Translating the virtues of heaven
Editor’s note: Ben Kite is one of 42 Providence Associate candidates who recently began his year of journey with a Sister of Providence or Providence Associate companion. Over the coming year, the candidates will meet regularly with their companion to reflect on topics relevant to the mission of the Sisters of Providence. Ben’s companion is Sister Beth Wright. At the Providence Associate orientation on Oct. 10, Ben shared the following about what brought him to seek a deeper relationship with the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods.
I have always been attracted to contemplative and spiritual life, and this attraction has led me through many experiences. Although I was born into the Jewish tradition, I have found that no doctrine is in itself complete, and so my spiritual path has become very private over the years — what is Buddhism is sometimes called pratyekabuddhayana.
One of my guiding thoughts comes from the 39th chapter of the Tao de Jing, which reads:
“In the beginning, there was a unity by which the entire sky was purified, and the earth’s mantle made still. Then each soul was inspired, and the valleys were made fertile.
Every life was set into motion by this unity until, finally, we ourselves were made — and were entrusted to translate the virtues of heaven.”
I believe that all who strive to translate the virtues of heaven have something to learn from each other. One of the foremost virtues of heaven is, I think, stated best in Deuteronomy 16:20:
“Justice, justice you shall pursue.”
Through the years, I have seen that the Sisters of Providence are keenly oriented toward both translating the virtues of heaven and toward the pursuit of justice itself. In seeing this, I have sought to join them — and so it is here and now that our paths converge.