We have recently celebrated Sr. Kathy Curtis’ final profession! What a joyous celebration! The reading chosen for the occasion was taken from Sr. Joan Chittister’s commentary on the Rule of Benedict, chapter 58 “The Procedure for Receiving Members”. She states that “Benedictine life is rooted in three dimensions: commitment to a community, fidelity to a monastic way of life and obedience… We are to be totally open to the constantly emerging challenges of the God-life within us and …learn to see the globe through eyes softened by the Gospel… We are to see change and challenge in life as God’s voice in our ears.”
All that sounds like quite a mouthful! However, when I think of what it means to commit to be faithful I realize that applies to all ways of Christian living. We’re there for each other through the hard times – when the water pipes freeze and break, when trees fall on buildings, when cancer is diagnosed (events that occurred this past winter!). But we’re there for the good times too. Spring does come. Winter is over and repairs are completed. Friends come to celebrate and flowers bloom. Our response to these things is our openness to the God-life within us.
And so we do learn to see things with new eyes – eyes that are softened by the Gospel. This is our journey of conversion. It’s our daily striving to live the Gospel message a little better; to change our harsh ways, to respond to someone else’s need when we would rather not be bothered. This past winter when we were all snowed-in at the monastery, Sr. Kathy Curtis reminded us that “patience is not just the ability to wait but how we behave while we’re waiting”! And that too is part of the conversion process. We learn to change our thinking from competition to “how can we work together?” Instead of issues being either black or white we learn there is a gray area. And so we grow in unity with others.
Life is messy! But together we journey, loving and caring for each other. Congratulations Sr. Kathy! And blessings on you as you continue your journey with us.