As Brigidines we hold and reverence the diversity of theologies and spiritualities among us. “As women of the gospel, we are called to continue nourishing and developing a spirituality that is true to our heritage, faithful to the revelation of the Divine in scripture, in the unfolding of creation, in human experience and grounded in the issues of today.”
“The entire creation is groaning in one great act of giving birth.”
In our time, we are being called by the Spirit to embrace a new understanding of the interconnectedness of life and the sacredness of all creation. It is a time of expanding consciousness that invites us to be creators of a future of hope based on right relationship with the one sacred Community of Life.
“Unless the human community and the natural community go into the future together both will perish in the desert.” Thomas Berry
Hospitality that is a reflection of the hospitality of God is a hallmark of the Brigidine spiritual tradition. Jesus’ words, “I was hungry, thirsty, naked, imprisoned, a stranger…” (Matthew 25), impel us to create a community marked by welcome, inclusion and respect. A deep commitment to inclusion challenges us to look more closely at those we invite to our tables. Practising the hospitality of God is risky and may make us feel uncomfortable; it also calls us to question and change the social structures of exclusion.
With a strong Eucharistic tradition, modelled by our Founder Bishop Delany, we come together to share the life of our saving God. In the breaking of the bread of Jesus and in the breaking of the bread of our own lives we are led into divine communion. Today we are being led into a deeper knowledge that this communion connects us to the source of all life and that it is this communion of love and energy that enables the community of life to emerge, evolve and flourish.
“It is in and through this Eucharistic imagination that a distinctive ecological vision and commitment can take shape. With this kind of imagination at work in us, we can see other creatures of Earth as our kin, as radically interconnected with us in one Earth community of life before God. We can begin to see critically – to see more clearly what is happening to the Earth. We are led to participate in God’s feeling for the life-forms of our planet. A Eucharistic imagination leads to an ecological ethos, culture and praxis.” Denis Edwards, “Celebrating Eucharist in a Time of Global Climate Change”.
In fidelity to the ongoing mission of Jesus, it is the right and responsibility of each person to be a co-worker in the unfolding reign of God. Irrespective of age, infirmity and stage of life, we strive to love in right relationships. Through prayer, meditation and contemplation we renew our consciousness of the Divine with-in whilst seeing that all we do in daily life is co-creation with the Divine. Living life well with all of its creativity and chaos is essential to our spirituality. We are called to be signs of God and impelled to create opportunities to be women of prayer, advocates and activists aligning ourselves with the dream of God for the sake of life.
The rich heritage of Christian spirituality, the fruit of twenty centuries of personal and communal experience, has a precious contribution to make to the renewal of humanity… (and) for an ecological spirituality grounded in the convictions of our faith … I am interested in how such a spirituality can motivate us to a more passionate concern for the protection of our world. A commitment to this lofty ideal cannot be sustained by doctrine alone, without a spirituality capable of inspiring us, without an “interior impulse which encourages, motivates, nourishes and gives meaning to our individual and communal activity.” (Evangelii Gaudium 151)
“The external deserts in the world are growing, because the internal deserts have become so vast. (Evangelii Gaudium 152) For this reason, the ecological crisis is also a summons to profound interior conversion… What all need is an “ecological conversion”, whereby the effects of their encounter with Jesus Christ become evident in their relationship with the world around them. Living our vocation to be protectors of God’s handiwork is essential to a life of virtue; it is not an optional or secondary aspect of our Christian experience”.
Pope Francis, Laudato Si’, (216—217)