Weariness

Sr Joan Chittister, writing in the National Catholic Reporter on the election of Pope Francis – http://ncronline.org/blogs/where-i-stand/who-are-people-who-were-waiting-pope-francis – reflects on the psychological, emotional and spiritual problem of weariness, both personally and institutionally.
weariness
The problem is that weariness is far worse than anger. Far more stultifying than mere indifference. Weariness comes from a soul whose hope has been disappointed one time too many. To be weary is not a condition of the body — that’s tiredness. No, weariness is a condition of the heart that has lost the energy to care anymore.

People are weary of hearing more about the laws of the church than the love of Jesus.

People are weary of seeing whole classes of people — women, gays and even other faith communities again — rejected, labeled, seen as “deficient,” crossed off the list of the acceptable.

They are weary of asking questions that get no answers, no attention whatsoever, except derision.

They suffer from the lassitude that sets in waiting for apologies that do not come.

There’s an ennui that sets in when people get nothing but old answers to new questions.

There’s even worse fatigue that comes from knowing answers to questions for which, as laypersons, they are never even asked.

More false news of a priest shortage drains the energy of the soul when you know that issue could easily be resolved by the numbers of married men and women who are standing in line waiting to serve if for some reason or other, some baptisms weren’t worth less than others.

They get tired watching of Anglican converts and their children take their place at the altar.

It gets spiritually exhausting to go on waiting for a pastor again and instead getting a scolding, reactionary church whose idea of perfection is the century before the last one rather than the century after this one.

They’re weary of seeing contraception being treated as more sinful than the sexual abuse of children.

All in all, they’re weary of being told, “Don’t even think about it.” They’re weary of being treated as if they are bodies and souls without a brain.

It’s weariness, weariness, weariness. It’s not an angry, violent, revolutionary response. It’s much worse than that. It’s a weary one, and weariness is a very dangerous thing. When people are weary, they cease to care; they cease to listen; they cease to wait.
Joan Chittister
A Benedictine Sister of Erie, Pa., Joan Chittister is a best-selling author and well-known international lecturer on topics of justice, peace, human rights, women’s issues and contemporary spirituality in the church and in society. She presently serves as the co-chair of the Global Peace Initiative of Women, a partner organization of the United Nations, facilitating a worldwide network of women peace builders, especially in the Middle East. Sister Joan’s most recent books include Following the Path: the search for a life of passion, purpose and joy (Random House) and Monastery of the Heart (BlueBridge); she has won 13 CPA awards for her books. She is founder and executive director of Benetvision, a resource for contemporary spirituality.

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