August Issue of Reflections and Connections
The August 2021 issue of Reflections & Connections is now available online for your viewing.
In this issue, we celebrate solar, new staff, and our 2021 Jubilarians!
We first heard the words “revolution of tenderness” in a text by Pope Francis written during his first year as Holy Father. And this is a phrase that has come up again and again in his writings and presentations. In a time of world-wide crises regarding the instability of nations due to political strife and polarization, overt climate change manifest in raging forest fires, violent hurricanes, uncontrollable flooding in one area and drought in another, and a global pandemic due to a COVID-19 virus that not only replicates but also produces numerous variants give a profound dimension to his reflection on tenderness.
“The Gospel tells us constantly to risk a face-to-face encounter with others, with their physical presence which challenges us, with their pain and their pleas, with their joy which infects us in our close and continuous interaction. True faith in the incarnate Son of God is inseparable from self-giving, from membership in the community, from service, from reconciliation with others. The Son of God, by becoming flesh, summoned us to the revolution of tenderness.” (EG 88) Compelling and energizing are words I would use to describe this invitation to the global community. The words are strong; we are not just invited, we are summoned to a revolution of tenderness.
Tenderness in this context cannot be equated with weakness. It takes real strength to live a life of love as opposed to a life turned inward in a self-serving manner. Tenderness is love that becomes real and comes close. “Tenderness means to use our eyes to see the other, our ears to hear the other, to listen to the children, the poor, those who are afraid of the future. To listen also to the silent cry of our common home, of our sick and polluted earth. Tenderness means to use our hands and our heart to comfort the other, to take care of those in need.” (TED Talk 2017)
When we carry out a revolution of tenderness, we connect our “power” with humility and concrete love. This kind of power becomes a service, a force for good. In this way we help to banish “the globalization of indifference” that keeps us blind to the needs of others and of our precious planet. We recognize the importance of our commitment to those whose faith life and human dignity are threatened as well as our care for all creation. In that way, we become people of hope, leaving behind darkness and a fixation on the past, living fully in the present, and envisioning a future.
This way of living keeps us in synchronicity with our CSA Statement of Mission: “Love binds us together, and by sharing our lives and our faith in community, we support one another to live with singleness of purpose: that among us and in our world the Risen Christ be discovered and revealed.” Relationship is the face of revolution!
In the peace and love of Christ,
Sister Jean Steffes, CSA