Franciscan Servants of Mary

Franciscan Servants of Mary


Franciscan Servants of Mary

General's Message

                                                                                                                                                                                Blois on the 26th February 2017

My dear Sisters,

On the 1st of March, we begin another season of grace, an opportunity to meditate and live the Passion, Death and Resurrection of the Lord more intensely. Sometimes we react so routinely to the opportunities that come regularly without valuing the depth of its grace.

I would like to share with you two simple stories with lots of lessons for our life. Long sharing may be soon forgotten but stories might remain for long time.

Opportunities may not return

A legend tells us of a young man who wished to marry a farmer’s beautiful daughter. He went to the farmer to ask him for his daughter in marriage. The farmer looked at the young man over and pointing to his field said, “son go, stand out in that field and I am going to release three of my bulls, one at a time. If you can catch the tail of anyone of the three bulls, you can marry my daughter.”

The young man stood in the pasture awaiting the first bull. The barn door opened and out ran the biggest, meanest looking bull he had ever seen. He decided that the next bull would be a better choice than this one, so he ran over to the side and let the bull pass through the pasture out the back gate. The barn door opened again. Unbelievably the bull that appeared was so big and fierce, and stood pawing the ground, grunting, slinging slobber as it eyed him. Whatever the next bull was alike, it had to be better choice than this one, the young man thought, and ran to the fence and let this bull pass through the pasture, out the back gate.

The door opened a third time. A smile came across the young man’s face. This was the weakest, scrawniest little bull he had ever seen. This one was his bull. As the bull came running by, he positioned himself just right and jumped at just the exact moment. He grabbed….but Alas the bull had no tail !!!

Life is full of opportunities, do not miss any one because they do not wait. Some will be easy to take advantage of, some will be difficult. But once we let them pass (often in the hope of something better!) those opportunities may never again be available. God always opens to us countless doors of opportunities… On the 1st of March God our Father opens the door of Lent, a

time of grace, a time filled with opportunities; opportunities to assist someone who is hurt or in pain or in need; opportunities to forgive a harm done, opportunity to sit beside someone lonely, suffering, a hungry man at our door to share our food, a thirsty woman on the road, a handicap to extend our healthy arms, a naked man to clothe with, a sad member to console, to exchange a word of encouragement, to give a pat on the shoulder of someone tired, to say you have done well, to acknowledge what is done, to wipe away the tears of someone crying, to listen to the other without judgment, to accept the forgiveness of the other…

Let every opportunity that God places before us be a golden opportunity. Consider every obstacle as an opportunity for growth.

Self- centeredness to other centeredness

There is a story told about the late Sam Rayburn, former speaker of the House of Representatives. One of his friend`s daughter was critically injured in a car accident and early the next morning Mr. Rayburn knocked on his friend`s front door “I just came to see what could I do to help,” inquired Rayburn.

The father, who was in grief, replied that there was nothing that he could do just now. “Well”, Rayburn said “have you had your morning coffee and breakfast? ”

The man said that they had not yet had time for it. Rayburn went to the kitchen to get breakfast ready for his friend, when someone tapped him on his shoulder and said, “Mr. Speaker, I thought you were supposed to be having breakfast at the White House this morning, as stated in the morning dailies”, “I was” said Rayburn, “but I called the President and told him that a friend had a tragedy and was in need of my assistance, and that I could not come to the White House for the breakfast meeting.”

What different world would we be living in if we could learn to become more caring and less selfish?

During this season of Lent can each one of us become a little more caring for the other, taking interest of the other and a little less selfish in caring for ourselves, our comforts, excessive preoccupation of our health, our families, our work? Some of us demand from others best care, tasty food, comfortable room, everything best for myself. Where are we in our Christian attitude… our living of the evangelical counsel of poverty… solidarity with our suffering brothers and sisters? Do we need to go far to search for a poor, a naked, a thirsty, a lonely, a sad, a sick person???

Actually what is the place of the poor in our houses, in our missions? We may be over generous towards whom we like, towards the rich, who can give us a better return, to our friends……

In the Gospel of St. Luke 14: 13-14 we read: “When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your kinsmen or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return, and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. You will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.”

   It is not the suffering humanity that is missing but an open heart and generous hands. Let us spend some time everyday just looking at the cross. It will speak to us….inspire us….guide us….challenge us….console us…..

We meditate on the beautiful words which Christ uttered when He was on the cross  “I Thirst”  Do I feel that this thirst is addressed to me today and everyday not only to meditate in the chapel but to quench it.

Do you not feel the thirst of your own sisters:  “if you do not listen to us to whom can we go?

 I thirst please listen to me, understand me "

I thirst: “Please help me I am lonely, hungry, bedridden, sick….

I thirst: “Please forgive me, I am sorry…

I thirst’ please help me to grow….show me the right path…..

Do you not hear the cry of the Lord from the cross addressing you?

‘I thirst’… because you have become so selfish, self-centered………

‘I thirst’…because my poor are forgotten, neglected in your communities, in the mission….

‘I thirst’… because you have become so activity oriented and no time to spend with me…..

‘I thirst’…because you are becoming worldlier and les Godly……

‘I thirst’ because you are not able to forgive genuinely, love tenderly……..

I thirst’ because you have forgotten that you are in the world and not of the world……

 I thirst………I thirst……………I thirst…….

Yes here are the days, here, there and everywhere are the opportunities to quench many kinds of existing thirst.

May this time of lent be a time of grace and full of opportunities for each one.

Your prayers are my strength. I count on each one of you. My prayers accompany you and your mission, always.


                      Courage to walk fruitfully forty days in the desert with our Lord and Master

                                                                    Sr. Reetha Paul