By Sister Joyce Langhals
To paraphrase Ronald Rolheiser in The Holy Longing, spirituality is what we do with the fire that burns within us. Precious Blood Spirituality is a very special gift of “fiery” energy to us as Sisters of the Precious Blood. Precious Blood Spirituality is synonymous with the unconditional love which God has for each of us and with which we find ourselves ignited to live each day enthusiastically for others. Some days, however, that fire burns brightly and other days it appears to be smoldering. We are to enkindle that spirit of unconditional love and fan into flame those embers of selflessness, generosity and commitment.
As in Jesus’ life, we experience daily transformations. We know the pain and suffering of small yet meaningful personal conversion experiences. We know the power of reconciliation when extending our hearts in forgiveness and striving to respond to those in need, especially in bringing about some type of reconciliation of differences. Both conversion and reconciliation are essential in living our Precious Blood Spirituality. Believing that symbols are very helpful, I suggest that we look to the symbol of the CROSS. First, the upright beam: this can signify our personal conversion. It goes deep within the ground of our very being where we need to be touched in order to change. It requires genuine openness, soul-searching reflection and prayerful transformation. And second, the crossbar: the broad expanse manifests reconciliation, our outreach to others, a resolution of differences. We recognize that we need to be attentive to both conversion and reconciliation in living our spirituality.
These two aspects of the cross, conversion and reconciliation, are imperative and vital in our world today where we witness atrocities such as war, terrorism, child trafficking, poverty, unemployment, the existence of government–sponsored institutions such as the School of the Americas, and the role of women in the Church. As we do the hard work of tending to our inner conversion and extending ourselves in a reconciling, life-giving way each day, the enthusiastic and passionate witness of such unconditional love will inevitably impact our broader society by creating a ripple effect. We believe that we can, with God’s help, make some type of a difference. As Sisters of the Precious Blood we know the cross as did the women who did not abandon Jesus. We know the energy of the blood. We know the healing power of unconditional love.
Our Congregational mission challenges each of us at our very core to be “urged by the redeeming love of Jesus the Christ and to be rooted in Eucharistic prayer.” After first immersing ourselves in a discerning, prayerful way of life, we will be on fire to proclaim God’s love by being a life-¬giving, reconciling presence in our fractured world. The two-fold test of whether our Congregational mission is more than rhetoric is how effectively it shapes each member’s choices and how much it contributes to the public perception of the Congregation. So as Sisters of the Precious Blood we recognize that the needs of today’s society compel us to possess the faithful spirit of Maria Anna Brunner which cries out for justice for those who do not have it and for those who cannot get it for themselves. Our prayer is that we may each be animated with faith-filled wisdom, creative hope, and reconciling love as together with family and friends, we, Sisters of the Precious Blood fan into flame our commitment to creating a world of peace and non-violence through the energetic fire of Precious Blood Spirituality.