I just came back from another inspiring meeting of our sisters in Europe. In addition to the joy of being together, we had the opportunity to hear first-hand about the history of writing the new Constitutions. Religious Constitutions are a set of rules in the Society, which speak about how our lives should look like, how we want to serve the Lord. Our first Constitutions were written by St. Madeleine Sophie Barat in 1815 and served us well for decades. The Second Vatican Council however called for some changes that needed to be applied to all documents. Our predecessors did not want to violate the original writings, valuing them in total as a huge legacy of our foundress, so they started the process of writing a new document. It is now a great treasure for us, which I am still constantly discovering with delight.
Today marks exactly 30 years from the date on which the letter, confirming that our Constitutions are officially approved, arrived in the Mother House. It was after 5 years of a long and painful process of discussing observations proposed by a committee from the Vatican. The process itself was important and fascinating. It required a lot of effort and sadness, but also taught us humility and seeking God’s will.
I would like to write about one of the observations, which for me was very inspiring. One of the criticisms that we heard concerned that our rules apply only to the ideal, the way we want to live and there is no mention of what minimum must be met in order to be a good Religious of the Sacred Heart. Maybe that’s why I love them so much – because there is a spirit in them that allows me to grow, and not a set of regulations and expectations, which I have to meet.
I thought that the same thing is true of the Gospel. Jesus doesn’t gives us a prescription: “do only so much, and you will be saved.” He is not interested in how we can get into Heaven, but he wants us to sell everything, give Him our whole hearts. Of course, we need to keep the commandments, but it is not fulfilling the law that gives meaning of our lives. It’s the search for infinite love. Even if we are doing it with a poor result, even if we keep falling. It is important that we keep moving in the right direction. May our hearts always want to be bigger and never ask “is this enough?”.