Today we want to share with you that we are already well prepared to begin the month of Spiritual Exercises on March 1. We count on your prayers, we go trusting… ready to be transformed.

During this month and a half of the Third Probation we have been guided by the theme that we chose during a week of sharing and discerning our personal calls and that of the Institute, and what it means to be in this house, near St. Raphaela Mary.

We share with you the reflection of one of our group about the theme:

WALKING IN TRUST… (from the roots, to the roots, from the heart to the heart) …LET OURSELVES BE TRANSFORMED.

“In the first place, let me share with you why walking in trust is so important, whether it be on this journey of the Third Probation or in our life. You must have heard many people say that it is difficult to trust in God, in this person, in this sister, in the way that you do it. But, believe me, it is much more difficult not to do so…

It is difficult to trust in God, this means letting go of what you want. It means exchanging your will for His. It means letting things happen, without knowing the result. It means realizing that we are not in control. If we do not trust in God, we want everything to happen our way. And then, when the circumstances are out of our control, we are worried, we are anxious, we feel frustrated., we struggle for the results, we are distracted and indifferent in regard to everything that is not what we want… our viewpoint becomes narrow, we go from one problem to another…

Nevertheless, when we choose to trust in God, we are at peace. We do what we can… and trustingly leave the result in His hands. Things do not have to turn out as we want.  Confiding in God is a choice. It is recognizing where our responsibilities lie, and where His lie. It gives a sense of assurance and security. When we choose to trust in God, we surrender our will to His, knowing that what happens, although it may not be what we want, will be for His greater glory, and therefore for the good of all, including my own. When we choose to trust in God, we recognize that this life is not all. There is much more, even though we cannot see it.

Experience has shown me, over and over, that once I turn the problem, the fear, the frustration over to God, He gives me peace.

Living in Rome, every day we have the privilege of seeing and savoring the encounter with Saint Rafaela and praying with her, of desiring that she may transmit to us her universal, humble and trusting heart. All her life, and especially that part spent in Rome, that “hidden” life of 32 years, is a valid and powerful testimony of her trust in God. It is a call for us to trust fully in God, in His divine providence, not only for one day, or for the 6 months of the Third Probation… but with all our heart and all our life. Yes, you are right when you say that it is difficult to trust in God. But without a doubt, the journey is harder, sadder, narrower and darker when you choose not to trust in God.

From the roots. We want to go to the roots of Rafaela’s heart where we find the concerns of Jesus, the sentiments of Jesus… that are beautifully embodied in the spirit of our foundresses, of our charism. We savor once again the grace of the charism, feeling our identification with the plan of God in our foundresses, which has been lived throughout the 145 years of its history. We observe that the Constitutions are a legacy that has been lived in each Sister of the Institute, in each country and community to which we belong. We want to read again and reflect in depth on the documents of the Institute, a history of “the making and the undoing of plans.” Foundations for a Building, Mirar al Corazón, Letters, Constitutions… there we find our Congregation’s source and its reason for being —  for the Church and the world. They are “a project that has to mature and grow stronger in time,” in and through us… Besides, we journey again to the roots of our own history, our first love, our vocation step by step with Jesus in our heart as he takes us by the hand, and we do it together.

Here through His Heart, His concerns, His sentiments, His gaze, His way… let ourselves be transformed… in our way of looking, of loving, of adoring of serving step by step…

Saint Paul says: “not it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me”… in His Heart I will find the life that I have always sought, the life for which I was born. I will seek naturally what is best for the others; I will do to others only what I would want them to do to me, and I will find faithful companions, spiritual friends, in whom I can trust, with whom I can journey. I will see naturally the beauty in the here and now. I will see in the marvels of the ordinary, of the little things the presence of the Spirit of God. I will live vibrantly and expectantly, ever more boldly. I will make good use of the creativity of God, and  I will live with enthusiasm, that is, with the energy of God. I will find satisfaction, joy, no matter what happens in my life. We can discover that we are one with God, but we have to die to ourselves, through prayer, the examen, service, pausing, looking and listening, through the Word of each day, alert to what we think, what we feel, what we say…

To this we are called: to awaken, to awaken our own unity with God, to feel within ourselves the very life and energy of God, so that we can say with Paul, “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me”… This is “the unity of life that our mission requires” and that in the Third Probation we are invited to evaluate. (C. 105)

For all of this and sure that much more Walking in trust…let ourselves be transformed.

Cándida Ribeiro, aci