit family, life choices, mission, committed relationships?
Looking over our shoulders as senior citizens, what motivated us to bring us here today, in this place, with these sisters, the paths we took, ”the long and winding roads, the road less traveled,” to quote some very famous authors. We are our own history books. The millstones of opportunity, the consequences of our choices, the times, the temptations followed or not. The sources of vulnerability that most likely made us stronger. Perhaps the missed times to offer understanding, the needed tenderness, the offer of compassion, or to be supportive with faith challenges.
Along the way, we have been called to work with inclusiveness, so much called for in our world of separateness, taking sides, politics, avoiding collaboration today.
We looked to the Synod to find answers, to open doors, to bind wounds, to offer peace.

Today’s millstones are plentiful, requiring faith, as never before. The millstones of courage appearing around our lives, the temptation of just “turning off the news," challenge our beliefs, our courage, our need to pray and pray again.


“Hope springs eternal,” we are told. Hope requires faith, but also challenges. The millstones in our lives have not abandoned us yet.
Yes, our days are numbered and uncertain - tomorrow is not a promise. The older we get, the closer eternity seems. How much sand is left in our hourglass? Hope tells us to live well, be kind to others, love and appreciate our families, our community, our friends, the people who are traveling our life road with us.
We must be cautious to allow companions on our road, offering support, and compassion. Trying to avoid the “millstones” - the temptations - still out there.
The millstone I named earlier, ”an inescapable responsibility,” calls again. The Lord requires of us, the millstone of forgiveness, again, seven
times seventy.
Today’s gospel challenges us…” If your brother or sister sins, rebuke him or her, and if he or she repents, forgive them. And if he or she
wrongs you seven times in one day, saying, “ I am sorry, you should forgive him or her.”
There it is again, the need for forgiveness! That millstone lurks around my neck….
Let us not into temptation…
To quote Billy Graham …
“We have two great spiritual needs, one is for forgiveness, the other is for goodness.”
Be Peace
Be Seeds of Peace

To learn more about being an Associate of the Dominican Sisters of Peace, click here.

2 thoughts on “Associate Blog – Millstones

  1. Thank you, Merrylou! I am in constant need of these reminders. Prayers for you and all of the Sisters and Associates. Love from Louisville!

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