Linda Buck is a Sister of St. Joseph of Orange and, as a psychotherapist and spiritual director, her ministry focuses on the integration of psychology and spirituality, providing services, consultation and training in both of these areas. She is passionate about issues surrounding systemic injustice as well as mental health advocacy.
The story is well-known. Two people are walking back to their town, wondering what had just happened — or perhaps more accurately, what didn't happen. This question of "why" allows Jesus to enter the conversation and provide the reframe. It is the answer to this "why" to which men and women religious are called today. Of course, the answers are unfolding and undefined.
Women Religious who have gone before us — our foremothers — are pioneers (are they not still with us?) Religious sisters have been in liminal space, or on the edge, for centuries, and this has not changed in the 21st century.
Many years ago, a friend gave me a decorative plaque that said, "Well-behaved women rarely make history." I thought in many ways that this suited me; however — and paradoxically — in my mind, I have always been fairly well-behaved.
By focusing on the large cohort of sisters in their 70s and 80s, are we not forgetting the dynamic energy of those sisters in their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s? As we look to the emerging future, are these not the sisters, especially those ages 20 through 55, who will develop this future over the next 20 years? If these sisters are relegated to the future, how can they create that future?