In the intimate feast of the inspiration of Rosarillo, I want to invite you to make this a day of grateful memory for the gift of our charism to the Mother Foundress.
In the midst of this atmosphere that surrounds us, let us make a ‘memory that opens us to tomorrow that, as in the past, will be the work of the Holy Spirit of God, of our Father and of Jesus, his beloved Son’.1
It seems difficult to give thanks and celebrate in the world context that we are experiencing. The pain, the grief, the fear are present in all of us, ‘it beats in the air, it is felt in the gestures, the looks say it,’ Pope Francis told us on March 27.
In the face of fear, our Foundress has taught us confidence: ‘God can do everything and in Him I have all my trust; And if we are good as He wants us to be, He will not abandon us in life or in death. ’ 2 And today this charismatic grace of trust has for us a new face, something that we can offer to the men and women of our world in this dramatic situation.
Mother Candida sensed a need in the historical time that she had to live. And he discovered, in the Lord, an answer. We believe in that inspiration from which we were born.
In my previous circular letter I invited care, responsibility and co-responsibility. We all have to take care of ourselves and stay at home, as many of the slogans that circulate in the media tell us; but this Body-Congregation cannot be closed in self-care. If the Body is only to take care of itself, then it becomes ill, because its first vocation to be for others is affected. Let us remember together the ultimate goal that the Formula tells us: “… to promote the glory of God and the good of others, more than our own well-being or temporal utility.” Cfr. CFI 2.
Our spirituality invites us to seek and find the Lord in the here and now of history. This is the present time, in which God is and asks us for an answer. The question that arises is: Lord, what do you want us to do? How to be help in this specific moment of suffering due to the covid-19 pandemic?
We share this question in our reflections on the General Government, it is a question contrasted with the friendly Superiors General in Rome. And together we are confirming that we have to find out how to be of help today. It will be in a new way, because the world situation we live in is very new. To remain with the Lord is to be guided by the Holy Spirit. Let us ask for the grace that it is the Holy Spirit of God who ‘inspires’ in us the responses of help, solidarity and fraternity that we can invent together. These are the circumstances of our world in which we can manifest the goodness of God who makes us all brothers, as the Determination of CGXVIII, nº 2, tells us.
Through various media we receive news of concrete initiatives and gestures of closeness and solidarity that, within the guidelines and precautions of the WHO and from the governments of each country, they are possible and can alleviate the pain, fear, loneliness, uncertainty … of many people around us. Sometimes a simple phone call, a greeting, a question in case something is needed, a word of encouragement and hope …, there are those who started to make masks, or who leaves food at the door of a neighbor …, who in community offer to listen to those who need it by phone … There are many small gestures that are available to everyone. The moment asks us to be charitable also within our homes.
Before concluding, I would like to share with you that on March 31 we finished our project of work with JRS in Myanmar. The Jesuit Refugee Service considers that the same people of the place are the most suitable to direct these projects. For this reason, the sisters who were there were sent: Pilar Brufal Jaén to Thailand to continue our collaboration in JRS, strengthening that presence. Mary Juelar returned to her Province of origin. Currently Pilar continues in Myanmar, since it is not possible to leave the country.
We currently have two Sisters who, due to different circumstances, are alone in the country: Pilar Brufal in Myanmar and Matilde Polanco in Venezuela. The entire Congregational Body is with them and they are accompanied by lay people in the local Church.
Let us intensify communion with these sisters, as we all feel that living this time this way is especially hard.
May the Lord inspire us with the help that we can offer our brothers today. And that is the best way to celebrate this April 2, 2020, which will go down in human history.
I say goodbye to all with the hope that we remain united in this family party and in this historical juncture.
1 Circular letter No. 102 from the Superior General María Inéz Furtado de Mendoza.
2 Letters of the Founding Mother nº 118.