Reflective Moments with Angela for April 2024

In a recent webinar on contemplative prayer, I heard Islamic scholar Omid Safi talk about the spirituality of Sufism. In describing spirituality, he used the image of a bird, which needs two wings to fly. (I had an interesting moment in which I imagined how one would fly with one wing!)

Photo by Mabel Amber on Pixabay.

One wing could be your religious tradition: if your parents were Christian, Muslim, Jewish or Hindu, chances are your spirituality would be shaped by that – but one wing is not enough. The other wing is the work you have done in “living into” an adult understanding and interpretation of that religious tradition.

Similarly, our actual living out the Ursuline charism is shaped not only by the original tradition, but also by our mature understanding of how to live it out.

Here’s what our Ursuline Constitutions say:

Faithful to Angela Merici and to Ursuline traditions through the centuries, we believe that our fidelity to the Church is a creative, contemplative response to the needs of God’s people – a response that flows out of a deep conviction of God’s love for us and an openness to his Spirit working in and among us. (from Our Charism)

Our two wings: the tradition and our response! Here’s how Angela said it: “Keep to the ancient way confirmed by so many saints, and live a new life.” (7th Counsel)

A good image for our year: soar on both wings. Think of how your adult understanding has enriched your original gift of faith of the Ursuline charism!

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