In Her Own Words:
Lorraine Reaume, OP

Kaleidoscope Conference
Ohio Dominican University, Columbus, Ohio
July 23, 2006
Preaching at Morning Prayer
John 20:1-2, 11-18

Sister Lorraine Reaume preaches during morning prayer at the Kaleidoscope Conference.

She went … announcing … that’s what we want to do.

We’ve been talking this weekend about singing “our song.”

I remember a speaker once stressing the importance of the link between my story … our story … the story …

It is the same for our song — we bring our individual songs and join them together as Dominicans, we have a particular call to proclaim our hope in Christ to the world, as Mary Magdalene did.

But we are also singing part of The Song. It’s not our own, it’s not only newer members’, not only Dominicans’, not even only the Catholic Church’s. We are to join in God’s song of all creation. Our voice and our part are necessary, but they mean nothing unless we reach out to others in their own songs and to our God-created world and join in The Song.

We can probably all relate to Mary Magdalene in her many phases in this short passage: sadness, searching, confusion, recognition, joy, conviction, action. The pattern repeats many times in our lives and we need to honor ourselves and others at each stage, individually and globally.

Last summer I lost someone I deeply love, so this passage speaks to me profoundly. To be honest, I am still metaphorically waiting at the tomb, still searching. My “aha” moment is yet to come. That is part of my current song. Can you be with me in that song? Can we be with each other when we are in crises of faith, when we are feeling despondent about current church or government politics? And can we join in the song when we rejoice in an encounter with the divine, when we see others really come to know that Christ is indeed risen and that we are all brothers and sisters.

Just before coming here I was checking the news online. The Canadian web site I go to often has a “week in pictures” section that has powerful photos. I looked at the faces in Lebanon and Israel and Gaza, full of fear, anger and grief — and I thought, whatever song we sing must be relevant to this suffering, must acknowledge this suffering. To the victims of the most recent tsunami, we cannot sing a platitude — our song must draw in suffering and joy, must recognize the deep pain of this world and still speak hope. And when we on our own cannot feel that hope, we need to carry each other.

Sometimes this song will sound discordant to others! We aren’t sure how the disciples received Mary Magdalene’s news. But Jesus told her to proclaim and she did. And so must we.

This world can be a frightening place to be — at times it feels as if the stone has been rolled back, the tomb is empty and we don’t know what’s going to happen. Fear could dominate our mood and define our actions. Perhaps our melody can sing the truth that, ultimately, God is in control and the universe is a good place, without denying any of the pain or suffering of this world. Our song sings the questions too, the mysteries we cannot answer. Our song says, in the midst of it all, Jesus is risen, God is with us and, perhaps in a way we cannot quite understand, all shall be well.

My song, our song, the song … yes, we are called to sing our Dominican song of hope in Christ with joy and with action, not because we are the only ones to sing this song, but because we are called to proclaim to our brothers and sisters this ultimately joyful and active hope to which all are called.

And we go … announcing.

(The Kaleidoscope Conference brings together Dominican sisters 55 years old and younger, as well as finally professed sisters of 10 or fewer years. Its purpose is to develop a support network; provide opportunities for relationship-building and networking for the sake of the mission; and foster leadership for the future of the Dominican Family.)