Sunday, April 24, 2016
Convents And Corners
Juliana of Liege lived in the thirteenth century. She lived in a convent or monastery for women. Nuns back then did not go around taking care of people suffering on the street corners or in hovels. Juliana had a vision which encouraged her in a devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, the consecrated host/bread. This led eventually to the feast of Corpus Christi and various devotions that had to do with a focus on the host and being inside churches looking at the host. It fit into convert life full of devotions and prayers. Saint Katharine Drexel died in 1955. She founded a religious order dedicated to outside work with Native Americans and Freed Slaves. She did not have much focus for sitting inside a church or convent looking at the host. She was a woman of her time, who lived her vocation on corners of public life, and not in convents. There is a place for both devotion and the social gospel. I find a growing interest in the devotional but not so much the outside work. Jesus broke bread with his disciples, and then told them to go out and do something. He did not tell them to just sit there and stare at the bread.