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Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day

This is always a special day and I mean to spend extra time with the Lord as this is a day for expressing love. I will also be thinking of the Valentine's Day in 1960 when I landed in Chile and was driven to the old convent and school in Santiago. Reverend Mother DuRousier had made the first foundation in Chile in 1854 and had moved the community into this huge place that actually had thirteen patios. An enormous cedar in one of them had been planted by her and the Community gathered in summer beneath its shade for recreation. Of course, I did not know this when I arrived and only remember being faced with food the Sisters had kept hot for us; we had been fed several times since leaving Rome and I could not eat a bite. My companion, a Japanese Religious, to be polite sampled everything. As we did not speak Spanish, the conversation was difficult but I remember feeling very much at home in this huge place. It was quite warm and my tiny room had a curtain so the door was open onto one of the many galleries. The next day I discovered the little Chapel in the back of the convent where Mother du Rousier was buried. We spent the first days getting a "permanency" card that would enable us to remain in Chile for the rest of our lives for that is what missionaries did at that time. I remember feeling that I was a Valentine sent to Chile and that Chile was definitely my Valentine.

Here is something from The Gospel of Joy or as I read in America: The Joy of the Gospel!! I like that better!

Every Christian is a missionary to the extent that he or she has encountered the love of God in Christ Jesus: we no longer say that we are "disciples" and "missionaries", but rather that we are always "missionary disciples". If we are not convinced, let us look at those first disciples, who, immediately after encountering the gaze of Jesus, went forth to proclaim him joyfully: "We have found the Messiah!" (Jn 1:41). The Samaritan woman became a missionary immediately after speaking with Jesus and many Samaritans come to believe in him "because of the woman’s testimony" (Jn 4:39). So too, Saint Paul, after his encounter with Jesus Christ, "immediately proclaimed Jesus" (Acts 9:20; cf. 22:6-21). So what are we waiting for?

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