It was Tuesday, February 2, and St. Peter’s Basilica welcomed the consecrated men and women on their day. This year, the celebration had a special tint, only a small group of people could be present.
Graciela Francovig, our Superior General, was present there, and with her all, the entire Congregational Body. Without a doubt, this opportunity to go in person, participate in the Eucharist and listen to Pope Francis’ reflection has been very encouraging.
Pope Francis spoke especially to consecrated men and women. However, some points of his reflection can be shared with every man and woman who try to live their lives, in, with, and for Christ, from his word and his Gospel as a fundamental option of life.
We bring a summary of Francisco’s words and we invite you to ask yourself what newness they bring to your life. From the contemplation of the old Simeon and the prophetess Anna (Lk. 2, 22-38), the patience that helps us maintain hope stands out.
Patience is a way that God responds to our weakness, to give us time to change. (R. Guardini) This is the reason for our hope.
Patience is the strength of spirit that makes us capable of “carrying the weight”, of supporting: bearing the weight of personal and community problems, it makes us welcome the diversity of others, it makes us persevere in the good even when everything seems useless, it keeps us moving even when boredom and laziness assail us.
Three “places” in which patience takes concrete form:
– In our personal life. We must be patient with ourselves and confidently wait for God’s times and ways: He is faithful to His promises. This is the base stone. Remembering this allows us to rethink our paths, reinvigorate our dreams, without giving in to inner sadness and disenchantment. Flee from the sadness inside!
– In community life. Sometimes conflicts arise and we cannot demand an immediate solution, nor should we rush to judge the person or the situation: we must know how to keep our distance, try not to lose peace, wait for the best moment to clarify with charity and truth. Do not be confused by the storm. We need this mutual patience: to bear, that is, to carry on our shoulders the life of the brother or sister, including their weaknesses and defects.
– Before the world. Simeon and Anne did not complain about everything that did not work but patiently waited for the light in the darkness of history. We need this patience so as not to remain prisoners of the complaint. We oppose the patience with which God works the impatience of those who judge everything immediately: now or never, now, now, now. And so we lose that virtue, the “small” but the most beautiful: hope.
Patience helps us to look at ourselves with mercy. We need the courageous patience to walk, to explore new paths, to seek what the Holy Spirit suggests to us. And this is done with humility, with simplicity, without much propaganda, without great publicity.