Friday, August 17, 2007

To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time for every purpose under Heaven.
Turn, Turn, Turn - The Birds
(Adapted from Ecclesiastes 3)

Feeling musical today... I guess that's the case almost everyday. Some days it seems that I awake ready to greet the day with song and every situation in the day brings to mind a song - sometimes a ballad, sometimes praise & worship music, many times a song from the 80s...

At this particular moment it seems that Turn, Turn, Turn is a good song. As you may know, I'm in the last 5 days of my canonical year... about to embark on the next phase of the journey called formation. It is a time for reflection. Today's readings (Fri. Aug. 17) are particularly appropriate for my reflections. In the first reading Joshua recounts for the people all the good God has done for them - how faithful God has been. The responsorial psalm has an ongoing refrain, "God's mercy endures forever" and it also recounts all the ways God is faithful. Then the Gospel is about faithfulness in relationships... Faithfulness.

God is faithful. These next few days, as I prepare to put into practice all that God has revealed to me in the past year, it is good to reflect on God's goodness... faithfulness... steadfast love.

There is, indeed, a time for everything under Heaven. There's a time for reflection... a time to ponder. That's what retreats, meditative prayer, and canonical novitiate are for. Then there's a time for action... a time for putting one's relationship with God into practical activity - ministry... social justice work... the next step in formation...

It's been a full year. Really, it's been a full summer... all in the same "pondering" spirit, though. So, what lies ahead??? I'm glad you asked! ;)

Next week I jump back into a more apostolic mode. Sr. Laura, my formation director while here in Dayton, says that it's the time for me to put into practice what I've studied and prayed about all year. That's good perspective....

First, I'll be working 12-15 hours a week with the Archdiocese of Cincinnati Catholic Social Action Office here in Dayton ( http://www.catholiccincinnati.org/socialaction/). I'm excited about that because I believe there's a lot more for me to learn in terms of social justice issues/causes/possible solutions and because it will allow me to learn more about Dayton in general. On Wednesday evening I will start a class at the FitzCenter for Leadership in Community here at UD (http://artssciences.udayton.edu/leadershipincommunity/initiatives.asp). That course has students working with a local neighborhood association and local government on projects for improvement. That should prove to be a stretch for me, but the skills developed and lessons learned will be transferable no matter what the future holds. I'll also be working with the students at UD who want to make a public commitment as Lay Marianists. I'll be helping with their formation. Lastly, I will go back to working with one of my passions... Marianist LIFE. Marianist LIFE is an immersion in Marianist community building and leadership for high school students (http://www.marianist.com/ministries.php?pid=47).

But, now is not the time to think too much about what's ahead. Now is the time to pray, reflect and bring a little closure to a year well-spent. Otherwise, the coming months will be too overwhelming!

Many blessings on all who read this!
Sr. N