Posts

VERITAS

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The motto of the Dominican Order is veritas…truth. We are truth-seekers. This week could be called a week of veritas, of truth-seeking. June 14 is Flag Day, a day celebrating the first flag resolution passed by the Second Continental Congress, made official later in 1949; a day regarded as one way to teach children about history. June 19, also known as Juneteenth, is the oldest known celebration honoring the end of slavery in the United States, the day when the Civil War ended and slaves were ‘set free’, even though people of color are still fighting for equality and justice. The problem I see is that our history has most often been taught through the lens of those holding power, through the perspective of white people. In our pursuit of truth, we must ask what history is  not  being taught? Who/what people are invisible in our telling of ‘history’? Whose very real and painful stories are not being told?  I wasn’t taught about white supremacy (except in relationship to Hitler and the N

Face-to-Face Visits!

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During the past 15 months, in addition to family calls, I called four people on a regular basis.  This was important for me, as I hope it was for them, because our ministry has always been relationship-based.  But a phone call is not as satisfying as a face-to-face visit.  So with great joy I celebrated when I became fully vaccinated.  Now I could have real visits from others who were fully vaccinated.       Last week I was able to invite two different people to my home. What a thrill it was to prepare lunch for one and breakfast for the other. This is something I have truly missed.  There is something very special about inviting someone to your table, sharing conversation, sharing your home, and being present to one another in a face-to-face visit.  In preparing for my guests' arrival I try to think of what would be the best way to show I am happy to see them and that I treasure their presence.  This helps me to focus on them and not on myself, helping me to experience and appreci

Heaven on Earth

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I am blessed to live on a beautiful lake in the Northwoods of Wisconsin. These spring days are breathtaking. When I get up in the morning I open my door to a view of the sunrise. The room is flooded with light, a light so bright that it hurts my eyes. I thank God for a new day, a new opportunity to enjoy creation and to share its beauty with the people in my life. If a spring morning on earth is this awesome, what will heaven be like? Our Dominican sister Catherine of Siena tells us that “All the way to heaven is heaven because Christ is the way.” How are you experiencing heaven today? How are you sharing that experience with others?   Mary Ellen Green, OP Woodruff, WI

To ZOOM or not to zoom

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“Zoom” used to mean “move very fast in your favorite vehicle” Now we say “I am zoomed out”.  I attend more meetings and events now that I no longer get in my car to zoom from one meeting to the next.  I just push a few buttons on my computer.   Two ZOOMS one after the other were helpful to me as I work with others to advocate for changes in the criminal justice system.     Where does your passion for justice lead you?   There are so many worthwhile initiatives.     After my second ZOOM, I stayed on to talk with my coworker.  What do we need to do? Where should we go from here? Then my friend shared a poem from Martha Postlethwaite, which I share here:   Do not try to save the whole world or do anything grandiose Instead, create a clearing in the dense forest of your life And wait there  patiently, until the song that is your life falls into your own cupped hands and you recognize and greet it. Only then will you know how to give yourself to this world so worthy of rescue.   To what are

Each Life – Its Own Story

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This past week a good friend was called to new life in God.     As one of Sister’s friends, I was invited to gather around the table with the Motherhouse liturgist and others who are involved in planning wake services and funeral liturgies for Sisters.     I felt honored to be called to participate in the design of the rituals celebrating the life of my friend.     This process was also very healing for me as I told story after story describing my experience of and participation in the life of Sister.  I think of her as a gentle woman, so peaceful, giving, and loving with the “too-numerous-to-count” first graders she taught to read and write. Sister masterfully instructed children in beginning mathematics.  There was no memorization of math facts in her classroom; she coached children how to arrive at answers through innovative exercises.  Most of all she loved, cherished, and affirmed each child.     As the sharing of the narratives was coming to an end, and we had a sense of how to c

Giving and Receiving

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This week the university where I minister is celebrating graduation.     And, it is also the week in which the United States celebrates Mother’s Day.     I saw so many ties between these two events in the past few days.  Students remembering and praising their mothers (and fathers and other family members) for the love and support they received.   Gratitude, study, and the sharing of life with another are examples of what we are called to as followers of Christ.  It is dates like graduation and Mother’s Day that remind us of the gift and privilege that is ours when we pass on what we receive.   When we allow the hope and grace and goodness that we are filled with to overflow onto and into the lives of those around us.  The Catholic Worker Founder, Dorothy Day, said, “the best things to do with the best things in life is to give them away.”   This past week I saw such great examples of what our lives can reflect every day.   For My Parents – They arrived with nothing but gave me everyth

Are you in your element?

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I love water. I love to be by it, on it and in it. Perhaps it’s a genetic predisposition but I find my soul just resonates in the presence of water. It can be smooth as glass, white capped, whipped by wind or tidal waves, large and small with their regular rhythm resonating along a shoreline. I love water’s many presentations and how it interacts with the ever changing light. I am a swimmer. After over a year of not swimming I am gratefully fully vaccinated and have found a local pool where I can book a lane for lap swimming. So, I am thrilled to be back in the water.   It’s a saltwater pool and I have been going early at the beginning of each new day.    I love the interchange between air and water as I move the earth and fire of my body through these precious elements. St Catherine of Siena said, “As the fish is in the water and the water is in the fish, so I am in God and God is in me.”   What a wonderful metaphor for the experience of being enfolded, submerged in the reality of God