COMMITMENT TO MERCY
5 December 2016
On Monday 24th October thirty Mercy Associates gathered in Caringbah for their annual recommitment as Mercy Associates of the Institute of Sisters of Mercy of Australia and Papua New Guinea.
The group welcomed three new Associates Anne Iffland, Tracy McEwan and Jeanette Brennan who have journeyed with present Associates for over twelve months and have now made a commitment as Mercy Associates. Central B Community Leader Mary Geason rsm presented the new Commitment Certificates and Badges to all Associates. Everyone was delighted to receive the newly designed Certificates and Badges.
Anne Ryan from Toronto Spirituality Centre was the guest presenter for the gathering.
Anne invited the group to consider spirituality as “noticing God” in the ordinariness of our everyday lives and to imagine the company of two women in particular – Catherine McAuley and Hildegard of Bingen – whose spirituality and life commitment developed from their “noticing” God in those who were generous, those in need, those willing to give their whole selves to the work of mercy, as well as noticing God in the environment, community, and journeys with illness.
In leading us to explore Women’s Spirituality Anne referred to Kathleen Fischer’s book Women at the Well, Feminist perspectives on Spiritual Direction (1988) highlighting these points as patterns of woman’s way of nurturing her spirituality:
• listening to the deepest part of self;
• affirming the intrinsically social nature of spirituality i.e. the relationship with self, others, God, life;
• becoming aware of liberation and living and ministering from that point of freedom;
• viewing power as an interaction between persons and not as dominance.
We also had the opportunity to remember women who have shown us this way of spirituality in our own lives, who helped us become alert to the ways of noticing God and who mentored us through our changing images of God.
Catherine McAuley and St Hildegard have become our companions through this time together, and join the company of those who have journeyed with us in our everyday “noticing God”.
Messages to: Nance Cale rsm