George Floyd, Holy Spirit, pandemic, protests, seeing clearly, Sisters of St. Joseph, St. Anthony of Padua, The Sophia Center for Spirituality
I just cleaned my glasses so I would see clearly what to write – or, eventually, what I have written. As I was doing that, I looked out my newly cleaned bedroom window and noticed that I missed a rather large smudge on the bottom left area of the glass pane. I wonder how many days it will be before I clear that distraction. And then I wonder what unplanned-for things will happen today. It is an important day for the Sisters of St. Joseph, Albany Province. Today we choose those five Sisters who will comprise our leadership team for the next five years.
It is a monumental moment for two reasons. Because of the COVID-19 strictures, we cannot have our election as usual so we will be gathering “virtually” on our computers, iPads or cell phones to cast the first electronic vote that, just like votes for our civil leaders, must be “secret”—something that could not have been thought of earlier in our lives. Secondly, we do this in a tumultuous moment in our country’s history. We are diminishing in numbers (although not in spirit!), we are in the middle of a pandemic, and the country is in upheaval and still seeing daily protests (on day 19 today) in the wake of George Floyd’s murder and the issues of police brutality.
Seeing clearly will be imperative today for all of us – those who select and those who are selected. I can feel the stirrings of the Holy Spirit already as I prepare for the privilege that is ours today. We may be surprised by the Spirit in the selections but I never worry as we have always had what we need to persevere. We will listen to each of the nominees this morning and then, in the midst of prayer, we will vote this afternoon. I am pleased to recall that today is the feast of St. Anthony of Padua whose life was changed at an ordination ceremony where no one was prepared to speak. Franciscanmedia.org says that the humble and obedient Anthony hesitantly accepted the task. The years of searching for Jesus in prayer, of reading of sacred Scripture and of serving him in poverty, chastity and obedience had prepared Anthony to allow the Spirit to use his talents. Anthony’s sermon was astounding to those who expected an unprepared speech and knew not the Spirit’s power to give people words.
How could I fail to trust the process that has been prepared for us and the women who offer themselves to the service of God and our Congregation? The Spirit is moving. Now it’s time to be sure that my technology is operating as well! God’s blessing on us all!