The FMM charism is above all “a gift from God”. It was entrusted to Bl. Mary of the Passion, who first lived it and then transmitted it to us who are her daughters. To live this charism in daily life and to try to transmit it to her Institute was not a simple matter for Bl. Mary of the Passion. She paid for it with her life, seeking in everything and everywhere to do the will of God. So for me, chosen and called to be part of this religious family that she founded, I learn day after day to live it by letting myself be helped by the five inseparable elements of the charism that she communicated to us: offering; Eucharistic adoration; mission; the example of Mary and Franciscan Spirituality. These five fundamental elements of the charism are very effective weapons in my daily life. They show me the way to follow every day. These elements are for me an orientation of life.
– Every day when I wake up, I offer my life to the Lord, and this continues in the daily routine through my successes and failures, sometimes invisible but which only God sees. I offer myself to Him as I am with my ups and downs learning to accept the being of my life.
– The Eucharistic Celebration prolonged by the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and the meditation of the Word of God regularly lived are the place where I find strength and light to start my day, without forgetting the community prayer which comforts me in all my daily actions. This practical experience of each day leads me to say with a certain personal conviction that Eucharistic Adoration is really the centre of my life and my missionary impulse.
– The mission welcomed in joy and disponibility, ready to leave one’s country to go far away to meet different cultures, as well as to stay there for the needs of the Church and the Institute, has become for me today, a reality to which I try to respond with all my heart; even if at times it requires great personal effort from me, it is not for this reason that I shrink from the mission to be accomplished. Filled with hope, I carry out my daily tasks in silence with great initiative and creativity. With joy, I like to submit and share my discoveries, but more often than not I encounter misunderstandings and sometimes misjudgements; but these do not hold me back. On the contrary, I welcome them with faith, waiting for God’s time. The mission is for me a path of conversion. I do not carry out this mission alone, I live it and accomplish it within a community where we are not only from different origins but also from different cultures, characters and status. For me, my motto is “to accomplish and to disappear” – such is my being. I do not do the mission to be seen or to get applauded. I am available to serve. But when sometimes there is no dialogue or true communication, misunderstandings arise and can hinder me from providing certain services. In spite of everything, the spirit of faith ends up prevailing, and I always say to myself, mission is a service, not a competition. It is my being FMM first before the doing. To be and to do well what I have to do with love, leaving it to others to perfect it.
– On this path of mission, Mary is for me a model that impels me to go forward without reckoning. She is “the way in the way”, said Bl. Mary of the Passion. For this mission, she wanted us to be “strong women”, not only physically but, above all, strong in faith. So, under the gaze and example of Mary, I lead my missionary life in silence. I renew this life every day and nourish it with prayers in the acceptance of my poor person called to grow in God.
– In Franciscan simplicity and far from the small discouragements that can arise, I live my FMM life, in joy and humility, always accepting in faith my poverty that is a part of me. I try to live simply with what is necessary and what is placed at my disposal, thinking every day of the poor who sleep outside in the cold begging for their daily bread. In the evening when mu day ends, before I go to sleep, I examine my conscience on the experience of these elements of strength, and I give thanks to God for what has been. I ask him for forgiveness for what has not been according to his will, and then I always write down in a corner of my private journal my resolution.
For me the charism is always present; there is in me this conviction that I have a charism, and no one can take it away from me. I try day by day to correspond to the spirit of Mary of the Passion through these five elements which are lived and experienced in fraternal community despite our cultural diversities. That is why I value my personal prayer life before any activity.
MEDA CECILE BONIBERE, FMM