- Sr Siobhán
I believe that COVID has offered us a new opportunity to reflect on and deepen our consecration as Sisters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary. Through the gift of our baptism we have been immersed into the heart of God; this immersion was deepened in confirmation and graced in an ever deeper way though our religious profession. We are now called to live out this Christocentric relationship in ever new ways in response to the changing needs of our time through the presence of COVID in our world.
We are called to be compassionate hearers and bearers of God’s word – open to the voice of the Holy Spirit in the new opportunities that this illness is offering to us. Social isolating may be perceived as a burden but it has been mandated by World Health Authorities and supported by Ecumenical Church Governing bodies for the welfare of all. Silence and solitude invite us to pray constantly for the needs of the world – not to be vectors of illness but transmitters of a Gospel message of hope and trust in the God of our salvation.
Our Christian and religious vocation impels us to reach out in love to all who suffer – we discern our response wisely and work in collaboration with local service provision.
The postponement of our General Chapter offers us an extended period of prayer and grace to reflect on and listen to what God is asking of us at this time in the history of the church. As individuals or communities we may through the grace of the Holy Spirit lay down any burden of disagreement that would block us from hearing what the gentle voice of the Holy Spirit is offering to us at this time. It is a time to reflect on how we may be able to deepen and develop our ministries to the most vulnerable in the 9 countries in which we serve. One day, we may be present as His witness in 19 areas of the world!
The scriptures abound with messages of hope and healing – this time of deepening prayer infuses us with the grace of the Gospel to comfort, console and heal a world that for all too long has been crying out for wholeness. May we embrace this time as a gift from our gracious God who is sharing in the passion of humanity and who will rise triumphant over this grave of anxiety, uncertainty and fear. May we place our lives deep into His Sacred Heart and draw ever closer to each other through our bonds of prayer, fellowship and spiritual union. May we know His peace.
© Siobhan O’Keeffe 2020, all rights reserved