Nancy Sylvester is founder and director of the Institute for Communal Contemplation and Dialogue. She served in leadership of her own religious community, the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary of Monroe, Michigan, as well as in the presidency of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. Prior to that, she was national coordinator of Network, the national Catholic social justice lobby. The institute's current program is "Enter the Chaos: Engage the Differences to Make a Difference."

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Like watering a poppy, small actions can make all the difference

Contemplate This - Our awareness and presence every time we act communicates who we are and generates an energy that can be life-enhancing or life-threatening. 

In the midst of it all we are not alone

Contemplate This: The past few days I had noticed a growing resistance to situations, people and ideas that I've responded to in the past with compassion and understanding.

A year later, what am I learning from the COVID-19 pandemic?

Contemplate This - The stark realization that we are all connected is uncomfortable and challenging, but when our structures fail us — as we are experiencing today — then they must be repaired.

Lent not a time of 'giving up,' but of 'taking' time to be with God

Contemplate This - Instead of giving up anything else in this pandemic, perhaps what is needed is taking more time to spend with God this Lent. One way to do this is to engage with Jesus' life in the Gospels.