Gode (Agenzia Fides) - - "I look at Saint Charles de Foucauld, and I am comforted and encouraged in the face of my lack of human efficacy. He insisted on the ordinary, daily life, of living with Jesus under the gaze of the Father, and he let his life become his means of mission, to make present the Charity of Jesus". These are the words that Sister Joaquin Brown, missionary in Gode, in the Somali region of Ethiopia, sent to Agenzia Fides to comment on the canonization of St. Charles de Foucauld celebrated on Sunday, May 15, 2022 by Pope Francis (see Fides, 14/5/2022).
"I find myself here, with all my human poverty, deprived of human resources, facing a sea of needs. Reading and listening to articles about the saint and his spirituality, as well as his biography, have been an opportunity to review his life and to discover what the Lord can invite us to experience in this corner of the world which has 50,000 square kilometers and half a million inhabitants", insists the missionary. "Charles' conviction that he was called to live the life of Jesus in Nazareth, in all the banality and monotony that entailed, is for me a great beacon of light here where there is not much that we can do, if not allow the life of Jesus to flow out. The suffering and poverty of the people around us, especially women and their children, would lead to despair if the mission were to be able to change everything", explains Sister Joaquin. "The little signs of love that we try to make present in our mission, one hundred meters from the legal limit of the Apostolic Prefecture of Robe, do not change much in the daily life of those we try to serve, if not in a superficial way. Ultimately - highlights the nun who has been living her missionary charism in this region for eight years, the fragile bonds of friendship that we try to develop with those with whom we come into contact are the only things that can last". "I have looked forward to this day with trepidation. In front of the painting representing St. Charles, which I had placed under the altar on the special day of his canonization, I thought about how this mission here in Gode is so suitable for women, to welcome others in their fragility and their situation of need, and to serve them with the meager means at my disposal, knowing that beyond physical need lies an abyss that only divine love can satisfy. I thought about Charles' need to live among the poor, how they served him as he served them, allowing him to touch something of the presence of Jesus in them; how Mother Teresa had helped me to see this same presence in the poor; and of the profound unity of the different lives of the Saints brought together in the simplicity of the Gospel". "In the evening, in a brief period of Eucharistic adoration, I thanked God for the gift of this new saint and for the way in which he wanted to live, identifying himself so closely with the Son in his abandonment to the Father, allowing that each moment of his life becomes a space to spread the love of Jesus".
Sister Joaquin concludes her reflection by underlining how much this canonization is for her "an invitation from the Holy Spirit to learn from Saint Charles to abandon himself again and again to the Lord, so that he may draw his people to him, through all means he wishes, even through the "banality" of each day". "Saint Charles de Foucauld, pray for us and intercede for new and fervent missionaries, ready to burn their lives before the Lord in the ordinary tasks of being brothers and sisters of those to whom they are sent!". (JB/AP) (Agenzia Fides, 16/5/2022)