Even at 21, and at the pinnacle of our materialistic lives, we were touched by this simple reflection. To be able to see one's flaws, however small, is a trait of the highest order. Even though Sister Lucy had given up everything and committed her life to serving others.
I have often heard monks and nuns being made fun of. As a child, I myself might even have thought or did. Today I am ashamed. They are modern-day heroes. No. They have always been heroes. It's just that we, who are growing up in the Western world, do not see it, do not feel it.
Now and then I make visits, not visitations, to Catholic premises, usually university campuses. I started doing so in the years of the Second Vatican Council, some 50 years ago.
On Yom HaShoah, the anniversary of the Warsaw ghetto uprising, we remember the Jews killed in the Holocaust. On April 16, I will remember the six million. And I will remember the afternoon I spent recently with a group of nuns -- an encounter that surprised me and gave me hope.
Through simultaneously preserving Tibet's wisdom tradition and encouraging women to embrace and thrive through knowledge acquisition she is not only empowering Tibetan women, she is giving them the tools to empower themselves. Delek's work and outlook speak to the power of that lens.
People are baffled that my exterior -- a 27-year-old who used to work at Clinique and peruses Pinterest for fashion inspiration -- could reflect an interior longing for consecrated life and its seemingly antiquated vows of celibacy, poverty and obedience. Their questions have forced me to confront my self-image.
I would like to make a distinction between two terms -- terms that are often used interchangeably, but in actuality, while connected in some ways, stand as unique and separate from one another. The terms are "patriot" and "nationalist."
How fitting it is that God's best gift to me in my ministerial life as a Catholic sister is now, at the end. I am 71 years old and have had the privilege and joy of being present among the transgender community since 1999.
Ven. Dr. Pannavati is both contemplative and empowered for compassionate service. She just returned from South India where she established the first nunnery for "Untouchables," and she told me about the urgent need for support for girls and women.
In the new year, I expect further diplomatic breakthroughs. I strongly suspect that by next Christmas we may see the Catholic Church enjoying normalized relations with the Chinese government.
Women religious as well as their colleagues and friends will find in the report a fair depiction of the state of Catholic sisters in the United States.
The church's challenge now is to deal with the hurt that erupted when the church's call for visitations seemed to disregard what tens of thousands of nuns accomplished both in the past and today.
Buddhist nuns are everywhere among the streets of Myanmar -- of all different ages, some as young as 5. Dressed in pink loose-fitting shirts and pants with orange scarves, they have shaved heads and rely on alms to pay for their schooling, food, housing, and other basic needs.
Nuns deserve recognition for the things they have accomplished. They are on the front-lines of social justice every single day. They are brilliant women with PhDs who have run colleges and hospitals. This show is only going to serve to drag their vocation through the mud.
I'm continually engulfed in modern day life with beeps, vibrations, commercials, news feeds -- a variety of attacks on all my senses. Yet, silence's mystifying self still delicately reaches for my curious heart.
From my experiences at these various monasteries, I found that it wasn't until I sat through these things in silence and space that I could reach a much deeper and often darker place of self-discovery, which led and still leads me to more of my true self.