As Dominican Sisters and Associates, preaching is our charism – the gift that we receive and the gift we are called to share. Yet, often I find it challenging to 'preach' about my faith in public circles and prefer sharing quietly how God is active in my life and in the lives of those I love, a way of preaching that each of us often does on a daily basis.
A recent example of how I witnessed God acting in my life and in the lives of others was at the Leadership for Peace orientation weekend in October. Women from Ohio Dominican University who were recommended to participate in this program openly shared how God and their faith have blessed them with strength and guidance. Their willingness to share added depth and meaning to the gathering and became a preaching to me, and I think to the others present, too.
As the eleventh child in a family of thirteen children, I had many opportunities to practice peace-building skills. Looking back, though, I likely used the "fight-or-flight" or other conflict-avoidance methods rather than any of the active nonviolent techniques that are being taught in peace-building seminars and classes today. But I guess we did pretty well as a family, since we are still very caring and supportive of each other today - a great gift to have and for which I am very grateful.
Would you like to catch a glimpse of novitiate life today? Dominican Sisters of Peace Anne Knight and Bea Tiboldi, plus the other novices at the Collaborative Dominican Novitiate (CDN) in St. Louis, MO, are sharing reflections on their blogs (see links below). Please feel free to post a reply or make a comment at the end of blog posts.
*Please note that links to Dominican Sisters of Peace CDN blogs may also be found on the homepage!
"You are a people dear to me and I know the plans I have for you. Plans for a future full of hope where visions and dreams will all come true, for I your God am with you…."
Words from the song, "Walk Along with Me," written by the late Sr. Rita McManus, OP, inspired the participants at the Come and See weekend held at the Dominican Retreat/Conference Center in Niskayuna, NY.
Women in discernment, Sisters, and an Associate prayed, shared, walked, sang, and spent time in silence together as we engaged questions related to discernment and God's grace acting in our lives (view photos from the weekend!).
Great joy and great sorrow accompany those arriving at the Collaborative Dominican Novitiate (CDN) this week: joy for the anticipation of the gifts of the year for novices, Srs. Anne Knight, Bea Tiboldi, and the other three Dominican novices; and sorrow as Co-Director Dominican Sister of Peace Joye Gros, OP, grieves the recent death of her brother. May their community be a source of love and care for each of them.
As I traveled back from Houston to Akron recently, I read an article in the airline's magazine about a young man who had traveled with his girlfriend from coast to coast in a red corvette convertible. They had only a small amount of money at the beginning of the trip, so in order to finance their travels, they stopped along the way to earn money by picking berries or taking the early shift at a donut and coffee shop. It took them two and a half months to cross the United States.
Joining the Dominican Sisters of Peace affords many opportunities for praying and working with Sisters and Associates in our congregation and also with Sisters, Associates, Friars, Nuns, and Laity in our larger Dominican family. Ask any of our Sisters or Associates and she/he will be able to give you a personal example from her/his own life.
Today we share more of the peace poems written by participants of the Peace Leadership think tank. Which poem resonates with you? We encourage you to comment about your own experiences related to peace-building and share any poems you have written. What actions do you take to help bring about justice and build peace?
"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." ~ John 14:27
As we enter the summer months, we hope you can enjoy some time for rest, relaxation, and re-creation! Yet the work for justice and peace takes no holiday. Try this exercise as part of your prayer. It was one of the exercises to get our creativity flowing and engage the artistic side of the participants of the Peace Leadership Think Tank earlier this year. We wrote poems about peace based on qualities and characteristics of peacemakers and our understanding of the meaning of peace. Try experimenting with this yourself. Follow these simple directions as a guide.
"If you have come to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine then let us walk together...." ~ Lila Watson, Australian Aboriginal woman in response to mission workers