Friday, April 18, 2008

Poverty, the border and Psalm 8

I just came back from laredo, Texas where I attended the last meeting of the Inter-Congregational Novitiate. This last meeting-conference was on the Vow of Poverty. The presenter was Fr. Don Goergen, OP.

The Inter-Congregational Novitiate this year included the Dominicans Friars of the Province of St. Leo the Great, The Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth, the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word, the Cordi-Marian Sisters and us.

Of the many wonderful things Fr. said, I picked one that remained with me. He said that to truly live out the Vow of Poverty one must become a contemplative to let God "boil within" before it "boils over." I find this very touching, very close to my experience because as I said in the previous post, it's been almost ten years sice I first met the Sisters...I think if anybody would have said to me that it would be ten years before I made first vows I would have gone to look somewhere else, but nobody did (here I smile.)

I believe that God wanted to use this time to "boil within me," to prepare me, to whisper to my heart before sending me out to extend the wonderful mystery of his Incarnation, before His love would boil over...but I am such an impatient creature! It is easy too see it now, but it wasn't so easy then...Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him (Psalm 37:7) Easy to say, not easy to do...

Fr. Don also used the Beatitudes in his talk about Poverty. "Blessed are the poor in Spirit for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven" (Matthew 5:3) Fr. then also asked us to write one Batitude according to what we were learning and where we were at this time. Since waiting has been my theme these last days my Beatitude was: "Blessed are they who wait in darkness for God will arrive and shed His Light on them."

Poverty was experienced first hand during this time. on Thursday morning we went to the border between Mexico and the Us to pray for the immigrants, the ones who have died, the ones who will, the ones who have crossed, the ones who will, and while we were praying we noticed two men who were swimming to the American side. The waters were very high and very strong. The river is known in English as "the Rio Grande River" in Spanish is known as the "Rio Bravo" which means the "Fierce River." Many people have died trying to beat its fury, trying to find a better life for their families. It's a sad story. So, the two men, either because of the fury of the water or because they saw us and got scared swimmed back to the Mexican sad. The whole experience left a wound in my heart. This is the kind of poverty that's hardest to live. There's nothing I can do for them.

So, I prayed. I prayed. I prayed. I wished God would part the waters for them like He did for the Israelites. But God calls me to something else. "Trust me", He says, "for I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you," declares the LORD...

And although my heart is still unsettled and rowdy over the border scene I pray that God allows me to continue to trust, to tame the high and fierce waters of my heart.

Meanwhile, I leave you with Psalm 8, written and sung by my own Sisters.

Praised be the Incarnate Word!


Michelle Monkou said...

I think that it was not time for them to cross - it was not in God's plan at that moment. I was an immigrant decades ago, but I still remember what it is like being in a new culture. I will also say prayer on their behalf.

Chema said...

Las escenas de los que viven en países pobres tratando de cruzar la frontera son muy desgarradoras y te hacen senter impotente. También en Europa, en España las vemos a diario y son muy impactantes, muy tristes. La Iglesia en España intenta ayudar a esas personas y hay testimonios ejemplares que invitan a no desesperar. Yo también me uno a su oración, hermana.