Our Solidarity with Sisters’ statement about the conclusion of the Vatican mandate cited several grace-filled things that have happened during the years under the mandate. It’s true that lots of people got to know about LCWR through all the attention, and the way LCWR handled this gave the world an example of nonviolent leadership.
For me, though, the earth-shattering thing is how LCWR over and over again bears (in)credible witness to Christ. So the visibility of LCWR means visibility of Christ.
The way LCWR has handled this has increased awareness of what it means to live “the way of the cross.” To me, the core LCWR luminosity radiates from the way we have witnessed the capacity to endure betrayal, and meet it with love. That is following Christ, and is deeply moving.
My idea of “celebrating” the news was to want to go sit in our little parish chapel and see how to hold this. While I was thinking about that, the phrase “way of the cross” stayed in my head.
Here is what the Vatican website has to say (in part) about the way of the cross. I have highlighted some of the phrases that speak to me of LCWR at the moment:
A way traced by the Spirit
The life of Jesus is a journey traced by the Spirit: at the beginning of the mission the Spirit leads him into the desert (cf. Lk 4, 1); and then, as a divine fire burning in his breast, drives him to walk the way to Calvary (cf. Lk 12, 49-50).
The last stage of the journey is unspeakably hard and painful. The evangelists lingered, although with moderation, over the description of the Way of the Cross out of love for the Father and for humanity. Each step of Jesus is one step closer to the accomplishment of the plan of salvation: to the hour of universal forgiveness (cf. Lk 23, 34), the pierced Heart – the opening of an inextinguishable fountain of grace - (cf. Jn 19, 34), the immolation of the true Paschal Lamb, of whom not one bone will be broken (cf. Jn 19, 36), the gift of the Mother (cf. Jn 19, 26-27) and of the Spirit (cf. Mt 27, 50). Every new suffering of Jesus is a seed of future joy for humanity, every jeer, a premise of glory. Along that way of suffering Jesus' every meeting - with friends, with enemies, with the indifferent - is a chance for one final lesson, one last look, one supreme offer of reconciliation and peace.