STAYING OPEN AND CONNECTED IN THIS TIME OF CONFINEMENT

"Openness" is the word we have chosen to describe to you our life during these last months.

Openness to the Church, to the World, to the Communities despite a period of confinement, sometimes strict, sometimes less so, which restricts our contacts with the outside world.

We received with great joy the Apostolic Letter of our Pope Francis "With a Father's Heart", on this 150th anniversary of the declaration of St Joseph as patron of the universal Church. It has guided our prayer during March, the month dedicated to him.

In addition to our personal reading of it, our Sister Delegate suggested that communities choose one of the qualities noted by the Holy Father, a reflection of what is alive in them. This allowed us to share among ourselves as a community, but also with the other communities, since the fruit of this reflection was sent to all. It was a good way of listening to others and of connecting with each other at a time when we could not meet as a delegation.

During this important time of Lent, our prayer centred on these suggestions:

A) CCFD-TERRE SOLIDAIRE, a Christian NGO which acts against all forms of injustice throughout the world. Its commitment to greater justice and solidarity is rooted in the Gospel and the social thinking of the Church. It proposes and supports concrete actions on the ground. A small spiritual booklet given to each of us allowed us to walk with a number of committed Christians on the theme: "We all live in the same house". This theme was of particular interest to us as we have been involved in the "Green Church" initiative of the Church of France for two years. We understand better that "everything is linked and as human beings... intertwined by the love that God has for each of his creatures and which also unites us with tender affection, to brother sun, sister moon, sister river and mother earth..."(ยง92)

Every Saturday afternoon, the community met for a time of prayer and reflection along the following lines

1. Listening to the Lord's call by sharing one of the Sunday texts

2. Contemplating this world through a passage from LAUDATO SI

3. Seeking a path of conversion leading to action: finding out about CCFD projects carried out in different countries of the world. Our personal and community Lenten deprivations enabled us to give a sum of money to support these projects

4. Giving thanks to the Lord.

B) OUR DIOCESE: inviting every Christian in the diocese to read and pray the Gospel of St Mark continuously, according to a reading guide for each day of Lent.

These different tools have helped us to open up to others, starting with the sisters in our community, and to feel connected to many people throughout the world and the Church.

C) WELCOME IN OUR COMMUNITY:

Despite the limited space in our house, we were happy to welcome several Sisters for a time of rest. This was a rich moment of getting to know each other better.

In these difficult and anxious times for our countries, conscious of our limits, we try to remain informed of the situations in the world and feel solidarity through prayer with all the communities and people in trial.

In this Easter season we are invited to hope. Let us allow ourselves to be loved by Christ, our Life, who opens our tombs and makes us glow with his luminous Presence.

Sacred Heart Community