New Year, New Beginnings. Twenty one (21) Provincial Chapter delegates gathered together in the Canossa Retreat House, Jakarta. They were welcomed by Sisters of the 3 communities in Jakarta. The Spirit of Christmas is very much felt as each Sister exchanged warm greetings of affection, evident of their longing to see one another after the pandemic. The symbolic damp and dark manger is lighted by the joyful, smiling faces of all Sisters. The new year is marked by the “homecoming of the Sisters” to its Bethlehem — the Province.
In Contemplation. Sr. Margarete, in one of her reflections shared to the Sisters, mentioned that: You are no longer young Sisters. You are mothers to all people! She challenged the Sisters to take responsibility of looking at Jesus, listening to His Words and doing what He wills. During presentations of group work, several emphasized strengthening of prayer life and union of hearts in community as essential to conversion and transformation. They were reminded of Pope Francis’ message to the Institute: … to silence before the Lord.
They reminded each other to return to the essentials, to re-read the books of the Institute, to be nourished by the richness of spiritual reading, to reflect and share together the Word of Christ, to be close, compassionate and tender towards others, especially the poor.
Despair and Hope. During the 1st day of the Prov. Chapter of Application, Sisters were astonished as to the many, great dreams that each group conveyed. After several days when concrete realities of communities and ministries were presented, mixed feelings were evoked. Some were anxious while others were grateful. Several were confused while others were worried. Silence gave room for hearts to discern and to beg the Lord to show His will. The Spirit moved everyone to take seriously the challenge of living one’s consecration in a world that seeks meaning and direction, yearning for witnesses of selfless giving. During the many discussions both in the group and assembly, struggles and difficulties were humbly shared by many. But there was openness to listen, appreciation of working together, and the desire not only to find the common good— but where God is leading the Province for the next 6 years!
During the group reflections on the Directory and deliberations on the Resolutions and Statutes, several Sisters were reminded of the words of Prophet Ezekiel: bones that were lost and scattered, lifeless and torn….. Yahweh breathed life into them! Many remembered their own experiences of crosses in life: struggling over their egoism, emotional immaturities, attachments to worldly things, conflicts with others and infidelity to their commitments. They were grateful not only for overcoming those difficulties but also learning how to be strongly committed to the Lord and the mission. They realized that the work they are doing at the Prov Chapter would and should help all Sisters to mature in the vocation of becoming holy like Mary who did not speak much but gazed lovingly on her Son from whom she knew what to do. Magnificat anima mea Dominum!