A love of story of living in faith – Sr Puspanjali Singh, SCC

When I was 16, I fell in love with a man in faith. He was handsome, smart and intelligent. He had the most charming smile, eyes glowing with love, and words sweet and soothing.

Then the great desire germinated in me to know about him, to go closer to him, to feel his touch, to enjoy his presence, to be in his company, to listen to him, and to live with him and work with and for him, above all to imitate His ways and values. The desire made me restless. Guess who he was. He is no one but Jesus of Nazareth who captured my heart.

I was then living at Daringbadi in Kandhamal district, 274 kilometers west of Bhubaneswar, capital of Odisha state in eastern India.

One day I gathered courage and told my parents about my desire to join the Congregation of the Cross of Chavanod (SCC), Kolkata, West Bengal. My parents’ reply was “You are young now, continue your study.” But love for the brilliant and invisible man was irresistible.

Without telling my father, I set out in search of that person when my father had gone to Phulbani, the district headquarters to get the form for my higher study. My father was upset and sad for two years. He neither wrote a letter nor replied to my letter. He did not inform me even my grandmother’s death.

After two years when I came back home, my father was at Berhampur Railway Station to receive me. I was afraid but my father hugged me and said, “You are grown.
Then he added, “Never regret for yesterday, life is in you today and you make your tomorrow.” By these words I was strengthened and overwhelmed with joy. Then the greater desire knocked at the door of my heart gently and rapidly to qualify and to form myself to find, to seek, to search and to know about Jesus more and more.

On March 25, 1995 I said “Yes” to the Lord. Yes, to enjoy his companionship the qualification required to follow him and work for him in the Congregation.

As a member of consecrated life, I firmly believe that the following factors matter, according to me, to commit oneself as I work for his mission.

For this work we require certain qualifications:

1. humility and forgiveness

As it builds bridges, humility is the oil that smoothes and soothes relationship by admitting my weakness, being open to corrections and think more positively about others in my missionary journey.

2. courtesy

Courteous is respecting the differences in everyone. Being considerate to each other’s feeling, I do experience difficulties with strong personalities. These persons may have special emotional needs, deep insecurities, irritating mannerism or poor social skills. We can call these persons EGR (Extra Grace Required) person.

God gave or put these persons for my good. Indeed they are an opportunity for growth and test in my life. I do my best to accept, understand and be compassionate to them without being judged.

3. Confidentiality

It is in a safe environment of warm acceptance, trusted persons share their deepest hurts, needs, concerns, issues and setbacks. Whatever is shared in one group needs to stay in that group only, not to be gossiped about. Gossip always causes hurt and divisions and it destroys community life.

4. To live together in community, sharing of true feelings

Encourage each other support each other. Forgive each other. Speak truth in love. Admit one’s weakness. Respect the differences. Above all give priority to the community. It means giving up self centeredness and independence in order to become interdependent and other centeredness, which is the benefit of sharing life together that bears much fruit. Fruits in abundance are the beauty of a Consecrated person.

5. Being aithful to prayer life

Prayer enables me to take keen interest in every part of my life and work. I work for constant renewal of heart through daily meditation, review of life, reflection, and spiritual accompaniment. Genuine and good friends both men and women enable me to grow in interior freedom and learn progressively to lead a life with hope amidst trials and difficulties. Challenges are part and parcel of life. My resilience, trust and faith refrains me from being bowled. I do believe God works in everything for good to mold life for better.

In sum, my experience as a consecrated person is like a boat that ventures into the roaring waves, sails into the deep sea to fetch fish and overwhelms the hearts of all with joy. I am convinced that happiness is not the absence of sadness, struggles and difficulties but presence of God. May I qualify in His love day by day and be intoxicated in His wisdom to make him known and love.

(The author is a teacher and resides at Holy Cross Convent, Pandua, West Bengal, India.)

Source: Matters India

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