Thursday, February 28, 2013

Dwell In Possibility

A World within the Word

What a delight it is to listen to the everyday stories of people for glimpses of God shining through. Often a simple question can open up a whole new world for people. Through this blog, “The World within the Word,” I hope to explore new windows through which to look at the meaning of religious vocation today. This is designed to be an interactive space for you to enter a conversation that wants to happen. Dear Reader, I invite your response as I eagerly await the mystery that will unfold.

“I dwell in possibility”- writes Emily Dickinson and so do we.

Many years ago I attended a special evening at Genesis Spiritual Life Center at which I experienced a process called soul writing. The practice allows us to open our consciousness to the deeper meaning of a word that wants to engage us. You begin by writing the word in the center of a piece of paper and then circle it. Sitting with your word, you let emerge other words that are evoked. Drawing a connecting line from the center to each one, you write what comes to you using as many of the words as you can. Sometimes these words have become prayers for me; other times they have opened up new ways of seeing and other possibilities as to why that particular word surfaced.

As I sit with the word possibility, out radiate the words: new, awesome, pregnant, option, wonder, mystery, maybe, tip toe, selection, choice and possible.

Standing on tiptoe, I peer over the edge of a world disappearing. Maybe some of what has been will come back in a different way. Close to forty years ago our Sisters left St. Joseph’s School in North Adams. I recall someone telling the people that they would return in a new way.

Standing on tiptoe, I peer over the edge of world emerging.
I am in awe at what is appearing. I stand in wonder as I recognize the options that have opened for me. The choices I’ve made have been part of fulfilling that promise. It is mystery to me that I have found new life living and working side by side with and among the dear neighbors living in poverty, as I walk the very streets the early sisters walked. Though I do not resemble them in appearance, I am pregnant with the charism that they carried. This leads me to wonder at what will be born of the lives we are living.

In the next few weeks, our Church hovers in the realm of possibility as we await the selection of the next Pope. Who will the Spirit inspire? Will a new pope invite us to stand together on tiptoe and share what we see as we peer over the edge of our world? What will tomorrow’s sister look like as a result of our choices?

I offer an invitation for us to consciously dwell in possibility these days.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Good Pope John

The World within the Word

A few key words from last week’s blog that have manifested in my life this week are window, Pope John, and 50 years.

The image of Pope John the XXIII standing at the open window is etched in my memory. I remember my tenth grade religion teacher, Sr. Therese Marie, telling us that our new Pope was getting ready to open a Vatican Council that would have great impact on the world. She made us curious about it.

I remember the years of the Council when Bishop Weldon would come to Mont Marie and share with us what was going on. He talked about Brother Roger and the Taize Community. He brought Bishops from other countries to speak with us about the developing Church and how they adapted and integrated the customs of the people.  Those relationships paved the way for Sisters Vincentina and Immaculata to live with us for two years. I think they were from Korea. They gave us a window on their world.

This past week I reluctantly finished reading “The Good Pope” by Greg Tobin. The title of the Preface is “The Making of a Saint and the Remaking of a Church.” I recommend this to anyone who is interested in learning about the breadth of this man and what it was like when he was elected Pope. He died 50 years ago this June 3. 

Monday morning I turned on the TV to catch a weather report and heard: “Breaking news, the Pope has resigned.” I could not believe that I was hearing correctly. When I switched to the network channel, I heard that this was true and that there will be a new Pope by Easter. 50 years ago the Cardinals assembled and elected Pope Paul VI.

What do we see as we stand at the open window and look out?  It’s always a surprise. We are called to respond in some way. This week in the dark of the night as I looked out at the sky, I saw a fire coming out a chimney and made a phone call. I saw new fallen snow and took time to delight in it.

What are you seeing from your perspective as you look out your window on the world?  What memories are being evoked in you?  What is being stirred in your heart?  How are you responding?
Please share with us.