Last Friday, in our monthly Emmaus Discernment Group, a discerner raised the question of how one might feel God nudging her. One way to know is paying attention to the feelings inside. A person might feel an immense joy, or find herself restless about the idea of religious life, or wish to deepen her relationship with God, or might feel passionate about peace and justice, etc.
For me, it was a combination of three feelings, which came in stages. When I first recognized and felt how much God loved me, an immense joy inspired me (and I also felt being called) to share that joy of being loved by God. The next stage was when I became super sensitive to songs, i.e. listening to “Take a chance on me” while watching Mamma Mia, was another nudge. The more I played with the thought of religious life, the more restless I became. My prayer life was a ‘busy’ one, but something was still missing, and I wanted to get deeper. And then came the feeling of healthy anger. A healthy anger is a type of anger that helps us to explore our feelings and the way we would respond instead of just reacting. What might a healthy anger look like? Let me explain it with my experience. I started to discern God’s call with a spiritual director. At that time, I was teaching in an underprivileged area. As a teacher, I saw the effects of the 2007-2008 financial debt-ceiling crisis: the electricity in some of our students’ homes was cut, and some even became homeless for a short period of time. My spiritual director helped me understand how not to let this distract me but rather to explore what I could about it, and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (RBG) symbolizes for me how to take action.
Last Friday, our country lost a giant, a Champion of Justice, our “Notorious R.B.G.” RBG’s mother taught her not to be distracted by emotions like anger because it just drains one’s energy. So, Justice RBG used her energy for empathy and equality, and her passion for justice wisely. My spiritual director, too, advised me similarly, to use my passion for justice wisely.
RBG was about embracing justice and embracing people – especially those who were left out or left behind. She was a woman of courage, vision, determination and action. She put anger and fear behind her and was all about serving those in need. She is an inspiration for all. She had a way of helping others see injustice and discrimination. “Ruth Bader Ginsburg knocked on closed doors, opened them, and held them open for others.” (quote by Dean Lizabeth Cohen) She gave voice to the voiceless and hope to the hopeless.
The combination of discerning God’s call in my life and the urge to work toward a more just and peaceful world led me to look into religious congregations that worked for peace and justice. I found the answer in becoming a Dominican Sister of Peace. We, Dominican Sisters of Peace bear witness to the Gospel and we work to build a more peaceful world through our ministries, our prayer, and our way of life. Being in vocation ministry, I find inspiration in her advice: “Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.” (RBG) My prayer is that I can be a witness of faith and that others may see the meaning and joy of this way of life.
Thank you, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg! Now let us honor her by continuing her advocacy for a more peaceful world.
If you think that God is calling you to live out your call as a Dominican Sister of Peace, contact us.