Stillness and movement

The refurbishment works on our house having finally finished last week, we now have a prayer room; a simple, light-filled space, into which we placed the Blessed Sacrament during a very homely and prayerful ceremony. There was a powerful sense of our community beginning anew as, accompanied by our visiting Superior General, we placed ourselves before God, along with all who will pray here.

For the reading I chose some extracts from a letter to the Society about the Eucharist, written almost twenty years ago, for the Society's birthday in 1998, by our then Superior General Patricia Garcia de Quevedo. Over the years I had somehow remembered its existence, although I had long forgotten much of its actual content - which means I had forgotten its depths, and the richness it contains of Patricia's insights into the eucharistic dimension of our spirituality, and how it is bound up with the open Heart of Jesus.

And so, what began as a quick skim through to find a half-remembered section happily became, instead, a slow, reflective reading and re-reading, with much to ponder and turn over as we enter Holy Week. Over the past few days I have been focusing on this paragraph in particular, which captures something of the inward-outward dynamism of our contemplative-apostolic vocation: -

The presence of the chapel, whatever its size and style, engraves on the walls of our house or apartment, the symbol that it is an Other who gathers us and unites us. It also expresses a certain form of prayer that marks the Society, adoration. Adoration is not passive. It sends us into the world. Let us not forget that the great apostolic visions of Madeleine Sophie and Philippine were born in eucharistic adoration... Thus, it is from this place, the heart of the Eucharist, that we look at the world and make our apostolic choices.

And in these words I saw stillness and movement; an abiding in Love which is at the same time its proclamation. I saw - and felt - a cycle as natural and fundamental as breathing in and out. I saw a reminder that we are gathered in community in the name of Jesus Christ... I saw stillness and contemplation and resting in our Source... an entering into the thoughts and desires of God's Heart... and I also saw dynamism and fire, energy, passion and inspiration... and the Source - our origin and reason - sending us out, always sending us out, to be his Heart on earth...