We share the joint letter of Sr. Jolanta Kafka, rmi, president of the UiSG and of Fr. Arturo Sosa, sj, president of the USG entitled “Let’s take care of one another as our saving God cares for us” and signed in Rome on June 29, 2020, feast of Saint Peter and Saint Paul.
They begin by stating the reason for their letter:
“… we have felt the need to SHARE with you our concerns, uncertainties and experiences, to express our COMMUNION and offer suggestions for DISCERNMENT in this time of great suffering for all humanity.”
Inspired by the encounter of Jesus with the disciples of Emmaus who, unable to interpret everything that happened in Jerusalem, return to their lives of always disappointed and hopeless (Lc 24, 13-33; Jn 19,25), they recount their letter hand in hand with the Gospel account.
He asked them: What are you talking about on the road? (Lc 24.17)
We need discernment when the conditions around us disturb our peace and serenity, and before that we do not have recipes prepared. our programs and our moments of encounter and also the ordinary rhythms of our life and work have been altered. But in all this we have heard the voice of the Lord saying to us: “Courage! I send you to travel the paths of this world that I love! “
“Jesus himself approached and began to walk with them” (Lc 24, 15)
Jesus, today as then, comes to meet us and walks with us, also when we are not able to recognize him. He listens to us patiently. Jesus enters into dialogue with us to illuminate the meaning of what is happening and, lighting our hearts, helps us in our discernment with his word and his Spirit.
It is a time, then, that invites us to take care of listening, to create spaces of contemplative silence and exchange, both of reflections and of concrete data, so that discernment is not hasty or conclusions are rushed.
Listen to all generations. Listen carefully and read the reality, what is really happening. The sustainability of our mission, of our structures, must be fully cared for, but the most precious asset that we must preserve is our charismatic identity and people. What listening spaces can we create to make this happen?
“Then Jesus explained to them everything that had been written about him in the Scriptures, beginning with the books of Moses and all the prophets” (Lc 24, 27)
Listening to the word of Jesus, scrutinizing the scriptures, attentive to the motions of the holy spirit, we come to a crossroads where we must choose the way to go.
It is a time of holy restlessness. We have been deprived of projects, assets and the power to manage our own lives, our works and missions. we have felt helpless. This poverty and uncertainty pushes us to truly trust God, to accept that insecurity educates us in an intense search for God, to anchor our hearts in him. This renews in us the surprising experience of the beginnings: our vocation and mission are constantly born from it. For this we live in a fruitful time.
“But they begged him insistently: Stay with us, because it is already getting dark. It is almost night. Then Jesus entered and stayed with them” (Lc 24,29)
Directly or virtually we have discovered the need for reciprocal accompaniment, beyond our congregational community: a communion that only grows and bears fruit when it is open to ecclesial communion and human fraternity.
“Then they immediately stood up and returned to Jerusalem. There they found the eleven apostles and those who were with them gathered” (Lc 24, 33)
It is the time of communion, of a growing awareness of the interconnectedness that exists between us. We too, as the disciples, are called to recover the deep meaning of our consecrated life.
“It is true! The Lord has risen and appeared to Simon!” (Lc 24, 34)
In the face of so much neglect, highlighted by the pandemic, as a religious life we want to set in motion processes that lead us to a culture of care, through deep dialogue with our brothers and sisters in mission because, with the utmost respect for conscience and the vocation of each one, an environment of discernment is generated that can illuminate apostolic programming and can contribute to the mission of reconciling all things in Christ. Take care and let yourself be cared for to grow as a religious life in a universal dimension.
Read the complete letter HERE.