waiting and dreaming

I think it is fitting that our 3 month novitiate anniversary coincides with the beginning of Advent, a time of waiting. Waiting can be an active and intentional activity, rather than a passive one. This past week, we talked about the Annunciation in both our classes at the Intercommunity Novitiate (Personal Integration and Theology of the Vows). In our conversation, I was struck deeply by two things. One was the idea that while God initiated the call, God waited for Mary to answer just as God waits for us. Think about that ... God waits for us! The other was the idea that when Mary said yes, she said yes to a mystery. She didn’t know what she was saying yes to, and if anything she was saying yes to an adventure. As our Groovy Constitutions say:

As we live our vows each day
we trust that Christ’s blessing promised
to peacemakers will sustain us,
knowing that God working in us
will accomplish more than we can ask
or imagine. (Constitutions 62)

That about sums up where I find myself right now. Taking each day as it comes, thanking God each day for the invitation, saying yes each day to the call to be a peacemaker, knowing that even though it seems impossible to me sometimes, all things are possible for God. When God dreams, God dreams bigger than I can imagine.


Anonymous said...

Someone sent me these two poems by David Whyte recently and both speak I think to the issues you raise in this blog. I hope you and all your bloogy friends enjoy them as we prepare to move into the Advent mysteries.


David Whyte Poems:

From The House of Belonging (Many Rivers Press: Langley, Washington 2004).

What To Remember When Waking (pp26-28)

In that first

Hardly noticed


In which you wake,

Coming back

To this life

From the other

More secret,


And frighteningly



Where everything


There is a small


Into the day

Which closes

The moment

You begin

Your plans.

What you can plan

Is too small

For you to live.

What you can live


Will make plans


For the vitality

Hidden in your sleep.

To be human

Is to become visible

While carrying

What is hidden

As a gift to others.

To remember

The other world

In this world

Is to live in your

True inheritance.

You are not a troubled guest

On this earth,

You are not

An accident

Amidst other accidents

You were invited

From another and greater


Than the one

From which

You have just emerged.

Now, looking through

The slanting light

Of the morning

Window toward

The mountain


Of everything

That can be,

What urgency

Calls you to your

One love? What shape

Waits in the seed

Of you to grow

And spread

Its branches

Against a future sky?

Is it waiting

In the fertile sea?

In the trees

Beyond the house?

In the life

You can imagine

For yourself?

In the open

And lovely

White page

On the waiting desk?


All the true vows

Are secret vows

The ones we speak out loud

Are the ones we break.

There is only one life

You can call your own

And a thousand others

You can call by any name you want.

Hold to the truth you make

Every day with your own body,

Don’t turn your face away.

Hold to your own truth

At the center of the image

You were born with.

Those who do not understand

Their destiny will never understand

The friends they have made

Nor the work they have chosen

Nor the one life that waits

Beyond all the others.

By the lake in the wood

In the shadows

You can

Whisper that truth

To the quiet reflection

You see in the water.

Whatever you hear from

The water, remember,

It wants you to carry

The sound of its truth on your lips.


In this place

No one can hear you

And out of the silence

You can make a promise

It will kill you to break,

That way you’ll find

What is real and what is not.

I know what I am saying.

Time almost forsook me

And I looked again.

Seeing my reflection

I broke a promise

And spoke

For the first time

After all these years

In my own voice,

Before it was too late

To turn my face again

Anonymous said...

Hi Sr. Susan,

I am amazed that I have found your blog~...your story..sounds so much like mine...or the beginning anyway, I think I am somewhere in chapter 2...It is such a gift to read about your novitiate, ..and so great to read about someone who has discerned a vocation, as that is what I am working on now and always...Peace and blessings to you, Lisa in CA~

my blog is at : www.sanctifyme.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

I've been thinking about you (and myself as well) and how being in transition is an Advent kind of situation. One is on a journey, but not there yet; new life is happening, but the time of waiting is not completed; and the inner and outer journey is both wondrous and terrible...and (alas) quite ordinary and excruciatingly boring at times.

Waiting in hope and trust is just about the hardest thing I've ever done (and not at all passive.) I understand more why the Church gives us Miriyam of Nazareth as an example.