By Sister Janet McCann, ASC

I had the pleasure of listening to international author, speaker and consultant Margaret Wheatley when she recently addressed Catholic Sisters gathered in Atlanta for our Leadership Conference of Women Religious.

Here are some of my notes from her reflection on responding to what feels like a cycle of collapse in our world.

How do we respond to what feels like a cycle of collapse in our world?
  • What do we need in order to stay in the heartbreak of the world and not add to the aggression, rage and fear?
  • We strengthen our inner capacity to be present to the suffering around us through contemplative presence and practice.
  • Being contemplative and reflective doesn’t take us from the world. It causes us to work with Mystery, surrendering our ego, arrogance and certainty.
  • We have to want to be with people in their suffering, not to alleviate it, but to stand with, and to be present. It’s about staying versus fixingbeing versus doing.
  • The Holy Spirit speaks as loudly as we are willing to hear it. The still small voice is not small at all.
  • When we listen to the Spirit, we are led to the edge.
  • We will find both enormous risks and possibilities if we are willing to surrender, and to be led by God.

May all of our choices reflect the grace of contemplative practice and the sure and strong voice of the Holy Spirit.