|Broken and Beautful|
I really liked Halloween as a kid...o.k., I still do. It was a fun time dressing up as a treasure troll with bright green hair, as tweety bird with big yellow feet and then there was the year I was Barbie with a big blonde wig and that sweaty plastic mask secured to my face with a piece of elastic. I could hardly breathe while wearing it and trying to wear it with glasses was an additional challenge, but, I toughed it out because I needed the mask to play the part.
During a recent Inter Community Novitiate session on Transition it occurred to me that the wearing of masks happens throughout our life. We wear masks to "fit-in" with groups, to maintain our strength in times of uncertainty, to cover-up our true feelings just to be the person we think others would like to see. Our masks are what get us through a transition sometimes, BUT, life is full of transition, so our masks cannot last forever, because we will only continue to fool ourselves.
Perhaps Shakespeare was on to something with his line in Hamlet, "To thy own self be true". Thankfully in Dominican life we have the gift of community to help us recognize and slowly remove our masks to "be who God created us to be" as St. Catherine of Sienna put it. It is our true self that we are ALL called to be.
I invited my fellow novices, on our most recent day of reflection to artistically express their own masks (and I mine) on a glass plate. Because of the TRUTH we are called to, our masks don't really do us much good, so, we broke our masks to pieces together. Knowing that it is the light of Christ that shines through us when we are fully the people God has called us to be, I placed a candle inside our goblet of broken masks.
De-masked, broken open and embraced in the gentle grace of God through community we are forever changed, so we celebrate our New Beginnings!