What comes to mind when you hear Philippine’s name? This question surfaced one day for us when younger members of the Indonesian region had gathered. We were delighted to learn that the Indonesian mission began when Philippine was canonized. We are blessed that Philippine, a woman of courage and faithfulness, is patron of our area.
To imagine what Philippine and her companions felt during their voyage to the New World helps us to understand that they were all woman of faith. They only saw the sea and sky. They suffered from illness; they had no appropriate food. The sea terrorized them with winds and waves. Uncertainty awaited in the new land. Philippine’s close relationship with Jesus sustained her and enabled her to live with hope during these perilous times. Her prayer, "My God, I have left all things for you," reveals that she was a "woman who prays always" even before the Potawatomi said so.
We experience terrifying moments like hers nowadays, but in different ways. When we leave home to seek what God wants of us, we are uncertain and fearful. When everything seems uncertain, when people feel hopeless, when hatred and jealousy increase while love and forgiveness decrease, can we become a sign of hope for people around us?
Philippine shows the way. Strength for the journey of life comes from contemplation of the pierced Heart of Jesus. May the Love of the Heart of Jesus, which sustained Philippine, mold us to be holy and to be a blessing for others!
Henni Sidabungke, RSCJ, Area of Indonesia
Image: Henni Sidabungke, RSCJ