Hidden within the invitation to become the Dominican Sisters of Peace was a fulfillment of Christ’s promise: “Amen, I say to you, there is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands for my sake and for the sake of the gospel who will not receive a hundred times more now in this present age: houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands…” (Mark 10:29-30)
In April, 2009, seven congregations of Dominican Sisters gave up their separate identities to become a new community—the Dominican Sisters of Peace—and were joined by one more in 2012. The Associates who were in a committed relationship with each of these congregations were invited to participate in a year of study and discernment, then join in mission with this new unfolding reality. They made a 2 year commitment as Associates of the Dominican Sisters of Peace, thereafter renewing their commitment at 4 year intervals. Whether they experienced it at that time or later, both Sisters’ and Associates’ lives expanded to include “a hundred times more houses, sisters, brothers, mothers, children and lands…”
Our mission of preaching the Good News of Christ from the pulpits of our lives–of being, building and preaching peace–continues to call us to new horizons, new cultures, new life. Being itinerant active contemplatives who are sent on mission is an important characteristic of disciples of Christ and followers of St. Dominic.
Diana Culbertson, O.P. said in a recent preaching: “It would be wrong, I believe, to assume that in our later years we are not being sent anymore. We are all—or most of us, home—or so it seems. That assumption, I suggest, would be manifestly un-Dominican. We can never cease being preachers, missionaries, healers, contemplatives.”
“The greatest missionaries have been contemplatives. They have reflected on the situation in which they find themselves and struggled to understand—and then respond to the needs around them.”
“When I read the texts of great Dominicans, I do not see much preoccupation with their own private needs. They are always looking around: Catherine is preoccupied with the state of the Church; Las Casas with the plight of the Indians. Even Meister Eckhart—the great mystical writer—taught his disciples: ‘All that God asks of you is to go out of yourself and let God be God in you.’ That injunction ‘Go out of yourself’ is the only real missionary mandate.”
“It is not only our ancestors in the faith that were sent. We were not sent just in our youth or midlife. We are still being sent.”
“When God calls to us—as God does everyday…we can answer: “Here I Am.” That willingness opens our heart. We may have to respond by going out of whatever personal space we call ‘home.’”