Rome (Italy) The Mother General of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Sister Yvonne Reungoat, in Circular 997 starts from a question that arises during this time of lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic: “What future awaits us?”.
In her reflection, Mother brings with her the testimonies of many FMA in the world who, despite the seriousness of the situation, live this time with faith and creativity in solidarity. A faith that “is not an idea, but a life. Above all, faith is an ever new relationship with the Lord. ”
Mother Yvonne invites us to go ‘beyond’ with the strength of the charism, recalling how a time of fragility and weakness experienced by Mother Mazzarello in 1860 during the typhus epidemic brought the Institute to birth. “We are all writing a new page in the ‘chronicle’ of our Institute: a page of hope and future!”
The existential questions about the uncertain future that opens up before the new generations also deeply affect the life of the FMA who, as Christians and educators, are called to be witnesses of a transparent faith with open doors, a ‘missionary’ faith.
“Faith is missionary or it is not faith and must be offered as a precious treasure; it must not remain closed inside a private property fence, but become a sign of the love and tenderness of God that embraces suffering humanity. It must ‘go out’ to prepare the ground so that the Holy Spirit can act in people also through our testimony.”
Faith is a gift of the Spirit to be shared with joy. In the complex reality we are experiencing, Mother invites us to face the challenges that the world presents, and together see the signs of hope, the ‘new shoot’ of opportunities that is sprouting: “Something new can flourish in this particular time if we are confirmed in faith and witness to it with joy and love. Love is always a source of novelty, because it is a gift of the Holy Spirit who by nature, is surprising creativity!”
Faith is a goal to be reached by walking, “a wonderful and demanding journey that requires great openness and availability and does not spare us the effort of searching, sharing, confronting”, to bring young people, as Don Bosco and Mother Mazzarello did, to meet the true happiness that is Jesus: “He is the path that opens us to lasting and unshakable hope in this hour of confinement.”
On the path to GC XXIV, the presence of Mary precedes and accompanies each FMA on the tiring but safe roads of today: “Cana is the today we are living, it is the privileged place where we hear the voice of our Mother who recommends us “To do” what Jesus expects of us: to live and share faith as a treasure that gives strength to face with hope all that is happening in the world.”
The conclusion of Circular 997 is a “simple and familiar” proposal:
“Commit ourselves to discover in our life, in our communities, and in the reality in which we express the charism, the signs of new shoots, even if only potentially, and irrigate them with the clear water of prayer, of trust, leaving aside any feelings of skepticism, of indifference, of doubt. We open the doors of our hearts and our homes to the ‘sun’ of hope, to the love that never disappoints, to the faith that gives us the joy of encounter! Let us help each other to be attentive to all the signs, even the smallest ones, because a new future is germinating in them. May the Holy Spirit whom we await on Pentecost make us passionate about our time! ”