My spirituality in daily life

by Sr. Katherine E. Wolff

How to write about a whole life in so few words?! A challenge and obviously incomplete!

Every day begins with the sign of the cross and words from the Sh’ma Israel: “Hear, Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your ‘muchness’.” (Deuteronomy 6:4.5) And Jesus added the words from the biblical book of Leviticus: “You shall love your neighbour as yourself.” (Leviticus 19:18).

Hearing the Word of God in the Bible, in others, in nature

These words remind me of God’s love for me and for us all, and they express my rootedness in the Jewish people and my faith in Jesus. They are a call to respond by loving God and others, which has inspired my entire life, and which I try to live every day.

Essential to this is hearing the Word of God in the Bible, in others, in nature. And I seek to express it in my prayer, including with the Psalms: on the one hand in adoration and thanksgiving, and on the other in intercession for many others. As our founder Theodore Ratisbonne said, our hearts should be as big as the world. And so I pray with and for the Jewish people and the peoples of the world, especially those who are suffering.

Reconciliation is essential in a life of love

Reconciliation is essential in a life of love, in personal relations when I have hurt someone or been hurt. Acknowledging my own wrong and forgiving are vital, while ever trusting in God’s mercy. For me, one important aspect in this reconciliation has been my choice to live some of my life in Germany. My Jewish family in Berlin, including my father, were persecuted under Hitler. By living there, I have sought to live in a reconciled way.

Ultimately God alone will bring fulfillment

The Jewish Sabbath celebrated every Saturday is important to me in my daily life. On the Sabbath, Jews rest and hand back creation to God who alone can and will give fulfillment. It is essential to me to take such times of rest in which I remember that I am called to be a partner in creation, but that ultimately God alone will bring fulfillment. For me, such times are an expression of my hope in our Creator and Redeemer God.

In this daily living of my spirituality, I ask Mary, the mother of Jesus, to go with me and to show me her Son and to help me to respond to him. I thereby give thanks for all I receive every day. The Jewish people are invited to praise and thank God many times during the day. For me as a Christian, the Eucharist (Mass), thanksgiving par excellence, is the source and summit of my thanksgiving with and in Jesus. At the same time, the Eucharist strengthens my hope in the God who, in the resurrection of Jesus, gives me, and all of us, hope in the God who, out of darkness and death, gives light and life.