love, the Heart of the Universe. Week Five
In her introduction to the vows, Sr. Camilla Burns SNDdeN, described them as the means to guide and focus our search for God. While the substance of the search for God is constant, in our rapidly changing world the expression is changing. We are shifting from a focus on individual holiness to deeper relationships with persons and the whole universe.
Celibacy calls us to the very core of divine energy releasing and birthing in us the capacity for right relationships in community and at every level of creation. Celibacy engages us with greater depth in the critical relational questions of our time. This includes a call to a new oneness and harmony with all created beings, a new integration of body and spirit, an urgent call to respond to aggressive consumerism and the commodification of persons as witnessed in human trafficking.
Poverty today can be better understood as a vow for mutual sustainability. We are called not just to simple living but to challenge all to use the goods of God’s creation more responsibility. Everything we receive and are is gift. The vow then invites us to share this giftedness with all. Our incarnational and evolutionary spirituality helps us to be aware that we participate in the continuing unfolding of creation.
We are moving from a top down model of obedience to a mutual process based on an adult capacity for relationships that calls for active listening, dialogue and co-responsibly for the mission. “Transformational leadership is a way of being leaders arising out of the depths of the wisdom within each of us.” (Congregational Chapter 2015)
Like the other three vows, zeal is a gift of the Spirit. It is that life-giving energy which gives us passion and courage for the mission. The participants presented a drama expressing the vow of zeal that captivated all of us. The focus of each presentation on the most vulnerable showed in a concrete way how zeal encompasses all the vows.
In summary we quote our Congregational Chapter Directions 2015: “See and hear the good news of Jesus through the eyes and ears of those who are oppressed, calling us to respond in radically new ways.”