Thanks for this from Juliet Mousseau:
the past months, the theme that keeps finding me is vulnerability—but
not necessarily as a bad thing. How can that possibly be? It first
found me when I read an article by the English theologian Sarah Coakley,
who spoke of prayer as vulnerability. She explains that she herself
was transformed by her prayer. Her silent prayer allowed God’s word to
work in her, to transform her understanding (as it so often does, if we
only let it)
requires us to relinquish control. We risk losing what we have and
facing something completely unknown. We want God in our lives, but in a
way that allows us to do the planning, to control the relationship so
it suits our desires. It doesn’t always work like that, though God
certainly wants us to be our best unique selves and to be happy. In our
relationship with God, we are not in control.
really, we do not control any of our relationships. Each one of them
must be a place of vulnerability, where we open ourselves to be known
and changed by another person. We do that daily with the women in our
communities by sharing our lives with one another. We love our sisters,
and in loving them, we allow ourselves to be shaped and transformed by
them in unexpected ways.
we like it or not, religious life is in a vulnerable state right now.
It’s not specifically about aging populations or that horrible word,
“diminishment.” Instead, our vulnerability now lies in our uncertainty
about the future and our lack of control over what will happen. When we
can fully embrace that, when we can be fully open to our places of
vulnerability, then God can work freely in us. God can and will
transform religious life in ways that we are incapable of imagining.
this month of November, we take time to give thanks for all the ways
that God has touched our lives and provided what we need. We remember
the gifts we have been given – the food on our table, the love of our
families, the companionship of our sisters, our good health and moments
of healing. These are our memories of God’s fidelity to us, a way for
us to strengthen the faith it takes to become vulnerable again and
again, to God and to the people we care about.
May we allow God to work in our vulnerability, creating anew religious life for a glorious future.