Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Religious Life in the Mean Time

No matter what the Order, Religious are and should be dangerous! Our counter-cultural lives are prophetic. Simply going inward is a revolutionary act because each of us is transformed, thus touching others, regardless of specific apostolate. We subvert the dominant paradigm and the status quo. While so many folks today focus on "getting ahead," along comes the Brother or Sister, seeking the lowest place in order to bind the wounds and make for justice.

Franciscans every bit as much as Benedictines, for example, start from the contemplative and move beyond themselves to the active. Each order is active and contemplative. One without the other is simply incomplete. It is good for us Religious to remember that.

Religious orders revolutionized the Church and society when they were founded, and are doing so today. New forms are coming to fore, such as dispersed communities with married/partnered members who also wear habits when appropriate. This is a very good thing. These communities work along side more traditional orders, but are not in any way a lesser expression of the Religious life. In some cases, they're a much more robust form of this special, though not superior, call.

Jesus calls us to follow him; he doesn't ask. The Religious life is one way he does so. We are called not only to feed the poor and comfort the afflicted and sick, but also ask why these conditions are what they are. It might mean walking Calvary ourselves, but we cannot shirk from this responsibility...

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