Monday, December 17, 2018

Peace Amidst Intensity

I don’t know about you, but this time of the year tends to be exceptionally intense for me.  Keeping the “wheels on” in everyday life in addition to preparing for Christmas leads me down the path of overwhelming.  During my daily commute to the Mound, morning reflection time, and before I go to sleep each night I am praying, “God, let me serve with joy, and let me know your peace.”  Fortunately, our good and gracious God, in infinite kindness has bestowed peace and patience upon me.  

In addition, God has used both ordinary and exceptional events during Advent to remind me of what is really important.  One of those exceptional events occurred yesterday on Gaudete Sunday.  We were blessed with the perpetual profession ceremony of our Sr. Kathy Flynn.  What joy, peace, and excitement we experienced through the music, Word of God, preaching, and words of commitment during that ritual! In the program distributed to all attendees, Kathy expressed gratitude for all who had accompanied her in her life’s journey, including the Dominican Sisters of Sinsinawa who “model daily what it means to live faithful, loving, forgiving, and joy-filled lives – even in difficult and uncertain times.”    

How about you?
Who or what provides support and gives you peace?
Who models faithful, loving, forgiving, and joy-filled lives for you?

Anne Sur, OP
East Dubuque, IL

Monday, December 10, 2018

“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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