Such was the invitation for 700 young religious who were gathered in Paris in early May during this year of consecrated life.
These religious, who came from all parts of France, were of diverse nationalities, belong to different monastic or apostolic orders, with different spiritualities. Truly an overwhelming diversity!
We were five RSCJ (from Belgium, France and Spain) who participated in this meeting. There were conferences (like the one given by Archbishop José Rodríguez Carballo, Secretary of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life), sharing in groups, time of prayer, celebrations, and a liturgy in the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.
Being missionaries of joy means living:
- the joy of "being loved by God, called by God": this, we realized, is what above all unites us across all our differences - this love, this call which we must remember every day, as Msgr. Carballo reminded us, so that a deep joy underlies our living even in the midst of difficulties;
- the joy of our meeting together and of discovering the rich diversity of religious life in France;
- the joy of sharing with other young sisters and brothers our daily joys through our mission, our communities, our prayer, but also our difficulties and the challenges we encounter today;
- the joy of sensing that the Holy Spirit continues to call young men and women to live in Christ and to follow him; and,
- the joy of recognizing as Religious of the Sacred Heart that our spirituality gives us this life and this joy to which we bear witness in our world.
Let each of us, wherever we are, be missionaries of this joy!
Amélie Jarrouse rscj