We began our meeting with a prayer led by Margaret Conroy rscj. We used the song,“Spirit of God in the clear running water,” and paid much attention to the meaning of the words, which speak of creation “groaning” until it is fulfilled.We then spent some minutes in exploring the image of the “transformation of the heart” by Jana Parkes. We saw the light in the middle of the heart, which we took as a symbol of hope and new life. We noticed blood splashing out of the heart and the cracks in in the background of the painting which spoke to us of the suffering of our world and the call for us to amend our lives so that the world may become whole again!
Washing one another’s feet.
Under this theme, we explored the relationships of power. Together, we discussed the impact of unbridled power. We came to a deeper understanding that unbridled power can lead to cruel and violent actions towards humanity and creation. We were reminded that power is available to us in many ways. We felt called and challenged to always have a self-reflection about our exercise of power and authority at all levels.
Transforming and being transformed.
We discussed structures and systems of injustice that touch us directly or indirectly. For example, the patriarchal structures and the competitive education system in our countries. We were reminded of the dangers of being complicit in an unjust system due to the many demands which this world-wide system imposes on us. We came to a deeper realization that whatever we do locally has got an impact on the whole world in the long run. We need to remind ourselves that we belong to something bigger than our immediate environment and be mindful that a single act we take individually or as a group can affect so many people either positively or negatively.
It became clearer to us that transforming the world needs combined efforts. The image which represents this aspect from the “Artisans of Hope” document is weaving. We need to put all the threads/ideas/resources together in order to have a long lasting solution.
We all agreed to the fact that acting together as One Body will definitely enliven our power to effect transformation of unjust structures and systems. However, it is important to note that the aspect of acting as One Body should begin with an individual’s responsibility/commitment of directing her energy/thoughts towards what the Body deems right. Failure to do so means we can achieve less as a Body.
Caring for our common home.
The reflection we had on the above theme helped us to understand the interconnectedness of all beings! The notion of a common home is a great reminder that we are called to share with the poor and other creatures of God what Mother Earth provides and also to take care of creation for future generations.
Welcoming people on the move: Walking with those who seek refuge for better future.
We are aware that we can only achieve this if we keep ourselves informed of what is happening to the migrants. As stated in the document, we need to be close to people’s reality in order to be able to assist them.
As we get moved to acts of care, we need to create healthy boundaries; that is, not to allow ourselves to get overcome by feelings of helplessness or paralyzed by fear but remain hopeful and believing that if our actions are done in love and purity of heart, they will definitely make a difference in the world. Nothing is wasted.
The document on the whole is a reminder to each of us that we have a responsibility for every action we take and that when we put our efforts together great things are possible. We can do this by supporting initiatives taken by individuals, enriching them with our ideas and forging the way forward as One Body.
As “artisans of hope,” each one is called to search for the broken pieces and as a Body put them together to redeem/reclaim the face of Mother Earth.
Sister Margie, special thanks to you for the many insights you shared with us in the line of JPIC! May the Almighty God bless you on our behalf!