Season Of Creation 2022: To read the signs of the times
Season of Creation 2022: To read the signs of the times
Living the religious life in the Season of Creation. Learning how to read the signs of the times.
Testimony of Sr. Odete Henrique Mahumane from the Congregation of the Missionary Sisters of the Precious Blood (Region of Mozambique).
As part of the celebration of the Season of Creation, my community and I sought first of all, it was important to rethink our life as religious and how we want to carry forward the charism of our congregation in order to meet the challenges of today's world in the light of the Gospel. As Pope Francis says, "the awareness of the seriousness of the cultural and ecological crisis must be translated into new habits" (LS. 209). And for our congregation, reading the signs of the times and the context in which we live, it was necessary to implement an environmental education, where we try to indicate new practices of life according to the Gospel, letting ourselves be guided by the Holy Spirit.
At the beginning, it was difficult to explain to all our communities’ members, how to celebrate the season of creation, however, thanks to several sensibilization meetings with all of the members of the congregation, together we were able to trace new itineraries of religious life for the celebration of the Season of Creation. And one of the crucial points was when we started the celebrations with a hymn of praise to God for all the wonders of creation where we as religious sisters are called to give witness to practical lives that contribute to the care of our common home, and our mother earth. And this also implies the identification of things that impede good community living, as they constitute litter in our communities. Once identified they are used as opportunities for our growth when overcome.
We have been able to organize training meetings about the care for the Earth, educating communities to combat uncontrolled burning and to conserve biodiversity. The season of creation is for us a time of paradigm shift in our way of "thinking, feeling, and living; it is not so much a matter of talking about ideas, but rather of the motivations that derive from spirituality to nurture a passion for the care of the world" (LS. 216). A care that broadens our horizon in the way we see, judge and act, creating forms of new relationships with God, with the women and men that we encounter in our daily lives and the environment around us, motivated in creating a society with moral and ethical values according to the teachings of the Church.
Implementing Laudato Siʹ in daily life
We strive to live a humble life in adopting a simple lifestyle; accompanying local communities and families in how to care for the animals, cultivating vegetable and flower gardens in all our communities; Schools and Centers for Orphaned and Vulnerable Children. We implement recycling of juice cartons, soft drink bottles and plastic bags to make flowerpots. In addition, we also seek to recognize the adversity that is experienced in our different intercultural and international communities, with diverse cooking initiatives (prepared by sisters of different cultures and nationalities). As well as initiatives for recreational moments as a way of getting to know each other better. Visiting the sick in our parishes and in hospitals; and participating in prayer days, workshops, seminars, and debates of a social nature.
Practical steps taken for listening to the voice of Creation
Our practical steps are read in the optics of the signs of the times, in what the reality asks us today, and one of these realities for us, is to give attention to the clamor of those who suffer as: the victims of terrorism in Cabo Delgado and Nampula, of violence and abandonment. Support the victims of hunger in the city and province of Maputo with a basic need; as well as the participation and preparation of meals for youth and vulnerable adults of the Program Matthew 25 (initiative of the Holy Father through the Nunciature).
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