Last week I couldn’t write my dream. I couldn’t see. I couldn’t imagine.
This week, during our Monday morning prayer, I heard in Isaiah, “I have carried you since birth.”
Later that day, I had a vivid experience of Jesus carrying me. He was looking ahead. He had confidence, hope, a dream.
I was content with being carried into something new without asking him or knowing about his dream. At this point, in my mind, I had already decided to ask for a leave of absence from the Jesuits. I wanted to sit in the mystery of going into something new, and I wanted to be the one to decide what the “something new” was.
My spiritual director was not convinced. “Has Jesus told you to take a leave of absence? What is Jesus’ dream for you? Ask him.”
I was afraid. I was worried that his dream might be different from mine. Different from what I feel I need or want right now. Different from decisions I thought I had already made. What if he asks me to do something I don’t want to do – or feel I can’t do?
Days passed. Eventually, I relented.
“Jesus, I want to know your dream for me. I’m open to you smashing my categories. I trust your dream is bigger and truer and deeper and more beautiful than what I can conceive. Show me your dream. Help me to trust that you can and want to share your dream with me, and that I’ll hear your voice.”
Jesus’ dream for me:
Space to dream, imagine, pray, plan, organize.
Health, healing, balance.
Life, joy, laughter, friendship.
Time alone with God – for imagination, for strength.
To build ekklesia.
To support the formation of Catholic women who are called to be ministers of the Gospel – ministers who teach, preach, heal, gather people together, break bread.
To announce the good news that Jesus’ desire to feed his people does not require a celibate male Catholic priest ordained according to a particular ancient lineage, but that Jesus has the power to transform bread and wine – and each of us – into his body through the faith of anyone who believes in him.
To disrupt religious patriarchy.
To disrupt patterns of exercising power and ministry in the church that do not reflect the revolutionary love of Jesus.
To disrupt whatever harms God’s people.
To disrupt the countersigns to God’s reign.
(Jesus, show me this disruption.)
I healed on the Sabbath, in the synagogue.
I went to Jerusalem and drove the moneychangers from the temple.
(I feel so angry at Mass.)
I put that anger there. You know something’s wrong.
I have given you powerful gifts for disruption: thoughtfulness, sincerity of heart, kindness, desire to reconcile, vision, conviction and conscience. You can see what’s wrong.
Luke, do you wonder why you always feel like you don’t fit? Because I planted this dream in your heart long ago.
(It’s true. I’ve known this dream for a long time, and I’ve tried hard to be faithful to it while also being a “good Jesuit.” I feel so much joy that those days are over.)
Jesus continues his dream for me:
To build community.
To pray, dream and act together.
To engage in experiments of building and disrupting.
To be formed.
This dream gives me so much joy and excitement: To build. I’m also terrified by parts of it: To disrupt.
Questions remain. How does this dream relate to my religious and priestly life? Where can I be formed for this work of building community, this work of disruption? Who will be part of it?
Jesus is carrying me. He’s looking ahead. He has confidence, hope, a dream.
I sense that Jesus wants to reveal more, wants to put more flesh on this dream. I’m listening for his voice.