Monday, April 30, 2012

What Does It Mean?

As I thought about what I might share in this blog post, more questions than particular insights flooded into consciousness.  Imaging myself sitting at the feet of my grandmother or a few wise Sinsinawa Dominicans, I share some of my questions with you.

What does it mean to be a follower of Jesus, in word and deed? What does it mean to be a young woman of faith in an old Catholic Church? What does it mean to be a minister of the Word in the 800th year of the Dominican Order, a year designated to acknowledge and celebrate Dominican Women and Preaching? What does it mean to value on-going theological study, engaging in “faith seeking understanding?” What does it mean to commit to Catholic social justice teachings in a world of injustices and crimes perpetrated against the created? What does it mean to be a vowed Catholic religious and a compassionate presence and companion with the marginalized? What does it mean to be a member of an institutional Church that attempts to silence questions and censure dialogue? What does it mean to live into the Sinsinawa Dominicans Direction Statement: to “… commit ourselves to living boldly… call one another to speak courageously and risk for justice…” in 2012 and into the future?

As you can see, I have many questions. What questions do you have?

Tanya Williams, OP
St. Louis Park, Minnesota

1 comment:

  1. I am 33 and love being a Catholic woman, Jesus and the Catholic faith is the best thing we could possibly offer to benefit the society in which we live. Since like so many (all?) in our time I have experienced and observed the terrible harm of the sexual revolution that has affected especially women and children, I realize the good we are sharing with people when we witness to the beauty of the Church's teachings on sexual morality and marriage, the good of chastity, the moral evil of contraception, and the dignity of human life from conception to natural death. This is a primary social justice concern today, and my volunteering with the homeless and with the elderly also continually teaches me how completely integral meeting other human needs and spiritual needs is, with those concerns. It is sad how polarized secular society has played those things (sexual morality vs caring for the poor) against each other, and the Church and especially Catholic women today have a vocation to show that in true charity they are simply not opposed to each other. One of my friends from here in Madison joined the contemplative-active Sisters of Life in the Bronx who among other ministries run a maternity home for poor unwed young pregnant moms involving them also in their prayer life and offering instruction in the "theology of the body", and I think they are doing particularly amazing and moving work witnessing to the great beauty of the whole Catholic teaching on social justice. Basic sound catechesis and orthodox theological study on one's knees has immense importance in our time and is surely part of the underpinning also of active apostolates, not only preaching or teaching in keeping with the mind and heart of the Church but also service apostolates, and also the life of prayer, which is what we live on in a way.

    My personal questions have to do with how to serve Jesus in singleheartedness, in profound integrity and self giving, and truly ecclesially and in obedience, as someone unsuitable for religious community life or other traditional forms of consecrated life. How to continue seeking the conversion of my life, not becoming dicouraged by my weakness, but trusting more profoundly in Jesus, how to love the Cross and not run away from it! How to pray and be loved and love Jesus in the midst of dryness and distraction and the pull of other concerns and things to do!


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