“To contemplate and share with others the fruit of contemplation”

This is one of my favorite quotes from St. Thomas Aquinas. It is at the heart of my Dominican vocation.

As much as I am reluctant to leave my comfortable warm bed when the alarm goes off at 5:30 I do appreciate the quiet freshness of the early morning. 

At this time of year, it’s very dark and the moon and bright stars are my companions. I sit and watch in stillness as the sky becomes lighter and a thin sliver of red or orange moves along the horizon, slowly widening to welcome the rising sun. I drink in the beauty and am grateful for the gift of the new day.

As the light dawns, I eat my oatmeal watching as the chickadees, nuthatches, finches, come to my bird feeder. The cardinal and Juncos feed from the seeds that are scattered.  They take only what they need and fly off into the adventure of their day. I too fly off, to catch my shuttle which takes me to Edgewood College where I teach Digital Art and Design to undergraduates in my 8 o’clock class. 

After class I join a few colleagues in our chapel where we sit in contemplative silence together for half an hour. I am so grateful for the opportunity to dive deeply into the reality of the present moment where God is.  This contemplative quiet helps focus my day and inform my relationships.

I am grateful to live at a time when we are aware of the new Universe story and are challenged to embrace transformational consciousness.

What gets you out of bed on these dark mornings?

Isabel Rafferty, OP
Madison, WI


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