Janet Erskine Stuart RSCJ knew what it is to take a risk. She encourages us to take the risk of placing all our trust in God. – where in your life do you need courage right now? – is it easy for you to place all your trust in God or does it feel like a risk? – can you recall a moment in your life that required a leap of faith?
We can sometimes forget that God is God. Janet Erskine Stuart RSCJ reminds us that all things are possible for God. – can you recall a moment of revelation in which you saw that what appeared to be unlovely was actually lovely? – have you ever been aware of God’s presence when you have done something that you didn’t believe possible? – have you ever unexpectedly found meaning in something mundane?
We can get stuck in the past or caught up in the future. Instead, Janet Erskine Stuart RSCJ encourages us to trust God in the now. – are you more likely to dwell in the past or the future? – do you have a sense of God ‘keeping’ you? – are you at ease taking a day at a time?
In our culture obsessed with youth and beauty, many dread old age and death. It can be challenging to embrace our longer life expectancy as a gift. – do you dread old age or diminishing capabilities? – as you grow older, are you freer from attachments? – does contemplation come more naturally as you grow older?
Janet Erskine Stuart RSCJ called for a total commitment. Such a commitment engages our hands, hearts, feelings, will and conscience. – how do you respond when someone is labelled a ‘head person’ or a ‘heart person’? – which part of yourself do you tend to hold back? – is there more that you could give to God?
Janet Erskine Stuart is encouraging us to ‘get over ourselves’. Here she reminds us that God’s love, not our own achievements, are the source of our joy. – have you experienced ‘spiritual joy’ even in the midst of failure? – how do you stay positive when you’ve let yourself down? – what helps you to be aware of all that God has done for you?
This is a well-loved saying of Janet Erskine Stuart’s. In our rapidly changing times, to excite intellectual curiosity and to impart the skill of critical thinking, rather than simply teaching content, is even more important than in Janet’s time. For each one of us our education and formation are ongoing journeys. They help us to become more fully human. – do you nurture a seriousness about your own growth? – how might we value broad and holistic approaches in a highly specialized world? – in what ways can our educational efforts contribute towards integral human development?
Today we are more aware of the significance of gratitude to human well-being, but perhaps its spiritual importance is given less attention. – have you ever accepted a “gratitude challenge” to name something you are grateful for each day? – what other “notes” might interfere with our gratitude? – do you direct your gratitude to God?