God Wants You to Be Free
By S. Tracy Kemme
I’d been considering religious life for a few years when I reached a point of impasse, drawn simultaneously to two good, holy paths: marriage to my loving, faith-filled boyfriend or entering the Sisters of Charity. Obviously, I could not pursue both! Even after months of meeting with a spiritual director, my heart was still torn – and terrified. Saying “yes” to one possibility would mean saying a painful “no” to the other. And what if I made the wrong choice?

I told my spiritual director that the anguish of indecision was causing a perpetual knot in my stomach. I wanted God to give me clarity, but I was afraid what it would cost. She looked at me with compassion and then handed me a beautiful woven bowl from her desk. “I want you to have this,” she said gently. “When you feel paralyzed, hold this, and ask for the courage to be just like it: open, empty, and receptive.”

Later that afternoon, I sat on my bed, took the bowl in my hands, and prayed, “God, what do you ask of me? I’m scared, but I am open.” Then I waited, apprehensive. Would God zap me with an answer? Much to my surprise, three simple words surfaced in my heart: “I love you.” I thought I was imagining, but then I heard it again: “I love you, Tracy. I love you. I love you. I love you.” Tears of relief tumbled down my cheeks. Instead of demanding something of my fearful heart, God soothed it, reminding me I am loved no matter what. I had to know that before I could ever choose freely.

It is true that certain choices will bring our lives greater joy than others. But God doesn’t force, trick, or disparage us as we discern sincerely. God invites us and guides us to a place where we can respond in total freedom. Unconditional love is the starting point and bottom line. Today in prayer, wherever you are on the journey, can you let your heart rest in that love? You don’t have to analyze or say anything. God wants to tell you over, and over, and over: I love you. No matter what.
Future of Charity Blog:
Dreaming With Our Hearts Wide Open
In her most recent Future of Charity blog post, S. Annie Klapheke reflects on a rich, hope-filled weekend in her Future of Charity Blog post: “Dreaming with Our Hearts Wide Open.” Read it here: http://futureofcharity.blogspot.com/2019/06/dreaming-with-our-hearts-wide-open.html.
Federation Members Gather for Assembly of the Whole
Sisters of Charity Federation members, Associates, staff and guests representing 14 congregations gathered in Chicago, Illinois, June 13-16, 2019 for the first-ever Assembly of the Whole. The assembly was a moving, thought-provoking time to consider what congregations have accomplished over the years, and how to move forward together, weaving unstoppable charity. Read more at: https://sistersofcharityfederation.org/assembly-of-the-whole/.
Summer Reading
A Sacred Voice is Calling: Personal Vocation and Social Conscience by John Neafsey is an excellent little book for seekers of all ages. With a fresh perspective, Neafsey explores how we discover God’s call in the midst of a world full of needs. Weaving together memorable stories and tried-and-true wisdom about vocation, he teaches us the power of listening both inwardly and outwardly for personal and global transformation.  
Video Visit
Meet Sister of Charity Mary Ann Humbert, a volunteer at Community Matters’ choice pantry in Lower Price Hill (Cincinnati). Through her interactions with the people she helps and meets, S. Mary Ann says she has received many gifts.  
Giving Voice Hosts National Gathering
Catholic Sisters under age 50 gathered in St. Louis, Missouri, June 27-30 to attend the Giving Voice National Gathering. Every two years Giving Voice hosts the bridge-building gathering in hopes of deepening relationships and fostering growth, leadership skills and a vision for the future of religious life. During the four-day gathering participants focused conversations and workshops around the theme: “Boldness and Beauty of Communion: Living Religious Life Now!”
Calendar
July 22, 2019
Mary of Magdala Feast Day

July 23-27, 2019
Catholics on Call Young Adult Conference, Catholic Theological Union, Chicago, Illinois http://www.catholicsoncall.org/apply

July 27, 2019
Jubilee celebration, 4 p.m., Motherhouse chapel

 August 24, 2019
S. Whitney Schieltz’s First Profession of Vows, 4 p.m., Motherhouse chapel
Members of the newly elected Leadership Council of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati were installed on June 29, 2019, in the Immaculate Conception Chapel of the Sisters of Charity Motherhouse. Pictured are (from left) Sister Joanne Burrows, SC, councilor; Sister Teresa Dutcher, SC, councilor; Sister Patricia Hayden, SC, president; Sister Marge Kloos, SC, councilor; and Sister Monica Gundler, SC, councilor.
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