Friday, April 26, 2013

Beguines Old and New

The world's last Beguine died in Flanders on April 14, 2013. The movement lasted nearly one thousand years. See a report on this here.

Marcella Pattyn died on April 14, the day after I moved into the new intercommunity house. This is particularly poignant because in one listing, I named this community the Beguines of St. Louis.

There is a sense in which I feel blessed by this last Beguine who stayed around till this house opened and we could re-ignite this women's movement that is rooted in radical gospel living. Marcella will have to stay with us, as we rekindle the fires and gather anew in this way of life.

I blogged sometime back about the Beguine movement - you can check out those posts here. I find this movement intriguing. The women faced challenges to living religious life in the conventional way in their day and age. So they found creative ways to build communities and a lifestyle that would support them in their vocational choice.

I call on Marcella to be with us, and bring all her Beguine sisters to pray for us and support us as we continue the great work of religious life, under their special patronage and inspiration.


Saturday, April 20, 2013

All this life and heaven too: A wide-open YES

Silvana offers this reflection:

All this life and heaven too: A wide-open YES: A few weeks ago, on the 25th March, I wrote about the Annunciation on its "proper" day (here).  It was a wintry, frosty day, and I...


Thanks Silvana for a reminder about a 'proper' yes. A yes to vocation is a yes that has the potential of growing your whole life, growing to the 'size' of God. It is always a challenge and a gift the living God, creator of the sun and moon and stars, and the deepest ground of our being. A wide-open, no-holding-back, joyful YES to the God of Love.


Friday, April 12, 2013

Move In Day

Inter Community House
The snow is melted, and it's starting to green up.
Today is move in day.
For years, we've continue to talk about religious life, where it is and where it is headed. One of the issues we have identified is the need for vibrant communities where religious women can live among other younger religious who are in active ministry, committed to justice, sustainability and spirituality.
So tomorrow, that dream takes a giant step toward reality. I mentioned earlier that we were moving toward concrete plans. Well, I guess moving in is about as concrete as you can get.
It's a modest house in a working neighborhood. We will be part of an eco-village - a group of families in the neighborhood committed to sustainability and justice.
There are also other intentional Christian communities nearby, so there is lots of good energy and mutual support in that network as well.
There is room for four sisters, I'm the first to move in, and there are several others interested in the project. I'm hoping someone will be ready to move in soon. There are also other places in the neighborhood, when we outgrow our current space.
The veggies are sprouting and there will soon be fresh greens and other signs of spring. We'll cooperate with others in the ecovillage to work at sustainability practices.
If any younger sister finds herself in the St. Louis area and needs a place to lay her head for a bit, let me know. There should be space over the summer, e.g. for urban retreats or vacations.
Say a prayer for a smooth move in and lots of good greening energy for this project.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Community of Communities

We gathered Friday evening for potluck and sharing the amazing energy that is gathering around the notion of building community in response to today's challenges, in response to the longing in our own hearts, in response to our desire to live the gospel more intentionally, to live more simply and sustainably and to support one another in the work of justice.
Catholics, Evangelicals, Orthodox, Anglican, Presbyterian, some of us straddling several traditions.... We were all there. We were all welcome.
We shared food for body and soul, and spoke of new communities forming, of people looking for community and people who had already established themselves in communities. "This is how I want to live." "This is how I feel called to live." "I see myself in community for the rest of my life."
As we exchanged stories and dreams, we also shared contact information and plans for getting together for more conversation and mutual support. I sensed I'm part of a movement larger than myself. By building community in my house and in my neighborhood, I can also build this movement. I stand in solidarity with everyone working for justice and sustainability and the spread of God's creative love in hearts and lives and neighborhoods.
Yes, this is why I love community people. This is where I belong. Thanks everyone for a wonderful night.