Saturday, October 11, 2014

New Beginnings

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!


  1. What a lovely challenge. Here's to breaking masks! Thank you, Kelly!
    Margaret Palliser, OP

  2. Kelly, Thank you for your sharig. I suspect that was a very meaningful experience for each of you. Thank you for reminding us what it means to live Veritas and to support each other in our life-long journey to be our true selves.
    Blessings and love,

  3. Kelly, thank you for a reflection challenging - and supporting - all of us to be who we are called to be. Peace and love,
    Marcelline Koch, OP

  4. Kathleen Logan OPFriday, October 17, 2014

    What a wonderful way to reveal yourselves to others. No more hiding behind those masks !

  5. Sr. Margaret Mary ByrnesFriday, October 17, 2014

    You are a wonderful writer. Sister Margaret Mary

  6. Nice reflection, Kelly! Hope to see you soon!

  7. Thanks, Kelly, for helping me to view the "masks" of Halloween in a slightly different way this year, pointing to the challenge of what masks I need to break!. (Bet you were a cute blonde "Barbie"!)

    Enjoy this formative and transformative year! How was Kentucky?


    Barbara (as in Blesse)

  8. Thank you, Kelly, for your blog. I really enjoyed reading it and appreciated it. I remember, during our visit in May to the CDN (before canonical year started), Megan told us that during the year we would get to know our true identity. At that time, I took it as a cool statement and made a comic picture about it (see Katy's Farewell blog in June 2014.) I thought I knew who I was, but meetings with formation directors, ICN lectures and activities, deepening relationship with God, community, studies, and prayer life really helped me 'reveal' and get to know my true identity. Words are not good enough to express how much I appreciate all the opportunities we had at the CDN. There were times, when I rather would have worn not only a mask, but rather an invisibility cloak -- but those times were opportunities for growing. "Getting to know our true identity" is no longer just a cool statement. I say thank you with my deepest appreciation to Megan, Joye, novices, CFRs, Dominican brothers in St. Louis, entire Dominican family, house meeting facilitator and ICN instructors. Like you said, I, too, am saying the way you wrote: "de-masked, broken open, and embracing God." Enjoy the rest of the journey in the CDN while I continue to hold all of you in my prayers each day. Blessings, Bea