Thursday, July 12, 2012

"Everything Happens for a Reason"

If there is ever a phrase that sounds like finger nails on a chalk board – for me it is the title of this blog entry.  It is right up there with the words spoken to someone grieving the death of a loved one:  “S/he is in a better place.”

When someone says this to me or about their life situation or the life events of third party, I ask as gently as possible, what are some reasons that come to mind for them.

Life is filled with joys and filled with sorrows.  It is the latter that is hard for us to know what to do or say to someone when we hear difficult news.  So we go to ‘throw-a-way’ statements.  We have not learned that it is ok to just be with one who is suffering.

Retreat and spiritual direction ministries are doors into people’s joys and sorrows.  So are all of life’s relationships.

I have learned that what people want most is to be heard.  Listening deeply is a life skill and is worth the work to develop.  Community life provides a great place to do lots of practice in developing this skill!

The next time you hear difficult news, while you consider what you might say, consider how to listen.  And if you are considering life as a Dominican Sister, know you will be able to learn a lot including the skill to listen.

Roberta A. Popara, O.P.

North Palm Beach, FL


  1. Thank you for the great reminder!!!

  2. Very timely sharing.


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