Dominican Women and Preaching

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During this year that the Order has dedicated to the reflection on “female” preaching, it is appropriate to ask ourselves whether we Dominican women are truly preaching, what is the scope of our announcement and what message are we conveying.
 
I have asked myself these questions and with nostalgia for Dominic, I must admit that my preaching after many, too many years at the Superior General level in my congregation, is not turned to the Cumans, rather to the inside of the Order and of the Church.
 
In fact, I preach to the sisters from various congregations in addition to those of our Union and to the Novices from North-Western Italy. It is to them that I convey what I have seen and heard and my message focuses on three topics that have been at the centre of my reflection for years.
 
I firstly Preach the “Presence”, the Shekinah as our Hebrew brothers would say, because the perception of the Lord constantly by my side gives strength and hope to my life and service. What goes through my hands is guarded by the Lord who entrusts me with it and I am certain that He supports it with care, preventing me to ruin it with my fragility and incompetence.
 
The awareness of the divine Presence keeps us in apprehension and in confident expectance of His help and inspiration.
 
That is why I preach the need to listen, especially an invitation to an obedient listening of the Word of God in a constant fidelity to the exercise of study and prayer of the lectio divina.
 
In an atmosphere of silence, to which I invite every community, I preach the beauty of the Scriptures and the joy of discovering in them the face and the “style of God” to learn to live as His relatives.
 
However, I also urge to listen to the instances of history through which God speaks to us. I invite to document ourselves to know the truth and to look at the events of the world and the circumstances of our daily life with the optimism of those who know that everything cooperates for the good of those who love God, but also with the responsible commitment and prayer of those who know they live in the “already but not yet”.
 
I preach the communion, as a fruit of the evangelical announcement, in a constant opening to welcome new sisters and brothers. I invite to live in communion, not with a strenuous voluntarism rather with a humble acknowledgement of the respective fragility that opens to an exchange and gratitude. I preach the communion that stems from a convergence toward the only Lord and is founded on the mercy received and given.
 
That is the only way you may contemplate the beauty of Dominic’s nacelle, where, as Sainte Catherine says, all are at ease, whether perfect or imperfect.
 
Strengthened by this communion, I once again pose my questions to all my Dominican sisters:
Are we, Dominican women, truly preaching?
What is the scope of our announcement?
What is our message?
 
May the Lord transform us into a temple of preaching, a house of prayer and of perennial praise
 
Sister Edvige Tamburini
Union of Dominican sisters of St. Thomas of Aquinas