Riders On the Storm


The finality when you quit moving. The anger and the deep feelings over a missing movement. Sister Joan Chittister. The deep feeling, at the end. The sorrow before the joy. For the nuns. The missing understanding. In the Insurrection. Had it all been a waste? When you tried to lead and no one was following.

http://ncronline.org/blogs/grace-margins/what-lcwr-teaches-us-about-church-leadership LINK

Extinguishing the charism. Dealing with loss. Dealing with hope at the end of the story. In stories of power.

For Truth, for future generation, for the power to freely worship, in liberation movements. As nuns lose the security of Church, replaced by the same Passover theme, and the power of prayer. In the story of a nun’s own fertility — given freely to God — today’s focus was in the absolute power in God’s own fertility. Truth is not a property of thought that guarantees validity to thinking, in either politics or religion.

The National Catholic Reporter this week quotes Sister Joan Chittister’s reflection written following a 1980 retreat after she had already served as president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious.

The conflict: The tension between a concern of “unity in the church” and the awakening of female “consciousness”: So, where should we go? It was the same issues that Muslim women felt in the modern age.

If the LCWR ( Leadership Conference for Women Religious) itself was permitted to speak or to raise any questions which … ’had already been decided.’ Sister Joan Chittister, specifically citing the Vatican’s Congregation for Religious, wrote: “They told us that though we might question certain things ourselves, we could never say them in public.“ As LCWR members found themselves in a “faith and loyalty trap.” Feeling oppressed. In a quest, if not for some power, for more leverage.

Dealing with the pain that comes from found but lost personhood. “Once you have a consciousness of new order of creaturehood … continually suppressing that for the sake of institutional or organization fragility… is extremely oppressive.”

Not being able to participate in much except administrative dissent. Did this sound like the story of The Passion to anyone else? Passionate women, tired of being in the minority opinion. Was there immense disappointment over the so many missing young followers? Thirty year later, after the liberation movement, so tired and aged like the majority of sisters, with so few women following behind in the same witness in the power of God. It was as if the struggle should one day end.

In this innate sense of wanting to be moved. When Truth was somehow tied to your own fertility. If you used your own fertility –the reduplication of truth within yourself – for a greater purpose, like for the future. In the ideology of capital punishment, to somehow try to take away the future — to take away a life. Was there an irony to follow the conflicting dogma in extinguishing the charism? The Vatican Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith was in effect attempting to implement a form of euthanasia to suppress what is mostly aged women who constitute the populations left in the convents of the United States. After all the sermons about Roe V. Wade about the sanctity of person – a word whose origin meant “to speak through” someone.

How did this all look to the outsider? Or even to the young Catholic who never attended church? When you always had wanted to grow your own, how had the sexual abuse crisis looked to the young? Who wanted to be part of these goings-on? Did it seem too much like an uncomfortable assembly of family at Christmas? Adults, mindful of happy times in a past that the young had a hard time mimicking? When things of the past are doubted, based upon the present. Among those under the age of 30, people declaring “no religion” in affiliation had grown to close to 30 percent, in the US population. So, in the fighting for power bases, how much of this drop-off was due to just bad leadership, with a new worldview since Sept. 11 that all religions, not merely Islam, were narrow and fundamentalist. And with all of these impositions, God did not seem very alive.

The finality when you quit moving. A symphony now has climaxed in all of this fertility, but there is unfinished business in things inadvertently lost. In stories concerning the power of God in His fertility, in life and in death, the power of God remains.

The seen and the unseen. When you were born into something. When so often the power of God remains to be seen.

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1 comment so far

  1. paperlessworld on


    The association between depression and the unbonded.


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