Mary Ward Week: Reflection – 29 January

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Mary Ward sought and found God in all things. The Just Soul vision is one of the special graces for our way:

“The felicity of this estate (for as much as I can express) was a singular freedom from all that could make one adhere to earthly things, with an entire application and apt disposition to all good works. Something happened also discovering the freedom that such a soul should have had to refer all to God, but I think that was after, or upon some other occasion; however, that such a thing there was I am very certain.”

(Mary Ward’s letter to Father Lee – the Just Soul vision).

From this vision, as Mary Ward’s companions, we are invited to recognize God’s presence in our life; to live in harmony with all God’s creatures and “to walk in the presence of God”.

God created the world and entrusted us to care for it: “God blessed them, saying to them, ‘Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and subdue it. Be masters of the fish of the sea, the birds of heaven and all the living creatures that move on earth.’” (Genesis 1:28). With God’s loving creation, all creatures have rights to “be fruitful” and share life. This is how we are called to nourish our relationship and commitment with ourselves, others, God and the earth. Truly, there is an inseparable connection between us and nature, as Pope Francis mentioned: “We are part of nature, included in it and thus in constant interaction with it.” (Laudato Sí #139).

However, our ways of living are causing a break to this connection. Lifestyles of greediness and selfishness lead our life to go far away from God and God’s creation; they destroy healthy relationships between the life of human beings and the life of the planet and all creatures living in it. This affects the environment of the world, especially the poor, and has an impact on our common home’s wealth and health. As children going far away, we are called to come back Home, to live like a just soul, “like those in Paradise, before the first fall were in this estate.” We are called to have an awakening conversion.

In Laudato Sí (#10), Pope Francis introduced Saint Francis as an excellent example: “He was particularly concerned for God’s creation and for the poor and outcast. He loved, and was deeply loved for his joy, his generous self-giving, his openheartedness. He was a mystic and a pilgrim who lived in simplicity and in wonderful harmony with God, with others, with nature and with himself. He shows us just how inseparable the bond is between concern for nature, justice for the poor, commitment to society, and interior peace.”

Esther Finis