I unexpectedly came across the following quote by Karl Rahner, SJ, which seems so appropriate in this season of Lent and especially in this year with Covid. Something to reflect on:
“The great and sad mistake of many people… is to imagine that those whom death has taken, leave us. They do not leave us. They remain! Where are they? In darkness? Oh, no! It is we who are in darkness. We do not see them, but they see us. Their eyes, radiant with glory, are fixed upon us. Oh, infinite consolation! Though invisible to us, our dead are not absent. They are living near us, transfigured… into light, into power, into love.”
I am sure we have all felt the impact of death, especially in the unexpected death, whether it be of a loved one or a member of our community.
April 5th, 2021 marks the 163rd anniversary of the death of Marie Madeleine. Although her death was not unexpected, no doubt it was still a sad loss for her community. Patricia Grogan fcJ described in her book, God’s Faithful Instrument, that Marie Madeleine’s death “brought no outburst of grief but rather a consoling feeling of peace which those present in the house found difficult to describe. The faithful companion was with her Lord, and it was as if she wished to share her joy with her daughters.”
Can we find comfort and hope in the possibility that ‘their eyes, radiant with glory, are fixed upon us’? Can we believe that we can be taken out of darkness through ‘infinite consolation?’ Can we be consoled in knowing that those who are absent from our lives are at peace in the arms of our Risen Lord?
As Companions in Mission, in our relationship with the FCJ Sisters, do we see Marie Madeleine ‘transfigured…into light, into power, into love’ living amongst us?
As we continue to follow the footsteps of Marie Madeleine in companionship with Jesus and with one another, let us remember all people who are suffering, especially those working for justice around the world, FCJ Sisters, CiM and the people of Myanmar.
In this beautiful season of hope and renewal, I wish you all….
Happy Easter, Joyeuses Pâques, Felices Pascuas, Buona Pasqua, Frohe Ostern, Paște fericit, Beannachtaí na Cásca Oraibh, Selamat Paskah, Maligayang Pasko, Pyaw shwin saya Easter hpyit par chay.
Love and Blessings,
CiM International Coordinator
Image: Marie Madeleine’s room in Paris, by Sr Claire fcJ