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?
One of my favorite things about being a young sister-in-formation is allowing people to ask me their burning (and sometimes silly) questions about religious life. Questions like: Do nuns have jobs? Can you still go dancing and swimming? You mean you get to keep that nose ring? Becoming a sister right now is an interesting thing: religious life has changed drastically in the past fifty years, but many people’s stereotypes about it haven’t. Many of these stereotypes seem superficial (ie- all nuns wear habits; nuns don’t dance) but they may reflect deeper misconceptions about religious life… like the idea that sisters are somehow more holy or less human than “normal” people. For a long time, my own misconceptions kept me from really considering religious life. And so I enjoy the questions. I love making people feel free to ask them, and I love surprising them with the answers. After all, they aren’t really asking about my nose ring; they want to know about this way
Recently I looked at a show called “Tidying Up” with Marie Kondo. As a person who wanted order in her life I was attracted to this show because Marie took a holistic approach to tidying up the clutter in many of her client’s homes and by extension their lives. It is amazing how attached we become to things, even a seemingly trivial item as clothing. One guy in the show while they were sorting out clothing and having to let go of some saying that a particular T-shirt was very comfortable and he wanted to keep it and his wife chimed in asking when was the last time had he worn that T-Shirt. It is very easy to become attached to many things and to people and begin to believe that I cannot live without it or them. This came home to me when I recently changed ministry (job) and I realised how attached I had become to this particular position of the ministry. In retrospect I now see that I had found my identity in that position and had become attached to it, which made it very difficult
During these COVID-19 days, in our Motherhouse dining room, we are sitting at tables of two so that we can social distance. One of the results of this is that we are able to have great one-on-one dialogues with our Sister diner. Today at breakfast I had a notable conversation with another Sister I did not know well. I asked her what was new in her life. She responded she had watched the movie “Les Miserables” yesterday. I inquired what she liked best about the film. She said – forgiveness. She recounted that one of the main characters who had injured so many people could not accept the forgiveness offered to him. Ultimately, he took his own life. Lately, it seems that the theme of forgiveness is running through so many recent Scripture readings in the liturgy and references to our Constitution. When referring to Community, our Constitution says, When values and goals are held in common, gifts nurtured, mistakes forgiven, when when persons are co