It is already 75 years since I decided to follow Jesus as a Religious. But to follow Him as a Sister of the Divine Redeemer means, according to our Foundress, Mother Alphonse Marie, to take up my cross every day patiently, even joyfully.
Today’s world, full of misunderstandings, slights and insults, backbiting and gossips asks for us to be like Christ, who suffered for us and leaving us an example. This is what I can and must to do, walk in His footsteps. “Jesus committed no sin and no deceit was found in his mouth. When He was insulted, He did not revile in return; when He suffered, he did not threaten; instead, He handed Himself over to the one who judges justly” (1 Pt 2:22-23).
Patience, the bane of a world which hurries only to have to stand in line. Patience is not just a matter of temperament, it is a gift of God for which I pray and strive to put into practice, daily. Many times I would like to say something on my behalf, but I am aware that the wisdom required is to know when to speak and when to keep silent. At the Trial before Pilate, Jesus also said nothing to Pilate when he asked Him “What is true?” (Jn 18:38) I strive to give others the benefit of the doubt and seek not to be critical. The understanding makes me, sometimes, upset, but meditating under the foot of Jesus on the Cross and the presence of the Blessed Mother release me from every bond of sadness.
Jesus said to our Foundress, Mother Alphonse Marie: “Pray, suffer, and bear your cross with Me.” My own personal pains and suffering compare me to the suffering of Christ. Patience is also rooted in the Passion of Christ. It was for love that Jesus willingly suffered for us, as He said: “No one takes my life from me, but I lay it down on my own” (Jn 10:18). Therefore, MAM recommended us to bear wrongs with joy, because, this way we can make reparation for a great number of our own sins and of the whole world. She also encourages us: “We never struggle alone. Jesus helps us. If we love Him, all sufferings become pleasant and bearable for us.”
Jesus is my great example. He stood silent in the face of those who mocked Him and lied about Him. Even to these, He was loving. On the Cross, Jesus limply hanging on nails, was not silent. He plead to His Father: “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do” (Lk 23:34). This is the refrain of my life: “Jesus, forgive me and those who make me wrongs and have mercy on us all.”
Sister Assumpta, SDR