Last Monday (May 3rd), some suggestions for addressing Goal 1: Response to the Cry of the Earth were listed. You are invited to share other suggestions for addressing this goal in the comment boxes below.
“Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.” – Catherine of Siena
Women on fire with the love of God are women who live a passionate spirituality. The Universal Christ fully alive in the lives of women of wisdom and Doctors of the Church, will help guide our journey during this retreat. We find ourselves moving through the terrible days of division, pandemic, and hopefully into more familiar, solid ground. This is not unlike these women of the past who lived through the Bubonic Plague, Inquisition, Schism in the Church, Spiritual torment and physical suffering.
During this time, we will recall something of the life if women who lived passionate lives of faith and witness in the face of difficult historical times and persevered in their love and trust of the God who called them into a place of personal transformation. These are all elements, in some way, that have also touched our lives over the years, those things that come upon us over which we have very little control.
Journey with Hildegard of Birgen, Catherine of Siena, Teresa of Avila, and Therese of Lisieux. Pray as and with women of courage, strength, perseverance and deep, abiding faith. Be inspired once again, with their life stories while reflecting on their relevance for our lives today through contemplative dialog, prayer, reflection, and creating journaling with a mandala. These annual, quiet days of listening and praying continue to open us to a deepening presence of God who invites is to set the world on fire with divine love.
Sr. Nancy Brousseau, OP, DMin, is a Dominican Sister of Grand Rapids, MI. Nancy served as the Director of the Dominican Center at Marywood in Grand Rapids for five years and was Director of Spirituality Programs there for six years. Prior to those years, she was Director of St. Joseph Educational Center in Des Moines, Iowa. Sr. Nancy has an MA in Religious Education, and MDiv from St. John’s (now Sacred Heart) Seminary in Detroit, and a DMin in Spiritual Director from the Graduate Theological Foundation and the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN. She offers retreats, spiritual direction, workshops, and programs in prayer, spirituality, and spiritual formation for those becoming spiritual directors. Serving as a tour leader for international pilgrimages and tours has been part of her life since 1997, taking groups to countries in Europe, the Middle East, and the Holy Land. She lives in DeWitt, MI.
Recently, I heard this riddle: “What appears 1x in a minute, 2x in a moment, but never in a thousand years?” If you keep reading, you will find the answer.
A riddle might serve as a game or an ice breaker; however, riddles remind me of the discernment process in some ways. What do riddles and the discernment process have in common?
Both take time and effort
Whether it’s figuring out the answer to a riddle or praying with God’s plan for our life, the solution or path may not be obvious at first sight. It feels great when we do figure out the answer, but many times both solving a riddle or discerning one’s vocations, take time.
Both might require digging deeper for real meaning
Sometimes, riddles are meant to trip you up, but if we take a closer look at them, they challenge us to look at things from different angles. When we look into exploring our vocation or when we start to discern, we also look at things from different angles. For example, when discerning a specific religious congregation, you may want to look at its prayer life, charism, service or ministry, and life in community. You may also want to pray with the question: “which community can I picture myself in?” The discernment process is meant to bring us to a deeper level of self-awareness.
Both urge us to recognize what’s missing
Sometimes a riddle focuses on things that are missing. (“What is it that has cities but no houses, that has mountains but no trees, and has water but no fish?” The answer is: a map.) The discernment process helps you identify not only what religious life is but also what it is not. Also, the process can help you identify the areas where you need to grow or to assess what might be holding you back from moving forward. Knowing what you are looking for in a community or religious like can help you narrow down your search and can help you find the congregation where you can be your best self.
Both invite us to think it through
Some riddles invite us to think logically or straightforward. In discerning one’s vocation, we prayerfully consider pros and cons, we pray to see what path God is calling us to, which way of life (single, married, or religious life) will enable us to use the gifts that God has blessed us with.
Both might stretch us
Riddles work by making us think – beyond words, numbers, or concepts—that stretch our brains and imaginations. During the discernment process, we are encouraged to stretch ourselves to become more compassionate or to try a service or mission experience to help us find clarity with our vocation. Similar to solving a riddle, these “stretching” experiences eventually help us reach an answer.
Both encourage us to keep it simple
Some riddles are long and include extra information, and if we want to be able to solve, the riddle, the key is in keeping things simple; sometimes less is more. The same notion of keeping it simple holds true with the discernment process – don’t get tangled up in the process. Instead, ask questions as they come up to make it easier to know your vocation and purpose.
Both encourage us to notice and be aware of ‘the hidden’
Riddles are not meant to be easy or obvious. Let’s revisit the riddle that helped me recognize what riddles and the discernment process have in common: “What appears 1x in a minute, 2x in a moment, but never in a thousand years?” In this riddle, we are invited to notice the answer within the question. The answer is, the letter “m.” Notice, the answer was there even at the time the question was asked. We, too, are encouraged to notice God’s presence, who is always present in our discernment.
If you would like to talk to a Sister about your vocation, contact us to begin a conversation.
As we celebrate National Nurses Week, we thank God for the nurses who care for us in our Motherhouses and Care Centers.
We are also celebrating our Sisters who served as nurses during their ministries around the world. The Dominican Sisters of Peace founded three hospitals in Kansas: St. Rose Hospital,(Great Bend, 1903); St. Catherine (Garden City, 1931) and St. Joseph (Larned, 1951), as well as the Central Kansas Medical Center in Great Bend, KS. While management of these facilities has transferred to a lay organization, the Congregation still operates Mohun Health Care Center in Columbus, and Sansbury Care Center in St. Catharine, Kentucky. In addition, the Lourdes Senior Community in Waterford, Michigan, formerly sponsored by the Oxford Dominicans, includes under a single board four facilities: Lourdes Nursing Home and Rehabilitation Center, Mendelson Home (assisted living), Clausen Manor (Alzheimer’s care), and Fox Manor (independent living).
While many of our Sisters have retired from nursing, they are still in active ministries of prayer, service, community leadership and more.
Not shown, Dominican Sister of Peace Giovanni Cody
Help Stop the Use of Landmines
In today’s Justice Blog, Sr. Judy Morris told us about the dangers of landmines and how people are still suffering and dying from these leftover weapons.
164 nations have banned anti-personnel landmines because of the horrific, almost never-ending legacy of death and destruction that they cause. It’s time that the United States do the same.
Over the past 30 years, the number of landmine casualties has plummeted around the world. Please click here to sign a petition asking President Biden to ensure safety for the future by banning landmines.
John Lewis Voting Rights Day The Late Congressman John Lewis shed his blood crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge to Fight for Black voters and Voters of Color to participate in America’s electoral process and the enactment of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Voting rights are under attack nationally by state legislators, and special interests and billionaires are spending unlimited amounts of money to buy our elections.
Join the action on May 8 to demand the passage of the For the People Act, the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and D.C. Statehood and to address one of the greatest obstacles to the passage of civil and voting rights – and one of the last vestiges of slavery – the filibuster! Find an action near you!
LCWR has endorsed the national John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Action Day and we plan to release a joint statement with the National Black Sisters Conference on the critical importance of ensuring that all people—no matter race, zip code, economic situation—enjoy the sacred right to vote.Organizers have prepared this toolkit to help with messaging.
Celebrate Laudato Si’ Week! Laudato Si’ Week 2021 will be celebrated May 16-24. The theme of this year is the very positive message: “for we know that things can change” (LS 13). The Laudato Si’ Week will be a core event of the Special Laudato Si’ Anniversary Year, and a way to celebrate the steps that the whole Church has made on its journey to ecological conversion. It will also be a time to reflect on what the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us and how we might prepare for the future with hope.”