Nancy Sylvester is founder and director of the Institute for Communal Contemplation and Dialogue, or ICCD. 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. ICCD is beginning its third decade with new resources and programs. For information go to

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Strangers no more: Moving from fragmentation to wholeness

Contemplate This - In a way we are all masked — living somewhat in a lockdown, not wanting to nor able to speak to those who may be carriers of another worldview, political position or partisan affiliation.

How can one be the still point in a spinning world?

Contemplate This - Through contemplation, your true self aligns with the magnetic center of Divine Love within. Held there in love, you are totally immersed in all that is, and yet nothing pulls you off that center.

Transforming burdens into life-giving energy

Contemplate This - I wonder whether our lives and all that happens in the world might be a "600-pound leaf" we are asked to carry. If we simply carry it, it is a burden. But through the lens of the Gospel, could it be a source of life?

The Sankofa bird teaches us about the future

Contemplate This - As we move forward out of the pandemic, take time to turn your head backwards and see what wisdom emerges from our past. We have learned too much to think there is a "normal" to which we want to return.