Archive for the ‘Ignatian’ Category

Times of Discernment – Clarity

November 24, 2015

clear pathThere are moments in our lives when we are faced with a choice and we simply KNOW what we must do. There is a great clarity about what God is asking and we are freely able to respond because regardless of the consequences our path is clear.

St Paul’s conversion is a good biblical example – in a moment of clarity he was able to understand completely that God was calling him to change direction, and he responded. Perhaps you know more ordinary examples – people who experience ‘love at first sight’ marrying and remaining faithful throughout the whole of their lives to a single moment of clarity; people who have always had a certainty about a particular vocational choice, where even in spite of opposition or discouragement they have ‘known’ it was the right choice.

Some people may say that at these times discernment isn’t necessary – simply a decision. It may be more true to say that the discernment has already taken place in opening us up to God’s grace and enabling us to have the courage to respond freely and wholeheartedly.

The grace to trust and respond to God’s clear prompting comes through the daily opening up of our lives and the growth in trust that God is with me.

Challenge:

What have been the moments of clarity in my own life?

How can I grow in my ability to trust these moments and to act on them with confidence?

FCJ Pilgrimage – Issoudun

July 29, 2015
The Hospice of St Roch

The Hospice of St Roch

Marie Madeleine lived in Issoudun as a teenager and among the stories that we are familiar with from this period of her life is one about how she used to visit the sick in the hospice of St Roch. Visiting there you see an image of the women at the foot of the cross carved into the wall outside, and inside is a striking statue of Mary Magdalene clinging to the foot of the cross. Seeing these images I couldn’t but be led to consider the impact they would have had on Marie Madeleine’s spirituality and understanding of herself.

Mary Magdalen

Mary Magdalen

‘The cross will be our rallying point’

‘My name is Magdalene. I will follow my patron saint who so loved Jesus, … as to accompany him in his journeys and labours, ministering to him even to the foot of the cross with the other holy women who did not like the apostles, abandon him, but proved to be his faithful companions…’

Equally as striking is the large modern statue of Mary at the foot of the cross which is in the sanctuary and frames the altar at the Church of the Sacred Heart in the MSC centre where we stayed.

This image shows Mary holding one hand up towards the pierced side of her Son, whilst her other hand faces outwards. Mary is depicted as a strong and still, she doesn’t shy away from the suffering. Instead she appears to be receiving from Jesus, and giving. To me it is as though His life is flowing out through her to others.

Perhaps this is a helpful image for each of us as disciples… that of placing ourselves in such a way that Christs life can flow out though us to the world. 

issoudun

Life as a Novice – FCJ Formation

September 29, 2014
Novitiate is a fairly intense time of formation. It comes after postulancy and is a formal step into the Society. During novitiate we live in community and are accompanied by a named sister (novice director). We do study of the FCJ Constitutions, learn more about our spirituality, have an opportunity to deepen our prayer life and live reflectively. We also do apostolic work in situations which are different to our normal ministry or job. As an Ignatian congregation we also do the Spiritual Exercises – a 30 day silent retreat. Here are some reflections from Rowena, one of our current novices. Rowena is from the Philippines but is doing her novitiate in Indonesia. rowena
REFLECTIONS ON NOVITIATE BY ROWENA JAMBARO NOV FCJ
Novitiate is a great invitation and it is the most challenging phase of the journey of my life so far.  For me it is a precious time in which I am so much closer to God.  It’s a school of new beginnings made up of many elements: welcoming; learning; growing; exercising; living; deepening and letting go.
 
I am learning so many things during this special time: how to grow the love of Jesus in my heart; how to live with Jesus as the centre of my life; how to know myself better; how to stretch myself more in love for others; how to be a woman at the foot of the cross and go beyond it; how to be a contemplative in action, particularly in my daily living.
 
I have valued and enjoyed my apostolic ministries: visiting and accompanying the sick; teaching children and working with youth.  I have been inspired and helped by all those I have worked with and for.
 
Lots of questions come into my mind to ponder???  How to give myself fully to Jesus? How to love him faithfully, to follow him tenderly and serve him lovingly?  It is not always easy but bit by bit and through prayer I am aware of how to respond and I go on learning day by day.  Throughout this pilgrimage of my life Jesus is indeed my faithful companion. It is his everlasting love that strengthens my faith, hope and love.
 
I have been helped by the unconditional love and endless support of our novice director throughout this journey.  She has helped me and directed me as I have been moulded and shaped through God’s love.  I am grateful too to the many companions who have loved and supported me in so many ways.  God’s grace is always there for me.  Thanks be to God for love always in all things.  United in mind, heart and prayer with all those who read this.  God bless each one of you.

Contemporary Crosses

April 16, 2014

img_3809-e1396779671268As we move through Holy week I am reminded of our Chapter Decree;

“As women of the Church, standing at the foot of contemporary crosses, we are channels of hope, love and mercy in our villages, towns and cities. “

So much about this week is filled with beauty and life; the blossom on the trees, the weather, a less frenetic timetable… it makes my heart sing!

Yet there is so much around that is filled with pain too. So many aspects of our world where we can meet the crucified Christ. I watch the news of Ukraine and its people teetering on the edge of civil war; or a woman in the USA who murdered her new born infants; the people of Syria coping with so many years of war and displacement; or simply the elderly man in the local pharmacy looking for company and a friendly face. To me these are all contemporary crosses. All places in which God cries out in people’s lives for love, compassion, and hope.

 

 

TRAVELLING HOME FROM THE CHAPTER

November 6, 2013

Barbara, Beta and I are in process of travelling back to Indonesia from the Chapter.  We are probably the last members of our group to return home.  I am aware that there is a “rightness” about returning.  After all the time of preparation and the intense work of the Chapter it is time for the most important part of all – that is to LIVE out of our Chapter Directions.  We are called to live more fully our call as FCJs and to be increasingly creative in the way we respond to the needs of our time.  May we move forward together – always in the service of God and of God’s people.

FRANCIS HAS RE-ENERGISED US ALL!

April 9, 2013

Isn’t it great the way we are all suddenly really interested in what is going on in the Vatican?  In our house we can’t stop talking about Francis I and what he’s doing for the Church, the world and all of us…What joy that we
are so keen on what is going on in the Church!  Francis has energised us all!  FCJs like Jesuits are ready to be missioned anywhere by the Pope for the sake of God’s mission.  While Francis may not directly mission us if we are opening to what he is saying and doing we can take our inspiration from his example and words…and go and do likewise…

Holy Thursday Prayer

March 28, 2013

chapel Holy Thursday

This picture was taken in the Chapel in our new community in London. We prayed today, Holy Thursday, with the Church and with our FCJ Sisters throughout the world that the thirst of Jesus may touch our hearts and lives, leading us to hand over our lives with generosity and faith to one another and to all to whom we are sent. 

God’s faithfulness will never fail nor will he ever withdraw his love. FCJ Constitutions 229

 

 

Holy Thursday – The day the FCJ Society was founded

March 28, 2013

Holy Thursday is a special day for all of us who live the FCJ Charism  – it’s the day when the Society began. After years of questioning and discernment Marie Madeleine knew in her heart that this was what God was asking of her. And she said YES.

That YES is significant – without her choice, her agreement, her willingness to take the consequences, the Society would have remained only a holy idea. In any discernment there comes a point where we have to CHOOSE, we have to have the COURAGE to take a step. We may not be certain, the way may seem hidden or difficult, but like Marie Madeleine there comes a moment of trust that God is with us, that Jesus is our companion, and we are called to respond.

 

the_washing_of_feet

‘That night, Holy Thursday, 30th March 1820, holy in its moving commemorating of the institution of the Eucharist, Marie Madeleine watched before the Altar of Repose. As she dwelt on the great love of her Lord on the mysteries of his paschal meal, passion and death, she gave him her heart, her soul and her entire being, consecrating herself at the foot of the cross to the work for which God had been so long preparing her. In this hidden way, in the silence of her heart, the Society of the Faithful Companions of Jesus was born. 

(Marie Madeleine) and her future companions would be women Jesuits, companions of Jesus, sharing by divine gift his spirit, his heart ad his mother. The Lord himself would be their founder and director, Mary their mother and superior. In complete self forgetfulness they would spend their lives for the glory of God and the salvation of souls. Their rule would be that of St. Ignatius. Poverty, humility, obedience and gentleness were to be their inseparable companions leading them to  reflect, in so far as human weakness allowed, the life of Jesus. (God’s Faithful Instrument – P Grogan fcJ)

CONSUMERISM – WHAT’S THE REAL PRICE?

January 21, 2013

I recently read an article describing the work of a woman called Annie Leonard who is  passionate about helping us to live sustainably.I learned that of all consumer goods bought by consumers only 1% remains in use six months later.  This pattern of consumption is very wasteful and it has huge consequences for the environment as most of those goods are not biodegradable.  Many consumer goods are also  the product of an unjust economic situation.  This is a huge challenge to me to live more simply and to consume less.  How else to live justly and with a care for creation and for future generations?

WHEN THE SONG OF THE ANGELS IS STILLED (Howard Thurman)

January 11, 2013

When the Song of the Angels Is Stilled
When the song of the angels is stilled,
When the star in the sky is gone,
When the kings and the princes are home,
When the shepherds are back with their flocks,
The work of Christmas begins:
To find the lost,
To heal the broken,
To feed the hungry,
To release the prisoner,
To rebuild the nations,
To bring peace among people,
To make music in the heart.

Howard Thurman.

Let the work of Christmas begin! Let’s begin it together!