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September 30, 2021, Adrian, Michigan – “Our life is a process of awakening. Each of us is precious to God. The wonderful thing that I have witnessed over years of spiritual direction is that God knows each of us intimately and will lead us in ways that we can follow.”
That was the introduction that Sister Patricia Benson, OP, made as she opened her September 23, 2021, spirituality talk, “Awakening Journey with God.” Her presentation was the latest in a series of live streamed talks sponsored by the Spirituality Committee of the Adrian Dominican Sisters.
Throughout her talk, Sister Pat spoke of how God led her through various stages of her life. After each stage, she paused and posed a question, giving her audience a few minutes to reflect on their answer. “Please look at your relationship with God and Jesus and know that God will work within your personal circumstances and gifts – but sometimes in surprising and maybe challenging ways,” she said.
Sister Pat spoke of her young life and how her views of the world were shaped by those of her family and neighbors – and how her world “got bigger” when she attended Catholic school. Her teen years were marked by the “usual adolescent struggles,” but her view of God was growing, too. “I chose to enter religious life specifically to have time for God in my life,” she said.
She went on to speak of her formation years and the “breath of fresh air and a deeper freedom to think and explore” that came through Vatican II and the Adrian Dominican Congregation’s three-year Chapter of Renewal, which set the stage for sweeping changes in response to Vatican II.
After her undergraduate study, Sister Pat said, she was invited to work towards a master’s degree in either mathematics or theology. “Although since high school I thought I would be a math and science teacher for the rest of my life, this provoked a serious discernment,” leading to her decision to study theology, she said. “Being introduced to the depth and breadth of the Christian tradition with its various schools of thought opened my mind to the reality of theology as faith seeking understanding.”
Sister Pat went on to discuss her developing understanding that humanity is “trashing Earth, God’s beautiful creation,” and that her American lifestyle made her complicit in this destruction. But she concluded with her deeper understanding of God’s forgiveness and unconditional love – and how our understanding of the universe has led to an expanded view of God.
“The Infinite Mystery has had to include a loving, compassionate mystery,” Sister Pat said. “The God who created everything in the universe – perhaps multiverse – loves it and continues to hold it. Paul’s image of the Body of Christ has had to grow to include kinship with all of creation and cosmic dimensions.”
Watch the recording of Sister Pat’s presentation below.
September 12, 2018, Adrian, Michigan – The Season of Creation is in full bloom at the Adrian Dominican Sisters’ Motherhouse, and the Sisters welcome all who are interested to walk with us through this special season.
The Season of Creation –Sunday, September 1 through Thursday, October 4 – is a special, optional season for Christians worldwide. This season gives Christians the invitation to deepen our relationship to God, our Creator, and to appreciate and find ways to protect God’s creation.
Upcoming Season of Creation events at the Motherhouse are as follows.
The Season of Creation also includes ongoing events. The 10:30 a.m. Mass on Sundays in St. Catherine Chapel and presided over by Father James Hug, SJ, Motherhouse Chaplain, will include a homily on various themes of the Season of Creation. The public is also welcome to Peace Prayer, held every Tuesday at 4:45 p.m. in Holy Rosary Chapel. During September, Peace Prayer will focus on themes related to the Season of Creation.
Sister Sue Schreiber, OP, will lead Meditation Walks in the Congregation’s Permaculture Gardens at 9:00 a.m. and 6:15 p.m. Thursdays, September 13, 20, and 27 and October 4. Meet at the Gaia Garden (raised garden bed) of the Permaculture Garden on the Motherhouse campus.
Elaine Johnson, Permaculture Coordinator, will conduct Golf Cart Tours of the Permaculture Gardens from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays during the Season of Creation. The tour will leave from the entrance of the Dominican Life Center on Tuesdays and from the main entrance of Weber Center on Thursdays. Reserve your space at the Dominican Life Center and Weber Center reception desks, or email Elaine at firstname.lastname@example.org.