Our roots in a Muslim world

As for my own tale, I joined the little sisters in 1975, and went to Morocco soon after. One of my most intense experiences was the time I spent living in a shantytown in Casablanca. I worked in a factory. 'The life of Nazareth' became a concrete reality to me as I shared the life and the hardships of a poor, disreputable neighbourhood. But most of all I discovered, thanks to the Muslim women who were my neighbours in the shantytown, the joy of the Kingdom of God. Religious people are so tempted to look for it among the perfect. But it dawns for the lowly, the poor of heart, the ones who know hunger and cold and humiliation in their flesh and who, just because of that, can keep their hearts open and can recognize goodness when they meet it, no matter what. I knew many Muslims, simple people, human to the core, whose life was a testimony of God's Love. I discovered with joy that when Jesus proclaimed the Beatitudes he was talking about an immense multitude of people, vastly overflowing the boundaries of the Church. I saw Lalla Fatima and Muy Dada cooking generous quantities of couscous so that street children around us could have some too. I saw families making their reconciliation in order to be inwardly ready for Ramadan or for joining in a feastday celebration, and how friends from other families would help the process of forgiveness get started and offer their support. I saw men risk their own safety to come between fighters and try to stop violence. I was witness to the courage and energy it took the women just to start again each day. How many times I wondered where they got their strength.