Welcome to the first entry of Compassion Speaks, a blog by the Sisters of the Divine Compassion (RDCs, from the Latin). This entry by M. Doretta Cornell, RDC.
We are a community of Roman Catholic Sisters, lay Associates and Companions founded to provide religious and practical vocational education for immigrant New York City street children in the 1860s.
Visit our website at http://divinecompassiononline.org/
In 1890, our Foundress, Mother Mary Veronica, bought property at 52 North Broadway in White Plains as a summer get-away for the children and as a novitiate for new Sisters. Eventually Good Counsel Academy Elementary and High Schools replaced the children’s dormitories, and Good Counsel College opened on the property.
The Good Counsel campus now houses the convent and the Academy schools (Pre-K through 12), the administrative offices of the congregation, the RDC Center for Human Development and Counseling, the Divine Compassion Spirituality Center, the White Plains Center for Compassion, the Shepherd’s Flock, and Mapleton Catering and Conference Center. A national Catholic church community and several non-profits also rent offices here. For more on our ministries, see:
Compassion Matters – Pass It On
The "charism" or central spirit of our community is compassion, so it is through that lens that these reflections will be offered. The blog entries will be composed by several Sisters, for a variety of "voices of compassion."
One of the first things I learned in first grade was "God is Everywhere." Of course, at five and a half, I was concerned about someone watching me – a snoop or a judge, rather than a presence.
I worried not so much about being caught doing something wrong as about privacy – Was God "there" even when I was in the bathtub?
As time went on, my understanding grew, and I came to realize that something more was involved: if God was everywhere, it meant God was within me and everything else, not hanging around inspecting me and rocks and lizards.
As St. Paul says, "In God we live and move and have our being."
I picture myself breathing deeply the air near the lake, or floating suspended in water like one of those angelfish with long, golden fins.
As science reveals more and more of the interconnectedness of all things in our universe, from smallest particles to the invisible "dark matter" filling what we thought was the void, God seems to be more of an eternally creative artist, pouring out image after image of the divine inner life into material things and beings.
Thus, a new twist to understanding of how we are "images of God," as Genesis says we are made to be.
Each of us is a finite expression of an infinitely inexpressible love and creativity. I embody ("give body to") some element of the "Doretta-ness" of God; you embody the [insert your name]-ness of God.
In the midst of such a lofty reflection, I was jolted by a column Nicholas Kristoff wrote last week in the New York Times, "How Pimps Use the Web to Sell Girls."
He told of an online site that accepts advertisements for girls (in twenty-two states, underage girls have been marketed this way). Even worse, the managers call efforts to get them to refuse such ads "censorship," even in the face of requests from 48 Attorneys General to stop.
What a rejection of God's most intimate gift to us – those children, like ourselves, embodying God's own essence!