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Spirituality Presentation Explores Coming to Terms with Loss

December 7, 2021, Adrian, Michigan – In their November 2021 Spirituality live stream presentation, Now and at the Hour of our Death, Associate Nancy Mason Bordley and Sister Mary Ann Dixon, OP, explored different ways that people of faith can come to terms with loss, grief, and death through the paschal mystery.
 
The monthly spirituality presentations are coordinated through the Adrian Dominican Sisters’ Spirituality Committee.

Nancy Mason Bordley
Nancy Mason Bordley

Nancy described five components of the paschal mystery: Jesus’ death on Good Friday; his resurrection on Easter Sunday; the 40 days after Easter, which was a “time of adjustment” to Jesus’ new life and grieving of the loss of his former life; Jesus’ Ascension into Heaven, a time for the early disciples to let go of Jesus as they knew him; and Pentecost, “the reception of new spirit for the new life we are already living.”
 
Focusing on the period of adjustment between the Resurrection and the Ascension, Nancy spoke of grief and the sense of loss that all human beings experience. “We can paper over the loss with pious platitudes,” Nancy said. “We can numb the pain of suffering and loss. But we need to grieve, and we need to grieve well.”
 
She added, “Like Jesus, we, too will die and because of him we’re able to pray that our life will be transformed” after death. But Nancy emphasized that loss does not only refer to the death of a loved one but to the diminishment of our own physical powers as we grow older, the loss of a job, or the end of a dream. “Good grieving allows me to experience the sorrow of my losses but also the joy in what I have,” she said. 

Mary Ann Dixon
Sister Mary Ann Dixon, OP

Sister Mary Ann reiterated the importance of grieving well and the notion that death is only one of many losses we suffer. “We have rehearsals for death – illness, loss of a ministry or job, prestige, independence, and control,” she said. These experiences invite us to let go of security and our need to control, she said.
 
Sister Mary Ann also pointed to the benefits of experiencing loss in our lives. “When we enter into a loss, we can expect to unearth a surprising new life,” she said. “We can emerge … with new insights, new revelations of God’s faithfulness, new revelations that we might not be able to discover in any other way.”
 
Watch the entire video below.

 

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