Tuesday, September 08, 2009

To the true servant of God,
every place is the right place and every time is the right time.
St. Catherine of Siena

Almost a month to the day since my last post. Needless to say, life's been pretty full since moving back to Dayton last month.

Classes at UD are now back in session - and have been for almost 2 weeks - and activities, events, meetings etc. are in full swing. As most of you know, I am entering my 2nd year at UD as a campus minister. I learned A LOT last year... about balance, about myself, about ministry with college students at a Catholic university... It seems now, I am learning how to put what I've learned to some practical use.

Although I haven't posted in a month and I haven't made a lot of phone calls to friends and family back in Texas in a while, I'm finding that the beginning of this school year is a lot less stressful than last. There are transitions to make and readjusting to the nature of campus ministry, but nothing like last year. It makes a world of difference to be back for a 2nd year.

This is true in ministry, as I'm sure anyone could guess. However, it is equally true of formation and community life. I'm in the midst of my 2nd year of temporary profession... and another year of being a professed member of the Dayton community. And while one might think that it doesn't make that much of a difference, I beg to differ! I'm still new to professed life, no doubt, and there are still ways in which I need to grow and develop as a religious sister, but there's a sense of stability to this year that comes from wisdom gained the year before. It's difficult to put into words. It seems that I'm more familiar with what it means to be and to live from the context of a professed religious. And while I'm not "studying" religious life in the same way I did during novitiate (I wish I had time for all that reading!) my studying now comes in the form of the living of the day-to-day realities (challenges, joys, insights and decisions) of community life and our congregation.

You may be wondering why I quoted St. Catherine of Siena at the beginning of this post. A part from the fact that she's my Confirmation patroness and a role model of mine, this quote in particular struck a chord in me this past weekend. Labor Day weekend our community spent time together at the brothers' retreat house on Indian Lake. It was a BEAUTIFUL weekend - both physically outside, but also in terms of relationships and sharing. It was our weekend of planning meetings, but it was also a retreat for us with significant times of private, quite prayer and times of playfulness together. This quote, which appears in my Living with Christ misselette for Saturday Sept. 5, echoed a shift in attitude I experienced this summer that became more clear to me over the weekend.

As I enter more fully into this new academic year, with all of its stressors and challenges, joys and times of peace, I am more at ease with my place here at UD and in Dayton in general. As someone who seeks to serve God, where I am and my own sense of "good timing" need to take a back seat. For wherever it is that God has called me, that is the right place. And God's timing is more perfect than my own. May we all grow in that understanding!

Many blessings to all who read this!
Sr. N