Last Updated: Tuesday - 01/04/2011
June 25, 2001
Sisters called to reflect on vision
Turn to Acts of the Apostles, Collins urges
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER
EDMONTON — If you want an archdiocesan vision for the future, look to the Acts of the Apostles.
"That should be our handbook for what is the vision of the Archdiocese of Edmonton," Archbishop Thomas Collins told the annual meeting of the Council of Women Religious June 16.
Close to 100 sisters from throughout the archdiocese and the Ukrainian Eparchy attended the conference.
"As a religious community individually or as the full community of life, we should read and reread the Acts of the Apostles," Collins said.
"What we see there is the grace of God through the whole history of the Church."
If we are looking for a perfect Church in Acts, we are in for a surprise. "We find rivalry, we find betrayal, we find untrustworthiness, lying, you name it," Collins warned.
"But what we also find is this zeal for the Lord, this Pentecostal spirit which I think can be characterized as involving communion and mission."
Communion in the Acts can be found when the disciples were gathered together for prayer, for the breaking of the bread. This communion is not idealistic. "It's a struggle," Collins said. "It often involves strong personalities and human sin but there is that communion of faith."
But Catholics don't simply gather together to praise the Lord and celebrate their love for one another. "If we have a communion disconnected from mission then we are in big trouble," he warned.
"As a Church we gather together but always looking outwards and moving outwards with that sense of Pentecost. That's one element that I think is essential to the vision of the apostolic Church."
Collins also spoke of the need for harmony between head, heart and hand.
"If we are too much in the head then we lose touch with the driving force of faith," he reasoned. "If we are too much in the heart, we can either get into all kinds of strange devotions or we can end up praising Jesus all the time."
And if we are too much in the hands - too busy — we may not know where we are going, Collins said.
"So I think we have to have the three together in our personal lives: a fervent life of devotion, a clear understanding of the faith and an active service."
Sister of Sion Theresa Horvath said, "He is right on when he says we have to deepen our prayer life because that gives us spiritual energy. Service is important but if you don't have spiritual energy, you are like a sounding brass."
Ursuline Sister Beverly Spohn also liked what she heard. "He is right on when he says that your love is expressed in practical service but should be nourished by your prayer life."
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