“May the God of Summer be with you, enveloping you with the warmth of love, filling your heart with the brilliance of light, refreshing you and cooling you in the living water of God’s grace. May the blessing of Summer be with you.”
– Sr. Maxine Shonk, Blessing Upon Blessing
The invitation mailed to the Northeast Ohio Dominican Associates of Peace invited them to Summer Spirituality Gatherings. It said that in the summer, we gather to listen to the voice of God in our ceremonies, to share with others our vision of the Dominican charism in our lives and to take the time to “fill our hearts with the brilliance of light and the living water of God’s grace.” The discernment retreat, a prayer service for St. Mary of Magdala and the Associates Commitment Ceremony for new Candidates and renewing Associates were the three summer gatherings. The final summer event, the Commitment Ceremony is the ritual for all Associates to be present, reaffirm that God has called us and touches our lives, and in response we try to praise, to bless and to preach with our lives.
Dominican Associates and Sisters of Peace across the country participate in similar gatherings as well as other community celebrations and picnics, the Annual Associates retreat, social justice conferences and projects, and planning meetings for the next year’s discernment process.
But summer is also the time for individual spiritual practices which take advantage of “outdoor walks focused on praising the wonders of God’s creation; going barefoot to touch the soil that is soothing, strengthening and healing; tending the garden with physical labor; and wasting some time which Thomas Moore observed is usually good soul time.” (see www.spiritualityandpractice.com)
May we all, Associates and Sisters, enjoy this glorious summer time filled with special moments celebrating the meaning of the Sacred in our lives, the significance of our relationships within our Dominican community and our dynamic spiritual connection to all people in this world.