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Sister Judette, you tell us that, “As religious we are called to be more attentive to the presence of the sacred in our own inner journeys, in the lives of others, and throughout the whole of creation.” Can you share suggestions to help us become ever more conscious of this presence of the sacred?

We can begin by taking regular time in the midst of our busy schedule for deep silence.

Even the practice of being attentive to the rhythm of our own breathing and consciously quieting our inner self can be a simple way of practicing silence.The world is so noisy and we have the tendency to allow this noise to penetrate our psyche. For me this is an important discipline.

Simple exercises of taking quiet walks and consciously noticing creation around us will help expand our capacity to experience our oneness with the whole of creation --perhaps in the same way Jesus experienced this oneness when he would look for a quiet place to pray and commune with God on a mountain, desert, under the skies and the stars.

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I was moved by the insights of Albert Nolan when he said that full participation in the spirituality of Jesus would have to include some experience of our oneness with the universe since Jesus experienced all of nature, including humans, as God's creation. St. Francis of Assisi already had this insight, as did many saints and holy people.

We need to re-read the Gospel and contemplate Jesus from the perspective of today's postmodern world.

We do this to encounter in a new way the values and attitudes of Jesus: what he felt strongly about, what stories of life affected and influenced him, what was memorable and important to him, what moved him, what did he love so deeply.

For instance, in prayer, could we allow Jesus to tell us his life experiences that formed his conviction about each Beatitude, e.g., when he said, “Blessed are those who mourn…”? What really were his life experiences about mourning that gave him a deep conviction to say that “they shall be comforted”?

In being attentive to the presence of the sacred in our daily life, we can approach this through psycho-spiritual processes.

This means that attention must be given to the search for the authentic self, the person one is created and called to be, but with greater appreciation for the complementariness of human development and spiritual growth.

Therefore, we must be open to some of these psycho-spiritual processes as means to help us know and understand the complexity of our inner self. We need to be discerning as well to avoid falling into the "fad trap."

We must choose those means that lead us to greater self-transcendence and spiritual growth.

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sr. Judette Gallares, RC

Question for Reflection:

In your own life and circumstances, how do you become ever more consciousness of the presence of the sacred in yourself, the lives of others and in all of creation?