Daughters of St. Philip Neri: deeply human and utterly divine
While the wounds of sin permeate the whole of life, society and relationships, it is precisely in this woundedness that we perceive the call of God. It is in the yearning and discontent of the human heart that we discover most truly that we are made for union with the divine. When we begin to acknowledge this truth, the anxiety that so often plagues our experience of life begins to be transformed. It becomes the door to divine intimacy. Our vocation therefore is deeply human and utterly divine. It is profoundly related to earth and to heaven, denying neither and embracing both. It is based on a single Person, yet demands the conscious, free, and continuous participation of each individual as he or she grows in humanity and adopted divinity.
In genuine faith – which must, of course, be worked for – and in that surrender of self which is faith in act, we begin to discern that, far from our helplessness being a human misfortune, something that ought not to be, it signals a limitless calling and is the other side of a vocation that goes behind what can be perceived by mind and sense. To accept it is to assent to our vocation, to becoming who we truly are, to being truly human. We are made for union with the divine, nothing less. We are called to share the life of God. Our restlessness, our insatiable longings, our discontent and experience of helplessness are to be traced to our divine destiny. Commitment in faith to this truth is to destroy existential anxiety.
Faith alone can overcome the world and the threat the world imposes. It does not follow that we lose the feeling of anxiety and fear – we would be the poorer for that – but these now play a role that is creative, not destructive. Fear can cripple, paralyze, prompt us to shirk and evade life. Faith enables us to live with reality, braving its challenge.
Sister Ruth Burrows, O.C.D.