A Sister Reflects - Reflección de una Hermana


It’s so much easier to have a sense of purpose in life when we’re part of something bigger than ourselves. It’s the reason programs like AmeriCorps, Habitat for Humanity, Catholic Lay Missioners, Peace Corps, Dominican Volunteers, and many others thrive. When the time of volunteer work is finished, people treasure what they experienced. The work is hard, often far away from home and yet provides experiences like no other. 

I believe one of the elements that makes the volunteer experience valuable is what we learn about extending ourselves beyond our normal range of giving. In a sense we belong forever to the experience and to the people and needs we responded to.

Now imagine having that experience with your whole life! Imagine committing yourself with others in a religious community to make an impact on the challenges facing people. It is hard work. It often takes us far from what is familiar. The call of God to meet the needs of God’s people who otherwise may not have their needs responded to is gratifying in itself. It creates an inner joy in realizing the promise of Jesus in the Gospel, “whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 25:40) Such a privilege!

Together, Sisters ponder the world’s needs and then together respond to them in answer to God’s call. How about you? Is God calling you to respond along with others as a Dominican Sister?

For any of you wondering whether God may be inviting you to religious life, Sister Mariane and I will be hosting a discernment weekend November 8-10, 2019. Click here to learn more.

Sister Tarianne


Ofreciendo Su Vida

Es mucho más fácil tener un sentido de propósito en la vida cuando somos parte de algo más grande que nosotras. Es la razón por la cual prosperan programas como AmeriCorps, Hábitat para la Humanidad, Catholic Lay Missioners - Misioneros Laicos Católicos, Peace Corps, Voluntarias Domínicas, y muchos otros. Cuando termina el tiempo del trabajo voluntario, las personas atesoran lo que experimentaron. El trabajo es duro, muchas veces lejos de casa y, sin embargo, proporciona experiencias como ninguna otra.

Creo que uno de los elementos que hace que la experiencia de la voluntaria sea valiosa es el hecho de extendernos más allá de lo normal. En cierto sentido, pertenecemos para siempre a la experiencia y a las personas y necesidades a las que hemos respondido. 

¡Ahora imagine tener esa experiencia con toda su vida! Comprometerse con otras en una comunidad religiosa para tener un impacto en los desafíos que enfrentan las personas es una experiencia muy gratificante. Es un trabajo arduo. Muchas veces nos lleva lejos de lo que es familiar. El llamado de Dios para responder a las necesidades de las personas de Dios a las que de otra manera no se les respondería es gratificante en sí mismo. Crea un gozo interno al cumplir la promesa de Jesús en el Evangelio: "lo que hiciste por uno de los hermanos y hermanas míos más pequeños, lo hiciste por mí." (Mateo 25:40) ¡Qué privilegio!

Juntas, las hermanas reflexionan sobre cuáles son las necesidades y luego juntas responden a ellas en respuesta al llamado de Dios. ¿Qué ta lusted? ¿La está llamando Dios a responder junta con otras como una Hermana Domínica? 

Organizaremos un fin de semana de discernimiento del 8 al 10 de Noviembre de 2019 para cualquiera que se pregunte si Dios puede invitarla a la vida religiosa. (Haga clic aquí)

Hermana Tarianne


She didn’t have any broken legs or arms, no visible cuts or bruises, but she was clearly in pain. For this young woman it was emotional pain. To anyone who responded to her, this twenty-something young adult poured out her heart and her life story. What she had come to realize was that she longed to belong somewhere and yet could not find out what that place was, her place in the world and her life’s purpose.

Sometimes that deep longing within our hearts does cause us suffering. God’s call to each of us – and we each do have a personal call from God for our lives – can be disturbing until we meet the call with a response that quells the pain of not knowing. The generosity of heart embedded in each of us from birth and strengthened in Baptism longs for a call that matches the abundance of our gifts.

Discernment time allows us to take stock of our personal gifts that the Spirit always gives for use in the community in which we share life. I’ve mentioned before the value of talking with a wise mentor or spiritual director who, in listening to us, can hear what we may not be saying in words but are conveying with the intensity of our feelings. You think you don’t have access to any wise person? You can always ask someone else who they talk to when they need wise advice. 

To paraphrase the wise spiritual writer Frederick Buechner who wrote: when our longing meets the deep needs of our world we have gladly found our calling. May you be blessed in the search for your place.

Peace,
Sister Tarianne


El Dolor de Buscar

No tenía piernas ni brazos rotos, ni cortes ni contusiones visibles, pero estaba claramente en dolor. Para esta joven era dolor emocional. Para cualquiera que le respondiera, esta joven adulta de veintitantos derramó su corazón y la historia de su vida. Lo que se dió cuenta era de que deseaba pertenecer a algún lugar y, sin embargo, no podía descubrir cuál era ese lugar, su lugar en el mundo y el propósito de su vida.

Algunas veces ese profundo anhelo dentro de nuestros corazones nos causa sufrimiento. El llamado de Dios a cada una de nosotras - y cada una de nosotras tenemos un llamado personal de Dios para nuestras vidas - puede ser inquietante hasta que recibamos el llamado con una respuesta que alivie el dolor de no saber. La generosidad del corazón encajado en cada una de nosotras desde el nacimiento y fortalecida en el bautismo anhela un llamado que iguale con la abundancia de nuestros dones.

El tiempo de discernimiento nos permite analizr nuestros dones personales que el Espíritu siempre nos da para usar en la comunidad en la que compartimos la vida. En el pasado he mencionado el valor de hablar con una mentora sabia o una directora espiritual que, al escucharnos, puede oir lo que no estamos diciendo en palabras, pero transmitimos con la intensidad de nuestros sentimientos. ¿Cree que no tiene acceso a alguna persona sabia? Siempre puede preguntarle a otra persona con quién ellos hablan cuando necesitan consejos sabios.

Parafraseando al sabio escritor espiritual Frederick Buechner que escribió: cuando nuestro anhelo satisface las profundas necesidades de nuestro mundo, con gusto hemos encontrado nuestro llamado. Que sea bendecida en la búsqueda de su lugar.

Paz,
Hermana Tarianne


One of the qualities about religious life that often attracts people is the total availability of men and women committed to meeting the needs of people. Other callings in life demand a responsible commitment to a spouse and a family, but this calling from God demands otherwise.

For those of us called to this lifeform, the energy we get from being free to respond and being supported by our communities in that response is life-giving. While the phrase “total availability” could be deceiving, because it doesn’t necessarily mean we keep going night and day, every day. However, it does mean that when we are not taking action to alleviate needs, we pray about those needs and we listen to how God invites us to respond to them.

When you reflect on your life and how your heart is touched by those in need or you wish you could respond more freely, tune in to those feelings. They could be signs that your call is to this life of radical availability. When you are taking action on behalf of those in need, pay attention to how your spirit is lifted up. Your responses matter and can be indicators of your call. 

Please talk with a trusted mentor or spiritual director about your experiences. These are ways God calls us. God may be trying to get your attention!

Blessings in your search,
Sister Tarianne


Disponibilidad Radical

Una de las cualidades de la vida religiosa que muchas veces atrae a las personas es la disponibilidad total de hombres y mujeres comprometidos a satisfacer las necesidades de las personas. Otros llamamientos en la vida exigen un compromiso responsable con el cónyuge y la familia, pero este llamado de Dios exige lo contrario.

Para aquellas de nosotras llamadas a esta forma de vida, la energía que obtenemos en ser libres para responder y ser apoyadas por nuestras comunidades en esa respuesta, es vivificante. Mientras la frase "disponibilidad total" puede ser engañosa, porque no significa necesariamente que continsigamos adelante día y noche, todos los días. Sin embargo, significa que cuando no estamos tomando acción para aliviar las necesidades, oramos por esas necesidades y escuchamos cómo Dios nos invita a responder a ellas.

Cuando reflexione sobre su vida y cómo su corazón es tocado por aquellas que la necesitan o si desea que pueda responder con mayor libertad, sintonícese con esos sentimientos. Podrían ser signos de que su llamado es a esta vida de disponibilidad radical. Cuando tome acciones a favor de las necesitadas, preste atención a cómo se eleva su espíritu. Sus reacciones son importantes y pueden ser indicadores de su llamado.

Por favor hable con una mentora o directora espiritual de confianza sobre sus experiencias. Estas son formas en que Dios nos llama. ¡Dios puede estar tratando de llamar su atención!

Bendiciones en su búsqueda,
Hermana Tarianne


During the life of Jesus, notice how he centered everything in relationships; with his Father and the Spirit, but also with his immediate family, his close disciples/friends and those in need of healing and challenging to live in right relationships with truth, love and all creation. When he became human, he did it because of a relationship with the rest of us humans.

Now it’s our turn in our daily lives to carry on the same kinds of relationships, especially ones that take us out of our comfort zone, those that demand that we love everyone, even the unlovable and those who are different from us.

As we discern God’s call for our lives, how can we best be about relationships? What life form – religious life, priesthood, married life or single life – would allow us to be about the priority of creating and sustaining right relationships? What clues do we find in our hearts for this deep call of service? What more information do we need before we take the risk of deciding? What is the right time for a decision because one of the pitfalls of discernment is to keep discerning and not decide. In other words, we can get stuck.

If we can help you with making a decision or to get unstuck, please be in touch. You also may want to view these stories of others who have taken the risk and decided.

May the Spirit guide you to your decision,
Sister Tarianne


Una Vida Centrada en las Relaciones

Durante la vida de Jesús, note cómo centró todo en las relaciones; con su Padre y el Espíritu, pero también con su familia inmediata, sus discípulos / amigos cercanos y aquellos necesitados de la sanidad y enfrentando el desafío de vivir en relaciones saludables con la verdad, el amor y toda la creación. Cuando se volvió humano, lo hizo debido a una relación con los demás de nosotros, los humanos.

Ahora es nuestra oportunidad en nuestras vidas diarias para mantener los mismos tipos de relaciones, especialmente las que nos sacan de nuestra zona de comodidad, las que exigen amar a todos, incluso los que no son amables y los que son diferentes a nosotros.

A medida que discernimos el llamado de Dios para nuestras vidas, ¿cómo podemos ser mejores en las relaciones? ¿Qué forma de vida - vida religiosa, sacerdocio, vida matrimonial o vida soltera - nos permitiría priorizar la creación y sostenimiento de relaciones saludables? ¿Qué indicaciones encontramos en nuestros corazones para este profundo llamado de servicio? ¿Qué más información necesitamos antes de tomar el riesgo de decidir? ¿Cuál es el momento adecuado para tomar una decisión? porque una de las dificultades del discernimiento es seguir discerniendo y no decidir. En otras palabras, podemos atascarnos.

Si podemos ayudarla a tomar una decisión o para despegarse, póngase en contacto con nosotras. También es posible que desee ver estas historias de otras personas que se han arriesgado y decidido.

Que el Espíritu la guíe en su decisión, 
Hermana Tarianne


Spiritual writers encourage a life organized around being discerning. In other words, pondering next steps in life no matter how small or large our choices seem to be. They advise us to review our day in the evening before sleep and to hold our day in prayer the next morning, asking the Holy Spirit for guidance and wisdom in our choices.

All well and good! However, in our busy day-to-day living we must live awake in order to live discerningly. Taking time for quiet centering during each day helps us be awake to possibilities and awake to what the Spirit is doing in our lives that day. A good practice in the evening is to recall when we were awake to the Spirit’s movement in the day. What did we notice? When did we sense a little nudge in one direction or another?

The Spirit is present with us, working imaginatively and persistently. Like branches are to a tree the Spirit is connecting us with life that gives meaning and nourishment to what we’re doing. As we gain proficiency in noticing how the Spirit is with us at all times, we grow more awake and more discerning about where the Spirit is leading. This discerning ability influences our choices.

I cannot recommend strongly enough that a spiritual director can be invaluable for anyone wishing to be more awake to where the Spirit may be calling.

May we all be blessed and awake,
Sister Tarianne


Una Vida Discernida

Los escritores espirituales animan una vida organizada hacia el discernimiento. En otras palabras, reflexionar sobre los próximos pasos en la vida, sin importer que tan pequeñas o grandes sean nuestras decisiones. Nos aconsejan que revisemos nuestro día en la noche antes de dormir y que pongamos nuestro dia en oración la próximo mañana, pidiéndole al Espíritu Santo por guianza y sabiduría en nuestras decisiones. 

Todo parece bien! Sin embargo, en nuestra ajetreada vida cotidiana, debemos vivir despiertas para poder vivir con discernimiento. Tomar tiempo para centrarnos en silencio durante cada día nos ayuda a estar despiertas a las posibilidades y despiertas a lo que el Espíritu está haciendo en nuestras vidas ese día. Una buena práctica en la noche es recordar cuando estábamos despiertas al movimiento del Espíritu en el día. ¿Qué notamos? ¿Cuándo sentimos un pequeño empujón en una dirección u otra?

El Espíritu está presente con nosotros, trabajando con imaginación y persistencia. Como las ramas son para un árbol, el Espíritu nos está conectando con la vida que da sentido y sostenimiento a lo que estamos haciendo. A medida que ganamos la habilidad de notar cómo el Espíritu está con nosotros en todo momento, nos despertamos más y discernimos más hacia a dónde el Espíritu nos está guiando. Esta capacidad de discernimiento influye en nuestras decisiones. 

No puedo recomendar lo suficiente que tan valioso es un director espiritual para cualquiera que desee estar más despierta a dónde el Espíritu le pueda estar llamando.

Que todas seamos bendecidas y despiertas.
Hermana Tarianne


I made applesauce over the weekend and noticed how many seeds each apple contained. As I sliced about a dozen green Granny Apples, I suddenly realized each one of those seeds represents the possibility of new life, even orchards of apple trees in the future. Of course, that got me thinking about how much the seeds are like the ways we discern our future.

When other people look at our lives, they don’t see any more clearly than we can about ourselves what are possibilities for our life choices: Married? When and to whom and how will I know? Single? Forever? For now? Until I meet someone special with a mutual attraction for me? Religious Life? When? Where? Active or contemplative? Missionary?

So, you see, many “seed-questions” show up once we've opened ourselves to them. Much like the apple seeds, they only become visible once we go deeper into the apple’s core. The challenge is to take the risk of opening ourselves to God’s call to us. Each of us has a calling. Our happiness is linked with our response to that call.

Pray to be ready for the opening. Trust that God is never outdone in abundance! Our part is to slow down, listen and consider the possibility that God is calling you to a life full of meaning.

I pray with you for this grace,
Sister Tarianne


Semillas de Posibilidades

Hice salsa de manzana este fin de semana, y me di cuenta que tantas semillas cada manzana tiene. Mientras partí una dozena de manzanas tipo “Granny”, de repente me di cuenta que cada una de esas semillas representa la posibilidad de nueva vida, aun huertas de manzanas en el futuro. Por su puesto que esto me hizo pensar en cómo las semillas son como nosotras dicernimos el futuro.

Cuando otras personas miran nuestras vidas, ellos no ven algo más claro de lo que vemos de nosotras mismas cuales son las posibilidades para nuestras decisiones de la vida: ¿Casada? ¿Cuándo? y ¿Para quién y ¿Cómo sabré? ¿Soltera? ¿Para siempre? ¿Por ahora? ¿Hasta que conozca alguien especial con una mutua atracción? ¿Vida Religiosa? ¿Cuándo? ¿Dónde? ¿Activa o contemplativa? ¿Misionera?

Como te puedes dar cuenta, hay muchas “preguntas sobre las semillas” que aparecen al momento que nos abrimos a ellas. Como las semillas de las manzanas, solo se hacen visibles al momento que nos profundizamos al corazón de la manzana. El reto es de tomar el riesgo de abrirnos al llamado de Dios. Cada una de nosotras tenemos un llamado. Nuestro gozo está ligado a nuestra respuesta a ese llamado.

Reza para estar lista para la apertura. ¡Confía que la abundancia de Dios no tiene fin! Nuestra responsabilidad es de ir más despacio, escuchar y considerar la posibilidad que Dios te está llamando a una vida llena de significado.

Rezo contigo por esta gracia,
Hermana Tarianne


Parents raise their children to be independent and capable. I’m not sure it necessarily follows that we have to do everything on our own just because we’re capable of being that “independent person”. 

I once had an experience walking on a leaf-covered pathway through the woods after a downpour of rain. The size and diversity of the many trees with their trunks darkened by splashes of the rain caught my eye. Upon leaving the woods I had an insight: each of those trees not only “got along” with the others, but each was dependent on the others for their survival. Although they obtained their own nourishment through their roots and leaves, somehow they were not standing alone in a big field or meadow. They weren’t having to fend for themselves, but were part of this diverse collection of trees and they all were thriving!

We humans are also part of a diverse collection of creatures, depending on one another for support, caring, listening, playing and working together. At times we need a listening heart or wise advice to get clear about what we think and feel about our lives. It helps to know we matter to others. These others can be parents, good friends, roommates, co-workers, pastors, and spiritual directors we can count on when we’re searching out a life choice. 

Check out this upcoming event for a chance to be with others who care that you find the right choice for your life’s purpose.

Blessings,
Sister Tarianne


"Handcuffs" by Victor | Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

There is a famous question, “If you were charged with being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?” In other words, does the way you live your life really reflect what you claim you believe and value? Most of us fall short, but in general, we can recognize if we are muddling along in the direction toward what we hold sacred and true or away from it.

For Dominicans, we view it in a slightly different way. How does your life preach? How does the way you live proclaim to the world? We are members of the Order of Preachers, after all. Dominican houses were and are called “Houses of the Holy Preaching.” That doesn’t mean we sit around listening to homilies and reflections. It means we strive to recognize that what we do – how we treat each other, how we live together, how we reach out to others – is a way of preaching Christ’s Gospel.

How do I preach with my life? What do I preach with my life? Does my life say what I want it to be saying? Does my life align with God’s desires for me? Asking these questions can help us figure out if we are on the right path and can help us discern the forks in the road.

Ultimately God’s desire for our lives and our deepest desires are united. But it takes a while to understand and accept those deepest desires within us.

Take some time this week to ask God to show you how you already preach with your life and, perhaps, show you new ways you may be called!

Blessings,
Sister Lorraine


Fra Angelico, Sermon on the Mount

That famous question, “Who do you say that I am?” occurs in this Sunday’s Gospel. It can be a very important discernment question because how we answer it affects everything. If you say Jesus was a good man who set a good example, that may be nice, but it doesn’t necessarily call a person to any radical change. If you say Jesus is the one who will judge us in the end, then it might just make you anxious and act out of guilt. If you say Jesus is the creator of the universe manifesting in human form to teach us how to live and love, you might feel more drawn to respond with your life.

At a very personal level, we probably answer this question differently from others, and even for ourselves at different points in our lives. Because Jesus is also a ‘person,’ we are in a relationship, and relationships change over time. Jesus may not change, but our understanding of him and way of relating to him will. Some of the different answers I have had to this question: Jesus you are… my partner… my hope… a caress… a challenger… the one I take time with each night and morning… the core relationship in my life.

Discernment involves other people. But the strongest voice in becoming who I am, and discerning what I am called to do, is the voice of Jesus.

Who do you say Jesus is?

Blessings,
Sister Lorraine


"The Cross" by Ted | Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

I look upon you with such love. You are so hard on yourself. You feel guilty for all you do not do, and for some of the things you do. I see it. I know you. You can’t hide anything from me and you don’t need to. You are safe with me. I don’t condemn you. I want to cheer you on. I want you to be all that I made you to be. I see the goodness inside you even when you don’t see it yourself. I do call you to be more, but out of love, out of knowing the goodness that is within you.

Sometimes it is hard to look at the pain in yourself, in those around you, in the world. I know. It is overwhelming at times. When I walked the Earth it pained my heart that I could not cure all. It caused me such sadness that my message about God’s reign was twisted and used against me and my followers. It angered me that the poor suffered so much due to the greed of those in power. 

It’s not easy being a human being and trying to follow me is it? Sometimes it means you will have to suffer. There are times you will feel like you are being put on a cross. 

Maybe you will be judged falsely by those around you. 
Maybe a relationship will be ruptured that will not be repaired in this life. 
Maybe you have experienced a loss you weren’t sure you could bear.

I know. Look at me up here. I know all your hurt and all your pain and I embrace it. And transform it. An empty tomb is actually a sign of new life.

Pay attention – there is hope in places you might not expect. Look for the signs of new life, within you and around you. I did not stay up on this cross. Yes, it was a shameful, excruciating death. But it passed over. God raised me and God will raise you. Once you accept and know the cross, you do not need to stay there.

Honor what has been, in my witness and in your own life, kiss it, venerate it, bow before it.

And then get ready, because resurrection is on its way!

Composed by Sister Lorraine Réaume, OP


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Sister Tarianne DeYonker, OP
Sister Mariane Fahlman, OP

Co-Directors Vocations


Adrian Dominican Sisters
1257 East Siena Heights Drive
Adrian, Michigan 49221-1793
517-266-3537


Visit the Adrian Vocations Team on Twitter @ASisterReflects



Get out your bell-bottoms and platform shoes, because DISCO is here!

Okay, so it's a little less dancing, a little more talking... Sisters Lorraine Réaume, OP, and Sara Fairbanks, OP, have a video series called DISCO (Discernment Conversations): Dancing with the questions of life!