March 6, 2014
By Sister Janet Ruffing
Editor’s Note: Sister Janet Ruffing, current Professor of Spirituality at Yale Divinity School, theologian, author of five books on spirituality, feminine religious life, spiritual direction and a founder of Spiritual Directors International, celebrated 50 years as a Sister of Mercy last year. She reflects on the growth of her own spirituality.
God was so real to me, I felt called to vowed life since I was a young child; church was the larger context of that call. On what I thought would be my last international travel experience in July of 1963, the central nave of St. Peter’s Basilica was set-up for Vatican II, the first session just ended; John XXIII had recently died; and the audience with Paul VI was behind the main altar. I grew up in religious life reading the council documents in a Community that already had a tradition of liturgical institutes, religious education programs inspired by Lumen Vitae and an openness to the theologians who shaped the council. We heard lectures by theologians brought from all over the world to University of San Francisco’s summer school. Religious life had not yet changed much, but change already permeated our bible studies, liturgy and our understanding of Church. Read More