‘I am assured that God will help me and mine wherever we are.’ (Mary Ward)
‘May we all glorify God at any rate.’ (Teresa Ball)
Our world today is marked deeply by people migrating from one place to another because of climate change, wars, poverty, corruption or abusive political systems. At the same time, we see big companies moving from one country to another to avoid fiscal taxes or manufacture products whilst paying little money to the workers. The whole world is on the move for one reason or another and none of these movements is new in the history of humanity.
In thinking about this predicament, the Meditation on the Incarnation (St Ignatius – Sp Ex) offers us an opportunity to connect with the distress in our world. By prayerfully imagining the Trinity looking down on humanity in all its aspects, both glorious and corrupt, we can grow in our understanding of the meaning of ‘sending out’ which is divine and Trinitarian in its origin. The Son and the Spirit are sent into the world to make present and effective the Love of the Father.
Imagine Mary Ward’s response to the Incarnation as, ‘Here am I, send me’. We can imagine Teresa Ball echoing that ‘yes’ as she brought the Institute from York to Ireland and then as she sent young Institute members to India, Mauritius, Gibraltar, Canada and England. Both women, in the times in which they lived, focused not only on what was done, but on why and how it was done. The women who have been following in their footsteps throughout the centuries sought to be sent where the need was greatest, not claiming any special status or expert knowledge, but engaging from within and working with those affected by situations of suffering and injustice. Perhaps the maxims offered in today’s reflections can sustain us as we embark on renewing our ‘yes’ to being ‘sent out’ as we recall how the last two years have been marked by the suffering and struggles created by the Covid-19 pandemic.
We, Mary Ward women, are called to stay with the Trinity, to let ourselves be touched by the reality of today’s world and to respond to God through the everyday challenges in our lives: Here am I! A response which does not arise from our need to change, but from letting ourselves be touched by the cry of the poor and of the earth.
How is God inviting me to give myself more to the people or the situation in which He has placed me?
Sr Adina Bălan CJ – Latin European Province/Romania