Gratitude to The Community of Divine Love

The Community of Divine Love came into my life at a time when I was on a seeking journey; seeking a relationship with God and myself that was different from the relationship I was currently experiencing. My spirit was in turmoil, I was seeking peace, stability, and contentment.      

I first met Sr. Greta, and Br. Dennis at a small group book study on the Rule of St. Benedict in 2012. Little did I know at that moment when I saw them walk through the door of that classroom on the campus of All Saints Church Pasadena that my life would change forever. During one of our meetings Br. Dennis gave an open invitation to everyone in the room to come pray and break bread with them. Upon hearing that invitation my heart leaped and told me to take them up on their invitation, I complied.

I attended my first Vespers a few weeks later. I had never experience prayer like this before. I felt a sense of inner peace a feeling I did not want to let go of. I kept going back for more. Then I started attending weekend retreats with the Monks at the Mt Calvary Monastery in Santa Barbara and experienced my first taste of Spiritual Direction with Br. Dennis during one of those retreats. That first taste was so good I wanted more. So, I spoke with Br. Dennis about continuing to meet with him for ongoing Spiritual Direction. The experience of Spiritual Direction with Br. Dennis has allowed me to watch and see how God is working in my life and has been working in my life. Through our work together, God, Br. Dennis, and myself, I experienced a slow and steady healing of some very deep wounds I have been living with for a very long time. I felt my spirit begin to come alive. Over time, I started to experience a strong sense of love and forgiveness towards to sources of those deep wounds. I felt free. During this time, I was also confronted with desire to become more involved with this Community but wasn’t sure how. After speaking with Br. Dennis, together we decided that my involvement was on the path of becoming an Oblate, I walked that path, then I took my Oblate vows on February 2, 2013.

Being an Oblate, creating a Rule of Life, living out that Rule daily, and meeting with Sr. Greta and Br. Dennis on a regular basis has helped to solidify the spiritual foundation I have working for many years to build.

Although I am still and always will be a work in progress, I am far from the person I was before being involved with The Community of Divine Love. I cannot express enough my gratitude for the community. I thank God for leading me to that small group book study back in 2012 and all that has happened since then. Thank you, Community of Divine Love for being a steadfast presence in my life. I look forward to continued involvement with you, however that will look like, we will leave that up to God.

God Bless you as you Reimagine the community.

Rhonda A. Johnson

Oblate, Community of Divine Love