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

Tuesday, 30 October 2018

Bestirred in translation

The Pope's urgent call to Catholics worldwide to pray especially for the Church this month received a great deal of attention (and hopefully led to a great deal of prayer). Unfortunately, though, it may have detracted some attention from the planned intention, which rather affects me, as it's to pray for religious - and it's always good to be prayed for, and to know you're being held in prayer.

Specifically, the intention has been That consecrated religious men and women may bestir themselves, and be present among the poor, the marginalised, and those who have no voice. When I first saw this I was somewhat irked by that word, bestir: it speaks of a need to rouse or exert oneself, to make an effort, to give a damn - as if religious don't already do so, and need to be prodded by prayer into some sort of activity and concern! So I checked the Italian version of this intention (which I assume is the original language used), double-checked it with a couple of other languages, and discovered that the translator had taken a rather loose approach to the original prayer that religious reawaken their missionary fervour... 

So I ceased to be irked. Missionary fervour is something we all of us always need to keep fanning into a flame, and keep praying for an increase of, lest we become too quick to say we have done enough, served enough, given enough.

So, even though October is ending, please do continue to pray for religious, that, our missionary fervour reawakened and kept alive, we may be present with and for the poor, the marginalised and those without a voice. Pray that, as the world hardens and grows more divided, we may be where compassion, care and unity are most needed; that we may be there, too, with healing and hope. And please pray too that more young women and men will have the generosity and desire to allow themselves to be bestirred by the Spirit, and respond to God's call to religious life, lived with unsleeping fervour...

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