Mary Ward Week 2024: Day 5

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Who is this woman? Why is she travelling so far?

The love of the Lord, this is what keeps us going

While we see the image of Mary Ward we see ourselves as itinerants (a Romanian sister missionary in Cuba and another returning from Romania to Peru after her apostolic experience as a tertian). The words of Mary Ward resonate with us “The path of virtue does not allow stops, whoever does not advance goes backwards”. We have felt challenged by the Lord of life to overcome the fear of the unknown and new. We have accepted the invitation to leave our comfort zones, overcome geographical and cultural barriers, a new language, and we have crossed the Atlantic in both directions. This movement has allowed us to let go in order to embrace newness: new ideas, new vision, new hope and possibility. To our surprise, on the other side we have found sisters who live with and are energized by the same charism and spirituality. Mary Ward and Ignatius of Loyola have welcomed us in each place and we have felt the Spirit of God flowing in life and in the mission here and there.

To put ourselves on the move we touch our humanity and abandon ourselves to God and his project of love for the world. We welcome our fragility, we become aware of our fear; we take charge of our thoughts, feelings and emotions, we name and stammer with words that overwhelm and surpass us. In this way, we let God, who planted this deep desire in our hearts, teach us and show us step by step the route in our interior and exterior journey.

Leaving our land has allowed us to discover that the world is bigger than the familiar and well-known little piece of heaven, to learn from other cultures, to know and to enrich ourselves by meeting other sisters and people. We discover that we are invited to break the vicious circle of turning around in the same old and familiar place, looking up and looking at the horizon together with all creation to create a common vision and project of peaceful coexistence for everyone.

The departures have introduced us to new dynamics of meeting, welcoming, familiarity, communion, the shared table, hospitality, caring for life, praying from the everyday, living simply, recognizing our fragility and interdependence. Dynamics lived in community, with the people we work with, with other religious congregations, with people from other institutions and organizations.

Looking at our journey so far, we discover that we feel freer and more available. Nothing that we have experienced and that has happened to us has been by chance, we welcome everything as followers of an itinerant God who called Mary Ward to itinerancy and to the tireless search for God’s will. Like Mary Ward we too accept the challenge! We step up without fear. All will be well, for God is near!… The love of our Lord is what keeps us going. (Taken from the Song of Mary Ward and put in the plural).

For reflection

Everything is in motion and as sisters of Mary Ward we are all invited to move. What prevents me from moving?
Where do I feel resistance that prevents me from being free and available for the mission?
When we say the prayer for the beatification of Mary Ward we say “Mary Ward pray for us and give us your spirit”.
What aspects of her spirit do we ask for the Body of the Congregation?

Share your reflection on the Padlet by clicking on the link or through the QR Code.

Esther Finis