Katrina, Covid and Reaching Out

Katrina, Covid and Reaching Out.

Perhaps it is a little unexpected to talk about the internet and social media when thinking about how this time of Covid and Lockdown has “helped”, changed or deepened something in my life...but in fact I can’t get away from the fact that this is actually what has happened...

As the lockdown progressed last year I began to realise just how many people were turning to Social Media to help them live this time of uncertainty , fear and isolation....I wondered if perhaps “now” was the time to do more in trying to reach out to others on this platform and to try and spread the spirituality of Br. Charles and Little Sister Magdeleine....this “ordinary” life of Bethlehem and Nazareth lived in the light of Jesus’ tender gaze. And the “ordinary “ aspect of life has indeed become accentuated with all the limits that have had to be drawn up in relation to contacts, work, study, travel.....

We have always been very lucky as little sisters in that we have members of our community and the wider family of Br. Charles who live in many different countries throughout the world and we have always exchanged news of our countries and all that we live with each other. Facebook and Instagram have made these links more actual, more immediate...both in the sense of getting to know little sisters and members of the family of Br. Charles but also in getting to know many people here and in other countries who come from many different backgrounds and interests...It has certainly widened my horizons and helped me to know and understand other realities. Acquaintances and friendships have grown up. And all these people and situations find a place in my prayer each day. I also experience the prayers and thoughts of so many. It is a receiving , a giving...a reciprocity...and I am very thankful...

As I have sought out photos and texts from little sister Magdeleine and Br. Charles to explain our spirituality,I have been helped to really deepen my relationship with them both....to meditate on their motivations, their radicality, their faith and trust in Jesus, Master of the Impossible...as one Friend on Facebook put it...it is like a retreat each day....And in the light of the coming beatification of Br. Charles I have also come to understand and deepen all that little sister Magdeleine inherited from him and has passed on to us...she has always said that he was the true founder of the Little Sisters....

I remember once, when I was living in Germany, in our community at that time in Hamburg, I was walking along the Reeperbahn deep in thought. Suddenly I heard a voice calling out: “ Lift up your head and look around!” It was the voice of the chief of the local police, who we knew quite well....in fact everyone in the area knew her quite well... In some situations, in the milieu of prostitution where we were living and had made many friends, that advice could have been important for our safety. But it is more ...I am taking many more photos for my posts...and I have noticed over the year how my “looking”, “noticing”, “observing” has changed. I take time to really look out of the window when I’m at home, to look with eyes wide open when out walking, to notice colours, shapes, patterns, the play of light, small things that might otherwise go unnoticed. This gives me the opportunity to marvel at nature, at God’s creation, at his gifts to us. And in so doing I see the darkness and light in my own life, the colours and patterns that run through all that I have lived...Yes...this has been a gift....

And lastly...as I live by myself at the moment so that I can support my father, zoom and skype have provided a wonderful opportunity to “see” my little sisters more often, to keep in contact with friends, to have Gospel sharings with others, to attend meetings and conferences....

The Internet and social media may have their negative aspects, and can undoubtedly be used in a destructive way, but I can only say they have been a very positive element in my life this year and I am very grateful for the contacts and friends I have made through them and for
the possibility they have given me to deepen and widen my life of prayer and my understanding of what both Br. Charles and little sister Magdeleine have passed on to all of us...