By Linda Covey, OPA, Great Bend, KS
As a Dominican Associate, my goal each day is to imitate Christ and as a Dominican Associate, I understood the words prayer, study, community, and ministry as mundane. I actually try to live my life putting these words into action every day never really thinking about them or ever owning them. But somehow, at the retreat, these words came to life for me.
Pillars are able to stand alone or stand together to strengthen the structure they support. The pillar of prayer builds a relationship with God through Jesus in order to love by way of communication. As the old song goes, “Getting to know you, getting to know all about you,” is exactly what happens when you look up to God and say, “Hello God! I love you Lord and I want to know you better.”
It is interesting to me that God actually created us to study. God designed us to desire and study him. Yes, we are thinkers by nature and need to ask questions. We will naturally study the things or beings that we love. The more I know about a subject or someone special in my life, the better I am able to understand, appreciate and become equipped to tell others about it or them with passion. Love of something actually drives a person to desire to study in order to draw closer and become more like what you love.
The third pillar, community, comes alive when an individual leaves their personal space with the intent of being in community with others, such as a retreat or meeting. Coming together as a community is a natural connection that occurs. It is a mutual strengthening among those who are present to one another that causes a forever bond by learning something that is shared and then, knowing you are not alone, and then returns as a full vessel ready to share with others looking beyond fences and breaking down boundaries without feeling alone.
We are not meant to hide in a cave or remain behind closed doors. Ministry, the fourth pillar, is putting into action prayer, study, and community. Ministry should be the reason we get up in the morning. It helps me thrive when I am aware of the one great thing I am called to do. As a Dominican Associate, I am about truth, teaching, and preaching the Good News to a world darkened by sin.
I am strong in prayer. I can learn something new every day. I will support my community and I will minister by standing tall along with my community. I am a pillar, a bridge between heaven and earth just as St. Dominic did in his lifetime. We are all brothers and sisters in mission.