In my September 2020 NACAR Board message, I began to “wonder.” I find it a delightful word. The Oxford dictionary defines it as a feeling of surprise mingled with admiration, caused by something beautiful, unexpected, unfamiliar, or inexplicable (noun); a desire or be curious to know something; to feel doubt or uncertainty (verb).
I am striving to make wonder (the verb) my practice this Lenten season and to fully enter the grace of mystery with curiosity and openness. I don’t know about you, but I find it easier to preach the words rather than feel uncertain and be curious. Author Valarie Kaur writes in her book, See No Stranger, that “‘Revolutionary love’ is the choice to enter into wonder and labor for others, for our opponents, and for ourselves in order to transform the world around us.” (p. xv. Kindle edition)
I believe that the call and desire of associates and religious is to “transform the world around us” by living “revolutionary love.” Is that not what Jesus asked of us? Is that not what all great spiritual leaders have asked of their followers? There is inexplicable wonder in this love.
The pandemic, social and political unrest, and climate change have heightened the sense of uncertainty and brought into the light the need to question engrained patterns of behavior. Lent invites us to metanoia: A transformative change of heart that requires us to make the “choice” to “be curious” and to desire to listen to and learn from voices different from our own.
As so many authors have noted, we have “given up” a lot this past year. Perhaps we could use this Lenten season to take up Pope Francis’ invitation “to listen” to the voice of God by listening with wonder to the voice of nature, the poor, the young, the elderly, and most especially to those voices that challenge our status quo. Let us be examples of “revolutionary love” by working together to “transform the world around us.”
May you be blessed with wonder this Lenten Season!
Creative Conversations #22
Wednesday, March 17, 2021
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Connection in pandemic: Associates and sisters nurture spiritual bond virtually
In a recent article in the Global Sisters Report, Dan Stockman writes how associates are connecting with the religious in their communities during a pandemic. Read the full article here.