“Discernment is that light, which dissolves all darkness, dissipates ignorance, and seasons every virtue and virtuous deed. It has a prudence that cannot be deceived, a strength that is invincible, a constancy right up to the end, reaching as it does from heaven to earth, that is, from the knowledge of me to the knowledge of oneself, from love of me to love of one’s neighbors.” The Dialogue St Catherine of Siena
Associate candidates from Central Ohio and Ohio Dominican University gathered on June 13 with their companions and mentors for a morning of discerning their commitment as Associates of the Dominican Sisters of Peace. Sr. Gemma Doll, OP, gave a presentation on “Being Open to God’s Call – Principles of Discernment.” Questions for reflection included:
- How has your relationship with God and others been enriched these past eleven months?
- Have you been able to integrate this growth into your everyday life, at home, work, school, and in prayer?
Sr. Gemma shared many words of wisdom with the group and concluded with these points:
- Stay in touch with reality
- Listen with your mind and heart
- Know your limits
- Invite common sense from family and friends
- Timing – are you “leaping in” or “holding back”
- Maintain a peaceful state of mind
- Accept that we will make mistakes – God still loves us!
“Caretakers of God’s Creation”
The Northeast Ohio Associate candidates from Warren, OH, and candidates from Ohio Dominican University joined in a discernment process on June 20 which focused on Dominican Sisters and Associates as “Caretakers of God’s Creation.” Associate Paul Layshock, OPA, began the day with a prayer from the new papal encyclical Laudato Si, “On Care for Our Common Home.” He reviewed the responsibility of “care of creation” from the Dominican Sisters of Peace chapter commitments and resources from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Nancy Wolf, Executive Director of Crown Point Ecology Center, spoke and described the variety of programs at congregational ecology centers on over 1,100 acres which make “green space that matters” into sacred spaces for everyone.
Associates in small group sharing and on the Emmaus Walk agreed that Pope Francis had opened an important dialogue for all humanity to understand and act in response to the environmental crisis. Associates who make commitments for the first time or renew commitments are called to “be open to God’s call” in the many forms that it comes. As the encyclical prayer says: “The poor and the earth are crying out. O Lord, seize us with your power and light, help us to protect all life.”
Click here for photos from both events.