Posts Tagged ‘love mercy justice’


As the time to make my annual Associate commitment rolled around I was debating on whether I wanted to continue as an Associate with the Sisters of Providence. This hesitation had only to do with the fact that I now live so far away from “the woods” and I wasn’t sure how I could contribute from this distance.

But isn’t this what I had been praying for? To break away, to leave the nest where I had worked and served the Sisters for 8 years. God answered my prayer. How can I contribute from this far away? The same way other Associates do.

As Providence Associates, we further the mission of the Sisters of Providence by:

  • co-creating a hope-filled world,
  • building relationships,
  • cultivating community,
  • and living lives that challenge them to embody the face of Providence as they seek to be love, mercy, and justice in the world.


There are more than 200 Providence Associates all over the United States. We stay connected by praying the Prayer of Reunion, by praying the Litany of Non-Violence, by staying in touch with each other and the Sisters, and by bringing love, mercy and justice into our sphere of influence.

How am I going to do that in 2020? Things have changed for me over night and I am completely blown away by God’s AWESOMENESS! I had been serving the community of Valdosta, Georgia for several weeks through Living Bridges Ministries. I loved it! I was in the beginning stages of becoming a liaison between the ministry and a single mom’s ministry in Valdosta. I have had a passion for single moms for 13 years and I was finally realizing the dream of serving single moms. I have written a Bible study for single moms and am now a certified Biblical lay counselor. AND THEN my car broke down. I can’t get to Living Bridges now, BUT GOD opened a window for me to serve single moms from home! I will still go to the local single mom ministry and serve the single moms there. I also was invited to be a featured expert on the expert panel with The Life of a Single Mom Ministries!!! It will be a huge blessing in my effort to reach single moms and be able to counsel single moms worldwide. I have dreamed about being on that panel, but never thought that I was good enough. They loved my simple Bible study and invited me. I am still blown away by God’s goodness. Anyway, this is how I can bring love, mercy and justice into the world as a Providence Associate. I have been blessed by the Sisters of Providence and in this small way I give back.

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The commitment ceremony on November 18th was beautiful. It was a full day of reflection, prayer and sharing. It was a day that was celebrated by the 22 of us making our first commitments, those Associates that were able to come celebrate with us and the Sisters of Providence. It was a celebration of the 10th Anniversary of the Associate program and a looking forward to the years to come. It was a fond farewell to Sister Diane, who is retiring after years of dedicated service to the Associate program. It was a day of laughter and tears and it was a day of peace in my decision to become an Associate. This day has been a long time coming for me. I started this journey in 2011 and it has taken me this long to get here, but I persevered. I knew that God was calling me into this relationship and as I sat there during the ceremony, eagerly anticipating the moment that I received me associate pin, I knew that this was right. I felt at home. I felt at peace. I knew that Saint Mother Theodore was looking down on me and I was now a daughter of this remarkable woman.

I still don’t know where this journey is going to lead. I am taking one day at a time and trusting in God to lead me in His will for my life. I know that I will still have moments when I want to run, but I trust in Providence. I know that as I delve deeper into this relationship with the Sisters, God will continue to work in my life. As I open my heart to those around me, God will provide opportunities for me to BE Providence in the lives of others and to bring love, mercy and justice to the world around me.

I am blessed to a part of this community of Sisters and Associates and I know that in this place, I am home.

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Definition of Charism according to Merriam – Webster:

An extraordinary power (as of healing) given a Christian by the Holy Spirit for the good of the church

The Charism of the Sisters of Providence is Love, Mercy, Justice. They live that out through ministries in different parts of the U.S. and Taiwan. Love, Mercy and Justice is part of everything they are involved in. It is a gift of the Holy Spirit given to the Sisters for the good of the church and the world.

I had to think of what my personal charism could be. I found it in the tag line of this blog. Pray, Love, Serve. This is me. This is who I am. This is the gift of the Holy Spirit to me for the good of the church. This is my gift to the world. When I link my personal charism to the charism of the Sisters, it becomes a unique gift from me to the church. It becomes a unique gift from me to the world in which I live.

As I was going through this unit in my Associate handbook, this passage caught my eye:

And we know too that the acceptance of grace itself is a gift, enabling all who receive it with open hearts, hands and minds to partake in the very life of God.

WOW! I found it hard to wrap my head around the concept that I can partake in the very life of God. According to dictionary.com the definition of grace is:

The freely given, unmerited favor and love of God. 

The acceptance of grace is accepting the freely given, unmerited favor and love of God. I do not deserve God’s love, but He loves me anyway. I do not deserve His favor and blessing, but He gives it anyway. Will I accept His grace in order to partake in the very life of God? Absolutely!!! The idea that the God of the universe is extending an invitation to ME to live life with Him is mind blowing. He is inviting me to partner with Him in His mission to the world. What exactly does that look like for someone like me?

That brings me to another passage that really spoke to me:

From this common understanding of mission comes our common call: to be Providence in the world today.

To be Providence in the world. What does that look like? How can this 46 year-old single mom with anxiety issues be Providence in the world? I keep going back to what a sister told me, “this is your ministry.” She knew that I needed a ministry and was reminding me that my job in the food service dept. IS a ministry. Initially, it wasn’t what I wanted to hear. A ministry is feeding the hungry, fighting for the oppressed, being a voice for the voiceless, or showing love, mercy and justice to the sisters who have given their lives showing love, mercy and justice to those who need it the most. In the months since this interaction, I have reflected on her words and she is right. Serving the sisters IS a ministry. The sisters are human, they deal with discouragement, pain and sadness just the same as we all do. Being able to pray with and for the sisters is a ministry. Feeding the sisters and their guests is a ministry. Joining with them in their cause is a ministry. Maybe I’ve been looking at it all wrong. Maybe I’ve had the wrong perspective. My job in food services can be stressful and overwhelming. It isn’t what I thought ministry looked like, but maybe it is. Maybe instead of hating it and fighting against it, I need to love the fact that I get to do something for the sisters who do so much for other people. I need to do it for God.

My challenge is to look at it as a ministry and not just a job. I need to see it as a service to the sisters, even on bad days when I am ready to run for the door. I need to change my perspective. I never tire of showing the sisters how much I respect them and love them, so I need to hang on to that, when the job itself becomes almost too much to deal with.

Using my personal charism of pray, love, serve and joining it with love, mercy and justice in serving the sisters is my ministry for now. This is how I get to Be Providence in the world and I am okay with that.

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