I became an FCJ because when I read Marie Madeleine’s response to God’s offer of love in “Comme Une Flamme ardente“, I knew that I was in touch with a truth, a truth only partially glimpsed… but a truth that had found resonance in me. Truth has always mattered to me so I was ready to explore. I was looking for a way to respond to Love… something felt yet not truly understood.
When I read “Comme une flame ardente“, about our foundress’ response to God’s love, I couldn’t put it down. It struck me that God must have been looking for a human vessel so that another incarnation or embodiment could take place: a person with enough inner space to keep alive the warmth and light of love through something as clear to understand as faithful companionship.
The holy women who remained at the foot of the cross had mirrored faithful companionship. Marie Madeleine felt called to gather a similar group who would embody those words in flesh and bones. Their natural backbone, “courage and confidence” would enable them to live simply so that they could keep responding to that initial call of love.
We FCJs are still trying to keep that flame of love alive. The flame may flicker but we “hang in”. Rituals and practices have helped to keep it alive but have evolved with time. Today we have got as far as talking about “courageous re-imagining” and being impelled to “incarnate contemplative presence wherever we are”. That phrase may not speak in twenty years’ time; we will use new language because fresh insights will have drawn us deeper into spiritual intimacy with Jesus, our faithful companion.
As for me now, in my better moments I find myself saying: I have received so much. What more can I do for Christ?
Sr Mary lives now in Bucharest and presents an English-language programme, From Heart to Heart, in Ora Catolica, a Romanian channel.