Heart's ease - an infusion was said to help mend a broken heart

Friday, 24 November 2017

The times in which we live...

The times in which we live call for fervour, fidelity and generosity. The heart's best security is to trust in God alone. ~ St Madeleine Sophie Barat

Sitting down to pray with the material for our monthly prayer for vocations I was especially struck by these words. Only an hour or so earlier we had sighed and spoken with anguish of the times in which we live, as we shared the news of the terrorist atrocity in Egypt, of so many hundreds killed, injured and indelibly traumatised by this attack on worshippers at prayer. The times in which we live seem to be especially violent, unstable and ruthlessly terrifying.

And yet... I do not know exactly when, in her long life, Sophie wrote these words, but it occurred to me that the times in which we live are probably no more violent and fearful than the times in which she lived... times filled with their own revolutions, wars, intolerance and terrorism. And that Sophie's times, like ours, like all times, also overflow with hatred's opposites: with kindness, generosity, compassion, solidarity and love; with people called, in the midst of all this, to be peacemakers and reconcilers, called to live and love, not for themselves, but for the common good and for the healing and wholeness of their world. We need to remind ourselves of this, hold on to it, and be among those responding to the call to reconciliation and healing.

The times in which we live, with all their pain and anguish, beauty and hope, call for - and call forth - vast reserves of fervour, fidelity and generosity. And to paraphrase the prayer with which we ended our community prayer this evening...

Let us pray that other women, filled with the desire to spread your compassion and love to the ends of the earth, will respond to the call... to love and prayer, attention and openness, steadfast purpose and living faith...

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