For the Contemplative Communities
Good Shepherd News 192 - October 2006
Soon, we will have been at the Mother House for a month. But from the very beginning of our work together, we wanted to write to each one of you to thank you for the time and effort you put into your responses to the questionnaires on ‘Community Life,’ which the Contemplative Life Commission prepared.
In our turn, we would also like to give you an update of what we have done so far.
When we started, we agreed to cultivate a contemplative presence in our meetings; our frame of reference
would be the Lectio–Meditatio–Oratio method. Thus, the words you have written in your Response are our Lectio, a reflective reading of information and data on our different realities. We want to assure you that we studied with attention, and synthesized with care, the characteristics unique to Good Shepherd contemplativelife, the obstacles and challenges, the community portraits as well as the ‘Next Steps’ that you suggested. We consider our discussions about these points to be times of Meditatio . They are the substance of our conversations with God, and with you, about the Essential Elements of our contemplative life. They reveal to us God’s Word and where God could be leading us. The daily decisions about how we develop different topics, and whatever actions we pursue with regards to the final document that we have to write, would be Oratio … the delivery of ourselves, in love, to Jesus the Good Shepherd as we read, study and reflect.
Lectio–Meditatio–Oratio … this, as you can see, is the process that we follow; your responses inspired us to do so! Moreover, the papers you submitted are also challenging and provoke many questions. In some of them, we read of pain. Others speak of fortitude and creativity. But in all the papers, we learned of your fidelity to prayer whatever the circumstances. That is why we can be obstinate in our hope that even in the weariness of replying to questionnaires, we are about mission. We are allowing the future to emerge through our very selves because we all want life. Yes, in each one of us, in the other, and in all of creation, we can say with the prophet, “a new creation is being born and God’s reign is being built right before our very eyes.”
Perhaps you will also be happy to know that we have made for ourselves a Daily Schedule; we say (or sing) the Office in the 3 languages and on Sundays we have adoration for an hour before Vespers. Our recreation
is during meals and you should hear the ensuing riot when with the help of dictionaries, sign language and gestures; we make every effort at internationality! We end our day with Compline but we sing the Salve Regina in Latin so that the peace (la paix de la Sainte Vierge, la paz de Santa Maria) of the Virgin Mary is the last reality of our daily schedule!
Thank you for following us with your prayers; without them, without your love, our community in Saint Vincent cannot continue!
With prayers from your loving Sisters,
Betty, Cynthia, Denise, Edith, Socorro, Veronique
You can download: GSN 192 - October 2006