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Saturday, September 17, 2016

Discernment as a Way of Life

So often we do not know exactly what God wants us to do or where He is leading us. When we do not know what path to take, we need to discern. I am just finishing the life of Concha Camacho who was Superior General of the Society of the Sacred Heart from 1970-82. Those twelve years were a time of great change for us as we had lived our religious life within our convents and, only after Vatican II did we realize that we, as an Apostolic Congregation in the Church, were to go out to assist others. I was in Chile as the time and we went from four school communities to nineteen small communities living mostly in poorer places to help with education in the parishes. We still taught, but we were responding to the needs of the Bishops. At any rate, it was a time of great change and Concha insisted on discernment to know what God wanted from us. Discernment was to be practiced on a personal level, in community, in the Province and Concha and her team set the example.
I owe her so much. When she arrived for a visit with her team in Concpcion, Chile, she decided that it would be good for me to apply for the Institute for Religious Formation at St. Louis University as Father Futrell, S.J. was going to teach all the Provincials about discernment and he was co-director of the Program with Dave Fleming, S.J. - so I was sent back to my hometown for this Program. You can imagine the delight of my parents! I think I did not know what was going to happen, but that year has influenced the rest of my life. I will share more of this tomorrow, but I just wanted to say how grateful I am still to Concha for having this inspiration.

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