I am a member of the National Dominican Associate Directors (NDAD) which meets annually at one of the congregations of our Dominican Family. I just returned from Sparkill, New York, where we met from October 26-28. This is a time for the directors to share information and to talk about issues affecting Associates and Sisters. The meeting has also included what I would call a formation piece for our growth.
This year I was particularly moved by a presentation from Margaret Mayce, OP, an Amityville Sister who is the NGO representative for the Dominican family at the United Nations.
We (NDAD) begin all our sessions with prayer and Sr. Margaret was our guest at these sessions. She connected our prayers to her presentation on the Dominican Call to Justice. She reminded us:
- The language of the heart has the capacity to bring us together and to make us one.
- God’s revelation takes place within all of life as life presents itself to us.
- We need one another and our willingness to be interdependent leads to a deeper appreciation of the diversity that exists among us.
- We have a spiritual responsibility to respond to the needs of our times through preaching and presence.
Sr. Margaret quoted Gustavo Gutierrez, “The Dominican community of friars living in Hispaniola. . . their eyes and ears were opened collectively. Something happens when we experience something together.”
As Dominican Associates and Sisters~Grand Rapids, I feel that our eyes and ears are opened collectively as we respond to current unjust situations that are occurring in our community and in the world. How can we be more receptive to God’s presence in life as it reveals itself to us day in and day out? She spoke about Dominic and how he had the spirit of expansiveness and openness. He saw no barriers and was open to a variety of people. Dominic saw the needs of his time.
How do we respond to the needs of our time? Personally, and as a Congregation? If we see and are willing to engage with issues, we allow ourselves to be touched and affected. Sr. Margaret quoted Brian Pierce, OP, “Pray for the grace to see, feel and respond. Be open to the impetus of the Spirit.”
Sr. Margaret had a photo of the caravan of more than 3,000 people from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras walking to the US border.
She asked us…
What do you see? Do you see a threat? Are you sure? What do you feel? Do you have a concern for yourself? Do you feel fear? Do some people? How can we be open to the impetus of the Spirit in situations like this? What might the spirit be inviting us to as this caravan approaches our borders? What bothers you the most about the world in which we live? What keeps you awake at night?
And finally, she asked: What can be your unique contribution towards creating a more just and peaceful world . . . right where you are?
As Dominicans, we believe in truth. Being Dominican in a post-truth era is our challenge! TRUTH is more important now than ever!
I would invite you to contemplate about how God’s truth is being distorted. “When we are silent and not proactive, distortions seem to grow deeper.” The Gospel compels us to respond. What is your response?