From Sr. Càrol Garcia Murillo, Spain
I still remember when a few months ago, Sr. Carmen Sammut invited me to participate in our General Chapter. I couldn’t believe what this offered to me and, at the same time, I was invaded by a big emotion.
It was not easy to negotiate with the doctor to be able to spend three weeks in Rome, but I managed no less than eight days! Although I would have preferred it to be more, I was happy and very grateful. Many of you were able to see it. However, I’ll be honest with you: due to my physical fragility, I don’t think I would have been able to stay in Sacrofano for three full weeks, following your intense and fruitful pace of work, which I undoubtedly admired.
The days before my departure I felt great uncertainty, fear of the unknown, excitement for the meetings with Sisters with whom I lived in the past, joy for being able to personally meet many of you whom I had only met in virtual encounters… What a great gift! Finally, in that week that we shared, I was able to live with my five senses many things that, until then, I had only imagined, thought, intuited… But being able to reflect and pray personally and then to share essential aspects of our Family was a challenge at times, but very necessary and enriching.
In the days that I could live in Sacrofano, working so hard on seeing and understanding clearly the great difference between “changing and transforming”, made it possible for me to travel inside myself.
It was not easy, but it was necessary to name some aspects that I needed to keep in mind in order to work with them. From the beginning I had in mind a little story that my Luganda teacher told me during the months I was learning my first African language, in Kisubi (Uganda). I will never forget it:
“In a village surrounded by a lush forest and varied vegetation, there was a bird that had been on the same branch for a long time. It seemed that fear had trapped him in such a way that he was a slave to himself and was afraid to change his position.
No one understood what was stopping him from flying again, and although many tried to get him to fly, all to no avail. The inhabitants of the town, one by one, would come together during different hours of the day and do the following: one spoke delicately telling him to fly again, another applauded encouraging him to spread his wings, a woman moved and shook the branch of abruptly to see if that would encourage it to take flight…
Until, finally, the only neighbor woman who was missing to approach the bird, stealthily approached it, caressed it and cut the branch. Then the bird flapped its wings and flew until it was out of sight”.
Thanks to the Chapter facilitators and those moments of reflection that invited us to silence and prayer in order to share them later, I was able to find myself to understand the difference between change and transformation. It is clear that when fears paralyze us and we can hardly move forward, invaded by uncertainty, we can only make small changes in our lives. However, when we can definitely name what worries us, being aware of what is happening to us, then we are able to take a step forward and move on, there is a transformation: we feel free like the bird ready to fly, because there is an inner strength and confidence that did not exist in us before.
How I would like this much-needed process to be possible in me and in each one!
I was able to follow the remaining two weeks of the Chapter from my home and I could witness a great transformation in our MSOLA family. I give thanks for everything I lived up to now and I ask the Spirit of the Lord to accompany and to guide the new General Council and each one of us in our mission!