Embracing Our Vulnerability: A gesture of humility or a call to transformation?

Embracing Our Vulnerability: A gesture of humility or a call to transformation?


The talk of Dr Ted Dunn presented during the UISG event "Deepening the Plenary", which took place from May 3-5 2023.


Our world has arrived at a crossroads putting before us an existential choice. We can either respond in fear by circling the wagons and closing in on ourselves, or we can listen for the “deeper invitation” and partner with others to birth a new way of being. If we are driven by fear, we will, by default, end up following the path of least resistance that leads inevitably to death. If impelled by courage, however, we can choose to walk the ancient path toward new life. I pray that we will listen to the heartbeat of the new and respond wholeheartedly to the lure and love of God.


Religious life is part and parcel of this Great Turning. What is becoming increasingly clear is that what got you today won’t get you to tomorrow. Pope Francis, speaking plainly to us last year, said: “We don’t need frozen nuns.” This synodal journey is an effort to move us beyond the past and together discern a new way to the future. We are being called to walk together, to discern together, to collaborate in creating a future full of hope (Jeremiah 29:11).

This synodal journey is an effort to move us beyond the past and together discern a new way to the future.

We cannot travel to the future without honoring our past, our ancestors, and our traditions, but these cannot lead us there. We need to include and transcend the past, loosen our grip on time-honored traditions and ghost-structures of the past, in order to make room for the new. What leads us into the future is our courage, creativity, and tenacity to give life to our deepest longings called forth by the lure and love of God. Honoring the past cannot mean living in the past. Honoring our ancestors cannot mean living as they lived. If we truly honor those who have brought us to today, we must do for the next generation what our ancestors did for us: We must make room for the new.


Helen Keller once said: “A bend in the road is not an end in the road, unless you fail to make the turn.” The vast majority of communities will fail to make the turn to the future. Some will wait until it is too late and, by the time they wake up, they will have exhausted their resources and their will to change. Others will make only incremental changes, believing they are doing what’s needed, only to discover their safe, small changes are not nearly enough.


Some of the most resilient communities will successfully make this bend in the road and bring forth new life. They will have a hand in facilitating the emergence of a new Religious Life and they will put their mark on this Great Turning. They will not simply adapt to changing world, they will listen for the deeper invitation, engage in the inner work of transformation, and bring forth new life to their communities and our world.


Ana María Carlevaro

Genial!...claro, luminoso y actualisimo


Carmen Lanao

Me gustaría leer esta conferencia



Realmente la invitación está ahí para el que en libertad quiere seguir construyendo futuro. Pondré de mi parte todo lo que voy descubriendo como camino hacia esa nueva transformación Interior que hará de mi un agente de cambio al modo de Jesús.


Sr.Gracy Plathottam

Very good discourse


Sr. Mollina Rego SSpS

I haven't read it ..just scanned through. The topic is very close to my heart and I just know its going to be very interesting, transformative, informative, healing - written in a simple and personal style . The examples of persons referred to, including John O' Donohue are my favorites. Heartfelt thanks to you Dr. Ted Dunn, for your great and inspirational Talk. I will circulate it to friends who will appreciate it. Continue to be a blessing Sir.



Excellent article


Maria nieves

Gozoso y obligado cambio existencial. Ok



Muy interesante, me gustaría tener más información. Gracias.

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