OBSTACLES ON THE JOURNEY
‘Prepare yourselves to undergo many difficulties; never seek to fly from that which our Saviour so willingly embraced.’ (Mary Ward)
‘If we are pleasing to God what need have we to care if the whole world is against us?’ (Teresa Ball)
Our life and mission will always be fraught with obstacles of all kinds. Some obstacles, such as the Covid-19 pandemic, political turmoil, economic recession, natural calamities, war and strife, loss of loved ones, are external to us; we seldom have control over them. Others, such as self-love, self-will and self-interest, are internal to us; we can have control over them. Whether external or internal, whether we have control over them or not, all obstacles can be converted to kairos events, fountains of grace.
All obstacles become wellsprings of grace when we embrace them and unite them with the seemingly greatest obstacle that the world has ever witnessed, but which gifted us salvation, namely, the passion and death of Our Lord. In such a Becoming One we discover that in every obstacle of ours the Lord still gives Himself in sacrifice; for the Lord has promised us: ‘I am with you always; yes, to the end of time’. (Mt.28:20)
Is this not the greatest gift that Mary Ward and Teresa Ball have handed down to us, that God can turn obstacles into love-giving, life-promoting opportunities? For sure, their lives and times were not a bed of roses. In a world replete with religious wars, plagues, persecutions, uncertainties and personal doubts – external and internal obstacles – they had to walk the way of the cross and wear the crown of thorns. However, because of their unwavering trust in the Lord, they were enabled to respond to these obstacles in unprecedented ways and make a difference in the world of their time.
Inspired by our founders, and along with our Mother Mary, let us too, place all our obstacles at the foot of the cross so that God may transform them into fountains of His love and compassion in this world. Let us pray with St. Paul that though we may be subjected to every kind of obstacles, we will never be distressed; we may see no way out, but we will never despair; we may be pursued by the darkness all around us but we will never be cut off from the Light.
What are some external and internal obstacles that we face in our life and mission today, as individuals and communities?
How can we transform these obstacles into kairos events, fountains of God’s love and mercy, with His help?
Sr Vinita Mazhuvancherry CJ – Nepal