and is the feast day of Sr. Catherine Ryan, a Servite Sister and one of our facilitators.
We had the Liturgy celebrated in English today and that was a great gift to be able to hear the prayers, homily and acclamations in words we could easily understand and follow. Some how appreciating the pain of having to listen to translations all day and finding that it is a labour of love for some of our Sisters to come together in our predominant English language setting. We prayed with and for Sr. Catherine as she held her community close in prayer from a distance.
Taking the Luke 2:33-35 passage in our faith sharing today, we could imagine that Mary did not understand much about her son’s mission. Yet, she never questioned Jesus about the things that she did not understand. She gave Jesus space to grow into who he was called to be even though she did not understand. As a mother somehow she must have had a heavy heart. The priest spoke of Our Lady in this way and you might see how this could make sense.
We continued to consider the discernment questions today. The process was slow and tedious but powerfully revealing when we experienced the commonalities in the responses that were shared. It was uncanny really how much deep honest listening that had to go on in everyone as we reached consensus about issues that will take the Institute into the future.
Let me say it this way using a quote from a Mary Oliver poem, “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? Try to come up with an answer for yourself and then let around fifty other women from all their various perspectives, generations and cultures come up with one single answer that everyone could fall in love with at the exact same level of commitment or agreement. And a line from our own Mary Ward, “Love and speak the truth at all times.”Let’s come up with what the consensus statement will say in love and truth. Discernment is good holy hard work and our days are about finding the kernel of truth and focus our attention on what we will convey to our next leaders and our Institute body and all the companions who believe in the value of our life and work.
So, at table we did just that, we poured over the “what”trying very hard to not get too far in to the “how”and the Spirit of truth and wisdom found a way into our labor; giving birth to something new. However, we have a long way to go before the work is done. Keep praying and one day soon it will be clear. (er)
Our Lady…pray for us. St. Ignatius…pray for us. St. Francis Xavier…pray for us.
Venerable Mary Ward…pray for us. All you holy men and women, pray for us.