Re-imagining the future
The Bulletin – issue No. 173 closes 2020, a particularly difficult and dramatic year for the whole world, hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The images and the words Pope Francis pronounced for the Urbi et Orbi Blessing, on 27 March 2020, in the square of St. Peter’s Basilica still resonate in our hearts. Before the empty rain-wet square, the Pope, commenting on Mark’s Gospel story of Jesus calming the storm (Mk 4:35–41), said:
“We find ourselves afraid and lost. Like the disciples in the Gospel we were caught off guard by an unexpected, turbulent storm. We have realized that we are on the same boat, all of us fragile and disoriented, but at the same time important and needed, all of us called to row together, each of us in need of comforting the other. On this boat… are all of us. Just like those disciples, who spoke anxiously with one voice, saying ‘We are perishing’ (v. 38), so we too have realized that we cannot go on thinking of ourselves, but only together can we do this.”
However, the initial fear did not paralyze us. Consecrated life which, far from being at a loss, soon became animated by a spirit of universal solidarity, compassion, brotherhood, and sisterhood, of closeness with the least, whom the pandemic has made even more vulnerable. This has inspired the effort to bring together personal and community initiatives to deal with the emergency and to find concrete ways to stay close to suffering humanity.
Mauro-Giuseppe Lepori OCist
Women of compassion and their involvement in the suffering of the whole of Creation
Meditating on our relationship with the world, with creation, and with humanity, in light of the theme of compassion, I believe that it is like putting oneself at the centre of the question, with the recognition that this centre is a heart. That may seem sentimental. However, in reality, the more that the world advances in its chaotic path, the more we perceive that the true problem of humanity, of the Church, and of consecrated life, is not only or mainly that of having lost the direction of our path, but of having lost its centre, which is the heart that must guide our path.
Sr. Nathalie Becquart, Xavière
The pandemic, a kairos to foster synodality as a way to implement Laudato Si
This global pandemic and sanitary crisis act as a revelation of both our ills, dysfunctions and lights, good practices. It particularly highlights inequalities and injustices but also initiatives of solidarity and care for the weakest. This time is also a “Kairos”, an opportunity to stop and check in to choose a better future and build a better world. Trying to read together the signs of the times in the midst of this uncharted context, we hear even more loudly the cry of the poor, the cry of the oppressed, the cry of those who ask for breath.
Sr. Teresa Gil, STJ
Covid19. Re-imagining the future: The Spirituality and the Charism can help Religious Life to be more generative in this time.
Spirituality is either generative or it is not. All spirituality, in this sense, is a source of life and care. When we speak of “generativity” or “creativity” or “innovation,” where do our desires point? It seems to me that it has to do with generating a new way of situating ourselves, assuming a new lifestyle that cares for the earth and for our brothers and sisters, and, finally, a life at the service to our world with the charismatic mission received.
Sr. Marie Laetitia Youchtchenko, OP
The Psalms: The Way to the Fullness of Our Humanity
The psalms are an incessant dialogue between God and humanity: the psalmist manifests his sorrows and his joys, his doubts and his confidence, his anguish, and his salvation… And God challenges his people; He invites them to listen to Him, to be guided, to be loved, because He wants their happiness. An incessant dialogue, a mutual search, that prolongs Genesis’ “Adam, where are you?”, in which the querying of all human life is played out: “Where do I come from? Where am I going? What’s the meaning of all of this?”
S.E. Miguel Ángel Card. Ayuso Guixot, MCCJ
The Document on Human Fraternity and its implications for religious life
Consecrated life has in front of it the road of fraternity to travel in a world divided by hatreds, by wars, by injustices, and by oppression. Therefore, it is necessary to live and testify to community in difference, the possibility of a multicultural dialogue, and to show the possibility of dialogue and peace between the peoples, races, and cultures. In the experience of fraternity, we experience the Triune God, community in diversity.
Sr. Maryanne Loughry, RSM
Burnout and resilience building in religious life
The changes that we experience in our communities, ministries and church can be disturbing and, in some instances, stressful, they can also create opportunity for some; our responses are not universal. For many the rapidity of change and uncertainty has been overwhelming and distressing. In religious life when confronted with sisters in distress it is not easy to always pinpoint the causes of distress and even more difficult how to best assist them. Our use of psychological terms and labels can create further distress.
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