We are entirely in the care of Divine Providence, and it is very sweet to remain so in peace.
Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne
There I was. On a mountaintop with my back firmly supported by timeless rock, I was able to see beyond the horizon on a cerulean blue-sky day animated by peaceful white clouds, over the panoramic vista containing the peaks of mountains and the fertile green of valleys. How wonderful…
I have Sr. Jane O'Shaunessy, RSCJ and Sr. Lydia Cho, RSCJ to thank for this moment of guided visualization aimed at allowing those present to see the beauty of the world through God's eyes, gazing upon creation with appreciation as God does. This past week, Princeton Academy was blessed to welcome Jane and Lydia, truly amazing women who are RSCJs (Religieuses du Sacre-Coeur de Jesus) from the Society of the Sacred Heart, to campus to be a part of our community while leading our annual Busy Persons Retreat (BPR). BPR is designed for faculty and staff within Sacred Heart schools so that we can find necessary time in our busy lives to nourish our souls and nurture our spirituality. Recognizing how busy life can be, BPR enables us to find time to be present, focus on prayer, and center ourselves with mindful meditation. Through interfaith morning prayer that combined the harnessing of the energy of the Chi with rituals of our indigenous ancestors and the practice of Lectio Divina, faculty and staff were granted the gift of awakening to life's mysteries through heightened spiritual awareness. We are reminded of our charism, the spiritual gifts that we are all endowed with so that we can fulfill our mission on earth; we all have them, our boys have them, and fortunately, we have time to figure out our purposes. This practice fortifies our spirit as Educators of the Sacred Heart (ESCJ) and enables us to be our best for our boys. What a way to start spring!
I am of the opinion that today more than ever we would all benefit from the practice of retreat, whatever our faith traditions, so that we can advance with heart in all that we do. Our world, our lives, our days are moving so fast. It is important to pause, intentionally, to gather and grow, to practice some type of Espacio just as our boys do at assembly, in mindfulness or during religion class. This is a sustainable practice that will contribute to longevity and joy. It will also connect us in a meaningful way, as humans, to all that is around us.
Thank you, Jane and Lydia, for giving us this gift. Peace be with you.
Alfred (Rik) F. Dugan III