Today’s first reading from Jonah 1:1-2:1, 11, has always brought a smile to my face as I hear the all too familiar story of someone trying to run from God, and the ensuing storm that makes one reconsider. Sometime ago, a friend sent me a YouTube link to a charming little girl telling this story with such conviction and vehemence that you’d think she actually was there as a witness (click here). I have shared it with several others and watched it several times, always with delight and admiration for this little girl’s storytelling ability.
However, beyond the entertainment value of this story I find an important message that rings true in my life: when God calls us to a particular vocation, God’s plans for us are “plans of peace, not disaster.” God is always with us to lead us and help us accomplish all God asks of us. In Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus says: ” Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” We are invited, not forced, to take Christ’s yoke upon us to walk/work in a partnership. So if we choose to go it alone without God’s companionship and not follow God’s guidance, we are free to do so. When we do so, like Jonah, we soon find out just how small we are to face life’s forces alone without divine guidance.
Fifty years ago, I, along with 11 other Sisters in my group, made my “final profession,” vowing to remain faithful until death to Christ and to my vocation as a Dominican Sister. During those 50 years, even though remaining true to our vocation, we weathered many storms: the falling off of vocations to religious life and the loss of several of our Sister friends who left us during the 1960s and 70s; the many shifts in our church for or against Vatican II teachings; the unrest the civil rights movement; our country’s involvement in overseas wars – Vietnam, Gulf, Afghanistan – just to name a few, and not to mention the storms within our hearts during these churning events. Through prayer and as companions to each other, my sister classmates have stayed in touch and supported each other through all these stormy times, as well as in more peaceful times, via visits and a Round Robin letter that began around 1960 and continues even to now – a simple yoke taken on to make the burdens lighter.
Dominican Associates who partner with the Dominican Sisters of Peace in our mission of preaching the Risen Christ, are also invited through their relationship with God and each other, to find ways to connect with and support each other in prayer, study, community and ministry.
If you are interested in learning more about the Dominican Associates relationship, or Dominican Sisters of Peace, please click on the tabs above to read more, and/or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org