[Province of España Sur] The 10th and 11th of February a group of Daughters of Charity and lay people who work with them, met in the Provincial House of España Sur to enjoy some days of sharing their faith and experiences and acquiring a better formation. The topic chosen was in conjunction with that chosen by the Province for this year for reflection in all our meetings, “Sensitivity”.
Although I have already participated in several of these encounters, this time I came with a new expectation since the spokesperson was a Daughter of Charity. Until now it has been always a priest or lay person who directed these encounters. The morning began by lifting up our eyes to the Lord proclaiming with Saint Mathew’s Gospel: “I give you thanks, Father, for, although you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, you have revealed them to the childlike… ”
Sister Magdalena, Provincial Councillor for Social Work, introduced Sister Mª Jesus Arrula as a “Daughter of Charity”, without any more additions. This tells us of her vocation and what she really is. She belongs to the Pamplona Province and she serves the Poor whom the Lord and the Company have entrusted to her in a school. The meeting began with a song, “He went along the roads saying: Friend am I, I am a friend“, bringing us to know that Christ is among us, to help us, never to judge us, as true friends should do. In her conference Sister defined the concepts of gift, value, service and effective love so that we may all speak one language. Later on, she would explain the values: their characteristics, hierarchies and theories.
Sensitivity is the ability to awaken an attentive look, to be surprised and to be moved. It is the capacity to be alert, developing the evangelical attitudes of empathy, compassion and fondness. It is to engage in everyday listening to each other, being supportive, admiring beauty and awakening the artistic sense.
We must inform our vision, because another vision is possible. What does one see with the eyes of Jesus? It is to have a compassionate vision. We need a delicate heart that can reach those who suffer; a transparent vision, without prejudices or obstacles; a vision of courage, without fear, doing good works above all. Finding Jesus’ vision is to feel called and sent by Him to make present his expression of love. Children figure in all Sisters’ experiences and they exemplify all that she shared with us.
Sr Magdalena always has Saint Vincent de Paul and Saint Louise de Marillac present in her presentation, to make us understand that, although many forms of understanding exist, Christ guides the Vincentians in a specific way.
To conclude, she encourages us: Do not fear! Fill your heart with the love of God, love of the Poor, love of those who need you… and your task will be very easy. But it also launches a commitment by us: “The Poor are a gift and deserve the best servants“. This is our task: to be formed personally, professionally and spiritually so that our service is of a good quality and has a special warmth. So “the Poor are really our Masters and Lords” and we are their best and most faithful servants.
Summary of text by Sister Mª Jesus Arrula, H.C.