Common Ground with…Sister Sophie Marie

Common Ground with…Sister Sophie Marie

Sister Sophie Marie is a sister of Maria Stella Matutina, or, Sisters of Mary Morning Star, a non-cloistered contemplative community of sisters whose vocation is rooted in a life of silent prayer. She has been a sister for 19 years and at their convent in Monona for nearly 10 years.

What do you think is the biggest challenge our community faces?

Something that is really important to us sisters is that we really love the search for truth. There’s a big crisis of truth and discovery of the human person. For example, using our five senses — that’s actually extremely important. There would be a lot less anguish and a lot more peace if people knew how to listen to birds or hear the crackling of leaves underneath their feet. Virtual reality and screens have diminished basic human contact and the discovery of what it means to be a true human person. There’s a lack of living in reality.

What do you wish people in our community understood better?

I wish people in our community understood better how much God loves His creations, that they are a part of it, and to discover this good God that created them with a plan. Jesus in the incarnation took into His divine person the human nature — God loves our human nature so much, and we don’t love it as we should. Our body and soul are co-principles, and we have to know how to go outside, have experiences, feed our soul, and have faith and reason. God loves our human nature so much, and we just don’t love it as we should.

What is one change you would make if you could that would make life better for people in our community?  

That’s hard to say since I live such a very different lifestyle. Our role here is to be a presence of prayer for our community. But something that is equally important is that I try to encounter others. We’re not called to change the world, but we’re called to be good to the person we meet on the street today.

What in our community gives you hope?

I don’t go very far from Monona, but when I go out, I see that the world is not so divided. We’re each created good in God’s image, that when you actually have conversations, nobody really doesn’t like one another. We have people in our community who don’t necessarily share our same values, but when I go for walks or when I meet my different neighbors, and I have just a few seconds with them, I can tell they’re good, and so it gives me a lot of hope.

 This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.

Sister Sophie Marie. Photo by Lindsay Giovannone.

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