We come from countries in North America, Central America, Asia, Africa and Europe where we live and work among the people. In response to a call from our loving God, we give our lives to work toward achieving God’s desire for a just and peaceful world for all peoples.
Many of us have followed Sister Joan Chittister’s inspirational and challenging writings for many years. Two of her more recent offerings I have enjoyed are The Sacred In-Between (Spiritual wisdom for life’s every moment - 2013) and Our Holy Yearnings (Life lessons for becoming our truest selves – 2014). These little books – small in size (4”x61/2” with 100 pages, and costing around $15) are packed with little gems of wisdom from a wise woman. “Life in our times demands new respect for creativity. We must now begin to earn our bread differently, live differently, learn differently, and imagine the future differently.” And about doing something everyday that makes one joyful: “To live life on joys remembered rather than on joy in the here and now is to abandon the very meaning of ‘life.’”
Sister Joan has much to share and her brief meditations really do fit everyday living, helping us to be our best selves, wherever we are and whatever we’re about.
As I enter into a reflection on the Gospel this 4th Sunday (Luke 1:26-38; The Annunciation Story), I am struck by the walk we have all taken together on this Advent e-journey. I love all of your juxtapositions of the perfect pottery, polished silver, perfectly knitted sweaters and delicately blown glass with the “cracked pots”, “tarnished silver”, “Holy, holey sweaters” and “molten” balls of glass with “minds of their own”. I love Sr. Joan’s consideration of an “inner-active” Advent combined with Gwen’s thoughts on actively and outwardly participating as “co-creators” in bringing about Christmas.
This past week, the United Nations wrapped up its conference working towards a new Climate Change Framework Agreement. We took action by writing to the Prime Minister, Opposition Party Leaders and several other MP's urging Canada to play a positive role in these international discussions. In this letter we referred to letters that we had written to the Ambassadors of China and the United States in Canada, congratulating them on the breakthrough agreement between those two countries on the reduction of carbon emissions. In our letter to the Prime Minister we stated that we are waiting in hope for when we can send a similar letter of appreciation to our own government. This is not the first time we have written a letter or taken action urging the Canadian Government to be a positive force for climate action. We are making progress in very small measures. We carry on, knowing that our persistence will eventually bear fruit. KAIROS is a good example of resilience and persistence. Five years ago this month, CIDA cut the funding to KAIROS, yet they continue on and in many ways are thriving more than ever. KAIROS organized a series of socials to ensure the community gathered to celebrate its resilience. And Rick Mercer joined in. Take a look at his affectionate and humorous greetings here: http://vimeo.com/113536259
As we prepare to enter a new year, let us join together to celebrate our resilience and to strengthen our persistence.
In solidarity with People of Faith across the Globe, The Sisters of the Congregation of Notre Dame and the School Sisters of Notre Dame hosted a Vigil for Lima on December 7 at Villa Notre Dame in Wilton, CT.
A moving memorial service commemorating the deaths of the 14 women tragically killed on December 6, 1989 at École Polytechnique in Montreal, and of the nine women on PEI whose lives came to a violent end since that date, was held in Charlottetown on Friday, December 5.
Close to 200 people encircled a table of roses and candles. As each name was read, a candle was lit in honor of that woman. For the Island women, heart-warming details were told of the lives of each one.
The focus of the service was also on the more than 2,000 Indigenous women and children who have been declared missing or slain. The 2014-2015 Purple Ribbon Campaign Against Violence calls for a national inquiry into this tragedy. During the service on Friday, we were reminded that "we mourn and we act."