“Each one has been entrusted with a share in the restoration of the world” (Christiane Singer)
For us in ACAY, this could be summed up in this phrase that symbolizes the vocation of the Missionaries of Mary: “You, your desert will be the desert of human hearts.” If our first vocation is to reach out to young people in their experiences of desert and loneliness, in their abuse, in their violence and delinquency, in their anger, guilt, shame, and sadness, very quickly we were promptly led to embrace the hearts of their parents too: the work of the roots.
Jeany (name changed) had been stuck with this anger in her heart since she was a child. A father who dies, followed by abandonment by her mother at the age of five, and this image engraved, knotted, indelible in her child’s memory of that car driving away from the orphanage taking in it her two older sisters, adopted by an American couple. Feeling abandoned, anger enveloped all her behaviors up to her facial expressions when she arrived at the School of Life. Was she going to be able to adapt to us being so full of anger? A good dose of patience and tenderness and a lot of work helped to overcome this apparent hardness. After so much researches, we finally found this missing mother. This young heart, hardened by years of loneliness, melted when she saw her mother’s face for the first time after so many years. Of course, it will take a long time to rebuild this bond so distended, but in the heart of a child, the graft of a root has been restored. The inner desert of the loneliness of a child has found a source.
But it is the same for this mother. Rejected by her husband’s family after his death, she had been asked not to return. The reunion with her daughter is a great consolation to her. Two inner deserts have just blossomed again.
Years of listening have helped us realize how often experienced situations similar to those of their children and have been left without consolation.
This desert that blossoms again when they find, or are reconciled with, their parents opens new horizons in the lives of young people. There is no more solitary wandering in this world, but the bonds are woven again. So how can we not go further? How can we not see our life through the prism of all the connections that are ours and that lead us to breathe an infinitely vaster air? We carry within us this mysterious intermingling of generations of lives that literally escape us but that have made us.
“Your caring multitude is here, warm, rustling, multiple in the unbroken chain of generations. I say thank you for having allowed me for a moment in the crossing of eternity to be your figurehead. One brief moment. For during this moment, in your name I have loved to live. Beyond the disasters and glories of life, beyond the shipwrecks and heartbreaks, I perceive and hear you, men and women of whom I am, for a time, the bearer of memory. I pass on to those whom life has entrusted to me the heritage that you have left me, that you have left us.” Chistiane Singer
To restore Life to the infinite that inhabits us. To live in fullness. This is when family bonds take on their full magnitude. This part of repairing the world that is entrusted to us in the ACAY mission, the deserts of hearts, now give way to prairies of joy and hope.
Sr. Sophie de Jesus – ACAY Founder