Home » Blog » “To be present to all that happens …” – Sister Denise reflects on Advent

“To be present to all that happens …” – Sister Denise reflects on Advent

I am laughing at myself – albeit ruefully.

Let me explain.

One of our practices/traditions Ad Sumin the Congregation is that the general superior writes a “letter circular.”  (I assume the adjective follows the noun due to our French origins, i.e. la lettre circulaire.)  In recent times, it has always been mailed at the beginning of the season of Advent – again, practice and tradition.

In this year’s letter – now sent to both our sisters and associates, I shared what my Advent practice would be.

It is inspired by a beautiful statue of Mary entitled Ad Sum – “I am here.” I love the statue because of its serenity and peace; and I love it because it belonged to my mentor and friend Sister Bernice Kuper, SP, now deceased.

As I wrote the letter circular, I felt very inspired to resolve to be present to all that happens to me each day – in that peaceful, serene, accepting way of Mary.

Then, just today,  I realized I had missed the deadline for this reflection. I realized that I’d have to do it on my sister’s MacBook – as foreign as can be to my thought processes and fingers. I’d have to come up with something quick in order to inconvenience as little as possible the staff in Mission Advancement.

Worry…fret…worry…fret…spend time being annoyed with myself…worry…fret…annoyed. You get the picture here – anything but Ad Sum. And this situation couldn’t even be classified as a crisis.

Well, thank God it isn’t Advent as this is happening to me.  I am forewarned that being in the present ain’t as easy as I may have thought.

Thank God I have the statue in my prayer space at home. I can keep gazing and being open and hoping for the best – which our Provident God so loves to shower on us.

A photo of the statue accompanies this reflection. Let us gaze together and pray for inner and cosmic attentiveness to all of creation.

Happy Advent!

Sister Denise Wilkinson

General Superior

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Sister Denise Wilkinson

Sister Denise Wilkinson

Sister Denise was the general superior of the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods from 2006-2016. She previously served as a high school teacher, college administrator, postulant/novice director and director of advancement and communications for the Congregation. Currently, Sister Denise serves the Congregation in various volunteer positions.

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  1. Avatar Florence Norton on November 30, 2014 at 8:31 am

    Oh,yes, Ad Sum, to be PRESENT to each one and all that comes into our day. THANK YOU,Denise!Peace,Florence

  2. Avatar Kathleen Hartmann on December 5, 2018 at 7:36 pm

    Sr, Denise,
    How can I purchase a statue of the kneeling woman know as “Ad Sum”? My husband would like it for a Christmas present.
    Thank you
    Kathleen Hartmann

    • Avatar Diane Weidenbenner on December 18, 2018 at 1:30 pm

      We’re researching this and will get back to you. Thanks!

  3. Avatar Lynette Shea on July 23, 2021 at 12:39 pm

    I was just introduced to this beautiful piece of art. She speaks to my heart! Where can I purchase one? Thank you for any help. Peace! Lynette

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