I sat quietly on the front gallery of Grand Coteau this past August 12, during a Louisiana rain. There is nothing like a Louisiana storm. The storm wrapped me in prayer, and I let the sound of the rain play in me, widening the crevices of my heart.
It was only the next morning when I saw the headlines of the paper that I realized that I had been listening to the rains of what is now called the Great Flood of 2016. A flood that killed 13 people, destroyed more than 100,000 homes, and displaced more than 10,000 people.
How do we bring these two realities of our lives together? The knowledge of being wrapped in God's love symbolized by the sound of falling rain and the sight of rising waters causing destruction and devastation? We all know the beauty and the ugliness of our world, the good and the bad.
Daily we live this dichotomy in our lives expressed in these two images of rain. On the one hand, we are convinced of God's love and care for us, for the whole world; on the other, we know the destructive power of evil, of pettiness, of the cunningness of self-love. As persons committed to manifesting the love of God, it is only in the pierced Heart of Christ that these two images are reconciled. "The pierced Heart of Jesus opens our being to the depths of God and the anguish of humankind." (1982 Constitutions: 8) This is the grace of our vocation, the work of the Spirit who gradually transforms us. Contemplating the depths of God, we are moved to act creatively and compassionately. Like Philippine, whose feast we celebrate this month, we seek ways to cross frontiers, to share God's love with others. We are at peace whatever the circumstances because we are anchored in God's Heart.
Reflection by Jan Dunn, RSCJ
Photography of the gardens at the Schools of the Sacred Heart at Grand Coteau