A New Year Rest-olution
By S. Tracy Kemme
“Do you trust God enough to rest?”

A spiritual director shocked me with this question a few years ago as I anxiously wrestled with discernment.

“This doesn’t always have to feel like work,” she reminded me. “Every call is God’s initiative. Sure, we must seek and engage good discernment practices, but our discovery and response are ultimately the action of the Spirit. Can you place this in God’s hands and let yourself rest?”

The invitation brought me relief. I embraced relaxation and refreshment. To my surprise, without forcing it, a much more spacious contemplation arose in me. I began to visualize a creative way forward that I hadn’t even considered before.

Tricia Hershey, founder of @thenapministry, writes in her new book, Rest is Resistance, that “there has been a DreamSpace theft.” Capitalistic grind culture has conditioned us to keep pushing when we really need to pause. Rest gives us space to dream, to access the wisdom in our bodies, to reconnect to our Source. Rest creates energy, unleashes creativity, and fosters our deepest ideas. For Hershey, rest does not mean abandoning the crucial work of justice; it allows us to approach the work with wisdom, healing, and liberation. So too with discernment.

Our faith tradition anchors itself in the ancient practice of Sabbath, a day of rest which is God’s command and gift. During the Exodus story, while explaining the gift of manna to the wandering Israelites, God says, “Take note! The LORD has given you the Sabbath. That is why on the sixth day he gives you food for two days” (Ex 16:29). As the passage continues, we see that this is not up for debate; God insists that the people rest – and trust that there will be enough.

There is divine purpose and power in Sabbath. Rest reminds us that we are not God but rather beloved creatures of our ever-faithful Creator. In the midst of all the planning for the year ahead, make sure to plan just as well for how you will honor the call, gift, and necessity for Sabbath. Instead of another resolution, I propose a “rest-olution” rooted in trust that the Spirit works beyond our control and understanding.

 St. Augustine said it best: “Our hearts are restless until they rest in you, O God.”
Sister Blandina Segale: A Cincinnati Saint
Sister of Charity of Cincinnati Blandina Segale (whose cause for canonization is currently under review in Rome) was featured in an hour-long special on Cincinnati Local 12 on Friday, Dec. 9, 2022. Known for confronting outlaws and injustice, educating children and caring for the sick, S. Blandina served as a missionary, building schools and hospitals in the Wild West. In Cincinnati she helped immigrants adjust to American life. “Sister Blandina Segale: A Cincinnati Saint” highlights her impact on the lives of people out West and in Cincinnati. You can view the documentary here: https://youtu.be/LxbVEMZpJ3M.
Generations of Charity
In November, in celebration of National Vocation Awareness Week, the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati featured videos of five newer members reflecting on vocation with their mentors who have been Sisters for much longer. These honest, endearing, funny and profound conversations about the call to Charity can be viewed here: www.srcharitycinti.org/join-our-mission/become-a-sister/.
Resources for Rest
Along with Tricia Hershey’s book Rest is Resistance, check out Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith’s 2019 TED talk about the Seven Types of Rest. While offered from a scientific and largely secular perspective, Dr. Dalton-Smith’s research can be applied easily to the spiritual journey. Read about the types of rest in the short article, then scroll to the bottom for the 10-minute video. Let these insights inspire you with creative ways to integrate rest into your 2023 discernment journey!
Upcoming Dates & Opportunities
Jan. 4, 2023
Feast of Elizabeth Seton

Jan. 22, 2023
Virtual Discernment Group: Discerning with Servant of God Blandina Segale, a Cincinnati saint! (With Sisters Peggy Deneweth and Andrea Koverman), 7-8:30 p.m. ET

Feb. 2, 2023
World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life

Feb. 5, 2023
Virtual Faith Sharing: Women Lead Series, Session 1 (Featuring JoAnn Melina Lopez), 7-8:30 p.m. ET. Open to all young adult women, not only discerners.

Feb. 12, 2023
Virtual Discernment Night: Honest Conversations about Celibacy (With the Charity Federation), 7-8:30 p.m. ET.

Feb. 22, 2023
Ash Wednesday

Feb. 23-26, 2023
Los Angeles Religious Education Conference

Contact Vocation Coordinator S. Tracy Kemme by texting 513-400-4628 or emailing vocations@srcharitycinti.org for more information about any of the above opportunities.
The 14th annual Nuns Build, a rebuilding project bringing Sisters and volunteers from across the country together to repair homes and hearts of those who have suffered losses due to damaging storms in the Greater New Orleans area, took place Dec. 1-5, 2022. Volunteers worked on houses in Houma and New Orleans during the four-day project. Sister of Charity of Cincinnati Monica Gundler and members of the House of Charity hosted a group of Sister volunteers, which included S. Sally Duffy.
E-Vōc is the electronic newsletter from the Vocations Team of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati for single women wondering what new thing God is calling forth in their lives. To join the E-Vōc mailing list, contact Erin Reder at erin.reder@srcharitycinti.org. To unsubscribe, click here.

If you are interested in learning more about life as a Sister of Charity, visit our website at www.srcharitycinti.org