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Grounded for [the]
Life [of the World]

About the photo: Sister Kelly, second from the left in the back row, enjoys a moment with her Springfield Dominican Sisters during General Chapter. Row 1: Sister María Luisa Ñaupari Gutiérrez, Patrica de la Ó Llanos, Dorís Terrel Jiménez, Edíth Vila Alania Row 2: Sisters Mary Jo Sobieck, Patricia Stark, and Elizabeth Castro Cruz.

You’re grounded for life! Surely my little brother heard these words more than I did growing up. But I hear them differently these days. In a world of Snapchat, Twitter, and Instagram, I find being quickly connected  is much easier than being truly grounded.

Sometimes I’m surprised when a friend or colleague asks, “You’re so grounded, Sister Kelly…how do you do it?” After my initial surprise passes, I share what I’ve come to learn: “It’s a grace of this [religious] life.”

As I prepare to renew my vows as a Dominican Sister of Springfield, groundedness in my relationship with God and in vowed Dominican life allows me to give my daily “Yes” for the life of the world. It’s the fruit and grace of a life of prayer, study, community, and preaching (ministry). These pillars of Dominican life have helped form my response to God’s invitation and the needs of my sisters and brothers.

While I’ve certainly been stretched (and at times felt a bit wobbly) along my journey within religious life, leaning on these pillars keeps me steady, grounded, and committed to God’s call for me.

"Groundedness in my relationship with God and in vowed Dominican life allows me to give my daily “Yes” for the life of the world."

A “support” to these pillars is the single vow all Dominicans take and in which we are grounded: Obedience—the vow to listen deeply to the call of God, the wisdom of the Church, the needs of the world, and one another. Tethered to this vow—included within it—are the other evangelical counsels of poverty and celibacy.

For me, cooperating with grace is the key to remaining grounded in our turbulent times. Attuning my ear to God’s voice, responding in freedom, loving my neighbor whole-heartedly, and embracing simplicity and an abundant worldview are practices that allow me to remain “Grounded for the Life of the World.”

Grounded for Life? I say “Yes”!

Sister Kelly Moline, OP, is a Dominican Sister of Springfield and minister of pastoral care at St. Dominic Hospital, Jackson, Miss. She shared this reflection at the time of her renewal of vows on August 5, 2019.

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