GC XXI. The thread from on high

GC XXI. The thread from on high

In order to enter deeper into the theme of this General Congregation, today we welcomed Sr. Nurya Martínez-Gayol as she expounded upon the meaning of hope as a theological virtue and a contextualized reality, as well as the dynamics that threaten our hope. As consecrated women today, we must be witnesses of hope in and for this world, becoming specialists in both patience and resistance, awakening and reactivating hope within ourselves as individuals but also as communities.

In order to allow the rich content to fall into fertile soil and to take root, we were invited in adoration to pray with an image of hope that comes from a parable by Johannes Joergensen: the spider descends to the place where it will make its web from one single strand of silk that “descends from on high.” If any other part of the web is fractured, the spider is able to repair it. However, this is not so if the strand that comes from above is cut; if this happens, the entire web falls apart and the spider departs as well, for there is nothing left from which it can recuperate its work. The “thread from on high” is theological hope. If our hope is placed in anything other than our Creator and Redeemer, the entire web of our labor and relationships falls apart. So long as the thread from above remains intact, delicate as it may be, the web remains and does not fear its own vulnerability and the uncertainty of its surroundings.

The afternoon was dedicated first to personal contemplation of our own experience and desires regarding four dimensions of hope: patient endurance, daring trust, daily martyrdom, and a hope lived for others. We then met again for 2 hours of spiritual conversation with our small group. Tomorrow we will share the fruits of these conversations with each other, yet we are already expressing our awe and gratitude for the depth of sharing that is created through these conversations and for the “sprouts of hope” that are therefore coming forth organically.

Tonight’s “Night of Hope” featured our missions in Indonesia and Peru, highlighting the direct relationship between the poor and the earth. Sr. Ana Pina (Portugal) shared with us about the widespread deforestation that is crippling the cultural and environmental reality of Indonesia, as well as the creative responses that the Sisters have provided and that they continue to explore. Sr. Vivian Vera (Perú) spoke of our mission in Santa Maria de la Nieve. Networking with other Congregations, we are responding to the critical calls from the Amazon Synod and Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation, “Querida Amazonia”. Even in a more relaxed atmosphere during these evening presentations, we continue to hear the loud cry that “the poor and the earth can wait no longer.”

We look forward to continuing to deepen into the theme throughout the week. Until our next encounter…a big hug!

(Sr. Nurya Martínez-Gayol’s talk has been recorded and will be made available to the Congregation.)