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By ‘A Hidden Pearl’
Here we publish the last of a three-part reflection by a ‘Pink Sister,’ now 82, who prefers to be known to our readers as ‘A Hidden Pearl.’ The official name of the congregation is ‘Sister Servants of the Holy Spirit of Perpetual Adoration’, www.adorationsisters.org . The Sisters have six monasteries in the Philippines.
Jesus chose to live the hidden, humble Nazareth life for 30 long years – years of an uneventful succession of prayer, work, silence and solitude in the company of Mary and Joseph. This was a phase in Jesus’ mystery of which Scripture speaks in a few terse words: ‘and He was subject to them...He grew in wisdom and grace!’ We have been called to the same simple, humble and hidden life – not for just 30 years but for life!
A mystery of our vocation for which we find no exhaustive answer! Why me? Why you? God alone has the answer! He chose you and me, and none other. For our giftedness or worthiness? NO! A resounding NO indeed – simply because He wills, out of pure gratuitous love for each one of us! The reason for our call is hidden in Christ our Lord – to be His chosen one, his beloved, to live the Nazareth life, in humility and poverty, in simplicity, in service of God and neighbor hidden from the world, but known to GOD ALONE!
A mystery of ordinariness – most of us have left behind a glorious career, social position, a colorful, perhaps successful, status. God called, we responded – we left everything – loved ones, passions, contracts – ALL! To live the ordinary Nazareth life – without glamour, without the limelight and ovation of the world. Why? It’s the mystery of ordinariness that we are called to live and to share with one another and with others. Sink deeply into it – love it, revel in it because there is NO DANGER of false illusion, of deceptive success. Ordinariness removes all vain glory and self-seeking. Living with the mystery of ordinariness identifies us more intimately with the three holiest persons on earth – Jesus, Mary, and Joseph! To live the ordinary extraordinarily well is to live fully its mystery.
A mystery of faith – why indeed did Jesus live 30 years in Nazareth – unknown, hidden from the rich and powerful? We need not ask the reason – our assent of faith to this mystery suffices. To be hidden in God, to live in Him, with Him and through Him – to the glory of the Father – this is the vocation of Jesus and our own, and we have been chosen to live it in the cloister, in our humble duties, our faith-filled lives, our hiddenness in the bosom of the Triune God. What an awesome mystery! Faith alone enables us to immerse deeply in it and be gripped by it – rejoicing to be unknown, forgotten, despised like Jesus. Total identification with Him becomes our joy, our fulfillment.
As missionaries, let adoration and contemplation be a PRIORITY for all of us – NOT a luxury. Let us look always at the Face of Christ – focus our gaze on Him especially on the ‘little ones’ and be radiant witnesses of His love – mercy – compassion whether we are; we shall truly be ‘epiphanies’ of Christ – living monstrances – ‘other Eucharists’ because we follow His commandment of love: ‘Love one another as I have loved you!’
You may write the author as follows:
‘A Hidden Pearl,’ St Joseph’s Convent of Perpetual Adoration,
AC PO Box 388, 3001 QUEZON CITY