by Nadia Ramoutar MMM Communications Coordinator Ireland 10.10.2023
Recently, I met with an MMM Sister and she asked me “How is your heart?”
I stopped for a moment and automatically put my hand over my heart and paused before I answered. It was such an interesting question and unexpected. I had to actually do an inventory of my body and come up with an honest answer.
In our busy lives with long to do lists we often worry about getting things done on time and finding ways to do more with less, we put a lot of emphasis on our minds, but checking in with our heart really requires us to pause and reflect. How is our heart is a very important question that warrants attending.
The MMM Sisters have a lovely practice of going on retreat and pausing from the busy parts of life. They also make prayer part of their daily practice. Many times the mission work is hard as it involves some of the poorest of the poor people and the horrendous circumstances they have to overcome.
Caring for our hearts helps to overcome the challenges of seeing the mistakes and challenges humans often make for one another. The human world is burdened with poverty, illness, hunger, violence and other difficulties. It can be frustrating to try and make life better for people when the trends of famine, drought and war seem to be on the rise.
It can be discouraging, which can be translated from the Old French to mean “dishearten” or “to move away from the heart.” Mission work takes tremendous courage to face obstacles and to overcome what can feel disheartening.
The work to make the world a safe and better place for women and children requires tremendous effort and working with several elements of society that are not easy to navigate. We find that mission work often helps those who governments and societies are overlooking and forgetting. We find that our mission work sees what others seem to overlook. It is not easy to keep looking at suffering but there is no other way to ease it.
Time and time again in the Bible we see examples of God comforting those who would be disheartened. We are reminded that in the face of a giant fear, we can be courageous because we are not alone. At the moment, many people in our world struggle with being lonely. Loneliness is at the cause of many ills for people fearful and alone.
In gently nurturing our hearts and slowing down to take time to reflect and retreat from the noise of the world, we may find the comfort and courage we seek. So now, at the start of every day, I quietly ask myself “How is my heart today?”