by Sr. Sheila Campbell, MMM   Ireland    04.12.2021

Sr Sheila Campbell 3 cropped resized 210322Last night we had a community gathering of Sisters in my house.  It was to be only a short meeting.  Some in the group had other responsibilities and things to do.  So, there was a certain anxiety to get on with the business.  The meeting started off with a small agenda, but then the conversation wandered, dipped and dived, and drifted off into unformed resolutions.  I found myself getting tetchy and impatient even though I had no other serious commitment for the rest of the night.  Afterwards I berated myself for my attitude and I began to wonder what had caused my mood.

I think this Covid situation has effects far beyond our physical selves!  Basically, I live in a bubble.  In the bubble are approximately 50 Sisters who live in Beechgrove Convent, Drogheda, Ireland.  Our meeting last night was in one of the four sub-groups.  I am presuming a lot of people who read this will think that they live in bubbles too.  It is our immediate response to outside threats – to withdraw.  Of course, a certain amount of social distancing is being recommended by the Government too.
The trouble with bubbles though is that they can turn us inwards, defensive and protective of our own “space”.   My current challenge is to live in a bubble, yes, but to retain an outward and generous focus in my life.  As usual, I turn to the Gospels for inspiration and for some strange reason (strange during Advent!) I began to think about Jesus going off to the desert and the temptations he encountered there.   Now the desert is an extreme example of a bubble!   And Jesus faced his temptations alone.  Here at least I have support from others around me.  I suppose this “bubble time” is a way of preparing me for my onward and outward journey as a missionary.  We have so many challenges facing us in today's world.  There is climate change, the refugee situation and human trafficking.  So many problems look for ways to promote life and life in its fullness.  So, today I just pray that I can resist my temptation to “self-isolate”, grow in patience and keep myself open to this world.

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