A Future Shaped by Love
The Rev. John Tourangeau, O.Praem., ’81, our new pastor at Old St. Joe’s, urges us to be bold in our vision for the new year, and for our own futures.
“The best way to predict your future is to create it.” These inspirational words bid us entry into a New Year. Such words are a beacon of hope and an invitation to create capabilities and capacities of opportunity as individuals and families, as networks of teams in the workplace, and as members of the St. Norbert College community, both locally and globally.
These powerful and profound words come from Peter F. Drucker, American management consultant and foundational thinker and writer on management theory and practice. I’ll return to Drucker, but first, it strikes me that, at St. Norbert, we are beckoned into the future we desire though another such leadership aphorism – one in which we are already steeped. The words I speak of are those of our founder Abbot Bernard Pennings, who took as his motto, “Let us love one another.”
Love of others is only possible as one learns how to love self. The synergy created and heights transcended by the continuous interaction and daily work of loving others and self opens the doors of our heads, hands and hearts to new and creative energies that give birth to our communio, to our way of life – a way that “is characterized by mutual esteem, trust, sincerity, faith and responsibility.”
The Gospel writer John has Jesus saying it this way: “Love one another as I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”
Through the Catholic intellectual, liberal arts and Norbertine traditions that are our foundation stones as men and women of faith, we dare to be bold in our vision for and mission in the world. And we dare to be prophetic in our love of self and others. Moreover, in the daily practice of love of self and others, energized by our ongoing and developing intellectual and liberal arts experience, we actively work for a more just and equitable world and use of world resources. What better way to create capabilities and capacities of opportunity!
In 2013, I want to be part of the “we” that creates the future in present time, and part of the team that further defines and lives communio in the Norbertine tradition of radical hospitality! I want to be a member of the Jesus-team that forges new paradigms of love and relationship in service of all creation. I hope you do, too!
I think Drucker was on to something when he said, “The best way to predict your future is to create it.” I believe that Abbot Pennings was wise in his choice of his abbatial motto, “Let us love one other.” And Jesus, of course, was and remains deeply insightful on a disciple’s love: “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”
What is your New Year’s resolution for 2013? I leave you with three questions with which to ponder and wrestle:
- What future will you create today?
- Whom will you choose to love today?
- For whom or what will you lay down your life today?
Blessings on the journey and Happy New Year!
Father Tourangeau was appointed pastor of the St. Norbert College Parish in September. He continues his work on campus as director of Norbertine life, also serving on the college’s board of trustees and on the abbot’s council at St. Norbert Abbey. He is pursuing a doctorate in organization development at Benedictine University.