We in the renewal course will start tomorrow, the 6th, to deepen in Laudato SI.
As a backdrop I have the greater simplicity, joy, poverty and happiness of St. Francis; and as context I contemplate the Bolivian reality that is simple, cheerful, poor and, I believe, also happy.
In these days I am remembering Ines Laso very much, and not only in seeing her commitment and dedication in some of our works here in Bolivia but in recalling those conversations that the two of us had during those years of closeness.
When I was a postulant and I was going to go to the novitiate, Ines met with me to ask me those questions mentioned in Article 31 of our Constitutions. There was a moment when Ines wanted to point out my qualities and some aspects that I had to keep in mind for the future. She told me, “Pilar, you are a very simple woman, you do not make a major issue out of things and you search among the simple for the shortest route to walk through life.”
I listened to her but did not realize what she was saying. First, because that “simple” did not sound good to me at all and secondly, because I saw myself, as I have always seen myself, as a self-sufficient, independent woman, confident of myself and far from making my life simple. I was only 20 years old.
However, it can be said that these words of Ines have marked my whole life. This idea of two opposites, simplicity and self-sufficiency, have been my battlefield for years and years. Two extremes that have never touched nor will ever touch. Declarations of war that can never be signed for peace but for the love of God.
I often asked the Lord for the gift of Humility through those three degrees that St. Ignatius portrays for us in numbers [164 – 168] of the SpEx. I asked him to be able to reach at least the first.
It took time, a long time, not for the Lord to decide to give me a gift, that of Humility, but for me to recognize what He had put into me, that of Simplicity, and that I had not known nor wanted to give importance. These, yes, are two sisters who touch each other. Here too, St. Ignatius helped me with that “I DESIRE AND CHOOSE” to which he gives so much emphasis in : “… I desire and choose poverty with Christ poor, rather than riches; insults with Christ loaded with them, rather than honors; I desire to be accounted as worthless and a fool for Christ, rather than to be esteemed as wise and prudent in this world. So Christ was treated before me.” It is a plain and simple personal choice. That of bestowing the gift, no – that is given to us; but that of opening oneself to receive it, to recognize, consider and accept it, yes. Whenever it is to imitate, serve and praise God our Lord. To desire and choose, that simple.
And thus do I situate myself before the Laudato SI. I do not know what we will discover in these days with Brother Francisco Conroy but I do know that to contemplate “our common home” means to take personal options. Everything will depend, starting from the gift of God, on what I DESIRE AND CHOOSE.
Will I have enough capacity to make mine what is everyone’s? Will I be able to accept what God proposes to bring me ever closer to his Kingdom, a Kingdom that is not of this world, and which is far from power, wealth and all the concepts of human interests, which I do not want and which I am supposed to have renounced?
May the gift of Simplicity help me in all this.
Please continue to pray for us.
Pilar García-Junco fi