“Our cherished Association is to be a body without a body, and if I dare say it, a congregation without a congregation, and perhaps in time, a religious order without being a religious order.”
These words of Medaille sound contradictory to a contemporary reader. How can anyone or any structure be itself without its form and function? Perhaps Medaille wrote these words to anticipate that the Little Design would be flexible enough to respond to the emerging needs of the world and the Dear Neighbor as the centuries evolved. It could be suggested that Medaille was a man comfortable with change. Certainly, the world was changing around him. Certainly, he envisioned a world for apostolic women religious that assisted the Le Puy sisters to avoid the cloister sanctioned by the institutional Church. Instead of digging his heels into the dirt of the status quo, Medaille tries to articulate a comfortable relationship with inevitable change. Nothing stays the same. Everything changes all the time. Change is not random. It does have a pattern. There is a direction to change. Change moves in the direction of UNITY, COMPLEXITY, and CONSCIOUSNESS. Science is the best example we have of this pattern of change. Atoms move to unity and join into molecules that are more complex. At some point, molecules cannot further join, reaching a higher state of consciousness as a cell. Cells join and when they cannot join any further, reach a higher consciousness as an organ. Look at how Medaille envisions The Little Design… “a body without a body,” “a congregation without a congregation,” “a religious order without being a religious order.” The CSJ/DNA, from its very beginning, was not and never meant to be part of the status quo. If this is the mandate of The Little Design, how do you envision the UNITY, COMPLEXITY, and CONSCIOUSNESS for the next evolution of our Le Puy legacy?
Here again is a song from the group Sleeping at Last. It was given to me by a friend who is constantly encouraging me to embrace change in the direction of UNITY, COMPLEXITY and CONSCIOUSNESS. Are we as CSJ ready to break that glass ceiling in our desire for unity with God and Neighbor?