Since the advent of smart phones equipped with quality cameras and preview screens, individuals have taken photographic self-portraits for purposes that range from social to professional. Smartphone self-portraits or ‘selfies’ as baptized by social media, are attracting a great deal of media attention. Selfies are now regularly taken, posted, and viewed by hundreds of thousands of people around the world on a daily basis.
I want to take a selfie with Fr. Ramon and Bl. Nicol, our Founders, would be the expression of each of us if our Founders were to be with us at this Centenary celebration. The thought itself leaves us speechless with feelings of awesomeness. Selfie with friends, celebrities, famous places add likes to our photos which soon become our profile. Our profile photo or our Whatsapp dp (Display Picture) becomes our identity. Is it selfie that give us identity? If so, let’s take a selfi with Centenary year which would renew us anew with MDR identity.
The thick jungles awaited Fr. Founder to give them a new identity and today the geographical location is a memory in our history. Poor, ignorant, illiterate, oppressed, people awaited the presence of Fr. Founder to give them dignity. Fr. Founder clicked the selfie with them by his very presence. Lack of some features in the selfie application made Fr. Ramon to invite sisters. Answering to the will of God at the age of 45, M. Ascension opened wide the doors of cloister to the Mission. Travelling on mule, by canoe and other means of transports in groups made them click the selfie with God at every moment and the expression of M. Ascension is “I felt so small that I relied completely on God”
It was reflection of the reality of their way of life, and their way of advancing in it. The first house without doors welcomed everyone with love and affection. No house, no money, no securities, no official permission and yet the work of God took shape after many hardships and challenges. Amidst all these challenges, God proved His fidelity as in Old Testament; I will be your God and you my people. God became the shield for them giving them identity as His own. God continued to be faithful to our founders by allowing them to accept the grace and as a result Our Congregation was born.
Today, as a MDR when I look back to the 100 years after the Foundation of Congregation and the early years before foundation, makes me bow my head falling on my knees in gratitude. The hardships that our Founders endured and the roads on which our elder sisters walked opened new paths for us to follow. The question comes of MY FIDELITY TO MY IDENTITY AS MDR AND MY RESPONSE TO GOD? What marks the centenary celebrations? The glorious celebrations which are untouched by the roots and the reality?
Pamela Rutledge director of the Media Psychology Research Centre in Boston calls selfies a “Really interesting psychological shift” in self-portraiture and in our relationships with ourselves. “Selfies allow you to be the producer, director, curator and actor in your own story,” says Rutledge, an adjunct professor at the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology. “In this new relationship with yourself, you are using creative expression to show not just how you look but how you feel in the moment. It is an interesting progression in communication, like telling a visual story”
Yes, we have travelled a long journey of 100 years and we are to go another many more years.
Missionaries, let’s pick up our trust and faith and click selfie with our Lord.
Pick up the enthusiasm and click selfie with Our Father Founder to be producers in our mission places.
Pick up the serenity and compassion and click selfies with Bl. M. Ascension to be director in the small or big responsibilities.
Pick up courage and click selfies with our Martyrs to be self sacrificing for others.
Pick up hard work and endurance and click selfie with our elder sisters who walked before us to be the oil in the lamp to keep the flame burning.
Pick up service and click selfie with the Lord to be the steward of all.
Let’s take a selfie with our roots, with the challenges that our Founders faced, with their hard work. Let’s take a selfie with their vision, enthusiasm, eagerness and their faith in God. Let’s click selfie with the people with whom we work learning their simplicity. Let’s click selfie with the realities of life to be prepared to keep sailing. Let’s click selfie with our identity as MDR. Let us post all these selfies with the background of fidelity of oneself to the Lord. God’s grace is always there, only we need to accept. Onward sisters, accept the Grace of God and click selfies with our origins and nurture it with the living water allowing the stream flow.
Sr. Rohini Jadav O.P.
Christinekunj, Ahmedabad, Gujarat.