Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. -- ML KingAs we move toward the anniversary of the March on Washington, these words of Martin Luther King come to mind. They seem capture my thoughts as many sisters come away from our chapters and assemblies.
For those not in religious communities, "chapters and assemblies" is nun-speak community meetings in which sisters gather from all parts of the congregation to celebrate unity in charity, to discuss important issues in the life and mission of the community and to elect leadership. They are organized to encourage and facilitate the broadest possible participation.We have prayed and celebrated, we have faced the challenging truth of our present reality and we have struggled with deep questions: what does it look like to live the Gospel right here and right now as a Sister of St. Joseph, or St. Francis or Mercy, or.....
And in the light of this moment, I hear the words of Martin Luther King. And I take on the challenge of living the Gospel today - this day - right now.
We have big issues facing us. The next 10 to 15 years of religious life will be a time of continuing to mourn the passing of the largest groups to enter our congregations and serve the people of God for generations.
At the same time, there is a new energy emerging. I see it, I hear it, I feel a rising hope. This is a hope that rebels against despair. It is a hope that does not wait for change to roll in on the wheels of inevitability. It is a hope that accepts the challenge of continuous struggle. This is the hope that has been the mainstay of religious life through the ages, and the keystone of Gospel living for everyone.
For me this means choosing joy, when life is not giving rainbows... choosing joy because of the God who is joy and love even in the midst of challenge and pain. This keeps me saying yes to God and choosing life, choosing green, choosing community.