News | Live Stream | Video Library
Contact Us | Employment | Donate
In today’s Gospel, Jesus is asked by the Pharisees when the Kingdom of God will come? Jesus tries to share the idea that the Kingdom isn’t a destination, but a way of living. We are called to be part of the Reign of God, sharing Christ’s gift of love of all creation. That means we are called to be good stewards of Earth. I try to be a good steward by recycling and composting what I can and try to be mindful of the number of trips in the car I make. However, I have started a new habit, every morning I go outside and stand for about five minutes with my eyes closed. I might do it around home or at work or even when I am just out and about. I spend that time listening, to the wind, to the birds, perhaps a squirrel scampering up a tree. And then I open my eyes and say a prayer of gratitude for the gifts of creation that surround me. How do you show love for all creation?
Sister Mary Jones, OP
¿Dónde está el Reino de Dios?
En el Evangelio de hoy, los fariseos le preguntan a Jesús cuándo vendrá el Reino de Dios. Jesús intenta compartir la idea de que el Reino no es un destino, sino una forma de vivir. Somos llamadas a ser parte del Reino de Dios, compartiendo el regalo del amor de Cristo para toda la creación. Eso significa que somos llamadas a ser buenas administradoras de la Tierra. Intento ser una buena administradora reciclando y convirtiendo en abono lo que puedo y trato de ser consciente de la cantidad de viajes que hago en el automóvil. Sin embargo, comencé un nuevo hábito: todas las mañanas salgo y me quedo unos cinco minutos con los ojos cerrados. Lo hago en en casa o en el trabajo o incluso cuando estoy fuera de casa. Paso ese tiempo escuchando el viento, los pájaros, tal vez una ardilla trepando a un árbol. Y luego abro los ojos y digo una oración de gratitud por los regalos de la creación que me rodean. ¿Cómo muestra usted el amor por toda la creación?
Hermana Mary Jones, OP
Adrian Dominican Sisters, Motherhouse Campus.Photo taken by Aneesa @2012
Fall is my favorite season. So many things are changing, the weather gets cooler, the colors particularly in Michigan where I grew up are amazing, vibrant reds, yellows, oranges, and even purples. Our clothes change, even the number of daylight hours is shortening. For me, the season of Fall reflects life. As the world around us changes and the trees drop their leaves we are reminded of the many gifts of life nature is showing us. The dropped leaves provide nutrients to the soil and reminds us that if the leaves didn’t fall we would not have new life in the Spring. Nature taking time to slow down, taking time to breathe. When I can, I take a retreat in the Fall to enjoy the beauty of nature and taking advantage of the time to slow down and breathe. I started this tradition during my discernment. There was a retreat center not far from me that had little hermitages (small cottages) for rent. I would go for a weekend and enjoy being in the quiet, walking the trails through the leaves, talking and listening to God in nature. Those memories make me smile and remind me, while so many things in life changed as I discerned and entered Religious Life, my joy in nature has always been there and has only grown deeper as I invited God on the journey. What is your favorite season? Do you invite God to join you in your favorite season or favorite place?
Encontrar el Tiempo para Reflexionar con Dios
El otoño es mi estación favorita. Muchas cosas están cambiando, el clima se vuelve más fresco, los colores, particularmente en Michigan, donde crecí, son increíbles, rojos, amarillos, anaranjados e incluso morados vibrantes. Nuestra ropa cambia, y aún el número de horas de luz se está acortando. Para mí, la temporada de Otoño refleja la vida. A medida que el mundo que nos rodea cambia y los árboles pierden sus hojas, recordamos los muchos regalos de la vida que la naturaleza nos muestra. Las hojas caídas proporcionan nutrientes a la tierra y nos recuerdan que si las hojas no cayeran no tendríamos nueva vida en Primavera. La naturaleza se toma tiempo para pausar, se toma tiempo para respirar. Cuando puedo, participo en un retiro en el Otoño para disfrutar de la belleza de la naturaleza y aprovechar el tiempo para pausar y respirar. Comencé esta tradición durante mi discernimiento. Había un centro de retiro no lejos de mí que tenía pequeñas cabañas para alquilar. Iba un fin de semana y disfrutaba de la tranquilidad, caminando entre las hojas, hablando y escuchando a Dios en la naturaleza. Esos recuerdos me hacen sonreír y me recuerdan que, si bien tantas cosas en la vida cambiaron a medida que discerní y entré en la Vida Religiosa, mi alegría en la naturaleza siempre ha estado ahí y solo se ha vuelto más profunda cuando invité a Dios en mi jornada. ¿Cuál es su estación favorita? ¿Invitará a Dios a unirse a usted en su estación o lugar favorito?
The season of autumn in the north is traditionally a time marked by letting go. Leaves fall off trees, warmer temperatures depart in favor of cooler ones, and light diminishes as we move steadily toward December’s shortest day of the year. Change affects our human lives as well.
Some people get into the mood of clearing out cluttered closets, drawers, and storage areas at home. Wardrobes change from lighter clothing to warm sweaters, jackets, and long sleeves. In addition to these outward signs of change, there are internal signs of letting go too.
Discerning well is like the season of autumn because it involves letting go and leaving behind some choices. If you’ve made a list of life options available to you, you’ll find yourself crossing some of them off your list. If you’ve taken your top three choices where you feel called in your life and listed pros and cons for each of them, it may be easy to see which one(s) need to be let go next. This, of course, takes time. Then, there’s one more thing.
Unlike the season of autumn when trees let go of their leaves to make room for the new growth, it’s hard to imagine the trees feeling sad about their losses. For us humans, sometimes letting go of what we had thought we might be called to do and taking up another choice, risky or not, may leave us feeling sad. Like the tiny new buds that appear on trees even before the leaves fall, it helps to feel assured that we have discerned well. Now it’s time to try on our choice.
May you live in such confidence and trust,
In a few days I will be heading for my annual retreat. I usually choose to do silent, directed retreats. The chance to be completely quiet, except for the forty minutes each day with a spiritual director, helps me to go much deeper. It enables me to get more connected in that place deep within where God dwells.
Even though it’s not always an easy time, I always look forward to these “vacations with God” with excitement, knowing that God and I will have some extra focused time to nourish our relationship. By now I know that, even though I may be in the same retreat house, I will be surprised by God. God accepts me where I am, and at the same time offers me what is needed. Sometimes it’s comfort, sometimes it’s a chance to slow down, sometimes it’s a nudge, and sometimes it’s a push.
Even though it can sound like a retreat is just about “me and God” it’s always bigger than that. First, I always spend much more time in nature and so become more attuned to God’s grace in all creation and more aware of myself as one of God’s creatures in a much larger reality. Also, what happens in the retreat can remain with me throughout the year and can help to transform my relationships with others.
If you are discerning something in particular, a retreat can be a wonderful way to clear away all the extras for a time and focus on listing to the voice of God’s wisdom. Retreats have played an important role in my own journey to religious life. These special times also help me nurture that relationship with the One I fully gave my life to. I know God is looking forward to this quality time with me as well!
I pray you are able to have a “vacation with God” this summer!
Can a forest help you discern? Reflecting on this “Season of Creation” (September 1 – October 4) that Pope Francis has asked us to celebrate has me thinking of the perspective that nature can give us. Whenever I take time to walk in nature, I am in awe of all that is going on around me. I become aware of all the life in plants, insects, and various creatures, all oblivious to my existence. Walking a nature trail always seems to give me a helpful perspective: all this life goes on whether I am here or not. The energy and vibrancy of God’s creation is so vast, yet I am often not conscious of it.
I come away from my walk in the woods reminded that the world and all creation are so immense and that I am so small. Not that I don’t matter. To the Creator of the universe, we all matter. But I am a part of something so much bigger that I can’t fully grasp. That awareness brings me a sense of both awe and peace. My struggles matter, but they are just one part of a vast universe. I can go forward a little more calmly and make a humble decision, trusting in the God who created all.
Gaze at something in nature today, even a weed breaking through concrete, and see what message it has for you.
Receive Updates for 'A Sister Reflects' / Suscribirse a 'Reflexión de una Hermana'
Sister Tarianne DeYonker, OP
Sister Katherine Frazier, OP
Sister Maribeth Howell, OP
Sister Mary Jones, OP
Adrian Dominican Sisters
1257 East Siena Heights Drive
Adrian, Michigan 49221-1793
Join this virtual visit to our community in February of 2024 to explore questions about religious life and the discernment journey.
View our video series called Commitment & Joy to learn about the gifts of vowed life.