As Sr. Mary Lou Edwards posed this question (which she borrowed from Fr. R.B. Williams, OP) during her reflection this morning, she also added, “not who I was in the past, but who I am now?” My mind was off and running – How does being Dominican invite me, challenge me, call me to be fully who I am today? Does it make a difference that I am Dominican? – I thought to myself and does it speak to the truth of who I am?
What came to me as she was talking was that as a Dominican I have always been encouraged to ask questions. Truth can be discovered in each and every person and in all of creation. Taking time to contemplate, to listen deeply and to look intently can bring new insights and possibilities. Taking time to ask questions, to share and to listen to the fruits of this contemplation in community will keep me honest. And ultimately, staying grounded in the love of Christ will provide the help and strength I need to stay in any conversation.
The following quote by Margaret Wheatley expresses in another way what it means to me to be Dominican.
“I believe we will succeed in changing this world only if we can think and work together in new ways. Curiosity is what we need… we do need to be curious about what someone else believes. We do need to acknowledge that their way of interpreting the world might be essential to our survival.”
~ Margaret Wheatley
Discovering the truth of one’s self and striving to learn and understand others in a deep way is one of the greatest gifts in life, and ultimately makes a huge positive difference in the world we live. Think about your good friends and what delight you experience in knowing them more deeply.
The questions arise then, am I willing to make the circle of my tent larger? Am I willing to ask curious questions of those who I don’t understand or like? Am I willing to pray with those who hurt others or disturb me greatly? As a Dominican, if I am true to myself, the answer must be yes. As a Dominican Sister of Peace and as a Catholic Christian, I am called and challenged to continually grow in the discovery of who I am and this will only come as I live in love of others, however easy or difficult that may be.