Through this transition - which happened at a speed that boggled my mind - I've been asking myself: What lets us choose change? What keeps us from stagnating if we stay in place?
A quote from Joshua McElwee's LCWR Assembly tweets: “Women of conscience are made, not born. They are formed by the realities of life."
Reality constantly calls us, challenges us, asks us to enter the "newness" that Sister Ilia Delio described at the Assembly. We can choose change, and we can also remain vital wherever we are, IF we stay vulnerable - sometimes painfully vulnerable - to reality.
Name it Egypt, Syria, family problems, US politics, the LCWR mandate, the aching needs of people who live on the margins. Name it springtime, a celebration of marriage or baptism, a fulfilling job, LCWR's integrity and strength, the sense of fun that erupts in unexpected times and places.
Is it important to NAME the realities that we experience? Maybe yes. Intimacy comes when we know a name. And intimacy is what we want in our relationship with reality.
That's part of the brilliance of Ignatian spirituality, I think. Day by day, we name our gratitudes, our freedoms, the sorrows and questions and joys that we share with Jesus. Before I ever heard of the Ignatian examen, the simple daily act of naming three things I was grateful for - well, that actually changed my life.
Our realities change day by day. But naming them, holding them: it is in that process that we become aware of God within those realities. And that day-by-day contemplation is where joyful hope grows.
And joyful hope - to return to the start - is what gives us wisdom to keep us vital as well as courage for change.
May LCWR find both realities and joyful hope in the communal discernment of the present Assembly.
May LCWR and all of us recognize, peacefully, when change is the right choice. (Even if it seems as exhausting as 13 moves in 16 years. But this last move? She and her husband and kids are just 3 blocks from my husband and me. A very good move!)