24 Jun Journey within led towards people/india
To take care of the contemplative dimension of our life, “in order to find God, who emerges in the silence as the center of our very selves” (Decrees).
General Congregation XX calls us to enter into a process of deepening and revitalization in our living of the Eucharist and of its apostolic meaning.
We contemplate our world which was created by our God with love and care; He wanted us to be happy and give joyful witness to our brothers and sisters. However, the beauty of the world is destroyed by people’s selfish motives, and as a result every human being has to face the consequences. We believe that the ultimate source of our being is our compassionate, loving and merciful God who is ever present in the Blessed Sacrament and in the hearts of all people.
The widespread COVID 19 pandemic forced the Governments to enact strict orders which led to lockdown in order to keep people safe from this deadly virus. As part of this lockdown all the schools, colleges, places of worship and official sites were asked to close down. So we had to send all our hostel girls to their homes for their own safety, even though they had not finished their exams.
In line with the government rules, we stopped all our outreach, social and pastoral activities. Then we began to spend more time before the Blessed Sacrament extending our prayerful support to all those people who are infected, affected and who are in the forefront, serving the patients while risking their own lives. So, we as a community decided to have prolonged adoration during which we placed all the concerns and challenges of the present situation.
One of the experiences that touched our hearts during this time was the pathetic situation of the migrants who were returning to their respective places.
It was really very painful to the see the struggles of young and old which included women, children, men passing by, walking, cycling, travelling in trucks, vans and buses for more than 23 days with insufficient food.
There were some lay and church-based organizations that were continuously providing food, sanitizers and necessary arrangements for these people to reach their home places. As we witnessed the service done by others, we also discussed and decided to help the people in our mission area. So we focused mainly the families of rickshaw pullers and women who were unable to go out to work to earn their living.
The followings are the activities that we carried out:
- 20 rickshaw pullers’ families were helped with grocery and sanitary items 3 times.
- Job opportunity for the tailoring teacher and students who helped us in stitching masks.
- Distributed around 900 masks and sanitary kits to the people in different areas.
Seeing the real suffering of the people around us, it was bit difficult to understand God’s ways in this moment of darkness, disillusion, isolation, loneliness, helplessness and more over the fear of getting infected. At this juncture restlessness filled my heart, and I remembered the words of St. Augustine; “our hearts were made for you O Lord, they will never find rest until they find rest in you”. These words awakened and encouraged me to focus on God and continue in my prayers. At the same time there was a deep desire to go out and reach out to people in need.
Prayer helped us to feel the presence of God in this situation as people were getting healed and cured. It has been a grace-filled time to be with the Lord and put all our trust in Him, who takes care of the whole Universe and who is continuously at work.
“To fall in love with God in such a way that we spend our strength in proclaiming Him, living free from fear, constantly “going forth”,and trusting in Him (Decrees)”.
As I was spending time in prayer the following are my personal experiences:
- Experience of healing within
- Freedom from fear and anxiety
- Experience of protection
- Peaceful and serene deep within
- Praying genuinely for the people
I began to integrate all that was happening within and around me, and I felt it is important to give a thought to contemplative life; a life lived in silence, introspection and prayer. It is here that the real spark of our lives emerges. While holding the needs of the world in my heart, I was finding my existence in God. This relationship further strengthens and accompanies me to face the situations. I feel energized and empowered in God’s love to move forward in extending our support in whichever ways are possible to help the people in need.
Sr. Jacklin Ghonsalves, aci