While transitioning from full-time compensated ministry to non- compensated ministry my Notre Dame Community gifted me with a much-needed sabbatical from 10-06-2019 to 12-13-2019 in Tucson, Arizona.
I appeared at the Redemptorist Renewal Center literally exhausted. There I was united with 10 other religious priests, sisters and a brother from around the world who also needed a break. It took an entire week before I could feel some of the fatigue leaving my body.
As I write, I’m living the last days of my sabbatical which afforded me a holistic renewal complete with Spiritual Presentations, times for reflections, outings, sacramental opportunities and fellowship. And I’m thinking to myself that such a powerful experience needs to continue in my ordinary daily routines going forward. If I’ve learned anything; it’s that quiet, peaceful, enriching, stress free, fun-filled moments are a must for good health, wholeness and happiness.
In his book Sabbath, Wayne Muller states, “Sabbath requires surrender. If we only stop when we are finished with all our work, we will never STOP, because our work is never completely done.”
Here are some steps that will enable me to experience sabbatical moments after I leave this sacred space:
1. Take time to be quiet, pray and ponder. Read a book while breathing deeply,
Practice centering prayer, attend daily Mass. Sleep in when needed.
2. Make time to build relationships, Companion another.
3. Exercise, bicycle, take a walk, dance, And use silver sneakers for seniors.
4. Go to a movie with a friend.
5. Paint or color a picture, Do cross stitching
6. Play a game with a group
7. Sing a song, listen to music
8. Take a nap.
Good as it sounds, I realize that this will only work when actually implemented. As a Cursillsta,
I am responsible for sharing happiness with others on my 4th day.
So, I invite all who read this reflection to choose some of the steps mentioned or make up
some of your own. Remember, sabbatical moments help us all to inspire others by the good health, wholeness and happiness that radiates from us to others. Enjoy your unending sabbatical moments.
Sr. Elizabeth María García, SND