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.
In Horizons, younger sisters reflect on their lives, ministries, spirituality and the future of religious life.
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.
Together, we move forward into the future of religious life. We are part of communities larger than ourselves; communities that fill our hearts and feed our souls. We do not journey alone, nor should we.
The last time I spoke the words of the Pledge of Allegiance, I was in high school. It was been over 25 years now, and while I currently work in a school in which the pledge is recited each day, I still do not say the pledge. These days, however, my reasons have grown more nuanced.
I was born into security and opportunity, but many others emerged into a world of poverty and barriers. On this, my 31st birthday, I pray that each of us does what we can to make the world better for all.
Home again, a humdrum of living now hovers. Has the wonder that was exponentially increased on the Camino been watered down? Has my heart become re-hardened to the wonders I encounter each day?
As much as I lament the ways we have become polarized in the U.S., I myself participate in the creation of "information silos." But I recently took an opportunity to experience the vibrations at the other end of the spectrum.
Goodbyes are rarely easy. As a child, I had difficulty in leaving places and people I liked. As an adult, I know the familiar feeling of gratitude swelling in my heart and tears welling up behind my eyes when it comes time to part ways with those I love or to end an experience that has been enriching.
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