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Saturday, September 21, 2019

An invitation

"We are invited to be more open to the transforming work of the Spirit in us and in the world." This section on examining our complicity in the JPIC document tells us that when we are aware of our personal, communal, congregational, institutional complicity in unjust systems, it humbles us and calls us to listen, to be reconciled, to confront our own sins of racism, classism and sexism, and from this profound awareness of our weakness and complicity, "to take action with others to advocate for structural and systemic change."

What structures or systems of injustice touch me?
In what way am I complicit in structures that do not further or even impede JPIC?
How am I going to take action?

Friday, September 20, 2019

Our own complicity

Our JPIC document tells us the "we are called now to a new moment of awareness and to express all this in more concrete ways as artisans of hope with an ethic of caring. Now, that which is not evident until we 'create silence (2016 Chapter) and listen generatively, comes to the fore: Our own complicity in systems of injustice."

When we share experiences of vulnerability in a generative way, we open our hearts, minds, and wills to new perspectives and we unleash creativity for new ways of being and acting. We then understand more fully that it is undeniably essential to be educated and to educate about the complexity of normative global systems that touch our own local RSCJ communities and personal lives, and how we may actually be contributing, albeit inadvertently, to the very structures we wish to transform."

That should give us enough to reflect on today. It makes me ask how I might be contributing to an unjust system?

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Examining Our Complicity

We have all seen the abuse of power in our political, social, economic, cultural and religious structures; some are favored while others are oppressed and marginalized. We have been bombarded with events that show us how people and how our common home are devalued and destroyed. The JPIC document points out various forms of structural violence - "patriarchy and clericalism in the church; extreme political ideologies such as dictatorships and unhindered global capitalism; systemic and systematic disregard of the environment; institutionalized racism, classism and sexism; and the many forms of xenophobia, all of which condone and normalize unjust attitudes, practices, and social policies."

Tomorrow we will see how we realize our own complicity in systems of injustice.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Called to advocate for structural and systematic change....

The second imperative: Transforming and Being Transformed, ends with this small but powerful paragraph that should lead to real transformation:

"As artisans of hope in our blessed and broken world, we continue to be called to advocate for structural and systemic change in our respective local contexts. This time, however, we do so with urgency and a shared global vision that begins with an honest examination of how we may be complicit to the very structures that we work to transform."

I know that I want to be an artisan of hope in our blessed and broken world; how am I called to advocate for a transformation with regard to the unjust structures that I find in my own life?

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Transforming and Being Transformed

The second imperative for our time given in our JPIC document is Transforming and Being transformed: advocacy that begins with soul-searching honesty. Transformation is not the same as change. Transformation is always the fruit of an Encounter. It is "the Spirit dwelling within us that gradually transforms us, enabling us through His power to remove whatever hinders the Spirit's action."

JPIC is also a work of "structural transformation that involves the Spirit: communal, social, political, economic, ecological, planetary, and cosmic transformation. One integrated movement weaves together the contemplative and active aspects of our Sacred Heart charism. Our mission is to discover and make known God's love. Transformation through an ethic of caring implies our participation in person, local and global transformation. At its foundation our conviction is that JPIC is rooted in the experience of God's compassion, which evokes a caring response at all levels, always guided by the Spirit. Seeing the world through the perspective of God's compassion, engaging in education and prayerful reflection, and acting from a deep place of love all help us to see transformation as a value, a goal, and a way of live."

Monday, September 16, 2019

Power, a share in the Spirit's energy....

The artisans of hope document demonstrates that "the reality of power cuts across the different areas of our JPIC engagement. This demands, therefore, that we educate ourselves and learn to exercise power in a way that humanizes our world and generates hope. More specifically, in at least two ways:
1. Our formation programs should include spaces for critical self-reflection and dialogue on power and authority in relation to: how we live our vocation; practice discernment; and exercise co-responsibility for our life and mission. In addition, there should be an opportunity to examine our use and possible misuse of power in our personal relationships, our life in community, and within the different structures of the Society of the Sacred Heart.
2. Provinces should design and implement systematic programs that enable each and all of us to grow in the  understanding and use of power as artisans of hope.

Through these opportunities, we hope to grow together, not only in the transformative attitudes and skills needed for right relationships among ourselves, but also to follow the example of Jesus, who calls us to love one another and 'wash one another's feet.'"

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Rejoice with me...

Our Lady of Sorrows loses her feast because of the Sunday Liturgy having preference. I am sure she does not mind and the Gospel must also be one of her favorite Gospels as Jesus tells us three parables of love and mercy. (Luke 15:1-32, shorter form is 1-10).
It begins with the tax collectors and sinners drawing near to listen to Jesus. The Pharisees and scribes began to complain, saying, "This man welcomes sinners and eats with them." So Jesus tells them this parable: "What man among you having a hundred sheep and losing one of them would not leave the ninety-nine in the desert and go after the lost one until he finds it? And when he does find it, he sets it on his shoulders with great joy and, upon his arrival home, he calls together his friends and neighbors and says to them, 'Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.'                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Power is a reality

To continue with the section on our relationships of power, we know that "Power is a reality with which to contend in the Society of the Sacred Heart. Power is available to us in a variety of ways:
knowledge, culture, language, use of information, roles and services entrusted to us, access to funds, just to name a few. Power affects the way we relate in community, live our vow of obedience, collaborate with people and groups in our ministries, and value or, at times, hold on to, the ministries entrusted to us."

"We are not called to be a star that shines alone, but rather to be part of a constellation in the universe..."

It is necessary for us "to exercise critical self-reflection about our concept and exercise of power and authority."

"We need to harness power, especially our shared power, and put it at the service of mission and the common good.. The desire to care and be artisans of hope becomes sentimental and fruitless without the power to act on it....As Sacred Heart educators, we are convinced that 'to educate is in itself and act of justice' and we take to heart the call of the 2008 Chapter 'to orient all our educative endeavors toward creating relationships of equality, inclusion, non-violence, and harmony, believing that to have life, and life in abundance, is the deepest desire of God."

Friday, September 13, 2019

Washing One Another's Feet

This section is an invitation to critically reflect on JPIC and our relationships of power. I will only give a few of the passages that have struck me. Power does play an important part in our life and mission. "Power, without justice, is destructive and death-dealing. Power, when exercised without mutuality and reciprocity, becomes a tool of domination and oppression. Power, without concern for peace and unmindful of the integrity of creation, is cruel and violent, and is harmful to both victims and perpetrators of violence."

At the same time, we have been witness to the "healing capacity and redemptive value of power, especially when it is put at the service of reconciliation and love."

Tomorrow we will see how power is available to us and how we need to harness power and put it at the service of mission and the common good.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Artisans of Hope

The Introduction to the JPIC document ends with this paragraph:

"We hope that all who pursue justice and peace for humankind and creation will see themselves as artisans of hope. Our joint efforts and collective work contribute to an ongoing process of weaving a new social fabric. As artisans of hope, we derive courage and confidence from our educational mission and Sacred Heart spirituality in a world that calls for just use of power, structural and systemic transformation, an ethic of caring, and openness to welcoming people on the move."

Tomorrow we begin with the first imperative: Washing One Another's Feet.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

A Day We All Remember

None of us will forget September 11 but this is a scene from the memorial that helps me.

To continue sharing  Being Artisans of Hope in our Blessed and Broken World:

The international meeting identified four imperatives for our time. Each one is developed more fully throughout this document.

"1. Washing one another's feet: an invitation to critically reflect on JPIC and our relationships of power.

2. Transforming and being transformed: advocacy that begins with soul-searching honesty.

3. Caring for our common home.

4. Welcoming people on the move and walking with those who seek refuge and who hope for a better future."

We will be looking at each of these four imperatives. I hope our daily reflection on this important document is changing the way we think and live each day.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Recurring themes

There are some recurring themes with regard to the future directions of JPIC:
"a yearning for an integrated approach to and a more integral vision for JPIC; 
a desire to become better informed and educated about the interrelationships among the local, regional, national, and international levels so that we may work more effectively toward structural and systemic change;
a two-pronged call to move forward with JPIC in the spirit of hope and to live more fully as global citizens recognizing that by doing so we expose ourselves to the risk and possibility of change within our own structures, systems and selves."

How do these themes impact my life?