Our contemplative–active life as Franciscan Missionaries of Mary is founded on our Charism. Offering myself for God’s Kingdom is what I understood as the best way to respond to his love. I have offered myself unreservedly to live this offering in my being faithfully and joyfully each day. This is not easy to live to the full every day yet I have experienced, believe and say like St. Paul “The grace of God is sufficient for me”. I have to be humble and be open enough to the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
I would say that the charism is what guides my the attitude in trying to live my life daily as a good Franciscan Missionary of Mary. This attitude is based on union with the Lord. I can live my self-offering as I adore and draw strength from the Eucharist, from the Most Holy Trinity: the Beauty which is seen by Mother Foundress. There are times when I have to adjust and manage to do this in the face of human needs, of my limitations that pull me from all sides, making me preoccupied with other roles, and thus attempt to say, ‘I am so busy’. I must be firm and find the balance between prayer and work in order to be God-centred, to adore and contemplate him faithfully every day. In this way, I may be able to share to others the good news I experience and the God whom I contemplate, as Mary of the Passion has shown me and said that our mission must flow from our spirituality. At the same time, the courage and strength to be faithful to loving disponibility, like mother Mary, is sometimes difficult : to be a ‘yes’ to others or in the community even when I don’t share the same opinion, or when things do not go according to my plan – all this is never easy, yet the abandonment and kenosis have always been my help. To read often the account of the passion of the Christ as suggested by Mother Foundress, encourages me to live my self-offering and to call down the reign of God, first in the community, and then to the people.
My experience makes me certain that everything must begin first from me and from the community with the sisters God gives me so that, together, we will be agents accomplishing our mission of proclaiming that the kingdom of God is at hand. I am able to experience and accept the beauty of unity in diversity in living happily and faithfully our interculturality, and in being open to universality which is the spirit of our institute. My personality and the call to maturity pose to me real challenges so as to adapt to other cultures. It is important that self-acceptance has to happen first, and then, the acceptance of others as they are, in the communities and in the society, so that I can be an instrument who proclaims to others the good news I received. Life-witness is necessary in the mission. I am able to give life-witness by practicing renunciation as a good FMM ; the words of St. Francis must take flesh in me so that I may always proclaim with my life and use words only when necessary. The capacity to learn new languages, the political and cultural conditions and the religious beliefs in our places of mission, as well as the readiness to listen are tools that enable us missionaries to integrate into the new places where we are sent.
I am trying and learning to say “My God and My All” meaningfully and with conviction like St. Francis. This is very essential for me to be able to detach from worldly things, to humble myself and be ready to go at the service of the poorest and marginalized. I am able to embrace others and live the Charism through detachment and by being humble enough.
Sr Maria Yaw Myu Mang fmm