I begin this reflection with this passage from John because it sums up first of all the charism that I know alive within the congregation as well as the challenges before us.
After four days of hearing the stories of the various units from the past six years Sr. Carol Zinn reflected back to us what she heard and saw of the Congregation as a body. As a body we are in a different place than each unit is individually. Carol shared that as a body, she believes that the act of chapter in which there has been the greatest growth in awareness is that of communion with earth. She then used the earth perspective to challenge us to greater awareness in the other areas of communion.
Some quotes/ideas from Carol that left me thinking...
--The charism stated as "active, all-inclusive, reconciling, unioning love." (Visualize arms in front getting wider and wider with each adjective.)
--In relation to Carol's new grand-neice/nephew connected with the possibilties of new birth here: "I don't know which I am more excited about, my neice being a mother, or my sister being a grandmother."
--Partnership; sperm meets egg, "Egg, here I am. Everything I have. All my DNA, chromosomes, genes. It's all yours." (and vice versa); the only thing we have to give up is absolutely everything.
--Our body is one in formation. Like looking at a fetus on sonogram. It has/we has all of the necessary parts.
--Our demographics are such that our provinces (and religious life as is) is not sustainable. How do we find ways to sustain the mission and charism even if we die in the process?
We had only a few minutes of discussion and open mic after Carol's talk which was very frustrating to many, but the conversation then continued into dinner and the evening and this morning, and I believe will continue to shape and challenge us through the rest of the chapter.
P.S. St. Kate's is beautiful...Hawaiian dance, "Weave one heart from the many strands..."
Universal dance of peace...
I leave on Wednesday, so there may or may not be time again to write before I get back. If not, definitely when I get back.