By Sister Julie Myers, OSF
I recently changed ministries, yet find a direct correlation between the two. I have gone from serving as Vocation Minister for my congregation, The Sisters of St. Francis, to joining the team of A Nun’s Life Ministry—which is an online ministry combining technology, social media, and vocations outreach in highly interactive and pastoral ways. We use the internet to connect with the world and help people discover and grow in their vocation by engaging questions about God, faith, religious life and so much more.
As I think about this transition I become very aware of “words”. An online ministry has so much to do with the written word and how best to use words to get a message across and ultimately broaden the minds and hearts of others. I am mindful of words and their meaning as my attention has recently been directed to a wall hanging I have in my prayer space. It reads:
“Namaste – I honor the place in you in which the entire universe dwells. I honor the place in you which is of Love, of Truth, of Light, and of Peace. When you are in that place in you, and I am in that place in me, we are one.”
When I first received this framed gift, I thought: “oh, that’s cool!” My art-eye was struck by the style of lettering, the water-colored background, and the matching colored frame, but my brain did not focus beyond the beauty of the art itself. For a long time it simply hung there silent in its space awaiting my attention. Recently, during a conversation with God, my eyes were directed to this wall hanging and in particular the word “Namaste” which about jumped out of the frame! It has been the substance of my prayer these past few weeks as I reflect upon people, relationships and God’s dwelling in the midst of us all.
Namaste is a Sanskrit word used in the Hindu language for a respectful form of greeting or salutation. Namaste is typically spoken with the body gesture of a slight bow and hands pressed together, palms touching and fingers pointing upwards, thumbs close to the chest. It means: “I bow to the divine in you.” It is a beautiful word that holds great meaning and depth. It challenges the human person to see beyond the surface of another to actually acknowledging the sacred and holy place within.
Namaste. This respectful greeting is more like a blessing. It diffuses the negative energy we so easily can harbor against another and transforms it into a positive perspective. What is superficial becomes deep; what is just beautiful art, becomes words with meaning and blessing and goodness. We are uniquely and lovingly created by God who simply asks us to share that love with others in word and in deed.
The gesture one does in speaking the word Namaste gives reverence to the God within myself and within the other person. We are all called by God to be our best selves and to serve God in ways far beyond our imagining. So, let us be mindful of words, for words impress upon our feelings and often move us to action. That place in you… that place in me… that place is holy ground—the sacred space where God dwells and inspires our efforts of becoming our best selves.