Daily Grind

Daily Grind

Monday, September 18, 2017

Fertile soil with shallow roots

Settling-in can be an unsettling process.  Three weeks into a new ministry, a new community and living in an unfamiliar city, I’m far from feeling grounded.  I’m still trying to establish my routines, navigate interpersonal dynamics and negotiate the ins-and-outs of everyday life.  Big, new beginnings like these can be bittersweet reminders of how I remain a deeply flawed and insecure person.  There’s no lens like major life change or being unsettled to clearly view my fears, my sense of entitlement, and my need for control—this is the gift of itinerancy.

Nevertheless, I sense a calmness and confidence settling-in.  I’m finally finding the time to take a breath and appreciate all the potential that this newness has to offer.  Moments like these are the closest we come to having a clean-slate—and they become what we allow them to become.   A supportive, justice-minded community, a life-giving ministry with solid, competent colleagues, a monumental city full of intrigue and beauty, and the Holy Spirit to companion me through the next steps:  how could this not be right?

Nina Simone sang it for me:
“Blossom on the tree,
you know how I feel. 
It’s a new dawn,
it’s a new day,
it’s a new life for me…
and I’m feeling good.”

Quincy Howard, OP
Washington, DC

Monday, September 11, 2017

Holding on –

Sixteen years ago, on September 11, 2001, I was in New York City with several of our Sinsinawa Sisters.  Four of us were attending a meeting at the United Nations and we were staying at our convent in Manhattan.  Beginning with that Tuesday morning in New York, we navigated together through the devastating and frightening days that followed the attacks on the World Trade Center. 

This terrible event that we remember as “9/11” marks for me a catastrophic shift in our understanding of ourselves and of our world.  For many, “security” seems to be the reality that trumps many values that have been essential to the fabric of our nation.  Seeing the “other” as a potential threat rather than as an opportunity to encounter Jesus is a view that seems pervasive.  

Each year when the anniversary of “9/11” occurs, I find myself reflecting about how this event continues to shape us.  In these days of many disasters at home and around the world, I hope that our commitment to be followers of Jesus and his message instead will be the reality that shapes and guides us.  For me, holding on to this hope is possible in the good company of my Sinsinawa Sisters. 

What helps you to hold on to hope?

Toni Harris OP
Madison, WI

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