Friday, October 19, 2012

What would you say?

Trust that God is leading you through your deepest desires. There's still a bit of confusion these days about what it means to have a "vocation." People expect to have a vision, or hear voices, or to know with 100 percent certitude where to go. But often it's a simple attraction to a way of life. So if there is an order that someone feels called to, check it out, talk to the vocation director, go on a retreat, visit the house and get to know its members. It's not as if you're in this alone: God is leading you... Read more...

Nones on the Rise

SOJOUNERS: The Pew Forum recently released a new study, “Nones on the Rise.” This was not about my friends called the “Nuns On The Bus,” who just did a tour around the country focusing on social justice. Rather, It details the concerning trend of those in our country who have given up on religion altogether. 
Social scientists tell us that adults, especially young adults, are increasingly disconnected from our established religious traditions. “Nones,” the Pew forum calls them, have grown from 15 percent of U.S. adults to 20 percent in only five years. One-in-three adults under 30 check the religious affiliation box, “None of the above” or “Unaffiliated.” Despite the fact that 68 percent of nones believe in God, only 5 percent of them attend church once or more a week, and 22 percent attend monthly/yearly. Read more....

MY RESPONSE: Jim, Thanks for the article highlighting the Pew data and the compelling analysis of their numbers and its meaning for those of us who are religiously affiliated. The "Nones" remind me of a phrase that I'm sure I'll misquote from John Paul I: Atheists don't so much reject God, as they reject the false idea of God that they receive from believers. These numbers encourage me to live an authentic Christian life. But not a life that acknowledges uncomfortable truths and then settles for living a comfortable life. This is more about always striving to live more justly, more sustainably, more from a stance of personal contemplation and conversion. It is about speaking the truth to power only when I've first struggled to live that truth myself, acknowledging my own complicity in the wrongs I try to right. That doesn't mean I quit talking, but that I speak more softly, more humbly, inviting others to walk the path of conversion with me. I'm thinking of another Pope quote: "People today listen more willingly to witnesses than to teachers, and if we do listen to teachers, it is because they are witnesses."
In religious communities and other faith-based intentional communities, we can commit ourselves to living the Gospel deliberately and conscientiously. Banding together with others affords us mutual support in the commitment, and it gives encouragement when we are weaker and challenge when we are tempted to compromise.

1 comment:

  1. I am blogging as anonymous because I don't know how to blog. I am of the older generation of ex-novices and although I have been married I have never changed lost an ounce of my desire for God. Blessed, my desire has only increased. I will be following your blog because it shows how the context of our times is inseparably bound to our expression of love. It may be that the pendulum is swinging between the two Sister associations but when it settles in the middle, consecrated women may be more respected by clerics, may bring the church back to a more even keel of cleric and laity, and even become deacons and priests without excommunication.