Following Jesus of Nazareth

Bethlehem and Nazareth   

Despite her apparent desire especially in the early years to communicate at least to some the intuitions she 'could not keep to herself’, despite the fire which manifestly burnt in her, she seems almost to have come to a point where she accepted that as far as the much of the world was concerned Bethlehem and Nazareth were ineffable mysteries. In June 1963 following the Apostolic Visit and a period of extreme trial for the Fraternity, Little Sister Magdeleine wrote in a spirit of renewed hope occasioned by the enthronement of Pope Paul VI who as Cardinal Montini had given her encouragement from the earliest days:

‘And now we must go forward with renewed courage but also with greater lucidity than before…
We shall always provoke misunderstandings and anxieties along our way. Don’t let us be surprised by them. They will arise firstly from our shortcomings and deficiencies… They will also arise from the fact that the Little Sisters do not always know how to explain our ideal very well and use unfortunate words to defend it which inevitably give rise to controversies.
But the failure to understand will also derive from the fact that the world looks for efficiency more than for the unobtrusiveness of the hidden life and that Bethlehem and Nazareth will always remain a mystery to it.’

Bethlehem and Nazareth, it may be concluded, were perhaps best expressed and understood through the lives of her Little Sisters, be they amongst the natives of an Amazonian rain forest or the workers in a jam factory in an English industrial city.

Copyright Kathryn Spink