Note: Sr. Sylvia Comer '62 is the campus pastoral minister and was director of Campus Ministry for 17 years.
Throughout my years of ministry as a Sister of Mercy, I have come to realize how difficult and meaningless life can be for so many people. As I listened to the heartaches, fears and anxieties they carry, I developed a deep desire to enable them to experience the inner strength that comes from realizing they are not alone. Everyone, regardless of appearance or behavior, has a spark of Divine Life dwelling within. As a result, I designed online meditations to help people find their deepest center - their True Self.
Several years ago, I offered a workshop on spirituality that included meditation. One participant, Dr. Lynn Hunter, who worked with our Graduate & Professional Studies (GPS) division, said, "My experience at your spirituality workshop was transformative. The exercise made me more aware of the divine presence and that it is possible to connect with that presence at some level through such a simple exercise." Feeling that Saint Joseph's was especially strong in its ministry to on-campus students, Dr. Hunter suggested broadening the ministry to our off-campus, adult students.
Her insight was correct. Roughly 5,000 people have listened to and prayed with these meditations. We have received very encouraging comments from our viewers, such as: "These meditations ... offer an oasis in a very busy, distracting day;" "What a beautiful, inspiring, profoundly centering gift you give us in these meditations;" "These helped me out of those Dark Places;" "If you would do this for me every day, my spiritual life would be greatly enriched;" "This brought me back from the brink."
Employees Justin Sparks and Kristin Belanger in the GPS division help to produce these online meditations. Along with their expertise, they encourage me with their interest and enthusiasm.
For me, the meditations are a way to fulfill my desire. As Hafiz, a 14th-century Sufi mystic says, "I wish I could show you when you are lonely or in darkness the astonishing light of your own being."
To enjoy the online meditations for a sense of peace and wholeness, go to: http://sistersylvia.wordpress.com.
by Sister Sylvia Comer '62, RSM