By Marty LallySeveral years ago I was visiting the Denver Loretto Center and was invited to stay for dinner. I went downstairs to the dining room, and I met Jeanne Cushing in the hall. Jeanne was the receptionist at the Center and as we approached the dining room I saw several walkers and canes. Jeanne said to me, “This is looking more like Lourdes by the day.” Then in a stage whisper she said, “We have balance issues here.”
It is a common perception that loss of physical balance is a product of aging. Those who experience that loss are grateful for the walkers and canes to help in their “balance issues.” Other forms of balance are not as associated with age, for example, spiritual, emotional and psychological balance. Aging can help in those areas of balance, but achieving balance in those areas is not always age related, and balance can be achieved with support of friends.
During Assembly 2017 I was aware of the art of balance. Loretto is 205 years old, but I did not hear loss of balance. Instead I heard real growth in balance achievement.
• I felt acknowledgement of the past balanced by the birth of and hope in the future.
• I felt a comfort with who we are internally with one another balanced by how we are seen in our ministries, in the world and in the Church.
• I felt the demands of present realities (age, demographics, finances, etc.) balanced by dreams of a renewed and redefined Loretto Community.
• I felt an energy to plan for the future balanced by openness to what comes.
• I felt a commitment to the Gospel in our past balanced by continued faithfulness to the Gospel in our future.
Assembly 2017 was, for me, a hopeful, energizing, inspiring experience in achieving the art of balance. “We have balance issues here,” but we don’t need canes or walkers to achieve balance. We have each other to steady ourselves for our future because “Trust Empowers Us.”