Daily Grind

Daily Grind

Monday, August 29, 2016

Stories, Told and Heard

A couple of weeks ago, some of my co-workers and I noticed that we were working with more international clients than usual; clients from different countries, primary languages, cultures and traditions, and professional experiences. As a job counselor, this presents many unique opportunities and challenges. Imagine, also, the hundreds of stories and relationships that ensue.

In addition to native born US citizens (mostly from the north Midwest), I am currently working with clients from Egypt, India, China, Uganda, Somalia, Cameroon, Syria, Mexico and Brazil. In the course of my working relationships, I am gifted with stories about families, dreams and goals, values that influence decisions, present hardships and concerns, and more.

My world view and heart expand every day. The stories I hear bring realities of others into my own. Some days, like this past Friday, I am moved beyond words to tears. Through all of these experiences, I become better at my work and in personal relationships. Every day I am reminded about the power of stories; how they can change us and our capacity to care about each other.

What stories – told and heard – have changed who you are and how you are in the world?

Tanya Williams, OP
St. Louis Park, MN

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Dominicans and Prayer

 Prayer is one of the four pillars of a Dominican lifestyle.  Along with preaching or ministry, community, and study, prayer is how we devote ourselves to a gospel way of life.   We pray in common, joining with our sisters and with all the faithful, wherever we are missioned.  We also develop a cherished relationship with God.  Our founder, Saint Dominic used to say, “Talk to God and about God.” Prayer is how we relate to God and influences how we relate to the whole universe. 

Summer, with all its growth and greenery, has so much to teach us about prayer.  Just this week, I
have been passing the zucchini plants from our community garden on my way to the Food Pantry.  Each plant, with its bright yellow flower still bursting forth from the stem, seems to be growing bigger on a daily basis.  By the time this vegetable ends up on the table of one of our neighbors to provide a savory meal and sustenance, the zucchini will have “let go” of the flower.  In some cultures, this flower is used for soups and medicine. 

Letting go is my deepest prayer.  I ask to be emptied, like the process of growth in our vegetable garden.  I asked to be completely free to be filled up with God’s dream for our world.  I ask God to go out each day full of God’s great compassion and mercy.   

Peggy Ryan, OP
Waukegan, IL 

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