by Sister Victoria
One of the common phrases among Christians here in Cameroon is “we are together ” meaning we have one God and we share our concerns and needs. It is no different with the Muslims here in the village of Kuvlu. They represent a large sector in the village, and our little Community, the Benedictine Sisters of Bethany have been aiming at fostering a good relationship with them.
Today I met with some our Muslim neighbours, just as they were coming out of their afternoon prayers. They could not have been warmer towards me saying, “we have one God, we are together, and we love you!”
By Sr. Spero
Recently a sister wrote about learning to leave well enough alone—learning not to straighten the crooked picture. That’s not my bent. My struggle is careless inattention to detail. I’m more apt to say: “crooked picture? what picture?” We are all different, and we all need help.
Scripture calls us “living stones” (1 Peter 2:5). Some are smooth, others rough. Some are perfectly round, others have interesting shapes. We are all needed, and this is what makes community.
By Sunset Septuagint
I am blessed to be working on an international Symposium on Ecumenism and the Arts occurring in 2017, the 500th anniversary of Luther’s Reformation, in four countries and six different cities. I have been asking the Lord to give me the vision of the significance of this event in our time.
The world situation is certainly more dangerous than at any other time in my lifetime, and maybe ever, with the capability of a nuclear holocaust. And yet, we have recently had a reconciliation brought about after 1,000 years – that of the encounter between Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church. “Finally! We are brothers,” the Pope exclaimed. Seemingly, this meeting took place because of the persecution of Christians worldwide. One Orthodox cleric said, “We need to put aside internal disagreements at this tragic time…”
So hopefully in these dark days with the rise of secularism growing, the light of Christ will shine ever more brightly – that we might all be one!
By Melodious Monk
Recently I’ve come across a few writings of Father Alfred Delp, a Jesuit priest executed by the Nazi’s for his outspoken faith and opposition to the regime. He seems to have been a bold man, with a very ecumenical heart. Something in his writing reverberates inside me, not with a sense of full comprehension, but with the sense that I’m being brought through a door that offers layers of wisdom and discovery. He wrote:
“A person can be rigid in many ways. He can have a one-track mind like the rich young man in the Gospel….This paralysis in the realm of things, this fixation about property, riches, gold, jewels, art, and good living was characteristic of the last century…..Even more dangerous is that inner paralysis which induces us to betray the fundamental laws of our existence. No longer “living to all truth, to all goodness” we pull up short, set ourselves apart, rest on our laurels, and lead the life of a pensioner. We no longer strain with all our might to achieve ideals, reaching for the stars. The command to love God with all one’s heart, with all one’s mind, and with all one’s strength no longer has any meaning for us; we treat it as something handed down like a legend, something that has served its turn and can be thrown aside. All the truths have already been discovered, we think — no need to go to the trouble of looking for any more. The world has grown dumb–we no longer hear the underground rumblings as the secret forces collect their strength for the great fulfillment which can only be brought about by humanity’s conscious recognition and decision.”
If we wish, God has much more for us in life than, as Father Delp puts is, a retired “pensioner.” I hope I can discover some of the ways I’m rigid, and awake my spirit and heart to the “underground rumblings” of the Holy Spirit.