Reflections on a year like no other

By Clare Lentz, SP

portrait of Clare Lentz, SP
Sister Clare Lentz

This year, 2020, has been a year like no other. Our Provident God is leading us into new terrain. God is in charge of the world! The changes we need now can only come about by deep, deep, contemplative listening and then acting. In this way we will accomplish what God wants. 

We must let our Gracious God take possession of our eyes, ears, minds and hearts so we can move with Spirit and follow Her whisperings. God’s Spirit is pushing us to cooperate in God’s work. We are evolving in God’s tempo as God’s partners toward an unknown future that Providence so desires.

The global pandemic – COVID 19 – is requiring us to live in deep grief, with so many deaths, the economic collapse and wealth disparity. We are much like the mute spirit who was brought to Jesus to be healed. The disciples were clueless about how to respond. Jesus told them that

this will only come out through faith and prayer. “Nothing will be impossible for you.”

A huge blessing is that our lives have greatly slowed down. I treasure the personal prayer time we have. We are living more reflective lives, growing in contemplative listening, dialoguing with our sisters and discerning action. Jesus prayed to his Father “that they may be One…they may all be One, in us as you, Father, are in me, and I in you.” This seems to be Jesus’ deepest desire.

The global pandemic is shifting the trajectory of human history. It is prompting us to deepen our communion with each other and with other religious congregations and groups. The tasks of our evolving world are the common concern of all of humanity. We are invited to co-partner with God’s Self in this flourishing of all people and, indeed, with Creation itself.

One gift of this time is the renewed and extended connections within Mother Joseph Province and with sisters in other provinces. I appreciate the experiences we have shared online using technologies like Zoom. Now we share in first and final vows, funerals, as well as marking congregational events with prayer and ritual through virtual celebrations. Some newer members have made videos of their activities – dancing, singing and voicing their views. This has been a wonderful way to get to know them.

One immense evil we must address is the systemic racism and inequities that impact the lives of Black, Latinx and other people of color. The awareness of our sin confronts us daily. Sisters are doing what we can to change this centuries long prejudice – participating in protests and studying the situations to learn, repent and change our hearts and actions to be more aligned with our Christian values.

As we move forward into a complex future with many unknowns, we do so with eyes, ears and hearts wide open. Our foundation of trust in our Provident God is solid. We are growing toward a divine vision with the assurance that God is always with us!