Heart to heart

Heart to Heart, Vol. 6, No. 6         - September 2021

It is our hope that our Heart to Heart newsletter is a catalyst inviting reflection on Angela’s charism as we are experiencing it and living it in today’s world. Most recently, we have focused on Angela’s spirit of Hospitality, her call to Unity/Harmony and her reassurance of Hope.

It goes without saying that the experience of COVID-19 these last eighteen months has challenged us to look within, and to draw forth the creative energy needed to adapt to the demands of this pandemic. In the upcoming issues of Heart to Heart we look once again to Angela’s charism and will explore more specifically her Creative Spirit. How did she adapt to the changes in her life? How did she find God in the events that challenged her to choose transformation?

Living Angela’s Creative Spirit

Angela’s life was one of a pilgrim’s journey. Like all of us, her life was a movement of events; some were predictable and others were unexpected. In her early years the loss of her parents and sister ruptured her experience of a loving family life and required her moving from the solace of rural living to adapting to living in Varallothe city of Salo. As she adjusted to the loving home of her relatives, she found strength in the solitude of prayer cultivated in her younger years by her parents. She found the presence of God in the daily movements of her life. It took many years to achieve a semblance of answers and reassurance of the path she would take.

Angela MericiAngela took several pilgrimages during her life that called for much trust in the unfolding of God’s plan for her. They were the nurturing terrain for her spiritual growth. With each pilgrimage, God’s call gradually became clearer. Like the movements required in creating a painting, composing a song, choreographing a dance, Angela gradually struggled to allow the final creation of her call to emerge. Perhaps it was her last pilgrimage to Varallo, a sanctuary in the Dolomite mountains, where Angela in long hours of prayer experienced a clarification of God’s call. Only after many years of attentiveness to the series of events that was her life, of interpreting the meaning of loss, vulnerability and suffering, could she say, without hesitation, “in these dangerous and pestilential times, you will find no other refuge than at the feet of Jesus” (Seventh Counsel). Angela returned to Brescia ready and eager to make the “Company” a reality.

The creative process in the life of Angela inspires the same in any one of us. We seek attentiveness to the present moment and to the reality in which we find ourselves. We listen, in quiet solitude, engaging in dialogue with the Spirit within. Following “the counsels and inspirations constantly to be heard in our hearts by the action of the Holy Spirit” (Rule, ch. 9), we choose to create new life.

Quotes for Pondering...

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“Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainty.”
— Eric Fromm

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“Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change.”
— Brené Brown

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“Creativity doesn’t wait for that perfect moment. It fashions its own perfect moments out of ordinary ones.”
— Bruce Garrabrandt

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“They will listen to the lure and love of God urging them to choose life
and discover anew the meaning and purpose for their lives.” — Ted Dunn

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Do something, get moving, be confident, risk new things...

—Terry Eppridge, OSU

Reflection Questions:

• What experiences of creativity have helped to nurture and sustain you in your life?

• As you reflect on the spirit of Angela’s creativity, what most inspires you?

• How are you living Angela’s creative spirit?

USA Ursulines Roman Union the Heart to Heart newsletter Team

Heart to Heart - September 2021