Who does not have half their attention elsewhere these days.
The horror facing civilians in Ukraine. The dawning reality of the climate crisis. Political polarization even in families and churches. Racial and economic disparity that seems entrenched and at the same time dismissed.
These are the signs of the times that led my religious Congregation, the Sisters of St Joseph of Peace, to commit in our Chapter Act this week To Be Who We Say We Are.
“Urged by a burning desire to speak and act boldly with open, loving and adventurous hearts, and in collaboration with others, we now commit to:
- Cultivating and practicing peace through justice by the intentional living of interculturality, anti-racism, and inclusion
- Addressing, healing, and being present to the wounds and broken relationships among ourselves and all of God’s Creation
- Resisting every form of war and violence
- Making a place for everyone at the table where all are welcomed and gifts are honored
It is time to be who we have always said we are. It is time to live our words. We embrace these promptings of the Spirit with courage, humility, hope and trust.”
As I have prayed with the Chapter experience and these words, the words of the song Free by the Good Shepherd Collective and Liz Vice keep playing in my head and heart. So I did what I do and made a video prayer.
🎵 So let the light in, keep it shining, let it break into the darkness … Love shall overcome 🎵
Margaret Anna Cusack, our founder, said: “The very name Sisters of Peace will, it is hoped, inspire a love and desire for it.”
Bishop Bagshawe, who we claim as a co-founder, told the first Sisters at their profession in 1884: “To secure this divine peace for ourselves and procure its blessing for others in the midst of the sin, turmoil, and restless anxiety of this modern world is the object of your institute.
So on the one hand the task can seem huge and overwhelming. Impossible even. And yet … Love shall overcome. Peace is possible. Peace is God’s gift. A gift to love and desire and work for and share. For then, indeed, we will all be free.