As a spiritual director and retreat leader, encouragement is one aspect of ministry.  Actually, encouragement is needed to be given and received from the minute we are born.

I am reminded of this life support virtue as I read a friend's weekly blog. Not what she wrote as I prepare my blog entry but something I occasionally remind her about especially when she creates a conversation with her dog.  These blog entries have beautiful faith and moral implications.

My friend as already authored two books and my encouragement is that she consider writing books for children using the 'doggie' posts.  I can almost see the pictures that would go with these stories.

Each of us both need to give and receive encouragement.  Sometimes we may push back when another offers this to us.  Yet, with gratitude we need to be open to what is being said. The other person just may be drawing out of us a gift of the Holy Spirit we didn't know was in us.

What encouragement have you given lately? What was the gift you saw in the other person?  And on the flipside - what encouragement have you received?  Has it been to Dominican vowed life?  What gifts are others seeing in you that you have not noticed?

Roberta A. Popara, O.P.
North Palm Beach  FL


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