WE ARE CALLED TO A NEW CONGREGATIONAL BIRTH
WE ARE HANDMAIDS OF THE DIVINE HEART TODAY
“We trust in you”. With these words, on August 9, 2022, the General Chapter welcomed a new Sister who had been newly elected for the service of Superior General, and who, from that very moment, was representing the entire Congregation. Sr. Cinta had just been chosen Superior General. In the Chapel, we repeated to her once and again, as in a whisper, that she desires to sustain and encourage:
- Accompany us so as to be a silent presence that illumines and comforts, thatsoothes andremedies… We trust in you.
- Encourage us so as to bea sign of encounter in this divided world… We trust in you.
- Impel us always to be free andto trust one another… We trust in you.
- Help us to live among the people and to be God’s encouragement for them… We trust in you.
- Encourage us that we may make the transforming capacity of our apostolic projectsgrow… We trust in you.
- Lend us a hand to be able to incarnate ourselves in the world today… We trust in you
- Remind us that we are called to live the communal holiness… We trust in you.
- Help us to make a path thatgoes from “I” to “we” … We trust in you.
- Remind us that nothing and noone can hinder us to live the Gospel… We trust in you.
- Walk with us in this new birth of our Congregation… We trust in you.
We can indeed say that this has been one of the profound experiences of the 21st General Chapter: we trust. We trust each other, support each other. We encourage each other. Otherwise, we will be unable or would not like to go ahead: trusting, supporting and encouraging each other in order to announce Jesus and his Gospel.
The experience has been gradually gestated. Throughout the month that the Chapter lasted, we have lived in a first moment – the encounter with our roots in Coria, Seville and Malaga…. In a second moment, with our desire to walk with others, we were helped by the reflection we had about our charismatic experience with the Spínola Lay Affiliates and the apostolic works of the Congregation… Through dialogue, conversations, reflection and listening, the third moment came, making us go deeper into our being Handmaids to dream of the future of our Congregation for the next six years… And finally, we had the election of the new General Government that would accompany and encourage our Congregation during the next six years. And in all these, while helping to intertwine the different deep experiences, many things surfaced; namely, questions, conversations, the time for personal reflections, prayer, shared-search, music, etc. We have indeed experienced that together, in mutual trust, yes, we can walk, listen and dance.
We want to walk. We put every morning, as our Founder and Foundress did, the shoes that will enable us to be on the go so as to be in contact with people and be among them. We want to put on shoes like theirs. They were shoes that stepped on our Mother Earth, slippers that had contact with reality, shoes that were worn out for the sake of others. We want our mission today to touch the ground, to be in contact with real life, to listen to the pains of the world; a mission that would ask itself about what we can contribute to the places where we are living… We know how to walk and we want to do so.
We want to listen. Yes, we want to listen to our inner world where God dwells in a gentle way… We want to listen to our sisters who are the word that illumines our search…we want to listen to our world, which in certain places, is crying with pain; in other places, is encouraging us to hope; and in many places, is thirsting for God. We know how to listen and we want to do so.
We want to dance. Yes, we want to dance as Mary did; she was the woman pregnant with Love; the woman who sang the Magnificat when she became overwhelmed by the experience of God in her. We want to dance because we are grateful for the experience of seeing that there is a congregational rebirth. This rebirth is possible whenever we take care of each other with respect, every time we give way in order to give space to others, every time that we keep silent so that the voice of another person would be heard, every time that we allow goodness to make its way in life, every time we encourage each other and grow together in life. We know how to dance and we want to do so.
We want to do all these together. And we want to do these for the sake of others; we want to do these from God, from the precious experience that has been given to us, that sustains and keeps us on fire: the experience of the Personal Love of Jesus Christ.
Yes, we are called to new Congregational birth. We walk with others. We walk so that others will be able to walk. We walk with God holding our hands. He is the One who supports our small intuitions and our small steps.
We are Handmaids of the Divine Heart today!