Thursday, January 24, 2013

Beginning a Blog

A World within the Word

What a delight it is to listen to the everyday stories of people for glimpses of God shining through. Often a simple question can open up a whole new world for people. Through this blog, “The World within the Word,” I hope to explore new windows through which to look at the meaning of religious vocation today. This is designed to be an interactive space for you to enter a conversation that wants to happen. Dear Reader, I invite your response as I eagerly await the mystery that will unfold. I am Sister Natalie Cain and I approve this invitation.

February 4, 2013

Beginning anything takes courage. As I begin this blog, I feel like a child opening a present. It has my name on it. The message says that I will have fun with this. It invites me to explore.

A number of years ago I spent a few years in an Expressive Arts program in Albany. One day we were directed to tape a large piece of paper on the wall, choose three colors and begin to paint.  I experienced utter terror. This increased as I looked around and saw my comrades apparently enjoying themselves. Eventually I began.

I’ve always learned new things about life when I was willing to take a chance and at least try something new. For over a month now I’ve prayed about this blog. What will I call it? What will its purpose be? How will I begin? 

Words fascinate me. It’s not so much the definitions as much as words that I see within words. They open up whole new worlds of meaning for me. One day, years ago, I looked at the word HEART. I saw EAR in the center. HEAR in the beginning and ART at the end. What emerged was learning the ART of HEARing with the EAR of the HEART. I developed a four week course on this which I called “Listening to God and Others.” So for now I have decided on the name “The World within the Word.”

My purpose is to provide a welcoming space for us to explore the meaning of religious vocation from many angles. This morning as I was praying about how to begin, I found myself in the presence Blessed Beloved Pope John the XXIII. In 1962 at the age of 80, he had the courage to open the windows of the Church, inviting all to look at the emerging world that Christ was calling us to shape. All of us who lived in religious communities through the past 50 years have been shaped by and have helped to shape this world in which we now live.

As we move along through this 21st century global world, it is our turn to stand at the open window. As we look out, what do we see? Who will be the shape shifters of the next 50 years? What is our role in inviting and accompanying other into new dimensions of religious life? Just as we do not resemble those who provided the foundation for us to grow into who we are today, so those who choose to live our charism into the future may not resemble us.

The conversation is open. The blog has begun. Do these thought evoke anything in your experience? Please come in and share your words within this world.


  1. Good luck with your blog, Sr. Natalie!

    1. Thanks, Wendy for your help and patience in getting me started.

  2. Congratulations, Natalie, and thank you...gracias...grace...hmmm...words, the Word...all inviting us to Love. Looking forward to hearing more from you and others who find a place to explore here!

    1. I appreciate the time you took to let the message about Love come through. Religious Life is primarily about coming together to learn love and co-create pathways that show us the way as we walk them.

  3. Nicely done, very thought-provoking and inviting.Go for it!

    1. I truly appreciate you taking the time to enter into this cyber space. Your thoughts are always welcome.

  4. Dear Sr. Natalie,

    As an Associate and someone who once contemplated becoming a Sister of St. Joseph, I feel that although I am not a vowed member of a particular community, I truly feel 'connected' to the worldwide 'Sisterhood' which holds spirituality as a charism.

    So I am made bold in the Holy Spirit to join you in your invitation to embark in conversation about the evolution of roles for women everywhere, but especially in those groups dedicated to walking with our Creator God; i.e. vowed communities, associates of vowed communities, prayer groups, etc.

    I am in total agreement that we live in dynamic times...electric with possibilities on how to express our longings and search for relevance in today's world.

    Looking forward to deepen my understanding and to sharing comments from women who are interested in moving forward as I am.

    In Spirit and Wisdom,

    Ada Pezzetti, SSJ of Springfield Associate

  5. This is so encouraging, Ada. Thank you for opening the scope of this conversation.