Dear friends and family,
Sister Edna Hess • President, Sisters of the Precious Blood
As we celebrate this Easter season, I wish each and every one of you the blessings and joy that come from walking with Jesus during Lent, Holy Week and His Resurrection on Easter Sunday.
Probably for most of us, Holy Week had a special significance this year as we listened to the news about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the killing of innocent women, men and children, and thousands of Ukrainian people seeking refuge in nearby countries. Whose heart could not go out to these suffering people! They are part of the suffering Christ today.
In this issue of Sharing & Caring, some of our Sisters share their prayers or insights on prayer. Our foundress, Mother Maria Anna Brunner, was a woman of prayer. She lived in a time of political conflict and social evils, which she brought to the Lord in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. Her prayer led her to be concerned about others and to help others. She fed the hungry who came to her door, and she never left home without bread in her bag to share with hungry persons along the way.
What about our prayer? Is it just about God and myself or Jesus and myself? Does our prayer lead us to be more compassionate? Does it lead us to be more concerned about what is happening in our world? In the Our Father, we pray that God’s Kingdom come, God’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven, and we ask God to forgive us as we forgive those who have offended us. Jesus taught us this prayer not only so that we would ask for God’s Kingdom to come and for His will to be done here on earth — he is also inviting us to create God’s rule here on earth and to do it out of a discerning heart that discovers what God’s will is for ourselves, family and friends, our country and our planet. With so much intolerance, racism, division and violence in our world, we are asked to forgive, to be compassionate and to work for healing — just as God is so forgiving, compassionate and healing for us.
“God is my heaven here below. I live with him. Even when I am walking, we speak together without being interrupted by anyone. If you would know him enough, you would love him. If you would stay with him for one hour, you would know heaven on earth,” writes St. Teresa of the Andes. “Only God can satisfy us. He is truth and unchangeable good. He is eternal love.” Canonized in 1993, St. Teresa was the first saint from Chile, where Sisters of the Precious Blood have ministered for six decades.
What if, like St. Teresa — and all the saints who have gone before her, and those who are yet to come — all of us would take more time to contemplate and reflect on Jesus’ words and actions? Our words and actions flowing from this time of prayer would lead us to be a more faithful image of Jesus in relation to others and to our common home. There would be more love, peace, compassion, understanding, forgiveness and healing in this world we live in today.