“But oh, that we might come to see and know ourselves, that we might then glimpse God.” – Edwina Gateley
It is important to keep monitoring my level of empathy? How do I respond to the ever confronting news reports each day? Is there something I need to change in myself?
For contemporary organisations the expression ‘mission’ often means a specific focus or task. For RSCJ it is a whole way of being as followers of Christ. – how would you describe your sense of mission? – in what ways are you on mission now? – how do you stay rooted in the Gospel and the following of Christ?
Concepcion Camacho points to the value of both silence and shared prayer. – what conditions enable silent encounter with the Spirit for you? – with whom do you engage in shared prayer? – what for you is true poverty of spirit?
For some of us, it is easier to receive others as a gift from the loving hands of God, than to see ourselves in this way. To see ourselves in this way frees us to be who God made us to be. Our limitations remain, but they need not enslave us. – how has self-acceptance made you freer? – what happens when you are tormented by your limitations? – when have you had a sense of being a gift from the loving hands of God?
When we love others, we open ourselves to them, and we are sensitive to their joys and pains. The willingness to be vulnerable is a sign of love, and it demands courage and strength. – how might vulnerability be a sign of sensitivity and love? – has contemplating the Heart of Jesus taught you to be vulnerable? – who are the vulnerable ones who most need us to be the Heart of God?
St Madeleine Sophie Barat was initially attracted to the Carmelites, a contemplative religious institute devoted to prayer whose members live in enclosure. Sophie became convinced that, rather than withdrawing from the world into prayer, God wanted her to combine prayer with action in the world. – are your prayer and action part of a single movement like breathing in and breathing out? – do your give more weight to prayer or to action? – in what areas could your contemplation of the world and your action in it be more congruent?
We have the assurance that the Spirit will be with us always, guiding us in mission. – what are the qualities that we most need to carry out our mission today? – how can we stay in tune with the Spirit, present and alive within us? – which aspects of our mission activities most require sensitivity? Which require strength? And which require constancy?
Sometimes we may be tempted to pray for people and events rather than responding to urgent needs. Concepcion Camacho RSCJ, is a former Superior General of the Society of the Sacred Heart. She suggests that contemplative prayer leads us to feel and respond to the urgent needs of the world. Reflecting on her words we can ask ourselves: – do our prayers embrace the whole human family and its needs? – contemplating the people and events of the day, do we encounter the pierced Heart of Jesus? – how are we taking part in building a more human world?