Horizons - In ministry, I walk with many beloved migrants, but I'm never quite sure how to characterize what I "do." The pope's words and a new campaign give me insight: I share the journey. In doing so, I have seen the face of Christ.
In Horizons, younger sisters reflect on their lives, ministries, spirituality and the future of religious life.
We arrive at the memorial already soaked. The rain has been pouring down for about an hour, making our one little umbrella woefully insufficient for our entire group. We huddle in the cab, unwilling to take that first step out into the dark, wet city. We are five Catholic sisters from different corners of the United States, and we are to become a holy trinity of sisterhood marking this spot sacred with our feet.
Rep. Ryan, I am heartened that you value Pope Francis' call to dialogue. I also hope that if and when you read this letter, it will be received in the spirit with which it is intended — namely, dialogue.
As religious life evolves, so does the nature of charism. A charism is only as sustainable as the needs it serves and the response of individuals to the call to live it out. Today, that response and the needs served by a charism are in constant need of reconsideration.
Though I'm no longer tied to the school schedule, this season always feels like something wonderful is finishing, and something new is beginning -- yet to be revealed as wonderful, joyous, painful or scary -- but certain to demand much in terms of my energy and time.
The day after the violence in Charlottesville, I was scheduled to speak at a Latino Christian church. That Saturday, as I heard about a car plowing into counterprotesters, I realized that the next day, I, a white woman, would be preaching to a room of people of color.
The clash between my vision of gardening (however far-fetched) and my reality forces me to face, not for the first time, an unpleasant truth: I am far too prone to the self-serving workaholism so prized in our culture.
Nine years ago, a song in Spanish about asking the Lord to call us to service helped to give language to the love song that my heart had somehow already begun singing — but that still terrified me. Now, as a vowed Sister of Charity of Cincinnati, I am in awe about God's faithfulness.
Our modern technology means many people get notifications about news headlines on their smartphones. Their phones beep and blink, alerting them throughout the day when there has been a catastrophe in another corner of the nation or the world. Humans are hollowed into headlines, statistics. In light of this, a sister asks me: "Do we have a limited capacity for encountering suffering and pain? What does it do to the human psyche to receive a constant diet of bad news?"
Women who enter most apostolic congregations in the 21st century intentionally engage in a changing time. They add their energy to the chaotic mix, in service of God's people. But what we think is new is not new.
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