I am uncomfortable when conversations seem to seek replacements for vowed religious life. The truth is, God is still calling people to make lifelong, vowed religious commitments, and people are still saying yes.
In Horizons, younger sisters reflect on their lives, ministries, spirituality and the future of religious life.
Horizons - The heartache of the church's scandals and infighting is dizzying, confusing, painful. I wasn't sure how to be a Franciscan Sister anymore, how to be a public face of the church.
Right here and right now, the broken heart of Christ is evident in the wounded members of his body, most especially the victims of sexual abuse and the victims of abuse of ecclesial power.
Horizons: I finally had the courage to start reading the grand jury report out of Pennsylvania. It rocked my world. It colors the way I listen to the prayers of the liturgy and how I read official church statements or documents. It has shifted the way I speak and think about the church. The crisis is the lens through which I view parish and diocesan life. My mind turns over and over, searching for root causes and trying to reason out solutions. And while I am certainly no expert on this, I keep coming back to one thing: clericalism.
Horizons - "What has been, will be again." The words of Sr. Kathleen Desautels at the closing celebration of the 8th Day Center for Justice in Chicago reminded me that when things end, it's not really an ending by an evolution.
While the form it takes is different for each of us, our shared call to discipleship means that whether we like it or not, each of us is a living sign pointing to the reign of God.
The temptation is to write off goodness and grace in the face of disfunction and discord. That, though, is when the power of communion, the presence of love, and the critical work of celebration are most needed.
How many of us can relate to the desire to undo something, to un-know something, to un-experience something that radically altered the way we perceive either persons or situations?
Horizons - Why aren't children automatically taught to pray outside, to see God's presence in the wonders of creation? Will I ever feel God as present in the sacraments and inside church walls as I do when I am under trees and starlit skies?
Horizons - As I watch images of children forcibly separated from their parents at the U.S. border, I have found myself reflecting back to when I was 5 or 6, and my mom and I lost each other at our local department store.
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