The Winter 2023 issue of LCWR’s Occasional Papers takes its title, “Fired with Love’s Urgent Longings” from The Ascent of Mount Carmel by John of the Cross. This line was cited by theologians Constance FitzGerald, OCD and Shawn Copeland during their presentation at the 2022 LCWR assembly and captures the focus of this issue. While the last edition of Occasional Papers, “Recapturing Our Original Love,” explored the love that drew us to choosing a life centered in God, this next issue explores what that love compels us to be and to do today.
The content of this issue offers further reflection on many of the ideas that surfaced in the presentations at the LCWR assembly. Writers explore concepts such as learning from the “dark wisdom” of the enslaved peoples, living in communion with the suffering peoples of the world, attending to the significance of the personal and communal uprooting occurring in many religious institutes today, allowing displacement to create a spaciousness for transformation, the call to leaders to give greater communal attention to their institute’s interior life, and more. Leaders also offer personal reflections on what their own relationships with Holy Mystery fires them to be and do.
Within this issue is an interview with Guy Consolmagno, SJ, director of the Vatican Observatory, who explores how our relationship with God can expand and deepen as we discover more about the cosmos through the James Webb Space Telescope. Also included is an interview Carmen Acevedo Butcher, one of the few women of color who has translated the texts of mystics, including her most recent translation of Brother Lawrence’s Practice of the Presence.
- Living Into Communion Ever More Fully with the Suffering World - Mary Beth Ingham, CSJ describes how attention to our interior life can make us more effective advocates in the work force for justice
- Fired by the Wisdom of the Mystics - Carmen Acevedo Butcher in an interview reflects on what she has learned from the mystics about living with love amidst a world in turmoil
- 'To Love What is Mortal' - Carole Shinnick, SSND describes how she learned the necessity of grieving in order to see the spaciousness that is before us
- Leading the Communal Spiritual Journey - Joy Peterson, PBVM shows how leaders can strengthen the primary vocation of their community members - to be people steeped in a relationship with God
- Solidarity with People on the Move - Vicki Bergkamp, ASC and Liz Langmead, MHSH share how they helped lead their communities through situations of displacement
- What Does Your Relationship with Holy Mystery 'Fire' You to Be and Do? - Maryann A. McMahon, OP; Carmelita Murphy, OP; Jeanne Hagelskamp, SP; Mary Bordelon, CDP; Mary Margaret Mooney, PBVM; Veronica Esparza Ramirez, OP; and Megan McElroy, OP share about their relationships with God and what that relationship sparks within them and muse about what greater collective attention to this relationship could spark in the world
- Lessons to be Learned from the 'Dark Wisdom' of the Enslaved - Anita Baird, DHM reflects on what we can learn as vowed religious from the 'dark wisdom' of the enslaved peoples
- Expanding and Deepening Our Relationship with God as We discover More about the Cosmos - Guy Consolmagno, SJ shares how he is integrating the findings of the James Webb telescope into his relationship with God
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