Letter from the Superior General
of the Missionaries of Charity Sisters
Sick and Suffering Co-workers, Lay MC and Volunteers
Sr. M. Prema, MC
17 June 2015
“Let us never avoid or run away from difficulty, but follow our leader, Christ Jesus.”- St. Catherine of Siena
My dear Co-Workers, Active and Sick & Suffering, Lay MCs and Volunteers,
In a world tormented by uncertainty, fragmented by disunity, fearful of violence and calamities, what will help us to be carriers of God's love, peace, joy, and hope?
In our helplessness and confusion, we stand with Mary at Calvary at the foot of the Cross and hear Jesus assure us, "I am with you." We are never left alone, never left to ourselves. Our God is with us.
At times, it is my own weakness - my unforgiveness, hatred, jealousy, failures, suffering - that causes the turmoil in my heart. Let us become aware of the attacks of the devil who tries to pull us down with accusations from self, others, situations and even God. Immediately we must stop imagining and grumbling and turn to Jesus in our own heart, repeating with each heartbeat: "Jesus, I trust in you, Jesus, I trust in you." Is this not the spirit of loving trust given to the Missionaries of Charity Sisters, Brothers, and Fathers and to our Co-Workers, LMC’s and Volunteers? When Jesus called our Mother to start the work for the poorest of the poor, He said to her, "Trust Me lovingly, trust Me blindly, let Me act."
Let your heart repeat, "Jesus, I trust in you. Jesus, I entrust my family, friends, my work, all my problems and worries to you. "
Even as you rest, let the heart continue to pray, "Jesus, I trust in you."
Jesus will keep me safe in moments of temptation to pride, anger, envy, indifference. He restores calm, peace and strength as I repeat, "Jesus, I trust in you."
In the measure, I trust in Jesus and I entrust myself, everyone, and everything to Him, I will see Jesus working miracles in my life and around me.
Our sisters in Yemen remained with our poor after all the foreigners had left. In Aden the Easter Vigil Mass was very short. The priest consecrated many hosts so that the sisters may receive Jesus daily and adore Him in the Blessed Sacrament. Painfully they realized: without priest - no Sacrament of Reconciliation. Only Fr. George SDB remained there to reach out to our sisters in Sana'a, Taiz and Hodeidah, for which we are very grateful. Last week, Fr. Tom SDB, who volunteered to serve our sisters, arrived at Sana'a.
In the homes in Yemen, the shortage of electricity, water and fuel is the daily struggle of the sisters in their care for 60 patients in Aden, 98 patients in Sana’a, 58 patients in Taiz and 105 patients in Hodeidah.
Our sisters in Aden chose to stay with the mentally handicapped patients in their care when war broke out on 19 March 2015. After a few weeks, bread was no longer available in the shops. One morning, a man came to the sisters' house with sacks of flour. For two weeks, they baked bread outside in the compound even as bombs fell close by.
Then one evening, the superior announced to the sisters, “We have no more flour. Tomorrow morning, we will gather all the leftover flour, bake the last bread, and surrender ourselves to the Lord. He will feed our poor people and us, His little ones.”
Early the next morning, an elderly Muslim man brought to the sisters' gate 3 sacks of hot freshly baked bread, enough to feed the whole house, patients, workers and sisters, for two meals. He continued to come every morning at the same hour with the same amount of bread.
Awed by this Providence, the sisters asked him his name and what made him to risk his life in this situation to look for bread and to bring it to them. Jazir was getting up at 4 a.m. in search of bread. He answered, “Sisters, I need God to answer me. Since I started coming here, God walks with me.”
At another time, the sisters ran out of a particular kind of medicine. Without this medicine, one of the psychiatric patients was screaming uncontrollably. It was evening, and the sisters had no way of obtaining the medicine. They started to pray to Mother. At 6 p.m., a group of young doctors stopped at the house with the donation of a few boxes of medicines. The doctors were going away because their hospital had been closed due to the war. The first medicine the sisters saw was the very one that the patient needed to calm down.
Please join us in praying for our sisters and the poor in places such as Yemen, Syria, Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan.
The massive earthquake that struck Nepal on 25 April 2015 damaged some of our buildings. Our sisters and the poor in their care, however, were unharmed. Our sisters and brothers have been carrying on relief work, reaching out to the survivors in remote areas who have lost everything.
Our loving God is with us. We are never left alone. With that confidence, may we be carriers of God's love, peace, joy, and hope to all we meet each day, beginning in our families.
Let us allow Jesus to act in us by trusting Him lovingly and blindly.
We pray for you and your dear ones in gratitude for the gift you are in the M.C. family.
Please pray for us.
16 November 2015
“Prepare the way of the Lord! Repent!"
My dear Co-Workers, Active and Sick & Suffering, Lay MCs and Volunteers,
This Holy Season of Advent and Christmas invites us to contemplate who we really are and what is our worth in God's eyes we look with gratitude to God and marvel at the great things He has done for us during this year.
This December 21st will mark one year since Sr. M. Dorothy MC was unexpectedly called home to God while she was in Bangladesh. Sr. Dorothy MC, one of the first group of sisters who joined Mother, had been tireless in spreading Mother's message of God's love to our sisters, brothers and friends.
We miss the presence of our be lowed Sr. Nirmala MC who completed her earthly missionary journey on June 23rd this year, but rejoice that she now beholds the face of the Blessed Trinity. We remember Sr. Nirmala MC with much gratitude as a joyful channel of God's love and compassion to all of us and those in our care, the materially and spiritually poorest of the poor.
Through all the horrors of war, destruction of lives and homes and the sufferings of millions of refugees» especially in the Middle East where people continue to live under gunfire and bombing, we have been witnessing may miracles of God's tender love.
In Dwellah, Syria, the sisters and the parishioners offered Mother's novena for 250 families taken hostage by the IS. On the day of Mother's feast, most of these families were released.
In Aleppo, Syria, during the same novena» a bullet struck a nan in the chest» but the bullet was deflected by Mother’s medal hanging on his neck and he was saved. Also in Aleppo, one of our workers was carting a lot of bread on a trolley when he sensed a shot fired close by. The following day» a bullet was found inside the bread.
In our Sana'a, Taiz, Aden and Aden Hodeida houses in Yemen» our sisters» with the poor in their care» are daily facing deafening noise» smoke and fierce shaking as bombs explode close to their houses. Their windows, walls and compounds have been hit by bullets and flying debris from tile explosions. The sisters are grateful for the two Salesian priests who have stayed on to care for their spiritual needs. They are also grateful for your prayers and ask that you continue to pray for them.
In such a time of darkness and confusion when the basic values of human life and family life are also being attacked, our Holy Father will inaugurate the "Tear of Mercy" on the 8th of December. As we stand before the Face of our Heavenly Father, we are invited to contemplate who we really are and what is our worth in God's eyes is.
The goal of our pilgrimage in the Tear of Mercy is heaven» already present here by fulfilling God's will perfectly. The starting point is where I am. The call is, "Repent."
"Turn around." is the meaning of the word, "repeat". It is not remorse ; it is not admitting mistakes* It is not self-condemnation. It is more than penitence and offering sacrifices. Repentance calls me to completely break down my prideful self-assurance and my self-will. It calls me to strip away the mantle of my good name and success.
Repentance means change: I understand what I have to change and really do it. I have done wrong now I turn my back to it and more in the opposite direction so that the gospel can become incarnated in my life. Repentance removes the blocks of pride, division and resentment that hinder Jesus from being born in my heart and in my family now.
Guided by the Holy Spirit and the help of Mother Mary let us journey into our hearts to know what we have to turn away from and what we have to change because we want to prepare the way for the Lord.
Repentance leads me to realize that:
- Preoccupation with work and accomplishment make me empty and bitter.
I must therefore make time for prayer so that God may fill me with Himself.
- My habit of speaking harshly and rudely hurts others and myself. I must therefore learn to control my tongue; to keep silence. For the fruit of silence is prayer» faith and charity.
— My uncontrolled imagination leaves me restless and scattered. I must therefore take up the Scriptures and memories one verse daily and repeat it often throughout the day so that I may enter into the stillness of God.
This Christmas we shall delight the Baby Jesus by giving Him our "turned around" and "changed" heart. He will bless it and make it overflow with His mercy.
You may have heard speculations about the canonization of our dearest Mother. Until date, I do not have any official communication and so cannot give you any news.
I wish you, your families and dear ones a fervent Advent and the joy of welcoming Jesus into your heart at Christmas. May you have a grace-filled New Year 2016.
Please pray for me and all our sisters