Spacious Silence
By S. Romina Sapinoso
Discernment can be a long, messy process. When my own discernment gets cloudy and becomes more of a tangled web of questions rather than clarity of next steps, I know that my mind has taken over and I’m trying to figure everything out alone and without God in the picture. When we allow ourselves to get caught up in our thoughts, our minds can keep going, and instead of moving us forward, we find ourselves entrenched in a loopy rewind and fast forward of our what-ifs and what-nots. We are everywhere but present in the moment and we can easily miss God subtly showing us the way. Our minds are a useful tool but they can only take us up to a point in discernment and faith life. Part of our faith is to surrender and allow God the space to sift through the things that are within us - all of the what-ifs and buts and don’t-know-hows - because we can’t do it on our own. Though it may still feel on the surface that things are not all neatly worked out, we trust and await the courage to move forward with our next step. We can’t accomplish this through thinking, talking and analyzing alone. 
 
Silence and space are just as important in the discernment process as are journaling, spiritual direction and counseling. Sitting in silence and allowing ourselves to be as we are is an exercise in surrender to God. As the late Fr. Thomas Keating, life-long practitioner and teacher of Centering Prayer, says, ​“Silence is God's first language; everything else is a poor translation.”​ Oftentimes, spacious silence is an aspect of discernment that is forgotten as it is not as engaging as talking to a mentor or a friend. As somebody who processes questions and doubts out loud, I have to be very intentional about setting time and space for silence knowing that without it, I am not giving my discernment process the integrity that it deserves. I can only analyze, think and feel up to a point. Sitting with ourselves and allowing our thoughts to come and go without judgment might not be the most comfortable thing to do in the beginning, but it is in the silence and space where we are able to see ourselves honestly. It is there where we are able to acknowledge and then let go of everything that comes up and falls away, trusting that God is taking care of our questions and concerns. In the spacious silence, we notice our thoughts and feelings and discover that though important, they are not the sum of who we are and who God is. There is something more that God tries to communicate with us beyond words, thoughts and feelings. In the silence and space, God meets us, knows us and lets God’s self be known in us.
National Vocation Awareness Week   November 3-9, 2019
In celebration of National Vocation Awareness Week, a week dedicated to promote vocations through prayer and education, the Sisters of Charity asked a few of our wisdom-figure Sisters to reflect on what they have treasured most about religious life. View at https://www.srcharitycinti.org/2019/11/04/vocation-awareness-week
A Good Read: Open Mind Open Heart
by Fr. Thomas Keating
This classic reintroduces us to the beauty of the practice of meditation, called Centering Prayer, rooted in the Christian contemplative tradition. Keating explores inner transformation through union with God in contemplation and our consent to the Divine Indwelling within us.
Friendship with God: A Sending
Join Catholic Sister peers in their 20s and 30s for a weekend of community, prayer and relaxation Jan. 17-19 at Our Lady of Guadalupe Monastery in Phoenix, Arizona. This year’s retreat theme is “Friendship with God: A Sending.” Giving Voice uses the principles of The Circle Way as a basic format for gatherings. To register visit: https://bit.ly/2PoN6Nq
Future of Charity Members Gather in New Orleans
The feasts of All Saints and All Souls were the perfect occasions for members of the Sisters of Charity Federation Future of Charity to come together at the House of Charity in New Orleans, Louisiana. Over the weekend the group celebrated the two feast days while also enjoying community and New Orleans in November. To view a photo album visit https://www.srcharitycinti.org/2019/
Calendar
November 3-9, 2019
National Vocation Awareness Week
 
November 6, 2019
St. Elizabeth Seton Medal awarded to S. Judith Metz, noon, Mater Dei Chapel, Mount St. Joseph University

November 18-21, 2019
Nuns Build, New Orleans, Louisiana

November 28, 2019
Thanksgiving

January 17-19, 2020
Giving Voice 20s & 30s Retreat, Our Lady of Guadalupe Monastery, Phoenix, Arizona
The Sisters of Charity Federation House of Charity hosted students from Creighton University in October. Students had the opportunity to partner with SBP to offer rebuilding assistance to families in the area while also finding time to experience the New Orleans culture.
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. 
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