Mary Ward Week: Reflection – 26 January

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Throughout Mary Ward’s life, verity, sincerity, integrity were very critical. Mary Ward always put integrity as her first priority. She refused all tricks when she could have accepted another rule for her Institute, with a view to adapting it later. A life of integrity is one of sincerity, without masks or pretence. Sincerity is being in touch with the depths of our heart where the Holy Spirit dwells. It was through continual prayer that Mary Ward found the courage to be faithful to her convictions. We have as our inspiration and inheritance the charism of Mary Ward, a deep relationship with Jesus and the ability to be in tune with God through prayer and reflection. Mary Ward waited on God with inner freedom and fidelity. She invites us to ”be such as we appear and appear such as we are” in our life and different works. She also challenges her followers to “become lovers of truth and workers of justice.”

What challenge does this present to the dynamics of our cultures in our time? What challenge does this offer to our society where there is inequality, injustice, racism, hunger, corruption, poverty, greedy, Covid-19 pandemic, environmental destruction, etc? Mary Ward made a huge difference in her time, what about us today?

One of her key phrases is that “we do good and we do it well”. We are invited to do ordinary things on a daily basis with all our heart for the greater glory of God. I feel Mary Ward is challenging us to be real with God, with self, others and all creatures. Here in Zimbabwe, in my work with orphaned children and children living with HIV/AIDs, I see a lot of suffering through hunger and lack of medication. At the moment during this lockdown, most of these children have no access to education. There is a call for self-sacrifice, commitment, collaboration in the global village, full engagement, dialogue, advocacy, consultation from specialists and embracing information and communications technology (ICT). We need to work as one family with the intercession of Mary Ward. Venerable Mary Ward, pray for us and give your spirit.

For Mary Ward, verity, sincerity and integrity all speak of wholeness, whole heartedness, truthfulness. We need to continuously ask ourselves:

Esther Finis