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Posts tagged ‘dominican’

The Feast of the Guardian Angels

Tuesday, October 2nd is the Feast of the Guardian Angels. We can’t prove they are there, but I’m pretty sure that they have been around and kept me out of a scrap or two in my life. The picture below is from a fresco at San Domenico in Bologna. It shows the angels carrying the body of St. Dominic.

May the angels be with us “now and at the hour of our death.” Amen.

St. Dominic is often recognized by the star on his forehead.

I Love Being a Nun!

While this post is entitled, “I Love Being a Nun!”, actually I am a sister. Nuns are those who are cloistered and primarily involved in the ministry of prayer. Those of us who are sisters are involved in apostolic ministry – and that’s a big umbrella (teaching, hospital ministry, parish ministry, social work, working for social justice, etc.).  So, it would be more correct for me to say, “I love being a sister”, which I do often. But since people often call sisters nuns . . .

Well, you see what I mean.

Anyway, nineteen years ago today I entered the convent and started the process of becoming a Dominican Sister of San Rafael. I made my first profession of vows in 1996 and my perpetual vows in 1999. And while nineteen is not one of those special numbers like 20, 25, or 50, it still seems pretty significant to me. I was 40 years old when I entered (I guess you can do the math). And I still love being a sister. My family tells me that they have never known me to be happier. Living in community – doing work that is satisfying and of benefit to others – praying together with a community of sisters on a daily and regular basis – being encouraged to continue to study . . . to be all we can be (for the sake of others) . . . What can I say but that I am grateful!

And Meister Eckhart, the Dominican mystic from the 13th century tells us, “If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.”

I highly recommend this life to others!

Here I am with John and Don, a couple of friends, at a party prior to my entering the convent.



Here I am playing the guitar at a ceremony for Sister Alexa, our newest novice, just a couple of weeks ago.

Marveling at the Beauty of the Created

Seal Rock, San Francisco

This, then, is salvation:
When we marvel at the beauty of created
things and praise their beautiful creator.

— Meister Eckhart
Dominican Mystic

How to Choose the Way We Live Our Lives

As the Vocation Minister for our congregation of Dominican Sisters, I am often asked about how to choose from among the many wonderful possibilities of vocations. It is easy for us to choose when Choice A is clearly good, and Choice B is clearly bad. But it usually doesn’t work that we. We most often make choices from among things that are good. And if they are good, we also know that God is in them. So we are also not making a choice between God and Not-God.

Now much as I would like to tell many gifted, generous, and committed women that the best choice is to become a Dominican Sister of San Rafael, alas, I cannot do that. We only know our own hearts. And, as much as this has been a wonderful and life-giving vocation for me, others have other fulfilling vocations to live.

So how to choose? Perhaps the Sufi poet Rumi can help us. I don’t think I could say it any better!

Let yourself be silently drawn
by the strange pull of what you really love.
It will not lead you astray.

~ Rumi ~

Holy Spirit, draw us.

Transfiguration and First Vows

On Sunday afternoon Sister Colleen McDermott, OP will make her First Profession of Vows as a Dominican Sister of San Rafael. She is delighted that the Gospel reading of the day

Sister Colleen McDermott, OP

from Mark 9:2-10 is about Jesus’ Transfiguration. Jesus’ disciples saw him on the high mountain, suddenly, as he truly was . . . even though they didn’t understand. All of us are also on a journey to becoming more of who we truly are . . . even though we may not be able to see it clearly or understand the process.

Sister Colleen’s profession will be one more step on her journey of becoming. A transfiguration of a sort. And we, the Dominican Sisters, are delighted that she wants to continue with us on our journey becoming more of who we are called to be.

Mold Our Hearts on Ash Wednesday, during Lent, and throughout our Lives

Today, on Ash Wednesday, I share a reflection by our Sister Sally Lowell, OP

Rend your hearts, not your garments, and return to your God. For gracious and merciful is God, slow to anger, rich in kindness, and relenting in punishment.
– Joel 2:13

Several years ago I was invited to make some clay hearts for a friend who was giving a Lenten Parish Retreat. Since she requested 500 hearts, I began the project right away. As I rolled, molded, shaped and held the clay in my hands a new image of Lent began to emerge. “Rend your hearts, not your garments and return to God.”

Yes, Lent is about giving up, letting go, prayer and alms-giving. Yet, for me, it is a time of invitation: an invitation to be open and receive what God has in store. In other words, Lent is a time of surrender and letting go so that Jesus can mold our hearts anew. The journey of Lent is an inner journey of prayer which enables us to offer our whole being to God: our joys and fears, accomplishments and struggles, successes and conflicts. This recognition of our gifts and limitations is difficult and scary, because when we cooperate with God’s desire for us, our hearts, like the clay I rolled, shaped, and molded will be transformed.

Jesus asks each of us for a change of heart this Lent. Will we let Jesus create in us new hearts that acknowledge our gifts so that we can use them to do God’s work? Will we let Jesus break any conflict, fear, or hardness within our hearts? Will we let Jesus change our hearts with his healing, forgiveness, and grace?

If we can make these changes and surrender to his invitation, the true freedom of Easter will emerge. Perhaps our Lenten mantra might be:Yes, mold our hearts today.

Hearts by Sally Lowell, OP

“When We cooperate with God’s desire for us, our hearts, like the clay I rolled, shaped, and molded, will be transformed.”

This reflection, and others throughout the season of Lent, can be found on the website of the Dominican Preachers for the Western Region – You are invited to visit. May these reflections assist you in your prayer during Lent.

Do All for the Glory of God

Paul encourages us today in the First Letter to the Corinthians.

Brothers and sisters,
Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do,
do everything for the glory of God.

1 Corinthians 10:31

Sister Sally doing one of her favorite things: Making Cookies!