The simplest answer is: the charism lives in me as much as I allow it to live. Since the beginning of my life in the Institute, I am sure that each one of us has this charism in her; and even more, each of us first carried this charism and then entered the Institute. I entered only because of the name of the Institute, I did not know the sisters before. Later, after I entered, it gradually became clear that what the Institute lives is very dear to me, is “mine”. Probably, every sister can say of the FMM charism: “it is mine”. The charism is alive according to whether I let it live each day. Adoration is a great value, every day we make adoration together or individually; these ‘personal’ moments especially show the importance of adoration. We try to set aside half an hour at the end of the day to be more or less consciously in adoration. Sometimes it is necessary to fight for the Eucharist because, in our region, Mass is only held 3 times a week, and the Constitutions speak of daily Eucharist (which, in case of impossibility, may be replaced by the celebration of the Word). It is therefore necessary at times to “be flexible” in order to go to the Eucharist: this is not always achieved, but it is worth it.
The Mission has always been important to me. It is still the case today. Every day is a test for me to see if it is still important. Every day I have the choice to stay home, or to go and visit someone, or at least walk down our street with a rosary in my hand. My still brief experience in Manaus, shows me that every EXODUS leads to a MEETING, but I have to decide if I will listen to the voice of the Charism, or maybe to tiredness, discouragement, fear (and they are calling out loud!).
St. Francis is teaching me to look deeper. It is not difficult to see the beauty of creation here in the Amazon, surrounded by forests, rivers, plants and animals that I have never seen before; but being aware of the responsibility for Creation – for the love of the Creator – is not always easy. It hurts to see rubbish in the streets, but even more to see the poverty of people, brothers and sisters. Mary and St. Francis teach me to go to everyone, but to go with what is most precious, with Jesus, and not with some “substitutes”. The element of Offering (Victim), just allows me to survive. It allows me to be certain that the lack of something or someone, will not kill me, but in fact is life giving
In fact, whenever I allow the Charism to unfold in my life, and not languish there, it gives life to me and to others. It is worse when I choose what is against the Charism. Then life slips away, it may be comfortable, but it is meaningless…
Let us allow the CHARISM to live in us, to burn, to set us on fire.
Jadwiga Stawaruk FMM