This thought comes by way today's reading: "A person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ" (Galatians 2:16)
Here's what I find: LCWR itself, and the sisters within LCWR congregations, have a faith so deep that it doesn't erupt in constant words. It is the fire at the center. It pervades life.
LCWR and its staff and its sisters have transformed my prayer life in the past year. In all my adult relationships with sisters, they almost never tell me what I should do. It's a different method.
I think of beloved, revered Sister Magdalen Kovari, who became a Sister of Social Service in Hungary under Soviet rule. Religion was against the law. How did women learn about sisters, who had zero public identity? They found that certain women had qualities they admired. They started hanging out with them. After a while, the sister might invite the other woman for a walk in the forest, a common pastime. In the forest, there were no listening devices, no spies. The sister could freely (but cautiously, at first) answer the other woman's question: What lets you be the kind of person you are? And from that, bit by secret bit, over perhaps a decade, religious orders gained new members despite a culture of silence.
That's exactly what has happened for me this past year. I watched how LCWR responded to the Vatican mandate. I was confused. I was furious, and they were quiet. What was this about? I read, listened, kept watching. Sister Pat Farrell's August talk gave me a roadmap. I tried to fit my footsteps to theirs. And I continue to learn - not just about works of faith, but about faith itself.
I should say that more often. Out loud. Especially to those in power in the church to whom the deep faith of LCWR seems to be invisible.