Over the past few weeks, I spent some time in France, in St Rambert en Bugey, a village outside Lyon, in France. Set in a valley, surrounded by hills, it is an idyllic spot for reflection and prayer. Our Congregation meeting attended by participants from 13 different countries was a time for reflection and sharing on our lives and ministries in those various countries.
We were very conscious of the diversity of our cultures as Sisters from Vietnam, India, Peru and other countries in the developing world, shared with those of us from “the West”.
As one Congregation, we have as our vision statement “We are One, we are Love”, sharing our resources with all those in need. As we became more aware of the different realities of our countries and continents, we realised that we have much to learn from each other. I was struck by the simplicity of our Sisters’ lives and those of the people among whom they live, the challenges they face and their awareness of the fragility of our planet Earth – I felt they had a great deal to teach us. Their exposure to the elements – the gales, typhoons, storms of all kinds and the extreme poverty of those among whom they live clarifies their vision and their priorities. The stories we heard brought home to us the urgency of caring for our planet, of being more in touch with Nature and its needs.
The trees around us witnessed to Autumn, so very beautiful in its letting go, the lawns carpeted by leaves and the trees in various degrees of letting go – all a reminder to us of the beauty that is inherent in letting go to allow for new life to blossom, painful though that may be at the time. So, we prayed for the needs of the world, those caught up in violence, those driven from their homes and all those suffering from abusive situations. May they all be supported in the forced letting go in their lives and come to a sense of peace within themselves and with others.
Sr. Margo Murphy, RNDM