I had the great opportunity to interview a lady by the name of Mary Shanahan. Sister Shanahan is a Catholic nun I knew from when I was a child. Sr. Shanahan has been a nun for over 50 years and has devoted her entire life to loving God and has served her time working in many schools and universities trying to help and guide students on their journey of faith and love. One of the big questions I asked Sr. Shanahan was what her life goal was? She responded stating that she wanted to help individuals find love in their life no matter what it is, as she believes that this is the most important thing.
When talking to Sr. Shanahan about the ’futuring of love’, her main message that she really wanted to emphasis to me was that “every human, no matter who they are needs to love, and to be loved”. This was a point she kept coming back to as she believes that this is they key to happiness and fulfilment in ones life.
I started the conversation by asking Sr. Shanahan what her view was on the ‘futuring of love’. She said that love is something which has never changed over time. Love has been the same concept over all generations past and present, and she believes this will be the same in the future. Sr. Shanahan stated that a part of what makes us human is that ability to love. What she claims is different, is the way love is conveyed. Meaning that ‘love’ has been expressed differently over time, as it adapts to the certain time or generation it is in.
For example, Sr. Shanahan states that the Catholic church is currently struggling to be a face and representation of love. She believes the church has not kept up to date with the current times and has not allowed for people of the modern generations to find their sense of love in the church. Even now, Pope Francis (image below) who is the leader of the current Catholic church, is strong for changing views and perceptions of the Catholic church, as to make it more approachable and adaptable for the up coming generations. He though has been slammed by the rest of the church for pushing for this change.
Image of Pope Francis (Bio 2016)
Sr. Shanahan goes on to say that even though the Church has struggled recently in relating to younger generations about promoting love, she has been amazed at how younger generation Catholics still haven’t stopped loving. They have just found other means to which they can learn and can show love and affection for one another. Coming back to the point that people will always find a way to love and will continue to do so.
I then went on to ask that the people in our world seem to be getting more insular. I explained how social media and other forms of technology have allowed this to happen. People seem to be more involved in helping themselves that others. Sr. Shanahan’s response was that she does get worried sometimes when she notices how unaware people are of one another within society now. She believes though that this won’t spiral out of control too much. Sr. Shanahan stated that “this will end, as we humans will come to understand why we are not happy and not connecting, and come back around to understanding what is really important, and that is to place our love in others and in society.”
My conversation with Sr. Shanahan was not only useful to help me with my own concept of the ‘futuring of love’ but was quite inspirational on how we as humans should conduct our lives in a loving way. As Sr. Shanahan put it, “we must love as many people and as much as we can, and in doing this accept nothing in return.” This idea to ‘give and receive love’ has seemed to satisfy and fulfil humans over all past and present generations. So this begs the question, will the concept of love ever change, or just adapt and be expressed in different ways given the situation it is in?
Bio 2016, Pope Francis Biography, viewed 27 October 2016, <http://www.biography.com/people/pope-francis-21152349>.