Day 7: 29 January 2022

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‘The love of God is like a fire that will not be shut up, for it is impossible to love God and not to work to extend his glory.’ (Mary Ward)

‘Go and set the world alight with the fire of God’s love.’ (Teresa Ball)

Those who love and feel the fire of God’s love within themselves are not afraid of anything because they know that they are in God’s hands. The more we grow in intimacy with God, the easier it is to overcome any form of fear and to be open to the surprises of the Spirit in our daily lives and to respond to needs of others.

Jesus often reminds us in the gospels ‘Do not be afraid’. He knows that life and the commitment to living one’s life meaningfully can bring with it many difficulties, challenges and fears. Fear can take over when we are faced with the unknown but we are not alone. God is a loving Father, who we believe cares for the smallest of his creatures, and will surely take care of us, his children.

Today, as members of the Institute, God is asking us to take one more step, so as not to let the fire of love die. In this world in which we live in the midst of a pandemic with masses of migrant people, economic chaos, a society wounded by the present pandemic, by indifference and individualism, we must respond to the unknown, as Mary Ward and Teresa Ball did in their time. By being attentive to the reality of our time and incarnated in the places where we live, we can overcome all fear.

In our own local parish in Madrid, another sister and I minister to the inmates of the immigrant Detention Centre (CIE) near our home. This is the place for the most rejected of people whose only crime is that they are undocumented. No one is illegal for this reason. Therefore, these Centres, where inmates have fewer human rights than in prisons, should no longer exist. We go forward in faith and hope embracing the unknown, knowing that God’s love will always accompany us as we serve the most needy and vulnerable in our Community.

To conclude, the words of this song reflect my current feelings:

“There are still so many feet to wash.
There is still so much darkness to light,
so many chains to break,
Bread and wine I want to be.”

What personal or institutional difficulties prevent me from taking up the challenges that the Spirit is asking of me today?

Do I face the future convinced that love must be stronger than fears and other difficulties?

Sr Louise Latin IBVM – Spanish Province

Esther Finis