by Sr. Sheila Campbell MMM Ireland 18.06.2023
One of our MMM values that I have seen people scratch their heads about is Creative Fidelity. “What do you mean by that?”, they say. “It doesn’t make sense”. Well, there is one thing I have learnt in life it is how difficult it is to talk about something that is an ideal and not practical.
Fidelity implies holding on to something good. We ask spouses to be faithful to each other in their marriage ceremony. I expect of myself faithfulness to the vows I made as a young woman back in 1970. Faithfulness asks of us steadiness and commitment. Yes, there will be challenges and difficulties. Life is like that. But our faithfulness can see us through. As a Christian, I try to be faithful to the teachings and example of Jesus Christ. For MMM we value our history, our Benedictine spirituality, our foundress, Mother Mary Martin and all she taught us about love and trust in God. All this we will hold onto and cherish.
At the same time, we must be creative. This comes from the teaching of Mother Mary herself. She knew life did not stand still. She responded to the needs of her time, and she expects us to do the same. There is a wonderful phrase in MMM “You are called to an extraordinary adventure”. An adventure is just that – it is not planned; actions arise because of the needs of the moment. As MMMs we must be always ready to shift, to move, not to “settle down”. We respond to the medical needs as they arise among the poor of this world. As you can imagine with the global climate crisis we are being asked to respond in areas where the rains failed, or where the floods came. We are also being asked to respond individually, recycling, living simply. No point in preaching what you do not practise!
So, there you have it. We are “holding on” and at the same time we are shifting. Yes, it does seem contradictory, but the beauty and the challenge are in holding those two reins together on our journey through life. Faithfulness is not stagnant or a blind repetition but involves constant reflection, evaluation and discernment to allow the faithful love to be ‘born anew’ in each reality and in each person. That is my hope for today!