One of our sisters received the following quote which from a friend some time ago regarding the temptation to respond to the needs of our world during this Pandemic of Covid 19 – yes there is a great need for nurses, doctors, social workers, carers of every kind. So why do you, Dominican Nuns, continue to be heedless to the cry of broken humankind at this time? Why are you not out doing something useful?
Edith Stein (now St Benedicta of the Cross) was faced with the same dilemma at the beginning of World War II – she had been a Red Cross nurse in World War 1 and so was obviously recalling that time. Now a Carmelite Nun, here is how she responds and encourages her sisters:
“Hail, O Cross, our only hope” this is the cry the Church urges us to make in this time dedicated to contemplating the sufferings of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Crucified looks at us and asks us if we are ready to hold to the promise made him in an hour of grace. He has some good reason to ask us this. The Saviour looks at us gravely and questioningly and asks each one of us, “Do you want to remain faithful to the Crucified? Consider this well…The world is on fire, ..It’s the loving heart of your Redeemer which invites you to follow him…The arms of the Crucified are outspread to draw you to his heart. He wants your life so that he can give you His. The world is on fire. Do you feel an urgency to put it out? Raise your eyes towards the Cross. From the open heart flows the Redeemer’s blood, the blood which extinguishes the flames of Hell. Free your heart in the faithful fulfilment of your vows and the flood of divine love will fill it to overflowing and will make it carry its fruits to the ends of the earth.
Do you hear the groans of the wounded on the battlefields from West to East? You are neither doctor nor nurse, you cannot dress their wounds. You are enclosed in your cell and cannot reach them. Do you hear the anguished cry of the dying? You would like to be a priest and tend them. Are you moved by the distress of the widows and orphans? You would like to be an angel of consolation and go to their help.
Raise your eyes towards the Crucified. If you are His spouse His blood will also be yours. United to Him you will be present everywhere, just as He is. Not here or there, like the doctor, nurse or priest but on all fronts, in every place of desolation – present in the power of the Cross. Your compassionate love, love from the divine Heart, will take you everywhere and everywhere will pour out His precious blood – which soothes, which heals, which saves.”
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