It's amazing how much time is spent preparing us for our future by looking into our past. Part of our novitiate year includes a “History of Religious Life in the US” class taught by Regina Siegfried, ASC. The class has been fascinating, but the last two weeks in particular were quite a milestone because we (the novices) presented on the individual histories of our respective congregations. I know I learned a lot in preparing my presentation (Hey Houston – how come no one ever mentioned it took us over 20 years AFTER the storm of 1900 to get from Galveston to Houston? I didn't know we were ever in Lampasas!)
A few hours after giving the presentation in class, we were on the road to Springfield, Illinois, to visit the Springfield Dominicans. This visit included a trip to Jubilee Farm, where we discussed the new cosmology – a new way of looking at the 14 billion years of creation and evolution that have occurred since the Big Bang. Just like we novices can learn and better ourselves by looking back on the histories of our congregations, so can the entire Homo sapiens species learn more about ourselves and our future by looking back on our shared history with all of creation. We are but the newest ripple in the pond of life – there's an entire ecosystem out there that we need to get to know better.
By the way, here are some links for people interested in learning a little history themselves:
Jubilee Farm, which we visited on Friday – http://www.jubileefarm.info/
Women in Spirit, a museum exhibit on the role of women religious in the US, which we will visit as part of Sr. Siegfried's class – http://www.womenandspirit.org/
An Introduction to the New Cosmology (warning – it will change the way you look at EVERYTHING) – http://www.brianswimme.org/media/excerpts/ or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TRykk_0ovI0