Mother Josepha was one who repeatedly stressed the importance of “sisterly love”, of Communion Within the Congregation. Looking at our world and our Congregation today, we strongly feel this call for deeper communion. Living together as sisters from so many nationalities and cultures, ages and traditions, experiences and languages, and collaborating with different congregations and organisations, it is almost impossible to reach a sense of communion where everyone feels the “common ground”. Controversial opinions in politics and church add to the diversity and complexity of our life situations. Is it possible to come to a felt sense of communion in this diversity without falling into uniformity? How can we resist the temptation of diversity leading us to separation or even division?
We believe that the Spirit of God is the Creator of Diversity as well as of unity. Henry J.M. Nouwen, in his book Life of the Beloved-Spiritual living in a secular World, writes:
The Spirit of God, the Spirit that calls us the Blessed, is the Spirit that unites and makes whole. There is no clearer way to discern the presence of God’s Spirit than to identify the moments of unification, healing, restoration and reconciliation. Wherever the Spirit works, divisions and inner as well as outer unity manifests itself.
Pentecost invites us, this year in a special way, to renew our commitment as missionaries, servants of this Holy Spirit, towards deeper communion within our communities, provinces, regions and the entire congregation. Sharing our faith, our God-experience, with one another, as well as personal and communal prayer, can help us to touch the source of communion deep within us. The experience of this inner connectedness in faith and charisma enables us to feel at home with one another in spite of the differences we encounter. In addition, the beauty of creation and all that is good and supports life, proclaim the presence of the Spirit in our lives and in our World. We only need to be aware of it.
Sr. Teresa Maya, CCVI, one of the speakers at the recent UISG Plenary with the theme Sowers of Prophetic Hope, said:
“The future of hope promised in Isaiah is embedded in communion. Hope is a gift of communion.”
I hope and pray that Pentecost 2019 will deepen our communion with one another so that we can be Easter Women, Sowers of hope.
“God has brought us together so that we may be of one heart and one soul. We would not be true servants of the Holy Spirit if we did not practice sisterly love.” (Blessed Mother Josepha)
Sr. Maria Theresia Hörnemann SSpS – Rome