A Sister Reflects - Reflección de una Hermana


It was a surprise question, but a sincere one. A young woman, obviously grappling with her own life’s purpose, wondered aloud about this word “calling” in her own life. She wanted a sign or at least some clues so she could be assured she had “found it.”

In some ways, it’s hard to describe, but let me attempt to do it anyway. A “calling” is an attraction to something or someone, a sense of rightness about a choice we could make of how to spend our life energies. We read in Scripture about Jesus and the ways he moved through life on Earth with a purpose and an intention that was right for him. No matter the “calling” it brings with it a sense of something more than a job or even a career. A “calling” speaks to our deepest self. Its depth touches into why we were created by God in the very beginning.

Some sense a “calling” easily. Some struggle for years trying first one way, then another and another. Some don’t think about it at all, but just do what they need to do to survive. Praying helps. Taking time for quiet helps. Meeting with a wise mentor or spiritual director helps. The weight of our decision is on us, but being convinced of God’s love for and acceptance of us moves us every day closer to who God is calling us to be and the gifts God gives for our lives.

What does “calling” feel like to you?

Sister Tarianne

Watch how others express their calling. 


“¿Cómo Se Siente "un Llamado?"

Fue una pregunta sorpresa, pero sincera. Una mujer joven, obviamente lidiando con el propósito de su propia vida, se preguntó en voz alta sobre esta palabra "llamado" en su propia vida. Quería una señal, o al menos algunas indicaciónes para poder estar asegurada de que lo había "encontrado."

En cierto modo, es difícil de describir, pero permítame intentar hacerlo de todos modos. Un "llamado" es una atracción por algo o alguien, un sentido de rectitud acerca de una elección que podríamos hacer de cómo gastar nuestras energías de la vida. Leemos en las Escrituras acerca de Jesús y las formas en que se movió a través de la vida en la Tierra con un propósito y una intención que era adecuada para él. No importa el "llamado", trae consigo un sentido de que es algo más que un trabajo o incluso una carrera. Un "llamado" habla a nuestro ser más profundo. Su profundidad toca el por qué fuimos creados por Dios en el principio. 

Algunos sienten un "llamado" fácilmente. Algunos luchan durante años intentando primero de una manera, luego otra y otra. Algunos ni piensan en ello, pero solo hacen lo que tienen que hacer para sobrevivir. La oración ayuda. Tomarse el tiempo para la quietud ayuda. Reunirse con un mentor sabio o director espiritual ayuda. El peso de nuestra decisión recae sobre nosotros, pero estar convencidos del amor y la aceptación de Dios por nosotros nos acerca cada día más a lo que Dios nos llama a ser y los dones que Dios nos da para nuestras vidas.

¿Cómo se siente “llamado” para ti?

Hermana Tarianne

Vea cómo otros expresan su llamado.


On the brink of spring in this northern part of the country we see both snow and new growth. Even the small slips of growth signal that winter’s dormant time is coming to a close. Nature is working underground to once again begin feeding nutrients into plants, bushes, grasses, and trees. This nourishing work of nature is invisible to our eyes until we see evidence in the new shoots rising out of the soil. Then we can only marvel at what she produces.

The work of the Spirit is similar, especially when we are discerning. We look for clues, for answers, and for clear direction but we come up empty. We pray fervently, maybe journal our feelings and options but gain little clarity. It may be challenging to hang onto hope when we’re left with no visible results. It is then we are called to trust that our desire for God and what God wants for our lives is growing within us. Sharing with a mentor or spiritual director skilled in noticing the ways of God’s working in our lives can help us name those elusive gifts, passions, and joys in living wholeheartedly will show themselves. What God desires for us is even greater than we can imagine, so dependable is God’s love for us.

May we be patient and trusting in the Spirit’s working within our hearts. That same wise Spirit will reveal the truth to us as surely as the early spring snowdrops rise above the soil, even when it’s covered in snow!

May we have patience for the blessings we need,
Sisters Tarianne


En el “Intermedio”

Al borde de la primavera en esta parte del norte del país, vemos nieve y nuevos crecimientos. Incluso los pequeños resbalones del crecimiento indican que el tiempo de inactividad del invierno está llegando a su fin. La naturaleza está trabajando bajo la tierra para comenzar una vez más a suministrar nutrientes a las plantas, arbustos, pastos, y árboles. Este trabajo nutritivo de la naturaleza es invisible para nuestros ojos hasta que veamos evidencia en los nuevos brotes que salen de la tierra. Entonces solo podemos maravillarnos de lo que ella produce.

La obra del Espíritu es similar, especialmente cuando estamos discerniendo. Buscamos señales, respuestas, y una dirección clara, pero salimos vacíos. Oramos fervientemente, tal vez escribamos nuestros sentimientos y opciones en un diario, pero logramos poca claridad. Puede ser desafiante mantener la esperanza cuando no nos quedan resultados visibles. Es entonces que somos llamados a confiar en que nuestro deseo por Dios y lo que Dios quiere para nuestras vidas está creciendo dentro de nosotros. Compartir con un mentor o director espiritual experto en darse cuenta de las formas en que Dios trabaja en nuestras vidas, puede ayudarnos a nombrar esos dones escondidos, las pasiones, y las alegrías de vivir con entusiasmo se mostrarán. Lo que Dios desea para nosotros es aún más grande de lo que podemos imaginar, tan confiable es el amor de Dios por nosotros.

Que seamos pacientes y confiados en el trabajo del Espíritu dentro de nuestros corazones. ¡Ese mismo sabio Espíritu nos revelará la verdad tan seguramente como las primeras gotas de nieve de primavera se elevan sobre el suelo, incluso cuando está cubierto de nieve!

Que tengamos paciencia para las bendiciones que necesitamos,
Hermana Tarianne


“I’ve decided on a ‘two-for-one’ during Lent this year,” the young woman announced to her mentor during their monthly conversation. “I’m going to give up avoiding and move toward taking time to think and pray.” That way I can give something up that isn’t doing me any good and take on something that will help me grow in my faith.

It had been a long time coming, but finally Judy, while working full-time in a retail store had decided it was time to get serious about this discernment practice she had put off ever since college graduation. Somehow she knew deep inside that it was the right thing for her to do but she was a bit afraid of what she’d find out, afraid of what she’d discover God wanted from her.

But this Lent she was in a new place. Was this what they meant by “maturing”? She hoped so. She had been to a couple day-long retreats on how to do discernment and how to pray quietly. Her mentor called it contemplation. So she had the tools now. It was up to her to use them and Lent was a perfect time to begin her practice. “Yes,” she thought, “this is the right time to start. I can feel the Spirit inside, like a little whisper.”

How about your discernment? Is Lent the right time for you to engage in this practice? Click here for some resources you can use to get started.

May this Lenten time bring you closer to discovering your heart’s desire,
Sister Tarianne


Crecimiento de Cuaresma

"Me decidí por un" dos por uno "durante la Cuaresma de este año," anunció la joven a su mentor durante su conversación mensual. "Voy a renunciar a evitar y dar siguimiento a tomar tiempo para pensar y orar". De esa manera puedo renunciar a algo que no me está haciendo ningún bien y asumir algo que me ayudará a crecer en mi fe.

Había tardado mucho en llegar, pero finalmente Judy, mientras trabajaba tiempo completo en una tienda, decidió que era tiempo de tomar en serio esta práctica de discernimiento que había pospuesto desde la graduación de la universidad. De alguna manera, ella sabía muy dentro de sí misma que esto era lo correcto para ella, pero tenía un poco de miedo de lo que descurbriría, miedo de lo que descubriría lo que Dios deseaba de ella. 

Pero esta Cuaresma ella estaba en un lugar nuevo. ¿Era esto lo que querían decir por "madurar"? Ella esperaba que sí. Ella había estado en un par de retiros de un día sobre cómo hacer el discernimiento y cómo orar en silencio. Su mentor lo llamó "contemplación". Así que, ella ahora tenía las herramientas. Dependía de ella usarlas y la Cuaresma era el momento perfecto para comenzar su práctica. "Sí", pensó, "este es el momento adecuado para comenzar. Puedo sentir el Espíritu dentro, como un pequeño susurro ".

¿Qué tal de su discernimiento? ¿Es la Cuaresma el momento adecuado para que participe en esta práctica? Haga clic aquí para ver algunos recursos que puede usar para comenzar.

Que este tiempo de Cuaresma la acerque más al descubrimiento del deseo de su corazón,
Hermana Tarianne


Harrison Owen, a writer and wise leader, suggests there are four ways of being that support healthy relationships. I believe these four ways also speak to our relationship with discernment. 

They are: 

  1. to show up and be present
  2. to pay attention to what has heart and meaning
  3. to tell the truth without blame or judgment and 
  4. to be open to outcome, not attached to outcome.

We show up to opportunities for quiet and prayer, take the time to journal our thoughts and feelings about what we feel called to consider. We might also meet with a spiritual director to help with our discernment process. 

We pay attention to what God may be calling us to do with our lives, what matters to us, what we are passionate about giving of our time and energy. Is there a particular group of people that touch our hearts with their longing for healing or service of some kind? When we consider spending our lives in a meaningful way, how does our spirit feel? What draws us?

We are honest with ourselves about our skills, our desires, our opportunities, and longings. We look at our willingness to risk giving ourselves wholeheartedly wherever God calls. In the process we consider both the positive and negative aspects of our choices. 

We open ourselves to the result of our discernment, even if the result is different than we were at first thinking it would be. Because the Spirit leads us throughout the process of discerning our call, its outcome may surprise us.

May your relationship with these ways of being be rich and rewarding for you,
Sister Tarianne

Click here for support in your discernment.


Una Relación con el Discernimiento

Harrison Owen, un escritor y líder sabio, sugiere que hay cuatro formas de ser que apoyan las relaciones saludables. Creo que estas cuatro formas también hablan de nuestra relación con el discernimiento.

Ellos son: 

  1. presentarse y estar presentes
  2. prestar atención a lo que tiene corazón y significado
  3. decir la verdad sin culpar ni juzgar y 
  4. estar abierto al resultado, no atarlo al resultado.

Nos presentamos a oportunidades de silencio y oración, tomamos el tiempo para escribir nuestros pensamientos y sentimientos acerca de lo que nos sentimos llamados a considerar. También podríamos reunirnos con un director espiritual para ayudarnos con nuestro proceso de discernimiento.

Prestamos atención a lo que Dios nos está llamando a hacer con nuestras vidas, lo que nos importa, lo que nos apasiona dar de nuestro tiempo y energía. ¿Hay un grupo de personas en particular que conmueven nuestros corazones con su anhelo de curación o servicio de algún tipo? Cuando consideramos pasar nuestras vidas de manera significativa, ¿cómo se siente nuestro espíritu, qué nos atrae?

Somos honestas con nosotras mismas acerca de nuestras habilidades, nuestros deseos, nuestras oportunidades y anhelos. Vemos nuestra disposición a arriesgarnos a darnos de todo corazón a dondequiera que Dios llame. En el proceso consideramos los aspectos positivos y negativos de nuestras elecciones.

Nos abrimos al resultado de nuestro discernimiento, aun si el resultado es diferente de lo que pensábamos al principio. Debido a que el Espíritu nos guía a lo largo del proceso de discernir nuestro llamado, su resultado puede sorprendernos.

Que tu relación con estas formas de ser te enriquezca y recompense,
Hermana Tarianne

Haga clic aquí para ayudar en su discernmiento.


I’m sure when most of us were young we took the risk of getting caught when we sneaked a peek at something our parents warned us against. Usually we did it just to satisfy our curiosity. Human curiosity tends to draw us when there’s a mystery involved.

In discerning God’s call to religious life, the Mystery of God is always involved. For example, you might tell yourself, “I don’t know any sisters or priests and certainly I don’t know any of them well enough to talk with them about this.” 

Or this thought won’t leave you alone, “I wonder what it’s like to be a sister. I should look into the life of a religious to see what it’s about before deciding it’s not for me.” Or perhaps you notice at church or at a social justice event the same sisters always seem to be there. Maybe one of them speaks to you and you find yourself thinking about the encounter long after the event is over.

These thoughts and casual meetings can be what the Spirit uses to pique your curiosity and draw you into further exploration and conversations. They are worth your effort to pay attention. Finding out more information on your life choice adds to the truth of your discernment and ultimate decision making. It’s important to follow those small, seemingly insignificant, invitations to take a peek. God is known as the God of Surprises! 

You might want to take a peek at the “Come and See” weekend, March 1-3, 2019 with us in Adrian. Click here for more information. 

May you be curious enough to peek,
Sister Tarianne


Curiosidad

Estoy segura que cuando éramos jóvenes, tomabamos el riesgo de ser atrapados cuando mirabamos algo que nuestros padres nos habían advertido que no vieramos. Por lo regular lo hacíamos para calmar nuestra curiosidad. La curiosidad humana tiende a envolvernos cuando hay un misterio envuelto.

Al discernir el llamado de Dios a la vida religiosa, el Misterio de Dios siempre está involucrado. Por ejémplo, puede decirse a si misma: "No conozco a ninguna hermana o sacerdote y, ciertamente, no conozco a ninguno de ellos lo suficiente como para hablar con ellos sobre esto."

O este pensamiento no la deja en paz, “¿Cómo será vivir como una hermana? Debo enterarme más sobre la vida de una religiosa para ver de qué se trata antes de decidir que no es para mi.” O tal vez se da cuenta que en la iglesia o en un evento de justicia social que las mismas hermanas siempre están presentes. Tal vez una de ellas le habla y se pone a pensar del encuentro mucho más después de que se haya terminado el evento.

Estos pensamientos y encuentros casuales pueden ser lo que el Espíritu usa para despertar su curiosidad y atraerla a nuevas exploraciones y conversaciones. Vale la pena que se esfuerze a ponerles atención. Investigando más información sobre su elección de vida añade a la verdad de su discernimiento y su decisión final. Es importante seguir esas pequeñas invitaciones, que tal vez parezcan insignificantes, para ver para si misma. ¡Dios es conocido como el Dios de las Sorpresas! 

Es posible que quiera ver para si misma durante el fin de semana de "Ven y ve", del 1 al 3 de Marzo de 2019 con nosotras en Adrian. Haga clic aquí para obtener más información.

Que sea lo suficientemente curiosa como para mirar,
Hermana Tarianne


I made applesauce over the weekend and noticed how many seeds each apple contained. As I sliced about a dozen green Granny Apples, I suddenly realized each one of those seeds represents the possibility of new life, even orchards of apple trees in the future. Of course, that got me thinking about how much the seeds are like the ways we discern our future.

When other people look at our lives, they don’t see any more clearly than we can about ourselves what are possibilities for our life choices: Married? When and to whom and how will I know? Single? Forever? For now? Until I meet someone special with a mutual attraction for me? Religious Life? When? Where? Active or contemplative? Missionary?

So, you see, many “seed-questions” show up once we've opened ourselves to them. Much like the apple seeds, they only become visible once we go deeper into the apple’s core. The challenge is to take the risk of opening ourselves to God’s call to us. Each of us has a calling. Our happiness is linked with our response to that call.

Pray to be ready for the opening. Trust that God is never outdone in abundance! Our part is to slow down, listen and consider the possibility that God is calling you to a life full of meaning.

I pray with you for this grace,
Sister Tarianne


Semillas de Posibilidades

Hice salsa de manzana este fin de semana, y me di cuenta que tantas semillas cada manzana tiene. Mientras partí una dozena de manzanas tipo “Granny”, de repente me di cuenta que cada una de esas semillas representa la posibilidad de nueva vida, aun huertas de manzanas en el futuro. Por su puesto que esto me hizo pensar en cómo las semillas son como nosotras dicernimos el futuro.

Cuando otras personas miran nuestras vidas, ellos no ven algo más claro de lo que vemos de nosotras mismas cuales son las posibilidades para nuestras decisiones de la vida: ¿Casada? ¿Cuándo? y ¿Para quién y ¿Cómo sabré? ¿Soltera? ¿Para siempre? ¿Por ahora? ¿Hasta que conozca alguien especial con una mutua atracción? ¿Vida Religiosa? ¿Cuándo? ¿Dónde? ¿Activa o contemplativa? ¿Misionera?

Como te puedes dar cuenta, hay muchas “preguntas sobre las semillas” que aparecen al momento que nos abrimos a ellas. Como las semillas de las manzanas, solo se hacen visibles al momento que nos profundizamos al corazón de la manzana. El reto es de tomar el riesgo de abrirnos al llamado de Dios. Cada una de nosotras tenemos un llamado. Nuestro gozo está ligado a nuestra respuesta a ese llamado.

Reza para estar lista para la apertura. ¡Confía que la abundancia de Dios no tiene fin! Nuestra responsabilidad es de ir más despacio, escuchar y considerar la posibilidad que Dios te está llamando a una vida llena de significado.

Rezo contigo por esta gracia,
Hermana Tarianne


Most of us probably don’t think about the richness that exists at the edges. In permaculture design there is a principle that points out that there’s a lot going on at the edges – of gardens, a patch of grass, by a stream, or river. Let’s focus together on this image and reflect on our own edges in life.

In the photo you can see several edges: along the pathway, at the base of each tree, between the plowed ground and grasses. At the border or edges in our lives we are being influenced – maybe “shaped” is a better term – by each of them. It also means we have access to resources we need, some on one side of the border, some on the other. Sometimes we have a sense that we’re on the edge of something new, something being born in us. It can be exciting and also frightening.

It helps to be able to pray when we’re at these edges; pray to see what’s being called for from us. It also helps to have human accompaniment to talk with at the edges. It’s worth searching for what or whom you need at these important, rich edges of your life journey.

May you have the grace you need,
Sister Tarianne

This link may be of support to you: DisCo (Discernment Conversation) Playlist


Jesus tells a parable about seeds in Mark’s Gospel that seems to fit our experience as we discern God’s call for our lives. He mentions four places the seeds land: sandy soil, rocky soil, soil covered in thorny plants, and rich soil. This is how the seeds work in our lives.

We might get a hint that we‘re called to be a Sister, a member of a religious community. Of course, it doesn’t go anywhere because it doesn’t get the needed attention from us. It dries up like sand and blows away. Another time we may hear a homily or a lecture in class that sparks the same desire. This time we do some research into various communities available, but after a little while that too gets put on the (rocky) shelf, so to speak, and we forget about it.

At a future time maybe a friend, a mentor or a family member asks whether we had ever considered joining a religious order. This time because they know us as well as they do, we take notice of their question and ask what they see in us that made them ask. This time we actually spend time thinking about their question, maybe journaling our thoughts and feelings. But after a while our job demands increase, worries about paying off student loans or the next fad around campus or clothing that comes into fashion chokes off our attention to this possibility.

Perhaps several months or years later the thought about joining a religious order comes into our awareness again. This time we realize there might be something to it and we talk with our pastor or a Sister or we start meeting with a spiritual director. This time we’re committed to respond differently and more wholly. This time the Spirit can work in the rich soil our lives have become. This time we decide to trust the Spirit’s influence to grow in us until we bear fruit. Such is the way of the Sower of seeds.

May we be diligent in cultivating the rich soil of our lives,
Sister Tarianne


The increased darkness we experience around us at this time in the northern hemisphere is conducive to pondering some of our deeper questions about life. Questions come whether we’re anticipating a graduation, awaiting some other natural ending and therefore the beginning of something else or are gainfully employed. 

In contrast to the darkness let’s consider light. Every plant needs a certain amount of it but not 24 hours every day. Plants also need darkness. When discerning – thinking about my life choices - the light I need could be in the form of researching my options. It could come from reading about what I'm thinking about doing or in talking with someone who has more knowledge of the path I'm considering and then listening to what they can teach or advise me to do. When I get to certain point I might write in order to shed light on what I'm thinking or feeling about each option. Light for discerners becomes insight and gifts of the Spirit, THE guide to wise choices.

If in these days of much physical darkness you find yourself longing for more light (insight) for your future life path, try the activities above. They can bring new wisdom into the struggle with where to go and what to do. Be open when entering into the light of the discernment process and allow the Spirit to work freely with you and your spirit. In the end may you be open to outcome, not attached to an outcome. 

If Sister Mariane or I can assist you in this discernment, feel free to contact us. Why not join us for a weekend of discernment March 1-3 to “Come and See for Yourself” where God may be calling you.

May you be persistent in your search,
Sister Tarianne

P.S. Discerning takes time!


Parents raise their children to be independent and capable. I’m not sure it necessarily follows that we have to do everything on our own just because we’re capable of being that “independent person”. 

I once had an experience walking on a leaf-covered pathway through the woods after a downpour of rain. The size and diversity of the many trees with their trunks darkened by splashes of the rain caught my eye. Upon leaving the woods I had an insight: each of those trees not only “got along” with the others, but each was dependent on the others for their survival. Although they obtained their own nourishment through their roots and leaves, somehow they were not standing alone in a big field or meadow. They weren’t having to fend for themselves, but were part of this diverse collection of trees and they all were thriving!

We humans are also part of a diverse collection of creatures, depending on one another for support, caring, listening, playing and working together. At times we need a listening heart or wise advice to get clear about what we think and feel about our lives. It helps to know we matter to others. These others can be parents, good friends, roommates, co-workers, pastors, and spiritual directors we can count on when we’re searching out a life choice. 

Check out this upcoming event for a chance to be with others who care that you find the right choice for your life’s purpose.

Blessings,
Sister Tarianne


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Sister Tarianne DeYonker, OP
Sister Mariane Fahlman, OP

Co-Directors Vocations


Adrian Dominican Sisters
1257 East Siena Heights Drive
Adrian, Michigan 49221-1793
517-266-3537


Visit the Adrian Vocations Team on Twitter @ASisterReflects



Get out your bell-bottoms and platform shoes, because DISCO is here!

Okay, so it's a little less dancing, a little more talking... Sisters Lorraine Réaume, OP, and Sara Fairbanks, OP, have a new video series called DISCO (Discernment Conversations): Dancing with the questions of life!