Prayer shaped Philippine's life, helping her to embrace only what was essential in life, God's promptings. Prayer propelled Philippine to leave her comfortable family to become a religious, totally given to those on the margins of society. It gave her a certain resilience and audacity to leave her own country and go to America and, together with her companions, to become the first missionary of our little Society. Prayer increased her love and trust in Jesus; she would say, "She who has Jesus has everything."
Even at the age of 71, when she was not able to do much, she accompanied her sisters and other people with prayer. Philippine was filled with missionary zeal; but her inability to speak the language of the people she loved and other difficulties she encountered, show us a woman who accepted, even embraced, her limitations with the humility that enabled her to draw out the goodness from those she touched.
The image strikingly communicates Philippine's God-centered life, how she drew strength, zeal, humility, wisdom and all the graces needed from the Heart of God. Philippine's passion to cross frontiers impels us to move out of our familiar comfort zones and open the doors of our hearts to those suffering in myriad ways around us and beyond our physical boundaries. We need to pay attention, to act as a body attending to the needs of those who knock at our doors, inviting us to cross our socio-cultural, political and economic frontiers. She shows us how. May we dare to follow in Philippine's footsteps.
Penina Ann Wambale, RSCJ, Province of Uganda - Kenya
Image: Milton Frenzel