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YEAR OF PRAYER with Rose Philippine Duchesne, "What boat must we take?"


What boat must we take?

All of us in the Sacred Heart family are invited by the General Chapter to cross new frontiers. This means being alert like sentinels scanning the horizon, so that we are ready to love that territory most distant from us and feel 'pulled' so that we swing into action. To go to these frontiers also means being ready to let go of the places where we are installed, being open to what is new, welcoming what we are discovering, examining it and praying about it before God. We need first to make plans so as to reach those new "territories", to become poor in spirit, acknowledging our ignorance, we need to take off our shoes and ask permission to approach that which is unknown to us.

I put "territories" in quotation marks because they can be either physical places or personal inner places. Often we don't know what transport to take, what visa to get, what entry permission; sometimes we need someone to help us. For example, how do we manage to cross borders blocking access to persons or peoples when consumerism is the most important thing? How do we reach the territories of people who are moved only by visible, tangible things and do not trust that what is best within them and is struggling to emerge will in fact make them happier? How do we help them discover – beyond distrusts, low self-esteem, depression – this Spirit, with capital letter S, who is within each person and who desires to lead us to say ABBA?

And if difficulties arise when we glimpse something new, let us learn from Philippine to continue listening to the call, nourishing it, and praying as she did, not losing the opportunity to work on what will enable us to sail forth on our particular Rebecca.

Esperanza Calabuig, RSCJ, Province of the Antilles, Cuba
Image: Lin Miao-chen