In Between the Not Anymore and the Not Yet (Part III)

I shared my own reflections in living community in the 21st Century both at the Giving Voice Conference and in the Newsletter. Over the next few days I'm going to excerpt my relfections here. Here's part three - the final part:

Something that I can only describe as “of God” happened at Alverno College. We shared our deepest longings and dreamed together. But we also grieved, laughed, and cried together. Over and over again, women got up to the microphone to express their feelings of being blessed. Blessed to be here at this time—to carry the stories and the life into the future. Grateful for the women with whom they have shared community. Unsure of the future, but filled with hope and a love both of God and religious life.

The context is certainly different, but I am reminded of something I read once by Jon Sobrino, SJ:

“Where then, is the hope? Precisely in those who remember the witness of the martyrs and take it to heart, bearing the cross they bore and struggling as they did to create a world in which the poor have life and dignity. … [Remembering] exhorts us to live more for one another and provokes us to a commitment to truth, peace and justice. It compels us to be more human. It maintains hope in the midst of so much enchantment.”

Sobrino of course was reflecting on his experiences in El Salvador, where he narrowly escaped being martyred himself. If we reflect on his words in terms of the women who have gone before us, however, we begin to see what it is like to live in this in between time. If we remember and witness to their lives, take them to heart, and continue on to create a world in which the poor have life and dignity, we too will be compelled to live more for one another. To be more human. To maintain hope, no matter how crazy it may seem. If we are faithful to what has gone before, if we honor the beauty and the messiness of the transformation, the butterfly will come out of its cocoon. And it will fly.


Eliza said...


Mary Ellen Hubbard said...

Wow, didn't take you long to learn nun-speak.
Translation, anyone?

Susan Rose Francois, CSJP said...

Eliza - thanks!

Mary Ellen - I suppose when you're in any sub-culture you do learn the language. Basically, this was just a reflection on my experiences as one of a few younger women to have taken the plunge into religious life, looking at the reality of the fact that the vast majority of the sisters are older and forward to the time when many of them will be passing, leaving just us few. The main point is that rather than feeling a tremendous amount of worry or fear about what's ahead, I know that Jesus is with us and that if we continue to follow him wih all our hearts, religious life will have a future.

Now, that's probably in nun speak too (seeing as I am one) but hopefully it makes sense!

RedheadedCyclone said...

Don't forget that you are making the history that others will hold dear in the future.