Dear brothers and sisters,
Here I share with you my little experience and reflection.
It was 20 years ago I was sent for the mission in Taiwan R.O.C. As preparation for the mission, I was placed in a community in the south called Tainan to learn the Chinese language. The first days were very tough as I had to adjust with a lot of cultural difference. I remember my very first day over there, my first glance of the statue of Our Father Saint Dominic. He stood in the corner of the chapel of that foreign land. His humble and saintly look touched my heart. My eyes caught hold of his hands; one hand was with the Bible and the other hand with a long, slim, wooden cross.
As I had learnt that Saint Dominic always carried the Bible during his mission, I didn’t feel anything new seeing him holding the Bible. But what touched me is his cross. On the first day, I just thought that Saint Dominic carried the cross, the cross of suffering, the cross of difficulties and struggle. I connected it with my own cross of struggle and difficulties of that time in that foreign land. I needed to work hard to learn the language to communicate with the sisters over there. I needed to adjust with their food, dress and other life style. I needed to live with the people of different mood and culture. But I decided to hold my cross like Saint Dominic and go ahead with my life there.
It was not many days late, I was able to see clearly and noticed that the cross of Saint Dominic was not just a cross alone; it was a long staff with a cross on the top! I looked at it very carefully; the staff gave him strength, support and guidance to walk steadily on the rough path of his mission. It was not any more the so called cross I thought of, but it was a life partner, a supportive companion. The spirit of Jesus Christ guided St. Dominic throughout his life and he was well aware of that. I started to feel that there is a staff along with my cross, too. My cross began to be light and the staff became stronger.
As I look at this same statue of Saint Dominic now, I wonder how I couldn’t see the staff at that time! In fact, I almost can’t see the cross now. I have to look very carefully to find the cross on the same staff. Yes, I was preoccupied by the struggle I was going through rather than the energy and support I was receiving those few days. But once I realized that I cherished walking with that staff.
My dear brothers and sisters, do you sometime have similar experience as of mine? Try to see the hand of our Lord in our daily life, try to see the hand of our Father St. Dominic, try to see the hand of our Blessed Mother, then your cross will turn into a strong staff. Let us walk joyfully with that staff and celebrate our life.
Happy Feast of our Father St. Dominic de Guzman!
Sr. Elsamma George O.P
Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh.