Love Cannot Wait
By Eileen Reilly, SSND
“We, the School Sisters of Notre Dame are profoundly affected and challenged by the many divisions in our world and church today and by the social, economic and ecological crises of our time.” – Love Cannot Wait
This introductory sentence to the Directional Statement of the 23rd General Chapter truly sets the stage for all that follows. The five commitments in the statement can all be framed in this consciousness of the interconnections of the “social, economic and ecological crises of our time.”
I sometimes think that if only the needs of our world could be so conveniently separated into the categories of “social, economic and ecological,” perhaps we could find the way forward more easily. But they can’t be separated. We know, from our lived experience and from our growing global consciousness, that, for example, the economic disparities in our global village are impacted directly by the ecological crises of our time and the resulting social exclusion of those who are impoverished.
So where do we begin to address these situations? Is climate change the problem that frames them all? Is the growing economic disparity in our world the real issue? Should we be working to eliminate social and class distinctions?
As I reflect on the words from Love Cannot Wait I am prompted once more to see that there is not one starting point. If we truly believe that “Love Cannot Wait” then we know that we are called to allow the urgency implied in that statement to guide us in responding to the “many divisions in our church and world today.”
Barbara Zurine, a recently deceased member of the Atlantic-Midwest Province, reflected on this sense of urgency and wrote: “Love cannot wait for weeks, or month, or years – while we sit around a table to find solutions for the violence befalling our human race.
“Love cannot wait for answers before it does something, anything to comfort a hurting human being.
“Love cannot be stopped! It is always active, always creative, always on the move, always hoping, always giving, always desiring! It knows no bounds! It has no limits! It does not know discouragement, or fear!
“The only thing that love cannot do – is wait!”