I recently heard an excellent homily that made me think of our Dominican Prayer Associates. It was the Feast of the Presentation of our Lord. The Gospel was the familiar reading from Luke in which the righteous man Simeon and the prophetess Anna both recognize the infant Jesus as the long-awaited Savior.
In his homily, the priest, Fr. Michael Lumpe, likened Simeon and Anna, who “never left the temple,” to today’s monastic sisters and brothers in convents and monasteries world-wide, who have committed their lives to prayer. Prayer, Father said, is not only important, it is urgently needed amid the turmoil, confusion and sometimes just plain madness of modern times.
So true! And I agreed with his accolades for modern day monastics. Still, I couldn’t help drawing parallels to those dedicated Dominican Associates who likewise focus on prayer. They may not live in monasteries, but Dominican Sisters of Peace Prayer Associates provide a strong bedrock of prayer support for the many various and diverse ministries of our branch of the Dominican Family. Every day they actively pray, for our crazy world yes, but also for us, our Order, our Congregation, our Sisters and Associates and our many vital ministries around our crazy world.
DSOP Associate guidelines provides the option for Active Associates to transition to the status of Prayer Associates if/when personal limitations restrict them from being active. Similar to those Sisters who change their primary ministry to that of prayer when they move to an infirmary or extended care facility, Associates too can change their primary ministry to prayer as their life circumstances change.
Sometimes, I guess because it is so often accompanied by age and/or infirmity, the importance of this form of prayer ministry is under-estimated. What a mistake! Jesus Himself has commanded us to pray, and to pray often, as he did. I believe in the power of prayer, and today I especially appreciate the powerful prayer of our Dominican Prayer Associates, to whom I would like to say, thank you!