We had an introduction to Judaism with Sr. Anne. She said that Jews respect the â€œTorahâ€ and that they believe that God is everywhere, and so, they can pray anywhere. We also learned that Judaism is not only the religion of the Jewish people; it is also their culture and tradition. In addition, we understand better how that Christianity came from Judaism, since Jesus as well as his disciples were Jews.
We had input from Sr. Juliana about prayer, using our Constitution and Scripture. We shared two by two on these questions: Why do we pray? What is prayer? We said that prayer is an important part of our relationship with God; we need prayer. We can pray in different ways and for different people, such as prayer for people who are sick or in need, the poor, etc.
We said also that prayer is not just words, but an experience which involves our feelings. We need to be silent in order to listen to the word of God. Prayer can renew our energy every day; it is nourishment for us personally, and in our relations with others. Prayer is dialogue with God that allows God to work in our lives. Jesus always found time to pray, whether he was alone on a mountain or among the people. He taught us how to pray and the importance of prayer for each one of us.
Sr. Marge reflected with us on community life. She asked each one of us to share the experiences we have had with different communities. We talked about some of the challenges of living in a multi-cultural community, with age differences, and different languages. We also talked about our experiences of the openness and hospitality of different communities in Sion. We realized that, even though the Congregation is now small in numbers, we have great hope that new life will come. One sign of that hope is this International Novitiate here at Ein Karem, Jerusalem.
Today we had a visit from two Comboni Sisters, Sr. Alicia and Sr. Azezet, who shared with us their experiences with the â€œBedoinâ€ people and the Sudanese refugees. They have had many experiences of working for peace and human rights in ways that help people, who have been marginalized, to lead a dignified life.
We have begun a series of â€œencounters with different cultures.â€ Our community decided that once a month each one of us will share something about our countries. We began with a great exposure to the culture of the Philippines led by our Filipino Novices (Arlyne and Joey); it included enjoying ancit canton, an Asian food, and maja blanca, with fruit salad, which is a popular Filipino desert.
written by Victoria Nabil