By Sister Marianne Ferguson OSF
As new owner/operators begin managing the building housing 59 sisters in western New York, S. Marianne Ferguson reflected on the changes the sisters living there face in the context of the Scripture reading Acts 12:24 – 13:5 –
We notice that the Apostles were using ritual. After praying to the Holy Spirit, they used the ritual of laying on hands to choose Paul and Barnabas to spread the mission of Christ to Saleucia and Cyprus. Our sisters living at Fredonia Place of Williamsville witnessed the effectiveness of that ritual last Friday, as we participated in the laying on of hands by our leadership. At this time, we likewise were called to fulfill the mission of Christ. Rituals bond the participants together to accomplish a mutual purpose.
We are most fortunate to celebrate a daily ritual of Mass and Office. Unfortunately, daily rituals can become quite ordinary and sometimes a little boring. We can easily lose interest and let our minds drift, beginning to put together our daily schedule, or pondering what we might have forgotten to do. Our other concerns fill the time, and surprise! It’s the consecration of the Mass or maybe communion.
I find that spiritual reading, especially the scripture, helps me to make connections to the ritual in which I am trying to participate. It can also aid in trying to make creative adaptations to life. Remembering the purpose of the ritual that binds us together to accomplish the mission of Christ might help the Holy Spirit to work in us also.
We do have the consolation of knowing that these rituals, in binding us together, give us the support of our other sisters whose prayers can carry us and compensate for our lack of fervent participation.