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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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.

The revolution that begins within

Contemplate This - There has to be a national effort to begin to repair the great divide among us. That effort has to seep down into each of our families and local communities. And it has to start with each one of us.

Gifts for this COVID Christmas — the conscious circle of humanity

Contemplate This - We are being asked to imagine ourselves joining hands and becoming a circle around our planet and through space and time. Conscious of who we are at our best, we take part in a mutual exchange of wisdom and protection.